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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in daily ritual

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Walk-Around

Here's one of those rare universals in human religion: you honor something sacred by walking around it.

In technical language, this is known as circumambulation, from the Latin circum, "around" + ambulatio, "a walking" (cp. amble) < ambulare, "to walk." In plain old English, the Sacred Language of the Witches, we could call it a "walk-around."

Probably the most famous walk-around in contemporary religion is the sevenfold circumambulation of the Ka'aba in Mecca during the annual hajj. But this is just Islam's version of something that pretty much everyone, everywhere, does.

A standing stone. A sacred tree.  A sacred spring. A statue. A temple. You honor them by walking around them.

There don't seem to be many particulars in this observance. In Western traditions, generally it's done with the right hand toward whatever Hallow it is that you're circumambulating, i.e. deosil. It's best to go around some sacred number of times: three, nine, thirteen.

Needless to say, you don't just walk. There's inner work here to be done while you're doing your walking: prayer, meditation, the singing of a hymn.

Of course, this isn't just something that humans do: it's much larger than that. The Moon circumambulates Earth, Earth walks-around Sun. The Sun circles the Galactic Center. Circles within circles within circles.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    And dogs....
  • Katie
    Katie says #
    I have the mental image of a cat turning and turning around their chosen napping place. We know cats take sleeping seriously. The
  • Kile Martz
    Kile Martz says #
    For some time now, when I visit my spiritual home, it's been my habit to walk around the perimeter of the ritual circle three time
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    An added dimension to casting circles.
An Invitation from the Temple of the Moon

Here at Temple of the Moon, we offer and pray twice daily to the Moon and the Horned for the health and well-being of pagans everywhere.

In numbers lies efficacy. No matter where you are, you can join your prayers to ours.

Here's how.

 

(Note: The Threefold Salute is a gesture of reverence and affirmation that takes several forms:

Threefold Salute

Touch heart, lips, and brow

or

Touch brow, lips, and heart

or

[if you're really pious and/or spry]

Touch brow, lips, and heart

Bow, touch ground

Rising, touch heart, lips, and brow)

 

Daily Offering, with Threefold Prayer

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
One Minute at the Altar

Last week I realized that yet again I'd set my standards for my daily practice too high. I couldn't sit at my altar without lighting the candles; I couldn't light the candles if the candles were burned out; I couldn't buy paraffin candles, I had to make my own out of beeswax; I couldn't make my own candles because the kitchen was a mess. This is what happens when you have high hopes and two small children. You sit around wishing you were doing spiritual work while they empty every drawer in the house for the fun of it.

I'm proud to say that I did end up making my own candles, but the compromise was that I did it in the filthy kitchen. If I'd taken the time to clean the kitchen beforehand, you see, then that would have taken up all my candlemaking time, and the next time I went to make candles, it would be filthy again. When I took my new candles to the altar, I thought, "But I can't light them without cleaning the altar off first. And cleansing the space! And refreshing the offerings! And performing invocations!" No, I told myself. I found that I had to give myself permission to do things imperfectly. I let myself cleanse the space. Then I lit the candles and annointed my Cernunnos statue. And that was it.

...
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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Dragon Dancer
    Dragon Dancer says #
    I get email notifications for W&P blog posts, and been holding onto this one until I "had a minute" to really read and not just sk
  • Molly
    Molly says #
    Thanks for this! I appreciated it today, while feeling overwhelmed by a chain of to-dos.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
You, Your God, and a Stick of Incense

You, your god, and a stick of incense.

That's all that you need to get a daily observance in place.

And—believe me—if you don't have a daily observance going, you need to start one stat. Every good garden requires regular cultivation. What would you think of a friend who only comes to you when she needs something?

Stand before an image of your heart-god.

(I'm using the word “god” inclusively here.) This can be a statue, a picture, or an aniconic symbol.

Stand, don't sit. (Sitting is passive, and this needs to be an act of active engagement.) Think of it as standing to attention. Think of it as rising when someone important enters the room.

Light the incense.

"The offering," they say, "bears the prayer." Actually, coals and a grain or two of quality natural incense would be best, but you can't beat the ease of stick incense. Here, as always in pagan ritual, the offering is the go-between, the mediator.

Be in the presence of your god.

What you do next is up to you. If you pray, pray. If you know a hymn, sing it. If you'd rather stand silently in rapt contemplation, do that. If a state of no-mind better suits you, that's fine. (Silent time with a friend is sometimes the most intimate time of all.) Always, you should be listening for the voice of the god.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
What Pagans Do

Do you know the punishment for cutting down a sacred tree?

Did you know that, at a sacrifice, it's proper at the moment of the killing for women present to cry out?

Do you know why one should always end a funeral with a ring-dance around the grave?

Neither did I.

But now I do, and you will too, once you've read Ken Dowden's European Paganism: The Realities of Cult from Antiquity to the Middle Ages.

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Every Day Magic: A Pagan Book of Days - Call for Submissions

Moon Books, the Paganism/Shamanism imprint of John Hunt Publishing, is accepting submissions for their 365 title Every Day Magic: A Pagan Book of Days. Deadline is September 15, 2016.

Editor Lucya Szachnowski invites you to write 80 words or less on pagan festivals, anniversaries, deities, practices, celebrated figures, observances, etc. Submissions can be spells, rituals, meditations, pagan prayers, aphorisms, divinatory techniques, recipes and craft projects. Be creative!

...
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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

One of the questions I get asked the most about practising Druidry - or Paganism generally - is how to merge that spiritual practice with daily life. I've been pondering this today, as I get on with my chores on a rainy October day.

This morning, I went to the shop for food. I walked the dogs in the rain, chatted to neighbours at the bus stop. I've sorted laundry and washed up pots, made breakfast and rested for a minute with a cup of tea.

All very mundane. Then come the 'Druid-y' bits, you might say.

My next job is to write several articles (including this one), so wracking my brains to ponder what might be interesting, then how to word things appropriately, get over the usual author-angst about the final product not being good enough... ;)

I'm undertaking several Tarot readings for folk today, as well as sorting work for my students. I'm preparing for a Samhain ritual tomorrow as part of my Prison Chaplaincy role, then a Handfasting on Saturday, and of course my household's own private ritual that evening.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven says #
    How funny, Cat, I saw this post just as I was about to put up my own Druid priest post! Thinking on similar lines today, lovely! S

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