16 – Inspirations: Prayer and Meditation

I’m not the best meditator, and it’s become worse since the pregnancy began. I can’t go very far in trance, because this physical experience grounds me constantly. My meditations have mostly been limited to five-minute Two Powers, or listening to guided meditations specifically for a healthy pregnancy.

Prayer, on the other hand, comes far easier for me. I like to write prayers and speak them, either by rote or in the moment. A good collection of rote prayers can serve a person throughout many situations, and there’s a comfort to speaking well-crafted words (whether written by yourself or by another) that have been spoken before.

For perhaps the best collections of prayers, one should look at the writings of Ceisiwr Serith, whose Book of Pagan Prayer also has an excellent chapter on composing prayers. Don’t be afraid of writing your own, or revising what you’ve written, either. Writing is an art form, and this is no different. You may also want to read his Pagan Ritual Prayer Book.

Of course, the Carmina Gadelica is also a good place to look if you want prayers that come from (Scottish) Celtic culture directly; there have also been people who have “re-paganized” some of these prayers for modern use.

Our Grove uses a standard liturgy, which has faced some criticism for the fact that our rites aren’t entirely spontaneous. But every time we perform a High Day, we connect in with our group mind, the consciousness that has been built by its members over the last fourteen years, saying the same words again and again, and in those words we find our places and rhythm.

Our home worship is much the same. We have our standard morning and evening prayers, and a short household rite that always begins the same way though its content may differ. In this way, either of us may lead the worship in the way that we have chosen, with no pressure over saying the right thing. We have agreed upon the right thing, tested it, and settled into its comfort. I do not see anything wrong with this.

Perhaps one of the most important prayers to me is our Grove’s Lorica, which I composed as a gift for our Grove on the occasion of our tenth birthday. During the depths of my burnout, I found it very difficult to pray this prayer, as its few lines reflect our cosmology, pantheon, and best wishes for each other. I don’t think many others pray it, but it isn’t their responsibility to do so. It’s mine, as a Priest, that I continue to serve my Grove even when I find it difficult.

[ 30 Days of Druidry ]

One thought on “16 – Inspirations: Prayer and Meditation

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  1. Your sharing of the ways in which you reach out to the gods is a rare gift.

    Our Grove lorica has served me well in my morning devotion, but I too have found it difficult at times. I may feel apart from the warmth of my kin’s fire, or worse, a sense that I no longer have the strength to tend my own hearth. Sometimes I doubt the strength of my inner flames. In the contemplation of the cosmos, the cold distance of the stars can be unbearably lonesome. Usually though, there is warmth and connection found in one of those lights, and so I hang on until the others return.

    There is a comfort in returning to this prayer, saying the names of our gods each day I am able to do so, and acknowledging my part in these relationships. It has been a deeply valued gift.

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