How to Create Magical Prayers

The Hedge Witch's Way: Magical Spirituality for the Lone Spellcaster - Rae Beth 2006

How to Create Magical Prayers

If you are a born wildwood mystic, a person with the spirit of enchantment strong in you, then you will want to create your own prayers — to the Earth, Moon, Sun, Star or Underworld Goddesses or Gods, or to the Great Goddess or Great God, meaning the universal, divine powers around the whole world tree. You may already have been saying things like, Please guide me, Moon Goddess, or Please bless—[a friend] or Thank you for my freedom, Horned God. If you are new to all this, then you may want to begin in just such a way — saying prayers which are that simple. In any case, however experienced, we all resort to one-line spontaneous prayers, from time to time. They are heartfelt and natural.

In moving to what is more complex, you could find it useful to adapt prayers from this book, or to say them just as they are. Sooner or later, however, you will want to create your own fresh ones, formal and structured for magical potency. So how is it done?

The most important thing to remember is always to start any prayer with an invocation. This means a summoning up, within yourself, by using a ’word-picture’ of an image of the deity. Your image may include symbols — like a crescent Moon, or wild deer, or a forest or ocean — as well as qualities. You may have a series of places, animals, plants or abstract ideas. The important thing is that these represent to you the nature of the Goddess or God to whom you are praying. This is much less difficult than it sounds. You may, for example, wish to pray to a Goddess of Love, but not know her traditional names or associations (though she has many — among other names, to the Celts she is Rhiannon, to the Nordic peoples, the Goddess Freya, to the witches of the Middle Ages, Marian). Without any knowledge, you can still invoke her easily. Begin by saying Great Goddess of Love, Lady of ... and then add all the things that mean love to you: Lady of hearts, flowers and deep embraces, Lady of the heart’s fulfilment, Great Lady of happiness....

If you want to pray to the God of Nature about an environmental matter, you do not have to know that, to our ancestors, he was called Cernnunos or Herne. You can just say, God of wild animals and all wild places, please hear me. I call to you as the guardian of all that’s living and of nature’s balance.

This easily you can invoke a Goddess or God. You can build up an image and a feeling for them, inside you, by just describing them and their domain (their sphere of activity). The more descriptive words and phrases you add to your invocation, the stronger it becomes. But it is better to choose a few symbols you are sure of, and repeat them more than once, chanting them, than to confuse yourself looking for new ideas, if they don’t come easily.

In the above example, the key words are ’guardian’, ’wild animals and wild places’ and ’nature’s balance’. By simply repeating a sentence containing these, you can begin to conjure up a feeling for what such a guardian is actually like. In other words, you will invoke the God within you. The purpose of such invocations is that they provide a link between ourselves and the divine powers, who are far greater than we are. By invoking the God or Goddess within, we can awaken our own connection with the deities — although they transcend our own existence. This is not because they are archetypal aspects of our own psychology — they are far, far more than that, being creatrix and co-creator of all that is. Describing them turns the attention of our spirits towards them, as well as awakening the numinousness within ourselves. There is then immediate contact. It is hard to put this into words. Being mystery, it must be experienced to be understood.

Anyway — rule number one about magical prayer — begin with an invocation, a description of the Goddess or God and of their powers. Do not try to make it poetic. Just use words or phrases that seem accurate, and any images from nature that easily connect with your theme. The deity that you describe is what you will contact, however you name them.

Many Christians have invoked a fierce, intolerant and jealous God, one in whose name they have burned witches, denied women’s sexuality and massacred tribespeople to destroy indigenous religions. They did all this in the name of Jesus. Since it is impossible to imagine the benign healer of the New Testament would ever approve such behaviour, we can only conclude that they had not invoked Jesus, but an evil counterfeit instead. The lesson is clear to us all, whatever our faith: deity names do not matter, however holy they appear to be, in comparison to the attributes we decide to pin on to that name.

Having described any deity’s goodness in (as befits a witch or Pagan mystic) entirely wild, primal terms, you will have made the right start to any prayer. After that, it’s hard to go wrong. But what are the next stages? Sometimes you don’t need to worry about them. Some very magical and potent prayers are said spontaneously, without structure. A formal prayer will be constructed in steps or stages — three of them — but a prayer that is sudden and heartfelt may only ramble but still be effective. This is because it makes up in raw sincerity what it lacks in finesse. It is still vital to begin with a clear invocation, however brief, for this is what makes it more than a desperate inner monologue. The turning of the witch’s attention towards the Goddess or God is what brings an alteration in consciousness, making it possible for us really to communicate with realms of spirit. This attunes us to eternal realities which transcend our fears and all the little ways that we limit magic.

The next stage after the invocation is simply to state a request (or to make a thanksgiving — but unless the prayer is a grace, it is usually a case of asking for something). If the prayer is a formal one, written out to be learned by heart and spoken many times, then we have a chance to think carefully about what we’re asking for. This may be inner guidance, a healing, a blessing for the land, a good love relationship, or a banishing of depression, or anything else that is constructive. Fairly obviously, it is better if the subject is within the deity’s especial province. This does not matter if you are addressing the Great Goddess, Mother of All Living, she who includes all Goddesses within her infinite being — or the Great God. Since these are the universal divine powers, you can pray to them about anything. However, people can find that praying to a specific deity feels less abstract and impersonal.

It helps to address the appropriate Goddess or God for your particular concerns. Most formal magical rites rest upon this premise. It may seem too obvious to mention, but you would not normally ask Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, for money. Nor Persephone, Queen of the Dead, for love. Nor Manannan, God of Deep Truth and Transformation, for a new home. However, people do forget this.

As a matter of fact, the rule is not inflexible. Pagan deities are not exactly like Christian patron saints, assigned to particular realms of concern. They are mystery and full of paradox; they are inclusive, vital. So a request for prosperity to Cernunnos, Guardian of Nature, is not quite like asking St Francis for a fat bank account! Our Goddesses and Gods cannot ever be fitted into psychic pigeonholes. Therefore, seasoned witches and mystics may well decide to address their prayers to a deity not usually approached for such a matter — and do it successfully. If they have made a lifelong devotion to one deity in particular, a self-dedication, then they may pray about almost everything to that one Goddess or God, aware that the prayers will be answered in terms of that deity’s resonance. However, these are matters for the experienced. If you are just beginning as a wildwood mystic, it is best to address your prayers for love to the Love Goddess or God, those for prosperity to the Goddess and God of Abundance and so on (on all three levels of the world tree).


Stage three of creating a prayer is normally a consecration of the matter. It is what might be called the offering or ’sacrifice’. This makes the issue a sacred one. By dedicating it to divine purposes in some way, it is set apart from everyday power-games or human foolishness or desecration — and linked with the common good. It is lifted beyond the normal push and shove of human striving, and also it is bound only to work out if it serves the good purpose to which it has been connected. Thus, a witch’s prayers have a built-in safety mechanism, ensuring that the magic which follows (if magic is to be done) can only be successful if it harms no one and, in fact, enhances life. This is most easily explained by an example.

Stage One — Invocation

I call upon the Lady of Love, Lady of Romance and deep fulfilment, you who bless all true lovers with happiness.

Stage Two — Statement (of request)

Please bless my friend—[name them] with the right love relationship.

Stage Three — Consecration (the offering)

Let that love serve her/his best interests and those of her/his future partner, and may it be a source of harmony. May it serve life by creating an atmosphere of joy that lifts people’s spirits.

The love that has been prayed for has thus been consecrated to divine purposes.

Most of the prayers in this book are complex or expanded versions of the above formula. This is based in traditional spellcraft and ritual practices, in which there is normally an invocation of the Goddess or God (or both), a statement of intention or of the purpose of the ritual, and a consecration or offering of the materials used in the magic, and of the successful outcome of the enchantment — or of something arising from it. Another example could be this one.

Stage One — Invocation

Mother Earth, Lady of Abundance, you who provide for all creatures, I call upon you.

Stage Two — Statement (of request)

I ask you to give me prosperity. May all my needs be met for goods and money. Without greed, I ask to have enough and to have security.

Stage Three — Consecration

And may my future prosperity and wellbeing serve the environment, in balance, in deep ecology.

This prayer would need to be preceded by careful thought. How would such an offering be carried out in practice? All your environmentally-caring deeds and purchases would be ways of honouring it. But also, your life could change unexpectedly, so that you became, for example, an eco-warrior of some kind or a person who created a wild-life sanctuary. The point about magic is that it is mystery — not like a business transaction but like love.

Another example would be this one:

Stage One — Invocation

Great God of Doorways and Thresholds, Oak God, I call upon you as God of the Forest Pathways and of Herbal Wisdom.

Stage Two — Statement (request and thanksgiving)

I ask you to grant me knowledge of herbal magic. Teach me to safely work with plants for magical purposes. Let me know how to speak with all plant spirits, and how to read the future, by herbal auguries. And what plants to bring to the altar to make my spells strong. I thank you for the knowledge I already have. I thank you for all wild woods.

Stage Three — Consecration

Let all my old and new knowledge bring guidance and increased wellbeing for many. Let it make me a more effective wisewoman/wiseman. Let it do no harm to any wild place nor to any person but let it serve life.

It is easy to see how a planned prayer makes an ideal start and focus for any spellcraft. In the above, for instance, the invocation suggests where to do the work (why not go out and find a woodland and pray beneath an actual oak tree?), and then the medium for the spell (how about consecrating an oak twig or acorn, as a link with the Oak God, and carrying it everywhere you go?).

In the first example, the prayer for love, ideas that spring to mind include filling a chalice with wine (because of the word ’fulfilment’ and because of the traditional association of cups and happiness), and blessing it with the words, ’May she/he who drinks this, drink also of the wine of fulfilment in love.’ Then, offer it to your friend if she/he is willing.

If you bear in mind the three stages of magical prayer — the invocation, the statement, the consecration — then it is easy to construct a prayer about any matter. When you take advice from a familiar spirit about the prayer and resulting spellcraft, it is even easier (but more about that in the next chapter).

You may be wondering how your invocations can be made to relate to the three levels of the world tree. That is quite straightforward, too.

It is clear that all deities have an upperworld, middle Earth and underworld aspect. Take the Love Goddess, known to the Greeks as Aphrodite. She is associated with the planet Venus, romance, erotic fulfilment on a sensual level, and with the seas, or tides of fate, that bring people together. (Love can, of course, create or seal our fate.) Therefore, we can pray to her as ’Great Goddess of Love . . .’ including her aspects in each of the three realms. Or we can say ’Great Goddess of Love, I call to you as’ (for example) ’Lady of middle Earth.’ This is if we want to pray to her about a physical matter, to do with sexual love or fertility.

Similarly, with each Goddess or God, we can include in our prayer the words ’Lady/Lord of the upperworld/middle Earth/underworld’, if it is appropriate to be specific. Or simply pray to ’Great Goddess/God of . . .’ if it is not.

This may seem impossible if the deity is especially linked with one realm, as in the case of the British Sun Goddess, Sulis, who seems, on the face of it, to be entirely of the upperworld. But Sulis is also the Sun at midnight — that is, the Sun in the underworld. To underline her underworld aspect, she is Goddess of the hot mineral waters that rise in Bath as a sacred spring. This makes her a goddess of prophecy and healing. In addition, she is Harvest Mother, as her named sanctuary Silbury Hill indicates, rising, as it does, from a fertile landscape and being a traditional place to celebrate the ripening of the crops.

The Celtic God Manannan is primarily a God of the sea, and linked with faerie realms. However, he is said to have a three-spoked wheel on which he travels through the sky. He is also active upon the land, transforming people’s lives.

The Horned God Cernunnos/Herne leads the wild hunt through the night sky (or upperworld) as he collects the spirits of the newly dead, to take them to the summerlands. Yet he is known as protector of the wild places of middle Earth. He resides in the faerie realm, the underworld. His Welsh counterpart, Gwyn ap Nudd, is the same.

Any Goddess or God is, essentially, mystery, and active anywhere, everywhere, thus containing aspects in each of the three realms (in the case of Moon Goddesses like Morgan Le Fey, three aspects in each of the three realms). But you do not have to know traditional Goddess or God names to be a wildwood mystic. If you are in the West of England, Wales or Brittany (or many other places as well), and you pray to the Goddess of Fate, then clearly the Faerie Goddess, Morgan, will know who you mean. And you can call to her as Moon Goddess in the upperworld, or as the inner spirit of the land, with its healing springs and wells in middle Earth, or as the Sea Goddess and Faerie Queen, whose realm is below land level. In fact, if you are in another continent, you can still pray to the Fate Goddess and be heard by Morgan — for you may have ancestral links with one of her sacred places, or have spent former lives in her service. The same is true of all other Goddesses and Gods. And you do not need to use names if you do not want to. If you are a beginner, you can say things like, ’I call upon the God of Wisdom in the underworld’, and leave it that simple.

Underworld matters are things like psychology, emotions, inner meanings, past life or soul links, buried causes, the arts, a sense of the sacred, purification, deep, transformational healing, fate, prophecy, death, rebirth, regeneration, all psychic senses, the past, ancestral memories and teachings, the faeries, and the deep or profound self.

Middle Earth matters are about our relationship with the land, and with all creatures, physically as well as spiritually, about nature, animals, physical harmony and justice, nature spirits, manifestation of our ideas and plans, practicality, sensuality, the body, trees, flowers and all herbs, minerals, gardening, farming, home-making, crafts, beauty, abundance, wellbeing, the countryside, the continuum of all life, environmentalism, the natural or instinctual self and the conscious mind.

Upperworld matters are about the overview, long-term repercussions, events that affect whole sections of the community or all of us, the Universe, cosmic tides, ideals, compassion, aspirations, expanded consciousness, exaltation, divine messages, the big picture (including other galaxies), transcendence, the transpersonal, metaphysics, and the higher self.

These are the working rules. However, it is often helpful, when dealing with a matter that seems stuck, or unresolvable, to direct your prayers to another realm than the obvious choice, or to each in turn, as in the previous chapters on health, wealth and good fortune.