Cedric's Pagan Thoughts

The spiritual meanderings of a NeoPagan shaman, an eclectic Wiccan, a Celtic musician, a world traveler, a bard, and an uncompromising cat-loving Bast-worshipper

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Power of Simple Blessings

Let's face it, many of us don't make it to ritual as often as we'd like. A lot of NeoPagans and spiritual seekers aren't associated with a group that meets regularly. More and more, people are finding NeoPaganism through electronic interaction or solitary reading rather than face-to-face contact. Even being part of a group is no guarantee. I know that when my coven was trying to schedule our full moon, new moon, and Sabbat rituals, I found myself really envying the Christian's Sunday morning schedule. Our modern world is much more geared to doing something, say, once a week, than to doing it every full moon . . .

One solution is to engage in daily devotions, such as a morning blessing. What's great about this kind of practice is that it doesn't require a group, it can be performed with little space and preparation, and it takes only a few minutes. (It will take me longer to write one up than it does to perform it.)

Now, to give credit where credit is due, the morning blessing I use is based on one I found in the excellent book Wicca Covens by Judith Harrow. I've adapted it for personal use, and of course, I expect people who read this will make their own adaptations. I prefer to perform it outdoors, but that's not a requirement. So here it is:

Facing east, hold your hands up in the gesture of Air (palms out in front of you, fingers splayed). Aloud or silently, summon with these words: "Spirits of the East, Element of Air, let me work with intelligence and clarity this day." Then spend a moment pulling the energy of Air into you. When you feel that you have done that, thank Air and turn to the south.

Facing south, hold your hands in the gesture of Fire (palms curving down in front of you, as though warming your hands at a campfire). Aloud or silently, summon with these words: "Spirits of the South, Element of Fire, let me work with energy and passion this day." Then spend a moment pulling the energy of Fire into you. When you feel that you have done that, thank Fire and turn to the west.

Facing west, hold your hands up in the gesture of Water (palms up in front of you, fingers closed and curved, hands cupped together like you're catching water). Aloud or silently, summon with these words: "Spirits of the West, Element of Water, let me work with wisdom and compasion this day." Then spend a moment pulling the energy of Water into you. When you feel that you have done that, thank Water and turn to the north.

Facing north, hold your hands in the gesture of Earth (palms down at your side, as though supporting your hands on pillars). Aloud or silently, summon with these words: "Spirits of the North, Element of Earth, let me work with strength and stability this day." Then spend a moment pulling the energy of Earth into you. When you feel that you have done that, thank Earth and turn to the east again.

Facing east, raise your hands to the Goddess summoning position (both hands raised above you, like a pentecostal praying). Aloud or silently, summon with these words: "Eternal Goddess." Now shift your hands to the God summoning position (forearms crossed over chest, hands in fists), and summon with "Ancient God." Finally, bring your hands down and open in front of you, palms up. At this point say or think a prayer. I usually use something along these lines: "I ask you to guide and teach me, aid and protect me this day. Watch over me and [fill in the names of people you're concerned about]."

At this point, spend a moment bringing Divine energy down into your body. You can close the mini-ritual however you like, but I like this prayer, adapted from ancient Irish practices:

I place the power of the Gods before me,
the power of the Gods behind me,
the power of the Gods above me,
the power of the Gods below me,
the power of the Gods on my right hand,
the power of the Gods on my left,
the power of the Gods all around me,
the power of the Gods within me.
Blessed be.

The last prayer is a powerful safety/empowerment spell on its own, and can be used without the rest of the blessing if necessary. Of course, if your purpose resonates with a specific deity, use that deity's name instead of "the Gods."

You'll probably want to bask in the pleasant feeling that comes with concluding this ritual, so go ahead and enjoy it. If you wish, take that moment to thank the Universe for the good things in your life and the things you are in the process of manifesting into your life. It is also a good time to recite a few affirmations to yourself.

The important thing about daily devotions is that they become more effective and powerful over time, as you do them on a regular basis. Likewise, when you do get to attend or participate in a full-blown ritual, the connection you've built up with the elements and the Divine will enhance and strengthen your experience. With a little practice, you will find that you walk a magical path in the company of the Gods.


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1 Comments:

At 10:55 AM, Blogger Katie* said...

Cedric.... I miss your writing.

 

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