Straight from my notes!
Prayer is Communication.
is Time apart.
I’m not a believer in “The Secret” or whatever they are calling “the power of positive thinking” these days. I’m not a pessimistic person by any means. A little cynical sometimes, but that’s a natural byproduct, I think. So I don’t belive that prayer, strictly on its own, is going to manifest itself in whatever I’d like.
Personally, that thought scares me. Dan Savage, flawed as he may be, pointed this out in Skipping Toward Gomorrah (a favorite books of mine), that if this were actually the case, it would be scary. We almost always think we are good people. My saying “Everything I do is good and right” may seem innocent, and that my will should manifest itself is fine. His example though, is Hitler doing the same thing. It rankles and rouses my rabbles just a bit.
But I am a believer that constructive time is constructive, and time spent with the gods and in focus is usually constructive. For differing values of constructive, of course. Most of my prayer is one-sided. It’s for me to tell the Gods what is important, what I am struggling with, and so on. I believe in prayer as a tool, need, and desire. When I pray, I praise, chat, beg, whine, rent, plead and sit.
Okay, I’ll beg this. I hate standing to pray. I’ll stand and direct silence up, but I much prefer to sit — I feel less antsy and can focus better. Every Hellenic book puts an emphasis on how we stand to pray. Call it Catholic of me, but I’ll sit, maybe kneel. I usually pray cross-legged on the bed, so really — moot. If I’m standing, it’s that much easier to call it quits early.
I’m shittastic at daily practice, but I do think that prayer reaffirms a commitment to the gods and to yourself. I like a mix of the freeform, the lightly structure and recitation. I have prayer beads for Dionysos, and I’m still searching out just the right hymns/poems for Hermes to finish his. After that, I want to do the same for Hestia, who shoving her way to the forefront of my life. Sometimes I take a moment and acknowledge, sometimes prayer opens a ritual and a light trance session.
I said that prayer is time apart. It’s moments spent just in the liminal — we dare to speak to the gods, we dare to take our steps with them. If you’re the sort, let your prayers be ever unceasing, let them drip like honey. I think that can get in the way of seeing the sacred and the set apart.
Day 7 is Patrons. I should be able to pound out my 500 words on that on Friday — after my Two Thanksgivings. I like my families better, but I’m bringing a touch of southern to my husbands. Carrot Raisin Salad. I had a lot of it while in Florida, and I need to make more of it so I don’t associate it only with funerals.