Walking the Path of Priestess
When I first stepped onto the magical path, I was really intrigued about the idea of being a priestess. I mean, the word priestess itself sounds exotic and powerful. Those who claimed the title of priestess had beautiful circlets, amazing cloaks, and they would talk about connection. Those attributes all were really exciting and desirable to someone stepping onto the path. But what these women didn’t talk about was the responsibility that comes along with walking the priestess path.
It’s not about the cool factor, the title or the shiny crown. Above anything else, the path of the priestess is about connection and responsibility.
So, there are many types of priestesses.
- Priestesses are often devoted to a god or goddess
- Priestesses may be part of a lineaged path like in Wicca, where upon initiation, each member takes on the role of priest/esshood.
- Covens and other spiritual groups are often led by a priestess-in-charge, often called high priestess or head priestess
- Priestesses who have a connection to a specific type of energy or a concept (like working beyond the veil)
- Women’s groups are often coordinated by women who are priestesses
Each of these categories of priestesses has at least two things in common: spiritual or energetic connection and responsibility.
The Priestess of the God/dess
Many people who practice Wicca, paganism, witchcraft or women’s spirituality find themselves called to a specific goddess (I’m just going to use the word goddess here from here on out, though I also mean goddess or god). If they desire it, they can devote themselves to that goddess and work on Her behalf as priestess. Connection with the goddess is paramount on this priestess path, as is the responsibility is to that goddess. This might look like dreamwork, meditation, contemplation, offerings and personal devotional ritual, as well as working in the mundane world in ways that align with the values of the goddess chosen. This might mean cleaning up the beach, if the goddess is related to the sea, or matchmaking, if the goddess is one of love. Most of these sorts of priestesses will likely have a shrine to each of the goddesses to whom they are devoted.
The Lineaged Tradition Priestess
These priestesses are usually conferred their priestesshood during an initiation or elevation ritual. As a priestess in a lineaged coven (also in some non-lineaged covens), the role often encompasses taking part in ritual, especially in connection with the gods, elements/ directions. It also allows for the connection with energy as a whole- sensing and directing energy during workings. There are also responsibilities that come along with this, both to the gods of the coven – if the coven is devoted to gods- as well as to the other members of the coven.
The High Priestess
Sometimes called a Head Priestess, this priestess is the woman in charge of a coven or group – the success of the group usually depends on the leadership of the High Priestess. This priestess is connected to each of the other people in the group, and it’s her responsibility to foster the connection between the coven brethren, and be the main ritual priestess. She also usually will have a personal connection to any of the gods that the group may be focused on. The High Priestess often does a lot of the teaching, or at least develops the curriculum and delegates the teaching responsibilities. She also takes on the connection and responsibilities of the lineaged tradition priestess above.
The Priestess of [insert concept or energy here]
This priestess specializes in a specific energy or concept. One example is a priestess who helps people transition beyond the veil- like a death doula (or a birth doula). Another priestess may specialize in teaching a specific tradition or lineage without currently being part of a formalized community, tribe or group. There are still energetic connections to manage, as well as responsibilities to clients, community, students, and sometimes the energy that is connected with (especially for those working beyond the veil).
The Priestess of the Women’s Circle
The women’s circle is a safe place for women to share their stories, receive healing, and process. But someone needs to create this safe space. Enter the Priestess of the Women’s Circle, who connects with each woman, and co-creates the space so that each woman is safe. This isn’t an easy priestess position, as sometimes there is conflict, people bringing their kids, or dogs, or won’t give up the talking stick, and it can be difficult to find the graceful balance while continuing to hold space and manage the energy, while being respectful of everyone’s voice.
And there are other priestess roles to step into…
Of course, there are tons of other priestess paths to walk down. Priestess to community at-large, ritual priestess, maybe even professional priestess, among others. But each of these roles entails two specific things: connection and responsibility. Have you stepped into the priestess role before?
Do you consider yourself a priestess? What are you connected to? What are you willing to be responsible for? What makes you feel fulfilled? Do you have any questions about the priestess path? Comment below, or drop me a line by clicking CONTACT above.