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The Charge of the Goddess

Listen to the words of the Great Mother, she who was of old also called among mortals Artemis, Astarte, Athene, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Kali Ma, Cerridwen, Isis, Arianrhod, Brigid, 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 ye assemble in some secret place and call upon the spirit of me who is Queen of all the Witches. There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery yet have not won its deepest secrets; to these I will teach things that are as yet unknown. And ye shall be free from slavery, and as a token that ye be truly free, ye shall be naked in your rites. 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. My law is love unto all beings.

    Keep pure your highest ideals; strive ever toward them, let naught turn you aside, for Mine is the secret door which opens upon the door of youth. And Mine is the cup of the Wine of Life and the Cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the Holy Grail of immortality. I am the gracious Goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the hearts of men and women. 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 out upon the Earth."

Hear ye the words of the Star Goddess, She in the dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven, whose body encircles the universe:

    "I am the beauty of the green Earth and the white Moon among the stars and the mysteries of the waters. I 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 to Me all must return. And before My face, beloved of gods and humans, let thine innermost divine self be enfolded in the rapture of the Infinite.

    Let My worship be within the heart that rejoices, for 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 thinkest to seek Me, know that seeking and yearning shall avail thee not, unless thou knowest the Mystery: if that which thou seekest, thou findest not within thee, thou shalt 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."

--Doreen Valiente



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