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Caitlin, Priestess of Sacred Circles


My specific Priestess Path I wish to dedicate myself to is sacred circles. This means that my truest spiritual ecstasy comes from ritual in community with others.  This is a large circle that includes not only planning and performing ritual, but also creating ritual art such as building altars, teaching ritual, making video…


My training, experiences, and teachers are many and varied but each has influenced me and brought me to the step of ordination in Temple of the Goddess. The first person I owe my love of nature to is my Granny Forrest.  She lived alone up in the mountains where I went to visit for most of my early life.  I went there not only when we had the many Forrest family reunions but also as a young adult when I wanted to escape the city or school or parents.  Granny and I would be alone where she always welcomed me and never judged me.  We witnessed the cycles of nature together: the noisy blue jays and squirrels in summer, the doe and fawns that visited the salt lick she put out in the meadow, the blue belly lizards that I would catch and put in shoe box dioramas I had created for them, the bright daffodils that broke through the late snow heralding spring, the hammock under the pines, the tire swing under the most beautiful oak, the sun-speckled ferns by the tiny brook.


Although my parents were Methodist, they never forced me to attend church.  I would go with them sometimes and I would listen to the sermon or read something in the program and ask my mother questions about it, saying it didn’t make sense or that I didn’t believe it.  I remember as a teenager proclaiming my religion as “trees”.  For me, being in nature made me feel physically smaller in the world and in the correct relation to the rest of the planet.


It was not until I was an adult that I found that there were names to what I had been sorting out until then – paganism, Wicca, the goddess.  Then, I couldn’t learn fast enough.  Interestingly, reading Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “Mists of Avalon”, a book of fiction, really captured my heart.  The major turning point came when I belonged to a woman’s art therapy group.  I met several of my future coven sisters in that group, in particular, Susan Gray.  Susan had been actually practicing Wicca for a few years by then.  She and myself, Cheri Gaulke, and Christine Papalexis and others began to teach ourselves the “craft” by meeting and like many other circles, reading Starhawk’s “Spiral Dance”.  Being active at the Woman’s Building cemented my connection to the political-feminist-woman-artist-goddess community.  I taught video there, and produced their video program on cable.  My beloved coven, Nemesis, has grown and stabilized over more than 20 years, with the original sisters from that artist therapy group still at the core.  Over the years we have naturally dropped and picked up a few members, but surprisingly few, less than 5.  As a circle, we have become like a family with nine sisters.  We embrace all the spouses and husbands as our chosen extended family.  We have been there to witness the passages of life for each other – births, deaths, marriages, divorces, coming-outs, and way too many birthdays.  I will forever have my heart deeply connected with Nemesis.  It is the place I do my most vulnerable and intimate work.


Finally, becoming involved with Temple of the Goddess was the natural next step.  After 20 years of doing ritual on an intimate scale with Nemesis, Temple of the Goddess was the place to spread out, expand, go public, appeal to my dramatic performance instinct and finally, to do something with my partner, David Jacks.  I know that he takes a little prodding at times but he secretly enjoys being involved and I enjoy seeing him do that.



My work in the world has covered many decades and has swirled around art and education – elementary school teacher, Art History degree, Film degree, film and video production, and currently, Coordinator for the Teaching Learning Center at Otis College of Art and Design.  I love my job.  I work with teachers, helping them with a variety of technology.  At present, I am helping shoot and edit short videos of demos they do in class, which will be turned into video podcasts on iTunes U on the web. 


As my greatest ecstasy comes from doing ritual in community.  I love planning, I love performing, I love building altars, and I love doing all this with people I love.  I love the spirit of Temple of the Goddess.  I hope that I can add my spirit to the whole.  I believe I have already stepped onto my future path with TOG.  I hope in the future to contribute to any video productions such as podcasts for the website and also to take advantage of my ability to be a teacher, introducing new souls to the love of nature and path of the goddess.