By Nadirah Adeye, MA
On more than one occasion, I have had people (who know and love me but do not identify as priestesses) ask me, “But what is it that you do?” I have tried to explain, “Well, I’m legally ordained. I can marry people, I provide spiritual counseling, I support women in transformative birthing, I help people reconnect with their divine spark and illuminate the path to a better life for themselves.” And while of these responses are true, I would say they are most accurately a list of the services I can or do provide. It does not speak to the heart of what I and my fellow priests and priestesses do.
That is a more complex answer. I see the path of the priestess as similar to the work of Bruce Lee. Lee studied and trained deeply into a particular martial arts style (called wing chun) but then expanded outward into different styles and forms (including weight training and other formats unrelated to traditional martial arts techniques.) Eventually, he reached a degree of mastery where he was able to call on what was needed in the moment to be the most effective response to what an opponent did. He called his evolution “the style of no style.” I call it “doing what works.” As spiritual walkers, teachers, guides on the path, I believe we are called on to do the things that work to keep us clear, centered, grounded and growing so that we can be as effective as possible when serving our communities and clients. I recently graduated from the Sacred Courtesan training with Francesca Gentille, of the Integrative Arts Institute, and was deeply inspired by her statement that as spiritual workers and guides in our communities, we are working to bring heart, mind, body, spirit and Eros into alignment and harmony both in ourselves and in others.
That said, I’ve created this short, simple (and likely to evolve) list of what I, and others I know, do as priests and priestesses.
1) Knowing your mission. Mine is to Live every day in Sacred, Sensual Yes-ness. Knowing this helps me to be clear on how I live my life and what my particular offering is as a healer. It also helps me to prioritize my time and make decisions that keep me most closely connected with the heart of the work I do.
2) Know thyself. Delphi’s Temple of Apollo was right on with this one. Every year, this wisdom sinks more deeply into me and rocks me with its magnitude. I see the ways in which I do powerful and effective work and I see room for continued growth and development. I know how I can be counted on to “bring it” and when I might get good marks for desire but have plenty of areas of needed improvement. It makes a huge difference in the degree of respect I have for myself and expect from others. We often do not realize that, just as we observe others to determine their reliability, we pay attention to times we have had our own backs, or let ourselves down.
3) Make space for Silence. Participating in silent meditative retreats has been deeply transformative to my life. Each time I attend one, I am reminded of how noisy our world is. A couple days on retreat, and my mind starts to slow down and I have the opportunity to see that all of the many things on my To Do lists that I feel pressure to complete can wait or be done by someone else. Making space for silence allows the constant mental chatter to dissipate and core truths to arise so that I can take effective and powerful action.
4) “Pause and ground it”. Spiritual communities are often labeled as flighty or too woowoo, up in the clouds and disconnected from the “real” world and lives of others. Sometimes, I have to agree. It’s great to think, ruminate, consider and dream, but the world is full of thinkers and dreamers. What do you DO? What action do you take to bring some earth to your air? If you were to make a list (with zero explanations) of what you have DONE in the last year or more and then handed it to someone who did not know you, what would they think you were about? Would they know, from your actions, what is most important to you?
5) Express love and gratitude often. My father-out-law pointed out to me that praying for what I feel I don’t have is not going to get it here any faster. Instead, he suggested I tell the universe “thank you” for all my blessings, big and small, and watch how it responds with, “You like that? Look what else I can do!” I read an article last year where Masaru Emoto (of Messages from Water) said that the most beautifully symmetrical crystals were created by the energies of Love and Gratitude. Imagine what prayers of Love and Gratitude can do for the water in our bodies.
If you so desire, share the following in the comments: 1) What you do- your skills, talents, missions and specialties and 2) What works to keep you in your Yes-ness or in Spirit’s flow?
Nadirah Adeye, MA, is an ordained priestess, writer, and speaker with almost 20 years in service to the Divine. As a Third Path guide, she coaches clients in life transformation, personal alchemy and living radiantly. She also conducts divination and provides services honoring and celebrating life’s rites of passage.