This is story about reclaiming, rising up and returning to the fold as a modern priestess.
One year ago I began the Sage Priestess Training Program with Vanessa Sage and began pondering the question: "What does it mean to be a Priestess?" Here is an early reflection I wrote after the program began.
Social Media is not our Savior
I find that when I'm nervous and anxious or unsure about something I research excessively and seek outside myself for the answers. I'm learning again and again that the internet cannot solve all my problems and the answers live inside me and my council is through my connection to Spirit and my guides. I had read something on Facebook about tuning inward to listen for guidance rather than using social media or the internet to search for it. That is the method I used, and am still using to answer this question, and create a sense of safety in my body to explore and excavate.
Priestessing is an ancient practice
I'm an artist and visual thinker by nature. I think in pictures. I see images in my head, sometimes like scenes from a movie. This is how I receive most of my intuitive information when I connect with my personal guides and while doing readings and mediumship work for others. When I tuned inward and asked myself what being a priestess meant to me, I was immediately transported to memories of a past life where I saw myself as a water priestess and temple keeper at place that looked very much like Tulum (a Mayan sacred site) although I have never visited in this incarnation.
Water was my purpose
I saw myself as a young woman, white dress, long straight black hair, sneaking down behind one of the temple structures each morning to commune privately with the ocean. A simple ritual, perhaps a brief moment of solitude, amidst my duties as a priestess. My connection with the ocean, sending my prayers and intentions with the ebb and flow and holding the highest healing vibration in devotion to this water was my purpose. To anchor in gratitude, humility and devotion. To hold a piece of this magic. To us (whomever that was at the time) the ocean was a way to communicate with God. A living, breathing, evolving sacred connection with Great Spirit.
I believe my name was Ix-chel, or at least one of my names. Perhaps as a temple priestess I represented the archetype of this Mayan goddess and we all shared this name.
Healing through visibility
This past life memory as a priestess is a good one that feels safe. There are many that come after this that are terrifying, painful and bloody. My resistance to diving into those memories is about wanting to feel safe and hidden because visibility has meant crucifixion, death, terror, and genocide.
I have been for most of my life very uncomfortable with being referred to as goddess or claiming the title of priestess. I am now comfortable with both, and it feels right. I am finding my voice and learning to stand in my power as a woman. The divine feminine in me, as well as globally, is rising. I am healing my sister wound, mother wound and inner child wound.
Rise up feminist witch
I am just beginning to dig into my ancestral history of native colonization and genocide, as well as my history of oppression and genocide as a witch, healer and wise woman. I always considered feminist a dirty word, an insult to be labeled as such. Now I can see how as a woman I had become my own oppressor. This is such a malevolent and brilliantly effective method of suppressing women's power, it boggles my mind. I have, we have, internalized the voice of the patriarchy and kept ourselves small, quiet and non-threatening. I'm still sitting with this realization, processing what comes up for me which is a lot of rage.
Sometimes anger is the appropriate response
I have trained myself to dislike rage, to find it unladylike and distasteful, and again this is an example of maintaining the patriarchal rule and giving my own power away freely. It is sometimes exactly the appropriate response to be angry and full of rage. It's clear to me that this is energy I need to move out of my body. It's energy I carry for myself and my ancestors. It feels good to have the opportunity to heal that wound on my behalf and theirs.
This healing work, honoring my heritage and moving grief and rage through and out of my body is the first thing that came up for me as I set foot on the priestess path.
Return, Return, Return
I know that as a priestess I am meant to teach and circle with women, lead ceremonies, facilitate art and magic workshops and create safe sacred containers for others to wake up to their own personal magic. I seem to have a specific gift with helping people move pain energy out of their bodies, channeling it through mine and grounding it back into the earth. I am safe, we are safe, is the mantra I'm working with. I am safe to be visible, I am safe to reclaim my magic and power. It is safe for me to share my gifts with others and allow myself to receive healing from them. I have isolated my entire life to keep myself safe, holding myself separate. Being on the priestess path is about reclamation and reconnection, I am returning to the fold. Actually, the one word that sums up my entire experiences with the program so far is RETURN. My guides keep repeating this over and over again. Return, come back to yourself, come home to your body, heal yourself and then each other. We, as healers, are co-creatively holding space for one another to heal.
Everything becomes magic
For now, I am focused on being present in my body and with my children. My intention is to focus on simple daily ritual acts, to weave the sacred into my every breath so that everything becomes magic.
Below is a spread that I pulled before typing this reflection. I particularly like the sequence I'm reading as "At ease natural Witch." There are also messages from the Gaian Tarot reminding me to release my self-bondage and that all is well, it is safe to be powerful. I am held by Gaia.
Here are the mantras to accompany the three cards from the Gaian Tarot: