Articles/Essays From Pagans
February 1st. 2019 ...
Paganism and Witchcraft in the Media
September 25th. 2018 ...
Understanding the Unseen
August 25th. 2018 ...
A Little Magickal History
Men and the Goddess
Back to Basics Witchcraft: Magical Creativity for Small Living Spaces
Kitchen Magic and Memories
Why the Faeries?
Magic in Daily Life
An Open Fire: Healing from Within
Cernunnos: The Darkest Wood in the Moon's Light
Gudrun of the Victory Gods
Ares and Athena
La Santa Muerte... The Stigma and the Strength
The Lady on the Stairs
The Wheel of the Year in Our Daily Lives
July 26th. 2018 ...
The Importance of Unification: Bringing Together Community Members to Invoke Cohesivity
May 29th. 2018 ...
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
April 20th. 2018 ...
Nazis Made Us Change Our Name
January 25th. 2018 ...
Finding Balance: Discipline Wedded to Devotion
November 15th. 2017 ...
September 30th. 2017 ...
July 31st. 2017 ...
Sin Eaters and Dream Walkers
July 2nd. 2017 ...
On Cursing: Politics and Ethos
June 1st. 2017 ...
The Sacred Ego in Mediterranean Magical Traditions
April 30th. 2017 ...
Tarot Talk: the Knight of Pentacles
March 30th. 2017 ...
Tarot Talk: the Ace of Swords
January 10th. 2017 ...
The Gray of 'Tween
Becoming a Sacred Dancer
Little Dog, Big Love
December 9th. 2016 ...
A Child's First Yule
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans
What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
September 11th. 2016 ...
The Shadow of Disgust
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
An Open Mind and Heart
June 13th. 2016 ...
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
The Fear of Witchcraft
Magic in Sentences
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
December 20th. 2015 ...
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
May 6th. 2015 ...
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
January 1st. 2015 ...
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
August 24th. 2014 ...
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
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: 6,797
Times Read: 6,937
Author: Moonspider [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: August 13th. 2000
Times Viewed: 6,937
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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