There is a prayer commonly used at druid gatherings. When I first encountered it, I had no idea where it came from or how it might fit in the history of druidry. I learned it, and intoned it, although I found that people vary the endings and some of the words. Deity, and spirit words are often interchanged to fit the nature of the gathering, and at Bards of the Lost Forest, we never quite agreed on what order the end came in. But the gist of it is something like…
Grant, oh spirits, thy protection
And in protection, strength,
And in strength, understanding
And in understanding, knowledge
And in knowledge, the knowledge of justice
And in the knowledge of justice, the love of it,
And in the love of it, the love of the gods and goddesses
And in the love of the gods and goddesses the love of all existence, and all goodness.
I’ve done a lot of deep contemplative work with this prayer, both before knowing that it’s probably Iolo Morganwg’s work, and after. I’ve meditated on the connections between ideas and the implications of each line. In short, I have tried very hard to come to a proper understanding of its significance, and I’ve never got there. For some months now I’ve been entertaining the idea that I should re-write it, taking the form of the original as inspiration, but coming up with a line of progress that makes more sense to me. Yesterday, I woke up with a fire I my head, and what happened, was this…
Grant, oh spirits, thy protection,
And in protection, insight,
And in insight, understanding,
And in understanding, compassion
And in compassion, rightful action,
And in rightful action, the love of it,
And in the love of it, the love of all existence,
And in the love of all existence, a sense of the sacred
And in that sense of sacredness, peace.
I feel I’ve focused more on engagement and action than the original does, not imagining a flow that entirely comes in from the outside, but a space in which we can be opened to opportunities for our own development. The causality in this works better for me, and I’ve tested it on my bloke and child to good effect.
I’m a huge believer in evolving tradition, in taking what we have and doing it over so that it suits us better and makes sense for where we are. On the folk side it’s called ‘folk process’. If anyone likes what I’ve done and wants to make off with it, then please do so. Or if you like some bits of it and not others, take those and folk process them until you get what you need, or write your own from scratch and send that out into the world. Or keep the original, because I’m guessing there are people who do understand the deeper currents within it and for whom the language works perfectly.
February 7th, 2012 at 12:28 am
Nice! And thanks for the offer to let us use & change it.
February 9th, 2012 at 10:03 am
I love your version – rings much truers to me and just ‘fits’ better than the original, which I’ve never really related to. I’m going to print it out to sit by my desk at work 🙂 Thank you.
February 10th, 2012 at 9:29 pm
Yes! Love it, it makes more sense than the one most used at rituals! thank you also for letting us use it!
May 19th, 2016 at 10:32 am
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