I am still tickled when I read a message from someone who refers to me as a ‘Priest.’ I am far removed from any such title or position. Simply put, I am a Pagan. I follow the Gods as they present themselves to me, but that typically falls along a First Nations path more than anything else. My primary framework for my religious practices comes from the lessons of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. But following that framework does not make me a Priest. I have had training in two Wiccan paths – including initiation into the first grade of one of those traditions (the other offered the initiation, but I chose to refuse since my military career was about to take my overseas). But that also does not make me a Priest. I hold no claim or desire to be such. I guess its the fact that I am working along a Druidic path that confuses folks. But just because I use the framework, that does not make me a Priest either.
My idea of ritual is rather different than that of a lot of other folks I have encountered as well. Every morning starts my day with greeting the sunrise. Hopefully, the weather allows me to be outdoors. If not, I am content to stand in the kitchen and look out my backyard windows to the East. My daily Life starts, and along with it – my ritual of respect to the Gods. It makes no difference what I do over the course of the day. I teach, so a lot of my typical days are spent trying to hammer home some academic point for my students. Before every class, I spend a few moments finding my own internal center – and try to remember the state of mind I had when I spend time learning material. After every class, I spend a couple of moments grounding and centering – typically outside (if possible). I find it useful to ground and center to let go of any stray energies I may have encountered while working with the students. Before each meal, I spend a few moments thanking the Gods for providing whatever I am about to eat — yes, even meals that are comprised of materials from the “evil” GMOs. When I finally make it back to the house – I unwind with short meditative moments, and generally enjoy whatever time I have left. The closing to my night is to spend a few moments greeting Grandmother Moon – even when there is cloud cover and I cannot readily see her. For me, each day is an extended ritual. There is nothing overly special about the day – but each footstep and breath I take – my focus is on being the best I can possible be in that moment. Not just for myself, but also for my ancestors – past and present. What I do in each moment of the day sends ripples through time – both forward to my future generations – and backward through the generations that have already come and past.
I am no Priest. I have no desire or ambition to place myself into such a position of responsibility. I am really just me – responsible for myself and my own actions. And I have talked about this on numerous occasions with various people. A few have made the comment that I am my own Priest. Sure, I can work with that – if there’s a requirement that there just MUST BE a Priest involved in there somewhere. I will accept the title then. But in the end, I am still no Priest.