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Druid's Prayer II: And in Protection Strength
Posted: 14 Apr 2005, 00:33
... And in Protection Strength...
The second line of the Druid's Prayer. So the protection afforded by the Divine -- whether we think of it as God, the gods, the Goddess, the spirits of nature, The Mighty Ones, the Shining Ones, the Dé Danann -- this protection gives us strength.
What does this mean?
It might give us strength of body, of course, if we think of how peace and safety are the roots of a productive life,necessary for raising healthy food and attending to our bodies. However, it seems to me particularly to suggest strength of character, a spiritual strength that permits us to grow, the inherent strength of the Oak tree rising tall toward the Sky, delving deep in the Earth, drawing up the Waters of the Land to transform them into Life.
What do you think?
And in Protection, Strength
Posted: 14 Apr 2005, 02:28
Security is the foundation of the house. If everything is not kosher in the mundane then the rest is hopeless. That is how I see protection acting in this sentence. Once we have our basic needs meet and are secure in them then we can grow. Before we can grow though we must have the willpower to do so the courage that inner strength that will allow us to partake in the journey.
This is the basic of what I get from this line.
How does it play with the previous line though?
Obviously since the protection is from divine and in this we expect strength, then this strength is divinely inspired also. I think the fact that we are expecting divine strength here is important. It implys that we will not have to make our journey alone and that we will gain extra inner strength from knowing this. This is when we must first act in the journey. Before we left our security and protection in the hands of the gods but now we must have the courage to take that first step and the one after that and so on and so forth. In a way it is the strength to take responsibility for ones own spiritual growth.
Thats how I see it any ways.
Posted: 14 Apr 2005, 17:56
It is the continuation of the previous line that is important as well.
To be protected by Nature/God's/the Universal Spirit implies a permanence to the protection.
Much like the Oak strength you mention Alferian. This would be the strength of Taranis-Jupiter-Thor. Which would be a core spiritual strength. To mix my philosophies, it would be the strength of Thor keeping order against the chaos of the monkey mind. So I have always felt that the strength is an inner strength that is durable or should that be duir-able?
So whilst the previous line, with my interpretation, has a feminine element. This is because Nature is usually associated with Mother Nature.
Is protection more of a feminine word?
Does this line becomes more masculine because strength is a masculine word?
Posted: 14 Apr 2005, 19:00
Ah, very interesting! The Divine Protection enables us to be strong by coming first.
And yes, I can see this protection as from the Mother. Spiritually and physically we are protected, tended, nurtured by our mothers, aunts, grandmothers, etc. We find in that protection the ground of an outward projection of our own character, our strength. Put in somewhat less gendered terms, the protective force is in Earth and the strength Solar, radiant, outpouring?
I like the idea that in the first line we are embraced by the Divine, and in the second we are empowered to act on our own, to take responsibility for the gifts of strength -- of body, mind, soul, word, deed.
Next we get to that part of the prayer that I have found tricky....
Posted: 14 Apr 2005, 21:53
Coming in a little late here
I see this petition to the Divine for strength as a type of strength that has nothing to do with the physical or even strength of character, or even something spiritually "good".
It's a type of strength that enables the individual to carry on with his/her quest despite all odds and adversities, for better or worse.
Posted: 15 Apr 2005, 17:37
Copperlion, my thoughts exactly. I think it has to do with moving through personal dilemma and forging a greater resiliance through difficult ordeals. : )
Posted: 15 Apr 2005, 20:32
Very good! I like that very much.
Posted: 19 Apr 2005, 19:50
<coming in a tad late, but better than never...>
I say this prayer in preparation for anticipated difficulties, as well as for the path of my day in general.
First line: I feel it as a shield that surrounds my body beginning in my chest and spreading to the soles of my feet and the crown of my head. Again it is protection that is always there, but my spoken words acknowledge the physicality of it and I am more aware of it.
For me the 'middle lines' are the structure of that protection. Saying this prayer often invokes the LBE within me, and each line is a spiral of light coursing up my body.
"and in protection, Strength" the light-spiral begins at my feet. As mentioned, a strong foundation is necessary for any work, whether spiritual or physical.
But also strength of purpose, of intent, and of understanding, hence leading into the third line.
I have to be strong, in all aspects, in order to understand the Divine, whether that be a moment, a concept, an event etc. It provides a stable point of view from which to view all sides of everything.
Commenting on the prayer as a whole, I see it as a staircase to wisdom: each line is a step up the ladder but a higher level of understanding. The lines as a whole represent a structure of steps to gain the divine wisdom of a moment - almost as a "How-to guide" for being wise:
Step 1: Protection: to endure an event in totality
Step 2: Strength: to face the event objectively
<... and the rest to be continued in the next thread...>
Posted: 23 Apr 2005, 18:26
I like your step one and step two above. Strength to face the circumstances objectively is a very interesting idea. The structure of the poem does invite reading each line as a successive step.
Posted: 23 Apr 2005, 18:31
Alferian wrote:I like your step one and step two above. Strength to face the circumstances objectively is a very interesting idea.
as an agnostic pagan, divine protection is a difficult subject.
But as I use the prayer (and I do say it, with some "mental footnotes") - I have come to the conclusion that my spiritual activity
gives me both strength and protection; but whence it comes I know not.
Posted: 23 Apr 2005, 18:45
Lily wrote:- I have come to the conclusion that my spiritual activitygives me both strength and protection; but whence it comes I know not.
"I know not" -- that's the essence of agnosticism, isn't it. Nothing at all wrong with that. It is only with an act of faith that one can say "I know where that strength and protection come from". One can give it a name, even though it remains an essetial mystery. That ability to embrace spiritual mysteries without certainty seems like the root of religious feeling to me, not blind obedience and belief in what religious authorities say.
Posted: 23 Apr 2005, 19:01
Alferian wrote:"I know not" -- that's the essence of agnosticism, isn't it.
yes - although my pessimistic self usually prevails in assuming it knows. My optimistic self would like to believe.... but it is not allowed to...
Posted: 19 May 2005, 18:51
Posted: 31 Jul 2005, 22:34
My sense is that with the assurance of protection, I have the strength to do or say whatever my life is calling me to; that I can trust life, even though my rational mind and "old tapes" etc. may try to convince me otherwise.
Posted: 17 Sep 2005, 16:55
I am just seeing this thread. I am wondering--why not interpret it from the standpoint of our embodiedness--strength means a strengthening of our own lifeforce that has its center down low, in our core area. It's the place from which life force arises, deep within behind the genitals and in front of and below the sacrum. When we connect with the energy of the universe (which is sort of redundant since we are part of that energy), then the life force within us strenthens.
This is how I experience it. Otherwise, it becomes something out there, or worse, something mental and spiritualized. At that point--any religiosity will do.
Posted: 11 Aug 2006, 02:44
often times I look at my peers to understand these sorts of statements.
many of my peers come from well-to-do backgrounds, and from families that offered them protection. That is to say, they built around their child a sense of saftey that allowed them to explore.
Not safe as in protected against any threat, which ultimately atrophies one's strength, but rather protected from those threats that were outside of a child's ability to cope.
These individulas have a strong psychological core that allows them to face most problems in a composed manner. they simply react differently to the world than those who were overprotected or underprotected. Each new experience is regard as curious, not as something harmful. They do not worry about expectations, but rather do what they can and trust, innately, that the world will turn out ok.
As a surly curmudgeon, I think they are wrong, and often self-absorbed, but that is how they react to the world.
Posted: 17 Aug 2006, 14:47
To me this is about having the strength of the divine with us at all times, knowing we are never alone, that there is always something we can reach out to to help us along in any situation. It is like knowing that the foundations of the house are safe and from there the rest comes, the walls, the ceilings, the roof and then the family, love and laughter within.
Thus from the protection of the divine comes the strength to stand against all that comes to us, to endure all and come through the other side, allowing it to change us for the better not for the worse.
Love & Peace
Re: Druid's Prayer II: And in Protection Strength
Posted: 19 Sep 2007, 00:25
I have been through times in my life that Strength has been so hard to find and so needed! I used to work in an emotionally abusive environment. Before I could walk in the door, I would ask the Great Spirit/Goddess to loan me just a bit of her strength until I could find my own. I needed strength to be assertive, strength to be professional, strength to hold my temper, strength to simply open the door and walk into “the lion’s den”, strength to face my fears.
To me, this line asks for the strength to trust, the strength to face the unknown, and the strength to keep going no matter what. The unknown can be a bit scary! Especially when you are going places you’ve never been before. That thought put me in the mind of a quote from Frank Herbert:
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear... And when it is gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear is gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
This line also empowers me with my own Strength, which partially springs from Protection. When I feel protected, I feel strong. I am not facing the new and the unknown alone. That thought in itself is Strength.
Searching for the Frank Herbert quote about fear, this quote also came up…which lends itself nicely to the next lines in the Druid Prayer…
“The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.”
While searching, my husband pointed me at this beautiful quote, which also talks about, and invokes, Strength:
"Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for there will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe; no less than the trees and the stars, you have the right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labours and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. With all its sham drudgery and broken dreams it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."
- Attributed to Max Ehrmann 1927