Priest

(Priestess, Minister, Rabbi, Evangelist)

The ritual that establishes the unique role of the Priest is ordination, the official capacity to facilitate the making of spiritual vows–commitments made to divine authority. Ordination or similar rituals of initiation allow the Priest, Rabbi, Shaman or Medicine Man to serve as a vehicle or spiritual channel of energy for others. Many of those devoted to spiritual life, such as Monks and Nuns, do not facilitate the ritual exchange of vows and spiritual energy. Ordination also empowers the Priest to convey to the public the power of sacred teachings, rituals, wisdom, morality, and ethics of each spiritual tradition. Because of these profound spiritual responsibilities, the ordained are expected to represent the teachings through personal example. And, so, the shadow side of this archetype manifests through the inability to live according to those teachings, especially in lapses of personal morality. The breaking of vows while conducting vows for the community, or using ordained authority to control the population for personal gain, have always been the dominant expression of this archetype’s shadow. From the corrupt temple priests of the ancient Egyptians to the scheming, power-hungry prelates and Popes of medieval Christianity, shadow Priests have interfered in secular politics to gain church power, extorted money from people who need food and shelter just to build larger temples and cathedrals, held back women’s rights and gay rights, and misused the people’s trust to satisfy their own sexual needs.