Because each one of us can encounter and cultivate a relationship with the Divine without the need for an intermediary, Wicca has often been referred to as a religion of clergy.
While communion with the Divine often happens spontaneously, such a relationship can also be cultivated through the use of spiritual practices which requires training, skill and right motivation. One of the primary roles of Ara clergy is the teaching of these practices. Ara Priestesses and Priests are guides who, leading by example, share their experiences and wisdom with those who are committed to learning and being in harmonious relationship with the Divine.
Ara clergy fulfill other important roles within the community and in the broader culture. Ara clergy create and conduct personal rites of passage including births, comings of age, Initiations, marriages, crossing over rites and funerals. Ara Priestesses and Priests may also provide spiritual counseling and facilitation of healing mind, body and spirit. Ara clergy also conduct public rites, celebrations and Sabbats and conduct workshops, lectures, and online classes.
Ara clergy have a long history as public advocates on behalf of the Wiccan, Pagan and indigenous communities, have played critical roles in religious freedom efforts. They work with guiding institutions and organizations devoted to critical issues such as the environment, women and interreligious relations. Consequently, Ara Priestesses and Priests are frequently called upon to speak at public events and to the media.
Becoming a Priest or Priestess
Because it is a public declaration of readiness and responsibility, the Temple of Ara only bestows the title of Priestess and Priest on those Dedicants who have undergone special initiatory and clergy training. Dedicants are initiates who have demonstrated, through extended experience and commitment, a willingness and ability to undertake the serious responsibilities of clergy. Our clergy members guide others on their spiritual quests. They also nurture and cultivate her or his local community in accordance to the Temple’s bylaws. In addition to leading and guiding local and global communities, Ara Clergy oversee the administrative workings of the Temple.
Becoming Elder Clergy
The Temple bestows the title of Elder High Priestesses and High Priests on those clergy who have proven, through deep and continued service to the Temple, a willingness and ability to take on the serious responsibility of upholding the Temple’s standards. Ara clergy that have reached Elder status are instrumental in guiding the spiritual development of the Ara Tradition as a whole and have worked diligently to build community.
To learn more about becoming an Dedicant as well as Clergy Training, please email us here.