Friday, 31 August 2007

how many?

Thou, Godde, art Zero: the Void from which everything was born, the ground and origin of our being.
Thou, Godde, art One: all in Godde, and Godde in all.
Thou, Godde, art Two: the union of Lover and Beloved, spirit in matter, the jewel in the lotus.
Thou, Godde, art Three: the Maker, the Lover and the Sustainer.
Thou, Godde, art Four: the Father, the Mother, the Logos and Sophia.
Earth, Air, Fire and Water.
Thou, Godde, art Five: Child, Spouse, Parent, Wise One, Hidden One.
Thou, Godde, art Six: the rays of Tiphereth, the beauty at the heart of all.
Thou, Godde, art Seven: the seven planetary angels that sing to Thee and of Thee and in Thee; the seven branches of the menorah.
Thou, Godde, art Eight: hidden in the eightfold wheel of the year, the centre to which all must connect; the compass rose, the rose upon the rood of time, the Buddha's eightfold path.
Thou, Godde, art Nine: the nine worlds upon the Tree, the nine proud walkers, the nine noble virtues.
Thou, Godde, art Ten: the ten Sephiroth of the Tree of Life, unfolding from eternity into time.
Thou, Godde, art the ten thousand things that emanate from the Tao.
Thou Limitless Sea of Light, thou of nine billion names and faces.
Thou, Godde, art infinity: Godde in all, and all in Godde.
Thou art That.
That art Thou.
That of Godde in everyone.

by Yvonne Aburrow


We pray for a religion that is not a set of preconceived beliefs,
but a pattern of living
In tune with the land with the seasons, and with human needs,
with the moods and movements of the human heart.
We pray for a religion of passion and reason,
A religion of poetry and story and drama.

We pray that our religion will be
A religion of forgiveness
Of wisdom and of gentleness
Of the wisdom of gentleness

Let the symbols of religion not be those
of guilt and sin, of the darkness of death
but those of renewal and redemption
the rolling aside of the stone,
of friendship and fellowship
of a loaf and a fish,
let our symbols be
the symbol of life and light
Of warmth and sharing,
The sunrise,
And a chalice and a flame

Let our religion be as old as sleep
and as new as tomorrow's dawn,
and let our covenant be
the loving and joyful acceptance of the natural world
in all its shapes and colours, in all its seasons;
and the loving and joyful acceptance
of all the shapes and colours of human desire:
of the heart in all its seasons.

And let our God be
a God who is both mystery and certainty,
A God of all hopes, of all hearts,
God of all joys and of all sorrows,
God of all loves and of all lovers.

~ Unitarian prayer by Tom McCready

magic and prayer

What is magic? To many Pagans, magic is an awareness of the miraculous, the magical, the spiritual, the numinous as it infuses everyday life. It's about living in a one-storey universe. In Simple Magics, a new blog discussing magical awareness, the author discusses the magic of being stung by a bee, and how this affects one's awareness of one's surroundings. She suggests an exercise to increase mindfulness:
Resolve to notice and appreciate 3 new things in everyday surroundings. Small things, big things, it doesn’t matter as long as they are new. Does this make common surroundings more interesting? more alive? more immediate? more a part of the world rather than a backdrop? more inter-related?
Magic is not just about "doing spells" - it may include that, but spells for most Pagans are a form of prayer, asking the Universe (or a deity) for the desired outcome (usually with the proviso, as long as it doesn't harm anyone). Not demanding or trying to force the issue. "Spells" are simple rituals which ask for something to happen - so are prayers.

Think of the difference between the magic of Uncle Andrew (the bad magician in The Magician's Nephew who uses magical formulae and procedures without understanding what they do and is completely unethical - simply seeking power and knowledge for its own sake) and the magic of Aslan (in all the Narnia books) who is a magical and miraculous being.

But just as prayer is about far more than asking for things, so is magic. Both magic and prayer are about allowing the fullness of the Universe to infuse our awareness, and having a sacramental view of reality. The more each of them is like a ritual (involving the whole body and all the senses, and including symbols and words that stimulate our awareness of the Thou-ness of the Universe), the more effective they will be.

One of the traps of the 'spiritual life' is thinking that spirituality is only about self-development. It's not. All the great texts of the spiritual life, from the Tao Te Ching to the Bible, point out that it's about emptying yourself to become full, losing yourself to find yourself, and many another phrase to describe the same experience. It's about detachment from unhealthy desire - the desire to dominate and control, greed, "lust" (sexual desire without consideration for the happiness of the the beloved) and so on.

The magical path is often seen from outside as a desire to set oneself up as an independent power from the universe - but all magicians must eventually realise that all power comes from the Universe. If they don't, they end up burning themselves out by trying to wield their own power. It's like the difference between a lamp running on a battery and a lamp that's connected to the mains.

However, complete identification with the Thou is an advanced mystical state achieved after a long time; it's not an instantaneous result, nor is it for the faint-hearted. But notice that those who achieved this were often very individual and full of soul - Jesus, Buddha, Saint Francis, Gandhi, and so on. The rest of us can probably only manage a balance between the inner and the outer. But let us not forget that true self-development (theosis) comes only when we are in right relation to the Universe (whatever tradition you are following).

Thursday, 30 August 2007


Alan of Lille wrote the following poem about Nature in the twelfth century:

O child of God and Mother of things,
Bond of the world, its firm-tied knot,
Jewel set among things of earth,
and mirror to all that passes away
Morning star of our sphere;
Peace, love, power, regimen and strength,
Order, law, end, pathway, captain and source,
Life, light, glory, beauty and shape,
O Rule of our world!

~ quoted in The Black Madonna by Matthew Fox

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Earth teach me

Earth teach me suffering,
As old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me courage,
As the tree which stands alone.
Earth teach me freedom,
As the eagle which soars in the sky.
Earth teach me to forget myself,
As melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me regeneration,
As the seed which rises in the spring.
Earth teach me humility,
As blossoms are humble with beginning.

~ Chief Yellow Lark, Lakota

via Grateful Bear

The word "humility" come from humus, earth. So to be humble is to be like the earth - stable, solid, uncomplicated, homely, not over-proud.

Thursday, 23 August 2007


Shekhinah bless us and keep us
Shekhinah shine your face on us
Shekhinah turn your countenance
To us and give us peace

from A Prayer to the Shekhinah by Alicia Ostriker

interfaith harmony

We Are One

I pray we, all children of the earth, no matter our path to enlightenment, come to realize that we are one. We may walk our own paths, but we are not alone, for we walk at the same time, toward the same end/beginning. From our individual perspectives, be we Pagan, Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, Taoist, or Hindu, are the same. I pray that we all feel the love of our Creator(s) and by example learn to see each other as brothers and sisters, allowing the boundary lines of religion to fade away. May the Lord and Lady bless your path. May you always have enough, and may you give enough in return. Blessed Be.

- Beliefnet member FaeAisling


Prayer for All of Humanity

I pray for all of humanity to one day feel the pulse of the Mother Earth in their feet as they tread. I pray for mankind to find the faith to believe in the messages carried by their dreams and to see beyond the visible world. I pray that everyone I come in contact with can walk away with much, or at least some, of the happiness that lives within me. I pray for peace, acceptance, and tolerance for all who express their love for the higher power (whatever that name may be). Most of all, I pray for an end to the violence and depravity that darkens many souls. Peace be with us all!

- Beliefnet member LadyLovelyBug

Wednesday, 22 August 2007


Deep within the still center of my being,

may I find peace.

Silently within the quiet of the Grove,

may I share peace.

Gently and powerfully,

within the greater circle of humankind,

may I radiate peace.

from the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids

quoted at Spirit Heart Sancutary

Earth teach me stillness

Earth teach me stillness
as the grasses are stilled with light.

Earth teach me suffering
as old stones suffer with memory.

Earth teach me humility
as blossoms are humble with beginning.

Earth teach me courage
as the tree which stands all alone.

Earth teach me limitation
as the ant which crawls on the ground.

Earth teach me freedom
as the eagle which soars in the sky.

Earth teach me resignation
as the leaves which die in the fall.

Earth teach me regeneration
as the seed which rises in the spring.

Earth teach me to forget myself
as melted snow forgets its life.

Earth teach me to remember kindness
as dry fields weep with rain.

Ute (Native American) prayer, quoted at Bath Orthodox site

the four worlds

In opening ourselves to the Divine, we need to expand our consciousness:

The light of the divine is veiled so it doesn't blow out our circuits. Through middot practice, we take off our veils to manifest our true selves; and God veils God's self in order that we can apprehend God; and we meet in the middle. -- The Velveteen Rabbi

As we take off the veils, we move through these successive states, or worlds:

ASSIYAH, earth, the objective world, where we live with our bodies in the physical world of action, including action for spiritual purpose. This is the world of sensible, concrete facts and their data. Here we are conscious of the physical realm and the laws of nature as we observe them. Here we are aware of being a creation of God. This is the world of duality, in which everything is seen as separate, and subject to cause and effect. This is also the world of the life force, the senses, the breath, experiencing freedom and love of life, being the God-wrestler. Guf (body); Nefesh soul aspect.

YETZIRAH, water, the subjective world of vital feelings; the world of affect, of nuance, of aura, of sensitivity, of visceral and proprioceptive feelings. Things are seen as synchronistic in this world. This is the world of interdependence and relationship issues. Here is where our emotional being is attuned, where negative feelings of resentment, frustration, vindictiveness, and paranoia can be replaced by an attitude of gratefulness, appreciation, and joy. Here we can learn empathy, humility, and awareness of our own mortality. Ruach soul aspect.

BRIYAH, air, the symbolic world of the intellect, of contemplation, of pure thought. Everything is part of a pattern in this world; everything has a meaning. We understand ourselves as being the result of intended, loved, and continuous creation. Here we are commanded to exert ourselves to know and to reach the very edge of what is thinkable and understandable. This is the reality of poetry, wonder, intuition, and visualization. In this world, we can work with symbols and with dreams. Neshama soul aspect.

ATZILUT, fire, the holistic world of deep divine intuition and of beingness with God. Reality is merged; all is one. This is the world of essence, where we recognize ourselves as being a spark of God's fire. It is not we who pray; rather, God prays in us. With God's own eye we see ourselves. Chaya and Yechidah soul aspects.

The Four Worlds in Judaism

brokenness and openness

Once the Baal Shem Tov commanded Rabbi Zev Kitzes to learn the secret meanings behind the blasts of the ram's-horn, because Rabbi Zev was to be his caller on Rosh Ha-Shanah. So Rabbi Zev learned the secret meanings and wrote them down on a slip of paper to look at during the service, and laid the slip of paper in his bosom. When the time came for the blowing of the ram’s-horn, he began to search everywhere for the slip of paper, but it was gone; and he did not know on what meanings to concentrate. He was greatly saddened. Broken-hearted, he wept bitter tears, and called the blasts of the ram's-horn without concentrating on the secret meanings behind them.
Afterward, the Baal Shem Tov said to him: "Lo, in the habitation of the king are to be found many rooms and apartments, and there are different keys for every lock, but the master key of all is the axe, whith which it is possible to open all the locks on all the gates. So it is with the ram's-horn: the secret meanings are the keys; every gate has another meaning, but the master key is the broken heart. When a man truthfully breaks his heart before God, he can enter into all the gates of the apartments of the King above all Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He." (-- Or Yesharim)
Quoted in The master key is the broken heart by the Velveteen Rabbi

Aramaic Lord's Prayer

The Prayer To Our Father
(in the original Aramaic)

"Oh Thou, from whom the breath of life comes,

who fills all realms of sound, light and vibration.

Nethkâdasch schmach
May Your light be experienced in my utmost holiest.

Têtê malkuthach.
Your Heavenly Domain approaches.

Nehwê tzevjânach aikâna d'bwaschmâja af b'arha.
Let Your will come true - in the universe (all that vibrates)
just as on earth (that is material and dense).

Hawvlân lachma d'sûnkanân jaomâna.
Give us wisdom (understanding, assistance) for our daily need,

Waschboklân chaubên wachtahên aikâna
daf chnân schwoken l'chaijabên.
detach the fetters of faults that bind us, (karma)
like we let go the guilt of others.

Wela tachlân l'nesjuna
Let us not be lost in superficial things (materialism, common temptations),

ela patzân min bischa.
but let us be freed from that what keeps us off from our true purpose.

Metol dilachie malkutha wahaila wateschbuchta l'ahlâm almîn.
From You comes the all-working will, the lively strength to act,
the song that beautifies all and renews itself from age to age.

Sealed in trust, faith and truth.
(I confirm with my entire being)

From The Nazarene Way

Litanie a la Vierge Noire

Blessed Lady
And hidden treasure,

Black brightness
And star-enwoven bower,

Fragrance of myrrh
and dew of the sea,

From all who suffer,
Hide not thy face.

Most holy Mother,
gentled by candles
and soft smoke of prayers,
Here in this darkness,

Hide not thy face.
by Bo (Prayer is the Ground of Eternity)


Prayer is a kind of simple ritual, a ritual which allows us to commune with the Universe. It involves not just the mind but the whole body.

It can involve incense and candles, opening your chakras, waving your arms, chanting holy names, praise, supplication and yearning. It is an expression of love. In that sense it does not demand anything, it only asks - because the Universe knows best. It can be silent or spoken, but it needs to involve the heart.