Prayer is more than hands folded and looking upward.
Prayer is a way of communicating with That-Which-is-not-Human.
|Woman in the Water|
It seemed so self-serving anyway. First world problems, if you know what I mean. “Please let me just pass this test.” Or “If only he would look at me.”
Fast-forward 15 years, and I get an email from a member of my grove. They are asking for prayers for their failing grandparent. Without hesitation I reply that I will get on that. I go to my altar and light my oil lamps. I pour water into a stone well. As I begin to speak the familiar words of cleansing and hallowing I light incense that wafts upward in delicate spirals. I feel peace and calm descend upon me as I control my breath. My mind focuses on the task at hand and my worries about daily cares fade away for a time.
Sometimes I feel a heat rise within me radiating outward like a radio signal going toward the person in question. Sometimes I see an image of a God or a Spirit in my minds eye. Sometimes I recognize them. Sometimes I don’t. It doesn’t matter. I am at a center of the world, and in that moment I am a channel for the sacred. I allow myself to have faith in the process and in the relationships that I have built. Sacred Beings know more than I do. I trust in the work, in my practice, and in the Gods and Spirits that I have built relationships with over the years to keep me safe and doing good work.
Prayer as petition is only the tip of the iceberg, or maybe in my case, the tip of the bonfire. We certainly communicate with the non-human in order to ask for things. It’s a natural part of relationship. Healthy relationships involve a take as well as a give. Which leads me rather naturally to another way to pray, the giving way. Then there is the blessing way, the prayer of rapture and delight, the prayer of thanksgiving and probably lots I haven’t even thought of. I believe there are a number of ways to pray, and I’m hoping to explore them in the coming months, particularly ways to use creativity in this idea of prayer as communication with the non-human.
|Sun Woman Sees Their Pain|