So after the preceding posts, some questions come to mind, one of which is, What does it mean to be a priestess? Or at least, What does it mean for me?
There are several others, but I can’t speak to all of these in one post, but I can speak to the first question, and we’ll see how others emerge moving forward.
As I mentioned in my most recent post, I had a falling out with the leadership at Four Quarters. While those fences were largely mended—folks from Four Quarters leadership came to my ordination—I still haven’t been to the Farm since 2009. And now I live on the other side of the country, so I reckon it’ll be a while before I’m there again.
No matter that Four Quarters was and is important to myself as a magical being, I still embody and claim my priestess identity. Though I haven’t been there in years, my education and experience from there lives within me.
The Magic of My Ordination
One of the consecrations at my ordination was a version of the Wiccan Five-Fold Blessing. It was without a doubt the most vulnerable moment of my ordination. To have a ritual partner, and Wiccan priest knee in front of me and bless me, body and spirit, in a ringing voice that carried all the way to the over-200 people who were there…it was scary, and powerful, and right.
The ordination was built around the elements of Fire and Water. While the sermon was on the Fire of the Burning Bush, my brother read a poem about the power of creation and destruction inherent in the life of a river.
So my Unitarian Universalist ordination conferred UU authority on me, and confirmed my identity as a priestess.
It was a good day.
What Does (This) Priestess Look Like
My priestess identity comes out in many parts of my ministry. How?
For example, this priestess offers spiritual practices that range from Roman Catholic methods to discernment, to miniature Pagan rituals, to journaling exercises, to practices embraced by 19th-century Unitarians.
And in the rest of my ministry, there are many way in which my understanding of priestesshood emerges. The following list is partial, but essential to my understanding of this element of myself, my Essence, and my identity:
A priestess takes up what is at hand and recognizes its sacredness. She may use a stick to draw on the ground as easily as donning ritual robes and a moon-adorned crown.
A priestess has twilight vision—the ability to take in both bright, daylight, conscious information and to travel the darker, murkier realms of the subconscious.
A priestess not only travels those realms herself, but she helps others to do so. She does not exist only for herself, but also in service to those around her in community, as well as to herself. She may also consider herself in service to the God/dess/es, but I tend to see myself more in relationship with It/Them than in service.
A priestess understands magic. That place between what can be known and controlled and what is entirely unknown and uncontrollable. That place where consciousness is changed by many means, in many environments.
A priestess knows that helping others have a felt sense of Spirit is essential to her work, and that ceremony is a fundamental way toward that goal. She has worked hard both to understand and to develop her own visceral sense of psycho-emotive, transformative ritual. Whether it’s Unitarian Universalist service, a Tarot reading, spiritual practice, or an Imbolc observance, an awareness of ritual power is vital.
Whom Do I Long For?
And in my case, this priestess is devoted to the One Who Is Many: Male, Female, Both, and Neither. I bring that devotion to everything I do. The One I call God Herself, and the Cloud of Ancestors and Deities, and the limitless genders of humans and understandings of deity…these are the ones who live within me.
That is the core of my relationship with deity. Kissing the Limitless, as T. Thorn Coyle calls her book. Kissing the Limitless. Yes. That is my yearning, my longing.
The sexual, sensual, felt sense of God in my body, heart, strength, mind, and spirit. That is what I find within myself and what fuels my life.
What Do You Long For?
What are your longings? For what do you yearn and find yourself leaning toward, even if it terrifies you, even if you’re canting forward just an inch?
Why do you read these blogs? What is it that speaks to you in the story of a freak-turned-priestess-turned-UU-minister?
What is it?
And what is it in you that is resonating now? Where has the bell been struck?