Prayer Beads: The Nine Muses

The Nine Muses inspire artists, philosophers and others in creating their works. Prayers to the Muses will bring the fire of creation to those who ask.

Materials:

Charms
Cameo 1
Goddess 1
Flowers 10

For the Muses:
Stylist or pen for Calliope, Muse of Epic Poetry
Book for Clio, Muse of History
Musical Note or Clef for Euterpe, Muse of Music
Dancer for Terpsichore, Muse of Dance
Comic Mask for Thalia, Muse of Comedy
Tragic Mask for Melpomene, Muse of Tragedy
Lyre for Erato, Muse of Love Poetry
Geometric shape for Polyhymnia, Music of Sacred Poetry and Hymns
Stars for Urania, Muse of Astronomy

Beads:
Black 4
Purple 4
Lavender 4
Rose 4
Yellow 4
Red 4
Orange 4
Teal 4
Blue 4

Pattern:

Cameo
Flower
2 black beads, stylist, 2 black beads
Flower
2 purple beads, book, 2 purple beads
Flower
2 lavender beads, musical note, 2 lavender beads
Flower
2 rose beads, dancer, 2 rose beads
Flower
2 yellow beads, comic mask, 2 yellow beads
Flower
2 red beads, tragic mask, 2 red beads
Flower
2 orange beads, lyre, 2 orange beads
Flower
2 teal beads, geometric shape, 2 teal beads
Flower
2 blue beads, stars, 2 blue beads
Flower
Goddess

Prayers:

Cameo:
I sing of the Muses, born of Mnemosyne, taught by Apollo
I sing of They who inspire the People

Flower:
Sing to me, O Muse

Black beads: I sing of Calliope, blessed Muse
Stylist: Calliope inspire in me, heroic epics, Sing to me, O Calliope.

Purple beads: I sing of Clio, blessed Muse
Book: Clio inspire in me, true records, Sing to me, O Clio.

Lavender beads: I sing of Euterpe, blessed Muse
Musical note: Euterpe inspire in me, sweet music, Sing to me, O Euterpe.

Rose beads: I sing of Terpsichore, blessed Muse
Dancer: Terpsichore inspire in me, graceful movement, Sing to me, O Terpsichore.

Yellow beads: I sing of Thalia, blessed Muse
Comic mask: Thalia inspire in me, laughter, Sing to me, O Thalia.

Red beads: I sing of Melpomene, blessed Muse
Tragic mask: Melpomene inspire in me, tears, Sing to me, O Melpomene.

Orange beads: I sing of Erato, blessed Muse
Lyre: Erato inspire in me, pleasing poems, Sing to me, O Erato.

Teal beads: I sing of Polyhymnia, blessed Muse
Geometric shape: Polyhymnia inspire in me, pleasing hymns, Sing to me, O Polyhymnia.

Blue beads: I sing of Urania, blessed Muse
Stars: Urania, inspire in me, heavenly awe, Sing to me, Urania.

Goddess: I thank the Muses, born of grace and fire, for my creation. I thank Those who inspire the People.

Polytheism: After Reconstructionism

For Western Polytheists, a lot of their time is spent trying to reconstruct the Polytheism of the ancients. They are trying to revive, reconstruct, and modernize these religions, that were taken from their ancestors. Usually, this endeavor requires a lot of research and reading. The result is that the person’s Polytheism becomes bound up in a dry intellectual tradition. The lore becomes more important than personal gnosis.

At “Axe and Plough,” Marc discusses “Post-Recon? What Happens Next.” For what comes “next,” he introduces the concepts of “renewal, restitutions, and restoration.” His aim is to have a “living breathing religion.” My interpretation of Marc’s terms is as follows. “Renewal” means to embrace the living traditions of the ancients such as piety. “Restitution” is resolving the neglect that humans have done in the cosmic ecological (Note 1) system that they are a part of. “Restoration” is the act of recreating the ancient religion for modern times. Using these concepts, a person can develop a methodology to revive their “living” Polytheisms.

His post can be found here: https://axeandplough.com/2020/05/23/post-recon-what-happens-next/

“The Soul of a Pilgrim” by Christine Valters Paintner offers suggestions on how to do this. Paintner, a Lay Benedictine and Abbess of the Abby of the Arts, writes for a Christian audience but her advice can be applied to Polytheists. In her writing, she presents eight stages of pilgrimage from “hearing the call” to “coming home.” (Note 2)

We Polytheists have responded to the call of the Gods. Our inner fires are lit as we try to relearn and recreate the Polytheism of our Ancestors. However, we do not have a map except for scraps of lore. “Reconstruction” focuses on creating a coherent map out of the scraps. To do this, Paintner advises relinquishing control, as you cross the threshold starting your journey. Then trust that the flow of greater currents will carry you home. For me, it is the direction of the Gods. When I feel lost, I consult the Ancestors and follow their direction.

While on the pilgrimage, Paintner stresses daily practice. For Polytheists recreating their religion, devotions act as touchstones that will sustain them. What offers structure to deepen our faith are the rituals and practices of our traditions.

In her writing, Paintner warns against trying to domesticate the Sacred into prayers that follow our own rules. That is, in my opinion, the problem with modern Paganism. By placing the Gods into “teacups,” people expect Them to be genteel and delicate. In so doing, the Gods become housebroken and companionable to Pagans. This is how humans separate themselves from the ecological system of the cosmos.

In her book, “Earth: Our Original Monastery,” Christine Valters Paintner explains that ecosystem. There are three circles, in her opinion. The egoic circle refers to a person’s private feelings. The next, the ecological circle is the bridge from the inner to the outer worlds. The third circle, the cosmological is where everything and everyone embrace in a sense of transcendence. Now, everything is intertwined and interwoven with everyone.

By re-entering the ecosystem, we become ready to be broken open and moved beyond our safe places. The Holy cannot be tamed. By remaining separate from the Cosmos, we can pretend that our Gods are domesticated. Then we can never encounter the Unknown Gods in their awful mysteries. Rejoining plunges us into the Great Unknowing.

Sannion (House of Vines) has discussed how he intends to construct the Starry Bear Tradition. Through personal gnosis and research, he is tracing how certain Gods such as Odin move through multiple worlds, times, and realities. Searching folk traditions and myths, he is focused on which piece fits into making the puzzle, “whose finished picture has been lost.” By beginning again, Sannion embraces the unknown on his way home to the Starry Bear Gods.

As for me, I am in the throes of an oddly-eclectic devotion. My main focus is Roman and Mesopotamian Gods. However, I have altars to Anubis, Hekate, The Morrigan, and the Gods of Canaan. I also have altars to the Ancestors, the Prehistoric Dead and the Norse Gods. I have no idea where this is going but I am on my way.

Notes:
Note 1. This ecosystem consists of Gods, Spirits, the Dead, Ancestors, humans and the Others (elves, dwarfs, etc.).

Note 2. The Eight Stages are:
Hearing the Call and Responding
Packing Lightly
Crossing the Threshold
Make the Way by Walking
Being Uncomfortable
Beginning Again
Embracing the Unknown
Coming Home

Prayer Beads: Tiamat of Mesopotamia

Tiamat is the Dragon Goddess of Mesopotamia upon whose bones the world is made.

Materials:

Charms:
Ocean 1
Dragon 1

Beads:
Chrysocolla 2
Amazonite 7
Lava stone 7
Ruby Zoisite 7

Pattern:

Ocean
Amazonite 7
Chrysocolla 1
Lava stone 7
Chrysocolla 1
Ruby Zoisite 7
Dragon

Prayers:

Ocean:
I sing of Tiamat, the Source of all

Chrysocolla:
I am Tiamat the Source of all, the Glistening One

Amazonite:
(From the Enuma Elish)

“When in the height heaven was not named,
And the earth beneath did not yet bear a name,
And the primeval Apsu, who begat them,
And chaos, Tiamat, the mother of them both
Their waters were mingled together,
And no field was formed, no marsh was to be seen;
Then were created the Gods in the midst of heaven.”

Lava stone:
(From the Enuma Elish)

“ ‘… my mighty hero,
Whose strength is great and whose onslaught cannot be withstood,
Go and stand before Tiamat,
That her spirit may be appeased, that her heart may be merciful.
Our word shalt thou speak unto Her, that She may be pacified.’
He heard the word of his father Ansar
And he directed his path to Her, toward Her he took the way.”

Ruby Zoisite

Tiamat, the Pure, the Shining
The Glistening, the Deep
Who formed all things
All powerful Mother
Upon whose bones
The cosmos is made
Life Herself

Dragon
I sing of Tiamat, the Dragon Goddess
The Untamed One

Enlil of Sumer

nature sky sunset the mountains

Photo by NO NAME on Pexels.com

The most powerful God of the Sumerians, Enlil is one of the more complicated. Called “Lord of the Air,” He is the power of the storm that rages, and the energy of the cloud that brings rain. As the Keeper of the Tablets of Destiny, Enlil ordains the destinies of the Gods and humans. Because of this, He is the mediator between Gods and humans.

The two myths that detail his dark side, “Enlil and Ninlil” and “Atrahasis” show how Enlil learns from his actions. He develops from someone who pursues his own agenda to be the wise governor of divine law. “Enlil and Ninlil” tells of his rape of Ninlil, Her obtaining justice, and his punishment in the Underworld. The myth relates their courtship from their initial meeting to Ninlil becoming his consort. Their children from the courtship are Nanna, God of the Moon, Ninurta, God of Farming, and Nergal, God of Death.

In “Atrahasis” (the Sumerian version of The Flood), Enlil floods the earth. He grew tired of the destructive, numerous and noisy humans. Meanwhile Enki saves Atrahasis who builds the ark. After the waters recede, Atrahasis makes offerings to the Gods. After acknowledging the offerings, Enlil rues his flood and its destruction. He then gives the humans a second chance. To prevent them from being too numerous, Enlil sends threats to their daily existence.
This is a part of the Great Hymn of Enlil. It describes his complexity. (Some of the attributes were later ascribed to Yahweh.)  http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/section4/tr4051.htm

Enlil in the E-kur (Enlil A): translation

Enlil’s commands are by far the loftiest, his words are holy, his utterances are immutable! The fate he decides is everlasting, his glance makes the mountains anxious, his …. reaches (?) into the interior of the mountains. All the gods of the earth bow down to father Enlil, who sits comfortably on the holy dais, the lofty dais, to Nunamnir, whose lordship and princeship are most perfect. The Anuna gods enter before him and obey his instructions faithfully.

Enlil, if you look upon the shepherd favourably, if you elevate the one truly called in the Land, then the foreign countries are in his hands, the foreign countries are at his feet! Even the most distant foreign countries submit to him. He will then cause enormous incomes and heavy tributes, as if they were cool water, to reach the treasury. In the great courtyard he will supply offerings regularly.

Enlil, faithful shepherd of the teeming multitudes, herdsman, leader of all living creatures, has manifested his rank of great prince, adorning himself with the holy crown. As the Wind of the Mountain occupied the dais, he spanned the sky as the rainbow. Like a floating cloud, he moved alone.

He alone is the prince of heaven, the dragon of the earth. The lofty god of the Anuna himself determines the fates. No god can look upon him. His great minister and commander Nuska learns his commands and his intentions from him, consults with him and then executes his far-reaching instructions on his behalf. He prays to him with holy prayers and divine powers.

Without the Great Mountain Enlil, no city would be built, no settlement would be founded; no cow-pen would be built, no sheepfold would be established; no king would be elevated, no lord would be given birth; no high priest or priestess would perform extispicy; soldiers would have no generals or captains; no carp-filled waters would …… the rivers at their peak; the carp would not come straight up from the sea, they would not dart about. The sea would not produce all its heavy treasure, no freshwater fish would lay eggs in the reedbeds, no bird of the sky would build nests in the spacious land; in the sky the thick clouds would not open their mouths; on the fields, dappled grain would not fill the arable lands, vegetation would not grow lushly on the plain; in the gardens, the spreading trees of the mountain would not yield fruits.

Without the Great Mountain, Enlil, Nintud would not kill, she would not strike dead; no cow would drop its calf in the cattle-pen, no ewe would bring forth. lamb in its sheepfold; the four-legged animals would not propagate, they would not mate.

Enlil, your ingenuity takes one’s breath away! By its nature it is like entangled threads which cannot be unraveled, crossed threads which the eye cannot follow. Your divinity can be relied on. You are your own counsellor and adviser, you are a lord on your own. Who can comprehend your actions? No divine powers are as resplendent as yours. No god can look you in the face.

You, Enlil, are lord, god, king. You are a judge who makes decisions about heaven and earth. Your lofty word is as heavy as heaven, and there is no one who can lift it. Your word is weighty in heaven, a foundation on the earth. In the heavens, it is reaching up to the sky. On the earth it is a foundation which cannot be destroyed. When it relates to the heavens, it brings abundance: abundance will pour from the heavens. When it relates to the earth, it brings prosperity: the earth will produce prosperity. Your word means flax, your word means grain. Your word means the early flooding, the life of the lands. It makes the living creatures, the animals which copulate and breathe joyfully in the greenery. You, Enlil, the good shepherd, know their ways. the sparkling stars.

You married Ninlil, the holy consort, whose words are of the heart, her of noble countenance in a holy ma garment, her of beautiful shape and limbs, the trustworthy lady of your choice. Covered with allure, the lady who knows what is fitting for the E-kur, whose words of advice are perfect, whose words bring comfort like fine oil for the heart, who shares the holy throne, the pure throne with you, she takes counsel and discusses matters with you. You decide the fates together at the place facing the sunrise. Ninlil, the lady of heaven and earth, the lady of all the lands, is honoured in the praise of the Great Mountain.

Prominent one whose words are well established, whose command and support are things which are immutable, whose utterances take precedence, whose plans are firm words, Great Mountain, father Enlil, your praise is sublime!

Prayer Beads: Enki of Sumer

multicolored beaded necklace

Photo by Avinash Patel on Pexels.com

Enki is the God of the Abzu, the underground freshwater ocean. He helps humans in their daily struggles. Enki also provides abundance to the land.

Materials

Charms:
Green man: 1
Tree of life: 1

Beads:
Moss agate: 4
Sodalite: 7
Yellow jasper: 7
Labradorite: 7

Pattern:

Green Man: 1

Moss agate: 1
Sodalite: 7
Moss agate: 1
Yellow jasper: 7
Moss agate: 1
Labradorite: 7
Moss agate: 1

Tree of Life: 1

Prayers:
Green Man charm:
“Praise to You, Lord Enki, Hear my song!”

Moss agate:
“Lord of Earth,
Make dense the clouds
Grant abundance to all the land.”

Sodalite:
“Fertilizing Sweet Waters, prosperity follows in your wake.”

Yellow jasper:
“Form-Giving Sweet Waters, draw near the yellow fields.”

Labradorite:
“Cleansing Sweet Waters, remove the filth of the fields.”

Tree of Life:
“Grain piles in heaps at your command,
Praise to You, Lord Enki!”