Wicca is a neo-pagan religion that has gained in popularity since the mid-20th century. Wiccan covens are led by a High Priest or High Priestess, or both. It is possible to be classed as a High Priest in Wicca after gaining the level of Second Degree, however the majority of High Priests and Priestesses are at the Third Degree level.
Wiccan High Priests
High Priests within the Wiccan faith have practiced and learned the basics of Wicca and will be specialists within at least one particular field. Second Degree High Priests and Priestesses will generally teach magical and religious rituals to members of the lower levels, and may also help to lead rites and ceremonies. Wiccan High Priests may also be ordained and can conduct legal weddings, baby naming ceremonies and funerals.
Becoming a Wiccan High Priest
Once you decide to practice Wicca, you will need to find a coven to gain training and education. It is normal practice for all training to take at least a year and a day, meaning you will not reach the status of Wiccan Initiate until you have mastered the basics of the faith. Your journey towards becoming a High Priest or Priestess will encompass completion of the First, Second and Third Degrees of training, knowledge and specialization.
Attributes of a Good High Priestess or Priest in Wicca
In Wicca, a good High Priestess or Priest will be extremely knowledgeable about the faith and will lead by example. You will need to have excellent magical knowledge and be able to lead the ceremonies and rituals in a professional manner. Within the ceremonial context, the High Priestess is considered to be the primary leader, as she is considered to be closer to the Goddess.
Setting up Your Own Coven
Once you have qualified as a High Priestess or Priest in Wicca, you may wish to create your own group. It is customary to adapt a Book of Shadows to meet the specific needs of your coven and you will be able to design the coven's mission to suit your own abilities and interests. As long as you ensure that you adhere to the terms of the Wiccan Rede, you can practice your faith in the way that best suits you.
- Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images