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The Charge of the Goddess is considered to be one of the most beautiful works of Pagan literature.  It actually has a very interesting history as well.  Gerald Gardner drafted a first version but he wasn't the orriginal creator of many of the phrases.  Some of it was adapted from Lelands Aradia: the Gospel of the Witches which was written in 1890!  Some of it is also taken from works by Aleister Crowley.  In their book Eight Sabbats for Witches, Janet and sTewart Farrar quote Doreen Valiente as saying that she "felt that this was not really sutable for the Old Craft of the Wise, however beautiful the words might be or how much one might agree withwhat they said; so I wrote a version of the Charge in verse, keeping the words from Aradia, because these are traditional."  There are still a few of Crowley's phrases in it as well.

Crowley's words are taken from the following:  His essay The Law of Liberty, and The Book of the Law.  If you would like to see the orriginal text from Aradia: the Gospel of the Witches then Click here

Like many who practice Witchcraft, I use this in my Opening Rituals and it's a part of my Book of Shadows.

Listen to the words of the Great Mother; She who of old was also called among men ARTEMIS, ASTARTE, ATHENE, DIONE, MELUSINE, APHRODITE, CERRIDWEN, ARIANRHOD, ISIS, BRIDE, and by many other names.

"Whenever ye 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 adore the spirit of me, who am Queen of all witches There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won it's 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 be 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 you 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 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, and whose body encircles 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 desire of the heart of man, call unto thy soul. Arise, and come to me. For I am the soul of nature, who gives life to the universe. From me all things proceed, and unto me all things must return; and before my face, beloved of gods and of men, let thine innermost divine self be enfolded in the rapture of the infinite. Let my worship be within the heart that rejoiceth; for behold, all acts of love an pleasure are my rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor 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 knowest the mystery; that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find without thee. For behold, I have been with thee from the beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire."

Excerpt from Leland's Aradia: Gospel of the Witches

From the first chapter entitled "How Diana gave birth to Aradia." This part is spoken by Aradia. The first section is written in the original Italian and then translated into English.

Quando io saro partita da questo mondo,
Qualunque cosa che avrete bisogna,
Una volta al mese quando la luna
E piena . . .
Dovete venire in luogo deserto,
In una selva tutte insieme,
E adorare lo spirito potente
Di mia madre Diana, e chi vorra
Imparare la stregonerie,
Che non sopra,
Mia madre le insegnera,
Tutte cose. . . .
Sarete liberi dalla saviavitý!
E sosi diverrete tutti liberi!
Pero uomini e donne
Sarete tutti nudi, per fino.
Che non sara morto l' ultimo
Degli oppressori e morto,
Farete il giuoco della moccola
Di Benevento, e farete poi
Una cena cosi:
When I shall have departed from this world,
Whenever ye have need of anything,
Once in the month, and when the moon is full,
Ye shall assemble in some desert place,
Or in a forest all together join
To adore the potent spirit of your queen,
My mother, great Diana. She who fain
Would learn all sorcery yet has not won
Its deepest secrets, them my mother will
Teach her, in truth all things as yet unknown.
And ye shall all be freed from slavery,
And so ye shall be free in everything;
And as the sign that ye are truly free,
Ye shall be naked in your rites, both men
And women also: this shall last until
The last of your oppressors shall be dead;
And ye shall make the game of Benevento,
Extinguishing the lights, and after that
Shall hold your supper thus: