Monday, March 11, 2013

Invocation to the Four Elements as the Body of Life

Many years ago I published an ink-and-paper newsletter called Hephaestos' Forge: The Newsletter for Disabled Pagans. It was definitely a specialty item for a minority within a minority, but I felt it needed doing. You see, my first child was severely disabled. She spent all of her short life in a wheelchair, unable to care for herself. But the pagan community was overwhelmingly supportive and helpful to me and to her, in shocking contrast to the rest of the world (with the exception of the medical and therapy specialists who were so valuable to us).

So I published Hephaestos' Forge, soliciting letters and articles from the pagan community, printing it up at Kinko's and hand-addressing the issues. I met a lot of wonderful people through that activity, and learned much about the challenges many of us face every day. Often those challenges are hidden, not visible, but that doesn't make them any less real.

Eventually my life shifted, interest in the newsletter waned and I stopped publication. But I've held on to a few bits and pieces that I wrote for it, including the one I'm sharing with you today.

You see, one of my challenges as a pagan priestess was to include everyone, even those with physical disabilities, in ritual. It's easy to forget how much movement we require in a typical celebrational circle, until we're faced with including people who can't participate in those activities.

So I wrote up a ritual that allows the mind to flow outward, to move and shift and participate in the wonders of the universe, even when the body cannot. Today I'd like to share the opening invocation of that ritual with you. Regardless of your physical abilities or lack thereof, consider this an invitation to express yourself as a part of the limitless cosmos, as the infinite being you truly are.

Invocation to the Four Elements as the Body of Life
By Laura Perry

Hail, Spirits of Earth: be Thou my feet
That I may stand firm and strong,
Deeply rooted in abundant faith and love,
To weather any storm.

Hail, Spirits of Fire: be Thou my eyes
That I may see through purifying flame
With passion and determination
That which I most desire.

Hail, Spirits of Water: be Thou my legs
That I may follow every path,
However crooked or rocky or rough,
To the clear, deep pool of wisdom at the end.

Hail, Spirits of Air: be Thou my hands
That I may reach out and around me
To touch, caress and gently embrace
All that I hold dear.

Hail, Elements of Life: be Thou my body
That I may strive to learn and grow
In body, mind and spirit
In communion with the gods.