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Author Topic: Prayer Beads for a Specific Deity  (Read 8071 times)
Aster Breo
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« Topic Start: September 06, 2010, 02:13:41 am »

We've had several threads on prayer beads -- how people use them, ideas for creating them, etc.

My question at the moment is:  Has anyone made prayer beads that they have associated with a specific god/dess?  If so, how did you approach the beads?

I've been thinking about doing a set of prayer beads for several years.  But my path is specifically focused on Brighid. 

I can think of a couple of ways to design prayer beads for a broader Celtic Recon-type practice.  That would incorporate beads to associate with the realms of Land, Sea, and Sky, for example, or beads to represent various Celtic values.

But I'm drawing a blank on how to use beads as a way to tap into Brighid's energy specifically.  I'm toying with the idea of somehow representing healing, smithcraft, and poetry/learning.  But that doesn't really get me very far.  I'd really like to hear how others have designed similar bead sets.

Do you use prayer beads to keep track of the number of repetitions of a prayer, like people use rosary beads?  Do you use prayer beads with different kinds of beads to represent different "topics" of meditations -- that would be something like associating a blue bead with healing and a different color bead for healing, etc.?  Do you use beads as a simple tool for keeping your hands busy with something tactile, which you focus your brain on something else?  Or what?

I'm open to any ideas you'd like to share.

Thanks!

~MI
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darashand
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« Reply #1: September 06, 2010, 09:41:21 am »

We've had several threads on prayer beads -- how people use them, ideas for creating them, etc.

My question at the moment is:  Has anyone made prayer beads that they have associated with a specific god/dess?  If so, how did you approach the beads?

I've thought about doing something in this nature, but time contraints...argh...

I think you may want to focus on some sort of aspect of Brighid or even incorporate all aspects.  You could use: Jasper, Amber, Sun stones, Cornelian...Deep blue beads, some lighter blue stones, deep green stones (blanking on the names, lol) 

Gold beads popped up in my head...

As I am sure you know, Erynn Rowan Laurie discusses a type of "prayer" bead necklace in Circle of Stones that may help you for more Smiley
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« Reply #2: September 06, 2010, 12:40:36 pm »

I've thought about doing something in this nature, but time contraints...argh...

I think you may want to focus on some sort of aspect of Brighid or even incorporate all aspects.  You could use: Jasper, Amber, Sun stones, Cornelian...Deep blue beads, some lighter blue stones, deep green stones (blanking on the names, lol) 

Gold beads popped up in my head...

As I am sure you know, Erynn Rowan Laurie discusses a type of "prayer" bead necklace in Circle of Stones that may help you for more Smiley

Deep blue makes me think of lapis lazuli, light blue of turquoise or larimar (local Caribbean gemstone the color of the ocean), and deep green of malachite. I like the suggestion of incorporating all her aspects and domains in the design--perhaps each bead as a reminder of an aspect or a detail found in the lore or your own UPG?
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Aster Breo
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« Reply #3: September 06, 2010, 08:43:30 pm »

As I am sure you know, Erynn Rowan Laurie discusses a type of "prayer" bead necklace in Circle of Stones that may help you for more Smiley

Yep, I've had that book for a long time.  The beads she describes in it are interesting, but not exactly what I'm looking for -- although I'll probably steal a few ideas.
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« Reply #4: September 06, 2010, 08:48:33 pm »

Deep blue makes me think of lapis lazuli, light blue of turquoise or larimar (local Caribbean gemstone the color of the ocean), and deep green of malachite. I like the suggestion of incorporating all her aspects and domains in the design--perhaps each bead as a reminder of an aspect or a detail found in the lore or your own UPG?

Thanks for the color ideas.  I think I know what color scheme I'd want to use -- lots of blues and greens, maybe some fire colors.  I'll definitely put some aquamarine in.

A year or so ago, we had a thread on prayer beads, and I posted this idea.  I'm still thinking that might work.

But my problem is what to DO with the beads, not so much how to make them.  That is, whether to link a specific prayer to a specific bead, so when I get to that bead I say that prayer.  Or just use the beads to keep my hands busy during meditation.  Or...?

Aaargh!  I guess if this idea doesn't come naturally or easily, it's probably not useful for me right now.   Undecided

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« Reply #5: September 07, 2010, 12:38:11 am »


Aaargh!  I guess if this idea doesn't come naturally or easily, it's probably not useful for me right now.   Undecided


Or you just haven't had contact with the right idea yet Wink For me, I've been pondering using beads to keep me mindful. I like fiddling with things, and prayer beads would give me a reason to fiddle. I've heard people that would use them like the Hail Mary markers- they would say one prayer over and over again, using the beads to mark the number of times they've said it. A variation could be to have a prayer for specific colors and/or textures of the beads. I guess it really depends on what you want the beads for. The repetition idea strikes me as a great way to trance, f'ex, while concentrating on a deity.
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« Reply #6: September 07, 2010, 03:35:52 am »

Or you just haven't had contact with the right idea yet Wink For me, I've been pondering using beads to keep me mindful. I like fiddling with things, and prayer beads would give me a reason to fiddle. I've heard people that would use them like the Hail Mary markers- they would say one prayer over and over again, using the beads to mark the number of times they've said it. A variation could be to have a prayer for specific colors and/or textures of the beads. I guess it really depends on what you want the beads for. The repetition idea strikes me as a great way to trance, f'ex, while concentrating on a deity.

I would probably go for charging the seperate stones for the purpose or aspect they represent. Once the bracelet is done, I'd hold it in my right hand for the full 'feel' of the goddess, while fiddling with specific beads when pondering or meditation upon a specific aspect.
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« Reply #7: September 07, 2010, 10:47:28 am »

But my problem is what to DO with the beads, not so much how to make them.  That is, whether to link a specific prayer to a specific bead, so when I get to that bead I say that prayer.  Or just use the beads to keep my hands busy during meditation.  Or...?

Sorry about that.  It might be useful to just say the prayers as you reach each bead.  This will help you keep your focus and your place in the prayers, etc.  I suppose either would work really...

Don't stress out about it...the answer will come Wink
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« Reply #8: September 08, 2010, 05:55:56 pm »

Sorry about that.  It might be useful to just say the prayers as you reach each bead.  This will help you keep your focus and your place in the prayers, etc.  I suppose either would work really...

Don't stress out about it...the answer will come Wink

Also, if you would like to read it, I wrote a "rosary" type thing that may help you with your ideas? It's not Brighid specific, but it's general enough that you could tweak it. 
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« Reply #9: September 08, 2010, 11:18:28 pm »

Also, if you would like to read it, I wrote a "rosary" type thing that may help you with your ideas? It's not Brighid specific, but it's general enough that you could tweak it. 

I'd LOVE to!  If you don't want to share it publicly, you can PM or email me (moonivy53@gmail.com).

I'm thinking more and more about using the Kildare pilgrimage as a foundation, which would be a bead for each of the five standing stones, then adding a bead for each of healing, poetry/learning, and smithcraft, and one for fire.  And I'm thinking about a brief prayer related to each topic/bead.

Still definitely a work in progress.   Wink
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« Reply #10: September 12, 2010, 01:53:10 pm »


I know I'm a bit late getting in on this thread - but I thought I'd jump in anyway, if that's okay!

For a long time, I was kind of in your situation, Moon Ivy, where I loved the idea of prayer beads but didn't really know what to do with them. Then about two years ago, I started working with this meditation based on the Druid Prayer for Peace every morning, at first just repeating it as a kind of mantra, but then gradually building up a pattern of visualization that incorporated the three realms/elements as a way of aligning myself (this was inspired partly by the Three Cauldrons meditation I've read about in some Druidry books, and in part by T. Thorn Coyle's exercise in aligning the "three souls" in her recent book Kissing the Limitless). (I recently wrote up the entire meditation, and it's available here for anyone who's interested!)

After a time of working with this meditation just on its own, I realized that it would work really well with prayer beads, so I hit the craft store. The set I made (picture of them here) had five groups of three beads each, one bead for each line of the Peace Prayer (which in the visualization I used was a level of alignment). For three of the five groups of beads, I chose colors corresponding to the three realms of land, sea and sky (green tumbled stone, blue-dyed shell, and pale blue tumbled stone, respectively), for the first and last groups I used the same color (purple tumbled stone) for the times that I said the Peace Prayer as an opening and closing to the visualization. Between each group of three, I used a wooden spacer bead for the chanting of the awen.

I use this particular set of prayer beads all the time now. I find it particularly helpful when I'm traveling and don't necessarily have the time or space for a full altar set-up (even with my mini travel altar). The beads have become a kind of miniature altar in themselves, creating that circle of sacred space in a portable way. Plus, I love the aesthetic and the feel of them - having them with me encourages me to use them, which makes it easier to keep up with regular meditation.

I'm not sure if that helps much - the moral of the story, for me, is that it helps to have a prayer or set of prayers already in mind, maybe even that you've been working with for a while already. I had made a "Druid rosary" years ago but never really had a plan for them, so even though I liked them, I never used them. But having a purpose in mind already this time, it was easier to craft a set that I knew I would use.

I have been playing with the idea of crafting a set of prayer beads to use on my Flamekeeping days, specifically dedicated to Brigid. I would probably end up doing the same thing - coming up with one or two prayers at most that I would then repeat like a mantra while meditating on Brigid's different aspects. (A friend of mine sent me a lovely prayer "Brigid's Breastplate," which he wrote based on "Patrick's Breastplate" - also known as the "Rune of the Deer.")

I would love to hear what you end up doing with yours! I'm always looking for prayers and invocations to Brigid, since I don't know very many. Smiley Please keep us updated on the project!

--Ali
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« Reply #11: September 12, 2010, 07:57:00 pm »

I know I'm a bit late getting in on this thread - but I thought I'd jump in anyway, if that's okay!

Thanks, Ali!

I'm looking forward to reading the meditation you linked to when I'm feeling better.

I think I've hit on essentially the same basic idea, using the Kildare pilgrimage I mentioned upthread.  The Kildare book includes some prayers that I think will be easy to adapt.  I might also borrow some elements of your meditation.

Right now I'm waiting for some aquamarine beads to arrive.  I'm planning to use them for the basis of the prayer bead set.

If I ever do get it done, I'll post about it.  Wink
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« Reply #12: September 13, 2010, 03:07:55 pm »

If I ever do get it done, I'll post about it.  Wink

I'm PMing you now.  Sooooo sorry I've taken this long.
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« Reply #13: September 19, 2010, 03:35:02 am »

We've had several threads on prayer beads -- how people use them, ideas for creating them, etc.

Just stumbled upon this and thought you or anyone else interested might get something out of it.
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« Reply #14: September 19, 2010, 03:36:47 am »

Just stumbled upon this and thought you or anyone else interested might get something out of it.

This is the actual site
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