Saturday, March 14, 2015

What Witches Do: Prayer

My friend Jennifer posted on my Ask Me Anything post about how I practice my faith.

See, Jennifer is an Orthodox Christian. Her faith influences almost every aspect of her life. From what she eats, to how she prays, her faith is a living part of her day. So, it makes sense to me that she would wonder, knowing me as she does (we've been friends for decades), how my faith affects how I live.

But I decided that instead of answering with just one post, I'd make it a series. What Witches Do. Clever, right?

Just keep in mind that how I do it, may not be how someone else does it. I don't speak for all Witches. No one does. And don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise.

So, do Witches pray? Well, I do. A lot of us do. It's a sanity tool. And I need all the sanity tools I can get.

Some of my prayer is conversation with the Gods, calling on certain Deities the way a Catholic might call upon different saints. I do this often, when I need to talk through something. When I need to hear it out loud. Or when I'm not sure about what the outcome should be. I'm well aware that I don't always know what the right thing to do is. I trust that the Gods do, however, and I put it in their hands.

Some of my prayer is meditative. For example, this is a Witches Ladder:
Photo and product from The Magikal Store

This isn't exactly what mine looks like, but you can see, it's a little like a Rosary. I pick a mantra or prayer and face each of the four directions, repeating it. It centers and soothes me, and prepares me for the day. 

These can also be used for spellwork and about a hundred other things. But I use mine for prayer and meditation. I can explain in another post how I might make a Witches Ladder during spellwork. But that's for another day.

I actually pray often. When my friends request it, when I need to hold on to patience, when there's a situation that is uncertain, when I need comfort, and when I just plain feel like it. The thing is, I can't tell you if it actually changes things, or if it just changes me. This is faith, not science, and I'm careful not to confuse the two. In the end, it doesn't matter to me if "prayer works", because it works for me, and that's all it really needs to do. Sometimes in this world, we are so powerless, and the ability to pray is the ability to do something. And we need that. 

But I do pray. Witches pray. The Craft is a practice, to be sure, but more than that, it is a faith. For me it is a faith in a Divine Presence that flows through all of us, and through the planet and all living things. And prayer reminds me of that connection, and brings me a great deal of peace. Which, clearly I need.

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