When I came to Goddess, I was in my mid-forties and I suddenly had this huge fire burning in my soul. I felt like I had missed opportunities to practice my “calling” for forty-five years. I finally knew what I was born to do and couldn’t get there fast enough. There was a part of me that felt that, because of my age, I had to hurry up and “get there.” Come to find out, we do not ever “get there!” We are simply always “getting there!”
I wrote this for one of my students, recalling my own “fervor” in the beginning and I offer now it to every woman who has suddenly found Goddess and her burning desire to serve.
You are in what those in traditional religions would call “religious fervor.” It is an excitement that comes with a new connection to the Divine in whatever form She appears to us. She captures us, compels us, drives us and sometimes we misread that push and let things go, that in the future, we will depend upon!
Do not sacrifice your career/business/financial security – EVER!!!!! Almost all women called to be of service as Her priestess feel this and find it frustrating only to be able to devote a part of their lives to it. However, whether learning or serving, most of us do it part time and fit it in around our careers.
I will qualify this and say I am only speaking specifically about what I do. Most of us don’t do it for a living. When we start doing it for a living we must ask ourselves continuously, “why am I doing this?” I am not saying we should not ask for money. I started asking for money when I had to live only on my Social Security. I needed to ask for money to cover what it cost me. I know now I should have asked for it before, as an exchange of energy, as it seems to bring more dedicated women when they must give up something for the service offered. I always offer a sliding scale and never turn a woman away. If she isn’t serious, she won’t last in my program. I have very few students. I honestly don’t want more than what I have. How could I give them the time they need if there were more than a few? How would they get the personal one-on-one attention if I were spread too thin to give them what they need?
And then, if I did depend on the money, I would have to ask myself, if I won’t be able to eat or pay the rent without it, what would happen if I had a student who was not priestess material? If she wasn’t honoring commitments or doing the work, and if I needed the money she donated, would I be able to say to her, “this is not for you?”
Always make sure that your financial needs and the financial needs of your future are taken care of! Never sacrifice that for the work you do for Goddess. You are expected to always take care of yourself. The beautiful thing is, when we have been priestessing for a while, we come to realize that even in our mundane lives, if we truly see the Divine in every person, we can minister to all without having to discuss paganism or the Goddess. We just show love and compassion in every moment of our daily lives, helping others and caring for the Earth and all Her creatures.
It is never about “arriving.” The journey is what it is all about. Enjoy the journey, learning what you can. If you are truly called to this service you will remain a sponge your whole life, learning everything that comes your way or comes to your mind! Take your time. Study, take in knowledge and go slow enough that you can assimilate and apply what you are learning! Make sure you get lots of practice, if not by yourself, with others. Ask a lot of questions of those you see out in the world priestessing. Watch them, talk to them, gather everything you need. Make note of the things you see that don’t work and those that do. Pay attention to anything you see that you don’t feel is right, so that you can monitor your own actions in your own work. Learn to listen well. Learn good communication skills. Learn mediation.
Know our women’s history. Know the learned behavior of women who are raised in a patriarchal world. Learn ways to counter those behaviors and then teach women better ways to be with other women and better ways to resolve conflict. Always try to be a role model for others.
Learn to care for yourself. Learn good boundaries and help others do the same. Practice compassion in your life. There are many opportunities to do that every day! Allow yourself to be vulnerable. It is fine to share that you are less than perfect. Open yourself so that those who share time and space with you know that it safe to be open and vulnerable as well. If we cannot be vulnerable with others, we will never feel truly safe to be who we are.
Being called as Her priestess is such a gift! Learn to do it well and you will find that joy spills into your life. It is not that you won’t encounter obstacles or moments of despair, but trust in what you know. Call on your own wisdom to do what is right. Listen to your heart as well as your mind. She called you to this service, She will not let you down.
Deanne Quarrie. D. Min. is a Priestess of the Goddess. She is the author of five books. She is the founder of the Apple Branch where she teaches courses in Feminist Dianic Witchcraft, Northern European Witchcraft and Druidism. She mentors those who wish to serve others in their communities. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Ocean Seminary College and is the founder of Global Goddess, a worldwide organization open to all women who honor some form of the divine feminine.