Re-Writing the Charge

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Forums -> Wicca -> Re-Writing the Charge

Re-Writing the Charge
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 1
To my mind the Charge of the Goddess written by Doreen Valiente is one of the most beautiful pieces of work in Wicca. It speaks to us in ways that touch us very deeply. That being said, it is also in a way very generic addressing a Goddess without a name or a face. And many of us have developed relationships with specific Deities over the years, God and Goddesses with whom we work closely and to whom we turn in need. Some of them don't match the images in the Charge of the Goddess.

The original poem goes like this:

Listen to the words of the Great Mother, who was of old also called Artemis; Astarte; Diana; Melusine; Aphrodite; Cerridwen; Dana; Arianrhod; Isis; Bride; and by many other names.

Whenever ye have need of anything, once in a month, and better it be when the Moon be full, then ye shall assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of me, who am Queen of all Witcheries.

There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not yet won its deepest secrets: to these will I teach things that are yet unknown.

And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye are really free, ye 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 ideal; strive ever toward it; let naught 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 Grail of Immortality.

I am the Gracious Goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the heart. 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 ye the words of the Star Goddess, she in the dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven; whose body encircleth 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 heart?s desire, call unto thy soul. Arise and come unto me.

For I am the Soul of Nature, who giveth life to the universe; from me all things proceed, and unto me must all things return; and before my face, beloved of gods and mortals, thine inmost divine self shall be unfolded in the rapture of infinite joy.

Let my worship be within the heart that rejoiceth, for behold: all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honour and humility, mirth and reverence within you.

And thou who thinkest to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not, unless thou know this 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.

Copyright the Doreen Valiente Foundation

So here's an exercise that a good friend has her students do in order to help them get more in touch with their specific Deities. Try re-writing the Charge using words and imagery that are specific to the God or Goddess with whom you identify most closely.

As an example, I have been working with Sekhmet for many years. Here is the Charge of Sekhmet that I wrote as my response to the exercise I mentioned.

The Charge of Sekhmet:

Listen to the words of the Sekhmet; She who of old was also called Beloved of Ra, Lady of Transformations, Opener of Ways, Shining One, and four thousand other names.

When you have need, come unto my temples and walk amongst the sacred columns. There shall I teach you the Mysteries and the ways of all magic. There shall I give unto you that which is hidden from those who do not seek in truth. I am the Way and I am the Key to the secret door. My paths are perilous and those who tread them do so in dread and joy. For I am the Creator and the Destroyer. I am the Weigher of Souls and I know all that lies in your heart. I will ask of you sacrifice, I shall demand of you truth, I shall strip you of all weakness and pretense. And I shall give unto you immortality.

Hear ye the words of Sekhmet; before whose wrath even the Gods tremble, whose light is the blazing sun, and whose arrows lay waste the foes of Pharaoh.

I who am the black earth, the Sun in its glory, and the miracle of the waters; I who bring passion and desire in the heart of man; I do call unto you. Arise and come to me. For I am the floods that bring life from the desert, and I am She who bears your soul to Ma'at at life's ending. I gave birth to the oldest Gods, and I was there when mankind was formed from the mud of the Nile. Let my worship be in the heart that trembles before me, for I am the Overcomer of All Enemies and my ways are open only to the pure in heart and the strong of spirit. Know that I am with you always, from your coming in until your going forth. And lo, I shall be beside you in the Boat of Millions of Years as your soul reaches the undying lands and joins me forever.
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