The Priestess Arts: Tools for these times

Date(s) - 05/05/2017 - 05/07/2017

Hollis Renewal Center, Kansas City KS


The Priestess Arts: Tools for These Times

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Some magical traditions require the initiate to make a tool for each element. That which is and represents, the tool is more than an exercise, it is a process that creates something necessary for the work that lies ahead. What if… what if…

What if… you are the tool? — Cynthea Jones, Playing for the Song

The Priestess Arts of Diana’s Grove are the elemental tools that we become, when we dedicate ourselves to embodying our values. They are the way we give the things we believe in hands, and feet, and voice, and the ability to walk around in the world.

When Change is needed, the Priestess Arts are the Tools that let us Be the Change.

“I don’t use the word Priestess to tell you what I am, I use the word to tell you what I do. I am a Priestess when I am Priestessing. Priestess, for us, is not gender-specific. No one is asked to take this name, nor is anyone who is doing the work denied it.” — Cynthea Jones, Playing for the Song

I learned the Priestess Arts as “goals for spiritual leadership,” as steps in a process. I no longer seem to be able to separate them from my daily life. These Arts forever changed me. When I have lost hope or am depressed or melancholy and stop and look inward I have almost always stepped away from these Arts. They are a major guiding force in my life, a map of how to move forward when I have no idea what to do. If only I can remember to remember. – Elizabeth


air1The Priestess Art of Air: Officiating Sacred Rites

The sacred rite of communication, of speaking and listening.

We consider speaking and listening, communicating, to be a Sacred Rite. Not only does a Priestess need the ability to communicate, they need to be able to enable others to communicate. Honest, effective speaking is one of the Priestess’ arts. Presenting ideas and offering workshops is one application of that art. Facilitating small group process is another. And then there is that place of greater complexity – talking honestly to each other in unstructured situations. (Playing for the Song)

  • How do I enter into exchange with others?
  • How do I balance the inhalation and exhalation of a conversation?
  • How do I find the right balance between words and witness?

It’s easy for me to see how communication is a sacred rite when I am teaching or facilitating – but where this Art really feels essential is when I am having a conversation – or (given the current climate) an argument. How am I present to someone else who has a different opinion or even an entirely different value set? How do I choose my words in order to build bridges rather than create chasms? This is a constant struggle for me, especially now, and this Priestess Art encourages me to practice raising my voice and setting strong boundaries, and yet still make space for the magic that comes from resistance and friction. Speaking and listening — there’s a reason they’re both included in the description. Both are essential parts of the ritual. – River


fire1The Priestess Art of Fire: Leading Others to Their Own Discovery

Validating individual wisdom.

We believe that each person can have a personal experience of divinity. A Priestess leads others to their own experience, instead of bringing the “truth” or “wisdom” from the divine to the seeker. A Priestess enables others to find their own truths. (Playing for the Song)


  • How do I ignite curiosity?
  • How do I spark recognition and realization?
  • How do I bring to light the courage to discover?

Leading to Discovery was, for me, the heart of what I learned at the Grove, and of why what I learned at the Grove was different from what I learned anywhere else. It’s a good fit with my Buddhist practice, which includes the belief that everyone (yes, everyone!) is inherently, in essence, good. The obscurations that get in the way of that goodness are dirt on the glass. Trying to hold that belief can be overwhelming, but then I remember: I don’t have to figure out your Truth, or persuade you of mine. All I have to do is make space for you to find your own, deepest knowing. That’s where change can arise. – Laurie


water1The Priestess Art of Water: Acting as Healer

What you nurture will grow in the group that you serve.

A Priestess acts as a healer in their community. They work for healthy interactions. They understand and support healthy process. Here is a frightening concept: A group can’t be healthier than its leaders. If this is true, then as a spiritual leader, your goal is to do your personal work so you can support healthy process and healthy group dynamics. (Playing for the Song)

  • How do I soften hard edges?
  • How do I flow around barriers and obstacles?
  • How do I dive deep and make space for vulnerability?

I think of the Priestess Arts as calling me back to myself. Each of them implies outward action but, for me, begin with inward reflection. I must be doing my personal work in order to skillfully apply them professionally. They particularly require me to be self-aware so that my ego will not get in the way. And Acting as Healer requires me to be on my own healing path. Only when I am actively doing my own work am I able to help others, and often it is through demonstrating that I am doing my work!  – Lucinda


earth1The Priestess Art of Earth: Relentless Support of the Sacred Made Manifest

Embodying transcendence

Ritual arts ask us to embody the sacred, support the sacred in others and in the group. Supporting the sacred in the form of supporting the group, the work required to be a functional community, yourself and others. All relentless support can be a ritual. The sacred is everywhere. The ritual can be preparing a meal, tending the land, tending the community… (Playing for the Song)

  • How do I tend what I honor?
  • How do I cultivate healthy boundaries?
  • How do I allow my conviction to take root?

The Priestess Arts are like a song that I can’t let go of, even if I wanted to. They serve as a touchstone for me, as reminders of both my power and my responsibility. Lately, the one that comes up most often for me is “Relentless support of the sacred made manifest.” Thing is, I can’t take just the first part – relentless support – I have to take the whole thing. If I’m supporting the sacred made manifest, then I have to hold my collaborators, my colleagues, my loved ones to a high standard. I have to have difficult conversations with them when it’s warranted. And it goes both ways, too, of course. If I want to live in a world where the sacred is supported, then I have to be open to – have to WELCOME – that same high standard from the people who I collaborate with and care about. It’s hard to do that, on both sides. It’s also incredibly important, and feels even more important to me now than it ever has. — Jason

Originally taught at Diana’s Grove Mystery School as essential components of professional spiritual leadership, the Priestess Arts are also remarkably effective everyday tools for everyday life. We’ll spend a weekend exploring them as practical skills to support our relationships, our work and our world. We will mine the resources of community and legacy, coming together to explore these teachings in their original context and as tools for these times.

This skills-based intensive will take place May 5-7 at Hollis Renewal Center in Kansas City, KS. There are camping opportunities on-site, and a block of rooms will be available at a nearby hotel. Registration will begin at 12:00 noon, Central time on Thursday, 2/2/17.

Registration and Logistics

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This event will be held at Hollis Renewal Center in Kansas City, KS. Registration will include all meals (Saturday continental breakfast through Sunday continental breakfast) and all programming from Friday evening through Sunday at noon. Registration costs will be on a sliding scale, beginning at $150.00 for early registration until February 28. Beginning March 1, minimum pricing will increase by $25.

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