Tag Archives: ego

So, you want to be a priestess?

wiccan01Through the years, I’ve encountered new Wiccans professing an interest in becoming a priestess. They’re generally young, only just beginning on their spiritual path, and full of enthusiasm and vigor.

People ask me if I am one, and I firmly tell them no. I never took any oath or even wanted to serve the gods. I don’t particularly enjoy being in any leadership role, and get frustrated when members of my group want me to mentor them when they can just easily learn on their own.

I expect others to take responsibility for their own spiritual path, and not expect to be spoon-fed learning. But that’s me. I’m not altogether patient or interested in the ego-inducing role of priestess.

So I challenge those who want to be priestess with these questions;

What is your goal to be priestess? What do you see yourself doing as a priestess? Does this include your own coven, or just take on study groups? Do you seek respect, perhaps power?

What do you think it means to be priestess? What role does the priestess play? What things must a priestess know to be a priestess?

Generally you need;

Education. Any priestess not only studies to achieve this role, but continues to do so. It never ends, and she’s open to learning new things.

Dedication. A priestess often makes an oath to Goddess, or to a pantheon of gods, to work in service to them as well as the community. A certain level of selflessness is required.

Humility. Ego is the worst thing a priestess can have since this can often corrupt a leader. A priestess puts on her pants like everyone else, and must acknowledge her own limitations.

Understanding. If you intend on teaching others, you should know many topics thoroughly. You should be able to explain this to others and be able to answer questions.

Patience. Students can show many emotion and even trouble to a group, and you will need to cope with them, to guide them in the right direction.

You generally learn through a coven, to work through the ranks and ‘hive off’ to form your own coven with the blessings of the coven elders.

Education can include a number of lessons from learning ritual, spells, invocation, divination methods, herbalism and other healing methods, how to make your own magical tools, etc. I once knew a coven that expected you to learn elvish (from Tolkien).

What are your thoughts on this topic? What qualities and topics do you feel you need to be a priestess? Post in comments.

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The results of magick

You’d think when casting spells, you’d see a spark, a poof, or something significant to let you know if it worked. This happens in the movies, right? In the real world, however, generally very little is noticed at all- at first. Often, you’ll find the spell will work, but without the flash and change one might assume happens as invoking the Powers That Be.

For me, magick is 80% psychological; changing the inner world you carry inside you to change the outside. The spell to gain employment might invoke confidence or a stronger awareness to opportunities around you. A spell for love opens your heart to the possibilities, or provides a change in your own behavior to let the opposite sex know you’re available. Magick can be subtle. Not always. Sometimes it can be profound, such as a friend of mine banishing his job and getting fired the next day. (He wasn’t specific to a new job he wanted for himself), but generally, spells work in the background and sometimes over a length of time.

“Spells are prayers with props” goes the old pagan saying- okay, maybe not so old, but true nonetheless. When I was Christian, I would pray, and feel no one was listening. Even when I started with Wicca, casting the circle, lighting the candles, and speaking the prayers were simply actions. I wasn’t sure if anyone was listening then either.

Then I learned how we must listen to ourselves, to delve deep inside to understand why we want the things we ask for, and to consider the Ego, the ID (instincts), and Super Ego, but also the Divine within and how that works with the other three. Sometimes a spell won’t work because its not really in our best interest, or if it works, its not to what we think we expect.

I also found that when casting a spell, I’d experience a mental shift. It felt almost like a physical sensation as if something just went ‘click’ inside. Other times, as I’d sit in silence after casting a spell, I’d listen and be quiet and sometimes the Goddess would speak to me- well, I called her goddess, but I also understood Her to be ‘me’ as well. She would challenge me, advise me, or even chastise depending on the purpose of my Circle. Always to the best interest of myself.

I also found the palms of my hands would get incredibly hot or even tingle when raising power. So you can experience things that will tell you if the spell is ‘working’ or not. The results, on the other hand, will vary and you’ll need to expect that.

Some tips on casting spells:

  • Know what you want and why you want it. Consider your intentions and how your life will improve if the spell works. Does the spell hurt/harm others or yourself? If so, then don’t do it. Such magick creates more imbalance.
  • Think outside the box. You might want a spell for money for a trip, when its the trip itself you really want. You might want someone specific to love you, but its really only love you really want. Consider all angles of the situation.
  • Use whatever symbolism for your spell that speaks to you. This means you’ll need ‘props’ that will invoke your need. A crystal might represent clarity of thought, or you might use a glass of water. Either works, but its how you perceive the symbolism that counts the most.
  • After casting the spell, sit in silence for a moment, empty your thoughts, and ‘listen’. Sometimes you’ll get silence, but you may find a sense of presence, tingling, or even see visions, or even hear a voice.

I also suggest writing down what you’ve done for future reference. Some spells take months or even years to work. Sometimes you need to do the spell more than once. Keeping a record in your Book of Shadows allows you to keep record of what works and what doesn’t.

Tips for dream interpretation

Over Thanksgiving dinner, the topic of dreams arose amid my family. Recurring dreams, symbolism, and deeper meanings added to the laughter of the more ridiculous visions we’ve encountered. My father, for instance, admitted to dreaming of being chased by lions through a forest, and found a door to get away from them. Thing was; it turned out to just a door, with no means to save himself.

When we dream, our subconscious works with the wakeful Self in coping with worries, solving problems, and sometimes even finding answers to pervading questions. Sometimes dreams are nothing more than brain noise, or as Freud put it “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar”. They can be entertaining, terrifying, and most importantly, a powerful tool for the witch (or pagan) to learn more about him or her Self.

Keep a dream journal. This often provide insight in symbols and meaning behind our dreams. Add the dream in the order you remember it, adding how you felt about the situations. Sometimes you’ll find something you would normally be terrified doesn’t bother you at all in a dream, or visa versa. This could be important.

Recite the dream as soon as you waken. This includes journaling the dream, or telling someone else about it. Even talking to yourself can help you remember bits and pieces.

Don’t depend on dream dictionaries for symbol meaning. Most books use symbols that are from society or myth, not our personal experiences. I dreamt several dreams on Yellow Jacket wasps, and if I depended on dream dictionaries, they warned against someone talking behind my back. That’s not the meaning I got at all from my dreams. If anything it had to do with fear and relationships.

Instead, meditate or read up on various sources to see what strikes you as being the right symbol. Its all open to interpretation.

Interpreting a dream can take days or even years to reveal its meaning. This often depends on how much we understand our Selves and how we feel about matters. The better you get at understanding your motivations and feelings, the easier dream interpretation are.