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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in prayer

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Pagan Prayer, Ariadne's Tribe Style

A lot of Pagans are hesitant to use the word prayer since it's so strongly connected with Christianity in modern western culture. But really, one of the things many of us do in our spiritual practice is pray. Prayer has been around a lot longer than Christianity has.

What is prayer? At its most basic, it's a conversation with a deity. In Ariadne's Tribe, we pray a lot, although often we simply call it talking with deity.

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Prayers for the Grieving: A Snapshot of a Psychopomp at Work

A couple of weeks ago, we got a call at work that a woman named Christy* had a malamute dog who had passed away, and she needed us to pick him up and take him to the crematory. So a coworker and I climbed into the Explorer, one of our two work vehicles, and drove down the road out of the city, through the outskirts of town, to her ranch in the country. Christy has an adorable red-sided, sharply peaked farmhouse surrounded by fenced-in plots of land where her horses grazed in the midmorning sunlight. There was a bite in the air, but it wasn't cold. When she saw us driving down her long gravel driveway, she came out of her house and opened the gate for us. Her other malamute, Kallu*, the deceased dog's sister, was gentle and came up to greet us, and then clung protectively to Christy’s side. She was huge, wolf-sized, but not lean like wild animals. She had a rounded, well-fed figure, and her fur was fluffy and clean.


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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Mood Magic: Blue Moon Balm

For a dreary day and a dark mood, use the strength of the olden unguent to release both mind and body. This desert plant produces a protective oil, which works as both a sunscreen and a moisturizer. Combine the following oils with either four ounces of unscented body lotion, or two ounces of olive oil or sweet almond oil:

  • 2 drops chamomile oil
  • 2 drops neroli
  • 8 drops aloe
  • 6 drops rose oil

Shake the oils together and place in a corked pottery jar. Sit quietly in a room lit only by one blue candle, and rub the balm gently into your skin after a bath. Pray aloud:

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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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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

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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. 


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