As I mentioned in my last post of Priestess in a Pandemic, Isis came into my life this past year. Her arrival was unexpected but welcome. She showed up when there was need, though I wouldn’t have been able to articulate it then. Our relationship has been transformational and healing.
Like I said in my previous post - Even though 2020 and 2021 have been profoundly awful, it hasn’t been all bad! This is a continuation of my lessons learned, thoughts, and general musings about being a Priestess in a Pandemic.
Beltane is my favorite holiday. Despite my love for all things related to this season, I found it very difficult to write the ritual that I performed online this morning for my Pagan group. It seems like an odd, almost inappropriate, time to be celebrating, given all that is going on the world. Our lives seem very far from the spirit of Beltane this year. Yet, this is why it is more important than ever to honor Beltane.
“Worship” is a really charged word for a lot of Pagans, and rightfully so. A lot of us are converts who came from religions where worship was a requirement, and was more about debasing yourself instead of celebrating the Divine. I worship Aphrodite because I adore Her, because I want to feel and be all of the beautiful things She represents in my life, because She is worthy of honor and respect, and because the act of worship brings me that much closer to Her.
I (somewhat) recently returned from the Mystic South Conference (July 19th-21st), and I had a blast! It was so much fun meeting other Pagans, attending workshops, and generally being in a spiritual space. Here were my biggest takeaways from Mystic South 2019:
When I quit caring about formal ritual, it allowed me to see more clearly the purpose of ritual: to connect deeply with the Divine. This completely transformed my personal practice. I rarely go through a full “ritual” with formal invocations for the elements and the Divine when I practice alone. My private devotions are much more conversational - and thus more strongly integrated into my day-to-day life. I believe this helps me to maintain a more powerful connection with Deity.
What do you do when books aren't enough? When you begin to experience things that no one has written about? What if your personal experience of a deity doesn't match the lore? Here are some suggestions for how to navigate your experiences.
What does it mean to be a priestess? I thought about this question for a long, long time before I took my official oath as a priestess of Aphrodite. I knew that being a priestess in a public Pagan community was not a responsibility to take on lightly, and I wanted to make sure I knew what I was committing to before I took that plunge. It is a holy office, and the mantle of priestesshood, while joyous and ecstatic, can be heavy at times and comes with a sacred duty to both your deity and your community.
I’ve found that spiritual growth is rarely a linear progression. There are times when it is slow and steady, and times of plateau where not much happens at all. Then, there are times when it’s a trial by fire. Right now is one of those times for me.
This is Part Two in a series of posts on how I came to Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love. Here, I chronicle my journey to the modern Pagan worship of Aphrodite and how I became Her priestess.