Invocation, Tefilah, Prayer, Du’a

These are the words of communion with one’s god, gods, or goddess, but also with loved ones lost to death. The ancients communicated with their blessed dead, the ancestors, who were believed to have transcended to an afterlife, a hallowed place much like the land of the living. An earthly Creator was fashioned, originally the Goddess, who was then joined by gods and others. In time, God was born.

Communion with Goddess or God varies in intent and intensity, form and spirit. Devotees seek a way favorable to their Creator.

Communion with the Goddess involves invocation, calling upon the Goddess for Her blessing or favor. From the Old French, “prayer” or “summoning,” through the more ancient Latin invocationem, “to call upon, appeal.”

Communion with Adonai takes the form of tefilah, an ancient Hebrew word. The meaning of this word relates to judging oneself, which speaks to the act of going first within before calling upon YHVH.

Communion with God is named, by moderns, prayer. Again, Latin forms the backbone, and through Old French, to pray means to “ask earnestly, to beg.” The noun form describes that which has been “obtained by prayer.”

Communion with Allah begins with a supplication, du’a, an Arabic word meaning “to summon, to call.” Classical Arabic traces to the 6th century CE, with deeper roots in the Central Semitic language family.

How does one feel when blessings are bestowed by way of invocation, tefilah, prayer, or du’a? For those who worry about these words, that for devotees initiate a conversation with their Goddess or God, they are not used as weapons of conversion, but instruments of love.

For one who is not religious, the act of another, initiating invocation, tefilah, prayer, or du’a will not offend; it is welcomed for what it is, an act of devotion.

Fear

Not a word new to anyone, a feeling familiar to all.  A disturbing emotion, certainly part of the primal lexicon of all mammals, driving movement, change, and evolution.  Abraham Maslow may have agreed that the feeling of fear equals in opposite the yearning for safety.

Fear’s etymological origin is as an Anglo-Saxon word meaning “terrify.”  Fear is a loan word, driven to the Old English shore during the Viking invasion. The fear of losing one’s home to a raging man with an axe to grind would absolutely terrify.

In modern times, one still may have cause to fear the raging man with an axe to grind. Un-self-actualized egos ignorant of the basic need to be secure in one’s body, home, and resources can destroy what wobbly security one may have been clinging to.

Fear is often a motivator, spurring reactions which may result in the preservation of one’s base, providing a place from which to grow.  From there, taking control tames fear, replacing it with purpose and more positive motivators.

Is the raging man afraid of anything? In one strange case, he is afraid of nothing except being wrong about his justification for creating fear.

Two Nickels

I’ve been thinking about finances a lot lately. Who hasn’t? In my efforts to make my dollars stretch as far as possible I started thinking about that old phrase about change, about being too poor to have two nickels to rub together. Started wondering about why one would want to squish one’s coins together. What possible benefit would that bring? What is the meaning?

This past week was a financially worrisome one. Moving small amounts of money between my accounts in order to pay bills and buy gas for the cars was an exercise in diminished returns. With pay-day a week away and without an active editing project on the plate, thoughts of pulling and stretching my money to make it fit took up more space in my mind than ever before.

Two lonely nickels rolled in. What would be the result of rubbing them together? Would a genie appear? Unlikely. Perhaps it had something to do with the authenticity of the coin, something like biting a gold coin. Perhaps the coinage could be used to spark a bit of tinder…tender, another word for money…that could fill the empty coffer.

Maybe it’s as simple as a description of the void left in one’s change purse or pocket when there’s simply not enough income to match the outflow. And outflow these days for most of us has greatly accelerated.

Words and More

In a world filled to the brim with blogs, what’s one more? Trillions of words float out and about the Web, zipping past light speed, falling on deaf ears, or illuminating darkness. This one is simply another vehicle for the sharing of words, of meanings, of ideas. Here is a place to find words and meanings, and perchance inspirations and motivations. One of many, mayhap of interest to like minds.