There are so many paths that you can walk when you practice paganism. I could write entire books just outlining all the paths you can take when you practice paganism. Finding the path that is right for you is just as hard as finding a career that you love. Sometimes, you can line up your pagan path so that it walks in tandem with your career path but most of the time, your pagan path is a private one.
I have chosen to walk the path of a Priestess. This is heavy title in the pagan community, particularly with its association with the High Priestess title in Wicca. It implies leadership in the community and it comes with responsibility, not only to other pagans but to your chosen path. My coven has a ranking system but we don’t have any hierarchy systems. We use levels of engagement to earn our three ranks: Seedling (beginner), Sapling (intermediate), and Tree (advanced). I currently have the rank of Tree as I am in my third year as a founder of the Coven.
I am a follower of the Wheel of the Year which encoupasses both Norse and Celtic practices. I have basically turned my home into a covenstead because I not only have the room to do so but also the time to devote to practice. There are lots of ways people can lead their communities. I have chosen to do so via this blog and in person with my coven.
Finding training in a clergy/mystic path is difficult for pretty much everyone who wants to deepen their pagan spiritual practice. Giving how few trained mystics there are in the world, it’s almost impossible to get one-on-one training. Even the distance education and online courses that are offered do not make up for that master-student relationship. I have attempted these paths a few times and I was not met with much success.
I have walked a solitary path for years and pretty much the majority of my education has been self-training. I was my own teacher and my own guide. It was my training to become a yoga teacher that taught me that I can be my own best teacher. I can gain guidance from others but at the end of the day, I am the one who has to do the work, make the connections, and come to my own conclusions. I have to have be the one to come to my own “ah ha!” moments of realization.
The path of the mystic in any religious tradition is not looked well upon by the eyes of science. In a society were seeing is believing, many things that they mystic sees and experiences cannot be quantified by traditional science. Most mystics run the risk of being called out as Charlatans and quacks for their non-scientific views and practices. I keep many of my own experiences to myself so that I can avoid uncomfortable conversations with people who just don’t get it. You cannot teach a mind that is already full of its own ideas. If someone is to come to the realization that our world is more complex than science can offer at this time, then they will come to spiritual mysticism on their own.
As part of my offering as a pagan Priestess, I will be posting a Foundations of Pagan Practice series on this site for both new pagans and older pagans looking to deepen their own practice by going off the beaten path. It has been my goal since starting this blog back in May to create this series.
As part of my own growth as a pagan, I will continue to share things that I learned and insights that I have gained through my own practice. I will continue to question what it means to be a Priestess and explore other paths.