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Author Topic: The Priesthood  (Read 7912 times)

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Ashe Isadora

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The Priesthood
« 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.
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oldghost

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Re: The Priesthood
« Reply #1 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 .
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Ashe Isadora

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Re: The Priesthood
« Reply #2 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?
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oldghost

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Re: The Priesthood
« Reply #3 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 .
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Alchymist

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Re: The Priesthood
« Reply #4 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,
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Reclaiming Witchcraft, 3o at least; OTO,1o;  Zelator, AMORC.

Blessed Be everyone 
« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 12:19:18 AM by Alchymist »
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Amberhawk

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Re: The Priesthood
« Reply #5 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.
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Draconis Rex

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Re: The Priesthood
« Reply #6 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.
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marisol

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Re: The Priesthood
« Reply #7 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.
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Draconis Rex

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Re: The Priesthood
« Reply #8 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?
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Firesong

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Re: The Priesthood
« Reply #9 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?
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Alchymist

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Re: The Priesthood
« Reply #10 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.
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oldghost

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Re: The Priesthood
« Reply #11 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 ' ?.
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Firesong

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Re: The Priesthood
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2015, 12:47:10 AM »

Anybody familiar with the Ritual of the Raven in association with the Hedge tradition?
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C_A

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Re: The Priesthood
« Reply #13 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.
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marisol

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Re: The Priesthood
« Reply #14 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. ;)
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