I am a reluctant Priestess.
In 1996 I had a dramatic and life changing experience – that lasted around 6 weeks in total – where I nearly lost it. Lost the gift of life itself.
At that time it was Chokhma or she who is otherwise known as Sofia – the GDDSS of wisdom who led me out of the labyrinth of fire, death and decay telling me in firm resonant words – you are my priestess, walk in grace and serve me through beauty, light, music and Love.
In the end though I dedicated myself not just to her, but also to Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, as it was she who called louder, asking me to love women, reclaim my birthrite and heritage as a messenger and gatekeeper of erotic Love between women. And this is what I did. Learnt painstakingly and painfully how be a priestess through worshipping goddess not as an effigy or an icon, but as an embodied practice through loving women, not just reclaiming the erotic aspect of that but the learning of a deep embodied compassion for the humanity of myself and my sisters/mothers/grandmothers.
I did not want to wear a Priestess garb as an identity. I wanted to slip through the borders unnoticed, do the work and slip back again. I did not want to elevate myself above others, or recreate tropes of power and hierarchy associated with masculinist religions. Others invested in me power and authority as it was, without me becoming a priestess figurehead. Yet I was still a priestess, seeing the unseen magic all around me that could be shaped and woven by conscious intent and living in harmony with nature.
Eleven years ago in my thirties I had a diagnosis of breast cancer that was already in my lymph nodes. I chose to treat myself with the help of an amazing kinisiologist and much unseen assistance. After 5 years I weakened and agreed to have radiotherapy. The after affects of which cost me dear – emotionally physically and spiritually, and made my work harder. I also lost faith in myself and my body, a loss of faith that I wore like a leaden grey mantle over my rainbow song.
It is hard, when you have had a dramatic spiritual rebirth in your life, a major initiation that led you to dedicate your life to the wonder of serving Goddess in all her forms, when you have spent a good few years learning how to honour and respect yourself and other women in sacredness, to lose that. It has been a long and arduous journey to reweave my sacred self back into my body, seemingly thread by thread witnessed only by a couple of indigo soul friends.
I couldn’t save my breast and have had to re-imagine how I celebrate EROS as an embodied practice. My temple has been damaged but like the sacred Temples of old the spirit is still there and stronger and my practice has deepened. Nothing is ever lost. And as I re-ignite through remembrance and rejection and gratitude to all those whose paths have crossed mine in whatever way, and as I serve Her in my way with my teaching and healing work, and resonate in strength and health I know without a doubt –
I am priestess and I am BACK ∇
With gratitude to Hrana Janto for the beautiful image of Nu Kua that I used above, and the lovely image of Sofia from the book Sofia – A New Guide to Feminine Wisdom by River Huston and Patricia Languedoc. The Caduceus is from Doreen Virtue’s symbol of Raphael.