Now, this is not traditional conjure, but lately I’ve been fascinated by prayer wheels and flags.
It’s not too far-fetched, really: when you light a candle or incense, or build a honey jar, or place an apple spell under a potted plant, you have physical, tangible objects assisting and reinforcing your prayer — and, in fact, carrying on your prayer after the sound of your words has died away.
Buddhists, as you can see from Wikipedia, developed prayer wheels and flags as an aid to a very specific kind of meditative practice. That’s why I’m a little nervous about adopting this idea, because its purpose would mutate in my hands. Is that cultural imperialism? Is it fakelore? I’m certainly not going to say “This is a Tibetan Buddhist custom” when I set up my own prayer wheel or flags, but “I saw a prayer wheel and thought of this.”
The adaption of foreign religious practice, with the meaning transmuted and colored by the new culture, is as old as history and as wide as the world itself. Vodoun itself, one of the oldest extant religions, enfolded the saints of Roman Catholicism into its embrace centuries ago.
I do see a place in Western religious practice for such a thing. What to call it? An environmental prayer? The prayer of the inanimate object? But that raises the question: Are there really any inanimate objects for the magician? Now there’s a nice juicy Storefront Theology post.
I’m not sure I want to or need to build a prayer wheel. For me, it does feel a little too much like cultural imperialism. But — something that moves or turns with the wind or the sun, scattering blessings everywhere? A prayer windmill, perhaps?
2 thoughts on “Conjure Craft: Prayer Wheels and flags”
How innovative Miss Michaele! I believe that as long as it isn’t initiatory information and the adaptation always has reference to its source, creativity is a beautiful thing. I look forward to seeing what you do with this new inspiration!
I just might — I’ve got big plans that don’t depend on passing the collection plate 😉