This is the time of year when Goddess Temples take on their new students to train as Priestesses or Priests of the Goddess. This year, our East Anglia Goddess Temple has had a record number of applicants, and this can only mean one thing – the word of the Goddess is spreading!
I see new training programmes springing up all over the world, more and more people are becoming interested in The Goddess and the enrichment She brings to people’s lives.
So, what does it mean to train as a Priestess?
Well, I can tell you a couple of things it is not. It is not all trendy Insta photos looking mysterious in cloaks and waving around oracle cards or wands (I actually wear YogaLeggs). It is also not a religion. There is no Holy Book, no ‘thou shalt nots’, no shame, no guilt, no hierarchy and certainly no pompous red tape or governing bodies. Sound freeing?
We champion the sacred feminine – creation, intuition, nurturing, surrendering, community, sensuality, beauty, love, fertility, flow of life. This is not designed to do down the sacred masculine, only to rebalance the two within us in a divine union.
When you connect with the Goddess, you walk in the footsteps of your ancestors as far back as 30,000 years ago (Goddess figures have been excavated as old as this – She is nothing new!). The Priestess journey is one of self-growth and healing. A journey where you really come to know yourself – the light and the shadow.
As the wheel of the year turns with the seasons, you connect with a series of Goddesses over three years, (or spirals as we call them), coming to realise that you are a fertile space from which all life can grow, and that aspects of each Goddess have something to teach you and are, in fact, within you.
Priestesses learn via experiencing, we go between worlds to gain wisdom and healing, to remove emotional blocks and to solve problems. We connect with Goddess in all of her aspects, Maiden, Mother, Crone. It is in the silence that our training teaches us to stop, to listen, to still the busyness and the faff. We learn to really surrender, let go and remain in the peace, as we know this is the time Goddess will speak, Her wisdom will flood in and the magic and the mystery begins.
The training, the experiential process, is life-changing. On completion, you not only possess a set of wonderful new skills, but your whole perspective on life is changed. There is also support throughout from a powerful and compassionate sisterhood of other Priestesses. Connected by Goddess they are always there for you, never judging, never letting you down.
Three years sounds a long time, right? The same time as getting a degree. Well, nothing lasting and precious ever came in a weekend. Nobody is obliged to do all three years (spirals) not everyone has to be a Priestess, just to have a year connecting with the Goddess is transformational, and the door is always open to come back years later to experience further spirals.
One of the most precious things my training gave to me was the sacred feminine archetypes that were stolen from my childhood. Mary Magdalene’s power was stripped by the toxic masculine and she was labelled a whore, Mother Mary too represented as obedient and inoffensive. I was bereft of powerful and sacred feminine role models and I never even realised it until they were restored to me as a trainee Priestess. The Hunter Diana, the water Goddess Nehelania, The Dark Grandmother Cerridwen, The Silver Fate-Weaver Arianrhod, The Warrior Nike, The Sensual Aphrodite. Who wouldn’t want the Goddess of the Iceni Tribe Andraste in their corner?! Or the Cailleach to guide you home?
After 1000’s of years of patriarchy, heavily edited holy documents, lies and judgment, we look to Goddess as the future, just as She was our past. We lost our way, but now we are coming home to a New Age of the Sacred Feminine.