Liturgical Writing Prayers

Prayers from Liturgical Writing 2

lighting a sacrificial fire:

“Calling Hestia”
I call out now to Hestia,
Goddess of the Hearth and Keeper of the Sacred Flame.
You burn ever bright within my heart,
and I ask now that you burn brightly upon my hearth.
A flame, kindled upon the earth, pillar of smoke reaching to the Heavens
that it may connect us to the realm above so our voices may be heard.
I make this first offering to you, Hestia,
as you prepare to accept the sacrifices made today
And see them carried to the mighty Theoi.
Hestia, be welcome here as you become the Good Fire around which I pray.

a meal blessing:

“A Children’s Mealtime Prayer”
Mother Earth gives us grain and bread
And all the food that keeps us fed.
Now the meal is about to start,
So we thank her from our heart.

remembering a recently-passed ancestor:

“For Dan’s Crossing” (Sept 10, 2014)
Beloved Dead, Ancient Wise, Ancestors:
One of our own begins his journey tonight.
He comes to join you, wrapped in Crane-feathered cloak.
Borne aloft to cross the veil by the sweet and gentle wings of Garanus,
And held safe and secure within those wings for the journey.
His passage has been paid by kith and kin
As we set his spirit free to join you.

Light the fires along the way,
To brighten his path as he travels.
Prepare the hall for a great feast,
To welcome him when he arrives.
Show him the way, and where to drink,
And guide him in this new role.
Watch over him as he makes this transition,
As he begins this adventure.

Dan, the Ancestors await, to greet you with joy in their hearts.
Fly now, and know you will be welcomed.
Fly now, and know we will celebrate your time with us.
Dan, farewell for now, and safe travels on your journey.

opening a Grove business meeting

As we gather tonight to continue the good work we do as a Grove,
Let us remember that all here are Children of the Earth.
As we speak, let our voices carry respect;
As we listen, let our ears hear honestly;
As we think, let our mind seek what is best for the community.
So be it!

for blessing a house

(the middle part of this borrows heavily from MJD’s work in the Crane Breviary “Anagantios Moon”)

*flame is kindled just before crossing the threshold of the house*

I call out to Hestia as I kindle this fire here,
that she may light and warm this hearth
and bring blessings for all who dwell here.
Hestia, as I enter this place, I ask that you enter with me
Filling this home with your light, protection, and hospitality.

*flame is carried to each room in the house, ending in the kitchen.
charm below is spoken in each room*

May this flame brighten the lives of those who dwell here,
May its light fill this space: from wall to wall, from ceiling to floor.

*upon entering the kitchen, light a new candle for the individual/family*

May this flame brighten the lives of all those who live or visit here,
May its light fill this home: each room from wall to wall, from ceiling to floor.
Hestia, flame kindled here on this hearth,
be welcome as the Good Fire as you light and warm this home.

The hearth kindled and brightened,
I call out now to Zeus Ktesios,
who protects the wealth and possessions of this home,
And to Oikoyro Ophi, who protects the individual/family in this home.
Strong Father of Justice, Faithful House Serpant,
enter this home where the Fire burns bright
and grant this hearth, home, and individual/family the blessings of bounty
as you lend your protection to all those who dwell here.
Let your power and protection be bound to this Oikos
for as long as they dwell here.

Raising Pagan Children

I’ve always intended on raising my children pagan, and over the past two years, as I’ve been putting that desire into practice, for the most part, it has not been a conscious effort. There are a few things that I try to teach my daughter, and a few things that I specifically explain to her, but mostly it is just involving her, and being surprised at how much she picks up. I walk my path unashamedly, and so she see all the little parts of my life where my faith and my practice are incorporated.  Toddlers are sponges.

She sees me pray each morning, and now fairly consistently asks “Mommy, pray?” So we pray together when she asks. I call out to Hestia and light her flame and some incense, and then we say “Yay, Hestia!” I’ve started adding in a super short prayer to the Three Kindreds and showing her how to make an offering of grain. For her, it’s still mostly about getting to take a handful of stuff and dump it out, but she’s learning: now she waits while I speak, grain in one hand, and both hands cupped up to the sky like me, and then puts it in the bowl when I’m done speaking and we say “Yay, Kindreds!” Recently I’ve been teaching her some common phrasing we use in our grove. She can say “Good Fire” when you ask her how we pray. When you ask her who guides us, she’ll say “Garanus.”

Garanus Crane

Garanus Crane

She watches me when I do full COoR rites, and mimics my motions. Not only does she put her arms down for the Ancestors, out for the Nature Spirits, and up for the Shining Ones, she also mimics my spiraling motions when I open and close the Gates. This was most obvious when I was holding her during our Samhain ritual last year, and she made the motions with me as I opened the Gates.

She has started breathing with me during meditation. I’ve been trying to incorporate it into our bedtime routine. We “sit quiet” and breathe. It’s kind of cute, since she knows we’re breathing, and so she breathes in really loud, and then blows out. She’s made it about as long as a minute, though more often it’s around 30 sec, so we’re working on it.

There are other aspects to my path and my practice. I play guitar and music is important to me on a spiritual level. She watches me play guitar, and I’ve been encouraging her to drum along with me. I plan on getting her a ukulele in the near future so that she can play with me on an instrument that will grow with her.

Being outside and reveling in nature is important to me as well, so when we go on walks, and she gifts me with leaves, and pinecones, and rocks, and bits of flowers and grass, I take interest in those, and sometimes we talk about how it’s important to thank nature for giving us those gifts. We watch the rain and look at ponds and jump in puddles. We watch the clouds and how the sun reflects off them, and sometimes she’s up with me to watch the sun come up and pray to Ushas. She pets trees and says “Nice tree.” Nature is good; nature is very good.

So, in raising a pagan kid, for me, it’s mostly about involving her in my practice wherever I can, and when she shows speicifc interest, deliberately welcoming her in. It makes her happy to be involved and valued in things that are important to our family, and teaches her this practice and way of life. And it makes me happy to have a child who is interested in what I value, and happy to take part in these aspects of our life.

Indra Wins the Waters

“Indra Wins the Waters”

 
This playlet was written for the children’s programming for
Three Cranes Grove 2015 Spring Equinox Ritual honoring Indra.
 
Lexile: 680L (late 3rd grade, early 4th grade reading level) 
 
Cast:
OFFICIANT: The person who is doing the Return Flow portion of the Ritual
INDRA: The Vedic Storm God
VRTRA: The Dragon
CELEBRANTS: The folk at the ritual
STORM-BRINGERS: sounds of the storm (can be the same as the CELEBRANTS if needed)
Optional Cast:
DRAGONS: Vrtra’s family
SACRED COWS: to represent the Waters and Blessings
 
*following the Seer’s pronouncement of a positive Omen*
 
OFFICIANT: These are indeed good omens.
 
OFFICIANT: But you should know that until Indra won the Waters for us, we could not have received these blessings because Vrtra the Dragon hoarded them all for himself and his family.
 
OFFICIANT: Here is Vrtra now, and he is holding onto [omen], [omen], and [omen]. 
 
VRTRA: These gifts are mine! All mine!
 
OFFICIANT: But the people wanted the blessings too, and they knew only the mighty Indra could help them now.  So they called out with one voice: “Indra, Give us the Waters!”
 
CELEBRANTS: Indra! Give us the Waters!
 
OFFICIANT: Listen: Do you hear him coming?  Here comes Indra the Storm-Bringer!
 
*STORM-BRINGERS shake noisemakers as Indra enters the stage*
 
OFFICIANT: In the thundering clouds with his lightning bolt in hand, Indra demands:
 
INDRA: Vrtra! You have to share the blessings!
 
OFFICIANT: Vrtra roars mightily and retorts:
 
VRTRA: No! These gifts are mine! All mine!
 
OFFICIANT: And the people knew Vrtra was going to hold onto those gifts of [omen], [omen], and [omen] with all of his might.  So they again called out: “Indra! Give us the Waters!”
 
CELEBRANTS: Indra! Give us the Waters!
 
OFFICIANT: And Indra heard their plea and prepared to do whatever was necessary to win the waters for the people.  He again shouted to Vrtra:
 
INDRA: Vrtra! You have to share the blessings!
 
OFFICIANT: But Vrtra again roared his denial and shrieked:
 
VRTRA: No! These gifts are mine! All mine!
 
OFFICIANT: Indra grew angry that Vrtra wouldn’t share the blessings with everyone, and as his anger grew, so too did the sound of the storm.
 
*STORM-BRINGERS shake noisemakers*
 
OFFICIANT: The people knew now was the moment.  Now was the time to give Indra all their support.  And so they called out one final time: “Indra! Give us the Waters!”
 
CELEBRANTS: Indra! Give us the Waters!
 
OFFICIANT: The storm rumbled as Indra went into battle with the mighty Vrtra, his lightning bolt held high.  With a flash he struck down Vrtra with his lightning bolt.  The Dragon bellowed as he fell.
 
OFFICIANT: The waters, the blessings, the gifts were now free.  The mighty Indra won them away from Vrtra the Dragon and brought them to us.  
 
*INDRA brings Waters to OFFICIANT*
 
OFFICIANT: These Waters are infused with the blessings of [omen], [omen], and [omen].  “Behold! The Waters of Life!”
 
OFFICIANT: As these Waters are poured out for each of us, remember how they were won for us, and how we sing the praises of the Storm God who won them. 
 
OFFICIANT: See how the gifts of [omen], [omen], and [omen] can flow into our lives.  See how they can flow into our grove.  See how they can flow into our community.  See how you and the world can be renewed and rejuvenated by these Waters so courageously won and freely given.
 
OFFICIANT: Drink deep, Children of Earth, and be blessed!

Teething Charm: Dr. Tally’s Soothing Tooth-Tiger Liniment

The Artharvaveda is a collection of spells, prayers, charms, and hymns designed for a variety of purposes.  Many of these relate to healing work that can be done.  The example quoted below is a charm for teething, specifically for the first two teeth that break through.  The text of the charm calls directly to the teeth themselves, as well as to Agni.  Many of the healing charms within the Artharvaveda call to Agni.  I think this is both because he is the priest of the Gods and the one who accepts sacrifices, but also because Fire itself is purifying when dealing with illness or pain.  The charm calls on Agni to sooth the teeth that are breaking through the gums.  Offered to the teeth themselves are rice, barley, beans, and sesame, with the intent that the child will eat these rather than harm his parents.  This is especially apt, as breastfeeding a teething infant can lead to biting, which is supremely uncomfortable.   The next part of the charm asks that the teeth come forth gently and that the fierceness, the pain, be passed away from the body.

 

“VI, 140. Expiation for the irregular appearance of the first pair of teeth

  1. Those two teeth, the tigers, that have broken forth, eager to devour father and mother, do thou, O Brahmanaspati Gâtavedas, render auspicious!
  2. Do ye eat rice, eat barley, and eat, too, beans, as well as sesamum! That, O teeth.. is the share deposited for your enrichment. Do not injure father and mother!
  3. Since ye have been invoked, O teeth, be ye in unison kind and propitious! Elsewhere, O teeth, shall pass away the fierce (qualities) of your body! Do not injure father and mother!” (Bloomfield VI, 140)

 

“HYMN CXL

A blessing on a child’s first two teeth

(1)Two tigers have grown up who long to eat the mother and the sire:

Soothe, Brāhmanaspati, and thou, O Jātavedas, both these teeth.

(2)Let rice and barley be your food, eat also beans and sesamum.

This is the share allotted you, to be your portion, ye two Teeth.

Harm not your mother and your sire.

(3)Both fellow teeth have been invoked, gentle and bringing happiness.

Else whither let the fierceness of your nature turn away, O

Teeth! Harm not your mother or your sire.” (Griffith CXL)

 

In creating this healing work for modern use, I have written a charm to be said while mixing the ingredients together for “Dr. Tally’s Soothing Tooth-Tiger Liniment.”  As a baby is able to start of solid foods around the same time that they will be getting teeth, I decided that a concoction that can actually be consumed and eaten by the child easily would be the way to go.  One of the ingredients called for in the ancient charm is beans.  Chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) are the main ingredient in hummus, which can be easily eaten by most infants who have started on solid foods (though it may cause gassiness).  Both rice cereal and barley cereal can be mixed into the pureed chickpeas, and then seasoned with just a little bit of sesame oil or tahini.  This will create a pureed food that even babies who are just starting solids could eat, as it could be thinned with as much water as necessary for them. There have been reported cases of sesame seed allergies, so as always, before introducing new foods to your baby, consult their doctor.

 

To make “Dr. Tally’s Soothing Tooth-Tiger Liniment” combine the following ingredients in a food processor while saying the charm that follows (alternatively, say this charm over the dish before you serve it if you aren’t the one who made it):

  • 1 can of drained chickpeas (or chickpeas that you’ve cooked yourself)
  • 2 Tbsp tahini (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp rice cereal
  • 1 Tbsp barley cereal
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • water to desired consistency

 

“Fierce and sharp tooth tigers, you who have broken through,

Be eased, bright tigers, in your work by this gift.

Come forth, and bring with you smiles of joy, rather than grimaces of pain.

Be soothed, sweet tigers, and be not over eager in your entrance.

Come forth, and partake of this share allotted to you.

Fierce and sharp tooth tigers, born of blessed Fire, be warmly welcomed here!”