If you follow BePriestess on Instagram you may already have read this. Sometimes I share things on this blog because they are important to me personally. A sort of record of my life. Maybe someday they will be important for my children, too.

After bleeding almost ceaselessly for 20 months, I think my body has completed that cycle. 🌹❤️🌹♥️🌹❤️🌹♥️
There was much to heal and clear. Much to listen to, honor, and understand. The blood flowed so copiously for so long that there was no detectable iron in my blood. I used incontinence pads to catch the flow, sometimes more than a cup a day. Sometimes more than a cup in few hours. Like a fire hose, the blood pulsed out of my body in shocking gouts. 🌋🌋🌋🌋🌋
The doctors wanted hysterectomy or ablation. They wanted me on harsh supplements. I allowed them to give me drugs that made me ill and I lost my left ovary and fallopian tube before saying: No More!
No more drugs that poison my body and cause abnormal growths on my organs.
I do my best to honor this body. My needs. To allow my womb to clear the lifetime of trauma from molestation, rape, abortion, miscarriage, and pain. I honor my womb. For 20 months I had the time and awareness to intentionally and ritually consume my blood at the New Moon. To bleed into the Earth, to paint my body with symbols written with blood, to collect it and pour it out to nourish the plants, the land, the sacred connection to this Earth. 🌳🌱🌲🌿
The final phase seems to have been a flushing. A few days when clear fluid rushed from my womb.
On the day of completion I receiveda healing from @genevievemarierose and participated in a Peruvian womb healing ceremony. I knew that these things bracketed a full move into holding my wise blood within.
I honor my body for allowing this process and this ceremony that lasted for so long.
#wombwisdom #wombhealing#wombmysteries #menstruation#menopause #priestess #priestesses#priestesslineage #priestessingtheplanet#bloodmysteries #ipp #imm #bepriestess#beilluminated #illuminatedpriestesspath#illuminatedmagdalenemysteries#honoringcycles #redtent

Image result for red rose magdalene

To the soul-spirit of Mary Magdalene,
We are here. We have arrived. It has been 2000 years.
Now is the time.
We thank you. We honor you. The sacredness of the feminine is arising and being witnessed.

Your spirit has been with us along the way,
holding the space of love, integrity, and non-judgment
as we, humanity, found our way back to the love.

I believe we are finding our way back to that
in spite of so many straining in the directions
of fear, hatred, and separation.

Your Priestesses have arrived.
We are gathering in circle.
We are wearing your sacred red robes.
We are weaving our energies across and through the dimensions,
holding you, and your sacred work, our sacred work,
the work of compassion, love, and energetic alignment
in the light of our intention. We are healing the hearts
of this planet, one at the time.

We are intiating ourselves into the rights of Heiros-Gamos,
merging the Divine Feminine with the Divine Masculine
within ourselves.

We anoint ourselves and our beloveds with the sacred oils
of Spikenard, Frankincense, and Sandalwood.

We adorn our altars and our crowns
with the Red Rose of the Magdalene.

We name ourselves: Mari; Mary; Magdalene;
Magdalen; Magdalena; Mariam, and we call you in
as we create Sacred Space.Image result for red rose magdalene

As within, so without.
As above, so below.

This is the timing of your return and we are honored
to be present as this, as your teachings, become manifest
upon this Earth.

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

Blessed Be


Even though I am a professional…well, it’s possible that it is because I am a professional, I have been incredibly lax about clearing my home this year. Usually I clear on the New Moon, every month, and our space stays quite clear and the resonance is lovely. Right now though, our house is funky. Energetically, it’s funky. So today I’m clearing.

Clearing a space is so much more than wafting smoke around and, while much of it is intuitive, much of it is also detail-focused, information-based, and the result of years of study and training. These pieces–the study, information, and attention to a variety of details– are critical to having a really clear space.

All too often people talk to me about how they clear their own spaces and then go on to reveal that it isn’t working. That nothing they do seems to shift the energy in the spaces they are working on or in. That they know they’re ‘doing it right’ and yet cannot understand why what they need to shift hasn’t shifted.

I never really know what to say in these situations. If they wanted my help they would ask. Right?

All by way of saying: I cleared my house today. It was a pain because I haven’t cleared our home in so long. But it is done and the place feels so much spiffier, so much lighter. It’s amazing what a clearing can do!


If you’re interested in having your space cleared, please contact me. I do remote clearings on a donation basis and will come to you for a set fee.

For now I’m off to relax in a salty bath and to enjoy our amazing, harmonious home.




My daughter, Shamanic Priestess Singing Rain. Ironically one of the first images found when I googled ‘Priestess in Person’.

Over the past few years I’ve often been urged to offer the Illuminated Priestess Path as an online circle. Certainly it would make the work more accessible to more women. Certainly it would make me more money. Bt a computer is not a human being, even if we are connected via Zoom.

There is simply no way to replicate the connection and interaction that happens when a group of women gather together in one room and join, heart-to-heart, in siStarhood. Truly, this joining is what creates the magic and healing in a Priestess circle.

Eye contact. Vocal tone. A hand to hold. Actual people to whom you are committed for a specific length of time as you hold their needs, healing, and intentions along with your own. There is a level of integrity and commitment demanded by in-person work that I’ve yet to see replicated in an online community. Priestess work is hard. Dealing with your wounding, dealing with you shit, is *hard* and yet women show up to do it. Even when they dread it. Even when they are terrified. Even when they just really would rather watch TV and drink a Sloe Gin Fizz.

Online courses are all about *me*. Not me/me but the proverbial me, the one who doesn’t have to take others into consideration. At all.

In-person courses place us into a space where our energies are fully knit together and one part of the circle missing leaves an evident and obvious hold in the energetic container. No one wants to be the hole. No one wants to be looking at the hold where a missing siStar should be. This creates a safer container, this commitment to not only your work and your process, but also to the work and process of your siStars.


Another piece here is all about me, the actual me who is writing this blog post. I love connecting face-to-face and heart-to-heart with women. I can hear and honor your words and your story and your work when we are physically together in a way that is simply not as visceral or potent when filtered through a screen.

Imagine this: we are at an Introductory weekend gathering, in one case this is happening online, and in the other it is happening in person. Jo is talking about her menarche, how when she was 11 and had her first period, her mother gave her a box of Ob tampons and some Midol and sent her off to figure it out on her own. She couldn’t get the tampon in, it hurt, her hands were covered in blood, finally she gave up and found a few washcloths and used those as pads, washing and drying them in secret, folding them into her underwear, smuggling them out of school in her backpack, until, about a year later her mother found out and punished her for ruining the cloths by bleeding on them.

Online we could read this story and feel deep compassion for Jo and how that mother wounding around her menarche might have hurt her. In person? We are viscerally connected to Jo. We are all held in a space where our heart cords are reaching out to her, even while we hold the amazing space of non-judgment, love, and all without touching her or shutting her down in any way. We are all there, fully present, completely bonded with Jo and her story. A lot can be replicated online and there can be amazing power and truth that comes through, but for me? Working in person is it. Working in person creates something real and beautiful and irreplaceable.

The women in my circles understand this. I’m sure they feel it too, whether they’ve put words to it or not. The sense of  being held completely, in real time, by real women, is amazing and gorgeous and necessary to our reclamation of the Divine Feminine. We are women. We are the living embodiment of Gaia, of Mother Earth. We work most effectively when the minerals of our bones and the blood and water of our emotional bodies are in proximity with one another.

This is what I love. This is what I feel grateful for every day. Women in connection, in proximity, in circle.


I am not your reflection
here to orbit, to reflect light,
a chunk of stone hurled
into the ether and caught
like a milkweed puff
in a spider’s web of stars.

You are not a shining sun
heavenly bright star
mesmerizing blinding compelling
feeding fire to the worlds
orbiting you like hungry fish.

No. You are not a sun, golden
gorgeous nourishment of warmth
and blaze. And I?
I am not a moon, passive
unable to shine on my own.

Bettina C Essert
May 2018

Wild Roses


There was a stand of wild roses
thriving by the edge
of the marsh, entwined with greenbrier
and periwinkle someone had planted somewhere, years ago.
Growing in the mulberry’s shade,
just a step away from the bull rushes and brackish mud.

Parts of my life are caught
in the thorns of those wild roses.
The drops of blood
pricked from my small fingers
as I pulled blooms for my mother
who soon enough left for a new life, husband, kids
as the petals fells one by one
drying on the kitchen counter,
tiny, desiccated curls crumbling,
then swept away by the indifferent
housekeeper’s hand.
The one time I dug three of the canes,
planted them in compost filled pots,
tended them for three years before
leaving town for ten days in August.
My husband forgot to water them. They dried up,
died of thirst. I am still bereft.

One Spring morning, several years ago,
I looked out across the pecan orchards,
toward the edge of the marsh where the rushes
met the roses among the holly and sassafras saplings,
and there was nothing, or nearly nothing there.
Father had hired a man to clean things up,
to tidy the ragged mess of life growing there.
The shoreline, rolling down into the marsh
had been chopped and cut and carted off for burning.
The wild roses were gone.

I’ve waited years now
going each Spring to look
for one tiny leaf to poke her
soft head through. As if
the resurrection of these roses
were a direct indicator
of the resurrection of all
that is feminine and wild and Divine.
So I wait, expectant, kneeling, with my arms stretched before me,
my palms face down and hot,
the soft animal of my body praying, praying, praying,
praying those wild roses back into existance
back into thriving and thorny bloom.

Be, December, 2017


Recently someone wondered aloud why it was so important to clear the name of Mary Magdalene, why it is so important that the word ‘prostitute’ be removed from her reputation. The short answer is, I think, that it is important because there is no evidence of it being true. Saying that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute because the Bible says she was a ‘sinner’, is like saying your Uncle Henry is Ronald McDonald because Henry once grilled some hamburgers. It just doesn’t make sense.


Mary Magdalene, Mary of Magdala, known alternately as the Black Madonna, dusky and dark-skinned, and also said to have been a small woman with strawberry blonde hair, continues to be an enigma, as well as a source of healing for women after thousands of years of trauma suffered at the hands of Christianity and the Catholic Church.


She is known as the Bride of Christ and as a temptress and whore. She was at the foot of the cross with the women of Jesus’ family as he suffered and died. She was the first to see his resurrected form, the first person he spoke to after he left the tomb. And still, for two thousand years she has been named in way that is untrue, ‘whore’ rather than ‘bride’.

While I agree that sex workers should suffer no shame, no ostracization, no criminal prosecution for their work, we live in a world where these things do happen. Even in countries where sex work is legal, sex workers, especially and mostly women, suffer all sorts of social stigma as a result of their professions. The same thing was true when Mary Magdalene walked the Earth in human form. ‘Whore’, was the most filthy, most vile thing a woman could be called because this woman might be wielding her sexual power and benefitting from it, rather than surrendering it to male dominated social and religious structures.

The point in labeling the Magdalene with the title of ‘Whore,’ was to shame, disempower and discredit the Feminine aspect of God. Denying the Feminine aspect of God, in fact, so that men could claim a right to more power by virtue of an untrue story about God’s views on women. They then selected a series of strictly vetted stories about Jesus that did not tell the whole truth. This truth being that Jesus loved women, that he honored them, that he saw women as whole and equal and not as less-than.

Mary Magdalene was the First Apostle. She was primary among the thirteen who followed Jesus Christ. And, she was a woman.

Early on, The Church decided that women were not holy. This is the root of the reason why Mary Magdalene was named ‘whore’ without any evidence that it was true. If they admitted that she was the first among the Apostles, that she was the Beloved of the Christ, how then could they deny the holiness of the female, of Sacred Union and of sexuality itself? Mary Magdalene was symbolic of all wome, in the same way she is symbolic to many of us now. If she were openly spoken of as The Beloved, as Jesus’ Sacred Partner in ministry, they would have to admit that women are not less than men. For a variety of reasons accepting women as equal did not fit the prospectus of the rising Church.

The naming of Mary Magdalene as prostitute is a symbol of the unholiness directed at all women, not because prostitution is unholy, but because it is judged as such by the men who make the rules. It is a way to disempower women by turning our sexual power into a thing to be feared, shunned, sought out in secret.  No matter what your personal thoughts on prostitution, the world was and still is a place where that profession is judged to be dirty, desperate and foul. As is sexual union itself. As are women, seen to be the daughters of Eve.

So in this time when Western women are working so diligently to reclaim the Feminine Face of God, to bring the Goddess back into the World in an accessible, identifiable way, we are Resurrecting Mary Magdalene and all that she truly represents: the clarity of pure love; union with the Divine Masculine; sacred sexuality as a path to goddess/god; the Female Face of God. She was a woman willing to kneel at the feet of her masculine counterpart, to bathe his feet with her tears, to anoint him with her sacred oils, and to dry his feet with her long, soft hair. She knew the value of ritual, of honoring, of surrender and she knew also how to carry the strength of a woman into a world that would disown and forget her for two thousand years, until the time came for her own Resurrection.

We did not fall with the Temple. We rose.
We are the Rainbow Roses and in this naming
we honor not only the Magdalene, not only
the Holy Mother, but ourselves as Priestesses
who aRose when the Temple fell.

Singed hems, heart broken, yes, we were wounded
as human hearts are when things fall down.

The dust blinded us. Obscured our clarity,
we surrendered ourselves completely, dumbly,
to the animal stupor of belonging. We were led
by the nose rings of our small selves into the ring
where the spears struck and the crowds jeered
and we bled, stupidly, into the dirt, not realizing
we were bleeding away our power.

But now as we bleed into the Earth, it is our
moon blood we release, offer as a sacrament,
this is the blood of a Magdalene, offered to nourish
the body of Gaia Sophia. This is an honoring, offered
with the clarity of vision that can only come
after you’ve seen everything fall to the ground,
crawled through the rubble with your bleeding
clawing fingers, knees ground on stone, hair
knotted, clotted with the spittle of those whose only offering
is hatred, and the cobwebs you should have cleared
long ago.

We crawled and finally, we were able to rise,
to stand, wobbly legged, and thin as asps, blinking
at the light penetrating the dust. We saw one another then,
standing so close we could have embraced, had only known
there was someone there to hold us, someone there
to hold onto. And so, finally, we did. We gathered into
a small, tight ring, holding one another up, lifting those
who were still on all fours, stunned from the destruction.

We came together, and the Temple aRose with us, within us,
complete. The sacred space defined by light.
We Rose. We held. We healed. We learned to allow
our thorns to do their work, our blossoms theirs.
We are the High Priestesses, code bearers, scribes,
born of destruction, rising into the Light.


Social media is a boon, a blessing, a wonderful wonderland of positivity, connection, and conscious dialogue…until it isn’t.

As of this writing I am in the midst of an Illuminated Magdalene Mysteries weekend during which we discuss and commit to Social Activism in some large or small way. It is a firey weekend every time it is done with a group of women. Today, however, also happens to  be the full moon in Scorpio.

We Priestesses are fired up, filled with compassion and fully embodied clarity… and the asshats? Well, they’re out in force. Especially on social media.

This is an copy of an actual conversation I had on Facebook yesterday with a man I’ve known for a very long time (I’m calling him Humdinger), who is a notorious right-winger, and one of his friends, who is a bully (I’m calling him Bully). (I have left all misspellings and typos intact.)

Just one more thing on Entitlements.

We should stop calling them all ‘Entitlements’. 
Welfare, Food Stamps, WIC, ad nauseum are not entitlements. They are taxpayer-funded handouts, and shouldn’t be called entitlements at all.
Social Security and Veterans Benefits are Entitlements because the people receiving them are entitled to them. They were earned and paid for by the recipients.

Be Colonna Essert OMG, I can’t stop.
Almost every person receiving those ‘handouts’ has worked, or is working, to fund these programs.


Humdinger says:        Bullshit

Bully says: Yeah, I got to call bulshit on that also. We all should hear a very loud pop when she pulls her head out of her ass after making that statement.
Be Colonna Essert Read the statistics folks.
Be Colonna Essert Note that the majority of these are single parents homes headed by women (who make less money for the same job when compared to men).
Be Colonna Essert And Dan, I’d appreciate an apology. You might disagree with me, but that kind of language and behavior is uncalled for.
Bully says:  You’re enitled to your own dilusions but you’re not entitled to your own facts. I’ am sure you scoured through the statistis and polls until you came up with one that suits your opinion, but that does not make you correct.
Be Colonna Essert   Bully,  actually, no, I tried to find neutral or conservative-biased studies to forestall this sort of commentary. Why so aggressive though?
I can assure you, with all due respect, that Mr Humdinger’s own children were recipients of the low-cost school lunch program from kindergarden through 6th grade.
I can also assure you that you won’t bully me into backing down. Feel free to do your own research, the information is out there. More than half of American families receive these benefits (please note that one of the links is from the US govt) and that most are the elderly or single family homes with one working parent.

Bully says I am not trying to bully anyone. You just have a different tint to your glasses than I. What about all the illeagle immigrants who never paid in one cent and all the baby-daddy-mommas that are living on entitlements because they wont get off of their lazy asses and go to work and their deadbeat, thug babby-daddy will not support their children. It’s a cultural thing that has been passed down from one generation to another since LBJ and continually exploited by the democratic party for votes. I’m out, no more tie to intimitae today…

Humdinger says: yeeeeeeeee Haaaaaaaaaa . My speech writer ! LMAO
Be Colonna Essert Baby daddys…


So here’s the thing: I know that at least one of these men did not pay child support and that his kids received many of these ‘entitlements’ because they were in a low income, single working parent household. They had low cost school lunches and WIC. They were insured through Medicaid. There is no shame in it because those programs are there to support people who’s paychecks don’t actually provide enough income to support a family.

Social activism? This is part of it. Fighting the fight. Sitting tight while grown-ass men insult you, call you names, and support one another as this happens because the real reason they do this is because they don’t have a leg to stand on. Their arguments are based on quicksand and so they resort to insults and tossing their hairy chested weight around to try and back down anyone who speaks to their ignorance.

And honestly? I’ve fucking had it.

There are days when I think that I just can’t any longer. I can’t deal with the men who want to kill more things: animals; people; the plants; the planet. I can’t deal with one more mass text someone has added me to because I’m white and which I can’t escape because it’s not a FB group but a text thread, and in which people use the ‘N’ word like they’re talking about what’s for supper. In some cases I think they are…until I finally reply and explain that I will be calling the police and handing out telephone numbers.

I suppose the thing is this: we are so cruel. So hard hearted. Why? How has this happened?

There is one thing I know for sure: my body has been fodder for this war. From the time when I was 3 years old and was raped for the first time, my body has been fodder. And I am compelled, even half-a-century later, to continue to hurl my body directly into the line of fire. No longer to be raped or used sexually by men, but to allow their words to burn through the soft flesh that is me in hopes that at some point they will wake up and see what they’re doing and how incredibly heartless they have become. Is it possible that seeing the tears, the torn body of an aging woman could raise empathy in a grown white man? Is *anything* capable of raising empathy in a grown ass white man? I just don’t know. The anger in them flows out in ever increasing waves and the rest of us either learn to swim or float or fly, or we drown or are pummeled to death by them.

I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t know how to heal the wounds of these men. But I do know that Eve Ensler had it right. My Revolution Lives in this Body. I am a woman, of course it does.

Some of the best advice I’ve ever received was, “What they think is none of your business,” and though I’m sure I’ve heard it several times, it really sank in as I sat in the sun on top of Clingman’s Dome last summer worrying about what the tourists thought of a group of prayerful folks gathered for ceremony.

These words have been healing, but they’ve also been permission to *stop* trying to please everyone before they even request something. Whenever I find myself trying to predict someone’s reaction to my doing or not doing something, I can stop, breathe, step back and detach.

These words have been great for when things come up with my family. My step-mother thinks that what other people think *is* our business, because she believes their thoughts can affect us. While I don’t disagree with her–other people’s thoughts and intentions absolutely can and do affect us– I also think that in most of our day-to-day lives, it is actions based on thoughts that affect us, not the thoughts themselves.

These words have also served in other ways.

Last week I spent some time with friends in a rented apartment in Glastonbury, England. Normally I would be washing every dish, worrying about their food and whether or not they had what they wanted. There is now a new normal. I took care of my needs, washed my dishes, made sure I had what I wanted, and it was wonderful.

You see, this drive to take care of each other is co-dependence parading as caring. It is a socially acceptable way to insert ourselves into situations and places that are none of our business. In a houseful of mostly grown women it could be seen as nosey or demeaning even. Have you ever had someone try to do everything for you and felt stifled or overwhelmed or like you just want to do it yourself? I have. I don’t like it.

Now I’m bringing this idea to bear in my home with regard to meals and boundaries and gardening and beekeeping and wherever else it needs to come into play.

As of now I resign from the roll of volunteer caretaker of everyone. My family no longer needs that. Most of my kids are grown and the youngest is a very competent 16.
>I resign from the position of sole food prep person.
>I resign from trying to please my husband with the food I prepare, while hating it myself and eating things that are not consistent with the best health of my body.
>I will not try and save his, or their, feelings around this, but will feel my own awareness of what my needs are, my thoughts are, and how my body is reacting to any given situation. And I will caretake myself in any way needed in those moments.

This is growth work and I am grateful for it.

Do you feel concerned with what others think? How have you managed to disconnect from this cultural training?


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Elemental-simple; pertaining to the 4 elements or forces of nature. Meridian: point of highest development.