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Saturday, March 17 • 2:45pm - 4:00pm
Pagan Prayer Books

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The Conception and Construction of Pagan Prayer Books
A Bit of General History:
               Illustrated Prayers have been a part of human culture for many millennia. They have been etched onto boulders and tomb stones. Illustrated Prayers have decorated cave, temple, city, and shrine walls. In the last few thousand years, they have been made into books, currently some of these volumes have taken on the name of ‘Pagan Prayer Books’.
My Persoanl History:
               My history began with Pagan Prayer Plaques, then added Pagan Prayer Spell/Poems which became then Pagan Prayer Books.
How I Work:
               When feeling the call to shape-with/co-create a Pagan Prayer Book, I first ask myself, “Who, what, and/or when is inspiring me?” I try to get as clear as I can be without becoming too rigid about the inspirations coming my way. I stay focused. I always keep the Heathen notion in mind when doing this work, “I am informed by the lore (story, message, inspiration, vision, song, etc.) I am not ruled by lore (story, message, inspiration, vision, song, etc.).”
               I also keep myself open to noticing: when the images and verses become more than the sum of their parts … in other words I pay attention to when a series of images meld with a series of prayer/poems becoming richer and deeper in meaning than when they stand alone. I keep this focus in mind at all times.
               I am often asked which comes first, the image or the prayer/poem? Sometimes the images come first. Sometimes the spell/poems come first. Sometimes, they come randomly until the work is finished.
Handmade or Pre-made?
               I have found that the both prayer books made by and for the person using it, and a prayer book made for general usage can become a powerful part of a person’s daily (regular) practice. It has come to me that a centrally important feature for any prayer book, is that the text and images sing to you, speak directly to you, that the book and and its (human) partner share a vibration that feed each other, nurturing and nourishing each other’s well being and their work together in the worlds.
               A prayer book can be as simple as a few pieces of paper folded together and stapled, an elaborately hand embroidered volume, or electronically printed multiples. There is no one right material and/or technique that must be used to make a lovely, functional Pagan Prayer Book.
Three of Examples:
               Seventeen Ancestral Heros
               Eight Joyful Obligations Embraced by Grandmother Bear
               We Sail On

avatar for Donald Engstrom-Reese

Donald Engstrom-Reese

I am, among other things, an artist, gardener, Heathen Witch, and vitki. I have been consciously involved with Mystery and the Spirit Peoples for over thirty years. My life is an active every changing balance between the wild, the domestic, art, gardening, the runes, Queer Spirit... Read More →

Saturday March 17, 2018 2:45pm - 4:00pm CDT
Lower Level Art Programming