The Whisper of the Priestess Path.
I remember when I first felt the calling to walk the Priestess path.
I was about 12 years old. I had just discovered Wicca, and was eagerly devouring everything my local chain bookstore had on the subject, when I came across the word Priestess.
To be fair, I didn’t really know what it meant, but it captured my imagination.
Priestess. Yes, that’s it. That’s what I want to be.
I had fantasies of running a coven, of organizing events, of taking my group out under the stars to dance and pray to the moon.
Over the next decade or so, I fell deeper and deeper into the devotional aspects of paganism. I loved it whenever witch books would talk about moon rituals, daily practice, and honoring the Goddess. I ended up researching and falling in love with Goddess spirituality.
And always, the call of the Priestess path was strong, although a lot of the time, I still didn’t really know what it meant to be a priestess, or why I, the artsy atheist kid with zero religious upbringing, felt this call so strongly. Did it mean I had to join and run a coven? How could I become a priestess without one? What does a priestess do other than moon rituals?
And by that time, other thoughts had started creeping in, other sneaky, seductive thoughts like:
You know, I’m not sure I deserve to be a priestess.
I’m not devoted/calm/good enough for this.
Who am I to claim the title Priestess?
You know, when you are a kid, you don’t have any doubts about anything and you only see possibilities, not problems? You imagine you’re going to be a vet and an astronaut, and spend half your time in space and half your time on a farm looking after horses — perfectly reasonable.
Then you grow up a bit, and suddenly the things you want most of all are the things you doubt the most. Your closest held dreams and desires are the ones most poisoned by doubt and fear, because they mean so damn much to you — how could you possibly measure up to them?
Stupid grown-up brain and its stupid self-sabotaging ideas.
Anyway, my dream back then was to complete a Priestess training, the only formal Priestess training in the world I knew about, in Glastonbury, Avalon. I honestly thought I would never be brave enough to summon up the courage to apply, because to apply was to say to the Universe, “Yes. I claim this. This is who I am. This is who I want to be.”
And that was a huge deal. Who was I to claim it? What would people think?
In an unprecedented surge of outrageous courage, I applied, started the course, and became a Sister of Avalon.
Doing the training, I finally felt like my dream was within reach and, strangely, I got the feeling that this was something I actually could be. Like this was something that came so naturally to me. Like this was something I had been training to be my whole life, without realizing it.
As if everything I had done up to this point — the event-organizing, the public speaking, the art school bit, the performance training, the dance education — I had really been training to be a priestess all along.
It blew my tiny mind.
And even though I didn’t complete the further courses, my own personalized Priestess training came thick and fast from the Universe.
See, I think that once you start on the journey to walk the Priestess path, and declare that desire to the Universe — once you have categorically decided that’s what you are gonna do — the Goddess gives you the exact lessons you need, no matter what. And, fair warning: they probably won’t be what you expected them to be!
I expected to happily stay in that Priestess training format and tradition forevermore, and that was that.
Goddess, however, had other ideas.
She took me on a profound journey of listening to my anger and expressing my truth, of challenging me to really get to know my feelings and take myself seriously. I had a lot of shadow-confronting to do, as I had spent a lot of my life as a Good Girl who didn’t let herself feel or express things that might bother or upset other people. That shadow work was hard and painful and sucky, but it had to be done.
Goddess challenged me to stand up in the world and be counted as Hers, to be braver than I ever have been before.
She taught me how to really listen to my own inspiration, my own gnosis, my own heart.
She guided me to nourishing teachers and courses that took me deeper and deeper into what it meant to be a priestess.
I remember being really explicitly encouraged by my guiding goddess Morgan to look deeper into the things that really spoke to me — into mermaids and magic and devotion and dance and Avalon — and to be bold and share my love of Goddess and mermaids with the world through my blog.
She took me on a long, slow journey (I am a stubborn student!) of guiding my spiritual life and my work life towards sacred marriage. It’s still a marriage in progress. They are in premarital counseling while they try to get on the same page. But you get the idea.
And all the while, I knew I was meant to be Her Priestess. Sometimes I doubted it, and often I thought, “Who am I to claim this? Surely there are better people than me in the world for this job?”
But I mostly trusted that if this is what I felt so strongly I had to do, then there must be a reason. There must be something I can do that She needs, that brings something needed to this world, otherwise I wouldn’t have this calling.
Every now and again, when I feel full of doubt and thinking, why I didn’t want to do something simple with my life, like be an accountant instead of this massive and difficult spiritual epic effort, I remember that the Goddess needs all different kinds of Priestesses working for her in the world.
She needs Priestesses with the balls (or should I say ovaries?) to organize retreats and events for women to connect with Her. She needs Priestesses who are working to help women unleash their confidence and sexuality in dance class.
She needs Priestesses who can write sacred songs in Her name, Priestesses who help heal the suffering of the world through charity work or being doctors, and Priestesses who champion animal rights.
She needs Priestesses who know how to work with herbs, Priestesses who uplift those around them, Priestesses who bring beauty into the world, Priestesses who love fiercely and care deeply about the people in their lives.
I think two things I keep relearning over and over again in my Priestess training journey so far is:
* You are never done training to be a priestess. There is always more to learn, more to embody, deeper to go. It’s not like you are initiated and that is it. No, the real work begins after you are initiated: you are challenged to step up and be bigger than you ever have been before.
* There is never only one way to be a Priestess, because being a Priestess is all about opening up to who you are on the fullest, most authentic, most real level. It’s all about coming home to yourself and to Divinity at the same time, because they are kind of the same thing. Goddess spirituality is awesome like that.
I think if you have felt the calling to walk the Priestess path, you know. You know somewhere deep down — sometimes it’s so deep down you have buried it with fear and anxiety to try and keep you from touching or stirring it.
When you hear the world Priestess, when you read about Priestesses, when you watch the Mists of Avalon or the Red Tent, something inside of you tries to leap towards it in excitement. It’s like you have an inner compass that always brings you back to this archetype of Priestess, no matter what other course you try to set it on — it’s like your antennae are just programmed to respond to priestess-y things.
You can travel around and try other stuff, but you are always drawn back to this true north. It’s a constant passion, a consistent interest, a desire you never grow out of.
I mean, it doesn’t mean you know how to get there. Or even that you feel like you are the kind of person who should go on that journey (“Who, me?”), but you know it’s the direction you want to go, and no matter how much you try to talk yourself out of it, the compass still points north.
To the Goddess.
To the Divine Feminine.
To sovereignty, strength, inner knowing, deep connection with all that is.
To serving women around the world.
Have you felt the calling of the Priestess Path?
Demelza Hillier is a priestess, an artist, a dancer, a performer, and an ecstatic lover of peanut butter. She lives and breathes mermaid spirituality, and creates fabulous mermaid e-courses and freebies to help people unleash and play with their wild inner mermaid. In her world, bubble baths are an absolute necessity, fine lingerie is a mandate from Venus, and sexy trashy vampire TV is to be enjoyed indulgently. Additionally, she loves playing the ukulele, expensive breakfast cereal, all the animals, and… Gary Oldman as Dracula. Shh. You can learn more about her work and get more mermaid freebies at her website, pop on over and say Hi on Facebook, or join her online mermaid coven.