Priestess Journey with Denise Daffara

This series explores what it is like to be a spiritual seeker and Priestess in the 21st century.

Is there more empowerment & direct access to the Divine in the world now? 

I’m interviewing women from my Priestess Training Program to find out!


Thank you Vanessa for the opportunity to ponder further this Priestess Path I’ve embarked on with you this year. I would describe myself as a seeker for sure, a ‘private priestess’, mystic, want-to-be-more-wild woman, healer, mother, sometimes wise woman.

I’m also an artist, but of late that has been weighing rather heavily upon me. So, I’m more comfortable with the term Creative Inspirer more than artist at the moment. I’m contemplating why this is so, thanks in part to reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest book “Big Magic”. You see, I had some great years of ‘success’ selling my artwork for a time and then that shifted and art sales dwindled and dried up…. and along with that my self esteem, and will to keep creating also dried up. I’ve been rekindling that fire since about 2011.. and thankfully learning to treat myself more kindly, and learn some radical self acceptance in the process… and also reestablishing my own painting and creating time.

tea for one

Some transformational changes that have happened to me on my spiritual path have been… deciding at around age 15 that I didn’t resonate with the catholic church any more, but then at age 20 finding myself convinced to join a quite small pentecostal church … which became a rather tunnel like world view for about 9 years… the sense of community was one of the gifts and meeting my partner (of 25 years now) was the best thing that happened to me there. A tragedy happened in our family, my eldest sister was murdered, that caused me to fall into depression.. and begin to look differently at how I was (not) living. It also helped me to make my way out of that tunnel which was both traumatic and the most freeing thing I’d done probably ever.

I realized after leaving the church that I had been out-sourcing my relationship with the Divine or Source and following along what others had decided was the right path for me.

What I got after that decade of tunnel vision was the awareness that I had to start following my own internal guidance and stop living in a way that my body and soul didn’t align with.

Around this time 1999 a friend offered to teach me how to paint, a gift that I received with both hands and heart. Painting gave me a place to express and experience joy and the beginnings of freedom. I was drawn immediately to painting the feminine, and for some years painted champagne sipping, light hearted girls enjoying life. I feel now this was in direct contrast to the constriction I felt during much of those church years.

I now find myself gaining a sense of empowerment through being present to what’s going on with my senses, inner guidance and intuition. Art journaling and nature walks.

As far as an actual spiritual practice, I tend toward my whole life being spiritual practice now. The constant state of awareness doesn’t let too much time go by without me getting an inkling about what I’m in need of. Some vital and practical tools are art journaling (smash booking) journal writing and walks in nature and various forms of meditation.

What does it mean to me to be a Priestess in the world today? For me it’s still a very private practice of being present to my inner world, and nature, the phases of the moon, my energy levels, oracles and signs. I would not call myself a Priestess for any external purpose, it’s very much for my own personal path at this time.

Coming home to myself, treating my life as sacred, and bringing the sacred into my ordinary.

Vanessa’s Sage Priestess Training came along at a time when I was seeking a way to get in touch with the part in me that has a deep abiding desire to hold space and online circles for other women in their healing and artful practice. I am learning by her example how to graciously hold social and sacred circle space in an online format. It has been a most supportive and gentle journey, accompanied by an abundance of reference material and researched information on the Goddesses.


Denise Daffara

Hi and welcome to my tea table,

Painting has been a regular part of my life since the late 90’s, I learned from a friend/artist Peter Hales. I’ve had 3 solo exhibitions and sold over 100 paintings in the first 10 years; spending most of those years being a Mum and painting in my dining room without much contact with other artists in my local community or online. I have a long time interest is personal psychology and spirituality of many kinds whilst not belonging to any one religion. I have been there and done that and as a result, value freedom very highly now. Personal growth work has also been foundational to my deepening. I am also very interested in shamanism, natural medicine, astrology and the tarot.

Love Denise xo


Denise and I share a love of tea, creativity and finding the sacred in our everyday lives.

I continue to be inspired by her warmth and presence. Her art will blow you away as well! So do check it out!

I also love her personal approach to being a Priestess. It really is about simply (and profoundly) finding yourself as sacred and then living from that joy!

Denise will be joining the Certification in 2017 as a Melissa Priestess!

 

This post originally appeared on vanessasage.com in 2015