Yéwesa – how to pray and perform Ritual the pagan way

In our Discord server we’ve brought up the Yéwesa – the Indo-European guidelines for pagan ritual and prayer, found out through trial and error by our ancestors, and on what we know from tradition, literature, ancient dramas and depictions – how to best appease the gods. In fact, the word ‘pray’ itself stems from Proto-Indo-European *prek – to ask for, pray, request, entreat. Here are some guidelines for how to create your own wonderful pagan prayers:

– Purify yourself before prayer – rinse hands for your actions, forehead for your thoughts and mouth for your words
– Prayers should be said in the presence of fire (the words travel up with fire)
– Face east. Towards the dawn, where we first see the divine light.
– The orans posture is great for prayer (the Abrahamics of course stole this too from pagans)

The prayer should (at least) include:
– Direction: Identify who you are talking to, and say that first, so the prayer is addressed correctly. It’s good to also include epithets etc.
– Praise: Description of past deeds of the deity/spirit (‘You who …’)
– Before the request – show what you’re doing for them (I make this offering for you)
– Request (do ut des, quid pro quo – see our other posts about these expressions)
– Vow of a future offering or honorable deed, if the request is granted, like a votive offering
– (If there are also offerings and libations while praying, always make them with your right hand)
– Finish the prayer with an adoratio gesture.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!

More on pagan prayer in the Hamingja podcast

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