The Basics

I'm Amanda.  I've tried a couple of other names to delineate my spiritual work from other parts of my life, but in the end, I'm just me.  I live in Northern Ontario -- Sault Ste. Marie, to be precise -- and my roots run thick and deep in this area.  I've lived elsewhere, but this is my home, body and spirit.

I hold a BA in English Literature and an MA in Interdisciplinary Humanities, and I recently completed a college program in social service work, as it's much closer to who I am.  Clergyhood, at least in a tradition with no infrastructure, is no way to make a living!  All of this influences the way I think and the way I write.

So now you know who I am, more or less.  I may share more personal details as they become relevant to my task here.

Background and Influences

I've considered myself Pagan for nearly twenty years, but in retrospect, it was coming a long time before that.  I was in high school in the early '90s when I discovered Wicca, or what passes for Wicca in the publishing world.  I learned what I could from books, and most of the rest from experience.  There was also a brief foray into the Correllian Nativist Tradition, where I completed my first degree and other studies, but it wasn't a good fit for me on the long term.  Ultimately, I shook out into a sort of non-denominational Pagan.  Over the years, I came into certain skills and habits that led me into serving the spiritual needs of my community.  At first, it was an accident; later, it was a matter of filling a gap; now, it's become one of the most important parts of my life.

I've worked with both initiatory groups and looser collections of individuals over the years (honestly, I prefer the latter).  I've been a liturgist, ritual leader, spiritual caregiver, community organizer, and teacher.  At present, I'm balancing my calling to serve with the rest of my life.

My influences are broad and eclectic.  Among Pagan authors and leaders, I am most inspired by Starhawk and others working in the Reclaiming Tradition: at once both deeply spiritual and fully invested in activism to improve the world we share.   In terms of providing support to my spiritual community, my approach is primarily empowerment-based.

Why "Priestess at Large"?

When we refer to someone as "at large" -- editor at large, ambassador at large, etc. -- we mark that person as having broad responsibilities, rather than a narrow set of carefully-defined tasks.  Similarly, when we refer to a fugitive as "at large," it means he or she has not been captured.  In short, it's roughly synonymous with freedom.

In much the same way, I am presently unaffiliated with any particular, established tradition, or for that matter, any single deity or pantheon.  My focus is on serving my community on an as-needed basis: meeting them where they are, spiritually, rather than imposing my ways upon them.  My work as a Priestess -- liturgist, teacher, spiritual caregiver -- is dependent upon that freedom to serve, unfettered by any particular tradition's rules.  In the absence of an organizational ethical guideline, then, and in the interest of consistency and integrity, I apply to my Priestessing the same code of ethics prescribed for my field of professional practice.

Memberships and Affiliations

Sault Ste. Marie Pagan Association (founding member, primary liturgist)

Pagan Pride Project (local co-ordinator for Sault Ste. Marie)

Algoma Regional Multifaith Committee (Pagan representative, recording secretary)

[more details will fill this space soon!]