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Posts Tagged ‘prayer beads’

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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It struck me this morning that I’ve never talked about (or sent readers to) the craftswoman I buy a good portion of my devotional items from. She’s made a number of things throughout the years (my prayer bead addiction was not helped by the time she spent making hand-beaded things).

Right now her shop is smaller – she’s recovering from some tough financial times and crafting requires a lot of overhead/upfront costs – but I think the items she makes are absolutely worth looking at.

The order I received this morning was for handmade charcoal incense.  I purchased it in three scents:

  • Queen of Heaven: jasmine, amber, spikenard, myrrh – for Frige
  • Dweller in the Green: juniper, fir, cedar, patchouli – for Ing Frea
  • Memento Mori: galangal, myrrh, amber, black pepper – for Hela

They smell *wonderful*, are long burning, and have been (in various incarnations) part of my ritual practice for years. Beth’s original incense blends were deity specific, but the burden of keeping up with SO MANY blends eventually made that unsustainable. She has blends now that are more “function” specific.

Beth relies on her shop profits to keep her household running, and I cannot recommend her service highly enough. Her prayer beads are wonderful – the energy of them is just fantastic, and they are very well made and sturdy. Also, the tea light candles that she dresses are perfect little portable devotional items, and they smell wonderful. She does still do custom items and prayer beads as well, and I’ve been super happy with both her willingness to work on ideas for us coming up with the perfect item and with her intuition as she creates the items.

I’m always a fan of supporting pagan crafters, and I’ve been a long-term customer of Beth’s. If you see something you like in her shop, I can’t recommend her highly enough.

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For years, I have sat on the same purple cushion in the same little bedroom in front of the same little altar space to meditate.

I am still not allowed to do it without help.

meditation with cats

And no, I can’t just close the door. If I close the door, they sit and paw at the door and meow loudly in protest (there are two of them).

*Since I know someone will ask, the mala was handmade for me by Beth Wodandis, and I can’t recommend her services highly enough. This one is onyx, bone, coral, and amber, and I am absolutely delighted with it every time I pick it up to pray or do magic. I’ve had to keep myself from buying all of the prayer beads that she makes (I’ve had a problem with collecting prayer beads for a long time). Her etsy shop is here.  

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