Saturday, April 9, 2022

Priests Should Be People Persons


I once asked my wife, "Do you think I'm a blessing to people as a priest?" I did not mean the question in terms of any personal powers, however. The idea of humans being Gods, equal to Gods, or those who can speak for the Gods, is explicitly hubris in Hellenism. Priests are servants of the Gods and their people, but I also think that as such, we have a certain responsibility to the people who are part of our Demos (religious community). I have found that my duties can extend beyond the role of a temple caretaker and an initiator of sacrifice. In fact, it's necessary that I do so, especially in our world today. Because we are a small community (Polytheists and Pagans), services and assistance can be very rare. I remember in my very early days of being a Hellenist, that I had no mentors at all. There were certainly plenty of Pagan Elders around, but no Hellenists.

When someone enters our presence (a priest or priestess), or we into theirs, they should always feel as though they are in the presence of goodness, peace, wisdom, protection, acceptance, knowledge, and to an extent, blessings. They should not feel any miasma (pollution) of any kind, but rather, and clear path to the Gods. I always want my family, friends, temple members and clergy to think it was a wonderful experience being with me. Not because I want prestige for myself, but because I desire to make a difference in the world and the people around me. If a priest makes things worse, they are disconnected from the Gods. If they don't uplift others, their words and actions are not positive. 

It does nothing for the good of a priest, or any clergy, if people feel uneasy or distant around you. Along with general religious services, the people in my Demos are able to come to me for personal spiritual counsel and historical knowledge. Even clergy I hire to work for the temple, I keep tabs on to make sure they are doing well. 

A Hellenic priest or priestess is not an intercessor, but we are pathfinders. 

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

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