Today I’d like to clarify my book, Devotions for the Witch: Devozioni della Strega. I just want to be sure that everyone understands what the book is, and how to use it, as well as why I wrote it.
When I was a child, I was Catholic. In fact, I was a pretty good Catholic, for a while. I attended Mass every week, sometimes every day when I stayed with my grandmother, because she went every day – sometimes. I had a little missalette, a small missal, that listed all the prayers and readings necessary to celebrate the mass along with the priest, for the entire year. As I got a bit older, I had a prayer book that was dedicated specifically to the Blessed Virgin Mary – the only female so venerated in the church, except for the saints and martyrs. But Mary was number one. I really loved my little missalette, and used it every day, even when I didn’t go to mass. It’s not that I was all that religious, but it gave me a spiritual lift, during a difficult time in my mundane life, which I won’t detail here.
Once I left the church (or, it left me, as it actually happened), I missed my lovely prayer book. But it was a part of the whole Catholic thing, and I wasn’t a part of that any more. I investigated many other faiths, but none of them completely filled the emptiness, until the Goddess spoke to me. There I found many books to read, and some were downright spiritual in nature, but none of them pleased me like my missalette had. Over the years, I developed a collection of prayers of my own, while raising my children, and living my life, that I could recite through the day, when I needed that spiritual lift.
After many years, I decided to put all those prayers I’d written together, along with others’ prayers, a few hymns, a calendar and a Litany of the Martyrs that the church created. I also decided to publish this, in the hope that there might be a few others out there in the world, who missed the constant reminder of Her care as I did.
I’d originally thought to create something like a Book of Hours, prayers for each hour of the day, for each day of the week, etc. But I began to see that as a strictly Catholic or “organized religion” aspect to what I really wanted. So, I made a simple prayer book, unvarnished.
The Litany of Martyrs was created to mimic the Catholic Litany of Saints, in which a priest names all the accepted saints of the church, and the congregation follows each name with the simple reply “Pray for us”. I felt that was rather like “using” the saints to do something for us, rather than honoring them. I’d always believed the Litany was a way of honoring them, when I was a child in the church. How wrong we can be! So, when I created my Litany of Martyrs, each name (with the year of their martyrdom) is followed by the simple reply “Be at peace”. That way, it is a remembrance to them, a way to honor their sacrifice.
I’m pretty happy with the Devotions book. But not completely.
Now I’m thinking I should have included….
You know how that goes. You re-write everything, even if only in your mind.
So, I’m thinking I’ll create another prayer book. Perhaps a Novena book, along with my prayers (prayers are poetry) for the Goddess Rosary. Only this time, I’ll include the God and the Goddess. And I’ll do a 9-day version and a 9-hour version. I’ll have to do some study on the matter of Goddess Beads and such, and on the history of the rosary itself. I’d love to hear your reactions to this idea. Is this something you believe might have value to pagans? If you are not a practicing pagan, is it something you believe may have value at all?