Thursday, February 25, 2016

What it is to be a Priestess

A Priestess of Sekhat - St. George Hare

The word priestess carries much weight behind it. Being a priestess today is much different than it was a couple of thousand years ago. In the ancient world being a priestess meant that you lived your life in service to the deity you worshiped. Many times a priestess would reside at the temple and her sole purpose was to be of service to the deity and the temple. And this meant living with other priestesses and interacting with them on a daily basis. Their whole lives were dedicated to their deity and their spirituality.

Today as a modern priestess we don't live at temples and most of us can't devote our whole lives to our deity. We are career-minded usually working forty hours a week or more. We are mothers, grandmothers and wives. We are caretakers of our families and our households. We hold many responsibilities and wear many hats. And we try to carve out some time to honor our deities and immerse ourselves in our spirituality. Maybe a few hours at night a couple times a month on the different lunar phases. Or maybe just at seasonal festivals. We try to make the time to fit it in our already jam-packed schedules. But when we finally do fit it in we feel so much better and more connected. 

To be a priestess in today's world holds a much different meaning than it did in the ancient world. In this modern era as a priestess we are not only living our lives in service to our deities, but also to ourselves. In my opinion part of being a modern priestess is knowing yourself. To truly know your spirit is also akin to knowing your deity. To honor yourself is to honor your goddess. Whatever "honoring yourself" means to you. It could be taking time out of your day to connect with your creative side. It could mean pursuing your dreams. It could mean creating a family with the person you love. Whatever feeds your soul will also feed your relationship with your goddess. She wants us to be true to ourselves. For if we understand ourselves then we will better understand Her.

Now I'm not saying that the only job an ancient priestess had was to wake up and pray all day. They also held other responsibilities like healing, performing mid-wife duties, organizing temple celebrations, cleaning, cooking and many other such tasks. The difference is that all of that was in service to their deity and contributing to living a spiritual life. In our modern world we have to partake in things that sometimes take us away from our spiritual selves so we must learn how to create the proper balance. Today as a priestess we are not organizing temple festivals for the city. We are organizing family vacations or work-related presentations. 

One thing for me that has been invaluable on my personal priestess path is to have a journal. A place where I can write down my thoughts and clear up some head-space. A place where I also won't be judged for my thoughts or my writing skills. Keeping a journal is a great way to get to know yourself better. Some people will tell you that you must write in your journal everyday. For me personally once I start putting rules and restrictions on something, I tend to immediately rebel against it. Crazy I know. But that's how you find out what works for you. If you know that you aren't the type of person to write in a journal everyday or meditate everyday or do anything else everyday, that's ok. Then you do it every couple of days or whenever the mood strikes you. 

Part of being a priestess in today's world is finding a way of life that works best for you. We all serve a different purpose. And we are all created with different personalities. And by serving ourselves we are also serving our goddess. We make better priestesses when we are confident in who we are and what we stand for. And the only way to do that is to get to know yourself. 

So, what does it mean to be a priestess to you? 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Tlazolteotl, Aztec Goddess of Filth

Tlazolteotl by Veronica Perez

Tlazolteotl (pronounced tla sol TE otl) is the Aztec goddess of filth, decomposition, fertility, the earth and the moon. 

She is known as the eater of sin and the eater of filth as she is said to absorb the sins of her followers into herself. She is also seen as a goddess of purification since she devours your misdeeds, you are therefore purified. Tlazolteotl is also strongly associated with sexuality and sexual misdeeds such as adultery.

She is often depicted with black around her mouth, in a squatting position giving birth or wearing a conical hat and riding a broom much like the traditional version of the witch. 

The black around her mouth symbolizes the filth or dirt she eats. She is thought to have originated with the Huastec people in the Gulf of Mexico. This was a very fertile area and the earth there was said to be filled with rich, dark black soil. Cotton was grown in these regions and as such Tlazolteotl also became associated with cotton weaving. 

Tlazolteotl was also said to pardon those who have committed sins such as adultery. 

People would come to her to confess their wrong-doings and she would purify them by ingesting their misdeeds. A confession to Tlazolteotl was said to happen only once throughout a person's lifetime. It has also been said that Tlazolteotl would inflict disease in those who partook in forbidden love. If someone was accused of sexual misconduct they would be considered "unclean". This term was used to represent the moral and physical aspects of being dirty. They could be cured by a steam-bath and a rite of purification. 

Tlazolteotl is a goddess of regeneration since she is associated with the rich, fertile and decomposing earth.  

She recycles the decaying earth and brings forth new life. This is symbolic for when we turn something dark and dreary in our lives into something new, bright and full of life. When we are submerged in our darkest moments we think there is no end in site. We think the agony of despair will last forever. But nothing ever stays the same. Everything always changes and life keeps us balanced. Remember the next time you are in a dark moment in your life that after the darkness will always come light, and after the light will always come the dark. It is the cycle and that which keeps our lives balanced with both lessons and achievements. 

Call on Tlazolteotl during these times to help you to be purified of the filth and prepared to allow the new, bright and clean to enter you life. 

Image courtesy of the beautiful art of Veronica Perez

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Honoring Brigid the Creative Way

In honor of Imbolc I wanted to color in the Brigid goddess mandala and give you inspiration to do the same. 

When I think of Imbolc I envision new shoots of green grass, melting snow and budding yellow flowers. Imbolc marks the beginning of the coming of Spring so I imagine soft pastels and bright greens would be a good representation of this time. Although sometimes the snow stays until past Imbolc, it's still a symbolic time that Spring is right around the corner. 

If you haven't already downloaded the Brigid goddess mandala you may do so at my etsy shop here.  

After you've gotten the mandala, grab some colored pencils or markers and some tea and get comfy in your favorite spot. If you plan to frame the mandala after you've colored it, think about what room you will be hanging it in. And think about the colors in that room. You want to make sure that the colors in the mandala will match with the colors of the room. Use complementary colors for this. For example red complements green, yellow complements purple and blue complements orange. And variations of each color as well like pink with green. 

I chose to use three main colors with different shades of each one for my mandala

The colors I used are violet, light violet, canary yellow, Spanish orange, apple green, grass green and hints of sienna brown. Use your lighter colors in the places you want to stand out more. Using a darker color behind a light color will make that light color pop. Especially if they complement each other. I usually like to start in the middle of the mandala and work my way out. I color in the goddess herself last. I do this so that I can see what color suits her best and which one will make her stand out the most. 

Purple is one of my favorite colors so I'm thrilled with the way this came out!  

So, what colors will you be using for the Brigid mandala?

Please feel free to post pictures of your goddess mandalas once they're colored in! I would love to see them and share them in the Facebook page for inspiration!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...