By Jennifer Masters
Throughout history as we know it, we’ve been taught to feel ashamed of our bodies, or ignore it when in pain—which is how our body tries to tell us something is wrong. We don’t meet our own standards of beauty. Nudity is taboo. Sex is taboo. Deriving pleasure from sex is even more taboo—to the point where the whole of humanity has forgotten how to allow themselves, to give themselves permission to experience these pleasures.
The Temple Priestess recognizes that her body is sacred. It is a temple which houses her spirit. It is a perfect representation of the Goddess incarnate on earth. She knows it is a gift to explore, conduit through which the world is experienced, and the vehicle through which she expresses herself and the will of Spirit.
She acknowledges the connection between body, mind, and spirit. She is able to be present in her body, to be in the moment. She knows how to listen to her body and take care of herself. She recognizes that her body is a conduit for healing others, through touch, movement, dance, telling herstory—even her mere presence. She knows her humanity is not perfect in the common sense—but nature in its most perfect state is imperfect. She leads by living her life in example, and strives to do her best in all things.
She knows that she holds the power to be herself, to be free from judgment, from self and from others. Everything she needs to be a whole human being, she contains within herself. And she recognizes that she is part of a greater whole, that all of life is connected, we are not separate and alone.
She is the feminine counterpart to the equation, working in partnership, in balance with the masculine, the priest. One cannot function without the other. Yin and yang, receiving and giving, magnetic and electric. She recognizes that we all have both masculine and feminine energies, and our outer relationships can be just as diverse as our inner selves. A priestess is not just about one religion or spirituality, she is the element of the sacred feminine in any religion or spirituality—something that has been largely ignored, left out or forgotten in mainstream religion. She celebrates her femininity not despite or in contrast to masculinity, but in connection to it.
Every woman is a priestess in her own spiritual journey, but in a more formal sense, what defines a priestess is the willingness to step into the leadership role. A priestess is a position of leadership when she holds feminine strength and power while acting in service to others, holding sacred space within which anyone may come into connection with their divine source. A leader is a person who guides or inspires others (inspire = in spirit) to pursue that which is in their highest good. A true leader is someone who isn’t afraid to be different—she can stand by her principles, stand in her truth, regardless of what others do or think.
The path of the priestess is to lead the way into a life more abundant, more joyful. It is about how to be a woman in balance, and about living one’s life fully, being more in tune with her self, her body, her relationships, and her world. This is a state of being that each woman—all shapes, ages, cultures, and creeds—already has within her nature, whether she is conscious of it or has yet to explore. The priestess illuminates the path of self re-discovery.