This morning while browsing around on the blogs which I follow, I came across an article on Witchvox titled, "I'm Not Clergy and You Can't Make Me" written by a young woman named Deborah Castellano. In it, she talks about her journey as a Pagan and basically speaks out about her "views" on Pagan Clergy and the like. To start with, here are a couple of excerpts from her article:
"I do wonder why in Paganism especially it seems that we all need to be experts, Priest/esses and basically the person who knows the most? I wonder what that says about us as a people? I mean, surely we can't all be awesome people-people with seemingly never ending amounts of patience and kindness. It's not like it pays anything or even carries much prestige at the end of the day outside of the Pagan/Occult community. But yet . . .most of us seem to want it like a wanting thing and I wonder why that is. It took me like ten out of fourteen years of my Pagan practice to stop that. Because . . .you know what? I don't want to be held up as an infallible expert, I don't need that pressure in my life. I don't need to be the realest of the real, the family trad-ist of the family trads, the most authentic non-indigenous person . . .""...When I started to wake up to the reality of what clergy really means (death rites, marriages you know aren't going to work that you need to perform anyway, being political and keeping your mouth shut, lots of unpaid labor..."
* Sigh* ~ Well, all I can say is "WOW!" What a shame this young lady doesn't truly and fully "get it." Her words speak volumes about her, apparently, bad experiences on this subject! Allow me to retort if you will and I quote: "It's not like it pays anything or even carries much prestige at the end of the day outside of the Pagan/Occult community."
Alright, first of all, it has never ever been about" money" or "prestige" for me nor for any of the Pagan Clergy members to whom I am associated with. Secondly, in her article she basically alludes that people only think that you are an "awesomely patient and kind person" if you have the title of Clergy. Say what?
Becoming a member of the Pagan Clergy (High Priestess/Priest or the like) is strictly a personal decision which one may choose to make somewhere along their spiritual path. It has very little to do with "titles" so much as it represents helping others should they need spiritual guidance. It has to do with educating and teaching others as well as giving them "options" i.e. legal Handfastings and other Pagan Rites of Passage in which other religions get benefit of. It does not make us "better" than anyone else per se.
And furthermore, it is definately NOT some sort of "notch on your belt" nor an ego trip. In my opinion, any Pagan Clergy who thinks and acts such as this, is certainly not worth their salt and does not deserve the so-called title of a clergy person! In other words, they don't "get it" anymore than the author of this article does.
It seems, my friends, as though we as a Pagan community still have a ways to go. How can we expect to overcome ignorance if we can not be open-minded enough to have a true understanding of our own faith?