I am a priestess of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica. This means that I have completed the Ordo Templi Orientis Man of Earth degrees and that I was ordained by a bishop of E.G.C.
My ordination closed a loop. I was raised Roman Catholic, and at sixteen I felt a calling to the priesthood. I loved watching the priest, I coveted his fantastic robe, and I wanted to stand where he was standing. With some dismay I realized that I was the wrong gender for the role – the church didn’t want me. I can’t help but wonder how many women like me there are who would have been Catholic priests if we could.
Reading about Witchcraft felt like coming home. Here was a place where women could be priestesses, where women led groups and congregations, and our insights were not just tolerated but welcome. We could be in charge. I enthusiastically jumped into the role of ritual leader, researching ancient rituals to recreate them, writing contemporary rituals, and gathering large groups of people together to worship.
When I joined the O.T.O. it was a form of magical retreat. After years of ministering to the needs of others, I wanted to spend some time on my own personal magical development. At my First Degree initiation the master of the body turned to me and said, “You like ritual. You should consider being a priestess.”
The Gnostic Mass knocked me out. What a ritual! It amazed me that the same ritual was being performed a hundred years later, and is performed all over the world. Putting the priestess up on the altar was a shocking thing to do a hundred years ago and it’s shocking today. Unless you’re an Alexandrian Witch you may never have seen it.
Horizon Oasis has an excellent training program for priestesses. I attended classes, listened to other priestesses, got a chance to sit on the altar. My first ritual role was as a child (there are two in the Mass). Today ritualists progress from Child to Deacon, but in my case I jumped straight to Priestess.
When I became master of Vortex Camp (now Oasis), I was Priestess for several years. I got a chance to learn the role thoroughly, to relax into it, and to experience a deepening of understanding as I took successive initiations.
After my ordination I had occasion to walk into a Catholic church. I felt the palms of my hands burning where I had been marked as a Gnostic priestess. The church had little pamphlets in the pews begging ex-Catholics to return to the fold. You don’t want me, I thought. I serve Nuit now. I found a way to answer the calling and a church that welcomes women into the clergy.
Although, I have to say, I still want to wear one of those glorious robes.