We live in an interconnected universe, where inanimate touches the animate, immaterial (in spiritual terms) touches matter, and the quality, depth and sacredness of life, to many people, is becoming all the more apparent and precious.
There is a need.
We can learn a lot from each other, and from creation. Those who have (or have had) dogs and cats as companions, will know we can learn a lot from animal-kind, especially.
’But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. In his hand [the Source of All] is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:7, 8, 10. The Book
Which of us never climbed a tree when younger and enjoyed it’s ‘company’. Ah, trees! Yes, we can learn a lot from trees, plants, too. And so, we are all connected to the whole of creation, to enjoy, to journey with and, when necessary, to protect. Yes, we have a responsibility to the environment – the garden in which we have been placed for a time.
Creation-kindness is important.
We can absorb much wisdom from ancient and current ‘tribes’: Celts, Druids, Pagans, ecologically-aware main-stream believers and others. Perhaps one place to start in in our intentionality to step up to the plate, and begin with understanding the needs of the hour and to respond with blessing, liturgy and well-wishes (prayer) etc to and for creation.
‘Blessed are you…Maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired Saint Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless this pet. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you…[Source of All], in all your creatures! Amen.’ The Blessing of Pets at Franciscan Churches. Part/adapted.
Over the next week or so, formulated ceremonies for blessing our companions at the birth or home-bringing, their birthdays, passing-on or for those animals who have passed-on some time ago, remembering them will be penned. There will be rituals and liturgy for them, and for the general environment in which we find ourselves – even in the city there is a need for blessing and well-wishing of flora and fauna for good things. And, then there is the wilder world in need.
Global. Local. Glocal!
But, for now, here are some general blessings and minor liturgy to get us started, that you might use for animal-companions (present or deceased) and for wild flora and fauna present in your local eco-community. As always do adapt the following words to best suit your requirements. The power and efficacy of the words lay in your intentionality and the Source of All who hears and expedites.
For all living beings:
Leader: Whatever living beings there are,
All: Either feeble or strong
Leader: Either long or great…
All: Either seen or which are not seen, and which live far or near,
Leader: Either born or seeking birth,
All: May all creatures be happy minded.
From the Sutta Nipata, 8:145-146. (Buddhist scripture)
And, for dogs (deceased):
With my hand upon his head,
is my benediction said, therefore, and forever.
Blessings on thee, dog of mine,
pretty collars make thee fine,
sugared milk make fat there!
Pleasures wag on in thy tail –
Hands of gentle motion fail
nevermore, to pat thee
Yet be blessed to the height
of all good and all delight
pervious to thy nature.
Only loved beyond that line,
with a love that answer thine,
Elizabeth Barret Browning, from ‘To Flush, My Dog (Deceased)
And, for spiders:
Spider, your threads are well stretched.
Wily hunter, your nets ar well woven.
Spider, you are assured of abundant food.
Forest/nature), be propitious.
May my hunt/life be joyous as spider’s.
Pygmy blessing (adapted)
And, for frogs:
In am moonlit night on a spring day,
the croak of a frog
pierces the whole cosmos and turns into a single family.
Chang Chiu-Chi’en (Zen Buddhist poet)
And, for cats:
Then my best friend
on all the Earth
Sit upon my lap
not to be comforted
but to soothe.
Wizard of the heart,
when the world fails,
or the day weighs,
with a wave of the tail
or soulful glance
makes the Universe
shine once more.
Magician, Arlene Gay Levine
And, for trees:
I part the out thrusting branches
and come in beneath
the blessed and the blessing trees.
Though I am silent
There is singing around me.
Though I am dark
there is vision around me.
Though I am heavy
there is flight around me.
Woods by Wendell Berry
Specific ceremonies and liturgies will appear over the next few weeks to give thanks, to pray or well-wish for certain ecological needs, or as eco-caims using visualisation to send support to certain areas, as well as ceremonies and liturgies for specific types of animals. flora and fauna blessings in our local community and worldwide.
Blessed be you Tree of Life,
with your roots reaching down to the dark centre of the universe,
your leaves yearning towards the light beyond heaven.
Shelter me with all your creation as I rise up this day.
(alternative last line)
Shelter me with all your creation as I take my rest this night.
Tess Ward, The Celtic Wheel Of The Year