Little Pagan Monastery

chalicwell1So, after a lot of interest in my previous Pagan Monasticism blog posts, it looks like I will be co-running a retreat weekend this winter at Chalice Well Gardens, called the Little Pagan Monastery.  The dates haven’t been confirmed yet, but we’re looking at something between October and December 2013, and then again in the summer of 2014.

The Little Pagan Monastery will give people a brief glimpse into a pagan monastic life – the weekend will be structured around daily prayers, meditations, lectures, chores around the houses and Chalice Well Gardens, as well as outings to the White Spring and Glastonbury Tor.  It will be a weekend of the contemplative life – a time to devote yourself 100% to your gods and spirituality in the tranquil setting of Chalice Well Gardens. It is open to all pagans.  Expect to rise with the dawn! We will also have out of hours access to the Chalice Well Gardens, and will end the weekend with ritual.

Prices have yet to be determined, as we need a rough estimate of numbers first.  We are aiming to keep the cost of this weekend as low as possible, to enable everyone no matter what their financial circumstances are the opportunity to dip their toes into pagan monastic life.  We’re hoping that everyone will go away nurtured by the weekend, and finding new and imaginative ways of incorporating more spirituality in their daily lives, should they so wish.

If you are interested, please email me at to be put on the sign-up list.  When we have a good idea of numbers, we will then let people know the financial costs and proceed from there. Space will be very limited, so please get in touch as soon as you can to be put on the list.

We hope to see you there!

Pagan Monasticism Part 1

How I long for a monastic life.  As pagans, we really don’t have that option, however.  Yet I still dream, of a life completely given to the gods; days spent in prayer, in total connection, separated from the outside world in order to go deeper.  I know, many would say that this is possible in every day life, that we are always connected – that the ability to go deeper, to drink awen from the cauldron is always at our fingertips, if we only know how to access it.  But it is in the quiet, in the stillness and relative solitude of like-minded people, who wish to give themselves completely to their religion that I seek.  That is rare, if it happens at all, in today’s society from the pagan perspective.

I dream of joining other priestesses and priests, in daily ritual, devotions, songs and prayers to our chosen deities. Of living as one with the earth – growing all our own food, of being as self-sufficient as possible but still serving the community.  Again, people will say that I can do this now, and yes, I do it as much as I can, but it is part of my life, not my entire life.  I still have to spend parts of my life working other jobs to keep my cash income flowing in the pay bills, to buy the food that I cannot grow.  I could dedicate some of my jobs to this goddess or that, but it just doesn’t feel the same.  I can’t sit at my desk and pray to my gods while I’m answering various client queries and emails.

It’s that urge to dedicate myself 100% to my religion that I crave.  It would mean giving up many things, some which I long to give up, others, like my husband, I would find very, very difficult.  But would I, if I had the choice? I don’t really know – I’ve yet to be offered that choice, and so cannot say for certain.

Does anyone else feel this way, I wonder?

P.S. I have since found this – though they have yet to build a physical building, the points are in place for something quite special.

P.P.S.  There is a lot of interest in this, and ideas are brewing… I will keep you all posted!