“Clergy” is a loaded term for any faith, but it becomes especially problematic when coming at it from a Pagan perspective.
Definitions vary, but for me the difference between “layperson” and “clergy” is fairly basic. Most people focus their spiritual practice on themselves. Their spirituality is largely self-contained, and their personal spiritual fulfillment comes from their own connection with Divinity. Others find that their spiritual practice and fulfillment is dependent on serving others. Both of those types of people would fall into what I consider to be laypeople. However, when a need to serve combines with a calling to some sort of leadership role we get clergy.
This important and distinct difference gets glossed over entirely too often.
I think the line gets blurred because most of today’s Pagans are converts from other faiths, and they’re converts because the faith they grew up with didn’t meet their needs. When they…
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