As Priestesses – what is it that we do? Do we hold someone’s hand and listen to them pour their hearts out? Do we just ‘talk straight’, and tell someone what they really need to hear? Do we heal? Do we inspire? Do we defend? Do we terrify? Do we help out behind the scenes or jump straight into the heart of things?
Yes… Yes… and Yes ….
And a lot more besides …
Being a Priestess does not require a religion, or even any understanding of faith (as paradoxical as that sounds). Some Priestesses use a Title, and some others do not even recognize the construct – doesn’t stop them from being one though 😉 And both approaches are just as valid.
And just to be clear – whilst I tend to address my posts to all genders, this one has a strong emphasis on the Feminine. The Priest’s Path of Service tends to be slightly different – but those who have a balanced sense of Masculine/Feminine will be able to relate to this piece as well.
What I have seen across the board is this: Priestesses live day-to-day with eyes in this world and in plenty others simultaneously. They see the movement of Spirit, Divinity, Grace, Life through all that occurs and honor, amplify or simply recognize that movement through some form of Service. As a Priestess upholds, embodies and anchors that vibration of Living-in-Communion, she naturally becomes a beacon that others are drawn to – a Gateway, if you will – to Healing and Re-connection.
Sometimes it’s a pleasant process, and at other times, it can be extremely uncomfortable. Some Priestesses are gentler, others are harsher. Some see joy and life in the world, and others see the rot and are focused upon its healing. Sometimes both, and a lot more besides. There’s just no generalizing it.
You can find a Priestess in a hospital, in a church, in a pagan community, in a social care center, in parliament, in a corporation, in a mirror – anywhere where there is a Woman able to see this Movement/Vibration and Align herself with it.
But more than any of that – there’s the Devotion, or Dedication to a particular Cause, Vibration or Idea. In ancient times, many of us chose death over the forsaking of our beliefs; We chose our cause of devotion over much-desired love and comfort; We chose to walk the route that no one else dared or wanted to even approach (as so many awakening priestesses are beginning to remember).
Some of us continue to make those same choices. And in some parts of the world, it really is a matter of life-and-death. For most of us, the repercussions are nowhere near as dire. But that does not make our choices any less significant.
We see it when we are called to speak our Truth to friends, family, colleagues, lovers, and so on. We see it in our thoughts, emotions, ideas and very substance, or essence of Being.
A constantly running red thread … that keeps pulsing, as real as your heartbeat. The sound of an invisible drum, a rhythm your Soul keeps dancing to. Each footstep, each time you follow that thread – a Choice is Made.
At times these choices seems like Trials – Trials of Fire and Spirit that just keep you going forward, come what may. Some with more intensity, others less so (and both is fine).
The choices that come in our lives, which call us to always, always look at things from a Transcendent Perspective. We’re always called to take the ‘higher/deeper’ road – and nothing exists in half-measures.
There is this constant intensity – be if of joy, trials, sorrow, anger – or any other emotional state (sometimes all) as Priestesses begin to remember and embody their Sacred Archetypes.
It’s not all grim, but it’s not all cupcakes and roses either. There is a beauty to this path, but also a great striving that accompanies it – especially in the earlier phases of awakening.
In my case, I was recognized as a Priestess (without the title ever being used) by a spiritually attuned mother and a father who recognized me as his teacher (and I him) from infancy. Even so, Living the Path, has not been a walk in the park (and that too, is a part of my Service).
In my earlier years, given my name (Bhairavi – Destroyer of Obstacles, The Most Terrifying Aspect of Maha-Kali) and cultural background (where Goddesses are shown sticking tridents into and impaling ‘demons’) – the biggest lesson I had to learn was in the Mode, or Type of Service I was called to give. The ‘battle metaphor’ had to dissolve (which took some work, and the help of friends), till I was better able to see the full spectrum of things.
So here’s some of what I’ve learnt:
(1) Leaping into battle doesn’t always work. But neither does dropping all your defenses and walking in as the pacifist.
(2) Mediation, Healing and Transmutation isn’t always the best course of action (at least, not at first). Sometimes Defending, Protecting and Making a Boundary is.
(3) Holding your ground is right sometimes, but so is complete Surrender.
(4) Not backing down is just as valid as turning your back and walking away
(5) Not all crises are yours to solve, not all problems you encounter are a part of the work that you came to do.
(Sometimes we feel indispensable, and that too is a part of the ego learning that this Priestessing business is not something you can put in a box 😀 )
(6) There is no ‘one formula’ or ‘mode’ that can be used for every situation – nothing is generalizable
(7) The moment you think you ‘know’ something, the Universe shows up with a whole new thing for you to learn. It’s endless, and that’s a beautiful thing in itself.
I’d like to think that I integrate a wider repertoire of these responses in the current way I walk my path, and that I will continue to learn more as time progresses. My trident (claws/ferocity) is there in the background should I ever truly require it, but a more peaceful approach tends to solve most issues.
But one thing I have learnt through all of this is the following:
That there is no ‘default’ response for what a Priestess does, when she is Called to Serve. We are all different, and our Paths and Purposes are different – as are the wide range of situations we encounter in our individual lives.
So there is no need to generalize, to compare one’s path with another, or to try and create a ‘standard formula for Priestessing’.
Here’s what I wrote to a friend earlier today, on the same subject – and with these words I leave you to your thoughts:
At times we will be called into battle to seek the peace through mediation. And at other times, we will be called to fortify the defenses against assault. Sometimes it’s making sure the crops grow and people are safe. It’s very very relative.
At times we burn, at times we heal, at times we stand our ground, or build bridges – and at times, we make sure we turn and never look back. All are necessary, all are equal, and all are …. specific to the circumstance.
* * *
Blessings to All,
Image Information: Me at Thanjavur Periya Kovil, 2010. (c) Bairavee Balasubramaniam