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Posts Tagged ‘druid prayer’

So I’ve always been a praying person. For a long time I only did extemporaneous prayers, like a good little Protestant kid, even though I really hated my wordy, fumbly, formulaic prayers that all seemed kind of pointless. (I was fortunate enough to grow up in a praying home, and my grandfather is a beautiful pray-er, so I had good role models at least.) Then I found Catholicism, and a whole new world of prayers opened up for me. Though I’ve (obviously) left that behind, I’m finding myself a praying pagan more and more.

Recent devotions have brought up the idea that I need to be keeping a sort of horarium – an office of the hours. My days run together; they can be pretty unstructured as someone who works from home. Earlier this year John Beckett, who is becoming a dear friend as well as being someone whose opinion I respect in the pagan world, challenged his readers to have a “contemplative season” between Yule and Imbolc. I took his challenge and ran with it, and came up with a little daily office to say during the day.

Of course, being the unstructured hooligan that I am, I don’t have set times for anything, but I have three prayers to say each day. One in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one at night.

This is all great.

Except that while I can regularly say a prayer in the morning, and regularly say a prayer at night before bed, praying in the afternoon is making me bonkers.

Either I remember at 10am, and it’s too early, or I just flat forget the damn thing until it’s 10pm and I’m going to bed. I have a prayer for when I’ve forgotten a prayer, and I think I’m using it most days right now because of the stupid afternoon prayer that I can’t make myself remember to pray, even with a phone alarm going off at 2:30.

And yet.

My calling has never been stronger. I’ve had one of the most intense Imbolc seasons I’ve ever had, with spiritual experiences that will shape my life, possibly for years to come. Prayer changes things. I’ve heard it said that prayer isn’t something you do, it’s something the gods do that you are part of. While I don’t know that my middling, fairly ineffective devotions count as something as powerful as all that, I can’t deny that this practice has deepened into something I want to keep doing.

So I will. You can come too, if you like. We can be bad at praying together. I promise, once you get used to it, it’s not so bad.

*From the Latin for “three times daily”, as typically seen on a prescription for medication.

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This weekend at the Imbolc retreat, I learned a new prayer. It’s apparently quite an old prayer. OBOD Druid John Beckett spoke it during one of our rituals as the call to Inspiration, and it spoke to me.

So here it is.

Grant, O Holy Ones, Thy Protection;
And in protection, strength;
And in strength, understanding;
And in understanding, knowledge;
And in knowledge, the knowledge of justice;
And in the knowledge of justice, the love of it;
And in that love, the love of all existences;
And in the love of all existences,
the love of the Earth our mother, and all goodness.

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I didn’t write this – Rev. Michael Dangler did. You can read the rest of his post here, and I highly suggest you do go read it. It says a lot toward what we expect of our Priests in times of grief, and what we can expect of each other.

A Prayer for Boston
Rev. Michael J Dangler

Artio, a Child of the Earth calls out to you.
Today, there has been pain and suffering,
And it weighs on my heart and soul.

I call out to you, Healing One,
Protector of your folk.
Be there for those who are in need,
And comfort those who seek it.

Wrap those in pain in your healing arms.
Bring them warmth if they are cold,
And soothe their fears.
Let those hurting never be alone.

Artio, Bear-Lady, I call to you:
Be there for those in need.

Monday night, I sat with others I “know” online, and we all approached our altars and lit incense and prayed together. What we do between the Worlds, and what we do in the Otherworld, affects the outcomes in this World, even when it is only in a small way. These prayers bring us comfort and reorientation in a time where we are overcome by information about which we can do nothing.

Our ancestors did not have 24 hour news channels and endlessly repeating video clips. But they knew how to pray, because so much of their lives was out of their direct control. And we can take a cue from them – the knowledge that sometimes all you can do in a situation is come together, support each other, and pray. We are Children of the Earth, and from Her, and from the Kindreds, we can take some measure of comfort.

May we all find the peace and healing we need at the hands of the Kindreds, especially those most closely affected in Boston.

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