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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in priestcraft
'Whatsoever You Do, Do Sacredly': or, How to Begin a Public Ritual

Priest

(faces people, chants)

Let all cell phones be turned off now.

People

So mote it be.

 

Priest

Let all cell phones be turned off now.

People

So mote it be.

 

Priest

Let all cell phones be turned off now.

People

So mote it be.

 

Priest

(spoken)

And so we begin.

(chants)

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The High Priestess Effect

They call it the “high priestess effect."

You've been there before. It may not have been the worst ritual in the world, but it was somewhere Down There among the Bottom Thirteen. People walk out of the circle feeling bored, irritable, imbalanced.

All but the high priestess, that is. She's giddy with excitement. She thought the ritual was masterful, one of the best ever.

Premise: If you want to know how a ritual really went, don't ask the high priestess.

The sad fact of the matter is that when you're leading a ritual—especially one that you wrote yourself—your perception of the ritual will be both qualitatively and quantitatively different from those of the other folks present. You have a level of investment and engagement that they simply don't. That fact must inevitably shape the experience.

It's not quite fair to put these parallax views down to incompetency: not entirely, anyway. Perhaps it's a matter of experience, really. Experienced priestesses—priests too, of course—know about the High Priestess Effect and understand that they need to temper their own reactions accordingly. The experienced priestess (or priest) knows that, of all the people in the circle, his/her experience of the ritual is the least important. The right to your own experience is one of the sacrifices that you make when you enter the priesthood.

Moral of the Story: From inside and outside, the same ritual looks very different.

Last modified on
Mirror to the Sun: A Letter to the Priests and Priestesses of the World

You are not your god. You are not your goddess.

(At least, no more than anyone else.)

Yet you act for your goddess. You act for your god.

That's the paradox of priesthood.

People judge your god, your goddess, by what you say and do.

At all times, therefore, act accordingly.

You—priestess, priest—are not the Sun.

You are a mirror reflecting the Sun.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Old Worship

The morning after our first Grand Sabbat, a friend approached, a little hesitantly.

“That was you in the horns and the paint up on the altar last night?”

I pause, then smile and nod.

Last modified on

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