Last week, you may remember, I posted this Celtic prayer. It is one of many that I have posted over the years, my favourites being God Circle Me and Circle Us Lord. I love these prayers and write them regularly as a part of my own spiritual observances.
What interested me was the response to my latest prayer. Joyce Withrow drew the beautiful doodle above and Susan Gibson sent me this photo of her inspiring meditation.
Circles were significant to the Celts and it is not surprising that circling prayers or CAIM became an important part of their prayer life.
It was felt that a circle with no break was a complete whole affording no access to the devil. Monasteries were often built with a circle of crosses surrounding them declaring that the space with in was sacred and different – dedicated to God and claimed as a place where God met people who were offered sanctuary and hospitality.
The Celtic cross with its circle at the heart of the cross drew on significance of the sun as the source of heat and light, reminding people of the nimbus or halo that artists used to signify the white heat of pure holiness. (from The Celtic Resource Book – Martin Wallace)
Sometimes prayers would be said with the drawing of an imaginary circle around the people or place being prayed for. At other times an actual circle path was created around a room, a building or community and the circling prayer recited as people walked a mini pilgrimage around the area. This is a highly effective form of prayer to use for a house blessing, or as a prayer for protection, or as a prayer for spiritual strength.
Watch the delightful video below of how a child uses a simple circling prayer to cast out fear on his first day at school. Then consider ways to use your own circling prayers. What are you afraid of, our anxious about? Where are places that you feel need a special circle of God’s love? I encourage you to create your own circling prayers or to use the prayers linked in this post as a framework for meditation and contemplation. I think that you too will find this an inspiring spiritual exercise too – and I would love to hear where your inspiration leads you.