Priestess is defined by Merriam-Webster in two ways: 1) a woman authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion and 2) a woman regarded as a leader (as of a movement).
In a Wiccan coven, one usually finds a High Priestess and usually a High Priest. In Twilight Spiral Coven, as we are a coven of women only, we have a High Priestess, as does our sister coven, Coven of Midnight’s Flame. The High Priestess is a respected title, and one that comes with great responsibility. The High Priestess usually is the main ritual facilitator, the main organizer, and the one who creates and/or oversees training. If there’s a meeting of some sort, she’s at it. She also has to learn to delegate intelligently, because of the high risk of leader burnout that is so prevalent in the modern Pagan community. This is an example of the second definition of priestess listed above.
The first definition of priestess - a woman authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion- is one that many fulfill. In a coven setting, this “authorization” is usually initiation. In the Twilight Tradition, once initiated, a woman takes her rightful place in the ritual process, writing and performing in group ritual, not only as a participant, but also as facilitator. While the high priestess does many parts of traditional ritual, each initiate is involved in the creation of every sabbat ritual, and has the opportunity to create esbat centered circle, as well. I’d say that this definitely falls within the realm of “performing the sacred rites of a religion.” Of course, this isn’t to say that a first degree priestess could elevate a second degree priestess to third- obviously not all rites and rituals are made available to the first degree priestess, but for the most part, once initiated, one is expected to contribute to all traditional sacred rites.
Outside of a coven, the word priestess is usually used to denote one who is devoted to a specific god or goddess (“Priestess of Demeter”). This still falls within the first definition: a woman authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion. It’s thought that the God/dess Herself has given authorization to the priestess. So, a dedicants (not yet initiated into the coven) wouldn’t yet be a priestess in the coven, but she might be a Priestess of Bast.
Many people use the word “priestess” to define themselves. What are you priestess of? A coven? A god/dess?
You’re welcome! Blessed be, and good luck reconnecting with your path.
Wow, I haven’t posted in awhile- mostly updating my coven’s FB page with seasonal ideas, and photos. Had a couple questions come in, so I was reminded that y’all are here. And I appreciate that tumblr folks made me want to watch Supernatural. I had no idea it was so great. I’m almost done watching- now I’m up to S8E6, I think. <3
When Mercury goes into retrograde, it looks as though it’s moving backwards. As Mercury is associated with communication, many things association with communication may break down. This might mean misunderstandings, technical failures- especially computer or phone, or issues with contracts. It’s especially intense for those who’s astrological sun sign is ruled by Mercury- I’m looking at you virgos and geminis! After Mercury goes direct (on March 17), it goes through a shadow period, where we may still experience some issues, but they won’t be as intense. The shadow period ends April 6.
Here’s a calendar that includes the mercury retrograde periods for 2013: http://www.astroprofile.com/2013mercuryrx.htm
Hold on tight, be patient, and blessed be!
Don’t worry about all the labels, etc. My suggestion is to just read a few books that interest you. I suggest reading more widely accepted titles like Wicca by Cunningham or The Heart of Wicca by Ellen Cannon Reed. Plant a garden, meditate, build an altar. These are all sacred activities, and will help you get back into the swing of things. Forgo the websites, unless you are trying to network. Work on yourself, and your connection to spirit first. If you don’t have an experienced, discerning eye, it’s tough to wade through most of the bullshit that many of the websites have. Figure out what you do believe, what you do feel is important- do that first. Then, if there’s a label for it, there you go. If not, it doesn’t matter. :)
SO, I haven’t posted much lately. I’ve been posting over on my coven’s FB page. I post ritual ideas, photos, craft and recipe ideas, but ALL seasonal. Not random stuff. At least, not usual.
If you are interested- you can like our page. :)
WITCHCRAFT =/= WICCA.
You don’t need a religion to back up a practice.
You can do whatever the fuck you want.
I am reblogging this, even with the typo. That’s how you can tell that I feel strongly about it. I am Wiccan, and in my classes I make sure that people know that Witchcraft is a practice much like prayer or meditation. However, some people do call Witchcraft their religion, though they are usually pantheistic.