We are a circle,….

A religion without a goddess is halfway to atheism.
~ Dion Fortune

Many Pagans and Wiccans pray to their deities on a regular basis, some only during formal ritual, and some not at all. The use of prayer and manner of prayer is as diverse and numerous as the Pagan and Wiccan traditions. In many Pagan traditions, both modern and ancient, it is customary to make an offering to a divine being. An offering is simply a gift, and it is given not as a trade-off but as a way of showing honor and respect, no matter what the answers to your prayers may ultimately be. One thing that does seem to be fairly common among many traditions is the use of chants, especially during community rituals and gatherings.

A Selection of Pagan Chants:

We are a circle, within a circle,
With no beginning and never ending.

(Unknown)

She changes everything she touches and
everything she touches, changes

(Starhawk)

Air I am
Fire I am
Water, Earth, and Spirit I am

(Andras Corban Arthen)

It’s the blood of the ancients
That runs through our veins
And the forms pass
But the circle of life remains

(Ellen Klaver)

The Circle is Open, But Unbroken,
May the Lord and the Lady be Ever in your Heart!
Merry Meet and Merry Part, and Merry Meet Again!

(traditional ritual circle closing)

This Week’s Affirmation:

“Each day I am getting better and better.”

(For more on Affirmations, go to my Affirmations Page.)

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One Universal Creator God….

As fragrance abides in the flower
As reflection is within the mirror,
So does your Lord abide within you,
Why search for him without?
~ Guru Nanak, First Sikh Guru

Prayer is an important part of a Sikh’s daily life. Sikhs regard prayer as a way of spending time in company with God. Sikhs believe prayer and meditation to be essential in attaining desirable qualities and overcoming ego. Sikh scripture counsels that each breath is an opportunity for prayer. There are five daily prayers, known as nitnem banis, taken from Sikh scriptures and written in Gurmukhi script. Nitnem banis are required to be spoken, read or listened to at the appropriate time of day by a devout Sikh. The required prayers of Sikhism are performed generally while sitting or standing. Sikhs do not kneel or prostrate during prayer.

Mool Mantra ਮੂਲ ਮੰਤਰ

Mool Mantra
Ik oankaar
sath naam
karathaa purakh
nirabho
niravair
akaal moorath
ajoonee
saibhan
gur prasaadh
One Universal Creator God.
The Name Is Truth.
Creative Being Personified.
Without Fear.
Without Hatred.
Image Of The Undying,
Beyond Birth,
Self-Existent.
By Guru’s Grace ~

(Guru Granth Sahib)

This Week’s Affirmation:

“Each day I am getting better and better.”

(For more on Affirmations, go to my Affirmations Page.)

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God, grant me the serenity…

Every human being, no matter what his attributes for good or evil, is a part of the divine spiritual economy. Therefore, each of us has his place, and I cannot see that God intends to exalt one over another…. In Gods economy nothing is wasted.
~ Bill W., founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

In recovery, or 12-Step, programs (AA, NA, GA, OA, SAA, etc.), prayer is an integral part of the program, both at meetings and for individuals. Most 12-Step meetings open with the group reciting the Serenity Prayer (see below) and close with either the same prayer or the Lord’s Prayer. In the AA Big Book, there are a number of suggested prayers for some of the steps (e.g. Third Step Prayer.) Many individuals in recovery find regular daily use of prayer, often taken from their own religious traditions, very helpful in managing their daily lives and staying sober.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

(based on a prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr)

This Week’s Affirmation:

“We are all related.”

(For more on Affirmations, go to my Affirmations Page.)

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Modeh Ani and Shalom Aleichem

What you yourself hate, don’t do to your neighbor.
This is the whole law; the rest is commentary.
~ Rabbi Hillel (30 BC – 10 AD)

The Jewish people have a long and rich tradition of prayer. For observant Jews prayer is an integral part of their everyday life. There are prayers to be recited before enjoying any material pleasure, prayers to recite before performing any mitzvah (commandment), prayers to recite upon seeing anything unusual (such as a king, a rainbow, or the site of a great tragedy), prayers to recite whenever some good or bad thing happens, and prayers to recite before going to bed at night. All of these prayers are in addition to formal prayer services, which are performed three times a day every weekday and additional times on shabbat (Sabbath) and festivals.

Mode Ani in HebrewModeh ani l’faneykha, melekh chai vekayam,
she-hechezarta bi nishmati bechemlah,
rabbah emunatekha.

I offer thanks to You, living and eternal King,
for You have mercifully restored my soul within me;
Your faithfulness is great.

Shalom Aleichem in Hebrew

Shalom aleichem, mal’achei hasharet, mal’achei elyon.
Mimelech mal’achei ham’lachim, hakadosh baruch Hu.

Bo’achem leshalom, mal’achei hashalom, mal’achei elyon.
Mimelech mal’achei ham’lachim, hakadosh baruch Hu.

Bar’chuni leshalom, mal’achei hashalom, mal’achei elyon.
Mimelech mal’achei ham’lachim, hakadosh baruch Hu.

Tzetchem leshalom, mal’achei hashalom, mal’achei elyon.
Mimelech mal’achei ham’lachim, hakadosh baruch Hu.

Peace upon you, ministering angels, messengers of the Most High,
of the Supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.

Come in peace, messengers of peace, messengers of the Most High,
of the Supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.

Bless me with peace, messengers of peace, messengers of the Most High,
of the Supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.

May your departure be in peace, messengers of peace, messengers of the Most High,
of the Supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.

This Week’s Affirmation:

“We are all related.”

(For more on Affirmations, go to my Affirmations Page.)

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Takbir and al-Fatihah

Woe to those who pray, but are unmindful of their prayer,
or who pray only to be seen by people.
~ Qur’an 107:4-6

Prayer is one of the central elements of Islamic practice and worship. It is the second of the Five Pillars of Islam. Salat is the obligatory Muslim prayers, to be performed five times a day by adult Muslims. The observance of Salat forms the framework of each Muslim’s day, from the pre-dawn morning prayer to the night prayer that precedes sleep. The content of prayer is glorification of God, recitations of the Qur’an, and blessings on the Prophet. Salat concludes with the taslima (greeting), “Peace be upon you,” even when praying alone. Individual devotional prayers, though not obligatory, are encouraged, especially during the night.

Allahu AkbarAllahu Akbar
God is Greatist.
The Surat Al-Fatihah in ArabicBismillāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm
Al ḥamdu lillāhi rabbi l-ʿālamī
Ar raḥmāni r-raḥīm
Māliki yawmi d-dīn
Iyyāka naʿbudu wa iyyāka nastaʿīn
Ihdinā ṣ-ṣirāṭa al-mustaqīm
Ṣirāṭa al-laḏīna anʿamta ʿalayhim ġayri

In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
All praise is due to God, the Lord of the Worlds.
The Merciful, The Compassionate.
Master of the Day of Judgement.
You alone do we worship and You alone
we seek for help.
Guide us to the Straight Path.
l-maġḍūbi ʿalayhim walā ḍ-ḍāllīn
The path of those upon whom You have bestowed
Your blessings, those whose portion is not wrath,
nor of those who have gone astray.

This Week’s Affirmation:

“We are all related.”

(For more on Affirmations, go to my Affirmations Page.)

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Grandfather, Great Spirit,…

The Great Spirit is in all things, is in the air we breathe.
The Great Spirit is our Father, but the Earth is our Mother.
She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground, She returns to us….
~ Big Thunder (Bedagi), 19th century Wabanaki Algonquin

Traditional Native American worship practices vary from region to region and tribe to tribe. They are typically a part of tribal gatherings including dance, rhythm, songs and trance. Sacred narratives and beliefs are deeply based in Nature and are rich with the symbolism of seasons, weather, plants, animals, earth, water, sky and fire. The principle of an all embracing, universal and omniscient Great Spirit, a connection to the Earth, diverse creation narratives and collective memories of ancient ancestors are common among tribes. When Native Americans pray to the four directions it is a prayer to the spirits of the world, to life and the Great Spirit that encompasses the four directions and everything that is.

Grandfather, Great Spirit, once more behold me on earth and lean to hear my
feeble voice. You lived first, and you are older than all need, older than
all prayer. All things belong to you — the two-legged, the four-legged, the
wings of the air, and all green things that live.

You have set the powers of the four quarters of the earth to cross each
other. You have made me cross the good road and road of difficulties, and
where they cross, the place is holy. Day in, day out, forevermore, you are
the life of things.

(Black Elk, Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux)

It is lovely indeed, it is lovely indeed.
I, I am the spirit within the earth …
The feet of the earth are my feet …
The legs of the earth are my legs …
The bodily strength of the earth is my strength …
The thoughts of the earth are my thoughts …
The voice of the earth is my voice …
The feather of the earth is my feather …
All that belongs to the earth belongs to me …
All that surrounds the earth surrounds me …
I, I am the sacred words of the earth …
It is lovely indeed, it is lovely indeed.

(Navajo Song)

This Week’s Affirmation:

“We are all related.”

(For more on Affirmations, go to my Affirmations Page.)

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Oh God, lead us,…

Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul.
It is daily admission of one’s weakness.
It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.
~ Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi

Prayer or worship is considered to be an integral part of the Hindu religion. The chanting of mantras is the most popular form of worship in Hinduism. Yoga and meditation are also considered as forms of devotional service towards the Lord. The Vedas are a collection of liturgy (mantras, hymns.) The Hindu devotional Bhakti movements emphasize repetitive prayer. Stemming from the universal Soul, or Brahman, prayer is focused on the personal forms of God, such as Shiva, Vishnu, or Vishnu’s Avatars, Rama and Krishna.

Oh God, lead us from the unreal to the Real.
Oh God, lead us from darkness to light.
Oh God, lead us from death to immortality.
Shanti 1, Shanti, Shanti unto all.
Oh Lord God almighty, may there be peace in celestial regions.
May there be peace on earth.
May the waters be appeasing.
May herbs be wholesome, and may trees and plants bring peace to all.
May all beneficent beings bring peace to us.
May the Vedic Law propagate peace all through the world.
May all things be a source of peace to us.
And may thy peace itself bestow peace on all and may that peace come to me also.

(Hindu Vedic prayer, U.N. Day of Prayer for World Peace)

1 Shanti is Sanskrit normally translated as Peace, though it could be more closely translated as “deep, abiding peace.”

This Week’s Affirmation:

“We are all related.”

(For more on Affirmations, go to my Affirmations Page.)

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