Small Devotions: A Blessing for Reading

January 20, 2021 | Filed Under Devotions | No Comments

I find it’s easy to fall into being so caught up in the rush of daily life that I miss opportunities for small devotions. I’ve been working on slowing down (no, really, I have—there’s nothing like a set of week-old abdominal incisions from surgery to make one discover the benefits of moving at a stately pace), which has allowed me to think about what I’m doing, and how a blessing or prayer might fit with the action, no matter how minor.

I’ve actually had time to read two entire books in the last ten days! Which led me to think about ways to take the opportunity for a blessing and gratitude.

Before starting to read, I recite:

Hail, Saga! Source of all stories, and keeper of histories!
As I read these words, help me to take the time to savor and imbibe them,
Giving them due consideration and contemplation,
That their meaning and their lessons are clear and useful.

This covers a wide range of topics, both fiction and non-fiction, and is usable for pretty much any book.

You could also invoke Bragi for fiction or drama; Odin for magic and myth; Loki for psychology, technology, and communications; or any other deity you feel is a match for the book. For example, my next volume is a book on grief and mourning, so I think Hel (as the Goddess of Death) and Sigyn (as the Mourning Mother) would be fitting choices. Reading a book on gardening, plant life, or similar? Idunna would be a good fit. A book on historical women in government? Frigg, as Allmother and Sovereign, is a clear choice.

You can alter the invocation as well—if you’re about to read a novel of comic misadventure, you could mention appreciating the entertainment and the release from care for the time you read reading.

When I’m done reading, I recite:

Thank you, Saga, for this story.
May the examples and lessons stay firm in my mind,
Guiding me as I journey through my life,
Helping me to live more fully and wholly,
As the characters’ experience informs my experience.

Again, you can customize the thanks to suit the book’s subject and the deity. You can start with these examples, and let your intuition and imagination run free!

An open book sits between two glass candle jars. Stacks of books are arranged on the surface behind it.

[Image description: An open book sits between two glass candle jars. Stacks of books are arranged on the surface behind it.]

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