Celtic Connection Forums

Spiritual Connection => Wicca Q and A => Topic started by: Ashe Isadora on January 22, 2015, 05:39:17 PM

Title: The Priesthood
Post by: Ashe Isadora on January 22, 2015, 05:39:17 PM
Many witches, especially Wiccans and people who follow Wicca inspired traditions, consider themselves priests or priestesses of the gods, often specific gods.  For some of us our priesthood is mandatory upon initiation and is part of what defines us.  With very few exceptions we do not function as an intermediary between the gods and the laity. Few traditions have a congregation. So what does the priesthood mean to you? If you consider yourself, or have been declared at initiation to be a priest or a priestess as well as a witch, how do you serve that function in your religious life?

Not everything on this topic can or should be shared.  But as your conscience allows I would love to hear your views.
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: oldghost on January 22, 2015, 06:13:44 PM
Having been a solitary practitioner for almost 30 years , I have become the one that speak to my God/dess . That is when I practice Witchcraft . When I was in a Coven (there were only 9 of us ) and since we all had been at it for years we would rotate who would be the High Priest/ess . Since we all had specific God/dess we would only call out in general for what ever the ritual was .

 When I do a Shamanic rite by myself , I am the traveler . When there is a main ritual the leadership goes to the eldest Shaman .

I do not consider myself a High priest . In most coven there is a hierarchy , which is a good way to stop chaos from running rampant . Over the years I have seen those that function as Priest/ess that have finish their third level but still did not understand the full meaning of how and why things worked .
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Ashe Isadora on January 22, 2015, 06:20:48 PM
Do you see yourself as a priest in everyday life, or solely during ritual or a rite?
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: oldghost on January 22, 2015, 06:59:55 PM
I see myself not as a priest in everyday live but only as a seeker . During rituals I take the place guider , one that lead those along the path we are on , one that shows others along the path they have chosen .

When I am the oldest Shaman I take the role of lead teacher and Singer ( no priest in Shamanism ) you could call me a priest even though it is not a term used .

In some of the Witchcraft ceremonies I have to act as Priest and acolyte . Being a solitary can make you wear many masks .
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Alchymist on March 26, 2015, 12:10:55 AM
Ashe, my answers to the questions you pose are far from simple.

I've been following the Path I'm on for more decades than I care to remember, and have undergone several initiations - at some of which, other humans were present - and have led and co-led innumerable rituals, invoked elemental spirits and Gods and Goddesses, but I don't consider myself to be any kind of priest. My wife Myranda and I are members of a group calling itself the Congregationalist Wiccan Association of British Columbia, which is an odd name for the group since there is no actual "congregation" - no real distinction between "priesthood" and "laity"; and though many of us consider ourselves "Wiccan", not all do. Apparently the "Congregationalist" bit is a legal requirement for us to be recognised in Canada as a legitimate religion on a par with Christianity, Judaism and the rest; and we have to call ourselves "Wiccan" because, again, "Wicca" is a recognised religion, whereas "Witchcraft" isn't. It's all, essentially, a legal fiction.

Now, Myranda is an actual ordained Priestess of Wicca, with the legal authority to perform marriages and funeral rites, sign passport applications, visit prisons and hospitals, and every other function of a clergyperson or a Justice of the Peace. I have not been ordained, and am therefore not a Priest in the legal sense, but I nevertheless perform all the functions of a Priest and have equivalent status within the Association - as I said, officiating at rituals, offering Priestly advice and comfort.....

It's all very confusing, and I literally have no idea what to call myself. Witch, certainly; but more than the bald word itself denotes; definitely not a hedgewitch, which is more or less similar to a herbalist. Freethinker and Seeker are sufficiently descriptive, but, again, not comprehensive enough. Not a Magician, in the ceremonial, Golden Dawn sense. Occultist? Well, maybe. I'd say Mage, but it sounds pretentious, though I suspect I've qualified many times over (by Crossing the Abyss, among other things)......

Help!

Alchymist, Walker upon the Path of the Wise Serpent,
Ordo Meum Sanguinarium Individualis, 33o
Paratheoanametamystikhood of Eris Esoteric, 4o, but I don't talk about that very much.
Reclaiming Witchcraft, 3o at least; OTO,1o;  Zelator, AMORC.

Blessed Be everyone 
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Amberhawk on March 26, 2015, 05:34:13 PM
Actually as I understand it, a hedge witch is one who 'rides the hedge' between this world and the other side. The idea is more spirit work, dream work, and the like. The herbal side would be more green witch or kitchen witch. I know a lot of people don't subscribe to colors in witchcraft but I usually attribute the colors to the activities and intentions of the individual, not the magic.. so take it as you will.
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Draconis Rex on March 26, 2015, 05:48:05 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the hedge referred to in the name, refers to the woodland border of the village. Rarely would people cross beyond these boundaries due to superstition, but the 'wise woman' would, knowing that this was where she would find the herbs and plants she needed for her healing potions etc. This was also why she lived close to the boundary or edge of the village.
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: marisol on March 27, 2015, 12:21:30 PM
I believe you are right D. there is a very good book called "Witchcraft Medicine". My memory is not good enough right now to
remember the authors. Sorry.

I think of my self as just a witch and seeker right now. It's been some time since I could really feel well enough physically to do much,
but I'm hoping things will improve now.
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Draconis Rex on March 27, 2015, 04:51:20 PM
Thanks H.
Nice to see you back with us. I hope now you are going to take some well earned time and give yourself a chance to improve? No more pushing things?
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Firesong on March 27, 2015, 10:01:40 PM
I think you may both be right... they seem to me to be very similar metaphors for the same thing... one physical and one spiritual... experiencing two realities at once?
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Alchymist on March 28, 2015, 12:12:36 AM
Words have many different meanings. I used the term "hedgewitch" to mean a country witch, a village wise woman or cunning man, skilled in herbalism and simple charms and potions. Anyway .... it's just one of the things I'm not. I know very little about herbs, and I have great respect for those who make it a specialty.

Just to clear up any confusion......

Alchymist.
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: oldghost on March 28, 2015, 12:28:46 AM
What most people calla Hedgewitch is not what they wish to be called , since many of them are just herbalist and like to be called Wise Women or Cunning Men . In America you'll find at lease 70% in the Appalachian Mountains . If it were not for this Wise and Cunning people a lot more people would die ( they don't trust them modern doctors ) . Most Wise Women are also Midwifes .

Forgot this , Marisol are this the authors you where talking about        'Claudia Muller Ebeling  & Christian Ratsch ' ?.
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Firesong on March 28, 2015, 12:47:10 AM
Anybody familiar with the Ritual of the Raven in association with the Hedge tradition?
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: C_A on March 28, 2015, 08:11:51 AM
I consider myself a part of the priesthood.  As was mentioned in more than one "out" thread, I hold to my oaths but consider myself to be a bit of an ambassador, if you will, for what are called "alternative religions".  When people see a "seasoned", (as opposed to "senior"!) citizen that holds to something other than the "Big 3" it gives them pause.

And I'm okay with that.  They come to the conclusion, generally, that there is more to it than various "phases" fashion statements and parent scaring.  I give people enough to make an informed judgement...thinking with their heads, not their knees...when it comes to their children, grandchildren, family members, co workers and friends / acquaintances.

I have been called on by clergy of other denominations to represent, as well as by schools - and even police departments - for guidance in the case of issues arising around Samhaintide.
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: marisol on March 28, 2015, 10:35:10 AM
What most people calla Hedgewitch is not what they wish to be called , since many of them are just herbalist and like to be called Wise Women or Cunning Men . In America you'll find at lease 70% in the Appalachian Mountains . If it were not for this Wise and Cunning people a lot more people would die ( they don't trust them modern doctors ) . Most Wise Women are also Midwifes .

Forgot this , Marisol are this the authors you where talking about        'Claudia Muller Ebeling  & Christian Ratsch ' ?.

Yes og those are the authors I couldn't remember. I always take that book to read on the plane when I visit my son.

Firesong I have read about the Ritual of the Raven (sounds a bit messy in the end), an interesting way to pierce the veil tho.

Drac yes I'm slowing down, doing small bits here and there. I have great hope that someday I will be in balance again. When we moved I lost my woods I wandered in and now will have to find a new place to regain balance, but the search should be fun. ;)
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Amberhawk on March 30, 2015, 06:19:03 AM
That was were the misconception adds to the confusion. From older things I've read its the hedge between this world and the next, life and death, the physical life and what is beyond. A hedge witch rides that hedge between our world and the other side. But I think most witches regardless of what they did, likely lived on the outskirts anyway because of their nature that set them apart. They might have also worked with herbals as many people did, witch or not. But between knowing long time hedge witches and reading up on them, this is what my understanding is.
A witch who works with the plants would be the green or kitchen witch... or in older days a hearth witch.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the hedge referred to in the name, refers to the woodland border of the village. Rarely would people cross beyond these boundaries due to superstition, but the 'wise woman' would, knowing that this was where she would find the herbs and plants she needed for her healing potions etc. This was also why she lived close to the boundary or edge of the village.
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Amberhawk on March 30, 2015, 06:27:47 AM
Anybody familiar with the Ritual of the Raven in association with the Hedge tradition?
Heard of it, but not terribly familiar. It involves cutting open a raven in a particular way, stuffing it with particular herbs. I don't have the stomach or mind for cutting into something I don't intend to eat so I passed it over.
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Daughter of Danu on March 30, 2015, 08:19:29 AM
I've always viewed the High Priest/Priestess as a Wiccan practice. It is not something I have come across in witchcraft other than casual references.  When I have actually done any type of ritual or circle work with others, it was a shared leadership with more than one person taking point.

It may have as much to do with my lapsed Catholic background as anything but I have never worked well with a High Priest/Priestess.  Other than a teaching situation, I just do not feel anyone should feel they are superior to the rest who may be a part of the group or just participating.  To my idea, that is what I have seen of High Priests/Priestesses.  Power freaks with serious control issues have been the general personality type of the ones I have met and worked with over the years.
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: C_A on March 30, 2015, 09:46:17 AM
In Wicca, the "one better than others" doesn't apply.  A more egalitarian approach, "first among equals" is a more apt phrase.  The titles, as they are applied, are decided by the amount of wisdom and dedication of the parties involved AND the vox populi.

I, too, was born Roman Catholic.  I have no issues with what I was vs. what I am.  That was then, this is now.  As well, I am a product of Catholic schooling AND still have ties to quite a bit of Catholic, (of various stripe), clergy and academics.  I have no more distaste for any of them than I do for ministers of any other Christian denomination or the rabbis, rebbes, cantors among the Jews or monks among the Buddhists or any other clergy / dedicant.

We hear, at TCC, many, many people with "trust" or other "issues" with most mainstream religions, (especially ones they've LEFT), some "get over it" and some don't.

Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Draconis Rex on March 30, 2015, 09:49:59 AM
With all due respect DoD, I think you are being unfair to tarnish all HP's and HPS's with the same tarred brush. I understand you may have been faced with this in the past, gleaned from a Catholic background, but I don't think you'll find the same thing prevalent within properly established and traditional Covens.

It's not a case of anyone being superior, but more to do with perhaps more experience and time under their belts. We all learn from those with more experience and knowledge than us, and there is nothing wrong with giving recognition to those who have done the work they have, to get where they are.
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Daughter of Danu on March 30, 2015, 12:02:48 PM
In Wicca, the "one better than others" doesn't apply.  A more egalitarian approach, "first among equals" is a more apt phrase.  The titles, as they are applied, are decided by the amount of wisdom and dedication of the parties involved AND the vox populi.

I, too, was born Roman Catholic.  I have no issues with what I was vs. what I am.  That was then, this is now.  As well, I am a product of Catholic schooling AND still have ties to quite a bit of Catholic, (of various stripe), clergy and academics.  I have no more distaste for any of them than I do for ministers of any other Christian denomination or the rabbis, rebbes, cantors among the Jews or monks among the Buddhists or any other clergy / dedicant.

We hear, at TCC, many, many people with "trust" or other "issues" with most mainstream religions, (especially ones they've LEFT), some "get over it" and some don't.

I think I've moved well past my roots.  And as I said.....
Quote
To my idea, that is what I have seen of High Priests/Priestesses.  Power freaks with serious control issues have been the general personality type of the ones I have met and worked with over the years.
Key words there are To my idea, that is what I have seen. 

With all due respect DoD, I think you are being unfair to tarnish all HP's and HPS's with the same tarred brush. I understand you may have been faced with this in the past, gleaned from a Catholic background, but I don't think you'll find the same thing prevalent within properly established and traditional Covens.

It's not a case of anyone being superior, but more to do with perhaps more experience and time under their belts. We all learn from those with more experience and knowledge than us, and there is nothing wrong with giving recognition to those who have done the work they have, to get where they are.

LMAO I haven't stepped foot in a catholic church since my first communion.  I have worked with many HPs over the years in three different covens.  My opinions are not nor ever will be based on anything other than my own personal experience.

I must have missed the you have to be nice or keep your mouth shut part of the introduction booklet? I read the initial post and responded with my opinion.  If I made someone mad or hurt someone's feelings I will certainly apologize as I didn't intend to. 
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Draconis Rex on March 30, 2015, 12:22:18 PM
LoL... You certainly haven't offended me DoD, I'm a solitary  ;) and not Wiccan either. If you are basing on your own experiences with Coven folks, then fair enough but I would say you've had an unfortunate run of HP's and HPS's. I always got the impression they weren't that way except for the rare few (I could be wrong :o ).

As with real life, this forum is made up of folks from all walks of life; of course you'll offend someone at sometime, it's just life. Same as at some point someone may offend you. The secret is what you do with it. You'll also find that, because we've had problem people here in the past, some can get defensive until they get to know you better.
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: marisol on March 30, 2015, 12:50:13 PM
Of course this topic is in Wicca Q&A, so one would expect opinions of all kinds. On TCC tolerance to all religions is a greatly
appreciated condition. To be otherwise is robbing ourselves of knowledge we may in the future require.

Many paths practice witchcraft. But I do not consider witchcraft to be a religion in itself, but it blends well with Wicca. Many
do not care for religion, which is fine if it suits the person. Many paths twist and turn in the seeking. There is nothing wrong
with being open to the fact that there will always be someone more experienced than us.

DoD It is sad that you have had not so pleasant experiences, hope that will improve in the future.
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Daughter of Danu on March 30, 2015, 12:53:13 PM
It really doesn't bother me, I never did too well with rules, regulations, time requirements and procedures.

It's why I never really could stay with any one coven. 

I'm more of a "lone wolf" type.
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Draconis Rex on March 30, 2015, 12:56:00 PM
I'm more of a "lone wolf" type.

Many of us are... 8)
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: oldghost on March 30, 2015, 01:21:24 PM
Firesong , I take it you are referring to the Welsh Hedge Ritual , no a good thing to do . Blood rituals are very dangerous even for those who have done them before . For one think that few people don't think about when doing them is if the animal is sacred to a God/dess . Taking the life of anything for ones own glory is the act of a fool . These are the type of people who care only for their own power and will harm any that try and hinder them from their goal .

The main tenant of the ritual is that you have the right to travel between the worlds . This is a gift no a right . Right must be earned not taking because one thinks they should have what they want , not something they have worked hard for . The reward you have earn is so much sweeter then one you forcefully take .
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: C_A on March 31, 2015, 07:38:15 AM
I don't consider myself offended, either.  It was merely an "observation/response" thing for me.  We've already, (many times), covered the 14 YOs. "starting out" and we have had the 40-60 YOs, as well..."just starting out".  16 YOs raised in a Craft family and 55 YOs moving into/out of/crosswise from one path to another...(heck, I came here at just a little older than that!).

Have we "seen it all".  Of course not.  But we have seen enough to consider our forum to be an excellent place for the exchange of ideas.  Mostly, you'd be pressed to find all that many people that take offense to one thing or another.  Oh, the odd personal bite, yes, but widespread issues?  Nah. 

We have had people bash one path or another, (from both sides of the coin), and others defend their paths.  We have flogged the "labels" and "paths" and "orthodoxy" and "eclectic" issues for so long there are nigh no horses left. 

Since I "consider" myself a priest of the Orthodoxy of Wicca, I feel a certain..vested interest", (If any of you CAUGHT the pun, it wasn't intended), to defend MY path on a site that is, after all, called "wicca DOT com".  But, as has been said...ALL paths are not only welcome here but encouraged to join in the conversations.  I realize, (having been on the web since there was a web), all of the "lost nuance that can happen.  I also, many times, am less than clear about when i am speaking directly vs. generally.

But I hope you see that we have our ways and they include your ways.  We hope.

Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Earthbound Spirit on March 31, 2015, 10:00:20 AM
Dod,

You've not offended me either.  I am sorry your experience has been as you've described.   It's possible you just had a run of bad luck picking a  coven.  Welcome to TCC.  :)
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Daughter of Danu on March 31, 2015, 02:55:56 PM
Not all blood rituals require a literal death.  Many only need a symbolic death or just blood period. 

People get all OMG over blood rituals and death rituals but don't think twice about slicing herbs out of their garden or stomping a spider.  As I fall into the second category I have spent a few years researching blood rituals and blood magic.

Back to topic, the hedgewitch ritual I think you are talking about can be done with a combination of virgin blood, crone blood and a drop of dead blood which you can get from a steak you bought in a store. Goddess knows they are as cruel as can be when they slaughter the poor animals, I would qualify it as a violent death.  Virgin blood?  Find a kid with a bloody nose and freeze the cotton balls.  Same with blood from a scratch or cut. Old people bleed, hell I bleed from the slightest scratch.  Add the feathers of a raven and the herbs in bundle.  You can use any bird as a representation.  As the combination of herbs is toxic I wouldn't roast and eat it for dinner after but chicken is fairly cheap. You don't have to kill the bird, use roadkill if you have it as an option.

Though why you would go thru all of this when if you ask properly a crow will fly you over without blood or sacrifice or anything gross is beyond me.  Or you can astral but that is a pain unless you can fly well which I can't. Or you could munch some peyote and go the vision route.  Christianity frowns on it.  This is all if you don't have the patience to wait for Samhain.

Sorry, I might have mentioned I've spent a number of years studying and you have to just try some stuff the same way you'd jump off a cliff into the ocean.  There are just some things you have to do. But yeah, it makes me a wealth of random stuff for not much use to more than a handful of people.  HA HA.

Carry on, I will try very hard not to tangent often.
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: C_A on March 31, 2015, 03:18:45 PM
All good answers. 

I have no issue with blood rites.  at all.  PROVIDED....

Myself, I prefer to hunt my own meat, (The Sacred Hunt), in such a way that I and my prey are one.  Humane, clean, quick and reverent.  Life to life, Spirit to Spirit.

When I have need of more than i can provide, I frequent LOCAL people whom I KNOW to be reverent in the same way.  Okay, once in a while, but NEVER without a good kasher.

Your "virgin blood" ideas are well spoken, too.  been doing just that for some time.

Other than that...I know you, don't I?  Another region?  Another website?  Another city?
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: oldghost on March 31, 2015, 06:01:18 PM
Interesting DoD but what you describe is not Blood Magic , oh you may cause a minute ripple in the Aether but no more then that . I have preform Blood Magic and paid the price . You may have studied for years but I have been practising it for decades . I lived through mind and I have seen one other that did not . It's not a ritual it's a ceremony and if you don't do it right ( speed = death ) every little step your a goner and it is a very hideous and long death .

Oh and the virgin blood thing is wrong .
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Daughter of Danu on April 01, 2015, 12:45:45 PM
All good answers. 

I have no issue with blood rites.  at all.  PROVIDED....

Myself, I prefer to hunt my own meat, (The Sacred Hunt), in such a way that I and my prey are one.  Humane, clean, quick and reverent.  Life to life, Spirit to Spirit.

When I have need of more than i can provide, I frequent LOCAL people whom I KNOW to be reverent in the same way.  Okay, once in a while, but NEVER without a good kasher.

Your "virgin blood" ideas are well spoken, too.  been doing just that for some time.

Other than that...I know you, don't I?  Another region?  Another website?  Another city?

Oh, we all meet time and again if it is destined.  Who knows which me you may have met along the way.  :D


Interesting DoD but what you describe is not Blood Magic , oh you may cause a minute ripple in the Aether but no more then that . I have preform Blood Magic and paid the price . You may have studied for years but I have been practising it for decades . I lived through mind and I have seen one other that did not . It's not a ritual it's a ceremony and if you don't do it right ( speed = death ) every little step your a goner and it is a very hideous and long death .

Oh and the virgin blood thing is wrong .

I can agree to disagree with you, as you know absolutely nothing about me, such as my age, experience or knowledge. I just don't advertise myself as old as you do.  It is ok, I prefer to be underestimated. 

Just know, I will not post something if I am not sure it will work from experience. I have a few decades myself under my belt.  You see, I too have performed blood magic, rituals, ceremonies and blood spells and have willingly paid the price so you aren't the only one.  Just my take is that you are incorrect on the virgin blood, I know it works. 

As I said it's ok, I am used to being thought an airheaded fluff.  I play that role well, it works for me.  Keeps people on their toes.
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: oldghost on April 02, 2015, 03:24:48 PM
Never say you were and airhead , if what you do works for you and that is the way you were taught then do it your way ; no big deal to me .

Were you here before your prose seem familiar ?.
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Daughter of Danu on April 02, 2015, 06:52:49 PM
Never say you were and airhead , if what you do works for you and that is the way you were taught then do it your way ; no big deal to me .

Were you here before your prose seem familiar ?.

I just posted in this thread up there ^^^.  That's as here as it gets. ???
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: marisol on April 11, 2015, 12:44:07 PM
Interesting :)

Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: empty6 on April 18, 2015, 10:01:21 AM
idealicly speaking, I think a full ideal witch is a priest, magician, soothsayer, artist, shaman, herbalist, philosopher, healer, teacher and some more things, but all independently and for themself, though of course a witch can help others to find their own connection with the divine as a priest, or gather with others in a coven like in Wicca, but in the first place witch to me has a strong association with freedom and independency
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: MoonlitWings on April 18, 2015, 10:55:28 AM
H, is this the book you're talking about called Witchcraft Medicine by Claudia Müller-Ebeling? http://www.amazon.com/Witchcraft-Medicine-Shamanic-Practices-Forbidden/dp/0892819715
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Valerie on April 18, 2015, 01:23:48 PM
Am still reading and learning but I do like that I am closer to my deity, than having to "go thru" a third party.
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: marisol on April 19, 2015, 08:42:09 PM
H, is this the book you're talking about called Witchcraft Medicine by Claudia Müller-Ebeling? http://www.amazon.com/Witchcraft-Medicine-Shamanic-Practices-Forbidden/dp/0892819715

Yes MW that's the one. I have an extra one I would send to you, but you know...............

Blessings
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Micheál on April 28, 2015, 10:29:43 AM
In my tradition I became a priest upon initiation,  where we're brought through the threshold and brought in line to be abke to fulfill certain roles abd fulfill our Craft. Being a mystery tradition that's a priesthood itself not part of the masses, outside circle and my personal life I don't take on any further roles within the general pagan community usually linked with the community, though that option is there.

In paganism in general I wouldn't consider my self a priest of any other deities. I may serve them time and again, but that's not my sole life commitment.  I have taken certain oaths when I was younger, and frankly didn't comprehend the level of responsibility that came with it that has cost many sacrifices.
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: marisol on April 28, 2015, 11:28:53 AM
Glad to see ya around Micheal :)
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Micheál on April 28, 2015, 09:20:24 PM
Thanks :). Trying to get around more often!
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Ashe Isadora on May 16, 2015, 09:48:58 AM
Are there any here who honestly don't want the responsibility of the priesthood?  Do you think there should be more of a niche for pagan laity?
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: C_A on May 16, 2015, 10:36:27 AM
Are there any here who honestly don't want the responsibility of the priesthood?  Do you think there should be more of a niche for pagan laity?

While the conferrence is, to be sure, an honor it is also a responsibility that some don't want.  I don't recall anyone being coerced.  Can you elaborate on the laity angle?
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Ashe Isadora on May 16, 2015, 10:49:04 AM
Some people don't have the time or inclination to delve deeply into their relationship with the gods, but enjoy the trappings of paganism, festivals, like minded friends and enjoying the pagan milieu.  They may not see themselves as clergy at all, and don't wish to be.
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Kuerden Dúghlas on December 04, 2015, 03:30:53 PM
Many witches, especially Wiccans and people who follow Wicca inspired traditions, consider themselves priests or priestesses of the gods, often specific gods.  For some of us our priesthood is mandatory upon initiation and is part of what defines us.  With very few exceptions we do not function as an intermediary between the gods and the laity. Few traditions have a congregation. So what does the priesthood mean to you? If you consider yourself, or have been declared at initiation to be a priest or a priestess as well as a witch, how do you serve that function in your religious life?

Not everything on this topic can or should be shared.  But as your conscience allows I would love to hear your views.

I am reminded of something Starhawk says in The Spiral Dance: "Every initiate is considered a priestess or priest; Witchcraft is a religion of clergy."

To me, a priest/ess is one who teaches, who preserves and passes on the old ways and traditions of the coven or clan. This also helps explain why, except in rare instances, one cannot self-initiate. That's like ordaining yourself.

Starhawk explains:

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Originally, coveners were the teachers and priestesses/priests of a large Pagan population of noninitiates. They were the councils of elders within each clan, the wise women and wise men who delved beneath the surface of their rites and sought the deeper meanings. At the large solar festivals, the Sabbats, they led the rituals, organized the gatherings, and expounded the meanings of the ceremonies. Each coven had its own territory, which by tradition extended for a league. Neighboring covens might join for the great Sabbats, in order to share knowledge, herbs, spells, and, of course, gossip. Federations of covens were sometimes linked together under a Witch "Queen," or Grandmaster. On full moons, covens met alone for Esbats, when they studied the inner teachings and practiced magic.

I also see the priest/ess as a conduit for the coven's or clan's tutelary deities. In that sense, I also personally think there's a fine line between priest/shaman.

I see being a priest/ess as a responsibility, because you're also representing the old gods and the clan as a whole. Just my 2 cents.
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Amberhawk on December 19, 2015, 05:19:51 AM
I think there is confusion sometimes because to many witchcraft in and of itself is a skill set, a practice, not so much a religion. I can see that in Wicca it would definitely mean a priesthood, and in several other forms of paganism it could mean a priesthood as well, but not all who practice witchcraft specifically consider it a religion or a priesthood. It isn't necessary to be initiated or to tend to deity when practicing. It doesn't require teaching others, guiding others or keeping to the sabbats. There is no one way or rule to practicing it unless you do follow a specific religious set of rules and need to tailor it to those rules. One can incorporate it into any number of religions or none at all but in and of itself it doesn't seem to me to be a religion.
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: marisol on December 19, 2015, 10:20:18 AM
I have been reading this thread over and over for months. As a solitary I can claim no one else to be priestess except myself. But I am also a witch and a seeker. I incorporate Wiccan ideals in my practice, but I don't consider myself to be Wiccan.

Soulfire once told me that witchcraft was her religion. But not all believe this. What ever works for the individual is the most important thing.

Are there any here who honestly don't want the responsibility of the priesthood?  Do you think there should be more of a niche for pagan laity?

I do think there should be a niche for pagan laity? As Micheal said "the cost in sacrifice can be high". Many have huge responsibilities
to family (for example) and choices must be made. Group leadership is no more important,valid or devoted a path than the layperson. Laypeople serve different functions than the priesthood. They deserve respect, support, and validation of their individual experiences. Their experiences are deeply personal. It is sad to think these experiences are not used as powerful resources. It seems to me that the stronger the community is, the better the Gods are served. If I am looking at this wrong, please enlighten me.
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: oldghost on December 20, 2015, 03:29:51 AM
Well said Marisol , 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 .
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Firesong on January 26, 2016, 06:39:11 AM
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.

That being said, for those who practice a religion, a Priest and/or a Priestess is absolutely essential for continuity of a tradition...
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: marisol on January 27, 2016, 08:17:24 AM
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.

That being said, for those who practice a religion, a Priest and/or a Priestess is absolutely essential for continuity of a tradition...

Firesong I agree with you, "What can they do that I cannot." When I was a young girl religion was extremely important to me.The loss of faith in christian religion was devastating to me. The fact that I was unable to find a religion that was fulfilling was frustrating.

Following a spiritual path is right for me and realizing only I can answer many questions I have always expected others to answer has
taken time. I do adopt certain ideals from others if I feel they fit into my path. But I no longer feel I have to fit into something that does not serve my path. To learn to walk this path has taken what seems like forever.

I believe humans have a deep yearning to connect to the divine and often do not know how. It's not what we learn from outside ourselves, but from the greatest source we have within ourselves.

BB
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Alchymist on March 04, 2016, 01:03:38 PM
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!

(  http://www.halexandria.org/  )

Blessed Be everyone, in mirth and reverence, foolishness and seriousness,

Alchymist, OMSI 33o, but Not A Priest.
 
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: oldghost on March 04, 2016, 04:42:56 PM
I am a seeker searching for truth in a land of mist where I can not see what is around me .


I am Truth in a land of mist seeking a seeker of my truth

In a clearing Thuth and  Seeker  meet .
I am Truth , seeker
Not my truth replies Seeker
You are not my seeker replies Truth .

On their way they go ,  one seeking what one wishes truth to be ; and the other seeking one that believes truth's truth,,...,

Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Draconis Rex on March 15, 2016, 07:45:10 PM
I don't consider myself to be a priest of any sort, but I have taught and guided. I simply consider myself a seeker; probably moreso since I am agnostic (this does NOT preclude the existence of deity in my book). I'm not saying that the term "priest/ess is not acceptable, but I think to those who follow a solitary path, it's not such a comfortable fit. For coveners or those who work together as a group, then that could very well be an apt title, and one that they would no doubt be proud to wear.
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Ashe Isadora on March 15, 2016, 08:06:25 PM
Bear in mind though Drac that the priesthood in most pagan paths is not intercessory.  There is no laity. This sort of priesthood represents a bond and a service to the god(s).  Assuming you work with deity.  But being solitary or part of a group is irrelevant here.

Hey, welcome back, btw.
Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: Draconis Rex on March 16, 2016, 05:46:12 PM
Bear in mind though Drac that the priesthood in most pagan paths is not intercessory.  There is no laity. This sort of priesthood represents a bond and a service to the god(s).  Assuming you work with deity.  But being solitary or part of a group is irrelevant here.

Of course, point well made and well taken Ashe, I hadn't included that aspect in my consideration.

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Hey, welcome back, btw.

Thanks, good to be back  :)

Title: Re: The Priesthood
Post by: oldghost on March 16, 2016, 07:23:01 PM
Elder's  is a term of respect in Native American culture but it is interchangeable with leader, teacher . Shamans are though of as priest but that is wrong .Shaman's guide , they do not tell one how to live or what they should do.

"One must first find balance in one's self before one can find balance in the world and become one with the spirit's . One does not find that in the ways of others but in harmony with the spirit of self ."