This interview exerpt will sound very familiar to Neo-Pagan priestesses today. It comes from an article called "Isis Worship in Paris" by Frederic Lees, in the magazine The Humanitarian. Februrary 1900. Vol XVI. No.2. New York.
The High Priestess Anari holds some very interesting opinions on woman's role in religion. "The idea of the Priestess is at the root of all ancient beliefs", she said, on one occasion. "Only in our ephemeral time has it been neglected. Even in the Old Testament we find the Priestess Deborah, and the New Testament tells us of the Prophetess Anne. What do we find in the modern development of religion to replace the feminine idea, and consequently the Priestess? When a religion symbolises the universe by a Divine Being, is it not illogical to omit woman, who is the principal half of it, since she is the principal creator of the other half - that is, man? How can we hope that the world will become purer and less material when one excludes from the Divine, which is the highest ideal, that part of its nature which represents at one and the same time the faculty of receiving and that of giving - that is to say, love itself in its highest form - love the symbol of universal sympathy? That is where the magical power of woman is found. She finds her force in her alliance with the sympathetic energies of Nature. And what is Nature if it is not an assemblage of thoughts clothed with matter and ideas which seek to materialise themselves? What is this eternal attraction between ideas and matter? It is the secret of life. Have you ever realised that there does not exist a single flame without a special intelligence which animates it, or a single grain of sand to which an idea is not attached, the idea that formed it? It is these intelligent ideas which are the elementals, or spirits of Nature. Woman is the magician born of Nature by reason of her great natural sensibility, and of her instructive sympathy with such subtle energies as these intelligent inhabitants of the air, the earth, the fire and water."