My Stay at the Hermitage

This post may be too little too late – and I’m not entirely sure that a blog post could have helped anyways, but I feel compelled to write one nonetheless.

To make a long story short, Danica Swanson and I were in correspondence for a few months late last year as I’d tried to figure out a place to live while I dealt with the madness that is legal immigration. I wanted to be as close to British Columbia as I possibly could, and co-habiting with her seemed like would be perfect for my very tiny budget. So I stayed a weekend with her last month so we could chat and so I could see the space. Unfortunately, my end of the deal fell apart and I’ll be moving back to LA instead – which has always been a worst-case scenario for me.

The really shitty part is that my staying with her in Portland was to help her maintain the Hermitage and the various projects she’s undertaken in service of the Gods, and now I’m not able to do that. You can read her blog post about the situation here.

What I can do, though, is write about how amazing the Hermitage, as a concept, and a physical place, really is. It’s hard to really get it from reading about it online; truthfully, I had to be there to appreciate all of what she’s trying to accomplish and how well she’s doing it given the limitations of apartment living.

The Black Stone Hermitage consists of many different spaces: a good many beautiful shrines, the Black Tent Temple, a Psychomanteum, an altar for meditation, and even the equipment to provide ritualized tea service.

Every square inch of the place was painstakingly planned and curated to cultivate an atmosphere of darkness, introspection, and hibernation, from the smallest accouterment to the largest piece of furniture. She lives, breathes, and exudes monasticism; she lives her service to the Gods. And the Hermitage is a rare place that has been built to serve both Them and us – though it is also her home, it is a space for our community to visit and utilize. They’re going to get something powerful there that they can’t anywhere else right now, I guarantee that.

Which is why I really, really want to see the Hermitage stay put, and why I really want to see Danica continue the work she’s doing because it is unique and it is of immense value to us as polytheists. I wish I could have stayed in Portland to take advantage of it.

But, all I can do right now is plug her Patreon – it may be the only thing that could keep the Hermitage alive as it currently exists.

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3 thoughts on “My Stay at the Hermitage

  1. Thank you SO much for this post, Lo, and for your kind words about the work I do at the Hermitage. It was a pleasure to have you visit, and I’m sorry things didn’t work out the way we were hoping they might. I appreciated the tasty soup you made – I feel so spoiled when guests cook for me! – and you were such a courteous guest. Please know that you’ve got a standing invitation: you are welcome to visit me at the Hermitage anytime you happen to be in town. I hope your stay in LA goes as smoothly as possible.

    I have two pieces of excellent news – developments that have come up in just the last couple of weeks since your visit. First of all, I have been given a reprieve by the owners of the unit I’m in, which means I will not lose the Hermitage in April after all. I still need to figure out another solution for the long term, and my Patreon account is helping me take steps in that direction, fortunately. (Thank you so much for your support!!) But the immediate threat of losing the Hermitage has passed. Yay!

    And second, there is someone new in my life!

    I remember telling you in our correspondence that I haven’t dated for a long time, and wasn’t really looking for a partner, but was also keeping an open mind about it just in case the gods decided They wanted me to be a partnered monastic instead of a single one.

    So now I’ve got a brand new flame in my life. And you are among the first to know.

    Things are looking promising so far, and if all continues to go well, I think this is going to affect the future of the Hermitage very positively. I’ll keep you updated!

    Oh, and may I quote your lovely words about the Hermitage in the brochures I’m working on, to be handed out to future prospective guests?

    I now feel pretty confident that the Hermitage will survive in some form until I find a long-term home for it. I may have to scale back some of my community service offerings temporarily until I have more steady sources of support, but it certainly won’t mean the end of the service work I do for the gods! I would keep that up even if I were living on the streets and could only keep a tiny portable shrine in a little tin box. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry for the hideously delayed reply, but, I am very glad things seem to be working out for you! And congratulations on the new beau!

      And I know you’ve already done this (I haven’t gone and read it yet; I’ve been pretty absent from the polytheist circles since then), but I just want you to know that it is 100% OK to use any of this.

      Good luck and hopefully I’ll be able to visit again, wherever the Hermitage might wind up being. :]

      Liked by 1 person

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