Tag Archives: Priests

Hekate Symposium 2013 at Glastonbury on Jun 1st

Hekate Symposium 2013 will be held in Glastonbury, UK on Sat, Jun 1st, 2013.

Hekate Symposium Jun 1st 2013 at Glastonbury, UK

“Devotees, Priestesses, Priests and students of Her Mysteries from all around the country – and indeed the world – will gather for the second annual Hekate Symposium.”

“This is a unique one-day event which is entirely dedicated to the Goddess Hekate and her Mysteries, which will comprise scholarly presentations, ceremonies, meditations, pathworkings, chanting and ritual theatre throughout the day! Packed full of Hekatean delights from 10am – 10pm on Saturday, 1 June 2013. Facilitators and presenters this year include authors Sorita d’Este, Georgi Mishev, Emily Carding, Orryelle Defenestrate-Bascule, as well as Amelia Ounsted, Hazel, Sophia Kirke and numerous other Priestesses, Priests and Devotees giving their time, knowledge and talents to making this community event happen as an act of devotion.

This will be Georgi Mishev‘s first lecture in the UK, and those readers who enjoyed his work THRACIAN MAGIC will be particulary interested to know that he will be speaking on some of the material in the book, and leading a blessing ceremony in his native Bulgarian. Emily Carding (Cornwall) has – especially for this event – written a Ritual Drama, bringing together her knowledge and experience of working and studying Acting with that of her spiritual and ceremonial work to create something truly magical. The talks and lectures being given are all absolutely unique to this event. Many of the speakers at this years’ event are professionals and academics in their own fields, speaking exclusively at the Hekate Symposium about their work with the Goddess Hekate, driven by their passion for sharing knowledge and experience about Her Mysteries.” [via]

Priest/ess

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Priest/ess: In Advocacy of Queer Gnostic Mass by Michael Effertz, which was privately printed and circulated. A trade paperback edition is “in preparation” [via].

Michael Effertz's Priest/ess, privately printed

 

As a writer, Br. Effertz is articulate and polite, and he has obviously invested significant expense and care in the production of this attractive little book. On certain points of church policy and doctrine, he even shows himself to be better read and more perceptive than many clergy of my acquaintance. However, he is fundamentally wrong about the purpose of E.G.C. clergy and mistaken about the E.G.C. hierarchy’s positions on officer gender.

Contentious issues of gender and sexuality aside, it neither is the case nor should it be the case that “it is the sovereign right of every man and every woman and every intermediately sexed individual” to serve as ritual officers of the church according to their own lights and initiative. As Br. Effertz shows himself to understand, the Gnostic Mass is a proprietary sacrament of the O.T.O., and it is not susceptible to proper enactment without the sanction of the Order. Clergy of the E.G.C. rite are exercising the authority of the church body, and do so under corresponding obligations. There is no generic “right” to serve as a priest or priestess any more than there is to serve as a lodgemaster or to preside at the conferral of degrees.

Priests and priestesses do not have the authority to impose their own interpretations on the Mass, because it is not intended as a vehicle for personal expression. What it achieves is threefold (magical, communal, and doctrinal, as asserted here), and rare indeed is the individual priest or priestess with a conscious comprehension of all three of the objects at stake. Accordingly, their service is subject to both written policy, and to hierarchical oversight. The latter involves magical and doctrinal issues that are not–and cannot be–matters of published policy.

The policy of the church on the matter of officer gender hinges on the distinction between private and public Gnostic Masses, a distinction which Br. Effertz at first obscures, and then misrepresents. One might read the first third of his book without encountering any hint that what he calls “queer Gnostic Mass” is in fact perfectly licit under current church policy. What is required, in particular support of what I have called the doctrinal purpose of the Mass, is that public Masses have priests who are socially masculine in their life outside the temple, and priestesses who are similarly feminine. (Br. Effertz provides no support for his contention on pp. 40-43 that the hierarchy have confused gender with sexuality in formulating current policy.)

Individual initiates may indeed use the ceremonial roles of the Gnostic Mass as avenues for personal exploration and expression concerning gender. It may be considered paradoxical or even ironic, but the possibility for an ordinarily masculine initiate to experience the office of priestess as a thoroughly feminine role is maintained and enhanced through the constraint that requires priestesses of public Masses to be ordinarily feminine (and vice versa, mutatis mutandum, et cetera). Br. Effertz proposes that keeping “queer Gnostic Mass” within the initiated regimen of private Mass is equivalent to “closeting” of queer personal relationships. But the comparison is false: private Gnostic Masses are not secret. The queerpriest or queerpriestess is at perfect liberty to openly boast such private enactments. Keeping the actual events among initiates appropriately highlights their experimental and idiosyncratic character.

In the end, the freedom of queer amorous relationships, while it is an essential ingredient of Thelemic morality, is incidental to the work of Gnostic Mass officers. The ceremony does not hinge on the erotic relationship between the priest and priestess or on their sexual orientations. It does use their genders to adumbrate certain chief secrets of O.T.O. I applaud Br. Effertz in his dismissal of certain shallow, uninitiated readings (especially those promoted by Kenneth Grant) regarding the formulae of the Order’s high degrees. But demonstrating someone else’s misunderstanding does not establish his own right understanding in this respect. And since those who know don’t talk, strawmen are the only opponents available to Br. Effertz when he tries to come to grips with the deeper doctrinal elements of the Mass. He should heed the words of the Primate that he likes to quote, and continue to question his own assumptions about what is represented in the drama of our central ceremony. [via]

 

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Why Priests?

Why Priests?: A Failed Tradition by Garry Wills from Viking Adult is a new work that may be of interest for both the historical and contemporary examination of the role of priesthood, specifically in Roman Catholicism but perhaps also relevant, or at least informative, in reflection on the office as it appears in other traditions and in general Western culture.

Garry Wills' Why Priests? from Viking Adult

 

“Bestselling author of Papal Sin and Why I Am a Catholic, Garry Wills spent five years as a young man at a Jesuit seminary and nearly became a priest himself. But after a lifetime of study and reflection, he now poses some challenging questions: Why do we need priests at all? Why did the priesthood arise in a religion that began without it and opposed it? Would Christianity be stronger without the priesthood, as it was at its outset?

Meticulously researched, persuasively argued, and certain to spark debate, Why Priests? asserts that the anonymous Letter to Hebrews, a late addition to the New Testament canon, helped inject the priesthood into a Christianity where it did not exist, along with such concomitants as belief in an apostolic succession, the real presence in the Eucharist, the sacrificial interpretation of the Mass, and the ransom theory of redemption. But Wills does not expect the priesthood to fade entirely away. He just reminds us that Christianity did without it in the time of Peter and Paul with notable success.

Wills concludes with a powerful statement of his own beliefs in a book that will appeal to believers and nonbelievers alike and stand for years to come as a towering achievement.” [via]

 

Egyptian Magic in Egyptian Magic by Florence Farr.

“Now, if an Egyptian failed in standing such tests as these, in the ceremony of his initiation, he was regarded as a man liable to become an evil KHOU if his power was developed: and in their Wisdom the Priests rejected him and left him in that ignorance which led to oblivion and the annihilation of the incarnating Ego. Not only this, but if he, by underhand means, found out magical formulas and was able to use them effectively, the punishment was death.” [via]

Egyptian Magic in Egyptian Magic by Florence Farr.

“The King-Priests gave forth an exoteric religion to the people, by which to guide their footsteps until they had reached that stage of development (it may have been only after repeated failures, incarnation after incarnation), when they also might join the ranks of the initiated” [via]