I’m going to get this question one day or another from a student. So I like to think that I’m one step ahead of the game by preparing my argument before hand.
Let me take a minute to explain a little bit of the bitterness that may seep into this post. I’ve already been told that others in my entourage are a ‘real’ priestess, insinuating that I was not. I’ve already had said ‘real’ priestess declare to her students that not all who claim to be priests are, and that some just take on the title. Was it a jab at me? Probably. I’m a real threatening person, you know, what with giving hugs and leaving smudges of glitter on people. Seriously?
I’m very threatening, I know. Had I been there I would have told her students not to buy those pricey athames, and would have argued with her that a silver pentacle will not automatically protect a person/solve all energetic problems and NO, one does not haphazardly include blood and angel names into a Wiccan ritual (WHAT THE FUCK BUT I’M NOT EVEN JOKING PEOPLES). Oh, but I don’t know anything, I’m not initiated.
Really? From a crazy person’s perspective, let me argue you this. Who initiated the first crazy person? Huh? No one did. That’s right, insanity is a gods-given gift/burden. What about priesthood? It’s a gods-given gift/burden. What’s similar in these two situations?
Let’s take a diagnostic test. A mentally ill person is not mentally ill because they get a certificate or were born into a certain lineage. We know they’re ill because they exhibit and experience symptoms of mental illness, often to the point of it crippling their life.
What about a priest/ess? Do they get it from an initiation? Well I guess they could certainly get a fancy piece of paper saying that they are, just like one can get a paper saying they’re ill even if they’re not. Will they necessarily exhibit the symptoms of being a leader, an organizer, and a ritual facilitator because of this paper? I don’t think so.
I am going to argue that a priest/ess will be demarcated by exhibiting the symptoms of being chosen by the gods. Just like a mental illness, it can be developed, or it can just happen in a wham-bam. And just like a mental illness, if people get to know you-they know if you got it or not, no matter what the little papers say.
What are the symptoms? I’m going to argue that it will be summed up in integrity, passion for the cause, and good character. This of course will vary from place to place and what-have-you’s, as every situation will need a different kind of voice. But certainly, an initiation doesnot a priest/ess make. A training does not a priest/ess make. Being chosen by the gods is what makes you, in my humble opinion, and that certainly doesn’t mean that one is better or holier. It simply means they’re the priest/ess. It’s a calling, and that’s that in my opinion.