A recent read, from someone who has gone through manipulation and betrayal at the hands of spiritual predators (and such people can unfortunately be found in just about any religious community) made me remember something I postulated years ago, when discussing the topic of the priesthood with another Heathen. A priest, or any other kind of spiritual leader, works best when s/he functions as a bridge to our gods, not as a gate. A gate is something that serves the person opening and closing it, and is subject to the agenda of the person doing the opening and closing. A bridge, however, is meant to serve those who cross it – it is not subject to its own agenda, other than to facilitate a way for people and gods to connect with one another. Functioning as a bridge, a true religious leader cannot afford a great ego – said leader understands that their purpose includes being trod upon. Bridges are open, you can see what’s on the other side … this isn’t necessarily the case with gates. Finally, bridges unite, while gates divide.
If you would look for a way to your gods, look for the bridges that are stable and sturdy, and let the gate keepers keep their gates as they will.