Why am I going to seminary? That is a very good and reasonable question. After all, I'm not exactly your likely candidate. In fact, I'm a spell-casting, chakra-balancing, space-clearing, midnight-whispering, walking, talking, daughter of the Goddess. Seriously, what am I doing going to seminary?
Well, let me tell you.
Ever since I was a child, I have longed for a seminary experience. For years now I have had deep and emotional conversations with my most trusted spiritual friends and allies about my regrets that there were no seminary spaces for people like us. These friends, like myself, practice a spirituality that is outside of the Abrahamic religions, and so the idea of seminary seemed more like a pipe dream.
But here I am, queer and pagan, walking into the heart of Christian theology. To top it off, I'm not just pagan, but I'm pagan clergy. I'm not some newly minted Wiccan initiate. I have studied and practiced craft for almost twenty years. I am as passionate and solid in my beliefs as I am well versed in the lore and history of pagan traditions and related skills. I've been a professional tarot reader, a novice astrologist, and a freelance space clearing priestess (eh, it's nice to make a buck here and there). I've taught classes and workshops, guest lectured in university classes, run big public rituals as well as my own circle, and written pagan articles for national magazines.
But, in the last few years I found myself pulling away from the public pagan community. I began working with people of other faiths - Buddhists, liberal Christians, Agnostics, and the like - and I found that it has been very rewarding. Instead of focusing so much of the ways that we are different, supporting the us/them mentality, these relationships have been more about translating ideas between spiritual languages and finding bridges that link us all together.
Regardless of my slow shift in community, none of this would be happening if it wasn't for my discovery of the Pacific School of Religion. The amazing community of liberal activist Christians that run this seminary are some of the most welcoming and truly Christ-like people I have ever met in my life. I have felt completely welcomed and equally important as open pagan clergy every single step of the way. I posted the story of my time at PSR's "Ministry as Vocation" conference. But needless to say, they are welcoming all aspects of me, and expecting me to bring all of those pieces to the table in everything I do there. I have a feeling that the work and education I receive at PSR will be some of the most emotionally/spiritually/psychologically challenging work I will ever do. And I cannot wait to start.