I wonder, as I’ve studied and researched my path and others for a few years now and I haven’t yet come across the part where you give yourself a title according to the deity you honour. I have met high priests and priestesses, who by right were given their titles from their coven’s predecessor. It has been written many times through the personal tales of such ceremonies, or even initiations that you are given lessons, titles or even judgments by someone of a higher title than you. That is all well and good if you are part of a coven like I mentioned, but I am solitary and would therefore see myself as I am, not a priestess, but merely a child of the Gods or better still a solitary witch.
This thought came to me during a conversation with Phoenix, and we both pondered on how and why someone who isn’t in a coven gives themselves such a title. If you were to give yourself such a title, when would you, why and how? I would love to know your thoughts on such a subject. The more I watch people on this path, and the more I read on blogs about the lives of some of these folks, the more I notice they name themselves a priest or priestess after reading less than five books and watching a load of youtube videos. A lot of people believe knowledge is pure when it is in written form, whilst others believe knowledge can only be gained through words and practice. I prefer the latter, both books and practice. I have only read a few books, most of which have been listed up top under the ‘Book list’ tab, and worked with many of the spells, meditations, mantras and rituals within them. I feel I have learnt a great deal from them, and for that I am honoured and proud of my concentration.
The world of magick is vast, and spans throughout time and I intend to learn what the Gods instruct me to learn. The experiences I’ve had during contact rituals, meditations and works within a sacred magick circle (which I shall explain later) have given me insights to the energies the world yields within its crevices and my tools. The last time I did a meditation, a very simple Kundalini meditation with mantra made me feel I was being sucked into the ground beneath me. It was a yoga session, with only six students including myself. The yogi instructed us to recite mantras to open and cleanse our lower base chakras, but she had us concentrate only on eight of them all located at the feet, within the ground right up to the base chakra. I felt so relaxed, but once we stopped mantra just to concentrate on the feeling of the chakra’s opening I felt a sudden need to let my body float with the flow of energy around me. Gentle rocking came about me, though the yogi confirmed she didn’t see me shake or sway at all saying, “It is all within. The snake is making itself familiar with you.” It is words like that, which confirm my hard work and study have taken me down the right path; the Gods do truly listen to me, like they listen to you.
There are other ways in which I connect to the Gods, whether it is through prayer, devotion or libation, but whichever way I choose to worship them, I never expect anything from them. I love them and that’s all they need to know. When I work magick, I find it easy most days and really take a lot of correspondences into consideration. Many modern people will state you don’t need tools or correspondences unless a printed spell asks you to. Many other people will say, if you follow a particular path such as Wicca you must study without magick for a year and a day. With these guidelines and tossing away of old practises, then surely giving yourself a title informally counts too, correct? It is lovely to know, within the world of magick you are free to do anything you please, to a point, and that includes throwing away old customs in order to fit into this modern age. Some people, like myself, enjoy the old tomes and the new ones and we are curious like cats. If I come across a subject in a Wiccan book or from a Wiccan point of view, I will take my time to research where this individual got their ideas from. Sadly, that is a custom only a handful of Wiccan authors have suggested their readers should do. But since this is a ‘New age’ it is only natural to claim a title after reading two or three books cover to cover.
I was given an example from Phoenix which made me ponder even more. A Christian man is bored of his life and leaves town for a night. He stops in a motel, pulls out his bible and reads a few Psalms. He feels even more bored with his life and makes a quick decision. When he gets back he struts through town and introduces himself as an Arch Bishop and people follow. Easy peasy. I see that happening in this world, but weirdly not the old one. See why I’m a little bewildered? If it is that easy to claim a title as a solitary practitioner then why bother with the formalities, or magick itself.
If you decide on claiming a title with the formalities, by doing rituals or praying for confirmation dreams from the chosen deity/deities you honour, then I personally believe you can claim that title once they give you a sign. I’m an old school thinker like that. I feel that I’m not ready to proclaim what I know after all these years as I still regard myself as a student and a beginner on all paths. I’ve many experiences with energies, deities and dreams to know when the Gods are happy or unhappy with me. It’s simple really. When you look at the clouds moving across the sky, or watch the rain as it falls, the Gods are there in motion around you and in you. You want to connect, and over time you learn how and that’s the most beautiful start to a divine relationship. I think you would have to do more reading, far more practice and gain a further understanding about the pantheon your Matron and Patron belong to, as well as what magick means in this modern age and to yourself before you claim a title. Being spiritual isn’t meant to be easy. It is part of life, and everyone knows life is a struggle, a lesson you must learn. At the stage that I am right now, I can say with a hand on my heart, if I were to claim the title as Priestess, the many Gods I honour would be pissed. I’m at a permanent junction as I honour many Gods in individual moments, and if any of their stories are anything to go by, they wouldn’t like me very much =P
Answer me this, since I’m stuck: How would you claim a title if you haven’t been given one formally and why would you? Would it make you feel confident and proud of what you have learnt? Or claiming a title purely for aesthetic and egoistic reasons?
- Oh Lord Won’t You Buy Me Anything I Want? (sycalaelen.wordpress.com)