Below is one of the versions of the Charge of the Goddess. This piece was originally attributed to Doreen Valiente, one of Gerald Gardner’s High Priestesses. Some Wiccan groups read this poem during each ritual, and others do not. However, since it is so widely known and loved, it is a good idea to be familiar with at least one version of it.
Listen to the words of the Great Mother, who of old was called Artemis, Astarte, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Diana, Arienrhod, Brigid, and by many other names:
“Whenever you have need of anything, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, you shall assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of Me who is Queen of all Witches. There shall you assemble, who have not yet won my deepest secrets and are fain to learn all sorceries. To these shall I teach that which is yet unknown.
“You shall be free from slavery, and as a sign that you be free you shall be naked in your rites. Sing, feast, dance, make music and love, all in My presence, for Mine is the ecstasy of the spirit and Mine also is joy on earth. For My law is love unto all beings.
“Mine is the secret that opens upon the door of youth, and Mine is the cup of wine of life that is the Cauldron of Cerridwen that is the holy grail of immortality. I am the Gracious Goddess who gives the gift of youth unto the heart of mankind.
“I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal and beyond death I give peace and freedom and reunion with those that have gone before. Nor do I demand aught of sacrifice, for behold, I am the Mother of all things and My love is poured 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 mysteries of the waters, I call upon your soul to arise and come unto Me. For I am the soul of nature that gives life to the universe. From Me all things proceed and unto Me they must return.
“Let My worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold–all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals. Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you. And you who seek to know Me, know that your seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know 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 you from the beginning, and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.”