The Priest/Priestess hood

In some spiritual traditions, you can only attain such titles of priest or priestess if you were ordained in that tradition. In other words, only a priest/ess can make a priest/ess.

Others may view a more personal choice that touches upon a need to serve the gods/Divine which defines a priest/ess.

Some might argue any teacher of spirituality might earn the label of priest/ess, but I feel it has more to do with intention than anything else.

If you place yourself in the services of the gods, the Divine, the community, or the teachings you follow, where these services are held in higher regard than your own personal wants/wishes, then I can see the title of Priest/ess as being more of a state of intent than an orthodox label handed out by a group.

And it is no easy task to put yourself in service.

That’s why I never label myself as a priestess. I am in service of no one. Whatever information I can give to someone is freely given and freely taken, and if you disagree or agree, that’s perfectly fine too. Most of my beliefs, I see, as my opinions based on my experiences and various sources of learning over the decades of following my spiritual path. Its not the Truth (or a truth for everyone). Its not for everyone to follow.

I feel humbled in knowing how the more you learn, the more you realize there’s even more to learn. You never stop and I’m perfectly happy enjoying the journey.

I don’t want the responsibility of someone else’s spirituality on my conscience. I expect others to take full responsibility of themselves, and cringe when people ask me to teach them. If you want to learn, its best to do it on your own, from many sources. Let your Spirit guide you along the journey.

What are your thoughts? What’s your definition of priest/ess? Have you met anyone who had qualities that defined them as such, and if so, what qualities are necessary?

Post in comments below.

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2 responses to “The Priest/Priestess hood

  1. Good afternoon:

    Just a note to thank you for your reflections on Priest/Priestesshood.

    I hope you are not too shocked at receiving an e-mail from a 70-year-old retired Christian pastor. I am strongly attracted to the lovely nature-centered spirituality practiced by Pagans and Witches. I regret the unfair judgments which Christians make about people who follow alternative spiritual paths. I try to make amends by sending appreciative and encouraging e-mails to people who sponsor informative and inspirational websites such as yours.

    I am still a novice in my understanding of Paganism. I rely on websites such as yours for information and inspiration and I receive joy and peace from many of the things I read there.

    I hope that I can say the same thing about myself that you wrote about yourself: “Whatever information I can give to someone is freely given and freely taken.” And if we disagree with one another, let it be with love and friendship.

    I grew up in a Vermont village called Poultney. I still consider myself a Vermonter although I have lived in Philadelphia, PA, for almost 20 years. I am thrilled to learn that Paganism and Witchcraft are alive and well in my beautiful home state. Vermont is a gorgeous place for Paganism to flourish and I hope to return there soon.

    Best wishes for a prosperous and blessed 2012.

    Sincerely yours,

    Roger
    now living in Philadelphia, PA

    • Thank you so much for this lovely comment. I personally believe our two religions don’t need to be at odds, and in fact, I have a number of Christian friends I fully support and encourage them in their belief systems. I also think the world would be a better place if that’s how people conduct themselves, and it brightens my day to know there are people like you out there.
      Thank you again, for the comment!

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