One of the most symbolic Wiccan texts, the Charge is the promise of the Goddess to all Witches that she will teach and guide them. You can listen to it and chant along in this video:
What is the Charge of the Goddess?
The original poem “Charge of the Goddess” was written by Gerald Gardner, compiled from several different sources, including a similar passage found in “Aradia, Gospel of the Witches”, compiled by Charles Leland, and a portion of the “Gnostic Mass of the Ecclesiæ Gnosticæ Catholicæ” written by Aleister Crowley.
Originally, the Charge of the Goddess was written in verse and later Doreen Valiente rewrote it in the form of prose, this version being the best known. Click here to Watch the Charge of the God.Click here to read: The Charge of the Goddess
Listen to the words of the Great Mother, who was of old also called Artemis; Astarte; Diana; Melusine; Aphrodite; Cerridwen; Dana; Arianrhod; Isis; Brig; 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.
Credit: Doreen Valiente Foundation under Creative Commons license.
It’s not a single text and many versions of it with slight variations appeared throughout the 20th century. Regardless of its origin, we can’t help but appreciate its importance within Wicca.
Also known as the Horned God and Triple Goddess. Watch this lesson to learn who they are and how are they depicted.
What is the Charge of the Goddess used for?
The Charge of the Goddess is recited during many rituals in which the High Priest/Priestess is expected to represent, and/or embody, the Goddess within a sacred circle.
This prayer may be recited in Wiccan rituals during the Opening ritual, or more precisely, during the ritual of Drawing down the Moon (which is a part of the Opening ritual.
The act of “drawing down the Moon” is the act of invoking the Goddess into the body of the High Priestess. It is essentially performed by the High Priest and continued by the High Priestess who speaks for the Goddess by reciting this poem, or through which the Goddess herself speaks. Basically, if the Goddess doesn’t start speaking through the High Priestess at this point of the ritual, then the High Priestess speaks on the Goddess’ behalf by reciting the Charge.
The book Eight Sabbats for Witches (Amazon) by Janet and Stewart Farrar includes a detailed version of the ritual, among other celebrations for Wiccans, such as the Great Rite and a Handfasting ceremony.
Print this Prayer (2 pages) 📄
This PDF version comes with a transparent background so you can print it on any kind of paper you want and add it to your own Book of Shadows. Find more printable grimoire pages.
Who are the Goddesses mentioned in the Poem?
- Artemis: Greek goddess of the hunt, the wilderness, wild animals, the Moon, and chastity.
- Astarte: Greek name of the Middle Eastern goddess Astoreth, a form of Ishtar/Inanna.
- Diana: Roman goddess of the hunt and wild animals; later associated with the Moon
- Melusine: Figure of European legends and folklore. A female spirit of fresh water in a sacred spring or river.
- Aphrodite: Greek goddess associated with love, beauty, pleasure, passion and procreation.
- Cerridwen: An enchantress in Welsh medieval legend. Owner of the cauldron of poetic inspiration.
- Dana: Mother goddess of the Tuatha Dé Danann (supernatural race in Irish mythology).
- Arianrhod: A star and moon Goddess in Celtic mythology. Worshiped as priestess of the moon.
- Isis: Egyptian goddess of healing and magic. Her maternal aid was invoked in healing spells.
- Brig: Also known as Brigit, Brighid, she is the flame-haired Irish goddess of fertility, poetry, and the dawn.
The Charge of the Goddess is one of the most beautiful pieces of prose ever written, and it is surely a result of divine intervention. 🔮
Find more useful Pagan Prayers here: Pagan Prayers for Cozy Witches