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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in prayer

 

 

Public prayer is often sung prayer—to one another, we speak; to the gods, we sing—and good prayer (whether sung or spoken) deserves a good, communal conclusion.

What follows is three musical settings for “So mote it be,” two serious and one satirical.

You can draw your own conclusions.

 

First Tone

“So mote it be” is sung on the same note for each word, but “so” is held twice as long as the other three, thus giving it an emphasis: SO mote it be.

X  x  x  x

 As in all good music—or poetry, for that matter—the tune reinforces the meaning of the words.

 

Second Tone

“So mote it be” is sung with three notes, all held to equal length. “So” establishes the base note. “Mote” goes up a step from the base note. “It” goes down a step from the base note. “Be” returns to the base note.

x  x+1  x-1  x

This setting has a nice “circular” quality to it; here, also, beginning and ending on the same note musically restates what the words say.

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Do the gods hear petitionary prayer?

Well, let's take one example. Does Earth hear petitionary prayer?

Different people would give you different answers to this question. Speaking for myself, while it would be easy to say no, that's not quite right.

Here's what I would say. Whether or not Earth qua planet hears our petitionary prayer, we don't know. Here's what we do know: Insofar as we ourselves are Earth and of Earth, Earth does indeed hear our prayers.

In some ways, the entire question strikes me as wrong-headed. We all have work, including the gods. Why would we think that answering our prayers is among the work of the gods? The gods, in fact, are already doing their sacred work all around us every day: the Sun shines, the Storm gives rain, the Earth brings forth. If you ask me, it's not their job to make sure that—to quote Quentin Crisp—I get that blue bicycle that I always wanted.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Our Prayers Are Heard

I live near a beautiful river in British Columbia where our local First Nations peoples have lived for over 3000 years. Not far from my home in the Slocan Valley, right beside the river, are hundreds of ancient pit houses.

An easy access trail takes me through cedars, larch, pine, fir trees and soapalali, where long footfalls have tread on Mother Earth.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs


                                     Dressing the Crone

“To sew is to pray. Men don't understand this. They see the whole but they don't see the stitches. They don't see the speech of the creator in the work of the needle. We mend. We women turn things inside out and set things right. We salvage what we can of human garments and piece the rest into blankets. Sometimes our stitches stutter and slow. Only a woman's eyes can tell. Other times, the tension in the stitches might be too tight because of tears, but only we know what emotion went into the making. Only women can hear the prayer.”                                                            ― Louise Erdrich, Four Souls. 


I couldn't sleep last night. As I got into bed and closed my eyes I suddenly saw the moonlight illuminating a milk offering on the Gruagach stone on the Isle of Colonsay. I had visited this little island off the west coast of Scotland this summer and had sat with the stone a couple of times. There is a long and entangled history of the Gruagach which takes us back to ancient pre-Celtic figures (but that is a story for another time).  

In my vision I sat with the stone and could clearly see the rope-like geological features on the surface of the stone, I could reach out and touch them. Then I saw the same moonlight reflected in a little pool of water on the stones on the top of Carman Hill (above Loch Lomond).  I watched the moon's light reflect off sandy beaches on far islands and in the faces of those who stood in their gardens and peered upwards towards her. Even as I fell asleep I traveled with her, looking down onto the scenes she illuminated. 

The night felt like a prayer between the moon and the earth, honored and felt by all who turn their heads upwards to bathe in her awe.  This feeling of prayer stayed with me as I awoke. As the morning's light changed through various layers of grey the rain turned to snow and the temperature plummeted. Today is going to be a cold day with tonight's temperatures plummeting still down to -12oc. I work from home so there is no need to go anywhere - just feed dogs and chickens and make some soup. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_stitching-tweed-stones.jpg

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Circle of Compassion and the power of

Many of us who have come to identify with Witchcraft or Paganism (hence finding ourselves on the Witches & Pagans blogosphere) originated in a family tradition where communion with the Divine (the All, Spirit, the Totality) was achieved through prayer. In the etymology found within common dictionaries, "prayer" tends to be defined both as, "worship of God (a deity)" as well as simply, "an earnest hope or wish." Somewhere in the mystery between these two forms, we may find the truth. Prayer, as well as spell craft and the various types of ritual used to facilitate both, can be seen as acts of co-creation

Those of us raised in one of the major mono-theisms may be familiar with teachings like that found in Matthew 18:20 of the Christian "new testament": Again, I tell you truly that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather together in my name, there I am with them."

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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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Prayer for Wholeness in Body and Spirit

 I pray: 

 

I will not live drawn and quartered by the hate and fear around me. I will not respond to hate and fear with hate and fear, thereby ripping my body apart myself, but will remain whole, loving, confident, present, and happy.

 

When in action, I will not be disjointed. I will be integrated.

 

When my arm reaches out—to give, to heal someone, to bless, to receive—God the Father’s hand supports my arm so its mere and insufficient human strength is upheld by His endless power.

 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    So profound. And so beautifully expressed. And so important to be reminded of at this time. Thank you.
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Ted, thank you so much. I really appreciate your comment, more than you may know.

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