Being a High Priestess of the Craft is not as easy as many think it is, you want a title then you have to be willing to take with it the good and bad, the easy and the hard, a High Priestess is a Priestess to the gods and their work. Yet, sometimes people get in the way and cloud our decisions, and we have to look to the gods for a greater guidance and wisdom to do what is right. Will it always be what others want? No.
I learned many years ago the hardest thing a Priestess or a High Priestess has to do is say no, it may go against what others think should be but you as a High Priestess are held to a higher standard, it is not that of a double standard, you are the one who goes out to do for your community, advice those who seek spiritual guidance, presided over sacred rituals, communicate with the spirits, gods and those beings in the realms of the unseen. We are the ones who are sought out when others say no they cannot help. Having a title does not mean anything unless you prove you have truly earned it and that comes from the gods not man, man in many traditions of Wicca and many of the Pagan traditions do perform this rite as specific times of training and knowledge, growth and understanding; yet it is up to you to be validated by the gods for your works and deeds as a High Priestess.
When I first became a High Priestess and had my final initiation I had sought counsel on the timing of the rite, I felt it was too soon following my previous elevation (under at that time a specific tradition in Wicca), yet I was told by a very wise woman that she would not perform such a rite until at least three years following this was to allow the spirit to find a balance in the previous elevation and that it could cause greater damage then good. In the end I had been initiated to a High Priestess. This proved to be exactly what my counsel had advised me would happen, it was the most challenging and difficult time of my life. It came with many problems I had to face and overcome, I ultimately had to endure having my name boar to false witness by others and many accusations were made against me that later proved untrue. Hence, I was not aware of any of them until six months to a year later. In the end it was cleared up and I left the tradition to go on my own and find the truth of the Old Religion.
When we seek out advice we must be willing to listen with an open heart and open ears, the truth is not always easy it is sometimes the hardest thing we have to hear.
Being a High Priestess to the gods and their work is not something that anyone can do, or that just anyone is called to do it comes with a price. In the ancient times to be a Priestess or High Priestess of a specific cult was all part of your work, being a Priestess of both Apollo and Diana was to be a virgin and with Diana to break this vow and found out was punishable by death. Apollo also have virgin Priestesses tending to his Temple/s. This was how they kept their power. A High Priestess in ancient times was a solitary life without anyone around you other than those you served with in the temples. The Vestal Virgins were chosen at a young age to serve in the Temple for thirty years and during that time they had to remain pure, if they were found to have broken that vow, it was too punishable by death and they would be placed in a dark hole with only bread and water and left to die in darkness. Yet, this is not today, but it is still a path in which comes with many challenges.
We look at those who are of the Craft today and it does sadden me to see so many mislead, undertrained, misrepresenting the truth and using the Craft for their own self gain and instead of helping the community or those who are with them in either a coven, grove, or temple. I see many today who abuse the Craft in order to push, control and make their will the will of those who are under them or part of their group as we slave keepers, enforcers of another’s will and so on? No!!! In being the head of a Coven, Grove, Temple or any type of organisation in which you have members everyone should be treated equally there is not one person who is over the other and each should treat another with equal respect and love, not judge, gossip or turn one against another, if you have issue you deal it yourself you do not bring it into the fold of the others. It is no others issue but your own. A High Priestess must also be willing to take the truth as well as know when she is wrong in her actions and one who is true to herself, the gods and the position in which is held will be one who accepts this and fixes any wrongs in which have been made, this is one of the hardest things to do for you have to look at yourself in the mirror and see your own reflection. You always have to be true to yourself “First”, others may have an opinion or comments but if it does not feel right to you, do not do it.
Within the Temple of Diana which I founded back in 2004 April 21st the one thing I have always brought focus on is the equal respect of all our members and when one is being attacked we defended them and stand up for our brothers and sisters. We have a Code in which we follow and it is one in which as the High Priestess I hold everyone of our members too and if any of them do harm to another it is dealt with immediately, I do not accept anyone pushing another or making decisions that can harm another where there is not justification. When this happens as a High Priestess this is where many challenges arise being willing to stand up no matter what the cost. Honour the Gods, Serve and Work with the Gods and Honour yourself, your body, spirit and mind as you would the Temple of the Gods.
This and much more is what is challenging about being a High Priestess in the Old Religion.
My Blessings to you all in this Spring, make room to love and be true to yourself, for you truly only answer to yourself and your reflection is the one that looks back at you, not any other. Let your heart guide you to truth and listen for the truth is always in your heart.
Ariana, HPs and Reverend
Temple of Diana, Inc.