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Newbie Haven => Newbies => Topic started by: thefourelements on December 12, 2013, 02:51:15 PM

Title: Prayer?
Post by: thefourelements on December 12, 2013, 02:51:15 PM
Sorry if I used the incorrect word, as you may know I am new. I was curious as to how one should finish off a prayer to the God and Goddess? (Christian background here, apologies if it is not called prayer in witchcraft/Wicca/paganism.) Also how to finish off a written cleansing "prayer" (or whatever it may be called, I hope you all understand what I'm talking about). I wrote a cleansing "prayer" for my altar and tools, and a cleansing and dedication "prayer" for my Book of Shadows, but do not know how to finish it. By finishing it, I mean where a Christian might say "amen" or such. Once again, I apologize. This may indeed be a very stupid question and/or offensive. Thank you in advance for any help!
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: Ashe Isadora on December 12, 2013, 03:09:33 PM
Many people end with "Blessed Be" assuming your practice is modeled on Wicca.  Nothing offensive that I can see about your question, it comes up a lot. Pagans have different attitudes about their interactions with the gods being called prayer.  If you're new this shouldn't be a big issue but you may (or may not) see things differently when you're down the path a little way.

Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: Draconis Rex on December 12, 2013, 03:33:52 PM
Often a spell or ritual, which is essentially what you are doing, may be closed with the words "so mote it be". This is a way of enforcing your will upon your working. It's not always necessary to call upon the Goddess and God to aid in your workings, a lot of what you do is done by yourself through yourself. You manipulate the energies around you and you act as a conduit for this. If you are asking a blessing then you are referring to your deities.
 
To be honest with you though, you are new and however you do it will not offend your Goddess and God, I believe they are very forgiving and appreciate your efforts.
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: thefourelements on December 12, 2013, 04:42:47 PM
Okay that makes a lot of sense, thanks Ashe and Drac!
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: marisol on December 14, 2013, 12:06:10 AM
TFE our ancestors prayed to their gods. The word prayer is not derived from
Christianity. I use the word myself, I find nothing wrong with using it.
Many pagans may not like it because they feel it is too Christian. 

Blessed be is also used as a greeting. You may substitute blessed be with
blessings or bright blessings as a way of saying I wish you well. As Drac
said, "So mote it be" is used for spells or ritual also.
Use the words you feel comfortable with. As has been said you will do no
wrong.
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: thefourelements on December 14, 2013, 08:53:04 AM
Thank you Mari, I thought prayer might still be a piece of pagan religions.
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: oldghost on December 14, 2013, 09:03:27 AM
You can also close with saying something along these line , " as this ritual , ceremony , blessing is closed let it not be broken . "
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: thefourelements on December 14, 2013, 09:06:04 AM
You can also close with saying something along these line , " as this ritual , ceremony , blessing is closed let it not be broken . "
Hmm I actually quite like that OG, thanks for sharing. I will have to store that somewhere for future reference! :)
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: Ashe Isadora on December 14, 2013, 09:56:44 AM
I can't speak for other pagan religions, but here's where the concept of prayer in Wiccan practice can get sticky with some folks.  Prayer implies that you are entreating the deity to change things with her/his power.  The relationship of Wiccans to deity is more of a symbiotic relationship where we need each other, and many Wiccans prefer to work WITH a deity and see themselves as holding some power in what is actually a transaction.  Petitioning, making an offering, bargaining with a god/dess is more in keeping with many Wiccans' attitude toward asking the gods for assistance.  There's psychologically less of an attitude of supplication and more toward creating a mutually beneficial relationship than prayer would imply.

Just food for thought while you're thinking on this topic. It proves that when you get five pagans together you'll get six opinions (at least!).
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: marisol on December 14, 2013, 12:21:39 PM
LOL we are all different are we not. ;D 

Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: Ashe Isadora on December 14, 2013, 12:27:48 PM
...and thank the gods for that!
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: Draconis Rex on December 14, 2013, 03:08:32 PM
I like the way you put that Ashe, sums it up rather nicely I think.
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: LadyOfShalott on October 28, 2015, 08:04:05 AM
Reviving a very old thread, but!

I've been thinking about my thoughts on prayer? I guess is how you'd say it  :-p Because the word (for me) does hold Christian/negative connotations,  but I know that's something I need to get over. I know plenty of pleasant Christians with whom I have no quarrel (I was just raised in one of the wacky offshoots).

I'm reading The Circle Within, and Sylvan makes a big deal out of prayer, and even uses some Christian practices as a good example to follow, and I wondered what other people's thoughts were.

I can't speak for other pagan religions, but here's where the concept of prayer in Wiccan practice can get sticky with some folks.  Prayer implies that you are entreating the deity to change things with her/his power.  The relationship of Wiccans to deity is more of a symbiotic relationship where we need each other, and many Wiccans prefer to work WITH a deity and see themselves as holding some power in what is actually a transaction.  Petitioning, making an offering, bargaining with a god/dess is more in keeping with many Wiccans' attitude toward asking the gods for assistance.  There's psychologically less of an attitude of supplication and more toward creating a mutually beneficial relationship than prayer would imply.

Just food for thought while you're thinking on this topic. It proves that when you get five pagans together you'll get six opinions (at least!).

This was very helpful, Ashe. I think I had in my mind that "prayer" is akin to begging. I'm asking, but don't deserve the help, and probably won't get it (Can you tell my previous religious experiences left a bad taste in my mouth?). But really, it can just be a shared conversation or communion.  :)
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: Kiara on October 28, 2015, 11:23:04 AM
I thought Scott Cunningham had something interesting to say about prayer. The following quote is on page 46 of his book The Truth about Witchcraft Today*:

"Prayer is the quintessential example [of religious magic].  When an individual fervently prays for a healing...the devout person directs personal power through the prayer and out to Deity.  The person's emotional involvement in the prayer 'programs' the energy being sent forth.  The hoped-for result is, of course, a manifestation of the blessing being prayed for.

"Unless the person praying is trained in magic, she or he isn't consciously aware that this process is at work.  But this is unimportant.  Prayers offered by devout persons of any religion are often answered.  These prayers are effective because their personal energy, attuned with their magical need, is released toward Deity, and empowered by this larger energy source, manifests in Earthly form.  The person's emotional state and belief in the Deity determines the effectiveness of the prayer."

*Cunningham, Scott. The Truth about Witchcraft Today. Llewellyn Publications, Woodbury, Minnesota, 1988.
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: oldghost on October 28, 2015, 06:38:22 PM
LOS , thousands of years before the Christian religion came along people where praying to what every the believe in . Don't think of it in Christian terms after all it not the first thing they stolen  from others .

When pagans pray they ask for little , just to be in harmony or to help others heal . What they do is for the benefit of all life . When Christians pray they ask for themselves , they beg plead for more then they should have . Like whining little brats . Pagans ask for only what little it is that is needed . While Christians are slaves to their god , Pagans walk side by side with theirs .

That's just how I see it .
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: Firefox on October 28, 2015, 10:29:19 PM
I really like your view OG! I have been really struggling, really helpful.
 :)

I try to spend as much time outside as I can. There is a beautiful park not to far form my home. I take my dog, pit-bull/lab, with me and we enjoy all that the god/des have to offer. We sit under the trees and watch the steady stream flow on by, I try to be thankful for all the blessings in my life, and sometimes more serious topics arise. I believe this is one of the many ways I can connect with them.   
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: LadyOfShalott on October 29, 2015, 06:05:05 AM
While Christians are slaves to their god , Pagans walk side by side with theirs .

That's just how I see it .

I've known Christians who pray for what's needed and pray for others,  but I think what I forget is the god and goddess I'm trying to reach out to are not at all the same as the god they're praying to(the god I prayed to as a child, and who frightened me). The above line, og, reminded me of that.
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: Mystik Witch on October 29, 2015, 07:04:54 AM
LOS , thousands of years before the Christian religion came along people where praying to what every the believe in . Don't think of it in Christian terms after all it not the first thing they stolen  from others .

When pagans pray they ask for little , just to be in harmony or to help others heal . What they do is for the benefit of all life . When Christians pray they ask for themselves , they beg plead for more then they should have . Like whining little brats . Pagans ask for only what little it is that is needed . While Christians are slaves to their god , Pagans walk side by side with theirs .

That's just how I see it .

LIKE BUTTON!!!!!!
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: Ashe Isadora on October 29, 2015, 10:09:11 AM
I've known exceptions to the statements about both Pagan and Christian prayers.
Can we please avoid stereotyping, we're verging on religious bashing here. You're entitled to your opinions but we have people of many different religions, including Christians, on this site. Let's voice our disagreements on religious practices with respect.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: oldghost on October 29, 2015, 11:24:24 AM
Sorry Ashe , but I can't see how someone can call themselves a Christian and be on a Pagan site . After all we have been and will always be enemies . Lease we forget the thousands of our people that they murdered ...............and this is my opinion and no one else here can be blamed for what I say , just me .
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: Marigold on October 29, 2015, 12:46:56 PM
Great topic!  Nothing new to anyone here I'm sure, but of course, as a newer religion, Christianity borrowed so much from the old religions.  I find it fascinating that certain Christian saints are prayed to for very specific reasons, for example.  To me, that's essentially renaming gods and goddesses and interacting with them through different names.  The end result is similar, isn't it?  Besides essentially pagan holidays with newer Christian names and meanings, certain rituals observed in Christian churches are clearly rooted in old religions.  For example, lighting candles, using incense, singing hymns (like chanting) isn't that part of raising energy?  Not to mention, many of the culture-specific religious (Christian) customs and rituals are nothing less than preserved bits of a culture's pagan past.  I'm a huge fan of Scott Cunningham's teachings, and I think his observations about prayer and spell work are right on.  For those who might take offense: I'm not trying to say prayer and working magic are the same, just drawing parallels :)
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: Earthbound Spirit on October 29, 2015, 01:43:17 PM
Sorry Ashe , but I can't see how someone can call themselves a Christian and be on a Pagan site . After all we have been and will always be enemies . Lease we forget the thousands of our people that they murdered ...............and this is my opinion and no one else here can be blamed for what I say , just me .

We do have Christians here.  Let's not bash them. 
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: Ashe Isadora on October 29, 2015, 01:46:32 PM
Sorry Ashe , but I can't see how someone can call themselves a Christian and be on a Pagan site . After all we have been and will always be enemies . Lease we forget the thousands of our people that they murdered ...............and this is my opinion and no one else here can be blamed for what I say , just me .
I have issues with Christianity myself.  But not all Christians define their faith in the same way, have the same theology, or necessarily condemn us (though many do). I think we owe a modicum of courtesy to the ones who come to this site to try to understand pagans better or see pagan elements in Christianity  that they wish to embrace.

No one here has to agree with Christianity or any other faith.  Personally, I'm afraid of some of them.  But if we extend enough understanding so that bridges are possible, that's a good thing.

BB oldghost et al, just voice your concerns about Christianity without insulting all of its followers in the process.


Mod hat officially off.
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: oldghost on October 29, 2015, 04:57:30 PM
No insult ment especially to those here . I will not apologize for what I believe in but If I offended any here for that I am sorry . You have what you know and what you believe do hope the experience was a happy one for you . Mind were not .

Marigold , one of the worse things that happened was their taking over our scared site and claiming them for themselves . What they could not destroy they adopted as their own .

Dancing Horse said " You can kill us all but the truth will live on till all can understand what it truly is ".
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: LadyOfShalott on October 29, 2015, 06:03:58 PM
I thought Scott Cunningham had something interesting to say about prayer. The following quote is on page 46 of his book The Truth about Witchcraft Today*:

"Prayer is the quintessential example [of religious magic].  When an individual fervently prays for a healing...the devout person directs personal power through the prayer and out to Deity.  The person's emotional involvement in the prayer 'programs' the energy being sent forth.  The hoped-for result is, of course, a manifestation of the blessing being prayed for.

"Unless the person praying is trained in magic, she or he isn't consciously aware that this process is at work.  But this is unimportant.  Prayers offered by devout persons of any religion are often answered.  These prayers are effective because their personal energy, attuned with their magical need, is released toward Deity, and empowered by this larger energy source, manifests in Earthly form.  The person's emotional state and belief in the Deity determines the effectiveness of the prayer."

*Cunningham, Scott. The Truth about Witchcraft Today. Llewellyn Publications, Woodbury, Minnesota, 1988.

I've read a few of S.C.'s books, but not that one. I'll have to check it out, but I tend to agree with him. Thanks Kiara!

 
I've known exceptions to the statements about both Pagan and Christian prayers.
Indeed, Ashe. I, personally, grew up in a weird/not good Christian church so I have my own issues around god and prayer, but I know many Christians who pray for the well being of others, the opposite of selfish. And I don't really know any pagans in person, but I imagine, like any group of people, there are selfish jerks among them!  :-p

And I'll admit at first I was a little put off by V. Sylvan using Christianity as a model for prayer in The Circle Within, but she makes the point that true dedication and belief does seem to pay off.

I'm feeling more and more that true believers in any faith are tapping into the same energy. We just have different practices, rituals, and names... ***prepares for backlash***
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: Marigold on October 30, 2015, 07:33:13 AM

I'm feeling more and more that true believers in any faith are tapping into the same energy. We just have different practices, rituals, and names... ***prepares for backlash***

Like  :)
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: Ashe Isadora on October 30, 2015, 07:41:25 AM

I'm feeling more and more that true believers in any faith are tapping into the same energy. We just have different practices, rituals, and names... ***prepares for backlash***


Many pagans would agree with you.  Personally, I'm not one of them.  That we tap into the same energy as the Big Three monotheistic religions gives me the gacks.

No backlash, I just don't perceive divinity in the same way, and I don't buy that "all paths lead to the top of the same mountain" or that all the deities are facets of a single diamond.  I have more of a hard polytheistic view

Just sayin'.  Pagans differ greatly on this topic..
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: Marigold on October 30, 2015, 08:09:04 AM

I'm feeling more and more that true believers in any faith are tapping into the same energy. We just have different practices, rituals, and names... ***prepares for backlash***


Many pagans would agree with you.  Personally, I'm not one of them.  That we tap into the same energy as the Big Three monotheistic religions gives me the gacks.

No backlash, I just don't perceive divinity in the same way, and I don't buy that "all paths lead to the top of the same mountain" or that all the deities are facets of a single diamond.  I have more of a hard polytheistic view

Just sayin'.  Pagans differ greatly on this topic..
Ashe, I think the variety of pagan views is the beautiful antidote to the ugliness of organized religion.

I also don't think all paths lead to the same place.  I feel there are different types of "energies."  I'm still a seeker, and this is an exploration on my part.  I wonder if when a Christian prays to Jesus for personal safety, for example, is this prayer the beginning of a protection spell?  When a Muslim extremist prays to Allah for death and destruction (9/11), is this dark magic?  I really don't want to bring politics into this.  I'm trying to view this from a theological point of view.  I've been thinking about this for a long time. Another example is people following a leader.  I think this is similar to organized religion. Think Hitler in terms of dark magic, and Ghandi in terms of positive energy.
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: LadyOfShalott on October 30, 2015, 08:12:15 AM
I can see why that would give you the shivers, Ashe. Thousands of years of "my god want me to conquer, kill, etc etc" is the very opposite of what I feel everyone here is looking for when seeking deity, but I guess I'm thinking many of those examples are human deficiencies, people twisting a religion to fit their own selfish goals.  (There are tenets in the Big 3 that are ((I think)) totally disturbing, and following any words to the letter without questioning is dangerous in and of itself.)

But! I think there are (or I Hope there are) people in every religion who are seeking what we seek: kindness, peace, care for our world and all things on it.  Clearly though, there are many who represent the polar opposite.

Another thought, Ashe, is if we aren't all following different paths to the same place, where are all the places people are going? If you truly believe there are some "unforgivable sins," for example? Will hell exist for you, because you believe it? Does it only exist for those people who believe?

Sorry, rambling! Thinking about this stuff sends me into spirals of new thoughts!  :-p
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: LadyOfShalott on October 30, 2015, 08:14:59 AM
Ashe, I think the variety of pagan views is the beautiful antidote to the ugliness of organized religion.

I also don't think all paths lead to the same place.  I feel there are different types of "energies."  I'm still a seeker, and this is an exploration on my part.  I wonder if when a Christian prays to Jesus for personal safety, for example, is this prayer the beginning of a protection spell?  When a Muslim extremist prays to Allah for death and destruction (9/11), is this dark magic?  I really don't want to bring politics into this.  I'm trying to view this from a theological point of view.  I've been thinking about this for a long time. Another example is people following a leader.  I think this is similar to organized religion. Think Hitler in terms of dark magic, and Ghandi in terms of positive energy.

Marigold, I was just thinking very similar questions, and thoughts!
Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: Marigold on October 30, 2015, 08:34:21 AM
Ashe, I think the variety of pagan views is the beautiful antidote to the ugliness of organized religion.

I also don't think all paths lead to the same place.  I feel there are different types of "energies."  I'm still a seeker, and this is an exploration on my part.  I wonder if when a Christian prays to Jesus for personal safety, for example, is this prayer the beginning of a protection spell?  When a Muslim extremist prays to Allah for death and destruction (9/11), is this dark magic?  I really don't want to bring politics into this.  I'm trying to view this from a theological point of view.  I've been thinking about this for a long time. Another example is people following a leader.  I think this is similar to organized religion. Think Hitler in terms of dark magic, and Ghandi in terms of positive energy.

Marigold, I was just thinking very similar questions, and thoughts!

Lady of Shalott, there is some channeling going on here  :)  I was just thinking that religious tenets and actual followers of these tenets with their various degrees of human deficincies are two quite different things indeed.

Title: Re: Prayer?
Post by: LadyOfShalott on October 30, 2015, 12:27:09 PM
Indeed! Great minds think alike! ;) ;D