I pray in my own way. I do not speak to a god. I have long left behind the traditional faith I was born in. I no longer practice any of its beliefs and rituals.
But I still believe in a higher power, a higher being who is sometimes a god and sometimes a goddess and sometimes something four-footed because it doesn’t really matter what form it takes. Sometimes it is a multitude of beings instead of one. Sometimes it takes on the form of a random person who steps into a life and plants a plot twist.
I believe in higher purpose and a deeper meaning to life and to Things in general. I believe in both order and chaos and the play of balance between them. I believe in both light and shadow and how one cannot be without the other.
I believe in the human spirit, the human soul, the human heart. I believe in humanity’s connection with nature. That popular quote about us being made of start stuff, I believe that too.
I believe in karma and responsibility and not doing harm to others — and I equally believe in self care, self protection, and self love. In my experience there has always been the tendency to sacrifice the self and to cause harm to the self out of being “good” and “responsible” and not wanting to hurt others.
I believe in self-examination and self-knowledge and self-evolution. This includes accepting and learning from my own mistakes and failures. Discernment is a crucial skill.
So this is how I pray:
I write to all my selves and to the universe and all the benevolent beings, putting into tangible form what is intangible inside my head and my heart. Clarity can be difficult to achieve but it gets better with practice. I have to be clear so the flow of energy moving forward will be clear, so the goal message to my brain is clear and it knows what to find solutions for and what to look out for. The writing is a process and a practice, not a one-time thing or an occasional thing. The writing builds up, weaves a whole story, and when I look at the wholeness I begin to see the answers.
I do a ritual of fixing things. This has been borrowed mostly from the idea of sympathetic magic (I used to dabble in the 1990s). I clear clutter, clear paths, clean up stagnant piled up messes. I believe in the idea of harmonizing the inside with the outside. They help each other manifest what I need.
I make offerings when I can by helping others - often I donate to animal shelters. In daily practice I do what I can to be eco-friendly — recycling, upcycling, making conscious purchases, and supporting social enterprises that advocate sustainability and green living.
(If I lived in a place with a woods nearby I would walk there everyday and it would be like a daily mass.)
I make art. This is my closest connection to the unknown and to the higher powers. My inner church or temple is a forest. Here I am able to link with the magic at the core of the world. Magic is such a worn-out word but I believe in it. I see it as the inner power of life in the universe. Life finds a way because of it, even ways that defy the rules we have barely begun to understand. It is hope, it is faith, it is love.
As I am an artist, my whole life is essentially a prayer. For there are many many things that I am praying for. So many brokenness that need mending. So many days that need surviving.
This is what works for me.