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Julie Parker - The Priestess Podcast

095: The Role of a Modern Day Priestess & How to Become One – Julie Parker

Hailed by ELLE Magazine as a ‘self-help guru,’ Julie Parker is the Founder of The Beautiful You Coaching Academy where she passionately trains and supports heart centered people to become life coaches. The Editor in Chief of inspired COACH Magazine, a published author, Priestess Podcast host and in demand speaker, Julie has inspired thousands of people on stages all over the world and is the recipient of numerous leadership and women’s business awards. Julie is also a modern day Priestess with a focus on her Celtic, Greek & Balkan lineage. She is committed to contributing to a world where qualities of intuition, presence, nurturing, spiritual exploration, social justice, and service are honored. Julie is currently undertaking intensive training to become a Priestess of the Magdalene, and she holds sacred circles in honor of the Goddess and Wheel of the Year regularly.

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • How Julie became aware of her calling as a priestess.
  • Julie’s beliefs on topics such as the divine, the afterlife, and religion.
  • Important elements that a priestess learns in the Priestess Temple School.
  • The role of rituals in the life and work of a priestess.

Connect with Julie:

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Interview Transcript

Julie, thanks so much for taking some time to hang with me today. I really appreciate it.

Thank you so much for having me here, David. I’m really honored.

The first thing I want to ask you about, because obviously you’re located in Melbourne. What is going on with your country and these fires? It doesn’t look smoky where you are but what’s going on? Are you okay?

I am okay. Thank you very much for asking in my immediate safety sense. However, we have been really experiencing something on a national scale that is just so devastating and so terrible. For loss of life, loss of animal life, loss of land and vegetation. It’s been almost apocalyptic, David, in some ways. Just the intensity of these bushfires and the size of them. The scale of them has just been extraordinary. I’m not sure whether many people know but the land size of Australia is actually very similar to the land size of the USA. But we have a much smaller population than you do because such a significant portion of our country in the middle, in particular is, desert.

There’s just no water there and it doesn’t sustain life. If that wasn’t the case, I’m sure that our population would likely be much bigger. Land size, we’re a very large island, very large country. It’s just been devastating, but we have to have hope and we have to come together. Which we are doing. And we have to move forward. And we’ve been feeling the love, can I just say that as well? For everybody from around the world that might be listening to this now, in the States or elsewhere. We really have been feeling your love, and prayers, and thoughts, your donations for rebuilding. It’s been extraordinary, so thank you for that. But yeah, tough time.

Yeah, absolutely. Well, I’m glad you’re personally in a good spot.

I am.

So much attention has been focused on it in a real positive way, so that’s all good.

Yeah.

I want to ask you about this term “priestess”. When did you first sense that you were called or desired to be a priestess?

You know, I think there are two layers to this question. I think when it first came into my conscious mind, was about six years ago. But really upon feeling into what a priestess is and what it means to show up in the world as one, I was to learn that really I had been one all my life. And in fact, that I’d come from a lineage of women who were priestesses and sacred leaders as well. It first came into my conscious thought six years ago and it happened in a very simple and very innocent way.

I was interviewing a woman, just as you are interviewing me now, for a magazine that I edit; an online digital magazine. I asked her a question around what it was that she thought had been the greatest learning that had impacted her success as a coach and an online business owner. She said that it was her learning and work in the world of the priestess. When she said that word David, there was something physically and energetically happened to my body. It was the very first time I’d ever heard the word. It shifted something inside me, and after then I began to research everything that I possibly could around what a priestess was and what it meant to be one, and just completely embodied it from that moment forward.

How would you define the term priestess?

To me, a priestess is a sacred, spiritual female leader. If you were to ask this question of many different people, they would give you many different answers, I’m sure. It’s one of those things you can’t necessarily look up a dictionary or Wikipedia definition, and it’s going to be clean and clear. To me, in all of my study and work and embodiment in this area, that is what a priestess is. A priestess is a sacred, spiritual female leader, who in particular, opens herself up to holding space for other women to step into their own divinity and explore their own sacredness and spirituality as well.

Okay. When I hear the word priest, I’m usually going to think of a Catholic priest, most likely a man, of course. Or an Episcopal priest. Those are the two. I’m trying to think of any other denominations that use that term priest, but it’s usually Christian, I guess a Hindu priest. I don’t think there are Buddhist priests. I don’t think that’s used. So the term priestess is a bit more open in terms of spirituality, it seems like. Rather than a particular religion or one spirituality. Would you say that’s the case?

That is absolutely the case. May I give you a little bit of historical context here?

Of course.

Yes, many people when they hear the word priestess automatically wonder whether that is the female version of a male Catholic priest. When we think of the word priest, we so often associate it with the Catholic Church, and the Catholic religion. In fact, priestesses existed before priests did. The world of the priestess and priestesses have existed since ancient times. Back pre-Christianity, and pre-patriarchy, when throughout the world religion and spirituality was very much practiced without a focus on there being one male God that people were focused on.

People worshipped Goddesses and in particular, the great Mother Earth. And worked in tandem and in conjunction with her, and with them and with different gods as well, for different needs that they had in their life. So if you had an ache of the heart, you called upon the goddess of love to support you. If you were in a time of harvest, you might call upon the goddess of agriculture and grain to support you in that time. If you were pursuing a creative love, you might call upon the goddesses or gods of creativity and art to support you with that.

Priestesses in those ancient times were essentially women in communities throughout the world, who were known the be channels and messengers of those gods and goddesses. Just like when someone may go to a priest today to feel closer or more connected to God or to seek counsel or advice, so did people in ancient time go to priestesses in their communities. They might’ve gone by the name of priestess. Or they may also have been a witch, a wise woman, a medicine woman, a midwife. Many, many different names that they may have come across.

Really it wasn’t until the spread of Christianity throughout the world and different religions that were focused on one male God, that we then saw the world of the priestess suppressed. And then the rise of the world of the priest. It’s not that priestesses today or even in those times are the female version of a priest. It’s a much more broad definition of that.

Sure, sure. Many people in our culture today would use the term God and even use the pronoun He to reference God, or source, or divinity. You’re using the term goddess, and Mother Earth, and goddess of love. I believe you said goddess of the harvest. Help me understand this term goddess, and are there multiple goddesses? Is it one goddess? Are there gods and goddesses? Are they married? I’m just kidding. You know what I mean? Help me understand what’s going on in your mind in terms of all these different gods and goddesses. How does that all work for you?

Sure. Every culture throughout the world at one point in time worshipped both gods and goddesses. There are Hindu gods and goddesses. There are Roman gods and goddesses, Greek gods. There are Norse gods and goddesses. There are Indigenous gods and goddesses. Depending upon the culture that you associate your lineage and your ancestry with, is often and we hope, the area that people may explore, and be connected to, and call upon and worship. For me, I have Celtic ancestry, and so I have a particular affinity towards the gods and goddesses of Great Britain, Ireland, Wales, and that pantheon, so to speak.

When I call upon them in my life, and there are dark goddesses, and creativity goddesses, harvest, love, all sorts. Money goddesses, abundance goddesses, health goddesses and gods as well. I call upon them in my life to assist me and guide me with certain things. That is no different to the way the someone may call upon God. By the way, without wanting to confuse anyone, I also believe in God. I believe that God has a male and masculine side, and I believe that goddesses and different gods have different elements to them that can be helpful and supportive to me in my spiritual development.

Here’s the thing that I think is most important for anyone that’s interested in exploring the world of the goddess in particular in their life. And that is that when you call upon a particular goddess or what goddesses might come and support you in your life, all you are doing is calling upon an area of yourself. If I’m looking to cultivate more confidence in my life or more self-love in my life let’s say, the Greek goddess Aphrodite is very well known for supporting people with their self-love, sense of beauty, how they view themselves, and showing up as their full feminine expression in life. If I was to call upon her or she was to come to me as a goddess in my life.

Really, all I’m doing is igniting my own wisdom within myself. Of course, we hear God spoken about in these ways as well. Many times, we will hear people say “God is you. You are God.” What it is that you call upon for your divine self is what He sees in you and what you see in you. This is just nothing more David, than an activation of your divine, and highest, and most spiritual self. That is all we call upon these higher powers to be. It’s like, “How can I show up in my fullest expression in this particular area of my life?”

Would you sense that there is one divine being that manifests itself in all these different ways? Or are these multiple divine beings with a hierarchy, or multiple divine beings with no hierarchy? You know what I mean? How do you think through the divine nature in that way?

There is no real hierarchy from my perspective, but this is a complex and layered question. In certain pantheons of god and goddess culture, there are. For example, Zeus in the Greek culture was seen to be one of the penultimate gods. But one of the things that I love is that in most cultures however throughout the world, at different times that they’ve been practiced or honored. This is something that I very much lean into myself. If someone was to ask, “Yeah, but who’s the go-to? Who’s the big one?”

Wouldn’t you want to go to the big one and not the small ones?

Yeah. Yeah, it depends upon what you want. It depends upon what you’re calling in and what you need. The big one is Mother Earth, and her name in all different cultures. So in Greek culture, she is Gaia. In South American and Mayan culture, she is Pachamama. To me in my Celtic lineage, she is known as the Great Mother. She has many, many different names, but essentially she is Mother Earth. Because without her, and without honor, and worship, and connection to her.

You started out by asking me such a wonderful question today about what’s happening here in Australia with our Great Mother and Mother Earth. She is the one that was known to be the greatest power and entity of all. And to me in my belief and my world, she still is. If we’re going to be able to show up as a human being, having a soul experience on earth, we need her to be able to breathe, eat, walk, water ourselves, be part of nature, and all. So she is really the penultimate one in all culture.

How do you think about, I guess I would say, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Which would be the source of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam? How do you integrate or think about that God in the context of Mother Earth and so forth?

This is a really wonderful question. I was raised as a Christian and still consider myself to have Christian beliefs. As I mentioned before, I believe in God and Jesus. I mean, what a guy, you know? What a fella. Spreading of love. Mary Magdalene has been an enormous influence in my priestess life. Hugely so, in many different ways. But when it comes to those three powerhouses, I can’t necessarily say that there is a specific way that I think about those in the integration of my own practice and my own showing up in the world as a priestess.

It’s more from the perspective that I believe that when we show up in the world as a sacred, spiritual leader, of which I call a priestess, and so many other women are now claiming throughout the world. It is that we truly do have an understanding that you can come to this leadership and you can come to this style of spiritual being from any religion, any faith, any background. There are Jewish priestesses. There are Muslim priestesses. There are Christian priestesses. And there are those that just simply call them, a bit like myself, priestess. I’m incredibly open to any woman that is devoted to those three, together, separately, or taking touches of that faith and those beliefs in any way. I don’t personally connect super deeply to them myself, but I know many other priestesses who do.

Sure, sure. Great. Thanks for breaking that down and processing that. Super interesting. As you think about the current life, afterlife, maybe even former life? How do you process that? You know part of, at least in American culture, there’s a bit of a — it could even be cultural, a sense of Heaven and Hell, right? Is there in your thought process, do you think even in those terms at all? Or is that like, this life all we have? Or is it more reincarnation? Do you know what I mean? How do you process that?

David, you’re bringing the questions today. I love it. It’s so good. This is really interesting. Nobody has ever asked me this before. The answer to it is that, yeah, there are elements of what you talk about there that I think come into the world of the priestess, and female thinking, and spirituality, and leadership, but not in the terms of Heaven and Hell. From my Celtic ancestry, we believe in the higher, middle, and lower grounds of existence. Their higher level of existence is where God, gods, goddesses, angels, higher spirit live, and that we can call upon for support.

The middle ground is where we are having an earthly, earthbound, human experience. It is also where we can connect, if we choose to, to living, breathing things, such as animal guides, plant guides, water, the magic of the Earth. Those are all things that are on the earthly, middle plane. Then, we have the lower plane or the underground. This is where our ancestors reside. This is where our deep sub-conscious resides, our shadow resides. There are also spirits, and animals, and other guides that choose — that rather than being in the upper realms, are in the lower realms. That’s where they choose to dwell and we can call upon those.

From my perspective, I believe that this life that I am having now is just one of many. That I have already had and that I will into the future. Am I going to be conscious of those that happen the future? I have no idea. But when it comes to thinking about the cycle of life, of birth, and life, and decay, and death, and re-birth, it’s one of those things that I think, like many other ancient cultures, Egyptian, Greek, particularly the Egyptians, I think we owe this to, very, very deeply. The process of believing in reincarnation and that death is simply one experience within one life. And we will then come forth in another way. This is not a truly deep area that I’ve gone into for myself, but I certainly come from the perspective that death is simply one closing. It’s not necessarily one’s end.

Sure, sure. Another question that arises in my mind is — and if this is too much, feel free to let me know.

Sure.

The process of the ethic. The way that one lives. Because what I find that’s interesting about what you’re proposing, it almost feels a bit borderless, right? It’s very open in terms of different experiences. And what works for you, works for you, and what works for me, works for me. Which is fascinating to process here. How do you come from a place of ethics of what is a helpful, or appropriate, or a beneficial way to live in this world based on what you’re processing?

I think the reason that it can feel so borderless is because we’re not talking about a religion here.

Right.

We’re not talking even about a particular form or type of spirituality. For any woman that feels called to walk through life as a priestess, it’s very much about her own inner path and how she shows up in the world in relation to that. And her calling to sacred leadership. And because she may come from many different backgrounds, have many different religious influences, that’s going to look different for many different women. Essentially the true path of a priestess from my perspective, is one that involves regular self-healing of one’s self. Making therefore, your presence as a woman better able to hold space for other women on their own journey. So David, you would know just as well as I do as someone in the personal development arena, that we have a lot of wounded healers out there.

Right, right.

Right? And we have a lot of coaches, a lot of counselors, a lot of people holding space for people, that are doing the very, very best that they can. But really should be looking much, much deeper at their own stuff and doing work on themselves. As a priestess, if you are a true one and you’re walking a true path, your first commitment is to self. Where do you need to look at your ego, your pride, your smallness, your jealousies, your fears, your projection? How do you need to look at these things within yourself, so that you are then able to be an empty vessel for others who are exploring their own divinity, their own sacredness, their own work? That’s a lifelong path.

Yes, it is.

That is a lifelong path. It is a constant returning to wholeness of understanding that we are all whole. That there is nothing wrong with us, but we can always be more sacred, more sound, more whole, more better in different versions of ourselves as we move forward. It is a path of commitment and it’s one that’s not done alone. You have to find sisters. You have to find mentors. You have to find other priestesses and guides to come into community with to constantly do this work together and on one’s self. And keep turning up in more sacred and better ways all the time.

Can I be a priestess?

That is a really, good question. As someone, where it’s my understanding that you identify as a man, I don’t believe that you can. Now I am open to being challenged on that. No, I am. I am open to someone listening to this and saying, “Actually no, that is incorrect. A man can be.”  You certainly can call yourself a sacred leader. You know what, it could be. My brain is worrying here. There may be men out there that potentially do call themselves priestess. I’ve not come across one, in all of my time. I don’t think so, but maybe. I’m not sure, but maybe. Maybe.

I love, I love it. All right, so you have a Priestess Temple School. I love looking at this on your website, www.priestesstempleschool.com, which we’ll obviously link to in our show notes. It’s a multi-month process. I love looking at some of the categories of things that you are inviting people into the learning process with. When you talk about your scared archetype blueprint, what does that mean?

Yeah. Each of us at different times in our lives are all embodying different archetypes. We may be as women, really, really, deeply connected to the warrior woman archetype. We might see ourselves and be showing up in the world as someone who’s very bold, and strong, and assertive. That may be where we comfortably sit. That feels really resonate with us. We might not even necessarily know that that is an archetype, which is simply a psychological grouping of particular behaviors. That’s all that means.

That might be very foreign to us and we might be in shadow about that, and we may in fact really embody a completely different archetype. Might be the archetype of the mother. We, as a woman, may feel particularly resonant with qualities of care, and nurturing, and gentleness. Whether we are actually a birth mother or not. But we feel very connected to showing up in the world as a nurturer, a carer, a tenderer, a lover in that way. Again, that type of archetype may be something that we’re in shadow with.

One of the things that we know as a priestess and we explore in Priestess Temple School, is that when you can find out which archetype or archetypal energy you feel very resonant with, you can then explore that for yourself to step into that stronger. But also, and this is so very important David, you can then also find out the type of archetypal energy that is least like yourself, or the one that ignites you, scares you, bothers you, makes you want to run to the hills or say “Oh no, that is not me at all.” Because, that archetype is part of your shadow. That one, is actually where the most work gets done.

When you say part of your shadow, what does that mean for people who don’t understand that term?

It’s part of your sub-conscious and it is often where you sabotage yourself, or that there are parts of you that you are in denial about. Or that you know exist, but don’t want to know are there. This is where fear resides in us. It’s where our ego tells us things like, “You’re not good enough. You can’t do that. She’s better than you at that. That’s not for you.” We all have a shadow. We all have a sub-conscious. We all have deeper layers of us that we’d rather not know.

As I was mentioning before, the path of the priestess involves being willing and open enough to explore those things. Because until we do, and as long as we keep those things in shadow, and we deny them or push them away, the more we remain fractured as a human being having a soul experience, the more they remain separate. And we can’t integrate them because our shadow has so much to teach us. It’s calling out for our love. It’s calling out for our attention and our focus. When we go there, we learn so much about ourselves and we’re then able to integrate deeper parts of us.

What is the primary archetype that you would align or resonate with?

Do you know what? It’s shifted and changed for me over my lifetime. That’s because of this work. I had different archetypes that were really dominant for me in the beginning and very much in shadow. As I’ve done more work, they’re more integrated. At the moment, as a woman who is in her mid-life, I am really, really feeling in of the archetype of the sovereign queen, or sovereignty, or the queen. That is where an archetype that is about leadership.

It’s about sovereignty. It’s about feeling comfortable in and of myself. And being a loving, giving woman and human being, but also working on myself to the point where I don’t need people. I don’t need anyone to praise me. I don’t need anyone to uplift me. Those things are beautiful and lovely, and I desire to be loved and I desire to give love, but this is an archetype that I’m trying to very much to work on and embody at the moment. Where sovereignty, being a woman unto myself is really coming into power for me at the moment. That’s what I’m working on and embodying right now.

That’s beautiful. Yeah, it’s great. This is a big question, so obviously you don’t have to go into all these, but what are some of the key things that you would want a priestess to learn in your program? Things that you’re wanting her to develop. We’ve already talked about definition of a priestess. We’ve talked about the archetype. We talked about the shadow side. What are some other things that she would need to learn or you’d want her to learn?

Oh gosh, there are number of things David. I think one of the things that all priestesses have is a sacred practice of some kind. So exploring that. How does your sacredness show up for you every day? Whether that’s exploring meditation, crystal work, work with Mother Earth, leaning into the power of your body, your sensuality, your sexuality. How you work with your menstrual cycle. How you are connected to the cycles and seasons of the earth. This something that we explore. How are you connected to the Great Mother? How are you not just a body walking around? How can you find sacredness in yourself and around you every day? That’s very important.

Then the other part — there are many things, but there’s two that are coming to mind that are really important to let you and everyone listening know. Is how will you then show up in the world as a priestess and sacred leader? What is your calling to make a difference? How will you impact the world in a sacred, spiritual, extraordinary way? What is your legacy? What is your soul calling? How is it that you are going to truly make a difference with your sacredness and your spiritual gifts to everyone around you?

Because ultimately in the end, that is really what a priestess does. Yes, you need the inner work and you must do that to work on yourself. But then the calling is, how will you serve the world? How through serving yourself will you serve your sisters, and brothers, and children around you? How will you serve your community? How will you show up online in a way that truly makes a difference to us all? Because that’s where the leadership comes in. That’s where, if you’re going to be a true priestess who is a sacred leader, that’s where the leadership comes out.

What are some of the most common ways that a woman sees that play out in the world?

I love this question because I hope that for anybody that’s listening, thinks that they need to run off to an ashram or that suddenly they’re going to live on 65 cents a day and just be in meditation all day, and all those sorts of things. It’s just not true. You know David, I am a life coach trainer. That’s what I do as my main work in the world apart from holding space for priestesses. I do them both in equal measure and with great love for both of them.

This can look like anything. It can look like a mother being a wonderful sacred leader. It can look like that you show up in the world as a spiritual coach, or counselor, or guide, or that you hold sacred circles for women. It can look like you being a corporate leader in a huge organization, where you shift into a space where your leadership skills, and your sacred and spiritual skills as a leader comes out.

That may look like looking at leadership in your work, your career, your biggest business, your organization that is less hierarchical. That is less top down. That involves more consultation. That involves more community. That involves more diversity, and inclusion, and listening, and expansion. Much more sacred openness then it does in the traditional model of leadership that we’ve seen. It looks however you want it to look, where you are truly in a space where you’re inspiring and supporting others to open up to their own greatness.

Julie, do you hate men?

Oh my gosh, no. Wow.

You just talk so much about women and goddesses, come on. I’m messing with you, obviously.

Of course. Yeah.

I think you’re married actually, are you?

I am married, yes.

You like at least one man.

Yes.

There’s nothing that you have said that even puts that off into the world at all. I don’t sense that energy, and yet there’s this deep passion you have to help women. I have a passion to help women, and then I put in parentheses, and men.

You do.

So I asked that in jest, but at the same time, how do you think of men? You know, you’re thinking about women a lot, but how do you think about men?

I adore men. I’m very happily and lovingly married. I have male friends and I’ve trained male coaches, and all sorts of things. But yes, there is no question, that somewhere in my blueprint in life, I am deeply called into service for women. It’s something I can’t deny. It’s something I can’t push away. It’s something that is just the calling to sisterhood. It’s just so deep within me. This is something that was a part of women’s lives in ancient times, pre-patriarchy, pre-colonization, pre-Christianity, so very, very deeply. It’s something that I think many women are reclaiming now, for sometimes, the first time in their life. It’s a very, very powerful and strong sense of urgency for women, at the moment.

But how do I see men? I see men as sacred, extraordinary beings that have the power to be in their own divine masculine. Just as much as women can be in their own divine feminine. I, also as well, want to honor my own masculine qualities. Because when we can bring greater balance of those things into the world, then we all heal. We all heal together, not separately. You know just as well as I do David, that there are enormous elements of male society that is still very, very patriarchal, misogynistic, and horrendous towards women.

There are also women who are extremely afraid of, wish to remain separate to, and very fearful, and pushing away of men. For a variety of different reasons and experiences. Of which, I carry no judgement. When we can find a way to come together and co-exist, and do all these things, then such great healing is going to be open to all of us. The way that that begins is by working on ourselves.

Yeah, that’s beautiful. That’s beautiful. One of things that you talk about in the Priestess Program are some rituals or practices that you talked about circles. Help me understand the role of rituals in the life of a priestess. I understand that that plays out differently for different women because of the different ways that she would be a priestess in the world. Because it’s different if you’re in a corporate environment versus if you’re having an Eat, Pray, Love experience or something.

Yep.

You know what I mean? Help me understand the role of rituals though.

You are right to qualify that because rituals are something that mean different things to different people. Particularly depending on their culture and how they show up in the world. Essentially, we know that even if one does not identify as a priestess, you’re just a person, that rituals help us as human beings to create meaning in our lives. They help us to develop sacredness and connection to ourselves and practices.

A ritual can be something as simple as going for a walk in nature every day. That can become a ritual for someone. It does not necessarily have to involve what many people, I think, think about as rituals such as, candles, and incense, and all sorts of spoken prayer, and different things like that. But it can involve that as well. For example, at the moment, I am deeply immersed in the simple practice every day of drawing an oracle card for myself. For this particular month, I am deeply into the ritual practice of drawing an oracle card every morning.

What are oracle cards?

An oracle card is simply a deck of cards that has different messages or themes in it. I have oracle card decks for example, that are connected to sensuality, confidence, different goddesses, creativity. I’ve got ones that are connected to Celtic themes as a part of my cultural lineage. So drawing one of these cards at random…

Do you shuffle them first?

You can. You can shuffle them.

Do you pray over them or say something?

You can. It all depends upon the feeling that I have. Sometimes I will sit in the morning and I see all my decks there, and the first thing that I do is feeling to which one is calling me the most. I always go with my instinct. Sometimes it’ll be like, “That one. You must pick up that one first.” Other times I need to sit there for a moment and feel into it. Then how I then choose a card, is also dependent upon feeling into it at that moment. Sometimes I will sit in thought and meditation around asking myself questions such as, “What do I most need today?” “How can I be in deeper service to myself?” “What is the message that needs to come through for me in my day ahead?” And then, yes, I may shuffle or sometimes I’m given the message “Just pick one.” It might be the top one, it might be halfway through, and then the message comes forth.

All that does for me David, is give me a little anchor. Something to think about. Something to ponder. Something to challenge myself with in the way that I show up in the world. As we’re speaking in this interview, we’re not even quite two weeks into the year, and already interestingly enough, in those 14 days, three times from three different decks, the theme or the word of faith has come up. Now this is from hundreds of potential cards. Hundreds. Three times, faith.

Not only then does this become something that is a ritual for me to think about on a daily basis and to participate in, I know now that I’m being sent a message that I need to have faith around particular challenging things that are happening in my life. I’m being sent a beautiful message, “Have faith. Hold strong. It’s okay. There are things coming through for you here.” That’s just a small ritual. It doesn’t take very long but it allows me to connect with my inner world and gives me an anchor and a beautiful theme to think about for my day ahead. It’s a really beautiful practice.

So, the assumption is, that with whatever card you draw, you’re trusting that the goddess is giving you some sort of message in that card and in each card that you would draw that day, or that one card that you would draw?

Yes, it may be a particular goddess. It might just be a card. A couple of days ago I drew a card from a deck that supports you to develop more confidence in your life, and it just simply had a message in it of self-awareness. It was really straight-forward. It was just like being more self-aware around how you’re talking to yourself. Which of course as we know, is very, very deep part of what impacts our self-confidence. So that didn’t necessarily come from a particular goddess at all. But then other times, if  I’m drawn to a goddess deck, then I might be thinking to myself, “Oh, I’d like to connect in with the energy of a certain goddess today, I’m going to see who comes to me.”

Fascinating. Julie, you know I come from a really conservative, Christian background. Conservative like, for most people it would be really conservative. For me it doesn’t feel conservative because it’s just like what you grew up in. You know what I mean? In retrospect you kind of go, “Whoa.”  It’s fascinating to hear you talk about these things, because of course I was taught that you are the devil.

Sure.

Bottom line. Not are you only going to Hell, but you’re taking a lot of people with you. You are a scary person Julie.

So scary.

You are really, really, scary over there in Australia leading people to Hell. So it’s very fascinating to hear what you’re talking about. I was just telling my wife last night, I was processing a bit as I have expanded my own spiritual beliefs over the last 12 years. This is obviously coming from my own experience, background, training, teaching. But it seems like, if I eliminate the concept of Heaven and Hell, which requires from a Christian, at least an Evangelical tradition, that you must get the right answer. You must follow Jesus and head down that path. Now you’re in Heaven, you’re good. Okay?

If I eliminate the concept of Heaven and Hell, and assume that everybody’s good in the afterlife no matter what. Okay, you’re good. Whether you believe that Jesus gives you a second chance, or there is no afterlife, or you’re in reincarnation. You’ve got a bazillion options out there. Then it seems like from a practical perspective, because I’m a very practical person, that whatever you find that works for you, gives you solace, gives you peace, gives you contentment, creates a sense of well-being in your life, that that is going to somehow work for you in this life.

Some people seem to create whatever that is, whatever that sense of peace is, at a much deeper, rich level, i.e. what you’re talking about is at a very, rich, meaningful, deep, passionate level. Versus somebody who may be spends their whole life, I guess the 1980’s version would be somebody on Wall Street that’s all about money, money, money, and that’s where they find meaning. Do they get to end of their life and find that it was meaningful? I don’t know, maybe some people do. Maybe they don’t.

Yeah, maybe.

From my tradition, no. They wasted their life, you know? In the same way you’re taking people to Hell, they just wasted their whole life. But I don’t know, you know what I mean? For whatever reason for me, it kind of hinges on the Heaven and Hell issue because that’s such a strong thing that Christians believe. That if that was eliminated, which obviously, that’s a ridiculous question for most Christians. But in my process, as I’m processing through my own belief system, I look at you and I look at what you’re doing, and I’m like, “That’s really, fascinating.” You know? “Wow, you’re pulling cards, and sucking on crystals, and throwing oil all over yourself.” You have not said any of that stuff, I’m being playful. I hear what you’re doing and I’m like, “Wow, that sounds like such a rich life for you. That’s so beautiful and you’re helping people develop a rich life.” In the same way that other people, who are Christian or Muslim, I just don’t know Julie. Counsel me…

I think you do.

Counsel me in this moment Julie. Come on, help me out.

Oh. I think you do. Because, I think you just said it. David, what you were talking about there is in relation to people finding what works for them. What gives them solace? What gives them comfort? What helps them connect to their truest and deepest self? What helps someone show up in the world with authenticity, and love, and care, and grace, and help and support other people along the way to do that? That’s a beautiful life. That’s a well-lived life. Essentially what you’re talking about there is spiritual health. That’s someone spiritual health and well-being. That of course, is going to look and mean something different for everybody.

I think about the people that I have met numerous times in India, who live, from what I would call, almost an oppression of gods that they must placate in order to survive. I’m talking about people in huts, right? I’m talking in villages, where there’s a lot of fear. You know, there’s a fear of these different gods. In one way I go, “That’s not working for them. That is not working for them. That’s creating a lot of fear.” Yet on the other hand, that’s the culture that they’ve been brought up in. That fear and then the gift to the god, hoping that the god will be nice to them. You know what I mean?  Will bless them in some way. That is working for them. It’s working for them because that’s what they were taught. That system, that system is working for them in some way.

Yes, that belief system is. What you described there is what I also know is many people’s — not everybody’s of course, but many people’s — and if I may be so bold as to say, many women’s experience of Christianity.

I agree.

The concept or the saying, “The fear of God,” comes from somewhere.

Yes.

As young women, in various different belief systems within Christianity, the fear of God is put into you or tried to be placed upon you around, “You will not have sex before marriage. You will dress modestly. You will not have impure thoughts. You will not marry outside of this faith. You will not do this, this, this, this.

You won’t be a leader.

That’s right. You will live with the fear of God within you. And that works for some people. It also does significantly not work for many others.

Right, right. Yeah, it’s so challenging. Ultimately, I look at all of that and go, “Everybody’s on their own journey.” Right?  Everybody’s on their own journey, everybody’s on their own path. I just had a woman that I met at church several weeks ago, at the church that my wife and I attend. It’s a Christian-Methodist church, and she said, “I’m coming out of Mormonism, because my son has identified as LGBTQ and it just wasn’t working for us.”  For obvious reasons.

Obvious.

She’s just crying and she’s feeling like, “I just need a safe place to be able to connect with God. In a place where’s he’s welcome and I’m welcome.” Once again, she’s on her own journey. It worked until it didn’t work.

That’s right. You know, that is many people’s experience of organized religion. Not everybody’s. But yeah, for those people that have an awakening of some kind, it may lead them in a different direction. I’m quite sure that there are many people that have started out a more general opening of spirituality. Whether it be identifying as a priestess or not, that have found a particular organized religion within that and moved into that. It’s not just a case of moving out of, it can be a case of moving into.

Right.

Yes, we do know that within organized religions that there are many people that find that their values, their beliefs, how they want to express themselves, their innateness as a human being does not resonate with that for life. It may be what they grew up in. It may be what they were taught as a child, but then as they move on, and get older and expand, that it doesn’t resonate with them anymore. Isn’t that the same as so many things in life? There’s so few of us that do one thing for life now as a career. We might start out studying to be lawyer and end up as a coach. We might start out as a teacher and end up running a bed-and-breakfast in the mountains. We’re not one-dimensional. We are so multi-dimensional as humans, and we shift and change as we grow through life.

What a fascinating conversation with you, Julie. I don’t think you’re going to Hell. I just don’t think…

Thank you.

It really doesn’t matter what I think, but I just don’t know. I don’t get all the stuff you do. Oh, here’s one last question I had for you. A lot of personal development podcasts, people will say, “Well, I don’t want to get all woo-woo on you.” Right? You must hear that all the time from people. “I don’t want to get all woo-woo on you.” I’m like, “Okay, I’m so confused by that.” Because you’re totally woo-woo. You’re all caps. You’re the epitome of woo-woo. When you hear people say, “I don’t want to get all woo-woo on you,” obviously they’re hedging their bet. It’s a safe thing. It’s them wanting to be spiritual but yet not wanting rub people the wrong way who don’t feel comfortable being spiritual. Come on. I just gave the answer, but what do you think about that?

Well, do you know what, I think that woo-woo is something that very much exists on a scale. For example, and you are right, when people say that they’re hedging their bets. And it’s okay, I don’t mind it. I am, for someone that has grown up — for you, as someone that’s grown up in a more conservative religion, I am very woo-woo. But David, let me tell you something. I am not really. Truly. When I think about some of the people that I know that are really woo-woo on the scale, I am nowhere near it.

I put up a post on Instagram, I think it was about 12 months ago, sort of busting some of these myths around living a spiritual life and being a spiritual leader. It’s like, I love Australian rules football, and go to matches all the time. It’s like if you invite me to your home and you say, “Would you like a glass of Chardonnay or a beer?” I’d say, “Pop the beer. Thanks, pass me the beer.” I’m so normal. I’m so grounded. I’m just a friend, a normal, everyday person. I don’t walk around wearing flower crowns all the time, and floating about and I’ve got crystals dripping from me or anything like that. On the woo scale, I’m pretty soft. Truth be told, I’m pretty soft.

You’re low woo.

I’m low woo. Exactly. Or at least I think I am. But I understand to somebody such as yourself or maybe to many other people listening, I’m really far along. But there are many, many people that are a great deal more than. And bless them, because we need people at all sides of the spectrum. On my own Priestess Podcast, where I have many guests, I have guests that are extremely woo and ones that are not. I had a conservative Christian on, a beautiful guest, about a year and a half ago. The theme of our conversation was just God. All I wanted to ask her was, “Who is God? Let’s talk about who God is to you.”

We had this magnificent conversation about who God was for her as a conservative Christian, and who He was for me as someone who saw Him quite differently. It was beautiful. It was one of the most lovely conversations I’ve ever had on the podcast. I want to have people in my life across those broad spectrums. So yeah, there’s a scale here. It’s not like we’re getting on it and someone’s weighing it, “Ooh, you’re ten pound woo or you’re fifty pound woo. You’re a hundred fifty pound woo.” It’s not like that at all. But yeah, I’m pretty, grounded David. Pretty grounded. We could go to a game together.

It’s all based on perspective. Right?

Yes.

It’s all based on where you are. That’s true about even about the terms like liberal or conservative. Whether it’s politics or region, or whatever it might be. Okay Julie, you’ve got all kinds of things happening. You’ve got the Priestess Podcast. You’ve got the COACH Magazine, which is an online digital magazine for coaches. You have the Beautiful You Coaching Academy, if you want to learn how to be a coach. You’ve got the Priestess Temple School, which is what we’ve been talking about today. We’re going to point people toward all those websites; www.priestesstempleschool.com, www.juliesuzanneparker.com. We’ll have all that in the show notes, and of course, all of your links to social media as well.

Julie, thank you so much. May you be flooded with rain in Australia and may your life be full of crystals and good things. I don’t know what else to say. May your life be full of woo.

Thank you so very much, David. It’s been a real joy to talk to you. Thank you for being so open and inviting, and just having this conversation. I hope that it’s been so helpful to anybody listening.

thank you!