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  • When is a High Priestess too young?

    To me the role of High Priestess in any coven or group claiming to be Wiccan requires a person who has experience and maturity and yet I guess most of us have encountered people in their teens and early twenties who use this title and claim to be the leaders of their groups.
    Now while I accept that there may be a few exceptional people who do have understanding and maturity well beyond their years, most do not fall into that category. And sometimes I think these young, self styled HPSs are leading themselves and their groups into very dangerous waters.
    Do you agree?
    Would you have confidence in a High Priestess who was barely out of her teens?
    Does the role of HPS need the maturity which comes from being a bit older?
    😈 "It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful." Anton LaVey 😈

  • #2
    I think it depends, like you said, there are some exceptional people, who are very wise in their teens, and may be quite powerful, magically, but, I do think you do need to be a bit older, just 'cause, for most people, it'll give them time to gather up experiences, to become more powerful, to learn more, gain more knowledge and wisdom, etc. That doesn't hold true for all older Priestesses, though, as there are some older people who wouldn't know as much as young people, but, in general, I do think a Wise Priestess should be a little older.

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    • #3
      For the most part, I would have a hard time working with a very young high priestess/priest unless she/he really showed a lot of dedication and maturity. I think that position requires a broad understanding of human nature and that usually comes with time.

      (Thanks Flaire!)




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      • #4
        Originally posted by Raven Reed View Post
        For the most part, I would have a hard time working with a very young high priestess/priest unless she/he really showed a lot of dedication and maturity. I think that position requires a broad understanding of human nature and that usually comes with time.
        :uhhuhuh: I agree
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        • #5
          to me it's strictly a matter of competence and knowledge, although really no one under 22 would be able to achieve that rank anyway, at least not as far as I'm concerned.
          "The word "natural" is completely meaningless! Everything is natural! Nature includes everything! It's not just trees and flowers! It's everything! A chemical company's toxic waste is completely natural! It's part of the nature! We're all part of nature! Everything is natural! Dog shit is natural! It's just not real good food!" George Carlin

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          • #6
            Can you outline what the expectations and role the Priestess is supposedly fulfilling?
            Last edited by HetHert; July 26th, 2009, 04:28 PM.





            "Keep away from small people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." --Mark Twain


            If having a deep disdain for entertaining the cerebrally challenged in politics makes one a bigot than the Queen Bigot am I. :crown:


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            • #7
              Originally posted by HetHert View Post
              Can you outline what the expectations and role the Priestess is supposedly fulfilling?
              They generally run the coven and lead a lot of the rituals.
              "The word "natural" is completely meaningless! Everything is natural! Nature includes everything! It's not just trees and flowers! It's everything! A chemical company's toxic waste is completely natural! It's part of the nature! We're all part of nature! Everything is natural! Dog shit is natural! It's just not real good food!" George Carlin

              http://www.last.fm/user/kidthorazine/

              Drop acid, not bombs.

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              • #8
                I think that for some groups it might be acceptable to have a young HP if the rest of the members are themselves young. However, in general I feel that for someone to be a HP they need to be wise in their ways and therefore often older than the rest
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by HetHert View Post
                  Can you outline what the expectations and role the Priestess is supposedly fulfilling?
                  It depends on the tradition. I'm Wiccan and at some point it's expected that everyone will become a priest or priestess - we don't feel we need an intermediary to interpret holy word or hand down doctrine or to grand dispensations.

                  Not everyone becomes a HIGH priest or HIGH priestess, which as Nox explained has a lot more responsibility for the group. The High Priestess generally schedules meetings, assigns duties for classes or rituals, meets with new people who might join the group, and counsels group members when needed - for starters. She may be responsible for teaching new members and really needs to know her stuff and have some experience under her belt.

                  If you don't think you're ready to officiate at a memorial or burial service, then you're probably not ready to become a High Priestess.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lunacie View Post
                    It depends on the tradition. I'm Wiccan and at some point it's expected that everyone will become a priest or priestess - we don't feel we need an intermediary to interpret holy word or hand down doctrine or to grand dispensations.

                    Not everyone becomes a HIGH priest or HIGH priestess, which as Nox explained has a lot more responsibility for the group. The High Priestess generally schedules meetings, assigns duties for classes or rituals, meets with new people who might join the group, and counsels group members when needed - for starters. She may be responsible for teaching new members and really needs to know her stuff and have some experience under her belt.

                    If you don't think you're ready to officiate at a memorial or burial service, then you're probably not ready to become a High Priestess.
                    I feel I should clarify on that, in traditional Wicca most people who stick with it will become a High Preist/ess because that's the title for anyone who is elevated to the third degree, however not everyone will become the High Priest/ess of a coven (unless it all of the 3rd degrees rotate leadership, which does happen in some covens)
                    "The word "natural" is completely meaningless! Everything is natural! Nature includes everything! It's not just trees and flowers! It's everything! A chemical company's toxic waste is completely natural! It's part of the nature! We're all part of nature! Everything is natural! Dog shit is natural! It's just not real good food!" George Carlin

                    http://www.last.fm/user/kidthorazine/

                    Drop acid, not bombs.

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                    • #11
                      Our coven in not Wiccan.

                      It is a 503 church and there are now three covens about, one becomes a High Priestess at 3rd degree after going through all the training and ceremony. One is a fully contributing, voting member of the church who is also a legal minister able to officiate at various life stages, and able to hold officer positions in the church. (Although since I moved to New Mexico, I don't believe that one must be a legal minister here to officiate at a wedding.) It means ya are doing all the donkey work, mate.

                      For the record, I am not a High Priestess in my coven, even though I have been a member for over 10 years. I am not overly impressed with titles so I see no hurry. I was a pagan on my own for so long, I have my own funny ideas on how things should go. However, when your mom is a High Priestess, you may end up in a coven that is not the perfect match.



                      Originally posted by Nox_Mortus View Post
                      I feel I should clarify on that, in traditional Wicca most people who stick with it will become a High Preist/ess because that's the title for anyone who is elevated to the third degree, however not everyone will become the High Priest/ess of a coven (unless it all of the 3rd degrees rotate leadership, which does happen in some covens)

                      (Thanks Flaire!)




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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Lunacie View Post
                        It depends on the tradition. I'm Wiccan and at some point it's expected that everyone will become a priest or priestess - we don't feel we need an intermediary to interpret holy word or hand down doctrine or to grand dispensations.

                        Not everyone becomes a HIGH priest or HIGH priestess, which as Nox explained has a lot more responsibility for the group. The High Priestess generally schedules meetings, assigns duties for classes or rituals, meets with new people who might join the group, and counsels group members when needed - for starters. She may be responsible for teaching new members and really needs to know her stuff and have some experience under her belt.

                        If you don't think you're ready to officiate at a memorial or burial service, then you're probably not ready to become a High Priestess.
                        By these conditions I would say no to accepting teens or newly 20 somethings as HP material. Not enough life experience and practical wisdom has been developed by that age to deal with being able to cousel appropriately.

                        I would also include that I've encountered a few people who carry the title HP who have reached adequate years in life but still lack the emotional or personl maturity to do the position justice.





                        "Keep away from small people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." --Mark Twain


                        If having a deep disdain for entertaining the cerebrally challenged in politics makes one a bigot than the Queen Bigot am I. :crown:


                        If you search for the laws of harmony, you will find knowledge
                        ~temple wall in Luxor~




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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lunacie View Post
                          Not everyone becomes a HIGH priest or HIGH priestess, which as Nox explained has a lot more responsibility for the group. The High Priestess generally schedules meetings, assigns duties for classes or rituals, meets with new people who might join the group, and counsels group members when needed - for starters. She may be responsible for teaching new members and really needs to know her stuff and have some experience under her belt.

                          If you don't think you're ready to officiate at a memorial or burial service, then you're probably not ready to become a High Priestess.
                          Yes, this is why I think the High Priest or Priestess needs the wisdom that age and experience bring. (I don't mean you need to be ancient but I just can't take seriously the claims of people in their teens or early twenties that they are High Priests/Priestesses, in the sense of leading a coven). I have known several real HP/s and it is a tough job with a lot of responsibility. In particular they need a very good sense of how diverse individuals function and work together; or don't. And they sometimes have to take very brave decisions which have big consequences.

                          I have no objection at all to groups of young people who have studied Wicca in some form getting together and forming their own group. I was in such a group myself for a long time. And it is natural for such groups to have a leader of some sorts... And yes, perhaps over time such a leader will deserve the title of High Priest or Priestess. But it does take time, and maturity and to my knowledge it also needs a recognisable link back to the particular tradition they are following.
                          The reason I started this thread is that there are some groups whose members and leaders have very little knowledge and even less experience and yet they try to emulate magic and rituals which are frankly beyond them. In the end I think this can get them in to all sorts of problems and leaves a very negative impression of Wiccan belief and practice in peoples minds.


                          Originally posted by Nox_Mortus View Post
                          I feel I should clarify on that, in traditional Wicca most people who stick with it will become a High Preist/ess because that's the title for anyone who is elevated to the third degree, however not everyone will become the High Priest/ess of a coven (unless it all of the 3rd degrees rotate leadership, which does happen in some covens)
                          To clarify, in my original post I was refering to the person who leads and takes responsibility for a coven or group.
                          😈 "It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful." Anton LaVey 😈

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cassie View Post

                            To clarify, in my original post I was refering to the person who leads and takes responsibility for a coven or group.
                            That's what I assumed, but I figured that it was worth pointing out that HP/S is also a degree title.
                            "The word "natural" is completely meaningless! Everything is natural! Nature includes everything! It's not just trees and flowers! It's everything! A chemical company's toxic waste is completely natural! It's part of the nature! We're all part of nature! Everything is natural! Dog shit is natural! It's just not real good food!" George Carlin

                            http://www.last.fm/user/kidthorazine/

                            Drop acid, not bombs.

                            Add me on facebook! (please mention that you are from MW and include username)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cassie View Post
                              To me the role of High Priestess in any coven or group claiming to be Wiccan requires a person who has experience and maturity and yet I guess most of us have encountered people in their teens and early twenties who use this title and claim to be the leaders of their groups.
                              Now while I accept that there may be a few exceptional people who do have understanding and maturity well beyond their years, most do not fall into that category. And sometimes I think these young, self styled HPSs are leading themselves and their groups into very dangerous waters.
                              Do you agree?
                              Would you have confidence in a High Priestess who was barely out of her teens?
                              Does the role of HPS need the maturity which comes from being a bit older?
                              To me, age isn't important so long as the person has the intellect, discipline (magickal and mundane), life experience, leadership qualities and magickal training sufficient to assume the role of an HP/HPS.

                              I would have no problem if I were Wiccan and my HPS was just out of her teens as long as she had the aforementioned qualifications. The only reservation I may have would be concern about a teen's life experience and leadership skills.

                              The role of HPS absolutely demands a certain level of maturity and life experience in order for that role to be carried out successfully and competently. I think that I have already said my part, but the only concerns I would have concerning a teen HPS would be (again) life experience + leadership skills.
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                              "Ihr seht nach oben, wenn ihr nach Erhebung verlangt. Und ich sehe hinab, weil ich erhoben bin." ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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