Editor's Note: While the following article focuses on connecting with the blessings of Goddess energy, you can substitute whatever other term you are comfortable with to invoke Divine Energy.
The power of affirmation, prayer, and blessing has been used for thousands of years in both spiritual and folk rites, by priestesses and priests, and by people trying to bring health, harmony, and happiness into their lives. In earlier times at the gigantic stone temples that dot the English countryside, high priestesses would call in the divine powers and blessings of the Goddess.
Many blessings and prayers have been passed down in oral traditions for generations before finally being written down. Often the old texts are wonderful resources for your own blessings, prayers, and affirmations. As with anything, their meanings change with time and use. Reinvented by each new generation, through time they have developed a mythic universality. An example is the following Goddess blessing, based on an old Irish prayer.
May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm on your face
May the moon glow soft upon your door
And the rain fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again,
May the Goddess bless
And hold you in her loving arms.
How Affirmations, Prayers, and Blessings Work
Positive thinking works. It's a matter of having faith not only in the affirmation, prayer, and blessing, but also in who you are, without distorting that image into something that is not you. There are ways to empower yourself so you can go out and be in the world, and no matter what happens, you can come out of any situation with what you want and feeling good about yourself.
Affirmations, prayers, and blessings start out as a conscious process. Each time you get up in the morning and tell yourself you are a healthy, wonderful human being and that you are moving toward your goals, you are reinforcing the positive elements of the affirmation. The more you reinforce this feeling on a conscious level, then the more your subconscious begins to pick up on it. This ritual initiates change on a personal level. Suddenly you begin to have faith in yourself and in your skills. You realize that you have the ability to be the person you truly want to be. Any self-doubt that you harbored over the years begins to dissipate, replaced by a sense of personal power that previously you had only dreamed was possible.
Much of your self-doubt comes from your socialization, which begins at an early age with your culture, parents, siblings, and interactions with other people. Affirmations, prayers, and blessings can overcome this self-doubt and replace it with something positive. You are basically composting what doesn't work about your life, so it can be used to grow better and more healthy personal patterns.
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How to Create Affirmations, Prayers, and Blessings
You can customize your affirmations, prayers, and blessings to fit your personal situation, making them even more powerful. After you do a few affirmations and begin to understand the simple formula, you will have fun adapting and creating your own.
Each affirmation, prayer, and blessing is directed toward a basic goal. You want a certain outcome as a result of repeating the affirming words. This is your expectation and intention. Sometimes the question, "what do you want?" seems unanswerable, but if you break it down into its different parts, suddenly the question won't seem quite so overwhelming. Take it a step at a time, and ask yourself, "What would I be doing in my life if time and money were not considerations?"
Affirmations, prayers, and blessings work best when they address specific issues. When you begin creating your own affirmations, this is something to keep in mind. Work from the specific to the whole. Like double vision, you must always be looking not only at the present, but also how the present will affect the future. Your life patterns work on many levels simultaneously.
Modern psychology uses positive affirmations, prayers, and blessings as tools to help people change their mental patterns. Ancient mystery traditions used them as ways for communing with the divine Goddess, the Mother of all life. It is from her womb we are all born.
To create a simple affirmation, I begin with a basic phrase consisting of one or two lines. Keeping it short and to the point makes it easier to remember and makes repetition easy. A basic affirmation for healing is as follows:
Today and every day, I feel the healing power of the Goddess flowing through me.
Once you have a basic affirmation to work from, you can then begin to tailor it to fit other situations and needs. If you are at period in your life where you need wisdom, you can change the affirmation to fit your situation.
Today and every day, I feel the divine wisdom of the Goddess filling my body, mind, and spirit.
To give the affirmation more power, you can call upon a particular Goddess to help give you the wisdom you need. Keep repeating the lines until you begin to feel the power of that Goddess entering into you. You may feel shivers on your skin, for example. You will feel a sense of wisdom in knowing that you are being helped to make the right choice. Imagine in your mind's eye the great Celtic Goddess Anu, whose main power was her motherly wisdom, as you repeat the following affirmation to yourself.
Today and every day, I feel the divine wisdom of the Great Mother Goddess Anu filling my body, mind, and spirit, and helping me to make the best choices possible.
You can even add your name to personalize the wording even more. For example,
Today and every day, I, Sirona, feel the divine wisdom of the Great Mother Goddess Anu filling my body, mind, and spirit, and helping me to make the best choices possible.
As with the old Irish blessing at the beginning of this chapter, another way of personalizing affirmations, prayers, and blessings is to adapt or rewrite one that you really love that fits the situation. Early Christians rewrote many pagan affirmations, prayers, and blessings, which took on a universal and archetypical nature over centuries of continual adaptation. The idea is to take something that works and make it better. Just change the wording so it's more personal and better suits your needs.
Successful Affirmations, Prayers, and Blessings
To make your affirmations, prayers, and blessings more successful, set up a sacred space for doing them, and imagining clearly exactly what you want to accomplish. By doing these two things, you give your affirmations, prayers, and blessings a place to be and a structure, which will provide better results.
To create a sacred space in your home, office, or garden for doing affirmations, prayers, and blessings, pick a place that is out of the way and private. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate, but just a space in your home or yard where you feel comfortable. Place an image of the Goddess or something that represents her in your space. This can be anything from a statue, a favorite rock, or if you're outside, a tree or plant that resonates with Goddess energy.
Besides something signifying the Goddess, sacred space objects that you have a kinship with work as well, such as a lucky coin for prosperity affirmations, prayers, and blessings, or the picture of a loved one when working on love. Other things you can bring into your sacred space include objects that signify the elements, such as incense for air, a candle for fire, a glass of juice, wine, or other liquid for water, and a potted plant in soil for earth. Beyond this, you can add most anything into your sacred space, such as scented oils or crystals and gemstones, that help you stay focused and directed when doing your affirmations, prayers, and blessings.
To make your affirmations, prayers, and blessings more successful, have a clear intention of what you want. By imagining what you want from the affirmation, prayer, or blessing, you give definite direction to where you are going with it. As you recite the line of an affirmation, prayer, or blessing, hold the image of what want in your mind: see it; feel it; sense it completely; be it! Once you step into the divine domain of the Goddess, you are summoning an energy that knows no bounds. You are releasing an eternal power that can wield incredible results!
When you adjourn to your sacred space, begin by reading the affirmation, prayer, or blessing out loud to yourself. When you do so you are engaging three senses: your eyes in reading, the sensation of your voice in your chest as you read, and your ears in hearing the words when you speak them aloud. As you read the affirmation, prayer, or blessing, feel its natural cadence. See it in your mind, feel it in your senses, and be it with your total self. When done in this way, affirmations, prayers, and blessings become a way for you to unleash your full potential.
The Power of Repetition
Verbal repetition has always been a part of spirituality. Many spiritual traditions, such as that of Buddhists and Druids, use repetition as a way for reaching a divine state. Reaching a divine state makes whatever you do afterward that much more powerful.
Keeping affirmations, prayers, and blessings short makes them easy to remember, repeat, and use wherever you go. Repetition creates an altered state, making you more receptive to the positive intention of the affirmation, prayer, or blessing.
An altered state can also make you more receptive to connecting with the energy of the Goddess. You can make affirmations, prayers, and blessings happen on your own, but when you ask for the divine help of the Goddess, you add infinite power to whatever you do. It is not a matter of control; it is a matter of cooperative intention. As I have stressed before, it important to have a clear idea of what you want.
The ancient technique of repeating the Goddesses' names for healing, guidance, and protection is at the heart of the practice of affirmation, prayer, and blessing. By using a particular Goddess's name, you invoke her power. By repeating her name, you create an altered state that builds a rapport with the Goddess. You enter into a divine state of being that is One with the Goddess.
In the case of longer affirmations, prayers, and blessings, the more you repeat the affirmation, the more impact it will have. The repetition at certain times of the day becomes a sort of tradition within your life. Building traditions is important when making patterns that you want to continue into the future.
Repetition is at the heart of the idea of patterns, which is what the Goddess is all about. The annual cycles of the Earth -- spring, summer, autumn, and winter -- are her many faces as she progresses through the year. In Celtic culture, it was the duty of the bard to remember and record through story and song the many blessings, invocations, and affirmations of the prevailing times. As they came down through the generations, these stories began to take on mythic qualities. This is the way of mythology. It is always being created and recreated.
The same is true of affirmations, prayers, and blessings. If one person says an affirmation, prayer, or blessing, it produces an energy that can change his or her life. If a billion people recite an affirmation, prayer, or blessing, its energy can change the very fabric of humanity. We could actually make human thought itself kinder and more compassionate and embrace love and peace as mainstays in our lives.
Timing and Practice
Affirmations, prayers, and blessings can be done during the day or at night. Just upon waking, just before going to sleep, and at set times periodically throughout the day are the best times to practice them. They work best when you incorporate them into your daily routine. Some of the best times for doing affirmations, prayers, and blessings are in the morning, before meals, when you are feeling stressed out or depleted of energy, and in the evening. At these times you'll find yourself more receptive to the positive effect that affirmations, prayers, and blessings can have on your overall psyche.
When you get up in the morning, your mind still lingers between the dream and waking worlds, making it more open to suggestion. By doing affirmations, prayers, and blessings before your mind has a chance to fully awaken, you have an open route into your subconscious.
Mornings are the time when most people begin their day, and as such, are a time of preparation and expectation. Morning affirmations, prayers, and blessings are best centered around the idea of revitalizing you and preparing for the day. Affirmations, prayers, and blessings that set daily goals and reaffirm your expectations for the day are excellent to do in the morning when the energy is fresh.
Before meals are a good times for affirmations, prayers, and blessings because most of us have a set time or pattern for meals on a daily basis. By incorporating these rituals into your mealtime, you give sustenance to your spirit, and at the same time, you give sustenance to your body. Also, before meals is excellent time to thank the Goddess for the food on your table and to ask for her blessings.
Often during the day you have times when the stress level goes way up or you suddenly feel very depleted of energy. Both of these are excellent times for doing affirmations, prayers, and blessings. You can do affirmations, prayers, and blessings that will calm and relax you, as well as invigorate and empower you, depending on what you need.
Evenings also offer an excellent time for doing affirmations, prayers, and blessings. Whereas mornings are about expectation, evenings are a time of reflection. Also evenings are usually a time of play and romance rather than work. Thus your evening affirmations, prayers, and blessings need to be more reflective but at the same time filled with love and merriment.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Red Wheel/Weiser Inc. ©2003.
Goddess Bless! : Divine Affirmations, Prayers, and Blessings
by Sirona Knight.
Goddess Bless! couldn't be more practical -- or more needed. Sirona Knight has collected blessings and prayers that have been passed down for generations. She combines them with contemporary, specific affirmations and prayers she's created to help readers call on the Goddess's wisdom and energy to achieve their goals.
Info/Order this book.
About the Author
Sirona Knight is the author of over twenty books including Shapeshifter Tarot Book, Moonflower, Erotic Dreaming with the Goddess, Celtic Traditions, The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Runes, and Love, Sex, and Magick.