Dear monks, artists and pilgrims,
Blessings during this month of remembrance (November) when the veil between worlds is considered to be especially thin and we honor the ancestors of blood and spirit. I love this time of year, especially because we are actively reminded in both Celtic and Christian traditions that we have the love of thousands supporting us and offering us guidance and wisdom for our lives. As many of you know, ancestral healing work, as well as calling on the mystics, has been a central part of my spiritual practice for many years.
I sometimes get asked what my own prayer practice looks like so I thought I'd share an outline of a prayer that I have been using for some time now as part of my morning meditation calling in the divine, angelic, mystical, ancestral, and earthly presences that are available to all of us for support. It is a sequence I put together for my own needs and you are of course welcome to take parts of it and adapt for your situation (the names, songs, and types of herbs/oils). I have a song list I play and the prayer always unfolds intuitively (I wrote down parts of it here as an offering, again let your own words inhabit the prayer). I'll switch out songs as I find new ones that inspire. And sometimes I do this prayer without music at all.
HERBS – Burn smoke stick/incense to circle myself and open channel of connection between worlds (rosemary is especially for remembrance)
I begin by calling my energy back to me from all the places and situations where my attention has become scattered so that I might be fully present to the ways the sacred wants to be revealed to me this day. I open my heart to connection beyond the veil and to welcome in the many unseen presences who are here to support and guide me.
SONG – The Christ Hymn – Alana Levandoski
I call upon the presence of the Divine One, Sophia, the Source of Love and Wisdom, Mary, the Great Mother, Jesus the Incarnate One, may I feel your support in tangible ways and may you empower me to be a force for love in this world.
SONG – Archangel Invocation – Simon de Voil
I ask all the angels and archangels and those tasked with offering me protection and guidance to be present and keep all that would wish me harm at a distance.
SONG – Prayer of St Francis – Simon de Voil
I call upon the saints and mystics, especially Hildegard, Benedict, Clare, Francis, Brigid, Brendan, Gobnait, Ita, Kevin, and all the holy ones who have lived in the grace and fullness of love to be with me this day.
SONG – Calling All Angels – Jane Siberry
I call upon the ancestors –
The grandmother of grandmothers and grandfather of grandfathers (the names I use for my mother's motherline and fatherline)
My great great great great great great great grandmother and my great great great great great great great grandfather (the names I use for my father's motherline and fatherline)
And all of the other ancestors who are healed, well, and vibrant in spirit to be with me, support me, and guide me.
I invite the divine, angelic, mystical, and ancestral presences to encircle me, creating a boundary and container of love.
SONG – Canticle of Creation – Simon de Voil
HERBS – Drink a ritual cup of tea to infuse and nourish me with the gifts of the earth
I call upon the elements of water to bless, wind to enliven, earth to ground, and fire to spark, I ask that the land I live upon and the sea which borders it, the rivers and lakes, forests and mountains, the creatures and plants I share this place with, and the lands of my ancestors to nourish and support me and help me to celebrate life in its many abundant manifestations.
SONG – Listen to my Sighing – Richard Bruxvoort Colligan
I offer my deep and profound grief over all of the world's woundedness, I cry out in lament over the thousands of ways we daily subvert love for power and all the ways I participate in and uphold a broken and corrupt system which neglects the needs of those on the margins and causes untold suffering. I confess the ways I have fallen short and re-commit myself to being a presence and force for love and creativity.
SONG – Lost Words Blessing – Karine Polwart
I offer prayers for people and situations in the world who are especially weighing on my heart (naming them here).
I ask that all of these seen and unseen presences help to nourish me in my work and service to the world, in my path of healing my own wounds as well as extending healing space to others.
I ask that my night dreams be blessed with vision and new possibilities. May I be someone who helps create new pathways forward.
HERBS – Anointing oil to bless my day and work ahead. (I tend to use rose for healing of the heart, angelica for the archangels' protection, frankincense for the sacred masculine, mugwort for cultivation of night dreams)
SONG – Behold, I Make All Things New – Alana Levandoski
I often end by reading a poem and practice lectio divina with it followed by time for journaling.
With great and growing love,
Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE
Photo © Christine Valters Paintner