Goddess Prayer Beads or Rosaries
By Dr Tricia Szirom
We mostly know prayer beads from the Catholic example of the rosary however many religions have similar tools to assist with meditation, focus and concentration. There are now increasing numbers of web-sites which promote the use of prayer beads or ‘Goddess Rosaries’ and in some churches/Goddess meetings there are regular Goddess Rosary groups.
Some claim that the rosary was invented somewhere between the 12th and 13th centuries as a devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Although the Church is quick to define Mary as simply "first among the saints," It is clear the common people from the first century CE onwards saw Mary as the continuation of the Queen of heaven: Astarte in Palestine, or Isis in Egypt. It is fitting, then, to adapt a Marian devotion for honor to the Goddess, the Queen of Heaven.
I really like this approach to the rosary:
I have come to see rosaries as tiny stone circles activating the energies of our bodies, just as stone circles like Stonehenge and Avebury are thought to activate the energies of the earth as goddess. Many stone circles were constructed with material that didn’t exist naturally in their immediate environments — our ancestors went to enormous lengths to bring particular stones to these particular places.
The goddess rosaries are a way to stimulate these same sensations in ourselves as we make them, wear them and pray them. Whatever rituals were conducted at the many stone circles are lost now from human memory. (Stone Circle in the Hand by Jennifer A. Mantle)
There are a number of styles and prayers that are used for the beads and it is really a matter of personal preference as this is about creating something that will assist in your own devotions and spiritual practice. There are however a few common elements which we will use here.
Decide what you want your prayers to be about. Do you wish to use them to meditate on the elements, or to focus on your favourite goddess? As soon as you decide what your beads will be used for, you can select beads appropriate to that purpose.
There are some numbers that are considered to be sacred to the Goddess (3, 9 and 13) and rosaries are often multiples of these numbers with a larger separator bead between each set and a charm at the end. Some are joined to make a circle others are not and there would then be a charm at both ends.
Empower your beads in ritual by running them through incense, or sprinkling them with salt and water, and asking your deities or any universal spirits you appeal to for blessings. Keep your beads in a special place, or wear them if you like.
Using the Prayer Beads
Sign of the pentagram: It is recommended that you make the sign of the pentagram (or your personal symbol) before and after your rosary prayer. To make the pentagram: start with the first two fingers touching the forehead, then proceed to the left breast, the right shoulder, the left shoulder, down to the right breast, ending again at the forehead.
To use your own symbol, it is recommended that you include your third eye, heart and womb if possible.
It is preferable to memorise the prayers or chants however you may choose to alternate your rosary prayers with those of your own based upon need. In which case, memorization may be difficult until lengthy practice is employed.
Prayers and chants: Choose prayers or chants for your beads and/or write them yourself. Learn these by heart. To use your beads, start with the first bead and say its prayer or chant, then move on to each bead in succession. Keep a special prayer for your charm, which would signify the end of the prayer or meditation session.
Some Specific Examples
Moon Goddess Rosary
String 13 white beads or beads with moon symbols, onto your thread. Use dark blue or black spacers in between them. Each bead signifies one full moon cycle of the year.
Attach a charm that is a symbol of the moon goddess or of the moon itself.
To pray with your moon goddess rosary, begin with the first bead and work your way through all 13 of them with a chant or prayer. For example:
"Lady of the moon, protectress of the night,
Watch over me, your child, and fill me with your silver light.
Teach me your mysteries,
Grant me your wisdom and heal my body, mind and soul.
Show me your vision."
Finish with a special prayer to your goddess when you reach the charm. These prayers are best when you write them yourself and they come from the heart.
Choose five large beads, white, red, blue, green and silver. Also choose 15 or 45 medium-sized beads in black. You will also need small spacer beads to go in between each. A good charm for this rosary is a pentacle, with each of the five points on the star representing an element: air, fire, water, earth, and spirit, the circle being the universe that surrounds and connects them all.
Thread the beads commencing with the white bead, then nine black beads with spacers. Add the red bead, then black beads, with spacers between them. Repeat with the blue, green and silver beads. Tie it off with the charm.
To pray or chant with these beads, start with the white bead. Repeat the chant on the black beads. Then move on to the red bead and so on. Reserve a special chant or prayer for the pentacle.
White Bead: Goddess of the Air, breath of Life
Fill me with knowledge and wisdom
Red Bead: Goddess of Fire cleanse my soul
Fill me with courage and passion
Blue Bead: Goddess of water wash me with love
Fill me with vision and compassion
Green Bead: Goddess of earth foundation of life
Fill me with strength and stability
Silver Bead: Oh spirit Goddess Divine
Purify me and bring forward my higher self.
On the Pentacle: Make me strong in spirit,
Courageous in action, Gentle of heart.
Let me act in wisdom,
Conquer my fear and doubt,
Discover my own hidden gifts,
Meet others with compassion ,
Be a source of healing energies
And face each day with hope and joy
~ Abby Willowroot © 1998
Triple Goddess Rosary
This rosary honours the Goddess in her three-fold, or triple, nature as Maiden, Mother, and Crone. You will need:
9 white beads for the Maiden
9 red beads for the Mother
9 purple beads for the Crone
11 silver bead representing the Full Moon
Silver spacer beads representing the Moonlight.
Prayers are said on each bead, while meditating on the mysteries of the Triple Goddess, and the experience of the human life cycle.
Chant: Honour Maiden Huntress Artemis Artemis, new moon come to us
Silver shining wheel of radiance radiance, Mother come to us
Honour Queen of Wisdom Hecate Hecate, old one Come to Us
Wiccan Goddess Rosary (From City Wiccan Blog)
You will need: 50 mid size beads, 10 focal beads 60 spacer beads and a charm.
Charge of the Goddess
Great Goddess, Lady of Life
Whose Garment is the shining Heavens.
You are the white moon among the stars
And the beauty of the green earth.
You are the Oneness of all things
And the Completion of the Spirit
You are the mystery.
If that which we seek
We find not within
We will never find it without
For you have been here since the beginning
And you are that which is attained at the end of desire.
(Excerpt from The Charge of the Goddess)
(Optional to Sing) We All Come from the Goddess And to Her we shall return Like a drop of rain Flows into the ocean
Hail Mary, Full of Grace
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb
Holy Mary, Mother of All
Pray for us now, and through the cycles of our life.
Our Mother who art the earth, the universe, the cosmos
Blessed be thy name
Work through us so that we always do your will.
Feed us from your abundance,
Hold us gently in your hands.
Show us your love as we show love to those around us
For you are all wisdom, all graciousness and all beauty
Now and forever world without end
(In memory of Alice)
Our Mother Who Is Within Us,
We Celebrate Your Many Names,
Your Wisdom Come,
Your Will Be Done,
Unfolding From The Depths Within Us.
Each Day You Give Us All That We Need,
You Remind Us Of Our Limits.
And We Let Go.
You Support Us In Our Power,
And We Act With Courage,
For You Are In The Dwelling Place Within Us.
The Empowerment Around Us,
And Celebration Among Us,
Now, and Forever. Blessed Be.
"Hail Goddess full of grace. Blessed are you
and blessed are all the fruits of your womb
For you are the MOTHER of us all.
Hear us now and in all our needs.
O blessed be, O blessed be."
(adapted from Carol Christ)
Our Lady who is the Essence of the Earth
We have called you by many names*
Return now unto Your People
Speak Your Will, and it shall be done
As Above, so Below.
Please give us each moment: our life, light & love.
If we have let you down, Please forgive us and cleanse us,
According to our own willingness to forgive others.
Lead us away from Lures And deliver us from Evil
For You are Goddess, Queen of the Universe,
Yours is the Power, the Grace, the Wisdom & the Beauty
Age unto Ages.
Holy Mother, full of grace, Power is with thee.
Blessed are you, Queen of the Universe
And blessed is all of creation.
Holy Mother, Maker of all things, Be with us now and always.
(From Jennifer Berezan's recording "She Who Hears the Cries of the World" on her CD She Carries Me).