365 Days of Prayer – Day 12 – Divination as a form of prayer

I am calling Divination a form of prayer because prayer is communication with the Divine, and when I divine for people, I am in communication with the Divine. I am making a point of this today, because sometimes I think people see prayer as a one-way street, not realizing that they, too, can receive communication from the Divine. This idea was made popular a number of years ago in a book called Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch. People have invented any number of systems for drawing forth messages from the Divine; among them are the Runes, the Tarot, and the I Ching.

Today I am going to use Rune Divination as my prayer. I reach into my pouch, and draw out….

Raido is about the Journey. It accords with the stars and planets as they journey through the sky and with me, because I have travel plans today. Raidho is also about being in the right place at the right time, which is what happens when I allow prayer to bring me into accord with my Creator. Today I will trust the flow of life to carry me to where I need to be at the right time.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This morning Creek Woman gave me a little lesson she asked me to share. I had brought the dog outdoors with me, and she usually stays by my side, but today she was off on some mission of her own. We have new neighbors with their own dog, and I was concerned Dolly would get into some trouble. I was trying to pray, but the thought of “Where is the dog?” kept intruding. Finally Creek Woman said to me, “It is a matter of Sovereignty.”

“Dolly’s sovereignty?” I asked.

“Yes,” Creek Woman replied, “and your own too.” Then she left me alone to think about what she has said.

I once was riding my horse, and a neighbor used to like to feed him apples when we rode by. One day, he had not been cooperating on the ride, and I asked the woman not to feed him the apple, because I did not want to reward him for disobedient behavior. The woman got angry with me, and told me off for being so cruel as to ride my horse in the first place. We obviously felt very different about our relationships with our own animals. I judged her for being a “spoiler.” She had a little dog that was more indulged than it was trained.

I had trained my horse, and he was normally a real joy to ride. We were simply having a bad day. Usually Future liked to be ridden and he had a great working attitude. I was young then, and I still had some of my feelings that as I was responsible for Future’s care, he ought to do as I told him to do. My attitude has softened a lot, and I have been learning – from my sometimes stubborn dog – that relationships cooperate much better if both parties want to work together.

So I still do not agree with that once-upon-a-time neighbor. I think that animals and people have had cooperative working relationships for many, many thousands of years. There is no reason that animals cannot work with their people. “Sovereignty” as Creek Woman meant it does not mean slave and master, but I am sovereign over me, and Dolly is sovereign over herself, and when we want to work together, it becomes a matter of two sovereign beings cooperating for the joy we take in each other.

And there is also the matter of my dog is a creature whose care I am responsible for, so there are moments when my guidance is needful to protect her. For example, she knows how to cross a road by hand signals, and she knows to get off the road when I say, “Car.” These are things we have trained her for her own safety. Sometimes she must submit to the leash for her own safety and here proper training makes her polite to work with, instead of this big dog pulling me all over the county.

The issue changes when I nag her because I am worried by concern of what she is up to. She is a reliable dog, and has every right to enjoy her own mission on our own land. She has been trained, and it is for me now to allow her sovereignty by trusting the training I gave her. My sovereignty over myself extends to being responsible for how I occupy my own sphere, and not occupying myself with thoughts of “Where is that dog?”

After I had put these thoughts together, I asked Creek Woman if I had correctly understood the lesson. She said, “You got it!” And I went back down to the water and prayed this time without worries about the dog’s whereabouts distracting me. I then called Dolly and we went for our morning walk.

Prayer for today: Creator, thank you for Creek Woman who guides me to improve myself in right relationship. Thank you for the relationships I have enjoyed with animals for many years. Thank you for my relationship with You. Amen. 

365 Days of Prayer – Day 10

American flag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I turn to prayer in order to adjust myself to the changes in life. My son left for Boot Camp this summer, and sometimes I feel quite emotional in relation to his absence.

His father and I did our best job by him; he is an independent young man who knows what he wants and pursued it. He answered a calling that is larger than him self, a calling to honor America as a warrior. And I want to expand this idea, further.

America is a collective – a collective of races, nations and cultures, a coming together of immigrants, wanted or unwanted, children of slaves and free persons, poor and rich, an experiment in a social change that began in 1776 when a small group of revolutionaries won their freedom from England.

It is my belief that humanity stands at a turning point wherein it is very important for humanity to recognize that we are a collective species. No matter what our differences of opinion, culture, religion, political creed, sexuality – we must stand together for ideals larger than ourselves. And to enforce this point, we share one Earth with many other diverse species of animals and plants that together make a wondrous world.

So today I offer a special prayer:

Dear Creator – Guide me in adjusting to my life as my son moves forward with goals for his own life. I believe I stand with other mothers as I pray for the well being of all our sons in American’s Armed Forces.

America stands in a place between her ideals and her shadow. Her special brand of diversity offers a light to the world, yet decisions are being made that are not humane, especially in regard to the children of the border.

As Americans struggle to overcome their differences we see extreme examples of both hate and love. We see people taking stands for what they believe in, yet we sorrow over the murder of innocents in schools, places of worship, and other public places.

Creator, I pray that people will love more than they hate. I pray that people on opposing sides of a fence see the humanity within each other. I pray humans awaken to an awareness of the inter-connection of life itself. Creator, we have a lot of work to do. Guide me to do as I can. Amen.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 9

Flow

Some days become the prayer. I used to pray from need. “Please,  Creator, I need _______.” Then a teacher suggested I add gratitude to the mix. “Creator, I thank you.”

It took a while, but I began to see that when I pray from need, I am praying from a belief in lack instead of faith in abundance. Gratitude prayer began to expand my mind until I could see how even my tiniest thought received an answer. Gradually my awareness expanded until I noticed many corners of the day which included answers to my prayers, spoken and unspoken.

Today I was grateful to relax into the flow of the day and witness how the divine answered the prayers and needs of many people as our group of talented psychics and vendors met at the Gilboa Museum fundraiser to enjoy each other’s company in service those who came to see us at the venue.

Yes, the day became the prayer.

Creator, today I am grateful for flow, for friends, for the talents that we bring together in service, for the humor we share, and so much more. I am grateful for the Winds that came to cool the heat of the day, and this evening’s rains which broke the humidity. I am grateful for the water that relieved my thirst. Creator, thank you.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 8 – Altars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today I want to acknowledge how useful my altars are to my state of mind. This summer has brought many changes to my way of being in the world. My son has left for the military. I have my first book out and that long-term task of marketing it. I have been on a campaign to giveaway, use up, or toss out. It feels like I am making space for new things to come in. I am saying good bye to the old and familiar. I am releasing space within my being and within my home.

This is an older altar that has changed shape over the course of time as my life has changed shape. An altar can be a series of adding and taking away, adding art that stands as symbol for things I consider holy and what is going on in life at any given period of time. The way we manage our altars will be as varied as we are individuals, and they help us to celebrate our lives.

Today I offer a silent prayer, one that does not involve speech, but rather the adding and taking away from my altar as I silently give thanks for what has gone on before, what is now, and what is to come.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 7 – This Body

I was born with this body, I have worked hard with this body, I have grown old in this body. I remember being a young child fascinated with the free and easy movements of my hands and feet. Running from an abundance of exuberant  joy, I thought I was as fast as the wind. These days I move a bit slower, and I need to be more mindful of how I move, but this body still provides me with a vehicle through which to appreciate the senses and to express emotion: beautiful sunrises or sunsets, the verdant mountains of the Catskills, a cool breeze and the touch of cold water on my skin on a hot day, or a long, gentle hugs of my loved ones.

Creator, today I would like to express gratitude for this body which is a vehicle for my spirit. Through this body I see the beautiful things of Earth. Through this body I have created and nurtured life. Through this body I have moved through the years of pursuing what I have loved – horses, hiking, painting and drawing, sharing arts and crafts with my child, time with other people, my families and my pets. Creator, all have taught me something about life that I could not otherwise appreciate. Thank you for this body that I have.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 6 – The Ordinary Things

I am grateful for ordinary tasks. Small daily chores that have a need for completion take me out of my self, and slow my attention to the life around me. Washing the dishes, folding the laundry, or gardening center me. They remind me what I am grateful for.

Creator, today I thank you for family, shelter, food on the table, abundance in every aspect of life, and Nature surrounding me. Amen.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 5

Remain Evergreen while the storms of life are blowing in around us.
Rhododendron keeps its green leaves in the coldest weather.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This morning I woke up thinking how valuable I find prayer. At my most vulnerable prayer joins me to an ideal greater than self that I can connect to with mind, heart, and soul, especially when I am feeling disconnected from everything else.

Prayer is an act of tending to my inner garden. Prayer exists to help me navigate my life on a profound level when my own efforts have failed me and I am facing my shadow.

Prayer comforts me when I need to reconnect with feelings of joy and accomplishment, because I have disappointed those I love and respect, or I have been called out on my own “stuff” and my ego is stung, or I am feeling sick or overwhelmed or broke or tired or sad or waiting and life feels very out of my control.

Prayer gives me the opportunity to go to the quiet places, seek the depth of my own soul, and connect with my Creator. I have cried and laughed and brought forth the truth of my own being. Taking time to turn my sorrows around with the force of intentional gratitude improves my day and my relationship to life. As the Psalmist said, “I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee, I will sing praise to thy name, o thou Most High.” Psalms 9: 1-2

Oh Creator, I thank you for the Sun that shines, the Earth that offers humanity Home, the Moon that brings the light into the night. I thank you for Nature that offers peace of mind, people who love me as I love them, and a sense of community that bolsters my feelings of kindred. I thank you for my home, my family, my country, and the freedom to live my life in a way that I enjoy. Amen.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All beings, including this out of focus butterfly partake of the bounty of water. Two prayers were given for today, the first inspired by Creek Woman:

For all that is Green and Immortal

Holy the Growing, Holy the Dying

Holy all that is coming into Form.

Hidden always the Life Force

In the center of our own Being,

The Holy Fire of the Heart.

And from Hulde and the Norns, a prayer of initiation:

Stand tall in the process

Girl to Woman or Boy to Man

Mindful living on the Land

Child to Adult initiation see

All that you would ever want to Be.

May your day be truly blessed in good relationships with all Beings.

~ Susan

365 Days of Prayer – Day 3 for Water

When my husband Alan and I moved on to the land here, we quickly learned that the Nature spirits are alive and well. Among the first to introduce herself to us, was the Angel of the Creek flowing behind our home. I will call her Creek Woman, because her essence feels feminine, and there is a masculine counterpart to her work. Creek Woman has taught us about working with the element of water. I would meditate by fixing my gaze on the water flowing by. The practice taught me about water, how to move with water, about my emotions, and also taught me reverence for water.

Without water we could not live. We drink it, we bathe in it, we wash our bodies and our dishes in it, we use it in our cooking, for cleaning our cars, homes, and washing our dogs. No organic being can survive without water. Water cleanses us from the inside out as well, keeping us healthy.

Unappreciative of all this, many people take water for granted. Water is contaminated through polluting, through dumping chemicals, through fracking, through many ways that have begun to come back to humanity, hurting ourselves in the process.

Creek Woman has told me that water likes to be sung to. Water can take our prayers to heaven in a similar way to the burning of Sacred plants like Tobacco, Sage, and Mugwort. Water does this when it rises as fog in the morning hours. In fact morning is a good time to pray, before the concerns of the day take the calm of our night’s sleep away. Or conversely, morning is a great time to talk to the waters about the worries that emerged during the night.

The words to this spoken or sung prayer came from a young musician whose name I have forgotten. She shared these words at a Medicine Circle held by Barbara Three Crow in Red Hook, NY over ten years ago. If she sees these words and claims them I will give her credit here. I thank her for her offering that I share with the waters.

Love and gratitude to the water,

Love and gratitude to the water,

Love and gratitude, love and gratitude to the water.