Deep in the cities of the world, down old cobbled streets and alongside high-rise glass towers, live the Urban Priestesses. These Sacred Sisters are on a secret mission from the Goddess to bring Her alive in the modern world – to ignite the flame of Her love in a landscape of tower blocks and sprawling suburbs, to create magic and connection in the age of smartphones and the internet, to vibe with something real and eternal and transcendent, but never leave reality far behind.
These women are Her stealth operatives, working deep undercover, quietly connecting into Her nourishment and beauty, sneaking Her practice into the tight corners and quiet spaces of their fast-paced modern lives.
Nowadays, a Priestess might not look like a traditional image of a wise woman tending herbs in a country retreat, or a woman standing bare breasted on a mountaintop wreathed in incense, or someone cloaked and cloistered away in a hermitude at the bottom of a valley. Looking at an Urban Priestess, you might not see her inner magic at first glance, her connection to the Divine – after all, she looks just like everyone else, blended into the fabric of the city.
As the world has changed, so have we – we have adapted to be relevant to the times, to work in our magic at the edges of the modern world, to infiltrate the mass of unconscious humanity wth a little love and wonder.
What are the qualities of these undercover Priestesses? What do they do… and might you be one of them?
- You see the love in the world.
What jumps out to you as you watch the tired masses of humanity jostling to get on the Subway? How they are all embodiments of love – sweet, innocent, bumbling humans trying to do their best and find their way in the world.
Acts of love speak to you more than anything – the absent minded kiss of a boyfriend on his girlfriend’s head as they snuggle up to endure the night bus together, two souls in Pret a Manger playing the “no, you have it” game over the last chicken avocado sandwich, a little girl singing an improvised song about pigeons – they swell your heart and make you feel connected in this alienating jungle of people and concrete.
You KNOW that love is the connecting force in the world, and that if you just look for it, you will see it everywhere. You are so so committed to seeing Love and feeling Love for the world around you.
(Photo by Hernan Sanchez)
- You are a magpie for beauty and super casual ritual.
You probably live in a room with crystals dotted on the windowsill, a tangled pencil case full of incense sticks, and some kind of tassled silk scarf marking a sacred space on a bookshelf. You frame your life with ritual: you find the meaning in applying your eyeliner in the mornings, have a cupboard stocked full of herbal teas, and own a tarot deck or two.
Your housemates know you as The Witchy One. When you are pissed off about something, you are just as likely to write it down on the back of an old reciept and chuck it in a passing bin as to call up your bestie to vent. When you are at a crossroads or have an important decision to make, you reach for your cards, light some incense and pray to make the right choice – but let’s be real, you don’t have the time or the space to go all out ceremonial with your practice, you live in an overpriced shoebox in the city.
And woe betide the housemate who sneaks into your room to borrow your headphones and disturbs the careful arrangement of dried flowers and feathers upon your dresser.
- You engage with life, rather than run from it.
The hallmark of a Chill Urban Priestess is her willingness to engage with life – the noisy, messy, swirling chaos of human existence – rather than hide from it. So, she sneaks her priestess practice around her busy city life.
We have traditional images of Priestesses swaddled in midnight robes meditating for hours, sequestering themselves away from people and living for the otherworld, not this one. Not you. You see that spirituality is about how you live your life according to your beliefs, not in how well you tick off an imaginary list of what makes you a worthy spiritual seeker. Your meditation practice might be squeezed in around waiting for your morning train. Your sacred robes? Your galaxy-print catsuit and indigo eyeshadow, ready for a night of sacred dancing till dawn with your coven of friends.
Your daily temple tending practice might be making healthy packed lunches the night before, or the Kali screensaver on your smartphone, your sacred space the library of blissed out sounds on your spotify account and a sneaky trip to the park on your lunchbreak.
Your heart might be full of desire for the Goddess, but you find her in your own backyard – in the foxes hiding between the dumpsters in the broken alleyways, in the skies glimpsed between the tall offices, in the massive hearts of the badass women you fill your life with.
- Your spiritual practice is your lifeline
You cannot exist without it. You know. You really, truly know. You have tried. You thought it might be easier to exist without it – you are a busy woman and you have tried to pass on your morning meditations or your sacred tea ritual or carrying crystals with you everywhere or your constant reading of spiritual books on your Kindle, but it just doesn’t work.
Without it, you are listless, empty, overwhelmed – running on an anxiety and alienated unconnectedness that shakes you.
With it, you feel whole, human, able to see the beauty in the world around you.
Photo by Robson Hatsukami Morgan
- Your craving for the sacred is infinite.
You might be an urbanite – you might spend a vast chunk of your life WhatsApping your women and an ungodly amount of time on public transport, but your heart craves the Divine. It leaps for the starlight beauty of the Moon, it bursts and yearns and is ever looking for the Goddess in everything you do.
You may come away from Her – your over-stimulated modern life might lead you on paths that lead away from your heart’s desire, but you always come back to Her. Nothing fulfils you more than a night spent on the balcony of your tiny flat, lighting incense and gazing at the moon.
Nothing satisfies your soul more than those stolen morning moments aligning with the energies of the Goddess before you make your warrior way into the world.
When everything is too much, when the world is overwhelming and all your modern commitments are asking too much from you, you curl yourself back into the lap of the Goddess to be healed and medicate with ritual and prayer. She always pulls you back. Nothing moves you more.
As an Undercover Urban Priestess, you work your personal ministry for yourself, and quietly strive to vibe the energy, compassion and joy of the Goddess wherever you go, unobtrusively, without god-bothering or showmanship. It’s not about being acknowledged as the most fabulous tarot reader this side of the river, or being seen as the most spiritual or witchy person in your friend group – it’s just who you are, to the core, to the most central part of your being. You can’t help it.
You exist side by side with the spiritual, no matter where you are – at work, at Pride, in the bathroom or on the last subway home. Your practice may not be perfect, but it is essential – it lights you up and brings you connection.
You can’t not do it.
It’s not an option.
So you will keep walking the twilight streets of the city, cursing Googlemaps in one hand, and your other clutching an amethyst crystal in your pocket asking the Goddess to get you there safely.
You will keep forgetting to re-enable the smoke alarm in your tiny flat after a night of heady incense and candles.
You will keep sneakily reading titles like “Moon Sex Power” and “The Radiance Sutras” on the morning subway into work.
You will keep being your blessed, witchy, divine-feminine adoring self no matter what.
It’s not a choice.
It’s who you are.