the importance of worship

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I write this mainly for new Pagans, but we all need reminders now and then…

Beliefs are only ideas floating around in your head, unless put them into practice. It is important to practice your spirituality through worship. Now, don’t misunderstand… when I say “worship” I mean it in the Pagan sense; hailing to, offering libations, and praising with arms raised, talking to the gods and spirits… not bending down with clasped hands and pleading prayers. Its important to practice your beliefs through worship even if (or especially if) you’re feeling a bit agnostic about the existence of the gods/spirits. Many Pagans struggle with feelings of agnosticism. If this is you, tell yourself that the gods are a metaphor for life and practice worship as an act of connection and comfort (or even psychological experiment). Many people who have done this have experienced dreams, visions, and other mystical experiences that have enriched their spirituality.

Some would say that worship strengthens the gods. Others say that the gods are powerful and do not in any way need our worship. But even gods desire the give and take of “social interaction” that worship provides. Think of it as being like a social call to elder family members. If you don’t ever visit your kinfolks, they will be like strangers to you. If you stay away, never visit nor call, over the years you will lose contact and not even know if they are still alive. So it is with the gods, and it is up to us to make first contact and to keep it going. We are strengthened by worship; it gives us a feeling of well being and connection and builds upon our relationship with the spirit kindred.

Worship doesn’t have to be elaborate rituals. It can be as simple as hailing a deity, pouring libations or lighting incense, and giving thanks or sharing a joy. If you’re not comfortable with spontaneous prayers, you can memorize something simple (like Sigrdrifa’s Prayer) and use it often. Do the gods tire of hearing the same prayer over and over? I think not any more that we would tire of a loved ones voice reciting a favorite poem.

To get things going, or revive your practice, see these articles: A Heathen Kitchen Witch’s Blót, Celtic Pagan Daily Spirituality – when there’s no time for ritual, and Celtic Paganism in daily practice. Many of the ideas listed there could apply to other cultures as well, with a few adaptations. If you cook often, see my article Stovetop Hearth Rites to bring worship into your time spent in the kitchen. If you think you’d like using prayer beads, see my system of Druid Prayer Beads. The prayers from it can be used individually, and are actually a song.

So get out there and practice, and keep at it. If you tire of one way of worship, change it up. Good worship should leave you feeling energized and whole. The options are as plentiful as the spirits.

revering nature

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9 responses »

  1. I am sorry, but worship denotes forcing people to bow down to GOD/DEITIES because others say they have to. Our Deities I believe want respect and people HONORING them. If you were all powerful and WISE would you make people bow down in worship? That is a human concept forced upon people by greed and vain kings, priests and religions.

    • To you it may denote those things, but it is a word used frequently in certain Pagan denominations to describe rituals of honoring deities and spirits.

      • Unfortunately, historically I have found it to be more of a negative rather than an actual positive when used in that context. I would rather say “Honor” rather than “Worship” And as you said, it is my opinion. No offense.

  2. The beautiful thing about being Pagan, in my opinion, is that there is no wrong way, no right way. It’s all about what feels right to the person.

    Regardless of what you call it, spending time, making a connection, with deity is important. The more time you put into the relationship (and that’s how I see it, as a relationship), the better and more in-depth that relationship becomes.

    Personally, I feel it’s a way to become more familiar with whatever deity you are working with but I also get the sense that it gives them the same opportunity to get to know me.

    A lovely post. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Pingback: The Importance of Worship « WiccanWeb

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