“Hail, Spirits of the Land. May you smile upon us this day. Many thanks to you for your nourishment and sustenance of both body and spirit. May we so learn to nourish and sustain life as you do. I pray that we honor your gifts and your guidance, and truly honor you all as our brothers and sisters. May we learn and strive to live peacefully with and among you. Moran taing, agus sla\inte mhath,”
So I prayed today as I stepped outside prior to my walk.
Before I set off, I took a moment to commune with the Three Realms, as I have been doing lately, rather than with the Seven Elements. Emma Restall Orr describes these realms not as metaphorical designators for metaphysical beings as I’ve often read in more reconstructionist materials, but as living worlds populated by living beings with whom we are related, and must strive to be in harmonious relationship. I find that I resonate well with this perception of and relationship to the Three Realms, envisioning us all moving and working together like the triple spiral motif found at Newgrange in Ireland, with the center space being the Fire of Indwelling Spirit which animates and unites us all.
“Here I stand, in the Center of the World.
“The Sea and its beings surround me; many thanks to you for your gifts and teachings. May there be peace between us.
“The Land and its beings support me; many thanks to you for your gifts and teachings. May there be peace between us.
“The Sky and its beings encompass me; many thanks to you for your gifts and teachings. May there be peace between us.
“The Flame of Indwelling Spirit animates and unites us all; may we all feel the blessings of Spirit, and share these blessings amongst us.
“Mar a bha, mar a tha, mar a bhitheas gu brath. Moran taing, agus sla\inte mhath.”
It occurs to me too that I would prefer such a prayer as this to the typical Peace Prayer which begins rituals in British Druidry. Typically it is called out, may there be peace in the east/south/west/north during such rites, but rather than impelling peace to be ‘out there’ among others somewhere over whom we have no control and where it may well not actually be occurring, I find it more meaningful and relevant to invoke peace in our immediate relationships where we stand, where we can actively build and create that peace, and acknowledge it together. I find praying for peace more important and meaningful than I used to, and certainly do so more than I have ever done, but I find the forms in which peace is invoked matter, and say a lot about the ideas about peace held by those who craft and present prayers about and for it. I feel strongly that peace is not a static thing to have, or a static mode of being, but a constant process of making, which must be communal if externalized. It is neither individual nor a state of being, nor merely the absence of war. It is a constant, ongoing creation of a nourishing and just society and way of life.