Saturday, December 18, 2010

Honoring The Priestess: A Story of Overcoming Resistance

"One of the favorite archetypes found in the 78 cards of a Tarot deck is the High Priestess, Key #2 of the Major Arcana. She represents spiritual awakening and development of the universal intuitive mind. Awesome and mysterious, the High Priestess sits before a veil that drapes the entrance to a temple. The temple symbolizes the higher knowledge, spiritual knowledge, the sacred truths (both personally and cosmically), or the Holy Grail that we all seek. This temple holds both sacred, universal secrets as well as the guidance required to unravel our own personal issues. Behind her is the veil between this world and the “other” world – the veil that separates that which we know from that which we long to know. She is the guardian of the occult, of hidden knowledge; the scroll that she holds represents arcane teachings – lessons that those on a spiritual path must learn. She emphasizes the essential role of the unconscious mind as a source of those sacred teachings that direct the soul’s evolution and growth."

As mentioned in previous posts, I initiated myself as a Priestess to the Divine when I was 23 years old, in the Wiccan tradition. I felt called. I have felt called to Divine Service for as long as I can remember. But I have been resisting it just as long. Tomorrow I finally live up to that promise I made 14 years ago by facilitating what I hope is the first of many spiritual gatherings and rituals in my home.

"Despite the somewhat glorious title of "spiritual superheroine" - being a redvolutionary isn't about being invincible or perfect or being "spiritual" or "enlightened" - it's about being yourself - the full messy, raw, dirty, funky, authentic lovely human self. A woman willing to be this transparent and vulnerable, a woman willing to reveal her true self in this world no madda what - is revolutionary, rare, daring, a superpowered strength - and I think it's one of the main reasons we're here." Sera Beak

Mine has been a long process of ordination -- nearly 15 years before I've finally accepted the mantle of spiritual leadership of some kind. Ordination is the sixth Sacrament in Christianity, the commitment of one's gifts to Divine Service. I have sought ordination in various ways over the years, but never taken the inner and outer transformation required to completion. I've been unwilling to surrender completely and I've let my ego have it's fun. I've been afraid. I've used single motherhood and the need to provide for my children as an excuse for not pursuing the work of my heart. I've given only a fraction of my life to projects of sacred activism. I've stayed on the path just enough to justify myself -- I am growing and evolving, I am becoming more conscious, I am making progress. Yet all along I've been dissatisfied, because I know I'm not living in integrity with what I know about myself. I am not living in the fullness of my Divine spark.

My truth is that I am so completely in love with God and so committed to the awakening of all beings that my life cannot be joyful without complete surrender to Divine Service and Sacred Activism. To be in integrity with who I am, I must admit to myself and everyone else that I feel called to a spiritual life. It's been scary to use the word Priestess. It feels powerful and presumptuous. I have been afraid to claim my power, afraid of the responsibility it requires and afraid of how others will perceive me if I presume to call myself what I am.

“Power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose. It is the strength required to bring about social, political and economic change...What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” -MLK

Redvolutionary, Priestess, Shaman, Hierophant, Bodhisattva - all of these have called to me over the years and the implication is the same. I am driven to contribute to the awakening of the human race. I am destined to be a bridge builder between the sacred and the mundane. By my very nature I bring consciousness and healing into all of my relationships and every day life. I facilitate community experiences that encourage consciousness raising, sacred intent and transformation/evolution. I bring knowledge and wisdom from spiritual traditions to the people in my life. I use my intuition to deliver messages from the Universe to the people in my life. In many ways I am already living the archetype of the Priestess in not-so-subtle, yet un-named ways.

I realize that I haven't given myself enough credit for how the spiritual is woven into my life so completely. I am incredibly hard on myself about not being evolved/enlightened/spiritual enough, as if I have failed. Yet when I look at what I say and what I write, what I share with others, it is filled with spiritual ideas and language. When I look at how I've led the Impropriety Society from a place of love and inclusiveness, I recognize that my work is imbued with spiritual love and compassion. When I consider all the reasons I do community service, I honor that I am already living the vow of the Bodhisattva. While I am imperfect on a daily basis, I do strive to live with as much consciousness and sacred awareness as I'm capable at this point in my evolution.

While I may have been resisting obvious spiritual leadership, I have been living a spiritual life and having an impact on the lives around me. And while maybe I could have stopped resisting my full commitment to ordination sooner, maybe everything has unfolded exactly as it is meant to for the greatest potential for Love and Awakening for myself and every life that I am honored to touch. Perhaps this is where faith matters most, believing in myself and the imperfect perfection of my own journey.

On my birthday last July, I drew an archetype card for the coming year. Maybe it was always destined that my 37th year would be my year of ordination:

The Monk/Nun: The positive aspects of this archetype are: spiritual intensity, devotion, dedication, persistence, and perhaps wisdom. ...the Monk archetype may show up in the ability to be single-minded, assiduous, devoted to a spiritual path or to any great achievement that requires intense focus. In this sense, novelists and entrepreneurs can carry the Monk as readily as spiritual adepts."

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