I am known as The Gypsy Priestess by women world-wide, and by the online communities I am part of as writer, teacher, guide, facilitator and Priestess..
TGP is the persona of my business: Goddess of the Gypsy Moon.
It represents who I AM on many levels.
The Gypsy Priestess is my chosen name, and has been since 2003.
Through its use, I claim my power, my soul song and my true essence.
However, in recent years I have been asked
Why do you use the name Gypsy Priestess?
I am a High Priestess of the Goddess Inanna.
For those unfamiliar with the term priestess,
I will simply quote Dara McKinley whom I believe sums it up precisely:
"A priestess is a woman who helps others connect to the Divine
so that they can heal and actualize their soul’s path."
I am a Priestess.
I am a Gypsy.
This Gypsy Proverb has been my life motto:
"We are all wanderers on this earth.
Our hearts are full of wonder,
and our souls are deep with dreams."
Choosing The Gypsy Priestess as my name was with sacred intention.
It is personally meaningful, and an appropriate representation of who I AM.
I relate profoundly to the energy/archetype of gypsy for many reasons:
*My home is contained within my soul.
*My roots grow tangled within, rather than without.
*I am a free spirit; bohemian in style.
*I have never lived in any home longer than five years;
dwelling, more often than not, for only 1 or 2 years in any one place.
*I claim with honor the gypsy spirit as my own energy/essence.
*Gypsy is a title I was given (due to my dress & lifestyle) by my tribe
who knew nothing of my bloodline or heritage.
*DNA results show proof of my gypsy bloodline & origins .*See End Note
Gypsy is a source of contention among a few of my readers/followers
who claim it is a racial slur. As is plain to see by my words
both, throughout my website and elsewhere online,
I use the word gypsy and my name Gypsy in a respectful, non-derogatory manner, without pejorative and with absolutely no ethnic shame implied.
I honor and love and respect all peoples, cultures and religions.
I call myself Gypsy, not others.
Someone once responded to the above explanation thus:
'The same could be said for a soldier, seaman or a multitude of
other persons; having itchy feet hardly connects you to the Rom.'
To which I replied:
True, but I am not a soldier, nor a seaman...
(I laugh at 'itchy feet', as mine are not - I often long for a 'forever' home,
only circumstances have never allowed me to remain in one house,
intimate relationship, or sacred space for very long).
I mean no offense, disrespect or harm by using the name Gypsy Priestess.
It is for me, a true representation of who I am on my sacred path.
I claim no religion, other than LOVE.
I follow the Goddess by choice
and seek only to share my self in love with others.
A Roma man wrote:
“No true Roma actually care nor do we find the term offensive.”
But, I've been told, "a real Rom would find it extremely insulting"...
Perhaps it will further help to define the meaning of the word.
If you look up the definition of gypsy, it lists several meanings,
a.) gypsy - One inclined to a nomadic, unconventional way of life.
b.) a person held to resemble a gypsy, especially in physical characteristics
or in a traditionally ascribed freedom
or an inclination to move from place to place.
c.) Gypsy has several different and overlapping meanings under English Law.
Under the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960
Gypsies are defined as "persons of nomadic habit of life,
whatever their race or origin..."
d.) informal - a nomadic or free-spirited person.
e.) a member of a race of wandering people.
f.) a person with a career or way of life that’s itinerant or unconventional
Each and every one of these descriptions apply to me, personally!
Yet, the word gypsy as an intransitive verb was my initial inspiration.
If you had a question or problem regarding my use of the name
I hope my explanation has set your mind at ease, beloved.
If you are still offended by my use of 'Gypsy' I ask: Why?
and, invite you to have a conversation with me.
Love and infinite blessings, Luminita
Leesa, The Gypsy Priestess
According to 23 & Me and Ancestry my DNA belongs to the Mitochondrial haplogroup H (as do the majority of the Roma tested,). Furthermore, research proves that "the frequency of haplogroup H was extremely low among non-Roma" ― Origins, admixture and founder lineages in European Roma on the European Journal of Human Genetics website.
HV is also the ancestral clade to the haplogroups H and V. A possible origin of HV haplogroup is in the region of Western Iran, Mesopotamia, and the South Caucasus, where the highest prevalence of HV has been found. Wikipedia
(of which 15.1% Roma originate, as per chart on the EJoHG website.)
Additionally, my mothers maiden name is Cooper; a common Romany surname.
My people are also of Irish Traveller descent.
A British House of Commons Committee parliamentary inquiry, as described in their report “Tackling inequalities faced by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities” (published 2019) stated about their findings in the United Kingdom that: “We asked many members of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities how they preferred to describe themselves. While some find the term “Gypsy” to be offensive, many stakeholders and witnesses were proud to associate themselves with this term and so we have decided that it is right and proper to use it, where appropriate, throughout the report.” Wikipedia As do I.
Photo: We are Gypsy, Irish, Cherokee.
My baby sister, Laura, my Mama, Daisy (holding our puppy - Giillie) and me... barefoot on a winter day wearing a summer dress.
The Gypsy Priestess
A wise woman wrote:
Every Woman needs a little Gypsy in her Soul..
There is, I think in all Women,
a Wild and an Ancient Gypsy
who cries in anguish when we starch her flat.
There is a part of us that can never, ever be happy
until the Gypsy can Dance!
~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D.
John Matthews in The World Atlas of Divination
refers to gypsies as "Wise Women."