A few months ago, I started following a few different Pagan women via Twitter, Facebook and their blogs. With the constant craziness that's been going on this year, it has felt like I have had no time for my faith and for the Goddess. Just reading some of these blogs has started to bring me back around to where I want to be.
I was just reading a blog post about prayer on The Modern Pagan Woman's blog and it got me thinking of how I pray to my Goddess and God. She says that she prays mostly with thought. I think I do too. Just taking a few moments when I feel I need some guidance or I want to focus loving energy towards someone who I know could use it.
The most recent example of this is when my family's dog passed away. No, not Bear, but a dog that has been around since about 2005. This was a dog that I picked out, but was for my niece. I immediately fell in love with this dog when I saw him sleeping in the back of a cage as a puppy. When I left for Italy in 2008, he was a healthy boy and when I came home just about two months ago, he was no where near that. The diagnosis that the vet had given was depression. I took one look at this dog and knew he wasn't suffering from depression. I googled his symptoms which immediately pointed to heartworms. I tried to do the right thing and get numbers for the emergency vet and get my in-laws to just put him down so that he didn't have to suffer anymore. They refused.
The days before he passed were very tough. He was losing control of his bowels and bladder. He was listless and so very skinny. He had no muscle tone on his hind quarter at all. It broke my heart that I couldn't do anything for this dog.
You could tell that he was getting close to his time, especially when he collapsed the day before he passed. He was laid on a blanket in the living room and we all took turns laying with him. When I laid with him, I placed my right hand on his heart and with the other, I cradled his head. I prayed to the Goddess to not let him suffer anymore. I prayed that she would take this wonderful dog into her arms and let him run in the Summerland. I prayed that she let him feast in a way that he couldn't in the remaining months of his life. He was looking me right in the eyes as I prayed, like he knew. The next day when no one was home (save for the other animals), he passed on.
That is just one way that I know my Goddess hears me. I have prayed in other ways too. Drum Circle, for one. I love drum circle. I love feeling the beat of the drums and dancing around the fire. Building up the positive energy and sending it forth into the universe. Music, in all its aspects, can be prayer. The middle of a concert, with the right song playing, can be its own prayer. The energy of the crowd and the artist combining into something purely magical.
I haven't attended one in a long while, but I love attending and participating in ritual. When you are among a group of like-minded individuals who you trust, that makes it even more powerful. I have come out of ritual completely refreshed and renewed.
There are many ways to pray, and there isn't any way that's the wrong way. It's been a long while since I opened myself up to my Goddess and prayer is the best way to start again.