One of the Thiasos Aphrodite members asked the question, "How did you become a priestess of Aphrodite?"
This idea of becoming a priestess is one that I have been reflecting on a lot lately. How does one heed the call to service? More than that: I know *I'M* doing it, but how do I help others who want to walk this path? I mean, not everyone wants to reinvent the wheel, blaze their own trail, or ... other metaphors for "recreating the same training process I've already put myself through." And why should they? The historical precedent for priestly training is that you are taught by someone who has been there already.
So, I've been thinking a lot about how to help aspirants become priest/esses. And the first part of that reflection is, "How did I get here?"
My first experiences as a priestess of Aphrodite were within the structure of my witchcraft coven, actually. At 2nd Degree, I was ordained as a "Simple Priestess," and this involved dedication to a specific Deity. I had been working heavily with Aphrodite already for several years, so it was a natural fit.
I would say my becoming a priestess was very much a multi-part journey. I started this list to connect with others who felt drawn to Her. I read everything I could find. She inspired me to write Temple of Love, and I swear that She stood at my shoulder during certain parts. I went to a sacred sexuality conference (Qadishti Fest 2) and had more direct experience, leading to my becoming an active member of the Qadishti Movement. I felt nudged to write Aphrodite's Priestess, which began as _In Her Service: Reflections from a Priestess of Aphrodite_. The act of writing is a part of my own growth, I find.
I've soaked up books, websites, and conversations about history, mythology, sexuality, ritual, and personal growth through the qualities She embodies (love, beauty, pleasure, grace). I've sought out experiences in all those areas, and I've done a great deal of reflection on each piece of work.
Actually, I have been working for the last several months on a book or a training system of some sort for this priest/ess-hood. I've been collating the content -- and creating new content to fill in some gaps -- but I have been stumped about how to make it available to men and women interested in this path. I think I may have recently come up with a couple of viable solutions, though. [Stay tuned for more details.]
I was Her priestess early in this process, but my learning, service and growth continue all the time.