This is my dad and I when I’m about 6 months old. It was taken at a dinner at my parent’s house and it was after midnight because as usual I wouldn’t sleep. He died 3/1/2001 and I still miss him. He was a 6th grade teacher for most of his life and after finding his WWII diary last year there are so many things I wish I could ask him.
Like I said for Faeries last week, it’s hard not to believe in ghosts when you grow up with them around you. When we moved to our new house when I was 9, I inherited a beds from a recently deceased great aunt but she was never a problem and I loved the bed. It was a four poster mahogany high thing that I was convinced pirates were hiding under. I got over that but I couldn’t get over the man who would stand at the end of my bed near one of the posts and not moving for hours while I lay there terrified. What I didn’t know was that my baby sister who moved into my room a few years later could see him too. For years she wouldn’t go to sleep unless someone sat with her. It was a chore that was a pain in the ass until I got old enough to not be home when she was going to bed.
The man would just stand there and not do anything. You couldn’t quite see through him and when he first appeared I thought he was a real living man. Finally I got used to him and would just fall back asleep. My sister told me as an adult that she used to see him outside the bathroom door.
It wasn’t until I was grown I figured out who he was. The house had been built in the 1920’s by a husband and wife with 3 daughters. In fact, the house was designed by the wife and it’s the only house I’ve ever been in that had enough storage space because every room had a huge closet and our room had a closet inside the closet and some were as big as bedrooms and that doesn’t count the closet under the stairs or the attic that ran the length of the house. Anyway, I finally realized he was just watching his daughters sleep and was still doing it with us.
He also used to walk up and down the stairs at night which could be a bit disturbing when your babysitting your sister and she’s upstairs and you’re downstairs. It was a really big house too and one stair always creaked if you stepped on it so you KNEW someone was walking on the stairs.
We also had relatives that would come and visit and still do. My grandmother liked to spook my mom after she died. I was working as a Girl Scout professional and we were having one of the first Girl Guides, Wendy come and visit our council and we were going to save “God save the Queen.” And while I knew all the words my boss wanted to see it written down. So I called home to see if my mom could find it in one of our books. (pre-internet, boys and girls, when you actually looked things up in books.) Anyway, mom looked all over and couldn’t find it and made the mistake of saying, where was her mother when she needed her? (Grandma had participated in something in the 1890’s for a royal visit to Toronto. Dead silence fell on the phone. So I asked what was wrong. My mom finally replied with a shaking voice. “I think she heard me.” Out of the book mom was holding and had already looked through had fallen a piece of paper in my grandmother’s handwriting, the words to “God save the King.” That was just her sense of humour.
When I was living in Pasadena, a friend came over to practice her energy massage technique and while I was on the massage table I became aware of someone being there and because it felt like a hug I knew who it was, Only one person in my family always gave off the energy of being hugged. He was also a Master Mason and I think he was really intrigued. I didn’t say anything about him being there but my friend finally asked if some one was there so I asked her what it felt like. She said, “ this is going to sound weird but he feels like a hug.” So I told her who it was.
So yes, I believe in ghosts.
A lot of people get wrapped up in a title or idea of what a priestess/priest is and a lot of them get stuck on one idea, that a priestess/priest leads ritual and maybe does some pastoral counseling and that ‘s it, but the role is so much more.
A priestess or priest is anything reasonable and I suppose unreasonable, given what some deities can ask of you, that serves your deities. Nothing more and nothing less is your duty to your deity.
So, let’s look at the wider role. We are all priestess and priests every day we walk our path and that includes the people that choose the set-up and clean-up roles before and after ritual if you have enough people to spread around. It’s your door greeter. It’s your archivist/photographer. It’s the person who starts the phone chain. It includes everything even the non-glamourous roles.
You can be a storyteller, a musician, a baker, it isn’t what you do, it is how you do it? Do you perform what you need to do with a clear head and intent and open heart? Do you do it with your whole heart? If you didn’t get the job you wanted in ritual are you feeling relegated or hard done by instead of saying not everyone can be a star nor does everyone want to be nor should everyone be a star.
And if you always take a background role is it time to volunteer for something bigger?
Being a priestess/priest does, however mean growth. It means pushing yourself to do things that may make you feel uncomfortable because you happen to be shy or it isn’t something you really want to do.
Being a priestess/priest means accepting change, how does the chant go? “She changes everything she touches and everything she touches changes”?
This is a path of change and when we accept the anointing or mantle or whatever your tradition uses to acknowledge priestesshood we accept that as well. I don’t know a single person that hasn’t had difficult but amazing year after accepting the title and every step along the way our deities challenge us for accepting the title. They do listen when we take our vows just as we listen to them.