Third Wave Witch: Feminist Spirituality, Spiritual Feminism

Third Wave Witchcraft explores the intersection of feminism, Witchcraft, Goddess Spirituality, and feminist activism. A place to explore how to make our spirituality more feminist, our feminism more spiritual, and our world more just.

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A Priestess Year

One of the four magickal goals of a Witch is "to be silent." I've been feeling my silence on these pages over the last few months especially, as my own inner monologue has turned up and as I've been increasingly called to both give voice and hold silence in my day to day and spiritual lives. When I chose the word "Priestess" as my power word for 2016, I don't think I fully realized what that would do -- the things it would shift, the ways it would test me so early, the ways in which I would need to grow and stretch all while holding space for others to do the same. 

In many ways 2015 was the beginning of my Priestess year. I actually chose the word "Emerge" as my power word for last year, and even now I am realizing the ways in which I both emerged and am still emerging. The past 8 years for me had been something of an Underworld journey, as I navigated the exit from an abusive marriage, an acrimonious divorce, living on my own as an adult woman for the first time, a increasingly difficult and toxic academic job market, and all the change and growth and pain that comes when you essentially shake the Etch-a-Sketch of your life and start anew. It's also found me sailing the uncharted and exhilarating waters of new and healthy love, a career change, deepening spirituality, and stepping into a calling I've resisted for the better part of my adult life.

That's how I came to adopt "Priestess" as my power word, though perhaps I should say that it chose me. As I pondered power words for the year, the terms that came to mind were "create," "community," "grow," "Goddess." "Community" was the most persistent, had the most resonance. And so when I attended my New Year's Day NIA class - something of a tradition for me -- and we were asked to open ourselves to our power word for 2016, I full expected "community" to come flooding through with full, certain force.

Imagine my surprise when "Priestess" came in during the first dance, and would not be denied. For the next hour, as I moved my body and my spirit, it was "Priestess." And so, when it came time to share our power words in circle at the end of class, "Priestess" is the word I claimed.

I am still stepping into my Priestess year. As a solitary feminist Witch, I've never had much use for initiations and titles on my path. I reject hierarchy and have spent my entire adult life becoming my own clergy and my own spiritual authority. And now I find myself stepping into the role of Priestess not just for myself but for my community -- a community of women like me, who have rejected formal hierarchies on their Goddess journeys. I find myself called to do Priestess work -- and in so doing, I increasingly realize that "Priestess" is a verb as well as a noun.

I feel as though my time to be silent has passed, and now my goal is another of the four goals of the Witch -- "to dare."

I'll be sharing my Priestess year, and my daring, here. I hope you'll join me.

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Susan Harper is an eclectic solitary Feminist Witch from Irving, Texas. She is a professor of Anthropology, Sociology, and Women's Studies, with a focus on gender, religion, and sexuality. She is also an activist, community educator, and writer. When she's not making magick or fomenting social change, Susan is the head soapmaker, herbalist, and aromatherapist for Dreaming Priestess Creations. She shares her life with her partner, Stephanie, five cats, and two guinea pigs.


  • Molly
    Molly Saturday, 19 March 2016

    Looking forward to hearing more and sharing your journey! :)

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