I don’t recall if I ever mentioned that I am a High Priest of the Gardnerian Tradition of Witchcraft. My first duties as High Priest began March 3, 2009. To be completely honest, I was very excited and nervous. A High Priest is either a 2nd or 3rd Degree Male Witch, or someone who has been chosen by a High Priestess to be High Priest of a Group or Coven. Though I am not a 2nd or 3rd Degree Witch, I am a 1st Degree and I was asked by a 3rd Degree High Priestess, who was initiated nearly 40 years ago, to be High Priest of an open circle that meets once a month. Though nervous, my excitement outweighed my nervousness and I accepted the Title and Position.
That is a huge opportunity and commitment for someone of my Degree. And, to be asked by Your High Priestess, the one who initiated you, says a lot about you and your capabilities and how much she understands, respects and views you. I now realize and accept that. I am humbled by her request and feel that I must do all that I can to meet and exceed her expectations for me. To be the primary male figure in a group, to me, means that I must uphold the masculine energy in the Circle, which can sometimes be hard. It can sometimes be hard because,usually, there are more women in the groups than men. To gather an maintain all of the masculine energy, to really invoke and be the embodiment of the God, in Circle, can be challenging, to say the least.
I feel that it is important to say that I have definitely embraced and become more aware of my masculinity and I am a lot more honored to be male than ever before. Sometimes, the God can be lost in Circle and Ritual. I feel that it is the High Priest’s responsibility that the God is present and that the Masculine energies balance out the feminine energies. It is a tough job, but one that is possible to be done by the one designated and chosen to be High Priest.
My first experience, in Ritual, as High Priest was interesting and challenging. There is so much that goes on in the center of the Circle that one does not notice, until you are actually in the center. I first noticed this during the grounding. At our Circle, before anything, we ground to release unnecessary energies back to the Earth and infuse ourselves with the element of Earth to be centered, grounded and calm. Standing in the center of a Circle, where everyone has come after long days of work or school and many other things is an interesting experience the first time. Hands linked, people’s energies are transmitted from person to person around the Circle and back to the center. In the Center you can feel everything. You can feel people’s pain, their happiness, their nervousness, their enjoyment, their boredom, etc. At first, it is an overwhelming feeling of emotions that come sweeping over you. Though distracting at first, it was a surge of energy that I rearranged around me to empower me and help me to ground as I lent my energy to the group to help all of them ground.
After that, while trying to focus on consecrating the tools and charging/consecrating the elements on the Altar, and charging the Tools and Quarters, I found my mind and attention being caught by many different things around the Circle. I noticed spirits and spirit guides around some of the coveners, I really noticed the elementals and guardians of the Watchtowers at each quarter, I felt the energy of the room and people and noticed so many different things around me that as I was doing everything, to me, it felt as though I was going through the motions. I would immediately catch myself and redirect my focus and attention back to whatever I was doing immediately, but I do not feel as though my 100% attention was on what I was doing, I would say 95%.
The next experience was when I invoked, called forth, the God. I could actually feel his presence come sweeping over me, like a wave of energy. Though an amazing feeling, it shocked me and was unexpected. I could actually envision, visualize, the God standing before me and could feel his energy encircling me as I am the embodiment of Him, in Circle. That was the most amazing experience ever!
Now, most recently, a July Full Moon Ritual, I have to say… A completely different experience and mindset. Throughout the entire ritual, I feel that I was able to completely ground while aiding the rest of the Circle to ground and I was fully able to concentrate while consecrating and charging the tools and gateways. What a change a few months can do for your confidence and experience and personal power. Even while invoking the God, I was not overwhelmed, instead, I was empowered and enlivened by the power and presence of the God. And, because it was a Full Moon Ritual, we did a Drawing Down of the Moon into the High Priestess and that was another fantastic experience but, this time I was ready for the energy and was able to maintain mine while directing the energy of the Goddess into my High Priestess. I could see the Goddess and her energy coming down from the direction of the Moon, we could not see her, and come through my outstretched arm and through my entire body and our my other arm directed toward my High Priestess. Her presence and blessing were felt and I was humbled, yet again.
My experiences as High Priest have thus left me humbled, grateful, and spiritually grown. I feel as though I have aged, but not in years, in spiritual experiences. I am humbled by the experiences and responsibility that come with the Title and Position of High Priest. Perhaps I am looking too much into this but, I feel that everything in our lives happen for a reason and I am very honored that this has happened to me and that I was chosen. Grateful, is another feeling that I am, well, filled with. I am grateful to the Goddess for giving me life, through my mother, and for all that she has blessed me with. I am grateful that the Goddess has led me to my High Priestess, so that I can be trained and initiated as one of her followers. Even as I sit her typing, I am overwhelmed by emotions, including joy, excitement, nervousness, and anxiousness. I am always looking forward to the next experience that the Craft will lead to me. I am so grateful that my High Priestess took time out of her life to follow her calling to be a teacher and teach those who came to her for guidance and knowledge. Her knowledge, wisdom and teachings will remain with me forever and I will be eternally grateful. I am also grateful that she chose me to be her High Priest in this Circle.
Though not a traditional Coven, that is not important, this group is important to so many people. It is important because so many people are searching for ways to be spiritually fulfilled and the fact that not all of them practice solitary make it hard for them to get that spiritual fulfillment that all humans search for. That is another thing that I have learned as High Priest. All people are searching for spiritual fulfillment. And even though some of them do not practice anything solitary, they come her monthly or as often as they can to seek spirituality and deity. Everyone in the group has their own beliefs, whether they believe in Chaos Magick, High Magick, Gardnerian/Saxon/Alexandrian/Dianic/etc Wicca, Egyptian Magick, or any other beliefs, they come here because they feel safe and secure and not pressured to believe any one thing. This sense of pressure-free spirituality is centered around the fact that this Circle is very Eclectic.
And, through all of these experiences and realizations, I am grown spiritually. I grow in my spirituality everyday and with every ritual that I help conduct. These experiences are all necessary to a developing spiritual being. Though not many people will be able to experience this, in the same ways that I have, they will experience these things in their own way. I am very confident in this and I am very confident that all will grow in their own ways.
My experiences make me the person that I am today. I am looking forward to seeing where I will go with Wicca and what will be in store for me in my future. I thank the God and Goddess for all they have given me and all the Blessings in my life and I thank my High Priestess for all that she has done, does, and will do for me and all others.