While surfing on Pinterest I saw a definition of priestess and realized that I am truly one, along with some amazing ladies I know. It is what I have been attempting to do ever since I began teaching dreamwork and meditation years ago. Here is the definition:
A priestess is a woman who helps others connect to the divine so that they can heal and/or actualize their soul’s path.
I have found it interesting that women priests in the Episcopal Church are called priests and not priestess. Perhaps the term resonates with witchcraft, and the wild things beyond the control of civilized constructs such as organized religion. For sure, the term is connected to what the Hawaiians would call mana, or power. Such power, no matter if it is a force of nature, or a force of our own souls or the force of a divine power, is indeed outside the control of humans. Yet, this energy is what drives real spiritual enlightenment, healing, growth and conversion. It is what religion is truly all about. In resurrecting the term priestess, we can perhaps also bring back, or let back in again, the sacred life-giving energy that is needed to rejuvenate a person or a congregation.
I think all great priests, men or women, truly act out their calling when they serve this sacred function of connecting people to the divine, especially in a highly personal way such as attending to the needs of a dying person, doing spiritual direction, or healing a community conflict in such a way that it brings out the best in everyone. However, nowadays, sadly, emphasis is usually put elsewhere so that people are first more readily to identify priests as the performers of rituals and homilies that may or may not inspire and functionaries of religious organizations, not much different from a corporate CEO. No wonder people, so many people, have a hard time finding life in a church!
All people hunger for an experience of the sacred. Perhaps it will take priestesses to do the job, if the priests (male and female) don’t measure up to the job. If this is the case, organized religion perhaps can expect to see a decline in attendance.