Monday, July 29, 2013
Priestess here, priestess there, pagan priestesses everywhere.
These girls had been 'initiated' after a one year training consisting of about 8 weekend workshops. I've met other women who did similar 'priestess trainings', many of them hardly knew anything about the Goddess before they started. Apparently it takes only one cycle of the sun to learn all about Her, Her mysteries and Her rituals.
I do realize I'm stepping on some toes here. But I really have to get this of my chest. I don't intent to demean the spiritual path of others. I'm sure a training like this will be very meaningful for your personal spiritual development.
But I do want to discuss the inflation of titles, that makes them meaningless.
What to think about an initiated high priestess, who leads large public ceremonies, but is not able to simply hold the energy of a circle? And in the ceremony I attended there were no Deities invited to be present.
I once asked a lady, who is offering a 'priestess training' and who also calls herself high priestess, to What or Who she was a priestess. She told me to look on her website, but I couldn't find anything about it. It was all about self development and awaking the priestess in yourself.
Just like the countless workshops about awakening 'the Goddess in yourself'. What does that make you? A priestess of yourself?
Yesterday someone told me about another lady who offered a 'goddess workshop' where they all sang "Yemaja Asesu". When asked if she knew who this Goddess is, she had to admit she had no idea. She didn't even know Yemaja is an Orisha, let alone what path of Yemaja is actually invoked with this song.
This kind of workshops are feel good gatherings for women who want to have a good time and have little or nothing to do with actual Goddesses. And thank the Goddess for that, because you really don't want the energies they sing about, to manifest Themselves in circumstances like that. No, you don't!
And yet, I too call myself priestess of the Goddess. It took me a long time before I dared to. I felt no one would take me seriously, while so many others had already diminished the word. But I decided to reclaim it, because no other word expresses so well my relationship to the Goddess.
But every time I feel compelled to explain what it means to me to be a priestess. That I dedicated myself completely to a Divine Being, Who does not need me to exist. That it took me about 25 years to get to know Her. That I allowed Her to take over my life and to turn my house into Her temple. That I, lovingly and out of free will, serve Her with daily ritual, offerings and prayer, with public rituals and a yearly procession.
That is the basics of being a priestess in my book. And there are more responsibilities, like teaching and counseling, serving a community. This is not a weekend hobby, not something you just do when you feel like it, this is not something you can become in a few years and it is not something you can buy with paying for a training and/or an initiation. Maybe it isn't even a choice, but a calling....
There are no rules in paganism, anyone can do what they want (as long as it's within the law) and anyone can call themselves whatever they like. I have no say over it and I want no say over it. But I do have an opinion and I do want to express it.