A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. ~ Tenneva Jordan
You may have read that the High Priestess is the spiritual “mother” of the coven and the representation of the Goddess on earth. Women speak of the responsibility, power, and honor that all come with the duties of Priestesshood. What you might not know is that frustration, exhaustion and disappointment may also be part of your role… much like in motherhood.
When a woman receives the title of High Priestess, it is generally recognized as an honor. However, the recipient should also be made aware of the responsibility they are accepting – telephone calls at all hours, coveners crying on her shoulder, and perhaps complete strangers seeking guidance. This should be discussed in any preparatory training the Priestess undergoes prior to her ordination.
The one thing a High Priestess may not be prepared for or expect is the disappointment that comes with the role. When a woman enters the role of mentoring a coven, she assumes all the responsibilities of the group’s spiritual mother. Like any parent, one must accept that all you can do is teach and lead by example. The rest is up to the students. It can be difficult to realize that you have given your students the tools, but that they are the ones who must decide how, when, and even if to use them. It is quite painful to watch one of your students go down the wrong path, behave as though they have forgotten everything you taught them, or simply brush all your efforts aside.
However, just as a parent must let their child go eventually, so must a High Priestess let her students go to follow their own paths. The High Priestess must accept this as inevitable and realize when a student disappoints her that it is no reflection on her abilities, knowledge, training, or herself as a person. This is why the selection of a candidate for High Priestess is not taken lightly or done in haste. A woman must be poised, self-assured, confident, and possess a healthy degree of self-esteem to even be considered for the role. She needs to deal well with the ups and downs of life, not falling victim to extremes of emotion or reaction.
This is not to say that she can not experienced a “funk” or elation; rather, how she deals with her emotions will determine whether or not she is fit to serve as an example to others. She should also be able to deal with drawbacks with good humor, as well as efficiency. The High Priestess must be able to laugh at herself at times, accept that she can not always control a given situation, and do her best to resolve issues with grace and integrity.
Last, but not least, one must remember that all of us are still learning. Attaining the title of High Priestess does not indicate an end to the lifelong learning process. A belief that you could not possible have anything to learn will lead to serious disappointment. Striving to increase one’s own knowledge is always important and essential if you are going to fulfill your commitment to your students, as well as the Goddess.
If you are prepared for the disappointments, the joys of Priestesshood are that much sweeter and more appreciated.