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May 26, 2019

Starets and Starlets (Part One)

A starets is a position in the Russian Orthodox ministry that is admired and revered although I don’t know if you are truly anointed for such a lofty position or somehow ‘chosen’ for this by the great spirit in the sky, or whether you just send $19.95 plus shipping and handling and five dollars more for rush shipping to a diploma mill who’ll send you a suitable for framing diploma that you can hang on the wall of your dacha or hut or cave or wherever it is you live. Or maybe you can save some rubles and kopecs for some vodka and just appoint yourself to the post. An ‘official’ starets is defined however as an elder of a Russian Orthodox monastery whose role is to not actually help you—except with advice of course...yes advice—but you are expected to be a teacher of the good and the holy to others. You are to be a shining light in a world of treachery and darkness. These are often elders or spiritual fathers who sometimes possess a charismatic nature that wows people and they are natural leaders who lead natural followers a.k.a. sheep. Although some at a younger age have also been recognized as starets or starets in the making.

There was once a guy named Rasputin who claimed to be a starets (he must of been one of those self-appointed guys) and seemed like he’d be a pretty cool guy to hang out with. No sir, never a dull moment with Grigori. He was born a peasant and once your a peasant you’re always a peasant, but a most influential peasant this peasant turned out to be. He charmed  his way into the Tsarina’s life and that’s pretty good for a...peasant...she thought a lot of him like he was some kind of a sacred healer who was the only one who could treat the Tsar to be who had hemophilia, with a kind of laying of hands therapy. The Tsarina seems to have been reality challenged but there’s no challenging reality when you’re staring at the barrels of a dozen or so guns pointing at you as she would be later in life. There were stories about our boy Grigori getting it on with the Tsarina. If it happened, it was probably in one of the massive bedrooms with red velvet and expensive tapestries in the palace the Romanovs lived in in St. Petersburg but they’ve never been proven. I mean she wasn’t much of a looker, but she did have four beautiful daughters that would of no doubt appealed to the starets. However it’s said Rasputin never fooled around with them either. He had enough women in St. Petersburg and other places that he really didn’t need their intimate company. Anyway, he probably wouldn’t risk his position and/or life if the Tsar found out...but I’m sure he was tempted.

At first, the Tsar was mildly amused by Rasputin but later saw through him and his charlatan act and warned the Tsarina, but she refused to listen. Not much is known about the guy when he was young except for a lot of rumor and speculation and that’s one way to have a colorful know, kinda make it up as you go or let somebody else make it up and don’t deny it. He spent a few months in a monastery, but for a ‘monk’, he really wasn’t the monastery type if you know what I mean. Monastery life has a way of cutting into the social life of drinking and sex. He did have a wife and seven children back in beautiful downtown Pokrovskoye where he grew up. That’s in Siberia. Now that’s a real family man...HA!...his daughter moved to the U.S.A. and worked in a circus for a while. She’s buried in California...but back to the story, he certainly had a mystical quality about him with those hypnotic eyes, colorful tunics, and black boots. He’d be easy to envision having plenty of wine in him and dancing around the floor and on the tables to a Russian folk song in some dive bar with the house band playing a Russian dance tune...dadatdadadadadatdadat HEY!