This lesson comes by special request from a Witching Out reader! Calamity Jane writes…
I find I have a difficult time producing prayers. For instance, when I need to pray over a poppet, a candle, etc., I often lose my wording and end up stammering and I absolutely find that off-putting. I would like to know how to pray on the fly, or a good witchy site that has prayers that are not so Christian-ized. Any ideas?
Praying, chanting, whatever you want to call it… it’s not always so romantic and mystical as it sounds! So you have all your ingredients laid out, pen, paper, the incense is burning, the candles are lit and it’s time to send your magic off into the universe. You look around, all your hard work starts intimidating you, because you really want to do it justice, but you freeze up and don’t know what to say or write. We’ve ALL been there. Even the most seasoned of us, and it’s okay!
First off, because of the connotations of organized religion and deities, I’m going to refrain from using the word “prayer” and go with the word “chant” for our magical purposes. We all must find what works for us spiritually and it is fine to pray to whatever you wish if it gives you strength, but here at WitchingOut.com, we only focus on our own personal power and the energy around us – things we can engage with and experience first-hand.
So back to chanting… whether it’s nerves, drawing a blank, or not being great with the written word – there are various problems we can encounter when it comes to spoken word in our magic. Personally, I don’t use spoken words in my magic often. I just personally don’t find it necessary most of the time in my work. But then again, some witches who are far older and more experienced in magic, wouldn’t think to do a spell without throwing their voice into the arena too. Everyone is different.
When I do use spoken words, I am very careful as to what I say. You don’t want to craft a spell in a certain way, and then blow it by saying some chant that is out of sync with your work and end goal. Generally, I recommend starting out small and concise… no more than 2 full sentences. Rhyming is also a great way to get into the groove too. For example,
Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown, and Jill came tumbling after.
Although we all know this nursery rhyme, it’s a great example of a quick chant format. In this format, there are only 2 words you really have to rhyme. Rhyming has long been popular in witchcraft, because it really enforces thought into synchronicity – the main part of manifesting magic. It keeps you connected and helps in limiting the options of what comes out of your mouth, if you feel like the world of chant crafting is a giant dictionary you have yet to decipher. Obviously, the more intricate the spell, the more of a need for more wording. But then again, using spoken words is your own choice and personal preference.
Like in poetry, not everything is about rhyming. You can literally write a paragraph about what you want accomplished, recite it and boom it’s out there. You can spend an hour writing it and rewriting it until it is perfect or you can spend 1 minute. Sure, it lacks a little of that old world charm, but at least you put what you actually want out there into the universe. It’s all about what you are most comfortable with and feel the most satisfied with after the process is over. Did you find just writing your thoughts and saying them was a huge stress reliever? Then this way is probably best for you! Or did you feel like there was a little magic missing from your magic? Then rhyming will probably make you feel more attuned to your work.
Aside from length and pace, another issue is spontaneity. Do you want to feel comfortable doing your chants on the fly, but aren’t finding it to come naturally? Try to quiet your mind and focus on your task. Really think about what you want. Meditate on it in front of your work for 15 minutes if you have to. Rushing things is never a good idea in magic. If you still can’t get focused enough to come up with something good enough for your chant, you might want to light your favorite incense or hold onto appropriate stones. Lapis lazuli is great for speech, unakite is great for grounding, and magnesite is great for calming your mind. Alternatively, you might want to find an appropriate crystal pendant to put on when you are about to recite a chant. Maybe a stone of confidence? Or maybe you just need a stone that promotes good speaking skills? Do your research. Think about stones you already have and think about how you react to their energy. Jewelry is a great way to get into a ritual mindset.
If after all that, you’re still constantly having problems, you probably just want to focus on writing your chants for a while until you get comfortable enough to create them on the fly. Start with the rhyming technique and if you really believe in what you are saying, you won’t feel silly. Now comes the issue with rhyming… say you are a bad rhymer. Well luckily, many poets and musicians are too and that is why the Merriam Webster Rhyming Dictionary was created. They are very small and inexpensive, but largely rewarding. Any expert witch has a copy of this in his or her arsenal for those times when you just can’t put your finger on the right word.
If the actual speaking of the chant is hard for you, try reciting it in your head. You don’t have to say your thoughts aloud to manifest them. Just because no one hears a tree fall in the forest doesn’t mean it doesn’t make a sound! The universe will hear you regardless of whether you are speaking or thinking. And if you mess up – just start over. You are in control of your magic. It is not in control of you.
As for sites with pre-made chants, you don’t need to go searching for that if it hasn’t found you already. Making your own is much more personal and satisfying in the end. It’s also easier to remember something you wrote yourself! I hope all of this was helpful! And if any of you have any more lesson requests, be sure to leave them in the comments below!