to be a so called high priestess one would have to have his or her own coven for a number of years. keeping the coven together is a hard task to fill so there in that is some prestiege. i hail from ireland and i am a 7th generation wiccan with documents dating to the 17th century and i dont call myself anything other than what i am, a practiser of the old ways wiccan or witch. i am humble in the eyes of the ancient ones and will remain so. only in the states have i really seen wiccans give themselves elavated titles. i guess if thats what one wants then if it harms none its ok, but be careful for what you wish for or say for it will come back 3 fold and sometimes with dire circumstances.
Merry Meet Lisa,
In most Traditions in Wicca a High Priestess should be able to be and do many things within the religion. It really takes years of training and knowledge. Of course I have come across many people of all ages that claim the position of High Priest/Priestess because they feel that all it takes is leadership, this really is a misconception. In our circle, if a person would claim the title we would test them accordingly. The problem that we continually come across is that many people are not getting a thorough education in the Craft, which really leaves them short and/or lacking. My suggestion to you is to study as much as you can, join in with groups to get working examples of what to do in ritual; take workshops and join in on local study groups to get more in-depth working knowledge from experienced individuals.
Even in Traditional Shamanism, a person would take years if not a lifetime of training to achieve the status of Shaman in any particular tribe or village.
Ultimately, education is not only important in order to be a High Priestess or High Priest in any belief system, it really is a necessity. I hope my blurp helps out some.
Traditionally, a high priestess is a woman who has reached the third degree of elevation, the highest degree attainable. It theoretically reflects many years of learning, practice and experience, although, as Labgrrl says, each coven is autonomous and can invent its own criteria.
In more eclectic covens, the terms high priestess and high priest are commonly conferred on whoever becomes leader, whether by election or by “I want to be a high priestess, want to join my new coven?”