I’ve just spent the morning with two very powerful and experienced fellow witches, both High Priestesses of successful magical groups. They see their role as being one of guidance, teaching and inspiration; both are very aware of their responsibilities towards their groups and feel they are privileged to be in such a situation. We spent a fantastic few hours discussing a range of eclectic subjects from healing and transactional analysis to our favourite breeds of dog, drinking coffee and eating French Fancies.
One of the things we discussed was why there appears to be far fewer men actively involved in the craft than women. Given that many well known writers on the subject are male we said that we found this surprising. In fact neither of them have a High Priest in their groups and in both, the women outnumber the men by about four to one!
Then, I suppose as women do, we began to speculate on why this is. Perhaps men aren’t suited to working in groups? Perhaps they don’t like to share their beliefs, skills and feelings or perhaps women are more likely to seek out others they can share things with and are more determined to do the necessary research and digging to find a group they feel is right for them? Maybe it’s easier for women to admit that they would like to be in a group? Maybe the nature of witchcraft makes it more likely to appeal to the female mind? (More instinctive, more likely to go with their feelings) Or maybe men are just not interested?
Then as we got carried away with the subject, also as women do, we said maybe men don’t like to be surrounded by women, or by strong women, or by women at all, maybe they don’t want to be bothered with it or maybe they think they might be seen as predators (yes, we have met someone who called them that!) or maybe we just scare them off? Which led to a conversation about what makes a successful High Priest anyway and does it matter if there isn’t one in a coven. A High Priest certainly needs a degree of charisma and a sense of the dramatic but maybe this also goes with a huge ego that wouldn’t fit the workings of a group? You can imagine where this discussion went…
We concluded that it isn’t necessary to have an HP in a coven but that, as we see balance as important, it would certainly add to the power of the group if there was a strong male energy to equal out the female ones. It seems as though in successful working covens the High Priest and High Priestess are nearly always a couple, i.e. somehow involved with each other in a partnership and we wondered whether it was possible to have a coven where this wasn’t the case? And how would we get to that point? My friend and I decided that spell crafting was the only way!! Which led to some interesting chats about spells and magic and more coffee as we stirred up the cauldron and planned our next meeting.
I’m posting this so that all you male witches out their can disagree with me and have your say on the subject…
2 thoughts on “High Priest and Male energies within a group”
Hi – I thought I would add my thoughts if I may.
I have read your blog with interest and initially some scepticism. After some reflection however I thought I would respond as follows both as a male witch and as you are aware having been in the role of High Priest.
The role of High Priest and High Priestess in a coven or working group is to ensure balance and polarity in ritual and work. To suggest that there is no need to have a HP within a coven is tantamount to suggesting that only female energy is needed within ritual which clearly cannot be right as I am sure you agree. But again this leaves the question as to how this role is fulfilled unresolved.
I suppose there are some male witches who are not prepared to work in a predominantly female environment and more fool them 😉 but I don’t think realistically this means that men in general are not suitable to working in groups.
It does mean however (as you have already alluded) that ‘some men’ are not suitable, probably because of their own sexist views of women but there has to be a distinction and a line drawn between those and men in general.
I agree with your point about balance and energy being important within a coven and working group but where does this leave a coven without a male HP?
Perhaps the question should be framed differently, perhaps the question should be whether or not gender is necessary in respect of the roles of HP and HPS in a coven or working group. Also too the secondary question could also be asked whether or not the HP and HPS should be in a relationship?
In my limited experience I think it is preferable (but not absolutely necessary) to have a male HP within a coven. This is providing of course all other qualifications for his being in that role exist. I also think it is preferable (but again not absolutely essential) that the HP and HPS are in a relationship for reasons mainly associated with the energy they share on an emotional and spiritual level. Both these scenarios are the ideal but again are fraught with dangers and challenges.
There is however dangers in either approach. To dogmatically suggest that the role of HP should be undertaken by a male runs the risk of having someone in that role just because there are so few other options within the group itself. To suggest also that it is best for them to be in a relationship opens a coven up to a danger should the relationship break down between the HP and HPS.
What solves both these problems is to open yourselves up to the possibility that gender is not important and so neither is relationship between the two other than in ritual or group work. What is important is whether or not there is balance.
I attended a ritual some time ago which was all male, I initially found myself a little uncomfortable given the seeming lack of polarity or balance.
That being said, the role of HPS was undertaken by a man who in all respect to him was extremely feminine and it was clear he could undertake the role capably and powerfully. In this respect I see no reason to assume that where a coven lacks a suitable male high priest why that role cannot be undertaken by a female within the group providing of course she has the suitable connection with her masculine side to undertake that role.
My tuppenny’s worth has seemingly turned into about £5s worth but I thought I would respond on such an important and thought provoking point.
Blessings to all at the Blackthorn Coven
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Myrrdin xx