The Druid's Prayer I: Start Here...

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Lora
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Postby Lora » 13 Apr 2005, 17:12

I like to use 'Spirit' for the same reasons Wolfwalker outlined. For me it is a shortened way of naming the spirit of place where the ritual is being held, and that may encompass nature spirits, ancestors of the land or local deities (if there is a really clear-cut distinction between all three). I find the genderless nature of that useful too - sometimes I might feel a strong male presence in the area, sometimes female, but not necessarily both.
If I was doing something with a very specific focus relating to a deity I'd probably use their name instead but Spirit feels right for me most often.

Lorraine

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Crow
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Postby Crow » 13 Apr 2005, 18:14

Grant O Goddess thy protection ...

...The love of God and all Goodness.

Is the way I begin and end my prayer. For me this is a way of acknowledging my belief in one God/Great Spirit and at the same time acknowledging my personal need to relate to the female aspect of Deity. Brought up as a convent educated Roman Catholic, I was blind for many years to the rather obvious fact that my relationship was with 'Mary' and that all my conversations and prayers were with her, it was to her that I turned in time of conflict, for comfort and sometimes simply just to be. The official God of my supposed religion did not get a look in. It was on that realisation that I began my search for the right path for me.

On a rational level, I do not believe that 'God' is gendered. Or that there are more than one. I do believe that the Deity has many aspects and many names and that we seek the face that we need or can relate to. So I begin by acknowledging The Great Mother and finish by acknowledging that she is both male and female and in a way by acknowledging both, acknowledge that She is neither.

When I seek her protection it is that it is already there. In a way I am reminding myself that it is there and that the strength and love of the cosmos are available to me. Lest I forget. Which I often do.
Beadmouse, what you've said here resonates very strongly with my own beliefs. I salute you for stating this so beautifully.
:raven:
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“You can't study the darkness by flooding it with light.” ~ Edward Abbey

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Wolfwalker
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Postby Wolfwalker » 13 Apr 2005, 20:26

JUst a sidebar to my post above... when I am invoking a specific being, deity, etc, I address them specifically, as well as the more general and genderless "Spirits" form. I think wehave to balance when we are doing personal and specific ritual; or group and general..
blessings, Peter
Love people and use things, NOT use people and love things...

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Alferian
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Postby Alferian » 14 Apr 2005, 00:22

Wow! Great discussion everyone. Now on to the next line!

A.

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Wolfwalker
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Postby Wolfwalker » 15 Apr 2005, 00:09

Hmmm... Well to me the comfort I draw from knowing those spiritual powers surround & protect me are more than a simple 'comfort,' but more, a depth of being in the hand of the Earth Mother and Creator. I have to say, to walk without fear in the society we live in today is unusual, but in fairness, I seldom fel I am threatened by anything supernatural or supra-natural funtioning in this world. It helps that I feel when I pray that I am heard and in dialogue with those ancient ones. Yes, I feel spiritually sheilded, and protected, in many ways that monotheism was never able to resolve within me.
blessings, Peter
Love people and use things, NOT use people and love things...

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Postby forestmonk3966 » 15 Apr 2005, 19:13

Great thread!!! it show's how truely diverse we all are and that we can get along with each other.

I believe that the word "God" is a sort of blanket term that encompass's all the gods,goddess's,spirit's,ancestors.ect. that we as individuals troughout the world have come to know in our many form's of spirituality and religion. I think the OBOD Druid prayer is a good example. " Grant,O God/ess/Spirit (you choose the term you feel most comfortable with) ". it's only when Dogmatic law come's into play that there's is a problem, as in, the "there is only one way" train of thought.

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Niongi
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Postby Niongi » 23 Apr 2005, 16:30

i'm a bit new at this but i think thats a very intresting prayer, i've never heard it till now, but i feel like i've know it for quiet some time :) make sense? but lol thank you for the beautiful prayers everyone, i'll make a note to add it in my book

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Postby EarthWard » 19 May 2005, 18:51

:bump:
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SunDragon

Prayer

Postby SunDragon » 18 Jul 2005, 19:57

I find it a lovely prayer.
The discussion made me think about what a prayer is...what is it's function and form?
This prayer is surely poetic in form. It does seem to orient the reader towards higher thoughts, to remembering one's higher self.

To me the experience of "prayer" is what it invokes. To me prayer is an experience and perhaps a communication. It requires that I remind myself of my own divine nature. When I more or less achieve that awareness, I allow myself to receive the light and energy and affirmation of my power that is available to me only when I am fully open to them.

This is my first visit to this site. Thanks to all.

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Wolfwalker
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Postby Wolfwalker » 19 Jul 2005, 01:57

And in Protection, Strength...
I would have difficulty thinking of Not feeling strengthened, knowing I had the protection of a divine being or beings on my side. It in some ways like the deististic notion of 'God is on my side so I am protected'... In this case feeling my spiritual powers to be much closer to the life-force of this earth where I dwell, the sense of being 'watched over' and protected from those powers afoot in this world which mean me harm or mischief.
I do not profess to know all or speak for the feelings of anyone other than myself. That said, I feel stronger ties to my ancestors and the ability of their spirits to guide and protect me than I ever did a nameless, faceless deity who at best had only an alleged connection with this world in the act of creation and a 'son' who sojourned here for a generation. Feel protected? Yes. Feel stronger and more spiritually empowered because of that protection? Yes again.
I too would invoke the protection of benevolent spirits to protect those in threat by people driven by dark and violent intentions. In the face of these threats, I ask and pray they will be strengthened.
blessings, Peter
Love people and use things, NOT use people and love things...

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Postby Crwydrwr » 19 Jul 2005, 16:29

As someone earlier on said: Not to confuse the issue . . .

I have often wondered at the word order in this prayer. Also, I have often wondered whether it would be better for me to make a commitment to find these things deep within myself, rather than as a gift from outside.

Here's what works for me:

A Druid’s Vow

In the realms of nature,
and the community of humankind,
may I always seek knowledge;
the knowledge that brings understanding;
the understanding that brings strength;
the strength that brings justice;
the justice that bears love;
the love that protects all existences;
the existences of the realms of nature,
and the community of humankind.

Blessings of the Eastern Woodlands,
OakWyse/|\

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Wolfwalker
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Postby Wolfwalker » 20 Jul 2005, 00:01

I like that Oaky... do you mind if I appropriate it for a ritual I'm involved in at the next equinox?
/|\, Peter
Love people and use things, NOT use people and love things...

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Postby Crwydrwr » 20 Jul 2005, 02:22

Thanks, Wolfwalker -- please do!

Oak/|\
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Skylark
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Postby Skylark » 20 Jul 2005, 09:32

I don't have a problem with the order of the prayer.

I feel that an awareness of strength comes from the knowledge that protection is granted. Understanding follows: understanding is a luxury only the relaxed mind can afford – relaxed because it basks in the strength that arises from the protection it enjoys. Understanding is an attitude of heart, a safe haven for knowledge and a container or context in which to store it, a framework for the knowledge that is gained.

However, it is important not to become so intellectual that we lose touch with the reality of life around us and our duty to be the change we wish to see in the world – hence the knowledge of justice, and the love of it.

A love of justice in general triggers meditation upon the apparent injustices of the natural world, until we remember that there are worlds within worlds, remember that we are tiny on the face of the planet and in the context of the wider universe, quite incapable of seeing the Big Picture even though we acknowledge it…and then in quick succession we experience the love of all existences (I would use the word awe here, rather than love – awe is a great word for when you feel really small in the universe!) and, as a consequence, the love of, as I say in my prayers, The Uncreated One and all creation/goodness.

As someone earlier on the thread has already pointed out, this is very effective viewed as concentric circles arising from the centre point and rippling outwards, rather than a linear sequence. I like this interpretation, because when you get to the love of Spirit and of all goodness, you’re focused on Spirit again, ready to remember the protection that is granted, and in a better frame of mind to see why it is needed. So the outer ripple turns in, and arises again in the centre: “Grant, O Spirit, thy protection…”
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Postby Wolfwalker » 21 Jul 2005, 02:45

Skylark, your comment reminded me of a comment I heard said of a group of supposedly "devout" christians one place I lived... That they "were so heavenly minded they were no earthly good!" I feel if we become too involved with the inner thoughts to the exclusion of living inthe real world, we who walk druid or pagan paths could easily be in danger of the same flaws.
bb, Peter
Love people and use things, NOT use people and love things...

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Stohornugle
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Postby Stohornugle » 26 Jul 2005, 16:54

Hello! may I join in?


In considering the Protection and Strength aspects of the prayer I like others have mentioned before me feel that I gain Strength from knowing I'm protected a feeling I also never had in my experience of praying to God/Christ. The feeling of Strength arising from protection enables us to move foreward along the path to Understanding, gaining understanding may perhaps be a painful process for which we need Strength as gained through knowing we are protected.



Regards Stohornugle

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dara
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Postby dara » 31 Jul 2005, 22:29

I just discovered this thread, and I just started using the prayer. First I used "Great Spirit" as I have done for years, but I've been searching for a totally generic term for deity, and just found that "Spirit" works very well for me, as it can cover anything and everything. What has touched me about this first line is that as soon as I started using the prayer I did indeed feel that I had been granted protection, and that strength or courage is the natural outcome of that. But that's for another thread.

Thanks, all, for the wonderful discussion.

Dara

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Robert
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Postby Robert » 17 Sep 2005, 17:15

I'd like to offer a little different perspective on this prayer and its wording. I find the word "god" problematic for two reasons: it's history, and its vocal effect. First, this word is in English a Christian term. It has been used historically to define the deity of Christianity which is largely out there, over and above, judging. This notion splits heaven from earth, mind from body, male from female, etc. It's feminine form is a well-intentioned but misleading attempt to bridge this split, but only reinforces that the split exists.

Second, the word begins and ends with a vocal stop. The "g" sound is a deep glottal stop--as deep as it gets in English. The "d" while lighter, is also a vocal stop. The word effectively stops the body's life-force dead in the throat. Those who use this term often and who pray to "god" could reflect on what is stuck in their throats, sinuses, heads, mentally, emotionally and physically to see what I mean.

I have spent most of my life in Chrisianity as clergy and theologian. I no longer use this term.

I'd like to offer another way of understanding this prayer:


Grant Universal One Your protection
And in protection, strength,
And in strength, understanding,
And in understanding, knowledge,
And in knowledge, the knowledge of justice,
And in the knowledge of justice, the love of it
And in the love of it, the love of all existences,
And in the love of all existences,
The love of the One life of the Universe.

If you bristle at the notion of "universal one" stop and ask your body what the reaction is to. It will tell you if you listen.

The terms "universal one" provide no stops and allow the body's life force to continue moving even as it is being said. It also acknowledges that this energy is everywhere, including in our bodies.

Lastly, if you understand that the life-force resides in the deep inner core of the lower body behind the genitals and below the sacrum, then you can see that this prayer is simply a mirror of that life force as it rises through the body, flowering in universal connection with the universal life force. It's really very simple, and not "spiritual" at all, in the traditional sense of the word.

Robert

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Alferian
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Postby Alferian » 18 Sep 2005, 21:44

Greetings Robert,

I like your ideas very much.
Lastly, if you understand that the life-force resides in the deep inner core of the lower body behind the genitals and below the sacrum, then you can see that this prayer is simply a mirror of that life force as it rises through the body, flowering in universal connection with the universal life force. It's really very simple, and not "spiritual" at all, in the traditional sense of the word.
Could you say more about that? Are you suggesting that the words of the prayer can be linked to the chakras rising from the root chakra?


Alferian

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Postby radgareb » 19 Sep 2005, 01:27

I dont wish to offend but for me prayer, to what I consider the source, is a irrevelant act. I do beleive in connecting with that source but I am reminded of the man who said to the universe "sir I exist" to wich the universe replied, that may be but dont expect a sense of obligation from me.
I worship the source, but I would not pray to it. And as far as protection I will quote the poet " To the somethingness wich keeps the nothingness like homers wild boar thrashing this way and that his white tusk grinding men to dust. I offer this the suffering of my Fathers"


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