Knock on the Cottage Door 6/15/16


Being and Becoming a High Priest

How do I know if I’m a high priest and how I can be one? Please answer soon I am really stressing about this.

-Tony F.

Hi Tony,

A High Priest or High Priestess is a role of service to others, most often service as the leader or teacher in a coven specific to the tradition they were trained in and will pass on.
So, the simple answer is that you know you’re a High Priest (HP) when you’ve been ordained as one.

A High Priest or High Priestess (HPS) is a title given by traditional covens who are structured hierarchically in degrees. Most covens bestow the title of HP/HPS on their 3rd degree initiates. So, if you feel called to serve in that capacity, seek out a coven and work through the system.

If this is not an option for you, you may still serve the function of clergy if you put yourself through diligent self-study. As a HP, you should be experienced, knowledgeable, patient, capable and competent, and be willing to stand up to judgement and scrutiny.

In my tradition, I also require that HP/HPS are at least 30 years old. I do not bend this rule for anyone. I believe that a certain amount of life experience is needed to qualify someone to hold the title of priest. You cannot be expected to guide someone through life’s difficulties, mundane or magical, if you don’t have some measure of life experience yourself.

A High Priest/High Priestess is ONLY a functioning title within a group. One cannot be a solitary HP/HPS because this is a role of service to other people. If there are no other people you are serving (like a coven) then you aren’t a HP. You might be a teacher or a priest if you perform clergy functions like weddings or funerals, but you are only a HP in the capacity of your relationship to others under your tutelage or care.

Ask yourself why you want to hold the title of Priest or High Priest. Is there a specific god or goddess you are called to serve in that capacity? Do you feel the call to be someone others in the Pagan community can come to for education, leadership, counseling, or assistance? Do you have the time to devote to any or all of these duties? Being a HP/HPS is WORK. If you’re after the title because it sounds special, you’re not going to enjoy what it brings you. If you want the title because you feel called to do the work, then you’re on the right track.

So, look at your experience, your time, your knowledge, your willingness to help others in discovering their paths and guiding them along it. You may also look into studying psychology, counseling, ministry — like doing weddings, funerals, baby blessings, etc. — basically, the same stuff that the clergy of any religious tradition performs because that’s part of priesthood.

If you aren’t able (or willing) to look into joining a tradition and working through their training regimen to earn 3rd degree/HP level, then you are going to need to work twice as hard on your own in order to be respected by others if you claim that title — and again, you can only claim HP if you’re in a group, otherwise, you’re a teacher/leader/priest.

I hope this helps to clarify stuff for you. Good luck and gods bless you on your path!

Parents Won’t Let Me Be Wiccan

Okay so my parents are strict Christians and my friend is Wiccan and was born in a Wiccan family. I recently reconnected with her from Facebook and did about 6 mo. of research of Wicca and I decided that (since I am not religious as a Christian) I want to be Wiccan. Now my parents won’t let me even look at it on the internet or get a Book of Shadows put together. In my church I feel like I don’t belong but with other Wiccans, my friend took me to a circle once, I felt like I fit in…

-C.

Dear C.,

I know it’s frustrating to think you can’t express yourself spiritually while in your parents’ home. And there are going to be some restrictions because they’re your parents and they want what’s best for you. But there are things you can do that will strengthen and solidify Wiccan/Pagan practice until you are in a position to do things more ‘actively’:

* Meditate
*Start writing in a journal
*Figure out what you think God is — Wicca might not be the path that matches up with what you believe. It’s better to know what you believe, what your values and things are and then find something that supports or gives clarification for that than to just think, “Well, I don’t feel Christian so I guess I’m Wiccan.”
*Study history, mythology, folklore, psychology, dreams, biology, plants, herbalism, and science
*Spend time in nature – walk through the woods, watch clouds, relax
Meditate
*Study Christianity and figure out what it is exactly that you don’t agree with. When you have issues with one religion, don’t expect that those issues will just vanish in any other religion you seek to practice. Figure out why you don’t agree with it and what your reasons are.
*Oh, and learn how to meditate.

Six months of study is good, but it’s not enough time to make a serious commitment or solid decision about what you believe. Please also keep in mind, that if you want to join a group you’ll have to wait until you’re 18 anyway because no coven worth the time and commitment will accept anyone under that age for training.

Wicca is not all about what goes into a ‘Book of Shadows’ — you’ve got plenty of study before you start concerning yourself with that. 🙂

Psychic or Witch? 

How do you know if you’re psychic or a Witch? I’m not saying I am, I’m just asking like what are the hints you get, ect.?

Also, what’s the deal with avada kadavra

-L.

Dear L.,

You’re a psychic if you have psychic experiences that are actual and productive more often than they are wrong. This is very rare as most who claim to be psychic are faking it or deluding themselves.

You’re a Witch if you study and practice Witchcraft. This is also rare as most who claim to be Witches aren’t. Witches aren’t fantasy beings that have nature-defying super-human powers or abilities. That characterization of witches is fun and fictional.

Neither of these has anything to do with Harry Potter other than similar vocabulary.

“Abracadabra” is an actual charm used in healing which goes back to ancient Persia.
“Avada Kedavra” is a term invented by JK Rowling for her books. I see it as a play on “Abracadabra” as well as sneaking in something that sounds like ‘cadaver’ — a dead body — since it’s a death spell.

 

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