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Author Topic: Writing Prayers/Hymns  (Read 10088 times)
Finn
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« Reply #15: April 14, 2007, 10:40:10 am »

I can't explain it very well, but I can demonstrate it with a praise poem I wrote to Macha. In it I only used the last word of the previous stanza.

Here goes:

Macha

Warrior Goddess
Battle Raven
Eater of the Dead,
Macha.

Macha, Your siren call echoes
In the heads and souls of men,
Clouding their spirits and minds
With thoughts of War and Blood.

War and Blood call them to You,
They throw their lives at Your Feet,
Feeding Your lust for
Death, Pain & Blood.

Death, Pain & Blood sate Your appetite
Stretch forth Your Hand and
Life blooms from the bloodfed
Land, unbridled.

Unbridled, Life comes forth
In a rush of blood and pain
The birth of Life, as always,
Rises from Battle's Queen - Macha!

(c) 2007 Phoukamare


Wow.  I wrote a poem in that kind of structure (the last two lines of a stanza forming the first line of the next stanza), but I never knew it was an Irish structure.  Cool! 

Thanks for sharing, Phouka, I like it a lot!
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« Reply #16: April 15, 2007, 03:24:24 am »

I really like this, Jorgath.  Thanks for sharing. Smiley

It's always been one of my favorites of the poems I've written.  I wrote it instead of paying attention to a discussion in class of Euripides vs. Sophocles.  We were rehashing the same points as the class before, only with one more play under our belts, so I surreptitiously dug out the Iliad and got hit by inspiration.
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« Reply #17: May 02, 2007, 02:08:35 am »

I'd love to get started on writing my own hymns, but all the tunes that come to my head are already Christian.  Angry
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« Reply #18: May 05, 2007, 09:38:20 am »

Do you write prayers, hymns, etc. to the deities you honor?  If so, do you have any particular method or structure you usually use, or do you just use whatever you're inspired to say?

Recently I found a format used in NA - particularly Algonquian, that is a very keep it simple sort of repetition.  This is my first attempt.  I've actually used a shorter and lesser name for deity, Keihtanit instead of Coutontowit, which when chanting I would probably say instead, but for the repetition without intent, Keihtanit is a less direct usage for me.

Nuppeantam, (I pray)

Keihtanit, nummag ne wuttamauog. (Keihtanit, I offer you tobacco)
Taubot neanawayean yeu kesukuk. (Today I thank you)

Okhe, nummag ne wuttamauog.  (Earth Mother, I offer you tobacco)
Taubot neanawayean yeu kusukuk.  (Today I thank you)

adt yau ut nashik ohke: (in the earths directions)

Wunnanameanit, wacahunat wutche nanumiyeu, (Wunnanameanit, guardian of the North)
Wompanand, wacahunat wutche wompaniyeu, (Wompanand, guardian of the East)
Sowwanand, wacahunat wuthche sowanniyeu, (Sowwanand, guardian of the South)
Chekesuwand, wacahunat wutche pahtatunniyeu; (Chekesuwand, guardian of the West)

Nummag ne wuttamaog, (I offer you tobacco)
Nummag ne weatchimineash, (I offer corn)
Nummag ne neesunk, (I offer [my] hair)
Nummag ne nuttah. (I offer my heart)

Wadchanish, (watch over us)

Taubot neanawayean yeu kesukuk. (Today I thank you)

Tunnupaquand, Taubot neanawayean. (Turtle Spirit, I thank you)
Wushowunaneanit, Taubot neanawayean. (Hawk Spirit, I thank you)

Taubot neanawayean newutche Sequan.  (I thank you for [early] spring,)
Taubot neanawayean newutche Neepun.  (I thank you for [late] spring)
Taubot neanawayean yeu kesukuk.  (today I thank you)
« Last Edit: May 05, 2007, 09:40:51 am by Mandi, Reason: cause weatchimineash means corn, not tobacco » Logged

I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir
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« Reply #19: May 05, 2007, 11:22:32 am »

Recently I found a format used in NA - particularly Algonquian, that is a very keep it simple sort of repetition.  This is my first attempt.  I've actually used a shorter and lesser name for deity, Keihtanit instead of Coutontowit, which when chanting I would probably say instead, but for the repetition without intent, Keihtanit is a less direct usage for me.

Nuppeantam, (I pray)

Keihtanit, nummag ne wuttamauog. (Keihtanit, I offer you tobacco)
Taubot neanawayean yeu kesukuk. (Today I thank you)

Okhe, nummag ne wuttamauog.  (Earth Mother, I offer you tobacco)
Taubot neanawayean yeu kusukuk.  (Today I thank you)

adt yau ut nashik ohke: (in the earths directions)

Wunnanameanit, wacahunat wutche nanumiyeu, (Wunnanameanit, guardian of the North)
Wompanand, wacahunat wutche wompaniyeu, (Wompanand, guardian of the East)
Sowwanand, wacahunat wuthche sowanniyeu, (Sowwanand, guardian of the South)
Chekesuwand, wacahunat wutche pahtatunniyeu; (Chekesuwand, guardian of the West)

Nummag ne wuttamaog, (I offer you tobacco)
Nummag ne weatchimineash, (I offer corn)
Nummag ne neesunk, (I offer [my] hair)
Nummag ne nuttah. (I offer my heart)

Wadchanish, (watch over us)

Taubot neanawayean yeu kesukuk. (Today I thank you)

Tunnupaquand, Taubot neanawayean. (Turtle Spirit, I thank you)
Wushowunaneanit, Taubot neanawayean. (Hawk Spirit, I thank you)

Taubot neanawayean newutche Sequan.  (I thank you for [early] spring,)
Taubot neanawayean newutche Neepun.  (I thank you for [late] spring)
Taubot neanawayean yeu kesukuk.  (today I thank you)

Beautiful!! I can't make heads or tails of the pronunciation, but it's still beautiful!
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« Reply #20: May 14, 2007, 08:16:49 am »

Beautiful!! I can't make heads or tails of the pronunciation, but it's still beautiful!

It's actually far simpler than you would imagine.

Nuh-pey-en-tom

Kay-tah-nit, new-mog ne woot-a-mowg
taw-bot nay-ya-na-way-yan yew koos-oo-kook



The 'adt' gives me issues, but the directions and guardians were like a key to the pronunciation for the rest.  They almost rhyme. Pahtatunniyeu was hard,  and Wushowunaneanit (woo-show-wa-na-ne-anit) is a bear to say and leaves me with my tongue hanging out.  I routinely repeat it over and over trying to get it right only to forget how to pronounce it an hour later.
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I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir
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« Reply #21: May 27, 2007, 02:20:57 pm »

I can't explain it very well, but I can demonstrate it with a praise poem I wrote to Macha. In it I only used the last word of the previous stanza.

Here goes:

Macha

Warrior Goddess
Battle Raven
Eater of the Dead,
Macha.

Macha, Your siren call echoes
In the heads and souls of men,
Clouding their spirits and minds
With thoughts of War and Blood.

War and Blood call them to You,
They throw their lives at Your Feet,
Feeding Your lust for
Death, Pain & Blood.

Death, Pain & Blood sate Your appetite
Stretch forth Your Hand and
Life blooms from the bloodfed
Land, unbridled.

Unbridled, Life comes forth
In a rush of blood and pain
The birth of Life, as always,
Rises from Battle's Queen - Macha!

(c) 2007 Phoukamare

Quite the Dark streak you have there. Smiley

<shuffles discreetly towards the door>




Prayer to the Muse

Sing, Goddess, sing of pride,
of the pride of blind singers,
those who speak with your voice,
those who tell the immortal tales
yet remain mortal in their flesh.
Sing of pain, of suffering, of
true understanding. Sing of hope,
of despair, of destruction and renewal.
Sing of the deathless gods, sing
of children dead in the womb.
Sing truth, sing deceit, sing
of young and old. Sing songs.

Speak, Goddess, speak poetry.
Speak rhythm and rhyme, speak
fire and invention, speak of
love and battle and hatred and
treachery, speak of kings and
slaves, queens and whores, speak
of bands of brothers and roads less
traveled and snowy woods and
Hyperion's flight and flare.
Speak imagination, speak reality,
speak of their blurred line. Speak words,
and lie, for all words are lies.

Dream, O Muse, dream of inspiration,
dream of the dreamers and cause
them to dream. Enter men's dreams,
beguile and inspire them, make them
dream of war and peace and truth.
Make their dreams of fire and ice
and wonderlands, walruses and
carpenters, Sirens and Cyclopses,
firebirds and dragons and the cliffs
shining alabaster at Dover, of starry nights,
of the silver seas, the death of worlds,
the birth of gods. Dream of dreams.

And weep, Goddess, weep fiery tears.
Weep for the pain of the world,
for innocence lost. Weep for Achilles,
who chose glory and death. Weep for Cain,
who slew his brother in jealous rage.
Weep for Camelot, for Atlantis, for Ilium.
Weep for Arcadia, for Avalon, weep for
Keats, dead before his poems ended, for the
dreams that have died, unmade, to man's
disbelieving minds and skeptical eyes.
Weep for the loss of invention, the
fall of inspiration, and the death of poetry.

[Jorgath], October 2005

Whoa. Shocked



And this is an invocation to Airmid that I wrote this past Lughnassagh:

Airmid, sweet Goddess of green herbs
Lady of tireless patience and healing,
I call to you now to join us
And celebrate this festival.
Oh sister of Miach
The herbs have been counted
And they have been named
Come to our Grove this evening
We ask your presence to unlock
These gates between the worlds and watch them
And once more
We honor the ways of our following

This reminds me a little of Sumerian poetry, a personal favorite.




Recently I found a format used in NA - particularly Algonquian, that is a very keep it simple sort of repetition.  This is my first attempt.  I've actually used a shorter and lesser name for deity, Keihtanit instead of Coutontowit, which when chanting I would probably say instead, but for the repetition without intent, Keihtanit is a less direct usage for me.

Nuppeantam, (I pray)

Keihtanit, nummag ne wuttamauog. (Keihtanit, I offer you tobacco)
Taubot neanawayean yeu kesukuk. (Today I thank you)

Okhe, nummag ne wuttamauog.  (Earth Mother, I offer you tobacco)
Taubot neanawayean yeu kusukuk.  (Today I thank you)

<snip>

Taubot neanawayean yeu kesukuk. (Today I thank you)

Tunnupaquand, Taubot neanawayean. (Turtle Spirit, I thank you)
Wushowunaneanit, Taubot neanawayean. (Hawk Spirit, I thank you)

Taubot neanawayean newutche Sequan.  (I thank you for [early] spring,)
Taubot neanawayean newutche Neepun.  (I thank you for [late] spring)
Taubot neanawayean yeu kesukuk.  (today I thank you)

Wow, this is really impressive!  I guess I'll have to try mine in Sumerian, eh? Tongue
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« Reply #22: May 27, 2007, 02:41:14 pm »

Do you write prayers, hymns, etc. to the deities you honor?  If so, do you have any particular method or structure you usually use, or do you just use whatever you're inspired to say?

Is anyone familiar with A Book of Pagan Prayer, by Ceisiwr Serith?

If so, do you like it or not, and why?

~MI
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« Reply #23: June 04, 2007, 02:14:07 am »

Is anyone familiar with A Book of Pagan Prayer, by Ceisiwr Serith?

If so, do you like it or not, and why?

~MI

Yes, I have it-I highly recommend it- it has some lovely prayers- for all different purposes, and includes a variety of cultures.
The beginning few chapters talk about why one might pray, suggestions for ways to pray (postures, purification etc) and instructions on how to write prayers. I've found it very useful as a reference for writing prayers, and for finding a prayer when I want one ready made. It's organized nicely and at the end has an index by first line of prayer.

Another good prayer book that I recently picked up is Earth Prayers from Around the World: 365: Prayers, Poems and Invocations for for Honoring the Earth ed. by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon. It includes many different cultures, religions and aspects of nature/ecology. It's divided up by theme, and there is an index by first line. Lots of beautiful and inspiring words in there.
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« Reply #24: June 06, 2007, 12:55:09 pm »

Do you write prayers, hymns, etc. to the deities you honor?  If so, do you have any particular method or structure you usually use, or do you just use whatever you're inspired to say?

I do, but they're always freeform - just like any poetry I write. I find a theme, and a flow, and "go with it". Not very helpful, eh? lol
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« Reply #25: June 06, 2007, 08:56:38 pm »

I'd love to get started on writing my own hymns, but all the tunes that come to my head are already Christian.  Angry

The tunes as in the melodies themselves? Or the tunes as in general reference to the songs?

Why not use already-existing melodies to put different words to? Christian or no, you can use your own words.
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« Reply #26: June 06, 2007, 10:38:52 pm »

Why not use already-existing melodies to put different words to? Christian or no, you can use your own words.

There can be issues with this one. We had someone do this in my group's past history. None of us noticed, because the tunes used came from an area of Christianity (specifically more evangelical) that the then members of the group weren't familiar with.

One of our current members joined, and was immensely puzzled by why we were using those tunes (which were written by identifiable modern artists, whose music was under copyright, and relatively recent - last 15 years or so, I believe) because it caused incredible cognitive dissonance for her. Once she told us about it - sometime later, because she was absolutely sure we had to know about it already - we went "Oh. No. That wasn't our intention." We have no way of knowing if other potential students had that response to it.

Where I come from, beyond that, is that as a musician and composer myself, I'd be uncomfortable with someone taking a tune that I wrote for a specific deity, and using it for a different one. I think it's rude to the artist - but even more than that, I think it's rude to both deities. (And honestly, that's the bit I care about much more.)

I've done it once with my own music, but in that case, the first set of lyrics were relatively vague and non-specific (riffing on the Greek word 'kyrie' or Lord - often used for Jesus, but in a range of historical pagan uses too) - the second are much more explicit about referring to a particular deity. (And, well - I wrote it, so I can be pretty sure of my intentions and focus, which someone outside my head wouldn't be.)

There's also a practical and legal issue: modern Christian music, the *music* is still under copyright, even if you change the words. If the chant catches on, using it for broader settings (public ritual, etc.) could be problematic, and it's certainly ethically problematic in ways that I don't want to deal with professionally. (As a librarian-type, I have ethical issues with telling people to follow copyright and not doing so myself, but I recognise I'm far more obsessive about this than most people.)

If I want to recycle tunes, I go to the traditional folk music tunes, and avoid the ones that are strongly associated with carols. (So I might use Greensleeves/What Child Is This, because we're fairly sure the Christian version postdates the non-religious version. But I wouldn't use a carol that was written as a carol. I'd go look at folk songs, dance tunes, and other things like that.)

On the Christian side: there's a rather lovely modern Catholic song, "Canticle of the Turning", but which is all about wheels and cycles, which is set to the traditional tune of "Star of the County Down", and I keep wanting to do something similar and Pagan-focused. There's certainly Pagan tunes set to various trad melodies as well (I've seen several variations on the Ash Grove tune, some medieval or renaissance tunes, etc.)
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