Some Pagan Prayers
Article ID: 15511
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Iain Quicksilver
Posted: September 15th. 2013
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Morning Greeting to Mother Sun:
Hail to you, Mother Grainne,
Lady of light and life.
Thank you for the gift of this day.
Please fortify my heart,
Illumine my mind,
And keep my feet on the Sunward Path.
I would come in the fullness of time
To your golden halls.
Notes: When I first go outside, if the Sun is visible, I say the following prayer, based in part on the Hindu Gayatri. I tried praying to the Sun as male, and then as female, eventually settling for the latter because it felt right. So I use the name of the ancient Celtic Sun-goddess. The end of the prayer has special significance for Pagans in our Witchcraft tradition, as it expresses the ultimate aim of the Craft as being transmutation to a body of light in the Sun. Thereafter we are given work directly aiding the Gods and Demigods. To be on the Sunward Path means to walk towards truth and light, letting one’s shadow of pleasure follow along behind. This too is Hindu.
The Gayatri is a highly revered mantra in Sanskrit, from the Rigveda (3.62.10) . Hindus chant it to the Sun each morning, preceding it with Om and the formula Bhur Bhuva Sva. Its literal meaning is “May we attain that excellent glory of Savitar the god: So may he stimulate our prayers.”
A Paean (Hymn) to the Full Moon
Lo, the stars around the holy Moon
Hide away their bright forms
Whenever she shines most fully
Over the whole Earth.
Notes: This lovely hymn is by the famous Greek poetess Sappho, who wrote in the Ćolic dialect. Here is her poem in her own words:
Asteres men amphi kalan selanan
Aps apokrüptoisi phaenon eidos
Oppota pleithoisa malista lampei
Gan epi paisan.
I follow this with kissing my power hand to the Moon three times and making the mano in cornuta, palm raised towards the Moon, with Her visibly resting between my upraised index and little fingers.
When Night Comes On
Welcome, Mother Night,
Welcome, Goddess Nyx,
Origin and final home of all;
Welcome, spirits of the night.
Notes: This is a simple salutation to the Night when darkness has fallen. The Gods and all beings arise from Night, and when a cosmos founders, they return to Her. With the final line, witches open themselves without fear to the ghosts and other spirits who wander abroad at night.
A Good-night Prayer
I bid good-night to all the Gods:
To Earth, to Moon and to Night Herself;
To Sea and Storm and the spirits of this land,
And to my ancestors and other dear dead:
Please watch over my loved ones,
Wherever they dwell,
And speak to me in dreams.
Notes: A final prayer for this waking, finishing by asking for guidance in the dreams to come.
Prayer to the Theshold Guardian
Honor and thanks to you, O Janus,
For guarding the threshold of my home.
May only harmonious beings enter here,
And may the discordant depart!
Open this week (month, year, etc.) for me on blessings,
And teach me to look out and in at once as you do,
Thus guarding the threshold of my inner home;
For I, too, am a threshold guardian.
Honor and thanks to you, O Janus.
Notes: The Pagan should hang a small offering shelf by the front door, or by the doorway to the front porch or vestibule, at slightly higher than eye-level. It should be large enough to hold a small incense burner, candle, tiny cup or bowl, and tiny salt dish. Above the shelf is a mask of Janus or Pele or some other God. At the inception of anything important, whether a month, week, year or the start of a special endeavor, fill the bowl and dish with water and salt, light a stick of incense, and light the candle. When the candle is lit, the God awakens. Stand back a little and salute the God with arms crossed over the breast, as in the pharaonic gesture. Then recite the prayer. Stand at attention for a few minutes, then let the incense burn down partway before snuffing it and the candle. The sacred household is an interface between one’s inner home and the local cosmos. We are threshold guardians for our inner home, Janus serves as such for our outer home, and the Sun is the threshold guardian for the local cosmos, guarding it and its inhabitants from interstellar entities. The Sun thus looks out and in at the same time also. The Sumerians and Hittites both thought of the God in the Sun as a guardian.
Prayer to the Hearth Guardian
The hearth shrine should be either a fireplace or located in the kitchen as close as possible to the stove. It should be equipped similarly to the threshold shrine. It is permissible to have a picture or idol of the hearth-goddess there, but it isn’t necessary, as she is regarded in most Pagan traditions as identical with the hearth-fire. Light the incense and the candle, saying:
Honor to Fire,
Honor to Gabija,
Honor to the hearth.
Gabija is the old Lithuanian hearth-goddess. Witches may substitute Hestia, Vesta, Brigid or a name from some other Pagan tradition. This prayer is derived from the Baltic tradition. ‘Gabija’ means the covered one, because at night before the household went to sleep, the fire was banked and covered with ashes but allowed to smolder all night. It was cold in Lithuania.
Standing back a bit, extend your arms forward in a fan-shape, the palms up, and the fingers spread, but with the thumb and index fingers together and the middle and ring fingers together. Say the following:
Welcome, Holy Lady.
Holy Lady, please accept these offerings of pure water and salt, light and scent, for thine own dear self, and pass on some to the household spirits, ancestors, demigods and Gods, thanking them for their good regard, and asking for a continuance of their favor.
Any special requests or prayers can be added here, as the hearth-goddess will communicate them to the God who is specially addressed. Stand respectfully before the shrine a few minutes. If you are preparing food, add some to a dish in the shrine, saying “Gabija, be satisfied.” It is also traditional to have a larger bowl of cool water on hand to refresh the goddess, saying near the end of the rite, “Fiery One, bathe, refresh yourself.” These are Lithuanian customs.
At the close of the rite, snuff out the incense and the candle, reversing the initial prayer:
Honor to the hearth,
Honor to Gabija,
Honor to Fire.
Prayer to the Patron Deity
If you have a special place for meditation, with or without an idol, you can dress it also as a shrine, and ask your patron or patroness for aid in your inner labors. This prayer is completely personal and will not be modeled here. In old Norse halls the master sat by the central pillar, which had an iron nail driven into it at shoulder-level, and he grasped the nail during an electric storm, in order to feel the power of Thorr. Thorr was a very popular patron God in the later heathen period. We know something about this practice because it continued among the Lapps (Saame) and was described by the Christian missionaries when they traveled to their lands to suppress their native beliefs. Consequently, the meditation shrine can be thought of as the house pillar, and cognate with the spine, which should be held erect (the seat slightly raised by a pillow) during meditation.
References are in the article.
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