When times get rough, I am always brought back to the vows of service I made when I became a Priestess. In The Sojourner Tradition, as it is forming, these vows are taken as part of our second degree self-initiation. I take this priestess gig, and these oaths, very seriously. We may be self-initiatory, but our coven-mates are there to stand side-by-side in guidance and encouragement as we each tread our unique paths to the altar of the Divine. We help each other deepen our understanding of the wyrdly winding mysteries and bear witness to each other’s accomplishments. We also challenge each other to dig deeper, even when it sucks.
One benefit of making our oaths in the circle before a coven of other witches, is that by making them public, our friends can help keep us honest. Our vows are made directly to Divinity in personal ways–each priest or priestess sets their own course–but we can help inspire each other toward their fulfillment.
Imbolc – A Sabbat of Dedications
Here we are at Imbolc, a Sabbat of dedications and vows, and we each will be setting our intentions to accomplish the Great Work of evolution for the year. Current events in the Patheos blogosphere have once more brought me ’round to thinking about these priestess vows of mine. I come back to them regularly, as a way to keep open that channel between my Highest Divine Will and my personal will.
This Imbolc, I share with you now my own vows to the priest/esshood. I plant this seed, that may someday provide some food for thought when it is your turn to approach the altar and make your own vows. I offer them as only one example…
They are very personal to me, I wrote them myself based on much divination, meditation and the relationship I have cultivated with Aphrodite and Hermes. As I’ve never known anyone else to work with these two Deities, specifically, so I went direct.
Vows of a Priestess to Aphrodite Ourania and Hermes
By Heron Michelle: April 4, 2015
Declaration of Intent
I, Heron Michelle, come to this sacred temple to receive the initiation to 2nd degree within The Sojo Circle.
I pledge my service to the Gods.
I will be your hands, feet and voice on Earth, your warrior and lover,
to make manifest Highest Divine Will, and to preserve the Craft.
May all that I do be for the highest good of all involved, harming none.
Great Ones! I call upon my ancestors and guiding Great Blue Heron,
be with me now and grant me courage and discernment to stand in my truth.
in all your many faces and names, receive my vows.
My patrons Aphrodite Ourania, and Hermes,
open my heart and mind; be with me now.
I am grateful for the wisdom, skills, and power reveled within me thus far,
and I stand before you in my own Divinity.
I now offer all that I am, and all that I am becoming, in your service, and to my fellow man.
Guide me as we walk together from these gates of initiation.
I give in sacrifice all that would impede our Divine Union;
I lay down on your altar all safe cowardice.
I slay my own fear of rejection, and surrender the blindfold, bindings and mutings of your Divine inspiration.
I sacrifice the bliss of ignorance and as the veil is pulled away from my eyes.
I give you each salty tear wept over the knowing of your hard truths.
I sacrifice the comfortable illusion of my separateness, of selfishness,
and all the heart break I feel as I embrace my brethren with your Perfect, Unconditional Love.
I sacrifice the safety of conformity, becoming a responsible caretaker,
in defense against all that would do harm against myself, humanity and our Mother Earth.
I give the living offering of my intellect and reason, daring and courage,
love and compassion, trustworthiness and service.
Ignite within me your Fires, I release to their flames all that does not serve my highest good.
Vows and Offerings:
In the Silence I have heard your
call and my Witchblood did Resonate in answer.
Long now have I sailed upon the River of Wyrd.
Through Knowledge I did build this Craft
and with Wonder I navigated to these gates.
By my Will I charted these waters
and surrendered the hubris that would deny their flow.
I accept the commission to service as your Priestess,
and with a daring Spirit I will do your Great Work.
By my breath I set the course… (Blows over the offerings)
For Aphrodite Ourania, with the sweetness of rose and honey,
I become your priestess of divine love and beauty, your healer with compassion.
For Hermes, with the discernment of Lavender I become your voice.
With the distillation of True Will represented by this liquor,
I become your magickian, a responsible teacher and humble leader within my community.
(Pierces heel of hand with rose thorn, dripping it upon the white rosebud, making the blood oath…)
By the iron of my blood, by my own living essence,
I become your warrior of empowerment with honor and humility.
This will be my Great Work until I am once more enfolded in the rapture of your infinite love.
This is my vow. Blessed Be.
I claim my sovereignty, as Witch and Priestess, and do take solemn responsibility for this power.
(Dons the moon crown as an outward symbol of this vow)
As I will, it is so. So mote it be!