Using Pagan Prayer Beads

I’ve had many people ask me for suggestions on how to pray using pagan prayer beads over the years. Over the past five years or so, I’ve finally started to nail down a practice of prayers and rituals that feel good and right to me, so I wanted to share some of that with you here.

This set of prayers is specific to Brighid, but you can certainly adapt them to better suit whatever goddess, god or group of spirits you wish to honor. In fact, if you have a favorite resource of your own, please feel free to share it with me!

I tend to make my prayer beads with groups of beads in threes, nines, or nineteens, often with larger beads in between the sections, similar to Catholic rosaries (which are made up of five decades of ten beads, with a larger bead between each decade). I lean towards threes and nines because these numbers tend to be sacred for a lot of pagans, though I (or you!) can certainly design a custom piece around any number you choose. (All images on this page are prayer beads that I designed with Brighid in heart and mind. You can also find more in my galleries.)

I’ll often use my prayer beads with the prayers below for Brighid at the beginning of flamekeeping shifts, on other holy days and whenever we might be in need of extra healing, reassurance or simply more in need of her presence.

For each bead in a section of 3, 9 or 19 beads, we recite this very short prayer:

Lady, please be in my head, heart and hands.
Help me to always be wise, glad, grateful,
and useful to you.

For the larger beads between the sections of multiple beads, we recite this prayer:

Hail Brighid, bright arrow,
my heart is with thee.
Blessed is thy flame of divine inspiration
and blessed are thy sacred wells of healing.
Holy Brighid, shield of my protection,
my strength and courage everlasting,
be with me now and always.

At the center pendant, we recite this prayer, shared on the Org Brighideach website, written by Riordan.

As I begin this day
I beseech of you,
Oh Lady of my soul
Brighid of the Fires Three:

Watch over me all my day with Your Radiant Gaze,
Allow me to walk the day in Your Warm Embrace,
Grant me the kindness of Your Hallowed Company,
Be in me and Imbue me with Your Sacrosanct Presence.

Divine Lady,
Goddess That I revere
Brighid in Your aspect
Of Fire in the head:

Exalt me when I turn my heart to Your Music;
Inspire me when I turn my mind towards You;
Incite me to produce work that serves You.
So that I may create in worship of You.

Divine Lady,
Goddess That I revere,
Brighid in Your aspect
Of Fire of the hearth:

Comfort me when I turn towards You to soothe my pain;
Nourish me when I turn towards You for sustenance;
Heal me when I turn towards You to cure my ailment.
And I in gratitude will hold You at the core of my soul.

Divine Lady,
Goddess That I revere,
Brighid in Your aspect
Of Fire on the forge:

I will undergo what pain You exact to shape me, but please let it not be too much;
I will endure what pressure You impose to temper me, but please let it not be too much;
I will bear what blows You wreak to strengthen me, but please let it not be too much.
I will suffer what You inflict to make me Your better servant, but don’t be too harsh.

Many people also use brief affirmations, or a set of affirmations, with a repetition for each bead. This can be useful with energy work in particular, even if you don't worship or work with specific deities.

I hope that this is helpful as a bit of a guide or diving board in helping others figure out ways to use their prayer beads that feel good and right to them. That’s the most important thing, I believe… Do what feels right and helps you to connect to your ancestors or gods, ground and center, meditate, whatever your goal might be.

If you have suggestions for mantras or affirmations, or prayers that you have written or like to use in your practice and would like to share them, please feel free to get in touch. I’d love to share some of them on your behalf, and would of course give you proper credit if I use your words, as well. As new prayers are posted, you can find them on my new blog.

* I do not know the source of the above adaptation of the Hail Mary. The version that I found ended with “Blessed be,” but this felt more right to me. For those unaware, “Amen” is Hebrew/Latin for “I believe” or “so be it.”