Aloha! My name is Julienne Givot. I’m a free range priestess, wedding officiant and maker of unconventional rosaries and prayer beads.
I’m part of the 23% of people who tick the box marked “Spiritual, but not religious” on surveys. This is accurate but generic. I’ve never been generic about my spiritual and philosophical explorations, my curiosity remains genuine and the path has been full of twists and turns.
I was raised in the Catholic church and survived 7 years in Catholic school. I was the one whose hand shot up when the Priest asked the class if we had questions (I had MANY questions).
My Father’s side of the family are Jewish but I had no idea until well into adulthood so didn’t receive much in the way of the beliefs growing up but perhaps a natural ability to ask challenging questions (and a fondness for latkes and matzoh ball soup).
I left the Catholic church a loooooong time ago. I still loved Mary and all the kooky saint stories but all the dogma and patriarchy of the church? No. I always felt more in the presence of the Divine when I was in nature anyway.
Since I started making rosaries & prayer beads I’ve found that there are MANY of us fallen away / ex / former / non-observing / recovering Catholics. And many of are thirsting to reclaim some of their faith in a way that is more authentic and less guilt and shame ridden.
Free-range like a chicken? Well, yes, metaphorically. Over the years I’ve explored many different paths, philosophies and belief systems of the East and West. I’ve studied Judaism, Buddhism, Vedanta, Shamanism, Kundalini Yoga, Integral theory, Jungian Archetypes, Mythology and a lot of what would be called New Age. I found some wisdom and truth in all of them but remain free-range and wary of organized religion or anything woo-woo. I keep wandering and pecking and trying not to have my karma run over by someones dogma. The older I get the more I am at home without having a religious home (and yes I’ve even attended Unitarian churches).
The Priestess part came shortly after leaving the church in my early 20’s. Friends wanted to get married and asked me to do the ceremony. The request was a surprise to me but I took on the role with aplomb.
Not only did I love celebrating weddings but evidently I was pretty darn good at it. Over the years I’ve also been asked to convocate blessings for new babies, separations, funerals, and rites of passage. For those of us ‘spiritual but not religious’ folks the need for ceremony is there but the structure and facility isn’t.
It’s an honor for me to hold space and call for blessings. It’s a grace and intention that helps me to play this role for people and it’s a gift that I can share rosaries and prayer beads that can assist people along their spiritual journey.
I’ve been gifted SO much from my teachers over the years not the least of which are my kumus in Hawaii. Turns out that some of the beliefs and practices I learn aren’t all that different from the things I did on my own as a child in nature.
So here I am, a rebel and a priestess sharing with everyone on this path of “spiritual, not religious.”
Me ke aloha pumehana (with warm affection), Rev Jules