A couple of nights ago I was browsing through my book collection when I found something I haven’t opened in a long time: my pagan prayer book. The actual book is called A Book of Pagan Prayer by Ceisiwr Serith. I used to use this book all the time when I was still a practicing pagan, and when I opened it and started to read some of the prayers all these memories and sensations came flooding back and it was just a wonderful moment of nostalgia. I quickly grabbed my journal and began to write. Reading prayers inspire me to find/create new ones to add to my arsenal, as it were. Once upon a time, I imagined compiling my favorite prayers– along with recipes, rituals and traditions– into a nice book to pass down to my children and grandchildren. Like a Book of Shadows, but with a better name. Shadows to me says secrecy, and this would be a book I would want my family to know about and use freely.
Ultimately I never got around to it, for a number of reasons. The first was that I was always finding inspiration at the most in opportune moments, with me grabbing scratch paper and scribbling frantically before stuffing the paper in my bag to look at later. The problem with using scratch paper is that it is easily mistaken for trash, so half the time I was throwing away my own creative ideas without realizing it and the other half of the time I was left with piles of scratch paper– totally disorganized and conducive to good spiritual practice. The second reason then was that I couldn’t seem to get myself organized enough to use my ideas as reference points for my rituals and prayers, so eventually I stopped writing altogether. I also think I had this idea in my head of using a leather-bound book that I would write in all my “secrets to spiritual success” and it would be this beautiful book with illustrations and calligraphy and it would be Etsy-worthy. But I’m not an artist, nor am I a calligrapher, and as a left-hander my writing always ends up slanted unless I write on lined paper. You don’t use lined paper in a leather-bound book! It never occurred to me to use maybe a binder with dividers first, to get the thoughts down in an organized fashion, and then get someone else to print it and bind it when it was ready.
When I found the prayer book, I was inspired to start this up again. I think it’s important to have one place to hold all the knowledge I’ve gathered that I can reference when needed and also use it to memorize things like prayers, songs, recipes and rituals. My plan is to purchase a nice big binder and paper with dividers. I’ll categorize my knowledge and create a table of contents and index to stay organize and find things I need easier. In the next few months I’ll collect/create the thing I think add to my spiritual practice and (who knows) might be useful to my children and grandchildren, should they want to follow in a similar path. Then, I’ll see if I can get it turned into an actual book. I’ll keep you posted on my progress, and maybe share a few prayers that really touch my heart or keep me connected to the Divine.
What about you, readers? Got an prayer or song that speaks to you that you’d like to share? Or perhaps a witchy recipe or meaningful ritual? Share it in the comments!