A long while back, I wrote a post about accepting the idea of being a “Priest”. In that post, I made the following statement:
Yes, I am a Priest – just as you are. I may not fully embrace the title or the term, but I embrace the workings that are part of it. And in my estimation, that is far more important than whatever descriptor I attach to it. I celebrate Life every day. In every breath that I take. In every action I perform. When I add mindfulness to that equation, I discover where I am on the Pattern, and how my strand of the Song fits in. And at the end of the day, when I step out on to my porch to wish the Sun well on its journey to the other side of the Planet, and greet the Moon as She rises in His place – I celebrate what I have managed to create. I celebrate my workings as a Priest.
I have always thought that this final statement was a fairly good closing descriptor of my position, but apparently it was not. A few weeks ago, I received an Email from a reader noting that following a Pagan Path – particularly a Path of Druidry – is to follow a path towards priesthood. I have to say, it was a little difficult to not fire back in a sarcastic retort, but I maintained my calm the best that I could – and attempted to write a reply Email….and didn’t get very far.
To be perfectly honest, it would have been far easier to write a sarcastic retort – but that would have also been far less productive. So I let the entire issue sit and percolate in my brain-meats for a couple of weeks (three now), before I decided to write this blog post as a response – of sorts.
I am a Priest – Sort Of
Every day that I rise from bed, my eyes look to the skies to find the sun. Yes, even on cloudy days. The Sun is my constant companion throughout the daylight hours – and even into the night-time hours through the reflection cast across the face of the Moon. Each day provides me with a new opportunity to explore new-found connections with my
environment, as well as finding even more connections that I was not aware of. I work in a data analysis position, so I am given time to explore connections through data-centric models – a connective measure I had not really considered until a few months after I accepted the job (I started in September of last year). I perform rituals, for myself, on a daily basis as well as on marked aspects of the Wheel of the Year. I commune with my patron God, and the Spirits of the Land in a large variety of ways. And I am aware that every moment I have in the “here” moment of Life is unique, even when it seems very similar to another moment from the previous day(s). Its taken a lot of time for me to get beyond the idea that being a Priest means that I have followers, students, and a congregation of some sort.
Titles Mean Little to Me
Followers. Students. Congregation. Yeah, I have to shake my head at that notion. That is steeped in Christian definition. An individual that practices on their own is not a Priest within the Christian definitions. Rather, that image is provided a different definition, such as Lay-man, Monk, Mystic. But honestly, I could embrace the notion of any of these terms. And yet, I would rather eschew titles such as these. If I was to ascribe myself to a title, it would be this: Me. Yeah, I follow some of the concepts that define the term “Priest” in what I do on a daily basis on my own Path, but I really doubt that a title is going to transform me into any sort of a holy man. My actions and studies will do that for me. Smeg, if a title was going to instantly transform me into something — I’d like to be a jedi, please.
If Titles Mean Nothing….
So, if titles mean nothing, then why am I studying the OBOD Bardic Grade course? Why am I taking a class with Cat Treadwell on Druidry? Why do I hold a Bachelors degree in Computer Science? Why do I hold a Masters degree in Information Systems Management? Why do I hold a Masters degree in Business Administration? Why am I continuing my education towards a Bachelors degree in History?
Well, its not some wildly complicated answer. I do all of these things because I like to learn. Each of those areas of learning afford me a different angle in Life. And seeing through that myriad of angles, I can find even more connections to the world around me. And the people within it. And the animals within it. And the plants within it. And the Gods. And the Spirits of the Land. And myself. I do these things because I want to understand the connections to the world around me. I do these things because I want to experience the world around me. I do these things because this is who I am.
Its really hard to explain any of this beyond those words. This Path works for me. I could give a hang about the titles. Call me whatever you like. Priest, Solitaire, Solo Practitioner, Me, whatever…it makes no difference to me. I know who I am. I know why my feet leave footsteps on this Path. I want to know more and experience more on this Path. I am only starting to understand my thread within the complex rhythm and sound of the Song we all sing together. And that alone compels me to continue my daily exploration – finding the connections within this world, and others.