Bit of thread necromancy here .........
Why do I need a Priest or Priestess? ...any more than I need a Christian clergyman? They're associated with religions, and If I don't follow a religion, why do I need them? What possible use are they to me? What can they do that I cannot?
Many eclectics really follow no real "religion", but rather a spiritual path, which is quite a different thing. I think many, if not most, look within themselves for enlightenment, which is, I have to believe, the only true source.
Many, if not most, also have their own rules and ethical standards.
.... if one combines different aspect of various path and is the only one following that path then does that not make them both student and teacher , disciple and priest/ess at the same time . Some where it the long ago times it started with one and spread . Each new way must have a beginning .
I'm completely in agreement with both og and Fs here. I'm fairly certain that I'm the only one following my own Path, which I have at times called The Path of the Wise Serpent, and other times OMSI, "Ordo Meum Sanguinarium Individualis"
or "My Own B----y Order", depending on whether I'm feeling deadly serious or outright irreverent or merely whimsical; but, as the Charge of the Goddess says, ".... let there be .... mirth and reverence within you."
I say "fairly
" certain because I have "initiated", sort of, quite a few fellow seekers into OMSI, but I'm not sure whether any of them are really serious about it. Despite its irreverent-sounding name, it requires thought and dedication and not a little study. In this it's a bit like Discordianism was at its beginning - a jokey religion concealing a serious purpose (what Discordianism became in some of its later incarnations, we won't get into). Despite all of this, I don't, and never will, consider myself any kind of Priest. A Fellow Seeker along the Way, with a bit more experience than many (but a lot less than some), is all I claim, and all I will ever claim.
The Central Tenets of OMSI are these:
Believe nothing; question everything; think for yourself.
The corollary to this is, of course, that the Second Tenet allows the Seeker to question the First Tenet, along with everything else; and the Third Tenet allows the Seeker to ignore the First and/or Second Tenets, as and if he or she thinks fit. This might sound entirely whimsical, but the underlying purpose is deadly serious. If you work with the Tenets for long enough, it becomes inescapable that thinking for yourself is hard work,
and not for the faint-hearted. But then, of course, let's not forget the "mirth" component of "mirth and reverence."
Or, as the Halexandria Foundation website expresses it:
Ye Shall Know the Truth,
And the Truth Shall Set Ye Free;
But when Ye First Learn the Truth, Ye will likely be Really Ticked Off!
Get Ye over it.
And then, laugh about it!
Blessed Be everyone, in mirth and reverence, foolishness and seriousness,
Alchymist, OMSI 33o
, but Not A Priest.