“She looks down, shifting her robe by smoothing it flat with her hands.
In the background She can hear the sound of children, laughing as they are called into the space, along with the rising murmur of adults talking softly, as they take their spots along the walls of the Hof.
She centers herself and looks out at the skyline above the majestic fir trees, thanking the landvættir for this opportunity.
She then calls out to her ancestors to guide her this night in preparation for the rite to come.
She reflects on the sacred task ahead of her and recalls the many rites and blots she has led for this gathering of people who look to her for guidance and direction on how to honor the Old Ways.
Remembering the various circumstances She has had a hand in honoring, marking, or sacrificing for; the warm feeling that fills her chest begins to immediately seep in.
She is reminded of the sacred duty she has oathed to fulfill for her Gods and her people, and how much she is rejuvenated each time she dons her mantle as a Godwoman and re-enacts the sacred ceremonies.
As She pushes back the skin of her tent, she smiles to see the beaming faces of her Kindred standing in joyful anticipation of the evenings ritual, and she is in awe that in the 21st century, there is still the soul of the Ancient Ones breathing here; and that breath moves through her into the people and back into the nine worlds they have come to honor.
With her head held high in pride, She walks with purpose into the center of the gathered crowd, saying loudly and with confidence “Hail! Let the Ceremony begin!”
Until just a couple of years ago (and I mean literally about 10 years tops!) For a Heathen to become an official member of the class of clergy that is recognized to perform legal ministerial duties was nonexistent.
If you practiced Asatru or any other form of Heathenism and wanted to officially marry, bury, or give spiritual counseling to another Kindred, you would have to go on line and get a certificate as a ‘reverend’ by some lame organization like the universal life church; and this form of certification took about 5 minutes to accomplish. This form of certification is great if you want to just be the officiant for your friend’s wedding, but if you have had a higher calling to truly be a spiritual leader, especially within the Heathen community, this sort of instant credentials doesn’t cut it.
Moreover, most Heathens today have the belief a priest class of folk doesn’t exist in our tradition, nor did it. I am here to tell you we do, and it did.
As in all walks of life and beliefs; there are a chosen few who heed the call of their Gods and get the message that they are to serve their community in ways other Folk can’t or won’t. We have a way of feeling the pains of others who suffer. We have a drive to reach out and try to correct a person’s Wyrd that might be lost, or help to heal a kindred that is plagued by illness, whether it be their body, or their mind.
Being a heathen Priestess, called a Gythia (or god-woman) I have lived my life in-steeped in the lore of our Gods, working intimately with the Wights of our land, and with our Ancestors; Just as my foremothers of long ago.
This way of living as it did in the past has gifted me with the ability to help guide my Kindred in living a better Heathen life.
The purpose of this post today is to happily show you that the title and training of Gythia is alive and well.
Just as the Modern day Druids have reclaimed their priestly class of reputable and competent sacred community leaders, TODAY, The Asatru Community has set about doing the same task: we have a thorough training program that will properly certify someone as a Gythia, thereby reclaiming this role in our tradition, as well as giving those of us who are active leaders of our community a means to travel to our own or other ‘villages,’ and show we are competent and trained to help others with our craft and connection to the Old Heathen Ways.
~I know from my almost 30 years of experience as a Volva and Gythia that there is a lot to be said for formal training.
I can gain just so much from my trails and errors, but after I was taught by a teacher, that I truly discovered my talents and abilities.
Research has shown our ancestors had teachers for the spiritually gifted; and now, so do we.
If this sounds like your calling; please check out The Asatru Community’s Clergy training program and apply today.
You just might discover being a Priestess of the Old Ways is exactly what your heathen heart was looking for!