Articles/Essays From Pagans
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
A Strange Waking Dream
August 24th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows
August 10th. 2014 ...
As a Pagan, How Do I Represent My Path?
The Power of the Gorgon
August 3rd. 2014 ...
Are You a Natural Witch?
You Have to Believe We Are Magic...
July 27th. 2014 ...
Did I Just Draw Down the Moon?
Astrological Ages and the Great Astrological End-Time Cycle
The New Jersey Finishing School for Would-Be Glamour Girls and Boys
July 20th. 2014 ...
Being an Underage Wiccan
Greed, Power, Witches, and the Inquisition
Malleus Maleficarum - The Hammer of the Witches
Thoughts on Ghost Hunting
July 13th. 2014 ...
A World Of Witchcraft: Belief Is Only The Beginning...
From Christian to Pagan (Part III)
My Wiccan Ways...
July 6th. 2014 ...
Keys: Opening the Portals into Other Worlds
The Lore of the Door
Leaves of Love
June 29th. 2014 ...
What Does the Bible Say About Witches and Pagans?
Are You My Familiar ?
Invocations of the God and Goddess
Results Magic and the Moral Compass
Everything's Alright, Yes: Mary Magdalene
June 22nd. 2014 ...
Witchcraft vs. Religion
Christianity and Paganism: Why All Of the Fighting?
June 15th. 2014 ...
Becoming Your Own Wise One
Canine Familiars: Role of the Alpha
June 8th. 2014 ...
Moral Relativism and Wicca
Paganism in Cebu, Philippines
June 1st. 2014 ...
Rediscovering My Pagan Faith
13 Keys: The Wisdom of Chokmah
May 25th. 2014 ...
Some Differences Between Priestesses and Witches: Duties and Trials
Awakening to our Celestial Nature (A Free 8-Day Course)
How to Work With Your Muse
10 Things I Love about my Sacred Work as a Public Witch
May 18th. 2014 ...
Finding the God (From Christian to Pagan -Part II)
The Medea Within Us All
Visits from the Departed
May 11th. 2014 ...
Breaking the Law of Return
Karma and Sin
Mental and Emotional Balance- I CAN Have it!
The Sin Concept
May 4th. 2014 ...
When to Let Go...When to Hold On
Goddessy: Sorceress Speaks On Beauty
Embracing my Inner Goddess through Belly Dance
April 27th. 2014 ...
Mental Illness in the Pagan Community
World Crisis: Awaken Witches and Take Action
Being Pagan, Being Bipolar
"Earth Day" Is A Pagan Conspiracy!
April 20th. 2014 ...
Six Rules for Safer Pagan Sex: A Guide
Safety: Let's Shift Our Focus
Morality and Controversy in the Craft
A Pagan Perspective on Easter
The Star Child
April 13th. 2014 ...
Magick and Consequences: My Experience with Sigils
Being a Worrisome Witch
Don't Talk Yourself Out of Trying Something New!
What to Do When the Spell/Ritual Flops
April 6th. 2014 ...
The Elements and the Quarters
Dark Moon Scry: Aries 2014
How the Wheel of the Year Works “Down Under”
13 Keys: The Understanding of Binah
March 30th. 2014 ...
Manifesting the Dream: On Religious Organizations, Pagan Abbeys and our Order
True Meaning of Community
Thoughts on Unverified Personal Gnosis
My Beautiful Grove- A Matter Of Perspective
March 23rd. 2014 ...
Spirituality and Social Change
The First Step to Anywhere!
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Article Specs |
Article ID: 2931
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 5,133
Times Read: 5,692
Author: Moonspider [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: August 13th. 2000
Times Viewed: 5,692
So, ya wanna be a priest? Well here's an amazing introductory offer! Send in a gazillion dollars, twelve boxtops, and three proofs-of-purchase to ... .
Just wanted to start this off with a little levity. There is serious business afoot, too. Confused? Good, this isn't necessarily an easy topic depending on where you are coming from or going to. The Craft shouldn't be entered into lightly, it's not for everyone.
By definition a priest is simply a person who performs religious rites of a deity. So, all you hedgewitches, solitaries, solos, you most certainly are priests and priestesses unto your own. This brings forth responsibility of taking the title, too. Many priests counsel, can you? Even in my mundane job, I counsel, always have. Sometimes I feel like Lucy vanPelt of Peanuts fame. I just need to put the cup on my counter to deposit their nickel in while the psychiatrist is available.
I have big shoulders and good ears. That's what I was blessed with. Everyone can talk to me and feel safe. Most don't know my religious persuasion. They know me as a person they can trust. And, generally regard my advice as good. I suppose that's why people keep coming back.
In some organizations, particularly educational, award honorary titles. Even those come with responsibility, or, rather are rewarded for actions of honor. Are you an honorable Witch?
Integrity, do you have it? You should, otherwise don't call yourselves Priests or Priestesses, much less HP and HPs. Those are a whole other category, and would take another essay. You need sound character to be an effective one. I don't want to keep harping on responsibility, however, it cannot be separated from this topic.
Who can judge yourself better than yourself. The Gods, of course. They will usually let you know if you listen. That is why some people have trouble with some of the diploma mill type sites that for free you can be 'ordained.' Obviously this can lead to many dubious people fraudulently calling themselves anything.
This is not limited to Craft circles. For indeed in our mundane world, we have many charlatans who misrepresent themselves to the public. I still feel we should be responsible for ourselves in this matter. We Witches, on a whole don't tolerate fraud too well. And, if a few bad apples get in, they usually disappear, and rot away, back to the heap they came from.
In large organizations, it may be beneficial to have a hierarchy, otherwise chaos can rule. Should all organizations have structure; solitary, coven, social, political? Yes, to a degree. Maybe that is my librarian aspect coming out in me. Organization helps to bring order, and as humans this helps us keep things straight.
It seems to be a problem when we get stuck in the formality of things. Just look at our government for example. Ever tried to get a computer error taken care of? Somewhere between the two poles lies the balance of our existence. Let us return closer to our topic.
Taking a class, Wicca 101, or whatever its called, whether it takes place over a weekend or several nights, usually qualifies you for squat. This first degree is usually a formal awakening of what you've been feeling. Now you get to put a name to it, and now you get to work.
Work, oh yes, indeed. No one waves their magic wand over you, and poof, you have it. The Craft must be worked, explored, and questioned. Nothing should ever be taken at face value. That is a Judeo-Christian way. Take it without question, that is the way it is. This is not our way.
Have you studied? Do you know your Craft? Can you share intelligibly your Craft to others? Answering yes to most of these would probably qualify you as a Priest or Priestess. Most of this usually happens as the form of a second degree, whether you formally follow a degree system or not. It shows that you have learned.
Ah, yes, this is work. And, it never ends. The more you know, the less you know. Ask any elder. We constantly learn, and reevaluate ourselves on all aspects of life.
Should we be ordained? I like what Kerr Cuhulain has to say in his latest book Wiccan Warriorą. To paraphrase, we all came into Wicca because we needed something different. Usually, we escaped from a Judeo-Christian background. So, why should we model what we do after what we sought to escape? Their clergy tell them what they need, by interpreting deity. We have personal connections to our own deities, they speak directly to us, with no interpreter needed. (I highly recommend this book, whether male or female, it applies to all Pagans despite gender. And, covers responsibility very well, which is connected to this topic.)
Ultimately, by your actions shall you be known. Have you been properly trained? Only you can answer that question. The Gods shall provide proper guidance to the willing student. Proper teachers shall appear in whatever form you need. Remember, too, that you may learn more from a poor priest or priestess, just as a good mentor. You will learn what not to do. This is also good advice for our mundane lives, too.
Shall we get lost in rules? No. This is not our way. We adapt, that is how we have survived so long. We use what we need with least interference. That is also a wise way. Why expend needless energy? That is unwise. After all, aren't we the Craft of the Wise?!
Is it necessary even to call yourself a priest or priestess? Only if you truly serve the Gods. For remember, it is your responsibility what you call yourself. This is simply fact. If you can't walk the walk, don't talk the talk.
Mark MoonSpider Sosnowski
1. Kerr Cuhulain, Wiccan Warrior (St. Paul, MN : Llewellyn Publications, 2000) , pp. 42-5, 104.
Location: Bridgeport, Connecticut
Author's Profile: To learn more about Moonspider - Click HERE
Bio: Mark MoonSpider Sosnowski has been on this path most of his life. Life has dealt him many twists and turns, and usually says he came into the Craft through the back door. He loves books and reading and makes his living as a librarian. Numerology is his main form of divination having worked it for over 15 years, but his Gemini mind, never at rest, has studied astrology, crystals, runes, I Ching and whatever else strikes his fancy. And, after much consternation and goading he will be team teaching Wicca 101 with a local elder.
Other Articles: Moonspider has posted 16 additional articles- View them?
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