As I begin each contemplative walk, I first offer up my Celtic Cross prayer I put together awhile back. I’ve noticed over the days of reciting it that it wants to come in different forms on different days, and so I let it arise as it needs to, at each different moment I engage with it. I call it a prayer, in that it asks for blessings, but does not name a specific source being asked, until the last line, which sounds more directly what one might think of as a typical prayer, but still vaguely so. It has functioned more as a druidic contemplation of the correspondence and relationship between the elements of nature and the elements of my body (indeed, all bodies somewhat resembling humans). Yesterday, in the middle of my walk, this contemplation/meditation became a true prayer, as I began praying directly to the elements themselves, to lend me their qualities and guidance. I would also like to pray to them to teach me their various wisdoms.
What I especially note here is that prayer does not equal worship.
It does indicate reverence, as in being in awe of them, feeling profound respect for them, seeking deep relationship with them, wishing for guidance and teaching from them, finding truth in them, and feeling immense gratitude towards them.
Reverence, unlike worship, does not set up or indicate a relationship based on hierarchy, power, obedience, abasement, or punishment. It does set up and indicate a relationship based on mutuality, cooperation, co-creating, co-existence, harmonizing, natural consequences, balance, and the peace which might be actively gained and maintained through such a relationship dynamic.
So, my prayer turned into something like this ~
Hail, east, Power of Stone- power of mountains on land and bones in my body. I pray that you lend me your strength and stability this day.
Hail south, Power of Sun- power of summer and warmth, and of the countenance and eye of my body, I pray that you lend me your vision of beauty this day, that I may see beauty all around me, and bring beauty to the world around me.
Hail west, Power of Sea- powers of the waters of the world and the blood in my body, I pray you lend me your serenity and peace this day.
Hail north, Power of Wind- powers of cold and winter, and the breath in my body, I pray you lend me your flexibility this day, to help me bend with the winds of change whenever they might blow.
Hail below me, Power of Earth, powers of life, death, and regeneration, and of the flesh of my body whose cells also live this eternal cycle, I pray that you lend me the grace to move in harmony with your cycles and season, appreciating the gifts brought by each turn of the spiral way.
Hail above me, Power of Cloud, pregnant with life-giving rain, and power of my thoughts, I pray that my thoughts today might be as nourishing to myself and others as your rains are to the fertile land.
Hail to the center, Power of Spirit, vital essence of all life, I pray that I might be open today to you today to receive your blessings, and that I might remain open to you today to share your blessings with those around me.
As it was, as it is, as it evermore shall be.