So Hecate, (no not Her, the only-slightly-less-awesome blogger of the same name) said some amazingly eloquent and wonderful words about, well, words; and in Honor of the Imbolc poetry slam shared her favorite copy of a particularly special poem.
I’ve shared a couple of favorites in years past, but as I am reminded by Hecate’s words, there is a poem without which I would not be here, either writing as a Witch, or even living.
There was a point in my life where I contemplated ending it, in the deep aftermath of my mothers death I went through a time of depression. I was walking along a busy roadside and thought to myself
“I could just step off of the side-walk and into traffic and it would all be over….”
my very next thought was,
“…Well, I would have to deal with all of this again in my next lifetime… I may as well deal with it now…”
In all likelihood, I would not be alive today if it were not for the fact of my being a Witch. One of the things that drew me to Witchcraft was the eloquence and beauty and power, that core feeling of rightness and an internal “Yes!” in response to a particular piece of invocational poetry. So I owe my life, in part, to the same poem that Hecate lovingly referenced in her post, I love that poem too.
I too have a version I cherish and use myself, so inspired by Hecate, and with the deepest and most profound thanks to Doreen and the Lady for penning it; here is that version…
Charge of the Goddess
By Doreen Valiente
“Listen to the words of the Great Mother, who of Old was known amongst men as Artemis, Astarte, Athena, Isis, Cerridwen, Diana, Melusine, Brigid, Kwan-yin, Bast, and by many other names.”
“Whenever you have need of anything, once in the month, and better it be when the Moon is full, then shall you assemble in some sacred place and there adore the spirit of me, who is Queen of all Witcheries. There shall you assemble, and you who would learn all Magic, yet have not gained its deepest secrets, there will I teach you things yet unknown. You shall be free from Slavery; and in token that you are truly free you shall be naked in your rites.
Sing! Feast! Dance! Make music and Love all in my praise and presence. For mine is the Spirit of Ecstasy, and mine as well is joy on Earth, and Love Unto All Beings in My Law.
Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever towards it; let nothing stop you or turn you aside.
For mine is the Secret Door that opens upon Youth; Mine is the Cup of the 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 Joy unto the Heart of humanity. Upon Earth, I give knowledge of the Spirit Eternal and beyond death; I give peace, freedom, and reunion with those who have gone before. Nor do I demand Sacrifice; for behold, I am the Mother of all things, and my love is poured forth across the worlds.”
“Now hear the words of the Star Goddess, the Dust of whose heels is the Host of Heaven and 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, and the Desire in all hearts, call unto your 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 return; and before my face, beloved of Gods and Mortals, let your innermost self be enfolded in the ecstasy of the Divine!
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, and mirth and reverence within you. And you who think to seek me out, know that all your seeking and yearning shall be to no avail unless you shall know the mystery; that If That Which You Seek You Do Not Find Within, You Shall Surely 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 all desire.”
~compiled from various published versions, and with a few touches by Pax
As noted this is my version of The Charge, for the original text go here!
Peace, Poetry, and Blessings,