Category Archives: Practice

Breathing Our Prayers

 Sacred Dove Mandala

About a month ago, I wrote about the magick of our breath. In our tradition, the season of Spring (early February through end of April) is the season of the element of Air and of the archetype of the Artist. We focus on our breath as the mover of life force, the meeting of spirit and body that is life triumphant. The breath is our spirit’s way of enlivening and animating the matter of the body. Attending to the breath links the conscious self to the other parts of our self, including our Divine Self, or our personal God/Goddess.

Our breath is our prayer to this Divine Self. Communing with that Spark is as natural as breathing in and out, filling ourselves with life and spirit. In Fifty Years in the Feri Tradition, Cora Anderson, one of the founders of the Feri Tradition and an influence in our tradition, tells us:

“The more natural and intimate your contact with the [Godself], the more sure you will be with the results of your prayer. You should pray first to your personal God before trying to contact other Gods. When this kind of prayer becomes as automatic as speaking to your loved ones, it is then possible to commune with the Gods in a loving wholesome way.”

And so, we practice the Ha Prayer, a prayer of breath and life force.  There are several variations of this prayer, each tailored to a particular path or need within the individual. This is how I practice this prayer.

Bring your attention to the energy all around you. Bring your attention to your breath. Begin to beathe comfortably and deeply.  Say “May all my souls be straight within me.”

Ask your Younger Self (or Fetch, Child Self, Lower Self, Wild Self, Unconscious) to store the energy you are about to take in.

Begin a four-count breath. For example, inhale to a count of three (or four or five or seven…), hold for a count of three, exhale fully to a count of three, and hold again for a count of three. 

Breath in sets of 4 breaths until your body begins to tingle and you fill yourself full of life energy. I find it helpful to dedicate the first breath to my body, the second to my Younger Self, the third to my Conscious Self, and the fourth to my God Self. This round repeats for 8, 12, or 16 breaths.

When you are well charged, ask your Younger Self to direct the energy where it is most needed to align your souls and create a clear channel of energy within you. Trust your Younger Self to know what to do.

On the last breath, tilt your head back as you breathe out and blow a breath of air upwards. Send the energized breath to your God Self, which you visualize as a ball of blue fire floating above your head.

By “feeding” your God Self in this manner, you are stepping on the path of connecting and communing directly with that part of you that is eternal, which is our link to the gods. As my teacher, Katrina Messenger, says, “our acceptance of the blessings of the gods is our greatest gift to them.”  The Ha Prayer is both an offering and an acceptance of the love and life of the universe.

May you be ever so blessed.

Sacred Dove Mandala (c) 2010

Winter’s Daily Practice

At Reflections Mystery School, we have seasonal daily practices that correspond to the element of the season: Earth in Winter, Air in Spring, Fire in Summer, and Water in Autumn.  These daily practices are meant to connect us in a physical and energetic way to the element of the season.

In the Winter, we ground energetically and we massage our feet.

Our Feet Touching Means We're Married

Grounding brings us back to the present, back to our bodies. Here and now, we are effective agents of our Work. We are only able to answer the call of our vocation by being fully present. When our minds and our energy is scattered this way and that, like tangled yarn batted about by a small kitten, nothing makes sense. Threads that look like they lead somewhere double back on themselves and leave us feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. Taking the time to bring our awareness back  and finding that still point inside of us gives us the space to listen and move with intent and purpose.

Massaging our feet further focuses our attention to the parts of ourselves that actually move us around this physical plane. When we practice an embodied spirituality, being aware of and taking care of our bodies is a holy act. Our bodies have a great deal to teach us, if we take the time to learn. Our bodies have a great dealt to tell us, if we take the time to listen. Massaging the feet communicates to the body that we do value its messages, that we consider it sacred and worthy of our attention.

Every year, someone asks of our teacher “how is massaging my feet a spiritual or magical practice?” She has her own answer, and mine may be quite similar. There is a saying about magic that energy follows attention. When we pay attention to our feet (our bodies) and care of them as holy, then the energy of healing and love flow to them and to all they do and represent to us: mobility, foundation, support, strength.

Our feet are the foundation of our bodies much as daily practice is a foundation of our spirituality.

Related posts that inspired me to write today:
Katrina Messenger on Radical Self-Care
Ketzirah on Sustainable Spirituality
Christine Valters Paintner on The Exquisite Tenderness of Bodies

Photo of my feet and my husband’s feet on vacation at the Delaware seashore, 2008.