Wiccan Rosaries

 
 

Whether it dates from ancient times as some traditional Wiccans claim, or was created by Gerald Gardener in the 1940s as other suggest, Wicca is far and away the most popular modern pagan tradition and has had a central role in making pagan spirituality a living option for people today. The rich and creative diversity of today's Wiccan traditions make generalization risky, but most Wiccans revere two divine powers—the Triple Goddess and the Horned God—and celebrate their dance of relationship around the turning Wheel of the Year.

There are a range of designs for Wiccan rosaries including several variations on the themes of the thirteen lunar months of the year, the Triple Goddess, the eight sabbats, and the Horned God, as well as beaded versions of the Wiccan ladder. The creativity that members of the Wiccan community have put into these rosaries is impressive!

Thirteen Moons Rosary

Wiccan Rosary of the Thirteen Moons
Wiccan Rosary of the Thirteen Full Moons

Wicca, like many modern pagan religions, encourages devotees to pay attention to the lunar as well as the solar cycles. The Thirteen Moons rosary consists of thirteen round moonstone or mother-of-pearl beads, separated by thirteen groups of thirteen seed beads, each group a different color. Several other Wiccan rosary designs use the Thirteen Moons with spacer beads, but each does so in different ways, according to different traditions. The number and color of spacer beads also varies significantly. Some rosaries use the same color beads for each of the thirteen lunar months; others color code the months according to factors such as the "light half" (Belteinne to Samhain) and "dark half" (Samhain to Belteinne) of the year, or the colors of the Triple Goddess. In Pagan Prayer Beads: Magic and Meditation with Pagan Rosaries, Clare Vaughn and John Michael Greer chose to borrow the color symbolism of Robert Graves' tree calendar, which he in turn borrowed from the color symbolism of the ancient Irish Ogham alphabet. Although Graves' calendar is a modern invention, many Wiccans find it useful as a symbolic system.

Triple Goddess Rosary

The Wiccan Goddess may be viewed in many aspects and many moods. Many Wiccans resonate strongly with the triple Goddess, who resumes in herself the life stages of maiden, mother, and crone. In Pagan Prayer Beads: Magic and Meditation with Pagan Rosaries, Clare Vaughn designed a small, simple Triple Goddess rosary that can be used to meditate on these aspects of sacred femininity. Made of moonstone, carnelian, and black onyx beads with glass spacers, it's small enough to tuck into a pocket or purse, yet carries a wealth of meaning.

Horned God Rosary

Many Wiccans find it most appealing to connect to the Wiccan God in his aspect as the Horned God, who is both hunter and hunted, whether they pray to Cernunnos, Pan, or some other aspect of this wild woodland lord. Clare Vaughn designed a small, simple Horned God rosary to match that of the Triple Goddess. Easily carried in a pocket, it can come with you to any green place for meditation on and communion with the energies of the untamed masculine. It resumes the hunter symbolism in beads of bone, brown wood, and green glass, with a single red bead like a droplet of blood above the stag charm that finishes its short pendant.

Wiccan Rosaries » Pagan Prayer Beads » Pagan Prayer Beads: Magic and Meditation with Pagan Rosaries
John Michael Greer and Clare Vaughn (2007) Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC

Pagan Prayer Beads

Pagan Prayer Beads: Magic and Meditation with Pagan Rosaries

John Michael Greer and Clare Vaughn (2007) Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC

Religions from around the world—Buddhism, Hinduism, Catholicism, Islam, as well as Pagan earth religions—use prayer beads as portable, meaningful guides for remembering prayers and practicing meditative principles. Pagan Prayer Beads is the first book to introduce specifically the design, creation, and use of Pagan rosaries.

Beautifully written by beading expert Clare Vaughn and John Michael Greer, one of the preeminent pagan scholars of today, Pagan Prayer Beads is a rich resource for how to make and use prayer beads that will add meaning to your daily life. Use this one-of-a-kind guide to tap your own imagination and spark your deepest spirit to make ritual rosaries that reflect your true self and serve as a constant source of comfort and inspiration. Learn why certain crystal beads can calm you, other stones can heal you, and how to discover your own special "spirit bead" symbol. Lovely photographs by acclaimed Druid authority Grey Badger superbly illustrate the art and craft of prayer beads.