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      The Charge of the Goddess

— by Doreen Valiente. This is the "original" version, written by her in the 1950's.   Over the years, there have been several variations of the Charge, including an adaptation by Starhawk.

      Listen to the words of the Great Mother who was of old also called among men Artemis; Astarte; Dione; Melusine; Aphrodite; and by many other names:

      At mine altars the youth of Lacedemonia and Sparta made due sacrifice.

      Whenever ye have need of anything, once in the 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 ye shall assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not 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 towards 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 of man.   Upon earth, I give the knowlege of the spirit eternal; and beyond death, I give peace and freedom, and reunion with those who have gone before.   Nor do I demand aught in sacrifice, for behold, I am the Mother of all things, and My love is poured out upon the earth.