I’m Silence Ocelfa and I’ve served the Morrigan as a priestess and medium for nine years. You probably haven’t heard of me, as I tend to be very private about this aspect of my life. I’ve been a fan and admirer of Morpheus Ravenna’s work, and other priestesses like Stephanie Woodfield, Jes Finnegan Clark and my friend Morgaine Nightshade.
About a month ago, Ravenna posted this post which resulted in much discussion and controversy. I was not in a headspace to invite controversy at that time (still would like encourage civil discussion if possible) and waited on posting this. Maybe posting this is out-of-date, or going to ruffle feathers all over again. But I wanted to add my $0.02, and even though I am technically on sabbatical and working on myself rather than accepting spiritual work, I have been solitary a long time, and would like to reach out to other practitioners.
Yes we serve greater things in and sometimes with our lives, but these greater things are made up of the smaller units of our lives; the lives of people and other living things, their values, their dramas and their right to exist. Perhaps your practice even enriches your own life. When we serve the gods it’s not to make their lives more enjoyable because they are bigger and more powerful than us, that would be nepotism to the highest degree. We serve Them because it helps Them serve the whole.
If your worship is not serving the whole, if it is only making you miserable to the benefit of a higher being, perhaps it’s time to reconsider being involved in the worship. Ravenna is right that oaths to enter service to the gods are not to be entered into lightly, and should if possible have a lengthy period of consideration. Asa West is correct that renegotiation is possible. You’re not fucked forever if you have entered into one of these contracts without enough consideration, and even if you were, panic and terror are not helpful responses in the long-term.
I’m not sure how much detail it is useful for me to go into about my own practice so I will be brief. Suffice to say I was asked to make a commitment of devotion pretty much out of the blue ten years ago in 2004. I took a good month to consider the offer and declined at the end of that period. Five months after that I was informed that “No” was not the correct response and pressured into priesthood. I might not have tried everything to refuse or at least gain some breathing space, but I tried a lot. I live in a small town in an isolated location. I tried reaching out for help and advice or mentorship but it was not to be found. After I accepted and did my dedication (alone), teachers started trickling into my life and offering much needed coaching and advice.I’ve subsequently assisted other sibling followers in the same situation I was.
It is good to negotiate your own terms, do your own research and not take dedication lightly. But it is not always possible to find a mentor first, take months to consider or even to refuse. It might be easy to find examples and mentorship in the bright lights of California or the heavily populated United States, but it is not so everywhere. We shall just have to work to make mentors more available to potential devotees, and I applaud the work already being done in that regard as it is not easy.
After 7 years of service I was able to take a breather from my practice and regain some perspective. As far as I can tell I was asked (for the first time) if I wanted to continue mediumship practice and I said no, but I remain a follower and devotee. I continue with the work I have been assigned which is work I would do anyway if I weren’t bonded. I just get help, direction and motivation this way.