As a folk tradition, the rosary was a way of hiding the Goddess in plain sight. The rosary as a spiritual devotion predates Christianity and has its roots in moon cycles, seed gathering, and the offering of rose garlands to the Great Mother.
A Storytelling Tradition
Inspired by the beautiful book, The Way of the Rose: The Radical Path of the Divine Feminine Hidden in the Rosary, by Clark Strand and Perdita Finn, I have found deep spiritual nourishment in the practice of the rosary.
The rosary is a story that invites us to tell our stories. From the songs of the troubadours to the unicorn tapestries, the Lady has always encouraged self-expression. In a “rosary circles” every voice is heard and valued.
An Ancient Solution to Stress
Letting go is easier with something to hold onto. That’s why “worry beads” exist in every culture. Simpler than meditation, the rosary leads bead by bead to a place of rest, renewal, and reconnection–effortlessly available to the overscheduled and overwhelmed.
The rosary alternates two prayers…the Hail Mary and the Our Father, Maters and Paters, Mothers and Fathers, Yin and Yang, Darkness and Light, the Earth (Matter) and the Sun.
There are A LOT more Hail Marys than Our Fathers and there’s a reason for this. This is the story of The Mother…of her bringing Life into the world, watching that Life destroy itself, and then rebirthing it (and herself) back into the world.
Women hid their devotion to the Great Mother in the rosary during the Middle Ages. They couldn’t worship her as before but they hid, in this circle of beads, all of the wisdom they had collected through the ages.
It is no coincidence that the medieval rosary emerged in those areas of France and Europe where the oldest goddess figurines (40,000 years old some of them) have been found. When we pray the rosary our voice joins with those ancestral mothers.
The Hail Mary itself is a three part prayer….to the Maiden (hail full of grace, the Lord is with thee), to the Mother (blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb), and the Crone (Holy Mother of God, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.)
The Hail Mary
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
The Our Father
Our Father, Who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name;
Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.
The Glory Be
The Glory Be is an Honoring of the Eternal Return of Life. It is usually said at the end of every grouping of Hail Marys.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Child,
and to the Holy Mother, as it was in the beginning,
is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
A Community Garden for Growing Miracles
In the circles of prayer people have found love, healing, new work, homes, financial solutions, friendship, and a host of everyday surprises that defied their expectations. The rosary is a powerful way to reconnect with wonder and possibility. Find a circle here.
Spiritual Guidance for an Age of Climate Change
Our Lady often appears before famines, plagues, wars, and genocide. Her presence is a reminder that whatever challenges confront us, She will hold on to us and never let us go. From epoch to epoch She guided our ancestors through ice ages, super eruptions, and upheavals of all kinds. In praying the rosary, we take her by the hand and acknowledge She is in charge…not us.
All of the above is from Thewayoftherose.org
If you aren't comfortable with the traditional versions of the rosary prayers, there are some beautiful alternatives.
“Hail Mary, rose without thorns,
You were born to comfort me.
help me that I shall not be lost.”
“I greet you, rose garden of heaven,
The chosen, the pure, the tender one.
You noble, sweet rose blossom,
Entreat God (Goddess) for me through your goodness.”
"Hail Mary, mother of the earth, the seed of Life is within you. Blessed art thou among planets and blessed is the fruit of the womb. Holy Mary, Mother of us all, pray for us sentient beings, now and at the hour of our death."
Photo of Our Lady and sacred geometry by Ithelda, purchase her beautiful images here
Browse our goddess rosaries.