And I'm honest with myself about that. It's something that I've struggled to understand about some people within rituals and celebrations. Everything seems to have to be done formally with every group ritual, and there's always got to be a High Priest and/or High Priestess. And everybody seems to have aspirations that they have to obtain that level. It's the same that I see often within Heathenry, as well. I see a lot, especially the men but I've seen women doing it too, that either claim the status of Warrior, and/or invalidate those that don't seem to be esteemed enough to be a warrior.
What these people seem to forget is that the tribes that they aspire to be like were mixed communities. Not everybody could be a warrior...you needed people that could remain home in the village and maintain daily life. Not all men are suited to be warriors, not all women are suited to running a home. It's just like modern day now. Not everybody was a Druid, Priest, or Priestess. In fact, it tended to be one person that travelled amongst a few villages. The same for medicine women/men and herbalists. Most people may have had a basic knowledge of what was good and bad for you, and could recognise the standard plants near their home. But there was likely to have been only one or two people who had intimate knowledge of medicinal plants and what they could do.
When I started my initial path discoveries within Paganism, there was so much pressure to learn everything, to be everything. To a newbie (some people use the term 'fluffy bunny'), it's all sparkly, new information that you're bombarded with, that you think you have to read all of the books available. As I've grown more within myself, and found more clarity, I've found that isn't true. I've seen some impressive book collections. I have an impressive book collection, but I have an excuse for my collection...I used to own a start-up new age shop. I have a few that people have teased me about owning because they tended to be in the 'fluffy bunny newbie' variety. Yes, well actually they can make good doorstops, to be fair, but it actually is worth a read but you must take what's written with a grain of salt. Make your own conclusions and do further research. Also, work out what actually makes sense to you.
What would my place have been within a tribal community? Well, first off, I'm a mother. I have a duty to raise the next generation with common sense and as much knowledge of the world as I can provide. I can cook and bake, and I have been know to often have food and munchies of varying degrees for my friends and groups that I've worked with. I don't do anything spectacularly fancy, but I do things that are simple to do for more than two people that's tasty and enjoyed. To be fair, I have three younger brothers and learned to cook at home for six. Even though it's now just the Imp and I, I struggle not to cook for an army so it's not a big deal if somebody pops around unexpectedly...I'm likely to have enough dinner for them and at least two other people. I'm also a font for useless information. Well, some of it could be good information. I have a really good long term memory, and in the right circumstances can go into a sort of 'storyteller' mode. That does not mean that I'm meant to be a Bard. I don't particularly care for poetry. I do love music and singing, but can't always remember everything. But when the Imp's granddad asked what was going on within the "Twilight" saga, because he was interested in watching the films but not reading the books (he's a film buff and watches everything), I spent over an hour in 'storyteller' mode and managed to tell him the story of all four books, plus the spinoff book, and I had a sense of accomplishment and excitement at the end of it (along with a dry and sore throat). Ok, that may seem silly to be that knowledgeable and like that series at the age of 34, but for me I don't have to think when reading or watching them...it's like brain candy.
If I had a mind to, I probably could be a High Priestess...I have the energy, mental capacity, and empathy to be able to guide a group. I just don't have the will or desire to. I've had people often in the past that have said that I made a good leader. I prefer to be the person aiding the leader, making sure that they have what's needed to lead efficiently. I do have a bit of interest in herbalism, and many years ago I was starting to slowly learn about it, but I honestly have a memory like a sieve and living in the city I've never had much of an opportunity to learn about plants in the wild. As for being a warrior...yeah, right. I could defend myself at a push, but I've had no training and my health isn't always 100%.
I am still learning on my path, but I know what I don't fit in. I do have a keen interest in being able to help other people, but have never had the opportunity to train properly. At the moment, I'm only qualified for retail or office work. There's nothing wrong with them except that I personally find them mind numbing. I want to do more. So, I'm going to make a second attempt at returning to college in September, now that I have the maturity to actually study. I did go to a few years of university after high school, but it just didn't seem to be the right time in my life, and everything seemed to just go wrong. You all will probably get a bit of my whinging about homework and papers starting in September, but I'm looking forward to actually getting through the entire course this time (I started last September, but had to drop in March).
I know what my place is on my path, and it isn't to be a High Priestess or Warrior. But I do have an ever-expanding place within my community. We all have something to teach each other, but we must remember that we can't bombard others with our information unless they ask for it. We can't be pushy about it, either. I didn't think that I had a place as a teacher or storyteller, and fought for a long time against it. But now I find myself blogging, and that it's giving me a new sense of desire. Yes, some of it may be a bit of crazy randomness, but I hope that I'm helping with some useful information for other people. I like sharing my cooking, so putting my recipes on here helps me share with everybody. Sharing my craft work is keeping me motivated to keep it going. And posts like this help me through a thought process and get my opinion out in the open.