Funeral yesterday, the morning after my first Death Cafe on Sunday evening. It was in a small and perfect Episcopal church, set along a creek. I didn’t know many of the other people there so I busied myself comparing the size of the church to what Mother Grove Goddess Temple will need in its new building and counting the number of pews. The service was the formal one for the Dead (I assume)–I’ve attended near-identical ones for other Anglican friends who have made the transition to Ancestor.
The priest is a friend (and former customer when I worked in the bookstore) and she is small and sturdy and perfectly poised in her work. She is smart as a whip, too, and nice. But I had never seen her be a priest/ess before and I want to give her the credit due for her work.
In my kind of priestessing, we talk about connection and in-gathering energy and dispersing that out into the gathered participants. We talk in terms of the priestess drawing the Divine into her for some aspects of our work, of “drawing down the Moon.” I have no idea what Sewanee classes there are in energy manipulation so I don’t know if there is conscious training for the priests of the Anglican Communion.
This is what I do know…twice, and only twice, have I seen a woman in the robes of an Episcopal priest raise her arms in the ancient posture of worship–hands flat and palms upward–who grounded herself and drew down “the Moon.” There is a radiance that happens at that moment–I’m not kidding. The celebrant’s face changes and her aura expands. And you can feel the renewed energy throughout the room. It’s lovely to see that kind of working happen across liturgical boundaries and I am grateful to have seen it twice in a denomination other than my own.
But don’t tell the bishop–he might not approve.