Four Salutations of the Day, Reformed

Four Salutations of the Day, Reformed September 29, 2019

Once upon a time, among the Reformed Druids of North America (RDNA), there was a practice called the Four Salutations of the Day. You can find this practice still today at http://rdna.info/FourDay.doc. This devotional required the use of a staff and was done at for times a day: dawn, noon, dusk, and midnight, or what they called “stars”. I always loved the idea of this practice, but it wasn’t something I ever undertook.

In recent discussions with friends of mine in different faiths who do have daily practices set to the position of the Sun, I thought “wouldn’t it be nice if we, as Druids, developed a four-time daily devotional practice that could be done a these four times. This gave rise to the Four Salutations of the Day, Reformed which is described herein.

This, of course, does not suggest that the initial RDNA practice, a part of the reform, was itself in need of reform. It does however mean that I have re-formed, or made anew, that practice into what we see here, which can be done without a staff and can be done anywhere a person finds themselves at these times.

I realize that this practice will not suit everyone, especially those who don’t happen to be up a both dawn and midnight. However, If you, like myself, ARE up at those times, these practices can be carried out without issue and can become a part of your daily devotional practices.

To carry out such a practice, three things are required:

a) one must face the suggested direction

b) one must understand that this act of salutation is an act of devotion and prayer that anchors oneself in that moment

and

c) the words and the times are variable.

There is a power in communal practice, especially when people are praying in different places at roughly the same time, even if they are separated by state or provincial boundaries or whether they are separated by oceans. The exact times of dawn and dusk and easily discovered by look at the newspaper, the daily or evening weather, or the internet. Noon will always be midday, stars will always be midnight.

Therefore, without further ado, I present The Four Salutations of the Day.

Salutation to the Dawn
A Dawn Devotional

Face east. Extend arms in front, with palms up and say:

I reach for the Sun
In the dawn:
Start of a new day
Doorway to the morning
The first blessing of the day.
I call to the Holy Ones,
With this prayer.
I find my pace in the Dawn.

In your mind’s eye see the sun rising as you speak these words. See yourself in the rays of the dawn sun.

As noon rolls around, undertake the second salutation.

Salutation to the Midday
A Noon Devotional

Face south. Extend arms upwards, with palms facing each other and say:

I reach for the Sun
In the noon:
Sun bright overhead
Doorway to the midday
The second blessing of the day.
I call to the Holy Ones,
With this prayer.
I find my pace in the Noon.

In your mind’s eye see the sun overhead as you speak these words. See yourself warmed by the rays of the noon sun. You cast no shadow.

As dusk arrives, undertake the third salutation.

Salutation to the Dusk
A Dusk Devotional

Face west.  Hold yours arms out in front of you, with palms facing down.

I reach for the Sun
In the dusk:
End of the current day,
Doorway to the evening
The third blessing of the day.
I call to the Holy Ones,
With this prayer.
I find my pace in the Dusk.

In your mind’s eye see the sun setting as you speak these words. See yourself in the rays of the dawn sun.

As midnight arrives overhead, undertake the fourth and final salutation.

Salutation to the Stars
A Stars Devotional

Face north. Hold yours arms out to the sides, with palms facing up.

I reach for the Stars
In the deep of night:
Stars stretch across the heavens,
Doorway to the midnight
The last blessing of the day.
I call to the Holy Ones,
With this prayer.
I find my pace in the Stars

Tomorrow, try this practice again. Devote this practice to a God or a Goddess. After a time, it will become second nature. In time, your practice will become a part of the dawn, of the noon, of the dusk, and of the stars. And, after a time, so will you.

"Drum, whereas I love the idea of a four part prayer day, (Thanks for sharing ..."

Four Salutations of the Day, Reformed
"I really like this idea and have already been considering how to incorporate more devotionals ..."

Four Salutations of the Day, Reformed
"Emmon Bodfish, who wrote the Four Salutations, would be touched that they inspired this. Thank ..."

Four Salutations of the Day, Reformed
"Thank you for this article Drum! The ancestors are the weakest part of my devotions. ..."

Building a Devotional Practice with the ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Pagan
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Stacey J. Weinberger

    Emmon Bodfish, who wrote the Four Salutations, would be touched that they inspired this. Thank you Jean.

  • I really like this idea and have already been considering how to incorporate more devotionals into my practice. As a night shift worker, it took a while to come to terms with my morning and evening prayers since my life is reversed 😉

  • Shawneen Bear

    Drum, whereas I love the idea of a four part prayer day, (Thanks for sharing yours) I see the day in the traditional Scotish way of beginning at dusk and moving through the hours until the next dusk. I am going to modify this practice to reflect that.