By Terri Piszczor
It is in my studies of Indigenous traditions that I first learned the Calling in the Directions prayer.
As part of my apprenticeship, I memorized the words of this long invocation. For me, it acts as a recapitulation of my connection to the six Directions – South, West, North, East, Mother Earth and Father Sky. It is spoken aloud to open up sacred space for a spiritual ceremony.
After learning it by heart, I was asked to make it my own by creating a new version that best resonated with me. Sometimes the words evolve for me while reciting it, depending on how the Spirit moves me in that moment.
Here is the link to the closest version that I received. It is followed by a good overview of a Peruvian fire ceremony:
While each individual verse holds magic for me, here are my favorite:
Walk softly, intimately, upon the earth in the beauty way.
The word intimately for me describes the unity that I seek to have with the universe.
Whisper to us on the winds the wisdom of the ages.
While this speaks to me about the continuity of our existence, I think I most take pleasure in the alliterative rolling of the W’s off my tongue when I say it aloud.
You who are known by a thousand names, yet you who are the unnamable one.
For me, this highlights that universal yet elusive presence of God/Spirit that I am seeking.
All our Relations. Mitakuye Oyasin
Mitakuye Oyasin is translated to All our Relations and for me it means that we are all related. I find this notion very Quakerly and incredibly powerful.
This invocation both comforts and awes me. It has also become a testimony for me, and it is in the feeling of this prayer that best represents God to me.
Very recently, I have been led to add another Direction to my prayer: The Direction of Self. After I complete the calling in of the other Directions, I put my hand to my heart and both call forth from me the divine and recognize that I, too, am a Direction. I can choose what kind of Direction I want to be. I have learned over the years to not feel sacrilegious about believing this but to stand in the knowing that God or Spirit or <insert your favorite descriptor word> works through me as it does through nature and every one else. That of God in everyone. And my addition of my Self Direction is the acknowledgement of that of God in me.