Friday, November 22, 2013

X is for.. I'm tired and sick, let's talk about Healing!

For the past week, my family, including three kiddos five and under, has been suffering.  I don't know where it came from or even what it was, but all of us were having trouble moving, thinking, and retaining liquid.  Lovely, I know.

Still in my fuzzy pajamas (that I've been wearing for two days now), I manage the strength to stagger weakly over to my kitchen altar where I keep Brigid's shrine.  Taking a moment to block the air flow to my nostrils so I'm not nauseated by the kitchen food smells, I open my prayer book and scan for something that might work as a healing prayer.  Of course, I've never taken the time to make something like that easily accessible, so I mumble a few words to the effect of "Brigid, please help us!", realize my lighter isn't around, and crawl back to the couch totally defeated.  Not exactly the fantastic, elaborate healing ritual I'd imagined on more healthy days.

These experiences leave me with a few questions.  When suffering from an illness, it can be difficult to summon the concentration or energy make a spell or prayer very effective.  I believe the number one help here would be preparation.  Not preparation of a fantastic, elaborate healing ritual - nobody has time or energy to do that when feeling sick enough to need the healing!  Have some emergency unscented candles sitting in a drawer just in case smells make you feel awful.  Write a short, simple prayer wherever it will be easy to find when you need it, and stick it in there.  Here's a lovely prayer to Brigid from Brigit's Forge by Hilarie Wood:

Be the cross of Bride between me and all bad spirits
That move invisible.
Be the cross of Bride between me and all ill,
All ill-will and ill-mishap.

Be the compassing of Bride around me,
From every spectre, every evil,
From every shame that harmful moves,
In darkness, in power to hurt.

Be the compassing of holy Bride
Shielding me from every harm,
Keeping me from every doom
Coming towards me this day,
Coming towards me this night.

Be the fiery sword of Bride
Defending me from all black swarms,
Be the shield of blessed Bride
Protecting me from all sharp edges,
Be the cloak of gentle Bride
Encircling me.

Be the compassing of Bride about me,
This day and every day,
This night and every night.

One other thing I wanted to mention about healing from a Heathen perspective is this: you don't have to call on a God or a Goddess to help you.  After my disastrous attempt at a prayer to Brigid, I found myself laying in bed and looking up at my ancestor shrine.  If anyone in the world is going to have sympathy for your plight, isn't it most likely to be your female ancestors?  Just as many of us had our mothers care for us when we were sick in childhood, we can extrapolate that feeling to our grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and so on who have passed on.  In Anglo-Saxon, these ancestors are called our Idesa.  Since I'm feeling a bit better this morning, I've taken some time to compose a quick prayer to the Idesa that can be used for a family or modified to fit an individual.

Mothers who mourned when your merry ones were ill,
my children are crying, chilled and feverish.
Help us, heal us, hold us together,
so fit and fierce, we will face the day.

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