Primal Priestess


WALKING THE PATH OF THE PRIESTESS
Speech on Pagan Freedom Day, 27 April 2007 (Botha’s Hill, KZN)
By Fey Fand

2000 years of patriarchy is ending and womankind is emerging from the shadows. As women start to make a come-back whilst Christianity fades, surely one of the first questions we must ask ourselves is: what is our true place in the Divine Order? Can we resurrect the feminine aspect, which has been nearly choked to death? Creation requires both sexes and to deny one means a return to the wasteland both spiritually and materially.

The Divine spark within the feminine which has burned on pilot light for so long now begins to glow; we are now able to identify our role and react to the Cosmic plan, taking our places once more.

Do we remember our role? Nurturing children, gathering, nesting, and planting are second nature and some recognition of these virtues is at last being given. But what of the spirit within, the individual self that yearns for unity with all Creation? Where can we find the nourishment that hasn’t been designed to masculine requirements?

We must look back a long way, to the dawn of Creation when the Great Mother ruled the Earth, standing in the light of Father God. Then humankind realized that we were here to serve, to co-create and co-protect the world. As life evolved and human will grew, so our awareness developed and the full responsibility of our role began to dawn. Women started to probe the mysteries of birth and death. Ultimately those with a thirst for knowledge expanded their awareness at a greater rate, learning the skills of working with greater forces and delving into previously unrevealed areas of Cosmic flow.

These were the early priestesses. From these early beginnings emerged the intuitive, the reverent, she who could anticipate and communicate with Divine powers. She learnt to heal through personal power and magickal lore. Stones, plants, trees and energy points were all found to be of use in their own way – communication with all aspects of the life force produced prophecy and divination. Within the tribe the priestess was wise woman and matriarch, knowing the will of the Goddess and guiding the less skilled.

As thousands of years passed, a more formal structure emerged and respect for her talents grew. Throughout the world seats of learning were established. Men too learned the Mysteries, becoming priests, and together they often formed a temple wherein the will of the Gods and Goddesses could be realized, worship and education could be encouraged and a sacred centre created for the populace.

It is said that every woman is a witch and in many cultures the terms priestess and witch have been synonymous.

Priestesses have a noble and honourable lineage. The role of priestess was that of a shrewd, cultured, gracious woman enjoying equal status with men, dedicated to serving the God and Goddess, with a wealth of both mundane and arcane knowledge at her fingertips.

Where has she gone? With advancing Christianity the temples fell into disuse, the pagan priesthood was made redundant and priestesses were expected to conform to the patriarchal attitudes of their conquerors. And so women’s place became the home, doomed to breed and placate their husbands, sacrificing spiritual freedom for room and board.

For a trained priestess this would have been intolerable. As generations passed she may have survived for a time as a village wise woman, or embraced Christianity and exchanged the temple for the convent. The braver or more reckless ones fought back. History books are dotted with campaigning women, making a last ditch stand against the soul destroying patriarchal oppression which was to last several thousand years.

Where can the priestess be found? As the principle of reincarnation re-emerges in the human psyche we ask – what was I? – Where have I been? As meditation replaces daily prayer we learn to deepen our inner life and doors open in our far memory. Intense probing brings snatches of personal information to the surface, sudden insights arise when we least expect them, and bouts of recognition give rise to greater comprehension. We are making contact with our higher self. For those of us who served in the ancient temples or guided the tribe, this quickly becomes second nature. We are resurrecting old skills. Whether our tradition was Greek, Roman, Egyptian, or a Western Mystery School, we soon know with deadly certainty that we have followed this esoteric path maybe only once or twice but probably many times before.

Once a witch, always a witch, once a priestess, always a priestess.

There are many thousands of women today who have a “whiff of the temple” about them. Many are quite unaware of this and sadly find themselves fish out of water, uncomfortable with domesticity, hopelessly trapped in unconducive work, pretending to be satisfied with their lives and wracked by a sense of isolation.

We have now the sleeping priestess, troubled by unidentified yearnings she cannot fulfill, distressed at her apparent eccentricity, secretly disgusted at her position in the world, yet with no means of finding a way out. The situation cannot be underestimated. There are many, many women who are out of tune with their surroundings.

They have gone beyond the mundane teachings of this world and find themselves thwarted and repressed in their subconscious search for higher learning. Whilst able to pay lip service to modern life, their minds are often absent, searching for greater truths, trying to grasp something beyond the Veil.

Neolithic figures excavated from all over the world portray a crude female likeness of enormous proportions – a creature designed solely for procreation. This is no doubt because the early concept of womanhood must have been equated with motherhood. The dangers of childbirth, infant mortality and the menstrual cycle needed understanding and managing. Women learnt to imitate the lunar cycle by secluding themselves when the moon was absent and mating when she was full. Her own menstrual cycle soon fell into line.

Animal husbandry benefited from greater lunar knowledge, herbal lore took on a new dimension – the medicinal properties becoming more clearly defined if gathered and stored in accordance with the lunar tides. There is no doubt that the third eye was full open, opening onto a world of abstract forms of the natural world.

The three aspects of womanhood recognized in the early world were the maiden, the mother and the crone. Since then they have been largely ignored and the rites of passage associated with them, which allowed for clearly defined boundaries, have fallen into disuse. Consequently there is a blurring of the edges between phases of maturity, leaving many unsure of their status and allowing for the little girl to remain so indefinitely, the mother to outstay her welcome and the crone to be vilified and marginalized.

One of the greatest dilemmas facing the growing tide of patriarchy was the Goddess in all her forms. Her priestesses may have been scattered or forced into marriage but the Divine Feminine presence was not so easily banished and the country person who worked daily with cycles of growth was never truly converted. The only option was to reduce the Goddesses’ power by allowing the Virgin Mary to become the Great Mother. All female eyes were deliberately directed towards a pale imitation of the true Goddess, ever a maiden, undeveloped, unchallenging, unchanging, docile and obedient to her son, the supreme male. With this diminished status so the status of womankind was also diminished and trivialized; worship and service to the Great Goddess was practiced under the threat of severe penalties.

As all things rise and fall in their time, so we see today the demise of male dominance. Women have become healers, embracing every method available from hands-on healing to the use of crystals, flower essences, essential oils and every conceivable natural substance which may assist our well-being. Healing was always of the Goddess.

We are only just beginning to re-establish contact with the Divine Feminine principle. The return of the Great Mother adds a much needed balance to a world that has become overly masculine.

To partake in communion with either God or Goddess one must totally abandon one’s will. This is quite alien to our culture. But remnants of our ancestral abilities remain in the form of mediums, card readers, rune masters and astrologers, though even they are seldom in direct contact with the Goddess. Few of them acknowledge her existence. They might refer vaguely to the Universe or Cosmic power. However, the priestess who willingly works for the Goddess can be found.

A priestess must cultivate the ability to receive communication in intuitive and abstract forms. She must become the mistress of subtleties and symbolism. Great attention must be paid to her inner life, ensuring that as a receiver she can be entrusted with messages that will be successfully comprehended and free from distortion.

This is of course a continuous process and an ever-narrowing path as attunement is adjusted and re-adjusted, juggling the demands of a personal life with spiritual requirements. A great deal of mental discipline is required, ruthlessly banishing negative qualities from the mind, attempting to bring it to that state of tranquility which is most receptive. This alone is an enormous undertaking given that today’s priestess does not have the protective walls of the temple around her, or the support of the tribe.

Daily meditation is the key to the door. Tranquility soon creeps in, insights flash, distant memories surface and, as this is assimilated the pool becomes clear and focused, until a day without a period of meditation is fraught, hungry and deprived. Meditation is an ancient tradition with roots in the east.

During the many years it takes to become an expert at meditation subtle changes are taking place both internally and externally. The conscious mind is being trained to retire at times, and allow the subconscious to have an airing. As the two halves of ourselves learn to harmonise and co-ordinate so we are able to reach beyond to the higher self. We are able to transmute the pain and suffering we encounter and turn it into the more positive and lasting qualities of joy, compassion and forgiveness. Our higher self is our older sister, encouraging us to make spiritual progress. If we are able to access our higher selves, great revelations are often forthcoming, bringing a sense of continuity and purpose.

This is the main tool for a priestess. She will have trained herself to a high degree to empty her mind and allow universal messages to reach her. If, however, her mind is confused or frightened no bond is possible. She has to learn to trust implicitly in the higher powers.

Our twenty first century priestess will know all this, albeit subconsciously, and her lifestyle will accommodate periods of reflection, contemplation and meditation. Now that the foundation stone of meditation has been laid we turn to that other method of linking with the sub-conscious, through dreams. Our dream life is intensely personal and it is in this area perhaps more than any other that we feel our individual soul is involved. As the priestess learns to deepen her meditative state so her dream life takes on a new dimension, achieving greater meaning and clarity, offering perhaps a profoundly symbolic lesson or a crystal clear directive.

Where the priestess differs from others is in her increased ability to recall dreams and differentiate between dreams of a lesser and higher nature. The habit of writing down dreams upon waking will often unite meaningless fragments into a composite whole. A dedicated priestess would allow herself the same amount of time to encourage a satisfactory sleep state as she does with meditation. Often she works intuitively to ensure that adequate provision is made to enable her to be a receiver. A gentle, lingering awakening will give her time to review her dreams before the mundane world starts to impinge. The bedroom must become an incubation chamber, where having fully explored her unconscious life overnight, she can put it to one side.

A priestess is no stranger to the astral realm. It is the first port of call when out of the body. Whether the priestess reaches this level through meditation, sleep or in trance, she is no stranger to its environs; the benefits gained from her visits will enhance her life. Signs, portents and visions can all be requested and will be supplied, though not always in the way anticipated. A plea for help will always be heard, but the Goddess moves in mysterious ways and often may take requests literally!

Telepathy is the best-known form of silent communication practiced by many, some unknowingly. Needless to say this is also part of a priestess’s repertoire. The degree of response is governed by the familiarity of the two communicators. A close psychic tie will not break and this bond can remain beyond the grave. Those practiced in the art of telepathy will also have learned the necessity of guarding their thoughts. A silent insult to someone who is annoying you is as potent and damaging to them as if the words were spoken. The priestess who practices daily meditation, makes sleep a sacrament and keeps her own counsel will also naturally control her negative thoughts. She is not, however, a paragon of virtue with never a cross word. She is as human as anyone, but has learnt the art of disposing of her negativity. This is one of the most difficult of her lessons.

Looking more closely at the sleeping priestess, we find that we have a modern woman, trying to function in a society which she may well find abrasive and alien. With no support and a bewildering amount of suspicion directed at her, the priestess if not by now nursing a growing inferiority complex, naturally falls back on her own resources. She will now have discovered the value of silence. By retreating into a private world a priestess is able to watch the tides of life as she once did. It is within this protective bubble that she is able to assimilate more easily that which is above and around her. The inner life of the priestess is rich and rewarding and in many ways far more interesting than her outer life; it will sustain her in moments of crisis, deepen her integrity and allow for her faith to fully develop. All these attributes can be carried from life to life.

She will have to resist the pressure to conform; using both left and right brain as she does will be alien to many people. Our left brain society is distrustful of those who rely on intuition.

The modern priestess is accustomed to being learned, and she is likely to pursue her studies now that esoteric information is now so freely available. Here she is not learning anything new, but merely reminding herself of ancient wisdoms. To her the male and female union, whether of human, plant, animal or insect is holy, and the resultant progeny should be nurtured with the greatest care. Consequently motherhood is not a state to be entered into lightly and ignorance of the finer points of mating and breeding is inexcusable. The decision to procreate or not would be a personal one, and bearing in mind the current population explosion combined with materialism and environmental degradation, there are many priestesses who choose to remain childless today. Partners may come and go depending on the degree to which they are able to respect the Goddess within her. Without the necessary spiritual connection, a partnership may ultimately become meaningless and even damaging to her own higher self. Once a priestess has stepped back onto the path to the Goddess, she is unlikely to cling to an empty relationship, nor particularly seek the worldly status of a wife. It will be two very self aware individual partners indeed who find each other and can meet and co-habit on just the right level.

Within the tribes the priestess may well have had several children by different fathers or several partners and no children. Modern priestesses may change partners several times during the course of this life, particularly if their spiritual growth is not matched by that of their partner.

In these days of greater environmental awareness the modern priestess may well come into her own. She is not being called into service without a reason. She will support a greener world utterly. She will buy wisely, recycle, and curtail travel. She may at times appear as an earth mother bogged down with domesticity but out alone greeting the full moon or stargazing, she is another being.

Imbued within each and every priestess and a necessary part of her temperament is the vital role she must play as a sister. If she cannot also truly feel that all women are her sisters and that she is but one small part of the Feminine as a whole then she has failed. She will have an empathy with women, will never attempt to downgrade their triumphs or amplify their failures, and will be a tower of strength in times of trouble. The female principle has many faces, and we must unite where we can. Priestesses are profound thinkers, capable of grasping concepts which may escape those whose interests are more worldly. Coffee mornings and playgroups will be unlikely places to find her. A magickal life is a reasonably ordered life and disorder and squalor will be abhorrent, so at home and at work the keynote will be harmony.

In human relationships our awakening priestess will find a change of perspective and it is likely that her newly found spiritual path will curtail some friendships and enlarge upon others. Either way she is likely to become more discriminating in her dealings with humanity, having learnt to embrace the whole rather than the individual. As her spirituality deepens so do her feelings for the human condition and it is quite possible that her loving heart may turn into a tortured one. Whilst she is likely to be a deeply affectionate partner her new found awareness may well give an impression of distance. Once again she is bridging the worlds and trying to juggle roles as women from all walks of life have done since the dawn of time. It is quite possible that some pruning of her activities is required to accommodate her increasing responsibilities, abstract though many of them may be. A high pressure workload and exacting deadlines may have to give way to a more contemplative role. It is quite likely that she will move down the economic scale. She must trust in her higher self who will ensure that all is taken care of, perhaps in ways she will find surprising and unexpected.

She will find pressure from all sides as she vainly tries to submit to the ideals and requirements of the majority although unable to put her heart into it. Try though she might she will undoubtedly feel a misfit, unidentified with the role society expects of her. Until she starts to look within in order to establish the reasons for her discomfort, she will remain at the mercy of those who see in her, not the nobility of a priestess taking up the reins of her chariot of destiny, but a confused and vulnerable woman who needs constantly bringing into line. Hence her inner rebellion will produce ill temper, her distraction will be heavily criticized as inattention, and her occult interest and knowledge will be severely crushed. Here are the ingredients of a serious inferiority complex.

 

Our modern priestess must maintain a certain amount of self defence. A continual barrage of subversive criticism, constant difficulty in communicating beyond a superficial level and the endless struggle to reconnect with her higher self takes it toll. The sensitivity that increases in accordance with her spiritual progress brings with it a greater susceptibility to dis-ease. She must learn to guard her innermost soul from being in any way damaged by the strain of paying lip service to a lifestyle which she longs to reject. In order to avoid the stresses of unconducive surroundings and as a matter of self preservation, the priestess, whether awake or asleep, will suffer considerably from psychosomatic dis-eases if she does not protect herself. She must ensure that she creates a mental and, if possible, a physical space in which she can re-tune to her higher self. The most simple protective technique is to mentally surround herself with light which will veil her from the more brutal aspects of life. She will also have learnt to live in the present moment. She will be sustained by her faith in her destiny, knowing that no matter how hard the path, there will be meaning and purpose in her sufferings and she will emerge spiritually triumphant.

In our ill-remembered past, as we became more inventive, less reliant on feminine rhythms, so our third eye slowly closed and this perhaps more than any other feature paved the way for the complete loss of spiritual values which is encountered today. The intuitive right brain of humankind, once active and balanced with the intellectual left brain, has been willfully neglected, so that response to the unseen, the ethereal, the spiritual and the instinctive is severely diminished.

Ownership became the motivating force and the tribal sense of community diminished. No longer was the land in the safekeeping of the Goddess. It belonged to man and he intended to get his share by fair means or foul. His partner, now confined to barracks for her own safety and that of her children, began to lose touch with her natural surroundings. Due to increasing violence it was prudent to seek a protective male, and women were no longer treated with respect.

It has taken two thousand years for this catastrophe to grow. Our priestess who became the village wise woman, worshipping the Goddess privately, was condemned. On high hilltops where the Goddess was once sought were built churches; track ways following ley lines of power were covered by stone; group worship at stone circles was actively discouraged and any woman alone was viewed with suspicion. Eventually the Goddess and all She upheld faded from humankind’s mind.

The catastrophe is upon us. We have nearly succeeded in killing the Earth. But signs of the Goddess are beginning to be seen, at the eleventh hour. Her priestesses stir from sleep, at last in a position to serve Her once more. In a collective act of defiance, they reject the oppressive atmosphere of the shadows to protest, to plant, to clean, to invigorate and refresh a stagnant and dying world.

The priestess stirs in her sleep. Perhaps the rising tide of global awareness has reached her, or her personal ambitions are continually thwarted and she is seeking an outlet for her energies. Maybe she feels uncomfortable in her surroundings without knowing why, or she might be plagued by undiagnosed illness. At this point she starts to look within. There are those who receive blinding insights and there are those who are simply disturbed, struggling with memory, frightened of their newly emerging desires, which may seem bizarre. As the priestess gropes her way towards the light she has many obstacles to contend with.

As realization dawns, so anger often follows in its’ wake. Feminism may creep in as an initial attempt to redress the balance. Anger must be transmuted into something more positive and this in itself is a task of some magnitude. Many women are called into service. Whilst it is possible to continue to function as normal, one starts to become abstracted and absent minded. Behaviour is erratic and conversation is difficult as a feeling of detachment grows. At this point the psychic senses open and often an avalanche of forgotten memories slides into the mind. Under these circumstances, the modern priestess is hopelessly confused, appears to have lost her grip on life, fears for her mental balance and is quite incapable of obtaining help, her dilemma being too abstruse to explain.

Everyone has heard of women being called into a convent but few people expect to be called to serve a pagan Goddess, particularly one who fails to articulate clearly and apparently shows little respect for one’s private life. With hindsight of course the priestess realizes this is incorrect. It may take years to re-adjust, lurching from crisis to crisis, alienating friends and family, questioning her mental health, searching and reaching, but Spirit has a power and a strength beyond human comprehension.

So the sleeping priestess is finally awakened and, reluctantly or otherwise, will be expected to make provision in her life for some active service. There are many who may have to make drastic changes in order to accommodate this. Whether this means “walking away from it all” or making more subtle changes depends on the individual and the demands of her current life. A period of respite is usually called for. Permanently turning her back on society is not the answer, though.

There is no escape from the voice of the Goddess and in spite of, or because of, irrational behaviour, She will find you and expect you to fulfill your duty by once more serving in Her temple, be it field or desert. Nevertheless a period of re-alignment and soul-searching is to be expected, and when realization dawns it is highly unlikely that the awakening priestess would wish to escape from her calling. The number of obstacles are as great or small as the priestess makes them. If she draws on her intuition, listens hard to inner guidance and firmly puts one foot in front of the other, then doors will open as fast as they close. And close they will. As communication with a higher plane is strengthened so it will weaken in this one; opportunities for worldly success may still be presented but they may now have a sour taste, and some human relationships are likely to dissolve in the light of a new reality.

Perhaps one of the chief obstacles to connection with the Divine Feminine Principle is the gross materialism to which we are subjected today. A degree of comfort is necessary for both mental and physical health and a reasonably long lifespan, but materialism is so pervasive and all consuming that it has isolated us from our higher selves and left us earthbound and permanently dissatisfied. As the sleeping priestess starts to stir she is likely to find herself despising the way people sell their time for money to buy things with. Our priestess stands alone; suffering, unsure, labeled as neurotic, and yet shaken to her soul by an indefinable longing for which there are no words. To graduate from this plane and achieve spiritual maturity one must learn and experience all things, acquire all human attributes, suffer evil and misfortune and understand how to balance light and shade within our selves. We will be guided to the right answers. Somehow, somewhere the answer will come, usually in a subtle form, often unexpectedly or in disguise.

The awakening priestess in her meditations and dreams will get the answer, and if she is attentive and willing to listen to that still, small voice within, much will be revealed and her first faltering steps along the path will be guided, although perhaps not in the way she anticipated. Now as she begins to wake she sees a small pinprick of light ahead, contact once again. She may feel very lonely, but is no longer alone, and out of the turmoil of uncertainty a new shape is forming, ephemeral and beckoning.

It is unfashionable to be “called”, and not taken very seriously. Nevertheless the call does come and it is often immensely disturbing and confusing. To hear a “voice” indicates to most people that they are on the brink of delirium. Drink and pills will dull the senses and counseling will offer little more than frustration; sadly there are few people equipped to tell the sufferer that she is merely becoming clairaudient and perhaps clairvoyant, but once this has been established, and one realizes one is not actually going mad, the situation will quite likely give way to a joyful if not ecstatic state.

Unknown to her the priestess is starting to live in two worlds again. Her dream life may well start to develop and she will feel herself becoming detached from daily routine and drifting a little. The call persists, and although she may not recognise it as such, the message will start to get through and, as she becomes increasingly dissatisfied with her surroundings, she will start to make changes. Slowly, painfully, by chance conversations, perhaps by reading or following an obscure thread, the waking priestess will respond and make her way back to the Great Mother. This process may take years – it is a hidden path with few signposts, with only a glimmer of light ahead; but once she turns to face the challenge and acknowledges Divine Will, then, although her footsteps may falter many times, she will eventually find her way back to the temple.

This is the crunch, the moment of truth when the pull of the unseen is equal to or greater than the pull of society. A new life is waiting, the old life is beyond repair, and the priestess, hovering between the two, considers her options, knowing without a doubt which way she is heading but nevertheless scrupulously examining her motives and assessing her losses before she moves beyond the point of no return. The final decision is hers alone.

The twenty first century priestess will respond quickly to atmospheres. It is not enough to crave peace and quiet, the resonance must be complementary to her own or she will suffer as a consequence. No matter how confined her quarters may be, the awakening priestess will feel an urgent need for a space of her own where she can find the privacy to reach outward and upward in order to re-establish contact. Here she must be sure of being undisturbed during her meditations and devotions.

To worship and serve the Goddess is to worship and serve the Earth; that is to see Her at work within the Earth in terms of fertility. To return to the path of the Divine Feminine the priestess must address sacred sex. The “smutty” attitude to sex and its “naughty” connotations are indicative of an adolescent mind-set, a population whose natural appetites have not been allowed to mature and flower by the controlling patriarchal forces. No one taught young girls about the mystical aspects of union, no one explained to them that the bodily temple was a thing of beauty to be treasured and offered only to those who would value beauty. Instead we make love repetitively to a jaded partner. Motherhood may exemplify femininity in terms of fertility but is only one aspect and the art of awakening desire in another, directing the life force in accordance with the Goddess and lifting lovemaking to magickal and sacred realms is the work of a priestess. It is a sad and unenlightened man who sees the act of love as an opportunity for domination.

It cannot be emphasized enough that part of the creed of a priestess is an innate sense of honour. As the priestess moves along her path she will be increasingly rewarded by the realization of the sacred in all things. In due course she will learn to honour herself as an instrument of the Divine. Most of all and above all she will honour the Goddess and it is therefore her responsibility to understand the Divine Feminine Will in any way she can.

Priestesses honour the Goddess every day in every way we can: by tending the earth, by glorifying life in all its’ forms, by a loving manner towards others, by understanding our place in the dance of Creation, by seeking healing, joy and beauty and by opening the channel to Her daily in meditation. In this way we maintain the contact that is vital for our continued service, showing our willingness to be led further into Her mysteries and strengthening our resolve to be worthy and honourable. As we open ourselves up more fully through meditation old wounds may start to throb and old griefs rise to the surface. It is important to work through these as they have often been buried without a post mortem. If there is unexamined grief, guilt or pain, this may arise spontaneously and must be dealt with accordingly. This is an ongoing process and once we acquire the habit of dealing effectively with everyday disturbances instead of consigning them to a subconscious dustbin we will keep the channels open and remain in constant contact.

As a result of this fine-tuning our awareness of the world around us will become more acute. This is a two-edged sword giving us, on the one hand, almost ecstatic appreciation of natural beauty and human kindness but conversely the unpleasant side of life will impinge more severely, bringing actual pain when faced with an ugly situation and an inability to dismiss it as readily as one once could. This higher level of awareness more than any other factor will force a change of lifestyle. The pinpricks of life, which could once be easily dismissed, now hit home and often cause injury.

To live by the phases of the moon acknowledging her tides as she waxes and wanes is a way of life which has only comparatively recently been forgotten. As the moon waxes she pulls the fluid content of our bodies, plants, trees and so on to a peak, which culminates at the full moon. This is the active period when we feel more highly energised. As lunar power reaches its zenith so all life-forms do the same, often prompting slight hysteria in humans as the moon, sun and earth stand in alignment. Once the moon begins to wane the pressure eases. At the final point of the cycle when the moon has diminished to invisibility life becomes relatively inert and a period of rest and withdrawal is called for in readiness for the next new moon and renewed cycle of activity.

The awakening priestess must examine these lunar cycles and rediscover this aspect of the Divine Feminine through understanding the subtle power of the moon; likewise the night sky in terms of moving star patterns will enhance her sense of eternity and continuity.

All aspects of occult knowledge are an inherent part of a priestess’s interests and study. Now she has found her purpose and may meet others on the same path, as synchro-destiny unfolds. From flashes of insight that stop her in her tracks whilst queuing at the supermarket, she now finds her mind frequently absent from her body, mechanically moving through the day as always but mentally roaming, thinking and searching. Time loses its meaning as her sense of eternity deepens. Soon it becomes apparent that she is being guided and if she is wise she will surrender to this.

Noise may be a source of irritation and may provoke real anxiety. Simultaneously there will be an increase in psychic power. Coincidences become so frequent that she stops exclaiming over them and discovers instead the meaning of synchronicity. Events cannot be changed but the gift of foresight can prepare her. The awakening priestess will soon learn to trust her increasing awareness and intuition. She will have learnt not only to strengthen, but to direct her will. Her will can now be harnessed, and coupled with increased psychic skills such as thought projection and visualisation, will enable her to travel the priestess path more easily.

As her relationship with the Goddess strengthens so will her relationship with the earth. She may feel the stirring of ancient memories and formulate private rites to follow the agricultural calendar, the phases of the moon, the path of the sun or any aspect of life which prompts a celebration of the life cycle. It is customary to celebrate the Solstices and Equinoxes and to mark the full moon in some way.

Past life experiences may surface, confirming the wisdom of her decision. Initially tests will come thick and fast. As she adjusts and re-adjusts her lifestyle so she will encounter certain situations from which she must learn to gracefully withdraw and others where she must stand firm. There will be times when she feels quite abandoned and others when contact with the Goddess is strong and meaningful, bringing joy and renewed purpose. It is necessary for the advanced student to be allowed long periods of neglect to encourage her to weave her own web and enhance her creative skills. She must face herself and forgive herself.

All students of the Mysteries must, sooner or later, learn to live mindfully. To be mindful is to be careful and aware of our actions and reactions. The priestess recycles, holds her tongue and takes no more than her fair share of what is on offer. She will not be superhuman. She will be equally prone to despair and impatience and find herself as deluded or cheated, victimized or abused as her contemporaries. Now, however, she has learned to use these experiences to gain inner knowledge and expand her spirit, seeing negative or difficult situations as a teaching tool, which will offer greater empowerment and versatility and provide spiritual fuel for the journey ahead.

As psychic skills are granted and developed she is also responsible for using them correctly. Mistakes are invariably made, but by trial and error the priestess quickly learns how to control her second sight, to understand that in spite of the best intentions she must wait to be asked for advice. At times there is a very real danger of a feeling of victimization as she struggles to keep her balance in two worlds. The priestess is following a route which is quite clear to her, but to others it is both incomprehensible, and dangerously eccentric. One way or another she may find herself the subject of gossip and unpleasant speculation. She must maintain a dignified silence even if all her senses are wide open and she is fully aware of each critical barb aimed at her. Sadly, prejudice will be a persistent stumbling block, so the priestess must make a personal decision whether she has need to reveal her work to others. Unless one has a rock solid supportive family and friends around them it is highly unlikely that the public priestess or witch will flourish without some form of persecution.

Spiritual experiences can happen to anyone, and indeed there appears to be a worldwide explosion of spiritual revelations. Today there are many sane and balanced people who, with the onset of psychic gifts, consider that they are heading for the madhouse, not having the ability and training to interpret clairaudient messages or visions correctly and turning to drink or pills in order to quell this, when a psychic counselor could quickly put their mind at rest.

The re-awakened priestess will undoubtedly welcome spiritual guidance in the form of visions, encounters or any other method available. If her skills diminish and she loses contact then she must summon her energies and scrupulously examine both her inner and outer life, looking for a possible obstacle. If she has personal problems which are overwhelming her, and is unable to think clearly or meditate, contact will be lost. There will be long periods when contact is sparse or even nonexistent, simply because it may not be necessary for her at that time. It would be unwise of her to fret. She should wait patiently.

Time is passing more quickly and we are tested daily, reaching levels of awareness unknown to our recent forebears and struggling with the side effects of increased sensitivity. Most important of all, we are learning to reach through the Veil for a sense of eternity. The priestess stirs and ransacks her memory for customs and practices buried deep within her consciousness, for wisdom learnt in past lives and then suppressed.

Once again humankind is in transition between one era and another, awesome times to be alive but also challenging to our sense of humanitarian unity. Somewhere deep in our subconscious lies the pledge we have all made to honour the earth and to appoint ourselves as spiritual midwives to her and to each other. Delivery may well be prolonged and painful, but the Age of Aquarius will emerge come what may, and its’ characteristics will be imprinted upon every survivor of this labour ward.

A priestess of the Aquarian Age must be a beacon, one who stands in the light to guide those who are struggling to find a new way. Fuelled by Divine fire, rooted in spirituality, she must stand sentinel. Her temple may be the world as a whole. It may remain on the astral planes. It may be situated in her own home. Wherever she is she will carry an element of it with her, tied as she is to the Goddess.

Aquarius dawns and the Goddess re-awakens, stirring the earth as she stretches and yawns, and her priestesses arise with her, responding to the ancient summons. There is so much to be done, to be reclaimed and recovered – healing and planting, cleansing and nourishing; whilst womankind has slept in the shade, life has become distorted, and we now face devastation on every level. By re-acknowledging the Divine Feminine Principle, by seeing Divinity in both sexes, by uniting Creator and Creatrix, this world can gain ascension. The feminine current runs deep. It is subtle but powerful, enduring and comforting. Far from being lesser, it is greater, far from being expendable, it is vital, far from being trivial, it is profound.

As the Goddess returns let us strew Her way with flowers, let there be music, deep inner knowing and spiritual unity above and below; may Her priestesses serve, and in serving may they remember ageless promises and universal visions. May we honour our pledge to the Great Mother and return Her to Her former glory.

So Mote It Be.

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