About the Resident Hermit   6 comments

D. JoAnne Swanson

D. JoAnne Swanson, resident hermit

(Note, March 2017: This bio has been extended and updated at the new site for the Hermitage; you can read it here!  I’m leaving this older one online for archival purposes.)

D. JoAnne Swanson, a.k.a. Danica, is a freelance writer, polytheist, and Pagan monastic. She is best known for her ecologically and spiritually inspired critiques of coercive wage labor and other influential writings on alternatives to conventional employment. In 1998 she founded Creating Livable Alternatives to Wage Slavery (CLAWS) and designed its first website at whywork.org; the site is now recognized as an authoritative source on the Wikipedia entry for “refusal of work.” In 2010, in response to strong reader demand, she launched a new blog, Rethinking the Job Culture, to carry on the legacy of its now-dormant predecessor.**

She is also a passionate and longtime fan of dark ambient and industrial music. Her upcoming book, Endarkenment: The Esoteric in Dark Ambient Music and Culture (official Facebook page), will feature interview material and artistic contributions from some of the most highly respected musicians in the genre. In 2006 she launched her solo ritual dance project, Shrine of Skaði, inspired by “music you can’t dance to” – dark ambient. As resident hermit and anchoress-in-training at The Black Stone Hermitage, a private Portland, Oregon-based sanctuary for contemplatives of a darker persuasion, she lives in a haven of solitude made possible only by a web of thriving community relationships.

She can often be found sipping lapsang souchong, practicing her Swedish, supporting the basic income movement, quoting feminist philosophers, investigating the acoustics of subterranean spaces, or hiking in the temperate Cascadian rainforests (with frequent pauses to appreciate the lush mosses and lichens).

Check out her Bandcamp fan profile for a sampling of her writing about some of her favorite dark ambient music.

“…one of Portland’s best kept secrets…I was so VERY taken aback and mesmerized by her ensemble of dark ambient music she put together for a recent ceremony I attended.”
~ Kristie Williams of Awakened Roots

“…a dark ambient guru…”
“…one of North America’s leading fans and experts on dark ambient music…”
“…hotly tipped by ID:UD contributor and dark ambient guru Danica Swanson, so that’s good enough for us…”
“…few folks are better positioned to discuss that most reclusive of genres…”
~ I Die: You Die music magazine

“…Our first guest contribution from the wonderful Ms. Danica Swanson of The Black Stone Hermitage…”
~ Heathen Harvest Periodical

“The world’s biggest dark ambient fan…”
~ Abby Helasdottir of Gydja

“If it has Danica Swanson’s approval, that means I need to check it out.  Thanks!”
~ Jeffrey I. Michaels, music fan


E-mail: shrine.of.skadi AT gmail dot com.


Posted 2011/04/27 by The Black Stone Hermitage

6 responses to “About the Resident Hermit

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  5. Danica, I just read your July 28 8:09pm post on MetaFilter’s “Where’s My Cut” thread. Although I’m much older than you, I could have written most of it. I wish we Baby Boomer feminists had been able to create a better world, faster, so you could have pursued your creative work. But you’re doing it now, as am I (about to turn 68 and finally retired from the job I never wanted). May all our works prosper. *raises a glass of lapsang souchong*

    • Thank you for taking time to visit my page and comment, Rhiannon. I appreciate your kind words, and the work my feminist foremothers have done! Changing the world is a slow process even in the best of times, isn’t it? May all our works prosper indeed, and keep us well-stocked in lapsang souchong for the rest of our days!

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