Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Charge of the Goddess - Do you really know it?

The Charge of the Goddess has been around for some time.  The one that we are most familiar with was penned by Doreen Valiente the High Priestess of Gerald Gardner in the 1950's.  It is believed that the final work by Gardner and Valiente was derived from various sources.  Among these is the book by Charles Godfrey Leyland, Aradia or the Gospel of the Witches.

Normally during ritual the Charge of the Goddess is read by the High Priest and the High Priestess.  But during the last ritual I attended, our High Priestess was absent so I read the charge.  Now I have read the Charge before but never in a ritual atmosphere.  I will say it was different.

Reading it gave me pause and made me think.  Do I really know it?  How many read it and don't think about it?  They are just going through the motions.

I am going to post the Charge of the Goddess.  Full version by Doreen, not the version by Starhawk.  Read it and then really read it.  Think about it.  It is the pure Charge with all the old English so it might be hard to read at first but if you truly read it will flow easily.

Charge of the Goddess
 by Doreen Valiente
 Now listen to the words of the Great Mother, who was of old also called among men Artemis, Astarte, Athene, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Diana, Arianrhod, Isis, Bride, and by many other names.  At her altars, the youth of Lacedaemon in Sparta made due sacrifice.
Whenever ye have need of anything, once in a month and better it be when the moon is full, then shall ye assemble in some secret place, and adore the spirit of me, I who am Queen of all Witches.
There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won its deepest secrets; to these will I teach all things that are as yet unknown.
And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye be truly free, you shall be naked in your rites; and yea shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in my praise.  For mine is the ecstasy of spirit, and mine also is joy on earth; for my law is love unto all beings.
Keep pure your highest ideals; strive ever toward them, let nothing stop you or turn you aside. For mine is the secret door which opens upon the Land of Youth, and mine is the cup of wine of life, and the Cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the Holy Vessel of Immortality.
I am the gracious Goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the heart of man. Upon earth, I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal; and beyond death, I give peace, and freedom, and reunion with those who have gone before.
Nor do I demand sacrifice; for behold, I am the mother of all living, and my love is poured out upon the earth.
Hear the words of the Star Goddess, the dust of Whose feet are the hosts of heaven, Whose body encircles the universe.
I who am the beauty of the green earth, and the white moon among the stars, and the mystery of the waters and the desire of the heart of man. I call upon thy soul to arise and come unto me.  For I am the soul of Nature, who gives life to the Universe.
From me all things proceed and unto me all things must return; and before my face, beloved of gods and of men, let thine innermost divine self be enfolded, in the rapture of the infinite. Let my worship be within the heart that rejoices for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals.

Therefore, let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.
And thou who thinketh to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not, unless thou knoweth the mystery; for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without. For behold, I have been with thee from the beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire. 


Read it out loud as well as to yourself.  Feel the power as the words are spoken allowed.  Read it during your daily devotion as a way to honor the divine. Copy it into your book of shadows.  Keep it and know it.

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