Charge of the Goddess (2)

Below is another of the versions of the Charge of the Goddess. Again, 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 ye have need of anything, once in the month and better it be when the moon is full, then shall ye assemble in some secret place, and adore the spirit of Me, 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 ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in my praise. For Mine is the ecstasy of the 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 the 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.

“I 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.

“Call unto thy soul, 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 rejoicest, 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; that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee.

“For behold, I have been with thee from the beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.”