April 14, 2008

Prayer Beads

Posted in Devotionals, Goddess Things tagged , , , at 8:28 pm by Babs

Set of Japa mala, made from Tulasi wood, with head bead in foreground.

Scholars agree that the prayer beads originated with the Hindu faith.  It is possible that the use of beads for devotion dates back to the eighth century BCE in the cult of Siva.  Sandstone sculptures in India, from 185 BCE, show Hindu sages holding prayer beads.  These Hindu prayer beads are called mala.  


The number of beads on a prayer strand varies from 32 to 108.  Mantras are often repeated hundreds or even thousands of times. The mala is used so that one can think about the meaning of the mantra as it is chanted rather than thinking about counting the repetitions. One mantra is usually said for every bead, turning the thumb clockwise around each bead, though some traditions or practices may call for counterclockwise or specific finger usage. When arriving at the head bead, one turns the mala around and then goes back in the same direction. This makes using the mala easier as the beads will not be so tight on the string when you use them.


Call them Malas, Prayer Beads or Rosaries – they are common in most religions around the world.  Whatever your path, make your own keeping in mind that they are tactile and the materials you use should call to you. 


-Blessed Be!

The Gaia Theory

Posted in Goddess Things, Statues tagged , at 12:45 am by Babs

Oberon Zell's Gaia StatueNamed after Gaia, Greek goddess of the Earth, this is a broadly inclusive term for related concepts that living organisms on a planet will affect the nature of their environment in order to make the environment more suitable for life. This set of theories holds that all organisms on an extraterrestrial life giving planet regulate the biosphere to the benefit of the whole. The Gaia concept draws a connection between the survivability of a species, (hence its evolutionary course) and its usefulness to the survival of other species.
Finally science has realized what pagan people have know for millennia; we are all connected here on Mother Earth.  What we do today, will affect not just humanity, but all of creation, for thousands of years to come.  What people might not want to admit… is that the earth will be here in a thousand years… man might not.  Take care of Gaia, and she will take care of you.  Namaste!

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