You may have noticed for a while that the social networks of the Shrine of Eros have had very little activity. It is mainly due to the fact that both my devotion to Eros and my priestly work have ended on a more mundane plane because that is how I have felt that Eros was asking me, or that it was the most appropriate way at this time to honor him. I have always believed that the work and the title of priest only make sense in a community. A priest is the one who consecrates his life to one or more divinities, but he is also the one who consecrates his life in a community, bringing that divinity closer to the rest in multiple ways.
Activism as sacred labor
This year I felt the need to get more actively involved in the LGBTIQ+ community in my city and that is why I joined the LGBTIQ+ association in my city and assumed roles of responsibility. For me, part of my devotion and my service to Eros consists in bringing the sacred closer to LGBTIQ+ people but as a member of the community and with everything I did focused on him, I felt that something was missing.
In a fairly fluid way I ended up in contact with the association and in no time was helping to organize protest marchs and activities during the Pride that was held this year. Later, I ended up creating safe spaces so that people of all sexual orientations and gender identities could express themselves freely, I put myself in the front row demanding rights and that measures be taken to end the growing wave of LGBTIQphobic crimes that has occurred in Spain during 2021, I counseled and accompanied people who needed some guidance, created informational material and spent hours in fundraising activities so that we could continue doing more activities.
All of that is what activism is, because not everything has to do with going out and demonstrating, and each and every one of those things has been a sacred work dedicated to Eros. I may not be physically close to a community that feels a devotion to Eros, but I do have very close to people who can benefit from that work even if they don’t share those beliefs. This also ties in with what it means to be a priest for the Fellowship of Isis, a priesthood which I am now studying, since accepting that priesthood implies accepting voluntary work done to help develop the divine plan of the deities. At the Fellowship of Isis, the priesthood involves commitment and daily service that can translate among other things into human rights activism, including LGBTIQ+ activism.
A priest does much more than ritual labor
A priest not only has to dedicate himself to guiding rituals and prayers, he also has to be in some way the vehicle of the divine energy to which he has dedicated himself. This can be translated in many ways depending on the deity; In the case of Eros, it implies work to re-sacralize and naturalize everything that has to do with sex and gender, work for a more peaceful, loving and tolerant society, educate in sexual health and teach about Eros and related divinities.
I still remember something that Jana de Madrid used to say, a priestess of the Goddess Tradition in Iberia whom we lost a little over a year ago, and that is that the less beautiful aspects of being a priest or a priestess are not always valued since cleaning, stocking the temple and take care for your community are far less flashy but just as or more necessary than leading rituals or becoming a charismatic teacher who teaches about divine mysteries. I always agreed with what Jana said and now I realize that in reality the priestly work is something much bigger and that few people are truly willing to take on.
Being a priest of any divinity does not have to imply being a leader or the center of attention, which, unfortunately, is what we most often see as many people aspire to. We can look at larger religions and see that not everyone who exercises the priesthood does so from the most public position and works for their communities without seeking any fame. I also do not believe that people’s work should not be recognized and some tasks require more recognition than others for the time and effort spent on them, but the pursuit of fame or notoriety is not the purpose of the priesthood.
For me, being a priest implies working in the fields that this deity governs both spiritually and in the mundane. He requires knowing how to offer spiritual advice and tools but also everyday actions and ordinary solutions to ordinary problems. With the passage of time I have understood that today being a priest of Eros implies both teaching and guiding in spiritual things for those who share the devotion and going out to the streets and making the world a more dignified place where the worship of Eros can exist anywhere and for the latter it is necessary to fix a lot of things that go wrong in the system in which we live. Working in the mundane also has repercussions in the spiritual, not only because it makes your connection with that deity closer but because it gives you a deeper vision of what you should work spiritually seeing by seeing the areas of the ordinary world where the presence of that deity is most needed. divinity.