Pagan Prayer Beads
Different Styles of Prayer BeadsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Make Your Own Prayer Beads
Meditation and Prayer Focus
At a recent gathering, I got into a discussion with several other women about mediation and prayer, and it wasn't too long before the words "pagan prayer beads" were thrown out in the conversation. It's funny how as a bunch of witches, we had to specify that they were "pagan" but it reminded me that often people don't think of prayer beads as being something a person of Pagan-orientation might use as a spiritual aid.
Each of us who had this conversation had something we'd made by stringing items together, most often including beads. These were items that went beyond the occasional power piece and were things that were used regularly for private spiritual work. The creation and handcrafting of them was frequently cited as being a significant moment of spiritual meditation or awakening and all had become cherished items.
What the strings of prayer beads were made from was as eclectic a mix as you could imagine. Hand-crafted carvings and formed ceramics, given beads and tokens, and found objects all were woven together and connected. One woman especially made sure that all the beads she strung together felt distinctly different as well as looking different from each other. She often used her prayer beads as a mediation aid when she couldn't sleep and her beads were all identifiable to her by touch in the dark. Many of her beads represent friends and family for which she says prayers and she knows every single person's bead the instant she touches it.
Making & Using Pagan Prayer Beads
How to Knot a Bead String
How Prayer Beads Are Used
Christian prayer beads are called rosaries, and they are necklaces that incorporate prayer beads and a cross. Buddhists also have prayer beads, and there's are carved from fragrant wood and strung on a red string to be carried or worn on the wrist. There are even Muslim prayer beads called Misbaha, and they are used to count the names of Allah. Many traditions and cultures made every day necklaces or ritual jewelry that represented prayers or mantras.
The bead work as a memory tool, which each most often representing a type of prayer to be recited. By feeling along the string of beads, the person can focus on the saying or thinking of their prayers and the beads do the automatic counting or tracking of recitations for you. With each bead you feel, you can say a mantra or a prayer, or think of an affirmation or a key word to focus your mental state or intentions.