For the past few days I have been following a discussion thread about what it does and does not mean to be a Feri Priest. It led me to this lovely post about what it means to be a Priest, Priestess, Shaman, and more… a great read.
The debate came up as to whether a God-slave could ever be a Feri Priest/ess, as Feri beliefs state that our primary Deity, above the Star Goddess, the Twins, the Guardians… is God Herself. Is the God within. Is the God, the Deity, the being that we each are inside and in the worlds beyond. That we hold, within us, the God we serve. Namaste, the concept that states “I see God in you,” is not a metaphor.
“You are sacred and special, holy and chosen… just like everyone else.” -Mikey
I would thus concur with the assessment that if a Priest/ess is of service first to their Deity, and then to their community, and acts as a bridge between them across the Abyss… that I am not a Feri Priest/ess.
I consider myself wholeheartedly a Feri Practitioner as part of my personal identity, as Feri teachings greatly inform my life, my magical systems, my daily practice, my love, and how I walk in the world. My obligations to my Godself are clear, and as part of that journey I formally married myself last year in a beautiful ritual fully acknowledging it.
However, my commitments to Bear (the Deity I am owned by) and my Work (the purpose for which I am on this plane at this time) were made before I made my commitments to my own Godself. I could theorize that things might have been different if the formal Feri teachings, as compared to the visions I have experienced for a very long time concerning parts of what is called Feri, had come earlier. But I have no interest in “should”ing all over myself 🙂 It is what it is, and I am grateful for the role Feri plays in my life.
Thus, by my own experiences, I would argue that I could never be a Feri Priest/ess, if the requirement of taking no God beyond myself, is in fact the case. I am a Priest, Shaman, and work with Feri as part of my personal practice and as a deeply rooted part of my identity and experience on this plane… but am not and will not by such definitions be a Feri Priest/ess.
If the perspectives on what it takes to Initiate shift, coming to understand the difference between God-slavery as an inherently destructive or subsuming system that destroys or completely binds Godself (as it is for a number that I know), and God-slavery which is built on consciously constructed interdependence as a tool for the betterment of all involved (including the Deities we serve)… I would delight in considering Initiation again. But that will not change the fact that I am a Shaman and Priest for Bear and for my Communities, and that “I” do not come first in the choices in my own life.
I delight in Feri. It has brought continued richness to my life. I delight in my service, both to the Deity I am owned by, those I serve, and the service I do for my Communities and the world at large.
I am blessed. And so are you on your path. Look up, look around, there it is, the blessings, hidden or not. You are sacred, special, holy and chosen… just like everyone else.