Ancient Priestessing for a Modern Age – Begins in December

new priestesses
Priestesses in a Modern Age

The Apple Branch is pleased to announce a new program, Ancient Priestessing for a Modern Age coming in December. This is an offering for women only. It is a seminary program. Graduates will be ordained as Priestesses and they will receive certificates as clergy. It takes a minimum of two years to complete this program.

There are classes that must be completed and so, it may take longer to complete, depending on each woman’s available time. If a woman has at least 10 hours a week to devote to the program, she can complete it in two years. Credit can be given for previous study. A class list is available upon request.

Each year of Ancient Priestessing for a Modern Age is a three-fold year but is further divided as nine-fold. In addition, there are transitional times in between the phases of Maiden or Sister One, Mother or Sister Two and Crone or Sister Three, all of which take up the 13 lunar cycles of the year.

We are using the calendar recently published in a book by Helen Hye-Sook Hwang, the 13 Month, 28 Day Mago Almanac in which she divides the year into 13 equal months of 28 days plus one intercalary day each year with a second in the fourth year. The 28 day cycle is not only based on a woman’s menstrual cycle but also closely aligns with the 28 Mansions in Chinese and Vedic calendars. In this calendar, each month begins on Sunday and Fridays are always the 13th.

What follows is a bit of background of the Three-Fold and the Nine-Fold Goddess.

The Threefold Goddess

Three Fates
Ancient Priestesses

The three-fold goddesses are common to European tradition. They appear as the Roman Apportioners and the Greek Moirae, daughters of Nyx who sit about the spindle of necessity on which the thread of life is spun.

These threefold goddesses oversee the fate of humans.  From them comes the concept of fairy godmothers, who gift the newborn with destined qualities and abilities.

The Three Norns, who sit at the base of the Tree, Yggdrasil, the Mighty Tree of Right Measure, are Urd, Verdandi and Skuld.

The Celtic Mothers are seen as givers of destiny. Triple deities are common to Celtic tradition. In Ireland, for example, we find the Morrigan, the goddesses responsible for victory, battle, and prophecy, known as Morrigan, Badbh, and Macha. And we have the triple aspects of Brighid, who is the matron of poetry, healing, and smithcraft.

They are often sisters, and in modern times, they are seen as maiden, mother and crone as well.

As a multiplicity of threes, we also have the nine-fold aspect of Goddess.

The Nine (maidens, sisters, goddesses) is an archetypal group seen frequently in the Norse and Celtic religions.

Here is a sampling of “nines.”

  • The Hindu God Agni, God of Fire had nine mothers.
  • The Nine brides of the cosmic mill.
  • The nine locks on the door of Sampo, another cosmic mill.
  • The Nine Tree women who dwell in Yggdrasi.,
  • The Nine Maidens whose breath fuels the Cauldron of Rebirth.
  • The Nine Giantesses on whose breasts, Freyja suckled.
  • The legend of Morgen of Avalonian who lived at Ynys Avallach with her Nine Healing Sisters.
  • The Nine Priestesses of the coastal isles of Brittany.
  • Brighid with her sacred fire that is tended by between nine and nineteen Sisters,
  • The Nine Fylgjur, clad in White, who represent the well-being and luck of a family.
  • Korean Goddess Mago and Her Eight Daughters.
  • The Nine Muses.

The Carmina Gadelica brings us a blessing of protection that is three and nine and three again:

The Sacred Three:
To Save
To Shield
To Surround

The Hearth
The House
The Household

This Eve, This Night, Oh this Night
And every night
Each single night.

The early bird price for this program is $600 per year, a savings of $120 off the regular cost of the program. Grab your spot soon before the class fills up.

Please see all of our programs at our website.  Use the contact form here to let us know of your interest or to ask questions, or better yet, join us!.