This resource is inspired by the late Sister Jose Hobday, a Native American catholic nun. This ‘Prayer of the Seven Directions’ draws together her indigenous spiritual roots and her Christian faith tradition.
Prayer of the Seven Directions
Begin facing EAST– This is where the sun comes up, and so the direction of new beginnings, hope, promise, and potential. Pray that you may be open to receiving these gifts this day.* Each turn is a quarter turn to your right.
Turn SOUTH – This is the direction of warmth, growth, fertility (!), also known as creativity and productivity. In addition, this direction represents faith, trust, and faithfulness in relationships. Pray for these things this day.
Turn WEST – This is the direction where the sun goes down. Thus, it is the direction of rest, of our dream lives, and of closure and endings that need to take place in order for there to be new beginnings. Pray for these things this day.
Turn NORTH – This is the direction of the cold, of winds, of strength, courage, fortitude, might, single-mindedness, focus, clarity and purpose. Pray for these things this day.
Turn back to the EAST – and turn UPWARD. For Native Americans this is the direction of Father Sky. Pray that your heart, mind, soul, and spirit will not forget to look upward this day, to the One who is so much greater than we are.
Turn DOWNWARD – and touch our Mother, the earth. Pray that everything you do this day will be in honor and reverence of our Mother Earth.
Turn INWARD– Place your hand on your heart and pray that all that you do this day will be true to the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit who dwells within you. Amen.
I took this idea and developed it into the Eight Points of the Compass to use as the opening prayers for Worcester City Council meetings, during the year that I was Mayor’s Chaplain.
This online resource takes these ideas a step further and creates liturgy for gathered occasions and reflections for individuals for those who know their souls are in journey.
This is a resource that is regularly updated with new material.