Book of Pagan Prayer
by Ceiswr Serith
This is a book I never thought I would see. Most of the Pagans
I know aren' t real big on formalized, scripted prayer. I don't
agree with everything the author says, especially the statement
that "Paganism is defined by its rituals rather than its beliefs.,"
but since is admitted to be a personal opinion by the author, I
can accept it.
There are going to be those out there who will swear by this book,
and those who will swear at the author. Many Neo-Pagans feel that
prayer should be completely spontaneous and will find the idea of
A Book of Pagan Prayer (akin to the Episcopalian Book of Common
Prayer) to be incomprehensible, if not incompatible with Pagan religion.
Part I of this book (the first 68 pages) explains the basics of
prayer - how to pray, when to pray, how to write prayers. It sets
the ground work and helps to build the foundation of what is needed
for effective prayer. The prayers in this book are separated into
categories, to make it easier to find what you are looking for:
Callings/Prayers of Praise Prayers for the Family Prayers for Times
of the Day/Month/Year/Life Thanksgiving/Graces Petitions/Blessings
Litanies and Mantras.
I am not sure I agree with the author's contention that the Gods
demand material offerings (with the exception of a relatively small
number). I think most of the more "modern" (or more "civilized")
deities welcome material offerings, and perhaps anticipate them,
while the more "primitive" and "less civilized"
deities expect that their demands will be met exactly. One of my
teachers insisted that whatever we offered to the Gods, even in
something as simple as a food offering at a feast, be the best we
could afford and made to appear as attractive as we could.
The views of this author are far more structured than many of the
current generation of Neo-Pagans may feel comfortable with. The
current attitude seems to harken back to the "If it feels good,
do it," philosophy of the 1960s and '70s. This author's approach
owes much to mainline religious tradition.
This book is going to appeal to a select minority within the Neo-Pagan
community. I'm afraid that it will be passed over by the majority,
and many of those who do purchase it will let it languish on the
shelf. Take the time to use it for inspiration, don't expect it
to have all the answers. Anyone can benefit from the ideas contained
in it, if they are willing to put some effort into its use.
Reviewed by Mike Gleason