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From Kathryn Ravenwood "Priestess of the Doors": "This is what it is to be a priestess, to know the doors and be prepared to honor and intentionally experience what they open into. It is why we study, prepare and pray, and why we build altars to honor and remember what we have learned and what is yet to know."

From Pamela Eakins, "Priestess: Born Unto Herself": How does a priestess define the Sacred? For those who have eyes to see, all the cosmos can be held as sacred. She who is priestess experiences the calling to hold the whole of the cosmos in reverence, to observe the tides and seasons and to immerse in marking the life of the cosmos through spiritual celebration. What others may call mundane, the priestess may call sacred. What others may call profane, the priestess may call an opportunity to engage in the evolution of cosmological design. For she who is priestess realizes she is no more and no less than the holy cosmos itself engaged in the act of its own imaginal becoming.

From Jill Hammer, "Temple Weaving: Jewish Weaver-Priestesses and the Creation of the Cosmos"-- "Like other cultures around the world, Judaism has had sacred women weavers in its midst. These weavers are not only providers of goods; they are representatives of the creative powers of the universe. While we cannot know the experience of the temple weavers, since no record exists to tell us, we can imagine that the sanctity of the work must have meant something to them. If the holy curtain represented the cosmos, then the women weaving it were weaving the world, just as sacred women weave the world in legends around the globe."

From "Priestessing with Integrity" by Sylvia Braillier: "Priestess . . . favored by the Goddess, wise woman, sage and a guide to others on the path. Being a priestess is a vocation that honors the sacredness we embody as women. We are fortunate to live in a time when the Goddess is returning and we can represent and support her work here in this world as priestesses. It’s easy to make up romantic notions about what it is to be a priestess. Not to say that some of them aren’t true, but it’s a package deal that includes real challenges and great blessings. When the rubber meets the road, what does being a priestess really entail?
Whether initiated as a priestess within a tradition or by the challenges and blessings of life, certain responsibilities are part and parcel of the vocation. The job of priestess doesn’t stop when you leave the circle. It is a life commitment to accountability and integrity, not only by performing your duties to the best of your ability but by walking in life as a living representative of enlightened behavior and speech. As a priestess, your behavior sets the bar. One of the greatest gifts you can give is to teach by example and live the teachings as fully as you can."

From "Discovering The Priestess Within" by IONE: "With my dreams and intuition as my guides, I decided to launch a one-year training program in the intuitive and healing arts...I’d bring them up in the old elevator, or when it was not working—which was often the case—and they’d climb the five flights without complaint. They sat on my well-worn cushions in a circle. We laughed and cried and sometimes we screamed in rage. It was good not having any close neighbors. We howled at the moon. We told our dreams. We were, we told ourselves, descending. We were descending into a deep pit like Innana, the beleaguered heroine of the ancient Sumerian poem. Enki, the God of Wisdom, had blessed her. The blessing included the concepts of truth, descent into the underworld and ascent from the underworld.We were ugly, angry, jealous, grieving. We thought and spoke the unacceptable, and we were, at last, not nice. Without travelling on planes, trains or buses, we had our own kind of space ships; we were inhabiting the other side of the moon, the dark side. There, we could behave as we liked, unseen and unjudged by spouses, friends, lovers, mothers or fathers."

From Josephine MacMillan, "The Priestess as Wedding Ceremonialist": "What business does a modern priestess have officiating a marriage? For hundreds of years, once a woman entered into the institution of matrimony, she had few legal rights. Not so long ago, a married woman lost everything from her name to her property in exchange for a man’s simple promise to protect and provide for her and their children. It’s hard to believe that, here in the United States, “land of the free,” people were once forbidden to marry each other because of their skin color; yet today, in the same effort of control, most states deny couples their right to marry each other based on their gender. Moreover, women from most religious faiths continue to be banned from performing weddings. Why would a feminist devoted to serving the Goddess ever get into the wedding game, given its oppressive, sexist, racist, homophobic roots? As an American priestess in the business of performing weddings since 1992, I meditate on that question every time I’m asked to officiate one."

From Katlyn Breene, "The Perfect Prayer: Incense and Scent Crafting": "When you need to center and ground yourself for sacred work, let your sense of smell aid you. Choose to burn incense that is special to you when you seek inner peace; let it help you make that connection. For me, the scent of frankincense immediately uplifts my spirit and allows me to let go of stress and “get out of my head.” After using a certain fragrance or botanical many times, you will form a link in your consciousness that will help take you to your desired mental and emotional state."

From Kathryn Ravenwood "Priestess of the Doors": "This is what it is to be a priestess, to know the doors and be prepared to honor and intentionally experience what they open into. It is why we study, prepare and pray, and why we build altars to honor and remember what we have learned and what is yet to know."

From Asia Shepsut, "Job Descriptions for the Priestess": Perhaps the most interesting item Inanna loses and then regains during her journey to the underworld are the rod/ruler and circle of the Me, the measures of cosmic order that come under chakra six. She is depicted on seals conferring kingship with this regalia, which represent any rule or measure that keeps things together, from the regular motions of the stars and planets to the tools of geometry or the reproductive cycles that uphold order in human life. Women, through their biology, naturally have a sense of these rhythms, including the routines of meals and bringing up children, as well as defense and protection. We know from another Inanna myth that she did not wait for Ea, God of Wisdom, to give the Me to her; she simply took them. The very words “mother” and “mater” refer to someone who measures and regulates life for others. Finally, to be a priestess of the root chakra is extremely powerful; it is to maintain solitary contact with the Great Mother of the Universe as a hermit in order to transmit her Shaktic Being onwards: the hyperactive and materialistic West is completely unaware of the contribution the closed orders make through their deep silence."

From Hava Montauriano "Reclaiming Adam and Eve: The Work of a Priestess in Israel": There is no one way to be a priestess; each of us, as a unique individual with her unique connection to Goddess, can bring her own vision into the role. The goddess of many faces is enriched by priestesses with different understandings of their roles....I see a special task for myself, as a priestess of the Goddess in Israel, in encouraging those who seek her to find her in our people’s traditions, to uncover her from under the dark layers and lies of the Bible and its subsequent texts and legends."

From Jalaja Bonheim, "Yoginis of Ancient India": For weeks, the yoginis kept haunting my dreams and tugging at the edges of my consciousness, until finally I realized I needed to give them my undivided attention. And so, one windy day in late fall, I sat down with pen and paper and silenced my thoughts.
“Who are you?“ I asked. They responded instantly, as if they had been impatiently waiting for my attention: We are your foremothers. We are yoginis in the original sense of the word: women who are inextricably, eternally yoked to the divine. We are lovers of god, embodiments of the goddess and priestesses dedicated with union to the divine. If the erotic charge we exude makes some people nervous, ask them why they would forbid the goddess from making love, when all of her creation does so? Besides making love, we perform rituals and sit at the bedsides of the dying. We study, teach and celebrate the spirit of beauty. We practice yoga, music, dance, art, herbalism, midwifery and philosophy. We live in and are guardians of sacred space."

From Deidre Pulgram Arthan, "I am the Earth: The Priestess in Service to Community" in Stepping Into Ourselves: The work of a priestess is to create and keep open a channel between the seen and seldom-seen realms in which we live, in relationship and in service to a community. It is not enough for the priestess to be able to contact spirit and travel in that dimension herself: a trained and experienced priestess can create a doorway between the worlds that is wide enough for others to join her there; and those people, by joining, expand the opening still further, so that the flow of power is strong and transformative for all present. In order to serve in the role of priestess, a woman must first spend time deepening her own spiritual practice. She must know how to find the doorway herself before she can help others see it and she must be comfortable standing in the mystery before she takes on the responsibility of leading anyone else there."

From Nano Boye Nagle, "It’s Easier to be a Priest than a Priestess" in Stepping Into Ourselves: "At graduate school, I attended a lecture by Rev. Gina Rose Halpern, founder of The Chaplaincy Institute. She told of her journey as a feminist artist, answering the call to ministry, eventually founding an interfaith seminary of the arts. By the time she was done, I was shaking. I rushed to the bathroom, sat in the stall, shaking, sweating, goose bumps up and down my arms. “Shit! Shit! Shit!” I cursed. “Girls like me don’t go to seminary.” This was definitely not part of my plan. The ‘call’ to ministry engulfed me; it was undeniable. Although I had made peace with the G-word in either form, I was still estranged from religion. How could I be a minister without signing away my soul to an institution? The next day, my best friend confided in me that she was starting a two-year interfaith seminary training program run by my favorite professor. I had a long-time practice of “doing the next indicated thing.” So despite my fears, and my resistance, I signed up."

From "Building a Working Relationship with Deity" by Mary Moonbow: "In the modern world, deity is a challenging concept. Popular Western culture takes science as its god, and scoffs at that which cannot be measured and detected on the physical plane. Faith in the Judeo-Christian God is still marginally accepted, grandfathered into the cultural belief system after centuries of dominance in the religious and intellectual thought of the West. Discussions of faith in the context of Christianity are fairly commonplace in the American media and acceptable in many social circles. But turn to a stranger at a party and begin discussing your personal faith relationship with Artemis, Thor or Sarasvati and reactions of confusion, dismissal or discomfort are common (if the person does not just assume you’re joking). And yet, if we wish to re-enchant our world with spirits, elementals, fairies and gods, we must grapple with the concept of these unseen beings directly. Until we clearly determine our relationship to them, our practice will be plagued by an underlying ambivalence. Just as you can kiss someone even if you’re not sure you’re in love with them, you can ritually invoke a deity you’re not sure you believe in, but both experiences are far more effective, satisfying and ecstatic once you’ve figured it out."

 From Vivianne Crowley, “The Wiccan Priestess as Initiator: Psychology of the Initiatory Process.“If you have experienced this, you will know that each time you perform an initiation rite the energy is different.  Each initiate is different, the time and place changes, as does our inner state and that of the others assisting in the ritual.  Each initiation is a unique blend of human hopes and fears, of subtle energies, of the energy of the place and of seasonal and moon tides.” 

 From “Rediscovering Your Wild Priestess Power’ by Gloria Taylor Brown: “You see – the wild can be scary.  We are trained  from birth to suppress our wilder urges.  In order to live in a society there must be some rules, some agreement of civilized behavior.  And yet…when you push the wild out of your life so completely, it has to find other places to live.”  

From “Generating Stillness – Creating Sacred Space” by Kathy Jones:“The only way to create stillness, to generate sacred space, is by becoming still: a truism which many of us find hard to accept as we live busy lives and have active brains that continually chatter.  There are many meditative techniques designed to bring us to that place of stillness within and you may already be familiar with them.  Here I would like to offer a Goddess-centered approach.”  

From “Priestess of the Doors” by Kathryn Ravenwood: “Life is not linear.  We do not smoothly move from one gate to another in perfect order.  Just when we think we have something mastered the door can open again and we find ourselves re-learning the same lessons or finding those lessons were just the primer in a vast book of knowing.”  

From “The Perfect Prayer: Incense and Scent Crafting” by Katlyn Breene: “Scent is powerful.  It is the sense that connects directly to the limbic system, our primal brain.  Smell is not limited by our logic and inspires our passion.  When we offer to another a gift of flowers, essential oils or incense, we are giving a deep and lasting scented memory.  Scent is our path into the wild, the uncensored and the primitive instinctual world.”  

From “Ritual Design and Facilitation: Chanting that Works” by Shauna Aura Knight: “Holding space in a ritual might be for an extended healing ritual, or to hear oracular messages from a drawn-down deity.  A slow chant keeps the  group energy focused.  An energy- building chant to build a cone of power works better with more complicated layers; two-part chants to build the energy more strongly, if you have a group that can sustain a two-part chant.  

From “The Technology of Rhythm” by Layne Redmond: “To most people, the dogmas of science are incomprehensible.  They must be accepted on faith.  Yet we deny the validity of personal experience in service to this “objective” truth.  Those who separate themselves from the natural world in order to study it lose the vital connection that makes sense of the whole.  They have forgotten that consciousness itself is subjective.  When a human being subtracts herself from the equation of the universe, her results are doomed to be incomplete.”

From “Priestessing Ritual” by Ruth Barrett: “A facilitator is a woman who makes the way easier; as an act of service, she assists in creating the experience of the participants.  Like a guide on a journey, the facilitator’s responsibility is to hold the vision, the purpose; to keep the compass, to know what the ultimate destination of the ritual journey is, and help everyone get there and back safely.” 

From “A Circle of Theatre and Ritual” by Nan Brooks:“There are misconceptions about priestesses as well.  One common image is that she is a woman in flowing robes lifting her arms to the moon in ritual.  It’s a lovely picture, but not particularly accurate. For one thing, not every priestess is a ritualist.  A woman’s primary calling as priestess may be as healer, scholar, activist, musician, artist, administrator, or naturalist – the list is long.”  

From “Priestess I Have Known” by Calypso: “There are also distinct characteristics and practices that result in a priestess who touches hearts and opens a channel for goddess.  One of these is preparation, both in terms of years of education or experience and in terms of each ritual and each time one is called upon for counsel and advice.  Equally essential is compassion, intuition, practice, hard work, knowledge, discernment, the ability to differentiate between substantive issues and non-issues, and above all devotion to goddess, the call of the goddess and a commitment to be in service to goddess and her community.” 

 From “Priestessing with Integrity”  by Sylvia Brallier: “Practice what you preach.  Hold yourself to the same standards that you ask of others.  There are some privileges that come with power, but as soon as there becomes a different set of rules for different “classes” of people, we are back to the dominator paradigm in a fancy new skirt.”