Celtic Paganism in daily practice

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It can be easy to overlook the importance of having a daily spiritual practice.  The common thought is “I know what I believe, so that’s all that I need”- but is it?  Just as our bodies need fed, our spiritual selves need fed in order to keep a sense of well being and connection. 
I see daily spiritual practices as a form of worship.  In the general Pagan community I have noticed that “worship” is generally regarded as a dirty word.  Perhaps those who are uncomfortable with this word regard it as part of the language of the oppressive religious tradition they were brought up in.  But  worship literally means “worth-ship”- as in giving worth to something.  I believe the Three Kindred are “worthy” of our “worship”.  However, an alternative to the word worship could be “honor”.

One act of daily spiritual practice is to maintain a household or outdoor shrine- to make offerings of food and drink to the spirits of the land, ancestral spirits, and the Celtic deities; collectively- the Three Kindred.  You might prefer to make your daily offerings be of incense, and only give offerings of food and drink for feast days and other occasions.  Keep in mind other aspects of maintaining the shrine as part of daily practice with spiritual significance- keeping it dusted and refreshing the decorations on it, for example.

Song prayers are a very important source for my daily spiritual practice, although I don’t always sing them aloud.  I use re-paganized prayers from the Carmina Gadelica for this, to the tune of some Lisa Theil songs from her CD Invocation of the Graces.  In  the morning I sing what I call the “threefold blessing” to the tune of Lisa Thiel’s “Triple Goddess Blessing”, based on a Gaelic prayer titled only “fragment”.  At night, I sing Lisa Thiel’s “Hearth Blessing”- first verse only.  (The second verse refers to a maiden/mother/crone archetype which isn’t a part of Celtic cosmology.) 

Threefold Blessing
As it was, as it is, as it evermore shall be
Thou triune, Kindred Three, be with my family.
With the ebb, with the flow, blessings on my family
With the ebb, with the flow, blessings be, blessings be.

Hearth Blessing
The Sacred Three to shield and surround thee,
this hearth, this house, this night, this eve.
And every night and eve to come.  And every night and eve to come.  
 

Other songs from the same CD that I sing when the inspiration strikes is “Invocation of the Graces” and “Gaelic Prayer”.  (There are some others on there that are very useful for special occasions as well.)

Another amazing source for spiritual practice is The Celtic Devotional: Daily Prayers and Blessings by Caitlin Matthews.  There is nothing like it.  I find, however, that it’s better used for occasional inspiration rather that daily practice. 

*For anyone wanting to get started in Celtic Paganism, I would recommend that you start off by reading the CR FAQ , then it would be helpful to read a few books from their reading list.

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2 responses »

  1. Daily practice also sharpens will, which we need to be effective energy workers and to be effective and fully grown up human beings in the world. My magickal teacher often says just pick one thing to commit to and then do it everyday… whether it is sitting meditation for 5 minutes, saluting the elements, tending the altar, or doing some energy work… the will is sharpened with commitment. I am *so* glad to see this post. I know it use to be rare in the wider Pagan community for people to talk about their daily practice or the importance of one. I don’t know if that still holds true, but I wouldn’t doubt it.

  2. Pingback: the importance of worship | Ozark Pagan Mamma

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