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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The Work Will Find You

"That Priestess work will find you."

So said my circle-sister when I told her that I had been asked to consult on an upcoming art installation which, based on my suggestion, will feature a labyrinth. 

She said it again when I mentioned that I was struggling with the decision whether or not to consult on another project, this time taking on gender-biased curriculum and pedagogical training in a local school district. In this project, I would have to work with people who held views I find problematic at best, including someone who appears to hold some TERF views. But I would also have the chance to prevent huge, perhaps irreversible damage being inflicted on thousands of school children, many of them low-income POC. The justice work that feeds my soul and stokes the fires of my heart won out, but not before I had done some intense soul-searching.

"That Priestess work will find you."

Neither of these two activities look anything like what I pictured when I chose "Priestess" as my word for the year. Neither of them look like the Priestess-y activities that I have been kicking myself for not doing for the last several months -- online and in person classes, writing, blogging, retreat planning. I might have missed the fact that these are, in fact, tasks that are being put in my path by Goddess had it not been for that one sentence, typed in a Facebook Messenger box.

I am fond of saying that Priestess is a verb as well as a noun. It is not so much something I am as something I do. Priestessing is work, and not all that work involves crystals and full moons and circles of dancing women. Sometimes it involves research, and hard discussions, and long, boring meetings. Sometimes it means working with people I don't like. Sometimes it means doing the thing I least want to do in the moment. Sometimes it's messy and complicated.

And sometimes it's beautiful and sublime and, well, magickal. Sometimes it is swimming naked in a spring-cold creek with my circle-sisters while we cackle at everything and nothing. Sometimes it is walking a moonlit labyrinth. Sometimes it is the smell of lavender and patchouli and sage.

Sometimes it's facing injustice and sometimes it's talking to the press. Sometimes, often times, it is all of those things all wrapped up together.

One of my favorite pieces of writing ever is Starhawk's "The Last Story," from her book Truth or Dare. We used it in a ritual around Midsummer, and I've been thinking of the last stanza since then, about how it speaks to priestessing as a verb for me. 

We struggled
We held out our hands and touched each other
We remembered to laugh
We went to endless meetings
We said no
We put our bodies on the line
We said yes
We invented, we created
We walked straight through our fears
We formed the circle
We danced
We spoke the truth
We dared to live it.
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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.


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