A Prayer for Bread Blessing in an Animistic Pagan Tradition

A Prayer for Bread Blessing in an Animistic Pagan Tradition August 14, 2020

Prayer for bread is as ancient as agriculture.  People all over the world have ground, fermented, and baked seeds. (because that’s what bread is.) Humans as a species didn’t evolve to eat grain.  You have to remember, grain is seeds, and seeds want to survive. They are the life and next generation of plants. So plants have all kinds of clever ways to help seeds stay uneaten or undigested so that they go through the digestive track whole. Human in turn, created clever ways to pre-digest food using tools, fire, and microscopic allies like bacteria and yeasts.

Traditions and Lore of Bread Prayer

Bread is ancient. In Lithuania, all food is deeply respected and it is said that if even a crumb falls to the floor, you should pick it up and kiss it.  In many eastern European cultures, there is an ancient tradition of greeting guests with bread and salt on a special embroidered towel. People breaking bread together is a symbol of fellowship and peace.  Bread is found in Christian parables, Wiccan cakes and ale, hospitality traditions, and spiritual offerings.

Baking is connected to the hearth, and to the hearth goddesses.  Bread is a creation of fire: a transformational and sacrificial process where grain is turned into sustenance and life.  Bread is deeply rooted in the fertility of the land and yearly harvest cycles as well.  When you eat a piece of bread you have the chance to connect to all those symbols and energetic tides.  When you bake a loaf of bread, the transformative process is just waiting for you to deepen your magical and devotional practice.

Using Baking as a Devotional Process

Here are three prayers for bread to work with. They are able to be used at any time of year and center around the sacred process of making, shaping, and baking a loaf.

Each prayer is specifically designed to take ancient lore traditions and symbols and transmute them into a modern sensibility. We have farmers’ markets and Panera bread. While we know theoretically what the wheat harvest is, most of us don’t directly connect to that by reaping our own grain.  That doesn’t mean we can’t connect to those ancient tides in meaningful ways.  We can, and these prayers attempt to bridge that gap.  If you haven’t gotten into making your own bread, I highly recommend it as a devotional and emotional process. Click here to learn all my best tips for how to bake the perfect loaf.

If you do already make your own bread, you know the joys of it, no matter if you make yours gluten-free, egg-free, traditional, free form, or use a bread maker. If you always make perfect dark rye, or never use anything but white flour,  it’s good.  The blessings of the hearth and harvest are there for you.  It’s worth it to take just a moment to give thanks and rest in gratitude.

It’s easy to forget how profound the simplest things in life can be.  May these prayers help us all to remember.

A digital watercolor image of a person kneading bread dough with rolling pin and a green striped towel in the background.

Bread Harvest and Blessing Prayers:

Gifting Prayer:

Be joyful as a drop of rain in a storm.
Be proud as the seed of wheat.
Be swift as a horse in their herd.
Be as gentle as the bee in the flower.
Be as full as the bear in the forest.

Baking Prayer:

As this loaf begins, may our lives be inspirational
As this loaf is mixed, may our lives be meaningful
As this loaf rises, may our lives be uplifted
As this loaf bakes, may our lives be transformed
As this loaf is cooled, may our lives be mindful
As this loaf is eaten, may our lives be joyful.

May it be so.

Prayer for Bread Blessing:

Gift of the Grain God,  Holy Harvest Making
Earth rising upward, blessing of the reaping
Ground flour formed, work of the shaping
Yeast spirits give life, time of the resting
Sacred making flame, all things transforming.

The seed sprouting
The plant growing
The farmer weeding
The harvest reaping
The village milling
The dough baking
This is the cycle of creation
This is a prayer of life.

May our communities be strong together.
May our lives be filled with good work.
May the land we live on be green with life.

Blessings to the farmers market.
Blessings to the small business.
Blessings to the home baker.
Blessing to all the makers.
Blessings to the caregivers.
Blessings to the truth-tellers.
Blessings to those who need healing.
Blessings to the land
to the land
to the land.
Blessing, always blessings, to the land.

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