The idea of a Priestess is one that is almost completely lost in our current culture. We have not had a model of a woman serving in the capacity of a spiritual minister/healer for centuries. We have to look clear back to Greek and Roman mythology to even get a sense of what this might look like. It is tragic that this is so. Women naturally possess many innate gifts as healers and as spiritual ministers.
Even in mythology we only see a remembrance, a story of what this might look like. We don’t have an actual recorded history of real stories of priestesses doing their work. In fact, history is exactly that—his-story. Her story is missing from the formal records on earth.
There is, however, a tradition among women that still exists, although it has faded almost completely in modern culture. Women have always worked together to help and heal one another—until recently. It is the modern culture of individualism and isolation that has crippled us, but from which we are starting to emerge.
Woman as spiritual leader and healer is missing from our paradigm of God. We have the Father, and the Son, but strangely missing are the Mother and the Bride. We speak of the Holy Spirit with a male pronoun, robbing our psyche of the comfort of the nurturing images provided by the mother image.
“As above, so below” is a spiritual principle. By creating a religious model totally based on the concept of a masculine priesthood, with the feminine component of priestess excluded, we have created an imbalance in our spirituality and in our world. Children thrive when they have a balance of the masculine and feminine qualities exhibited by two healthy parents. This is also true regardless of the gender of the ones doing the parenting.
Healthy development is dependent on balancing the polarities of masculine and feminine within the self and within the outer world. To heal our own spirituality and the spiritual makeup in our world we need to also balance the polarities of the masculine and feminine principles in our picture of God.
To have women in spiritual leadership roles (priestess) that portray the feminine polarity/aspect of God is to help bring balance to our traditional, masculine polarity/aspect of God that we have developed and nurtured for thousands of years.
We could start by simply referring to the Spirit with a feminine pronoun. Of course we understand that Source is genderless, but we have no problem referring to Source as He. Why not begin by referring to Spirit as She?
The Spirit longs to work in our hearts to turn us towards a fuller understanding of all that we are and all that God is. She longs to work a transformation in our world. Can you feel the pull of Her tender call? If we will honor the feminine voice of God, we might open our hearts and minds to the tender voice of God’s Spirit speaking through women today.