Today I am interviewing Priestess of Avalon, Elin Hejll Guest, as a part of my AWESOME priestess interview series (check out the others here). She’s from Sweeden and in addition to being a Priestess of Avalon she is a trained counsellor, coach and offers ceremonies, workshops and women’s circles as a part of her priestess services. Lets dive in!
My name is Elin Hejll Guest. I am 38 years old and Swedish. I have been living abroad for quite a few years. First I lived in Australia for 3 years studying at Uni in Newcastle. Then I moved to the UK and stayed there for 8 years! It was while I was living in London that I started the Priestess training in Glastonbury and also trained to become a counsellor.
I moved back to Sweden about four years ago and am now a mother to my little girl Tuva who is almost 2!
How did you end up following the path of becoming a priestess? What about it called to you, how did you discover it?
I remember being at a New Age fair back when I was around 18 years old or something. There were some Aztec Indians there and they were doing a ceremony and talking about how we needed to take care of Mother Earth. Something clicked in me. I did not understand what, but somehow something felt right, but I did not know where to go or where it would lead me.
When I lived in London working as an Au Pair when I was 20 I went into Watkins Esoteric bookshop (a wonderful place!!!) and there was a whole shelf full of books about Paganism!!
I just stood there looking at it! I had no idea there were others out there like me! So I saved up and bought my first book on the subject “Earth Magic” by Margaret McArthur. It was perfect for me because it told me to go out an explore! Feel the elements. Talk to the Goddess. See what happens. So many of these books have prayers and ceremonies written out with instructions on what to say when, but not this one. This one taught me how to open up and feel it!
From that moment I kept reading more, experiencing and exploring.
When I moved to Australia I had come far enough to know that this was my life path. So I made my first tattoo to mark that. It is a crescent moon in a triple Goddess sign on my ankle.
I started feeling that I had come as far as I could on my own. I felt like I wanted help, a teacher, someone to help me go deeper.
But only when the student is ready does the teacher appear…
Tell me about your Priestess training in Glastonbury. How did that change you? Was it what you expected?
About three years later I was living briefly in Scotland and happened to walk into a bookshop in Edinburgh where I found a book called “In the nature of Avalon” by Kathy Jones. It was a book with guided Goddess-centred walks in Glastonbury. I started feeling a stong longing to go there. I also read in the back of the book that Kathy arranged a Goddess conference every year and also a Priestess training.
I went down to Glastonbury and participated for a couple of days in the conference, I met Kathy and applied for the training. And I was accepted.
I had no idea what to expect when the training started, I just knew that it was right.
And the person who stepped into the room on that first day was not the same that stepped out three years later! Well, I was the same, but it was a me that was more me! I found my core. It was a me who had left behind a lot of fears and a me that was more grounded and open. Of course it was still only the beginning of a journey of personal development that is ever ongoing. And I love that!
The training consisted of 8 weekends of circles in Glastonbury. We met every six weeks and learned by experience about the season, the Goddess associated with it. We walked the sacred land, did ceremony and shared our personal journeys. It was deep, deep work and I am so grateful for having been able to take that journey with my sisters.
I learned so much about myself, life, Goddess, and especially the Lady of Avalon and her energies. The Lady of Avalon is the Goddess of Avalon and Her energies are very strong in Glastonbury.
(To read more about Kathy Jones and her work see www.kathyjones.co.uk)
How do you weave being a Priestess and serving the Goddess into your everyday life?
I try to be aware and awake and present everyday. In that way I see Goddess in all aspects of life. In nature, in other people and in myself. I talk to Her. I do ceremonies with other people and by myself. I do visualisations and meditations, I create art, I run workshops and healing circles.
I also run the Stockholm Goddess Temple which I open up for weekends of workshops, dancing, sharing and ceremony.
It is a wonderful space, because everyone who enters help create it by their presence.
I always try to work on myself and my personal development so that I can become even more true to myself and my core being.
What to you is the most important aspect of being a Priestess?
For me it is being the change I want to see in the world! I aim to live a life in love and presence. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes not, but that is OK, that is human!
I share my story and experience when people ask, but do not go out and preach.
Tell me about your real-world work as a priestess. Do you incorporate your priestess-ness into your coaching and counselling?
Because I am a Priestess and aim to live in love I feel that I bring that into the counselling and coaching. I bring myself and do not hide or pretend to be all-knowing
Some clients come to me because of my spiritual side because they feel they can share things with me that they would not feel comfortable talking about with a “normal” counsellor.
What would be your advice for anyone seeking a deeper connection to Goddess?
Explore and feel! Go outside and feel the elements. Talk to the trees, hug them! Lie on the earth and see what it feels like.
Do meditations or visualisations where you journey to meet the Goddess and see what she says.
Do things that help you get to know yourself better. It can be reading books, meditating, joining a women´s circle or whatever.
I know that by knowing myself better I also know the Goddess. She is found within.
Read books that inspire you and if you feel that you want help to go deeper then find someone who can help. It can be a teacher nearby, or you can do courses online.
I think it is important to point out that not everyone needs a teacher to go deeper, many people can do it on their own. And I also feel that one does not need to do a training with someone to become a Priestess. I felt that I did, but it is all individual.
Go with your heart.
Thanks Elin for your wonderful interview! Visit Elin on the interwebs here at http://www.elinhejllguest.com/