Prayers in my pocket

In the past few months and after writing this list of projects, I’ve been focusing more on Ingui-Frey. Not exclusively, since I still made the usual monthly offerings and marked the yearly festivals in my religious calendar, but I wanted to take my devotional practices and the Latin version of His cult one step further. So I’ve been writing a ritual book, trying to start a meditation routine and finally finished a set of prayer beads.

Prayer beads - Ingui

My initial idea was to use amber beads. For one, because it’s a traditional product from the god’s native region and secondly because it resembles honey, which would be highly symbolic. Yet good amber beads can be expensive, namely if they’re imported from the Baltic and not from China. So I ended up going for a cheaper option, but equally organic and hence symbolic: wood! The number of beads is twenty-one, since that has become Ingui’s number in my devotional practice, to which I added an additional four, representing deities closely linked to Frey: His father Njord and mother Nerthus, His sister Freya and His wife Gerda. Finally, I included a small figurine of the god and drew an Ing rune on what Buddhists call the guru bead.

As for prayers, I’m using something based on the adorations of Frey and will write different sets of prayers for different purposes: a general one, another for funerary situations, one for weddings, etc.

As is obvious, this is not an historical practice when it comes to ancient Roman or Norse polytheism. Yet a living religion is fluid, simultaneously conservative and innovative, and will pick up elements from other traditions. What’s more, beads respond to a practical need, as they provide me with a palpable focus for my prayers, either because I just feel like holding something that connects me to the god as I pray to Him or because I’m unable to use a shrine or another physical link to Ingui-Frey. This is especially the case if I’m on the road or staying at a friend’s place, unable to set up a portable shrine (which is another project in the making).


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