When I was in my teens, I discovered the wonderful world of Role Playing Games, and Dungeons and Dragons in particular. I think I may have spent more hours playing D&D than doing homework in those years and through it, I build a solid foundation for polytheism and Paganism in general for myself. In fact, long before I became an initiated Eclectic priestess, I was a priestess of Selûne, a paladin of Pelor and a loyal follower of Kossuth. I raised temples in Their name, held daily ritual for Them and spoke to anyone who would listen about their deeds and virtues. And I did it all around a table with awesome friends.

I got used to calling on Gods for aid and became aware of Their power and influence over mortal races. Most of what I practice to this day has its foundation in what I learned around that table. About the nature of Gods, about the afterlife, about my need for Deity in my life and my willingness to submit to an idea(l) I can't prove to others.

So now I reach a point in my practice where I actively take up teaching and guiding others on their path, I consider my thoughts on clergy and how it applies to me. I feel like a priestess most days and I would love to perform that role in a community. Unfortunately, I don't have that kind of network around me in the non-internet world. So for now, I have to settle for creating more structure in my own daily practice.

This is no punishment, really. I would love to become more active in my practice and not spent 80 percent of the time I spent on Paganism in my head. Somehow I never seem to find the time or privacy to do so. But there are small things I do, like have a candle lit on my altar at all times when I'm awake and in the house. I say morning and evening prayers. I try to meditate on issues I struggle with at least once a week and hold ritual on the eight festival days, as well as make a special dinner in Their honor. I try to hold ritual on the new moon (somehow full moon never speaks to me as much). If at all possible, I go on walks or bike rides to connect with nature. And, of course, I keep my mind busy with all things Pagan.

I'm not sure what more I would like to do in clergy to myself. I would like to be better skilled in the Hellenic feasts and habits. I would like to hold more regular ritual. I would love to spend even half an hour a day simply being in close proximity to my altar with my thoughts and offer libations. But most of the time I'm busy and tired and would rather take a nap so I can keep going the rest of the day instead of practice my religion.

Yet, I realize a cleric should be surrounded by their community. And I want to be. So this will be a focus in the years to come, although I do not know how this will evolve right now. All I know is that I feel clergy is or should be an important part of our community now Paganism is slowly settling into a framework which can uphold labels. As we struggle for more rights and freedoms, our clergy will become more important than it has ever been and I want to be a part of that.