I’m a bit late with this post (over two months late), as my year-and-a-day of priestesshood was back in the beginning of January, but I still wanted to write something to commemorate the occasion. I can’t believe it has been over a year since I took my oath to Aphrodite. It’s been a wild and wonderful ride, and I’ve learned some important lessons along the way. Here are some of my reflections on my first year as a priestess:
If you’ve been wandering down the Pagan path for very long, you’ve likely heard the terms “grounding,” “cleansing,” and “shielding” on more than one occasion. These practices are recognized as important across many traditions, but frequently the explanation as to exactly why they are important gets lost. Grounding, cleansing, and shielding are found in many beginning books on Paganism and magick, but it wasn’t until I really started doing ritual and magick regularly that I understood their importance.
Where and How we worship as modern Pagans is as unique as each individual, yet these questions share common elements no matter your practice or tradition. This is Where and How I worship Aphrodite.
Self-compassion can be a challenge - particularly in a world where we are flooded with media constantly telling us that we aren't enough. We aren't beautiful or handsome enough. We aren't skilled enough. We aren't fit enough. We aren't rich enough. We aren't good enough to have a partner. Or we aren't a good enough partner for someone else. Let me tell you something. It's not a secret, though in our culture it is guarded like one - only spoken in hushed tones between the closest of friends. YOU ARE ENOUGH.
Let me be clear: The type of surrender I am talking about is not the surrender of defeat (though it sometimes may feel like it). It is not giving up. It is not ceding victory. It is not yielding to the authority of others. It is not relinquishing your power. It is not sacrificing your values or morals. It is not martyrdom. The Divine Surrender I speak of is a surrender to bliss. It’s yielding to the natural flow of the universe. It’s a forfeit of the ego. It is a loss of inhibitions. It’s letting go of the edge of the pool to see how deep you can swim. It is faith in the Gods. And, first and foremost, it is trust in yourself.
The decision to “come out of the broom closet” (modern parlance for going public with your Paganism) is a highly personal one. Wherever you are in your Pagan journey, public or not, I encourage you to take a look at how your share your Paganism with others. Whatever your choice, the decision to stay in or come out of the broom closet should be a conscious one - not just a default based in fear.
How do we stay in touch with our spirituality in a world that doesn’t value dedicated time for spiritual practice? Here are some tips for maintaining your Pagan practice, even when you are busy!
Sometimes all you need before going into Circle is a quick smudge with some palo santo or sage, and you’re good to go. Other times, a more thorough cleansing is in order. Whenever I need some heavy-duty cleansing, I like to call on the four elements (and Deity) to perform a comprehensive purification.
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:
There is no definitive text for modern Pagan worship. While this is a wonderful and liberating thing, it can also leave practitioners at a loss for what to do next, how to go deeper into Pagan practice, or how to incorporate your spirituality into your everyday life. Here are some suggestions for how to make your average day just a bit more magickal: