I’ve been soulsearching – it’s how I spend the long dark nights.
Way back at Samhain, I did my almost-yearly releasing ritual, where I burn stuff with purpose. I asked the Crone Goddess which aspect of myself She wanted me to work on this season (as trying to sort out everything at once never works) and she told me I needed to work on obstacles stopping me from walking my priestess pathway. (I’m not clairvoyant or anything – my methods of hearing stuff from the divine either come as a second of instant intuition, or through working with the tarot and trusting my intuition to interpret it properly. I used the tarot option this time. I think it’s decidedly unmystical.)
I’m quite keen on the idea of doing one ritual, and then the issue being resolved. Wouldn’t that be awesome? But, no. It usually doesn’t work that way. Sigh!
A month after Samhain I noticed that a lot of my issues were still there with bells on. I was really un-motivated to get a-priestessing and a-witching, and I still felt afraid, scared of judgement from others and down on myself. So I pulled out my sexy new witchy-journal and did some work.
Turns out, my major issue is that I do not believe I deserve to be a priestess. Who am I to have a connection with Goddess? Who am I to even want that? What makes me so special?
Elle Hull, a Priestess of Avalon, wrote a fantastic post on the myth of the priestess on her blog, Avalon Blessings (the post is called Perceptions, written on 06/12/11). We think that a Priestess should be a whole set of things that we really are not (calm, organised, patient, loving, forgiving, peaceful, super-disciplined, uber-compassionate and all of this ALL THE TIME) and feel that it is a standard completely out of reach for us super regular, hyperactive, scattered human beings, and we get really disillusioned and down on ourselves about it.
So I am putting pressure on myself to conform to this real personality-type-specific description of what it’s like to be a spiritual person. They would enjoy gardening, long walks and quiet conversations, be calm and level headed and loving to everyone no-matter what, and move in some kind of permanent blissy serenity achieved through connection with Goddess. They would be up to welcome the sun every morning and spend lots of time in prayer in meditation. They would be a morning person.
Hoo mama, that is totally never going to be me.
If the colour of the priestess described above is soft lavender, I am a bright orange – I am energetic, must exercise regularly, excitable, can really travel up and down on the moodometer and my brain is often in a big stressed mess. I’m more like a puppy than a priestess.
And also, I am so not a morning person I don’t start seeing properly until an hour after I wake.
But, the thing is, my spiritual path isn’t really about living perpetually in light and mornings. It’s about embracing into the dark, exploring death, sex, jealousy and ecstacy, and celebrating every aspect of human existence. My deepest inspiration is the Mermaid archetype, who embraces, celebrates and owns all aspects of herself, dark and light, and treats them all as sacred and important. Goddess spirituality is not about subliminating the unsavoury aspects of humanness. She is about everything.
If i actually settle down and use my brain a bit, rather than sink into the god-is-only-for-special-people-who-pray-non-stop-and-have-no-money trap, my idea of being a priestess is totally not floating about floating on serenity clouds in god-land all the time. On an obvious note it’s about developing a strong connection with God, but it’s equally about getting to know yourself as well as you can and living the life your deepest divine-self wants you to, living your divine mission, with support and love from Her. This divine mission could be becoming a mother or a women’s circle facilitator, or a chef or stripper or a car mechanic. And it means decending into a lot of crap to re-claim the gorgeousness and strength hiding under your fear, your jealousy, your insecurity, to get you on that mission. And then diving into new piles of crap to reclaim the next nugget to propel you further on your Goddess Mission. Really, it’s full of piles of crap and fear-facing to get you growing, moving and experiencing, and Goddess is there by your side to help you through it so you can bring Her light into the world, in whatever form she needs you to. It’s full of spiritual work, not only in the world of prayer and devotion but mostly in living your life serving Her by being the best that you can be.
Who am I to become a Priestess? Well, I am to be a Priestess of the Goddess, living out her joy and creativity in the ways she has most mundanely given me. I’m not a monk, and I am not a nun – I am an adventurer, I am she-who-dares and I live fully in this existence and this life the Goddess has gifted me with – through bliss and rage, through love and fear, through hard work and joyful living. She has given me a reason and a purpose, and even if it’s not being a coven leader or a minister or a spiritual teacher or a Jesus, my purpose is no less sacred than those purposes, my being no less special than those beings.
The thing I forget is that I’m not trying to become a nun. I forget that I am all about Goddess instead.