The Rainbow Blessing [Celtic Poem, Liturgy & Blessing]

20170710 RAINBOW BLESSINGWe live in a universe full of vibrant colour, and though we can only see part of the spectrum, what we can see is wonderful in its beauty.

We can witness the yellow radiance of the daily new-born sun as it rises above the horizon, to the deep red colour of evening and sunset. Grass, trees, flowers, a superabundance of insects and animals, nature arrayed in all its beauty is set before us in a blaze of colour, to gaze upon in awe and for us to be blessed.

The following, then, may be used as a poem for yourself or as liturgy in a ritual, and as a blessing to you and others:

Title: The Rainbow Blessing

May the blessing of the red sun as it sinks below the horizon be yours.
May the blessing of orange, the colour of flame and hearth be yours.
May the blessing of the wild, green earth and all life be yours.
May the blessing of the blue sea and wind which calls forth waves upon it be yours.
May the blessing of indigo, the twilight colour of change and coolness be yours.
May the blessing of violet, the colour of majesty and might be yours.
And may all the colourful blessings of the God Of The Rainbow be upon you and yours, now and always.

Blessings, Tadhg

 

 

Blessings At This Time Of Alban Hefin / Summer Solstice

20170620 SUMMER SOLSTICE BLESSINGS CARD

Sorry, there’s no article today, but if you clicked and arrived here,  then I wish a double blessing on you for checking this page, and because of the wonderful event of Alban Hefin (Welsh for ‘the light of the shore’) on 21 June 2017.

With deep gratitude.

And now at this time, may the blessing of the Blesséd Three be upon you and those whom you love. Love, Tadhg.

 

 

Power-Blessings 103: The Joy Of Responsibility : [3/4]

20170504 RESPONSIBILTY 3OF4 BLESSINGIt was a dark and  stormy night. It was late November, it was seven o’clock on a cold and wet, rather inhospitable Wednesday evening, as I entered a large hall belonging to a faith-group, ready to deliver a talk to a group. I was told to be prepared to address a group of 60-100 people, and so I was ready.

When the time of the talk arrived, it was clear that the rain, the cold, the inhospitable weather, the fact that the nation’s favourite ‘TV soap’ was being aired on (and the series was at the point where a major cliff-hanger was about to be revealed), and a major football match (soccer, to my American friends) was about to start, had taken their toll on the attendance figures in this hall. I stared from the front at seven people.

I wasn’t upset, as I do believe the people that could benefit from the talk were there. It wasn’t even that my ego needed ‘massaging’. But, a change had to be made to my plans.

With a group of 60-100 a talk could be given from the front, with say, questions at the end. All rather formal, pre-planned, and somewhat ‘distancing’, but probably the best and most proficient way to deliver a talk to 60-100 people. But, not to seven people.

Be prepared to be ‘underwhelmed’.

How we conduct a blessing depends on the circumstances, even the number of people involved. In taking that talk as an analogy, we have to adapt. What would work in some circumstances, will not work in other circumstances. We need to be aware and adapt.

‘The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.’  Mark Twain

In that talk, rather than stand at the front and deliver it in the style of a monologue from a distance, I got the few people to form a circle, rearranging their chairs and including one for me, and we turned the event into a dialogue. I delivered the talk but paused occasionally and included everyone by asking open-ended questions, by making it informal, and more ‘cosy’. It worked.

How we deliver a blessing will change.

Over the last couple of days we’ve looked briefly at what a blessing it, initially looked at intentionality (see here), and then looked at examples of the source, or the Source of power-blessings (see here). So, when to bless, and how to bless, and the responsibility that follows it are just as  essential, and a few thoughts about this follow.

If a person asks for a blessing, then you can gauge how to deliver that blessing. If you’re in their home, it may just be a whispered prayer, or if they’re used to and expecting something more vocal then it could be a moderately loud blessing, set words or improvised prayer-blessing.

In a formal setting, such as in a service or ceremony it may be also more ritualised, with physical actions appropriate to the circumstances.

‘Create inclusion – with simple mindfulness that others might have a different reality from your own.’ Patti Digh, Life Is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally

But, never inappropriate, and do anything never likely to embarrass the one being blessed. Even if it means, and it may be  good idea, to explain what you intend to do, so that their are no surprises as the ceremony unfolds.

After all, we want to be inclusive, and not exclude or ‘distance’ people.

In a café I might see someone nearby, someone unknown who I feel may benefit from a blessing. In such cases I’d probably visualise a power-blessing going from me to them, perhaps as a ball of light – about the size of a golf ball. Why not? Visualisation is important, as it is part of intentionality which is all important. If that ball of light is a metaphor, and I believe it is, then it could be an imagining of an actual happening, and I believe it is. Faith.

It may be okay to send someone a blessing incognito…but not always.

There are times, especially if you know the person and you would like to bless them, to ask, first, and really listen to them. It may be awkward for them, they may be unfamiliar with blessings, and to launch into blessing them without their consent may not only upset them, it may put an obstacle between you and them (and that’s the exact opposite of what a blessing should do), and you may be left half-way through blessing them and look faintly ridiculous. Ofcourse, we want to act responsibly, and there is no pressure – or shouldn’t be. Do watch out for the ego!

There are times when it’s best to ask to bless someone.

‘Never allow your ego to diminish your ability to listen.’ Gary Hopkins

Oh, I know several people, especially at formal gatherings when dozens of people are expected, do like to dress up for the occasion. And, why not? If it’s appropriate and ‘adds’ something to the occasion it may be something to encourage others to do, or to do, yourself!

To give a blessing, means first, create a space and to enter into liminality (to cross over that ‘threshold’), and to do that requires preparation and an act of significance. In terms of many churches this may involve the officiant entering the chancel or at least a raised platform, the dais; for Druids and others it may be casting a circle and entering it; for others it may be the donning of ceremonial clothing. All denote the movement into liminal space, sacred space, the ‘blessing-space’. But, it’s done in such a way as to be appropriate and helpful. But, what if you haven’t got your special attire or ‘tools’ (and for this, some use a small bell or incense, candle etc, depending on the formality of the setting)? What then? Ofcourse, you can still bless, because in essence..

…It’s best to keep it simple, anyway.

In blessing responsibly, we might be led to pray for people at a distance, perhaps for people in other lands, for endangered species of animals, for some area of the world where calamity has taken place. Then do it. Do it in an appropriate way – which will be different depending on whether you’re at home or at a public event and are scheduled to bless, depending on whether it is an event with small numbers or large, and whether it’s formal or informal. Adapt. Always try to be inclusive, and involve others. It’s not just ‘theatre’.

‘When everyone is included, everyone wins.’ Jesse Jackson

Be encouraged to bless.

But, it may be a lonely task. In many cases you may have questions that go unanswered, may not see the end result of your blessing (and that’s okay, really), or you may find that much of what you do is behind closed doors (and, that too, is okay, as it’s only the ego that wants to hog the limelight). Known or unknown, whether you have blessed a thousand times or are endeavouring now to do your first blessing, it’s okay. The power behind a blessing comes from far beyond, and it isn’t our power that is the force behind it, anyway – and that’s awesome to comprehend. The Source provides the power behind an energy-blessing. And, that means, that usually, it’s best to bless and leave the outcome to the Source, and not be too ‘prescriptive’ about what we’d like to see.

‘Spoken words have power beyond measure.’ Debasish Mridha

We, then are much like conduits, placing ourselves in that power flow from the Source, as intermediaries – and their are benefits to us.. We are like conduits. Whatever happens when we give a blessing – and, don’t expect those we’re blessing will necessarily ‘feel’ anything (it might happen, it might not), the blessing is effective (maybe, in some positive way unknown to us) because it depends on the power-source, and that’s not us, but the Source of All. Always, positive.

It’s not about us. It’s about the Source. What do you think?

So, what’s stopping you?

‘If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times. In the kingdom of love there is no competition; there is no possessiveness or control. The more love you give away, the more love you will have.’ John O’Donohue

Tomorrow, having mentioned that blessing another, others, events, animals, the planet etc can be a lonely exercise or ‘calling’, we’ll look at further encouragement, ‘teaching’ and mutual support. How can we assist each other?

Power-Blessing 102: The Source: [2/4]

20170503 THE SOURCE 2OF4 BLESSINGYesterday we briefly looked at the definition of blessing and intentionality, both vital starting places, and essential on our journey into the realm of power-blessings (see here).

Today, we look, briefly (and it is only a brief overview of a vast theme), at the energy behind such blessings, what it is, and why and how it can be visualised.

‘Your longing desires to take you towards the absolute realization of all the possibilities that sleep in the clay of your heart; it knows your eternal potential, and it will not rest until it is awakened. Your longing is the divine longing in human form.’ John O’Donohue

There is a school of thought that says the universe is a ‘vast sea of energy’. Not just ‘up there’ and out in the furthest reaches of the galaxy and beyond, but also in the space and locations we inhabit, and, indeed, the matter out of which we are made.  All of it is energy of one sort or another.

Connectedness.

That means that we’re part of the universe and have access to its power. But, there’s more. Ken Wilber calls us ‘holons’. A holon (Greek: ὅλον, ὅλος, holos, meaning “whole”) is something that is simultaneously a whole and a part. The word was used by Arthur Koestler in his book The Ghost in the Machine (1967).

Part and yet whole/all.

‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25;40b, The Book

We have our own intrinsic energy some say, and others might say the whole lot is ‘borrowed’ and comes from somewhere else, but it seems that we can share that energy, and it can be depleted, and be refilled. Refilled, from where? Opinions abound about ‘external’ sources.

Our energy? Another energy?

Some might not put too time into wondering where this source is, so long as the cycle of energy use, depletion and refilling is accomplished. Others, might say it comes from Universal energy, those who are from a sylvanic persuasion might say the energy comes from elementals or nature around us, others might say it comes from somewhere else, such as from angels or other benevolent beings of importance to the individual).

In each of these, if pressed, one would get a ‘picture’, or at last a good description of the source. Ofcourse, imagination comes into play here. Those who believe in a Universal energy store-house might picture a galaxy or the vast reaches of space, elemental energy-users might imagine a welcoming forest or forest inhabitants, an elemental and so on.

External and yet, internal.

‘The most important matter for a practitioner is to be able to break through the veil of the material plane in order to enter the ultimate dimension and see the interconnection between us and all other phenomena in the world around us.’ Thich Nhat Hanh,

So, when I put forward an ‘Ouranic store-house’ of energy ‘above’ us, and I do, I’m using picture-language, imagination and metaphor to describe something that, as those others already mentioned have found, is difficult to put into words, and we may well be describing exactly  the same thing in different ways. So, please don’t be upset if you have a different view to me – we can still learn from each other, and support each other.

It’s metaphorical.

Ouranos is Greek for the sky, or some would say heaven (and therefore, the Source, for me, is God. However, the use of the word ‘God’ is much overused in our society, so I go ‘further’ and would say the Source is the Christ – who manifested ‘himself’ initially 15 billion years ago, and works also through the universe, nature, events etc), and for me this is apt. That’s where, I believe, all real power and energy comes from. That’s my metaphor.

Ofcourse, the more I describe that sore-house ‘place’, the more inaccurate my description will be. Who can sum up the infinite vastness and majesty of spiritual places, such as heaven, using mere words? Rhetorical question. If we can imagine it, it must be much more.

But, (somewhat cheekily) I’d like to declare that I visualise that heavenly or ouranic store-house of energy as a wonderful meadow, tall with ripe corn, just waiting to be harvested by anyone that needs or wants it, and the Field-Owner is happy with you and I harvesting its energy – infact, it is grown for that specific purpose.. Now, ofcourse, it is more that that, but maybe on this occasion an insufficient ‘picture’ is better than none? Metaphors really are important.

What if earth
Be but the shadow of Heaven, and things therein
Each to other like, more than on earth is thought?’
John Milton, Paradise Lost

However, you describe it, I do believe we can ‘tap’ into that energy to fill (or refill) ourselves with the express purpose of passing that energy, those power-blessings on to others. There are a number of ways to ‘tap’ into that energy, such as one (or maybe a mixture) of the following

  • meditation (kataphatic)
  • good works
  • visualisation/imagination
  • intentionality
  • ritual (and you might like to get an inkling of power-ritual in this article poem – click here)
  • liturgy
  • prayer
  • meditation (apophatic) etc.

So, for instance, in using ritual I unusually use my imagination and enter, liminally, into that blessing-place; and also physically might wear something special, or light a candle or ring a bell  to signify the entering of sacred space. All metaphors – but important because they declare intentionality. Never diminish the imaginal (realm) or (physical) ritual, or liturgy. They open and close the path to amazing energy, and are the ‘carrier waves’ of power-blessings (as we will see tomorrow).

So, such energy comes from that store-house, for me it’s an ouranic store-house, but it’s more! Energy sounds so impersonal, just a matter of physics and mathematical equations, but I believe it’s more.

Personal.

Whether one accepts the idea of an Ouranic store-house, Universal store-house, elemental store-house etc, I do believe it’s more than just being zapped with energy. The Giver is Personal, the Power is Personal, it’s deeply experiential and meaningful, and our use of it as a conduit to other people, animals or nature etc is Personal.

That has repercussions when seeking that energetic infilling or refilling ourselves and using it for others. Responsibility is not a word that many like, but with tremendous power, responsibility is needed.

‘Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we blithely invoke? [We are like] children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness…we should all be wearing crash helmets.’ Annie Dillard, Teaching A Stone To Talk

How to exercise that power, the ways and how to do so responsibly is the theme of tomorrow’s article/blog.

 

Power-Blessings 101: Intentionality: [1/4]

20170502 INTENTIONALITY 1OF4 BLESSINGImagine in your minds eye,  thousand of  priests each Sunday morning, in their own locality invoking a blessing upon their congregation; or, in a small room an older person saying the words, ‘bless you’, to someone who has just done them a favour by visiting them; or a Christian praying for someone who is sick and who then utters those words of blessing at the end of the prayer; or a Druid in a grove, deep inside a forest uttering a blessing for nature in general and for an endangered species in particular. Each utters a blessing, and each believing it is necessary, even essential. And, it is!

We may not ‘see’ the effect of their blessing, but I do believe blessings are effective, and one day we will realise this. Perhaps, that day is today?

A ‘working’ definition of a blessing could be: an act of conferring on another person or object or event, some form of energy, or favour, or vital force that is person-related and full of power, with the intention of effecting some kind of change for the better. It’s a consecration. It’s effective. It’s something that is enjoyable and beneficial to all (and not just the person, animal or event being blessed).

‘A blessing is an invitation from one person to another to enter into and share this world. It is the opening of a door so we can enter this world together.’ David Spangler, ‘Blessing: The Art And The Practice’

If you think of a blessing in terms of some form of ritual and liturgy, then it takes place in time and space in the form of an action. But, it need not only be confined to this – a blessing could take the form of blessing others by assisting others with your skills and talents, drawing alongside them and giving them your time, giving them something physically, even smiling at someone to lift their spirits etc. All these are actions! But, there’s more.

‘A blessing is the passing of spirit between us. It’s a slash in the flesh of the ego…’, David Spangler, ‘Blessing: The Art And The Practice’

There are so many ways to bless, but perhaps the ritual and liturgy (action and words) is a good place to start, as that’s the channel it can flow through, initially. Subtle energy.

It flows though us, but I’d like to suggest that it originates elsewhere. Yes, each one of us has an inherent worth and power, and so we have an ‘energy store’ from which to bless people, animals and creation, the world and events, but there’s more. That’s not all of it.

We have access to a veritable infinite store-house of blessing-energy, and so we can view ourselves as a conduit calling upon that huge reservoir of blessing-energy, tapping into some and conferring it on others, moving it around, dealing with obstacles,  and overcoming them, of being filled up with that energy, depleting it, and then, in turn, ‘topping it up’. Such blessing-energy flows, and is quite ‘circular’!

As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
‘Who touched me?, Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, ‘Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.’
But Jesus said, ‘Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.’ Luke 8:42b – 46, The book

There are a number of reasons why someone may not want to bless, whether they’re thinking of a time of ritual and liturgy, a time of prayer, of uttering the words ‘bless you’, or being involved in some action. Some may feel they’re out of their depth, others that they’re not qualified and maybe then defer to another, whilst others might feel its presumptuous, or maybe, they’re not quite sure what a blessing really is and how to confer a blessing. We can always find reasons not to bless. The ego can be quite good at ‘getting us off the hook’.

However, each one of us can bless! Even a novice, a beginner, with no formal experience can bless. And, if you feel uncomfortable, initially, or feel you’ve made a mistake…don’t worry. Intentionality, is of paramount importance here. The fact that you wanted to bless someone, an animal or part of creation, or an event, I believe, means a blessing was conferred. The Source of All honours our intentions.

‘What will you do with your one precious, wild life?’, Mary Oliver

Ofcourse, once you start, most people want to know more about how and when to bless, more about that huge and infinite store-house of blessing-energy etc. And, that’s where the next few articles may come in useful, and a few one-day workshops planned over the next few months will benefit some (and more about these will follow later in the week).

Suffice to say, if you’ve got this far in the article, I’d like you to take the next step, commit to reading the other articles that will follow, here, on this fascinating and essential theme, and start to wonder how you can be (more) involved in the blessing other people, animals and creation around us, and events etc. You have a vital role to play, that no one else can undertake. Only you.

If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times. In the kingdom of love there is no competition; there is no possessiveness or control. The more…you give away, the more…you will have.’ John O’Donohue

How do we prepare for blessing others, what is this infinite store-house of blessing-energy and how can we access it, what is reciprocity, how can we support each other? It continues tomorrow…and throughout this week.

Everything You Wanted To Know About Blessing, But Were Afraid To Ask*

20170428 BLESSING 0 BLESSING‘Bless you’, I said.  ‘But, I haven’t sneezed’, was their reply.

And so, for some, that’s the limit of their understanding of when a blessing is initiated, or perhaps an indication of their level of their uncomfortableness or embarrassment at being blessed.

Have you ever been asked to bless? As a Druid, Celtic, Christian, Pagan, or, of another faith or belief, have you ever been asked, or bypassed the request, or felt uneasy about it?

It may feel odd to receive a blessing in daily life; it may seem strange to  bless or want to bless another person. But, blessings are great events full of meaning, power, pathos and convey favour, love, understanding, acceptance, promise and, well…a blessing!

And yet, we are reluctant to bless, aren’t we?

‘When you wish someone joy, you wish them peace, love, prosperity, happiness… all the good things.’  Maya Angelou

It is such a simple thing to utter those words, and yet we refrain, perhaps thinking it too easy. At other times, we be reluctant because we think it too complicated or disqualify ourselves, deferring to others – thinking, ‘They have a qualification, a title, and office, and so they are best placed to bless others’. Too simple.  And, we miss out blessing others, and miss out on being blessed. We seem to place obstacles in our path, close the door, and find reasons not to bless.

Perhaps there’s a middle route?

‘See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.’ Rev 3:8b, The Book

Who can bless? This is an easy one to answer. You can! We identify ourselves in so many ways, and usually materially, but then we live in a very materialistic world. We might identify ourselves by the work we do, our familial status, age, our social status or, perhaps, our income. Very seldom do we say, I am myself. I am spirit. I am soul. There is a holiness in me. Therefore, I am someone who can bless’. [Excerpt from David Spangler’s book, ‘Blessing: The Art And The Practice’]

I really do believe we live in a time when there is a great need to bless people, local and world events, etc eco-nature concerns, events, workplaces, homes, projects and endeavours etc. It’s time to ‘send out’ those blessings, and in return to realise we, too, are blessed. Whether we are Druid, Celtic, Christian, Pagan, of another faith or belief, I do believe (more) blessing is needed at such a time as this, and so all of the articles on TadhgTalks next week will be on blessing in one way or another. I’m excited about that, and would encourage the same in you. You are called! Needed! And, have that capability and energy, and will be blessed, too.

‘The most important matter for a practitioner is to be able to break through the veil of the material plane in order to enter the ultimate dimension and see the interconnection between us and all other phenomena in the world around us.’ Thich Nhat Hanh,

It is so important that we know the value of blessing, how to bless in formal ways and informal ways, to bless and be blessed in the process. It is not just a duty and a joyful one at that, it’s more. It’s your birth-right and a calling from another realm.

‘Behind your image, below your words, above your thoughts, the silence of another world waits. John O’Donohue

Next week, we’ll consider exactly what a blessing is, the source of it/them, the ‘how to’ (using the Caim, imaginal ‘tools’ etc), the reasons for blessing, and the reciprocal nature of blessing-energy. Yes, you can benefit, too.

 

* Well, perhaps not everything.

 

Anamcara: House Blessing [For Gruffyd & Megan]

160815 house blessing1 ANAMCARA MINISTRY

This morning I had the great privilege of leading a house-blessing for a newly-wed couple, Gruffyd and Megan, who live local to me in the rugged wilds of north Wales.

Gruffyd and Megan recently moved into this, their first bought-together house. Having rebuilt part of their cottage and redecorated, having put the furniture in place, they now wanted to have the house blessed to make it a home; and had asked me, an Anamcara (gaelic/celtic for ‘soul friend’) specialising in liminality (part of which includes leading ceremonies), to lead this house-blessing. Oh, I’m always pleased, nay, overjoyed at doing such blessings.

They wanted a quiet ceremony, a private one, and one that was short, and semi-formal. Having already worked with them prior to this, to explain how we could bless each room in turn etc, and whether they wanted to recite some of  the prayers and responses, I arrived at 10am this morning. As agreed, I wore my white alb and black scapular, and had  with me three dorchau pen (Welsh for ‘head wreaths’, of the green fern and other green-leaf sort),  one for each of us. It’s what Gruffyd and Megan wanted, and I do so love ritual and liturgy when done in a deep, reverential manner, focussed on the One.

What follows, then, is part of a semi-formal ceremony, well, some of the ‘locational’ prayers used, really. In this case, the happy couple and I would be moving around the house, blessing each room. In each place water was sprinkled as a symbol of blessing after each prayer, and sometimes (as is tradition in these parts) salt. You might like to use (and adapt, as necessary) some of the prayers used. Some like to ‘re-bless’ their house annually as a way of re-dedicating the space, and so invite me to do that, but you could do this, too, in your home, if you wanted, now and annually.

And, so at Gruffyd and Megan’s home, with a clear blue sky and with the brilliant sun shining down, a slight and refreshing breeze coming off the southerly mountains and warming the rugged landscape, and with Welsh bird-song filling the air, we all stood at the open door:

I spoke a blessing at the front door and hall blessing:

Blessed are you, Welcoming God.
At this front door and hall, may  those who come and go from this door,
know you as the constant Companion on the way.
Coming and going may
they may be sustained by your presence. 

Bring to this door both friend and stranger,
those who come in peace,
and guard this place from any who come with hostility in their heart.
May every grudge or malice be left on the doormat,
and may those who brought them leave them there,
and, when leaving, may they forget to collect them. Amen

We then moved into the living room/dining room, and I prayed:

Blessed are you, Inclusive God,
for you have established this room
for the purpose of relaxation and the enjoyment of company.
May your blessing fall gently upon all who share this room.
May all who gather here
be knit together in kinship on earth,
and find, as a foretaste, a glimpse,
of the communion of your saints in heaven. Amen

Then we moved into the kitchen. I prayed:

Blessed are you, God of Plenty, God of Grace.
You supply our every need
from the store-house of your great riches.
May this kitchen always be filled
with food in abundance.
And may the preparations here
be filled with joy and love.
Bless the hands that work in this place,
and bless those who eat what is prepared here. Amen

And, then in the bathroom, I prayed:

Blessed are you, God of pure water.
 You made us as whole persons
 — bodies, minds and spirit —
 and you called us good.
 May this place be a place to
 keep our bodies clean and healthy,
a place to feel refreshed, and wash
away all that clings to us, unnecessarily. Amen

And, then on into the two bedrooms. In each, I prayed:

Blessed are you, God of shelter and protection,
for you are the true rest of all people.
May you cover each person
with your gentle hands, and
may an angel reside here with protective wings outstretched.
Bless those who sleep here 
with hours of rest and refreshment,
that in sleeping they might rest in peace,
and upon waking they may rise to serve you and others
in their daily life. Amen

And, finally we moved into the garden, where I said:

Blessed are you, God of Nature, who is the Verdant Greening of All Creativity.
We gather together to ask your blessing on this garden,
what is grown here and the way it provides enjoyment, relaxation and beauty. Amen

We moved back into the house, where as arranged Gruffyd and Megan read a blessing from the Carmina Gadelica:

God bless the house,
From site to stay,
From beam to wall,
From end to end,
From ridge to basement,
From balk to roof-tree,
From found to summit,
Found and summit. Amen.

There followed a great lunch, great fellowship, and lots of photographs – family and friends can see these on Gruffyd and Megan’s FaceBook site.

 

 

Tadhg’s Journal: When Prayer Becomes Spell-Work?

160812 prayer a spell JOURNAL

Journal excerpt [A trip down memory lane]: I mix with people from many different backgrounds, faith-groups and ‘tribes’, and welcome the input and learning I gain from their different beliefs and ways of working. I am indebted to them.

‘Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance…’. Hebrews 10:22a. The Book

What they all have in common is a deep belief, and inclusiveness, and a passion. I value that today, and did so, just as much when starting out in matters spiritual, many years ago.

So, there I was (many, many years ago), a member of a ‘one-day’ healing workshop. It was hugely appreciated by me, as I wanted to be both a volunteer for this group as a prayer minister, and learn something from them about prayer, blessing and ministering to others. I was a wee, young man at the time. Maybe, somewhat naïve.

After all the theory and note-taking, and all the sharing in the workshop, and even more theory, we moved into the practical session – for some the least attractive part of the day.

We got into groups of three: for the first practical session, one would be the pray-er, one would be the recipient of the prayer-blessing, and one would observe and share their observations and encourage, afterward.  We would then have two more practical sessions, and swap roles, and in that way all three of us would experience ‘wearing those three different hats’.

Everyone seemed reluctant to be the one to pray first, so even at that early age, I said I’d go first. And I did.
I prayed for Ben. [The name has been changed to protect his anonymity]. The idea was to pray for and bless  the recipient, and for them to report any temperature external-skin changes. Did they feel suddenly hot, suddenly cold etc? Ben, I should point out came from a hugely hyper-hyper, reformed background, where such demonstrations are frowned upon, and had already said he was the kind of person that didn’t experience ‘Divine external experiences’ – never once in his life.

Nevertheless, I prayed. Mildred [the Observer – not her real name] observed. And, Ben ‘received’…..nothing.  Well, nothing external, nothing detectable.

Mildred the Observer reported her ‘findings’ and declared that the prayer didn’t work because Tadhg departed from the healing prayer by changing a few words! I so wanted to thank Mildred for her encouragement – but we were in a holy place.  I was nonplussed. I did ask Mildred, perhaps, it seemed as though nothing happened because Ben was the kind of person who had already declared that he was not the demonstrative type, and he nodded in assent. I also said, the blessing, nevertheless, had been given and we shouldn’t always be so worried about not receiving external ‘signs’. Ben had been blessed, I gently concluded. Ben smiled, assuredly.
‘No!’, said Mildred. ‘It was because you got the wording wrong. You departed from the prayer-formula because you changed a word or two. And, that’s why nothing happened’.

I did admit to changing a word or two, words that better seemed to fit my character, better fitted the situation, and which didn’t change the prayer-request one bit. Mildred was unconvinced.

 

Although of a young age, and somewhat naïve (then), there was something deep inside that informed me not to worry.

 
Changing a word or two in a prayer, if said from the heart, will have the desired effect. The Friend understands.

 
But it did cause me to question, later that day, what was Mildred thinking, when it came to prayer?

‘Be present with your want of Deity, and you shall be present with the Deity.’ Thomas Traherne

If she thought a word or two would change or nullify the prayer, then maybe she saw prayer as:
– magic? (A bit lit a Harry Potter spell, where, if you get the word wrong in a spell, then instead of making someone a price, you turn him into a frog), or
– dependent on her (or me, as I was the pray-er) (Our words, then,  have total power over everyone, including God it seems, and that God cannot or won’t act if the wording is incorrect), or
– a right way to pray and a wrong way etc.
One thing I’ve learned (and hopefully, it’s more than one thing, but I’m only listing one here and now) is this: it doesn’t depend on us!

 

‘When your intentions are pure, so too will be your success.’ Charles F Glassman

My mature Christian friends, as well as my mature Druid, Celtic, Wiccan, Light-worker friends and others, at least those I’ve spoken to, on this matter, seem to agree: it’s intentionality that is important, and the Source that is all-powerful.
If we get the lines wrong, nothing bad is going to happen. Further, if we believe we can get it wrong, we might be deterred from praying or blessing in the first place. If we ‘have the wrong end of the stick’, well, who wants to be turned into a frog?

 

No, its our intentionality that’s important. A prayer or a blessing isn’t a spell that can be mis-cast if we get a word wrong. A prayer is part of our communication with the Other.

 

I was once at a prayer meeting – still young, and so this occurred many years ago. Someone, who had only just joined that church and was new to ‘church circles’, church decorum and church language, took a turn in praying. She started praying about a friend who was really unwell, and she felt this came from the devil (whether that’s so or not, might be the theme of another article).

Sarah [not her real name], stood to pray, got a bit tongue-tied, was full of emotion and passion, and started rambling a little. None of us could hear her properly, not even the minister next to her….until she shouted, ‘Satan ,why don’t you f**k off, and leave my friend alone’. The minister heard her, I heard her, we all heard her. I loved Sarah for her authenticity in that prayer meeting, and I admit to trying to stifle a wry smile. I do believe God heard her.

‘May your prayer of listening deepen enough to hear in the depths the laughter of God.’  John O’Donohue

But, did God hear her prayer? Did he honour it? I like to think he did. I don’t think that that prayer went unanswered because an ‘unusual’ form of wording was used. I don’t think he ignored Sarah because she used a rude word. Her intentions were pure.

Of Course, our prayers are not Harry Potter-like spells. Intentionality is important in our prayers – and we should never fear to pray because we might not know  the words and get a word or two wrong, and yet many do fear. That’s a shame.

‘Pray continually…’ 1 Thessalonians 5:17, The Book.

 

[Apologies that the spacing on this article seems ‘odd’. I’m working on it]

Celtic Thought For The Day #11: Better, Together!

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I have a theory. If you want to be successful, hang around successful people. If you want to be clever, hang out where clever people go. And, if you want to be wise, then….well, you get the picture. It’s like osmosis, almost – we can soak up all those good things when in company.

I’m better off in company, than living a solitary life. [Please don’t misunderstand me: sometimes we need to draw aside, and some are called to the solitary life, but not me.] How about you?

And, that’s where you come in. I’m not going to ask you, if you’re thinking about me, to press the ‘like’ button and cut and paste, to prove it – oh, how I dislike it when asked to do that.

I want to just take this time to say thankyou, for frequenting my posts and/or locality so that I can benefit from your company, and learn from you. To date: I’ve benefitted from Light-workers, from Druids, Wiccan, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu friends and even evangelical Christians, oh and atheist friends, too, and others that I haven’t mentioned, but who are much-loved.

Better, together? Outside of your ‘tribe’, who are you grateful for?

A Fivefold Blessing For You: Refreshing Rain

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We live in a fast-paced age. It used to be that news would travel across the Atlantic, say, in a week and around the world in several weeks or even months, and then it took only hours with the telegraph; and today, with the internet, global news is simultaneous.

If the news is of murders and riots, famine, war or disease etc, it can be depressing. There is little time for reflection when everything is simultaneous. Little time to prepare oneself when the news is broadcast on tv, and enters straight into the living room. Little time to process the news, and assess the way in which we’re affected by those continual ‘negative jolts’.

We can suffer from ‘mean world syndrome’, become tired, over-anxious, exhausted and bewildered – what some might call ‘soul fragmentation’ or ‘soul loss’, and more so if we’re involved in the healing or creative arts, or some other (people-orientated) spiritual ministry.

Some are called to a life of solitude, but if you’re anything like me, you move between the mundane and the spiritual – but know that there is, really, no separation.  And, so, it is easy, then, to become ‘drained’ (and not even know it!).

There are times when it’s necessary to pause, just for a little while, and maybe, now, is just such a time for you? Time to pause and ‘re-charge’ those ‘batteries’, ready for the next instalment of this wonderful adventure called life.

I like liturgy – what we say is powerful. With a word all that is visible and invisible, was made!

And, so here’s an intentional, from-the-heart blessing (a sort of ’emergency repair kit’ for the soul) if you are weary, or in need of that much-needed ‘pause’ or need a refreshing energy influx;  from me to you, especially.

A fivefold blessing:

When the earth calls out to you, and reminds you of your vulnerabilities and hurts,
may there grow a mighty tree of strength and righteousness to quell your fears.

When the sea rages, and all you feel is the wrath of other people’s anger,
may refreshing rain fall kindly upon your soul to comfort and calm you.

When life’s winds blow loud and hard, and knock you off your feet,
may you hear the Voice, the Spirit, the Awen, the bat kol, speaking gentle words of encouragement in your ear.

When the sun scorches, and tests all that you once held dear,
may the moon, that pale, gentle, downward-looking face, smile upon you, to reassure you that you are not alone.

And may the Friend,
the Giver of Life,
the One who cares for all,
forever bless you in indescribable ways.