What is an Urban Priestess?

by Vanessa Codorniu

“A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.” ~ Maya Angelou

When I first read Maya Angelou’s quote above, my body and soul let out a deep sigh…

I was in my early twenties and I was seeking to just be my most brilliant self, a spark of the Divine as expressed in my female body. I wanted to use my talents to serve others and was unsure where to begin. This quote didn’t tell me how, but it sure exemplified how it might be to show up and shine…

“… ahhh to be in harmony with my spirit.”

At 19, I wrote a letter to the Universe and asked that I be a channel for inspiration, creativity, love and healing. I soon discovered…

Once you raise your hand in God’s classroom, You’re IN!

Volunteering or rather acknowledging my calling threw me into what I call “the trenches.” Learning about being spiritual by facing fears and growing into adulthood with a purpose I actually had no idea how to attain. My intense training began.

I moved to Manhattan from Queens. By day I worked in film and by night I read, did research, and practiced various healing and mystical arts. I also started giving intuitive readings at corporate events and private parties.

I never wanted to say that I hadn’t tried what my heart pulled me to…so I explored acting, directing, writing, belly dancing. I learned that everything I have ever done has served me in this path and that no experience or relationship was a waste of time. Each and every experience and training influences my practice and my work today!

I wanted to be myself, accept myself and just flow with the tides without controlling or worrying about where I was going and how was I going to get there. I wanted to release the fears of being “too much” or conversely, “not enough.”

This search for healing, understanding and awareness has led me to ask profound questions and living into the answers. While our inquisitive minds can analyze and explain into early morning hours with kindred spirits there is a huge part of existence that is unexplainable…the Mystery.

The Mystery is all encompassing and sustains us. We must deal with it with utter faith, deep trust, compassionate love and unconditional surrender.

Surrender to me means that as a soul having human experiences we strive to do the best we can. Aware that we are in a learning process and that “it’s okay to learn as we go.” We also do all we can and then LET GO.

Yes, we must pour our love into our work, fill our relationships with sacred presence and then release…

Yes, we must pour our love into our work, fill our relationships with sacred presence and then release…

We do not know all outcomes even if highly intuitive. We are taken to the path and we are supported.

In the end, as much of a go-getting, organized type A you can be…there is much you cannot control. If we can acknowledge that there is a greater plan at work. A master plan, if you will…our lives start to flow more and we start to experience greater harmony.

In my intuitive session work that’s my strongest skill. I don’t google my clients or want to hear their questions until I get an initial reading and share with them what I am picking up.

Imagine every time you had to show up to a large part of your work…that you had no spreadsheets, research, outlines, background on your case and you were not armed with the fool-proof coaching questions that let you see clearly into a client?

No, I just say hello, a prayer and start sharing what I see, hear, feel and know.

That’s how surrender has evolved in my life.

I can’t be afraid of the outcome, or that it may not show up.

I’m there as the vessel and Spirit has my back. Period.

That ability that I have in the intuitive part of my work is one that I am cultivating in other areas of my life. Scary and it’s been worth it! The more I surrender, the calmer and more open and peaceful I feel even if the outcome is not what I wanted.

Understanding that everything happens for a reason and there may be something better for me along the way helps me deal with disappointments that happen in everyday life.

It is part of our growth and education to learn to deal with our own unique trials and very real physical challenges. It is up to us to keep connecting to our inner life when the outer world is pushing its way in. It’s up to us to be open to finding our people, our friends, allies and sacred community.

As Caroline Myss, medical intuitive and NY Times best-selling author has said, “For the first time in history, we are mystics without monasteries.”

It is very clear to me that these days we are being called into a deeper experience of God in many ways. The definition of a mystic is — someone who wants to engage in direct conversation with God.

An Urban Priestess is a mystic in high heels, mani-pedi’s and clothes that represent her on many levels.

The Urban Priestess reworks the outmoded image of a mystic.

An Urban Priestess is a mystic in high heels, mani-pedi’s and clothes that represent her on many levels. Of course, only if she wants to rock the heels.If not, flip flops have become typical of the modern day wise woman, urban shaman and urban priestess.

That’s what my life has been as an Urban Priestess…I maintain a conversation with God as I live, survive and thrive in this modern world full of both high tech and basic demands.

Without a temple, convent or monastery…I’ve learned to have spiritual practices that support my mind, body and spirit through the most trying of times. I’ve learned to give gratitude thru art, singing, dancing and giving to others. I’ve learned to pour my love and Soul into everything I do.

I realized that I had intense intuition as a child and teen and cultivated it secretly for a long time. Then I felt a calling to gather women and have done that since 1999. Men started joining us in 2010.

When Spirit says, “Gather them. Speak. Heal. Tell them…” I do it to the best of my ability. It can be challenging to fight the internal pull I always have to run into a temple and wait for people to knock when they need my services.

As a modern day priestess I serve wherever I am and I have to communicate the work in order to serve well. I know I must share my experiences and reach out to those that may be going through similar situations or experiences. I know I have to share my deep inner world in order to gain entrance into yours…smile.

I am constantly learning and growing. Cultivating beginner’s mind and accessing ancient wisdom that can be applied in a practical way to everyday issues.

People have asked me, “What is an Urban Priestess?”

I believe that she is like you and me. We are spiritual seekers, dreamers and lovers. We may also follow technical trends and hit fashion shows whenever possible…or perpetually live dressed in NYC black or t-shirt and jeans.

It doesn’t matter if she has always been in touch with her divine sacredness or if she’s had a recent breakthrough…the fact is…she is AWAKE.

Now, I didn’t say perfect. Or enlightened beyond everyday existence. She is awake and awakening more deeply each day.

She understands that life is a journey and that we all have our own way. She knows that healing and releasing “stories” and worn-out beliefs is imperative so that she may feel free and live the life she was born to live.

The Urban Priestess has broken free or is in the process of releasing the old spiritual cannons (sometimes subconscious) of celibacy, poverty, martyrdom and sacrifice. I’ve had quite a struggle in my own life leaving behind those unconscious beliefs about sacrifice and service.

An Urban Priestess KNOWS that the more she THRIVES…the more she can create, dance, write, mother and love the WORLD.

One thing is clear to me about Urban Priestesses…we do it OUR WAY. Respectful of the old ways and well-read in world religions we gather knowledge and apply it to our everyday lives.

We honor our wisdom, we honor our bodies that speak to us in a myriad of ways…

Some rock Buddhist beads and divinate with African shells, others carry their trusty Goddess Card apps on their mini-ipad or iPhone. Yeah we pick a card, “What do I need to know right now?” on the train, the plane or the automobile.

We know that there are no coincidences.

The definitive thing about an Urban Priestess though is…

She embodies the Divine Feminine in all her guises and beauty.

She knows her worth and value.

Knows in her bones that sensuality and spirituality are not in opposition of Spirit, rather in sacred service of the Divine.

She is connected to nature and is very in touch with her “animal” the primal needs and desires that seek expression through her body. In doing so she acknowledges her body’s deep wisdom and heals the centuries old rift between the flesh and the Spirit.

This is a rift caused by human beings afraid of the unknown. Afraid of their passions and Soul. In an effort to control and manipulate nature we have been split from our bodies and Gaia (the Earth) has suffered pollution and damage we still cannot fathom.

The Urban Priestess seeks to liberate herself from the patterns of the past to live fully in the present.

An Urban Priestess understands that she stands on the shoulders of the women that came before her and the women that came before Her…we are linked thru blood, spirit and subconscious patterns and stories to all the Mothers. We are here to heal the “sister divide” and to release our mothers, grandmothers and ancestors by living more FULLY and FREER than they ever had the chance to be.

We honor our Ancestors, Ashe!

She tends to her Spirit, respects her body and keeps her mind open and clear. She’s walked the earth long enough to know and DO better (doesn’t matter if she is 18 or 88).

The Urban Priestess seeks to liberate herself from the patterns of the past to live fully in the present. Her deepest desire is to integrate her spiritual longing to evolve her passionate desire to change the world. Her daily mantra is to align her mind, body and spirit with her deepest spiritual calling.

  • Embrace yourself fully
  • Release what doesn’t serve you
  • Find true passion & purpose in your work
  • Create from an aware and intuitive place

An Urban Priestess is having a love affair with the Universe, herself and life!

If you would like to find out more about being an Urban Priestess please contact Vanessa info@vanessacodorniu.com.

So it is, so shall it be.

Blessed be, Ashe, Aho & Amen!

Vanessa


Journal, Volume 1 Issue 2