This post represents a big step for me. I’ve been working really hard this year to really present myself as authentically as possible, and overcome my fear of really truly being myself in my work. Inevitably it has lead here. There is a big unspoken hole in my bio page, I hint at it here and there but really, I’ve been hiding it.
I’m a trained Priestess.
For four long years I trained formally with my teachers Colette Gardiner and Pomegranate Doyle at the Blue Iris Mystery School here in Portland. For the past 6 years I have been undergoing an initiation process with both of those fine women and a few other teachers as well.
Our tradition is hard to put in to words without using terminology that has gathered some icky feeling stereotypes in the media, but essentially its a tradition of magic, mysticism and shamanic practices. Sometimes we use the word witch. I like the term Priestess.
I see myself as existing in a long line of healers, visionaries, oracles, witches, and priestesses who all recognized that this earth is sacred and we are all capable of and worthy of divine love.
I was lucky that I found Five Element Acupuncture, because it is essentially a mystical practice of Chinese Medicine, and has allowed me to practice my full range of skill completely closeted for several years now.
But I’m realizing it is time to come out. Not only because the more me I am, the happier I become with my work, but also because times are changing, and I think we are ready to reclaim the word Priestess.
What I don’t mean:
If you are already getting visions of bad head-wear, and flowing robes and feather wands: just stop right now. I also won’t try and convert you to my beliefs. I won’t tell you a bunch of information about your past lives, or spirit guides, (but I can refer you to someone who will if you wish). I also won’t read your cards, your palm or your aura. While I have nothing against any of that stuff, those just aren’t my tools.
I also won’t judge you for your beliefs. I strongly believe that all paths to spirit are sacred. I am in service to the higher good and whether you call that God, Christ, Shiva or nothing at all does not concern me nearly as much as how much you see yourself as being worthy of love and goodness.
When you meet me in my office, you’ll feel like you are visiting any other acupuncturist. I wear jeans. My tools are my heart, my needles and an herbal treatment called moxa.
What I will do:
I will ask you questions about your life, and questions about what you tell me. I will inquire into who you really are, what is behind what you are presenting. I will insist we try and reach the truth, the hear of the matter, and if that means gently guiding you into more uncomfortable territory, I won’t fear to go there.
I am in service:
My essential definition of a priestess is one who is in service to the higher good and has the skill to direct situations towards that good. I call that higher good the Goddess, but I don’t need you to have a name for it, or even believe in it.
My job is to help you be in touch with your own higher goodness. My job is to be big enough to hold you through the process. And no that doesn’t mean I’ll make you hug me. But I will ask you to trust me, and let yourself be vulnerable. Just enough to let things shift.
What I believe we are doing when we work together is finding the places where your true authentic self resides, and clearing the path for that self to come forward more and more. I believe that illness occurs when we have left the path of that authentic self.
The needles that we use on acu-points are just tools to open up the places where that self resides, or to clear the blocks towards becoming that self.
It is that simple.
What does the word priestess bring up for you? What other terms do you like to use for serving the higher good? Leave me a comment below.
Thank you for articulating this, Allison, and for coming out as a priestess. Reading your words, I feel strengthened and validated in my own (still very much closeted) belief that the most important work I can do is to connect and reconnect and reconnect to the deep source of love and goodness available to all of us. Your strength, clarity and gentle and humorous ferocity are a balm and a light. As I meditate on your question about the word “priestess” I look out into the rainy twilight and see a huge spider weaving her web in the warmth and protection of a lamp.