I’ve always felt the steady rhythm of beads moving through your fingers comforting as they introduce a regularity, a heartbeat which calms my racing mind. From Catholic Rosary beads as a child or in later years rounds of mala beads provided this route yet neither fitted as they weren’t of my tradition. While I am only vaguely familiar with traditional Celtic prayer beads – the Paidirinean, I was drawn to create Celtic Soul Craft Prayer Beads.
Celtic Soul beads are born from my tradition which involves a deep communication with the land and a relationship with the ancestral energies of that place. My culture is a circle culture which stretches back through generations of wise women, of women who knew the thresholds of life and death and carried the stream of their ancestor’s voices. Ancestors who were weavers, drummers and singers – women versed in herbalism, stone medicine and doll making, women whose language was ritual and ceremony, women who danced between the worlds.
The circle the beads create represents the wheel of the year. It is also that great cycle of birth, death and rebirth which honors the great mystery.
- Pendant – The beads begin with the pendant which sets the tone and insight for the set
- Three beads – I think of these three beads as steps we take on the way to the temple or to meditation.
- Mystery bead – The mystery bead is usually the biggest bead in the set and invites us to consider the mystery that exists in all things and is the source of everything
- Main circle of beads – The beads are generally divided up into eight sections which represent the eight festivals of the wheel of the year.
- Liminal beads – these are the section dividing beads which represent the threshold, the in-between days between the main holy days.Options on How to Use Your Celtic Soul Prayer Beads
Breathing Into the Circle
Each person is invited to find their own meaning. My main use of these beads is to pick them up and begin the pilgrimage with my fingers around the circle. As I begin to think about the circle I’m traveling I imagine breathing into that circle. A circle which holds all the mystery of life. I breathe out what I’m holding and want to release and then breathe in from the circle – it’s one of the few things that quiets my mind and lets me connect to the vastness of life with its thousands of connections. I find this is a wonderful morning meditation to root you into the day.
Other ways of Using the Prayer Beads:
You may simply wish to use the chant using three words which offer the essence of the particular holy day or to represent a situation
- You may simply wish to use the beads with your own chant/prayer (protection, intention, gratitude)
- Use them while walking, in ritual or in quiet time at your altar
- Work with them in creating your intentions at new moon
- Concentrate on the symbolism of the particular holyday of the wheel you’re at