On Friday night I will be priestessing at the 2011 Women Exposed show. Filiz asked me to officiate at a fake wedding of her and Hannah. She wanted me to say a few words, too, about the power of women.
There are a million prayers I can think of that would be suitable, not to mention original works I could draft. But when it came down to it, I went with a classic: The Charge of the Goddess.
(This is not to be confused with The Charge of the Light Brigade. That’s something else. ;-))
I took the version from my Book of Shadows. I wrote it nearly 20 years ago for my initiation. It’s an amalgamation of the classic Gardnerian Charge and excerpts from the Principia Discordia, a feminist speech, Wicca: The Old Religion in the New Age, and my own thoughts. I think there might be a bit of Buckland in there, too. I am using an edited version for Friday that is shorter and more universal in theme.
Filiz declared it “beautiful” so I shall do my best with it on Friday night. Here ’tis:
PREFACE (while ringing bell):
All within! All within! Sit now, children, in the lap of the Goddess, and hear her words which resonate through the ages.
THE CHARGE OF THE GODDESS:
I am the Goddess. I am called by many names throughout the ages. I wake and sleep, wake and sleep, yet always I return. I look upon you in your world of wars and greed, your “shoulds” and “musts.” You have built for yourselves psychic suits of armor; clad in them, your vision is restricted, your movements clumsy and painful, your skin bruised, and your spirit broiled in the Sun.
Yet within this madness you still call my name, and I, as always, come back from the Dreamtime and the twilight of your consciousness. I am the Goddess. I am alive—and I tell you that you are free. Dance, then, make music and make love–all in celebration of me. For mine is the ecstasy of the spirit, the joy throughout the Earth, and my law is Love unto all beings.
Forever in balance, I call to you as you call to me. I who am the beauty of the green Earth and the white Moon amongst the stars, the mystery of the waters, the desire of the hearts of all, call unto your soul: Arise and come to me, for I am the soul of Nature who gives life to the universe.
From me all things proceed, within my arms all things endure, and unto me all things return. Before my face, your innermost self shall be enfolded in the rapture of the Infinite.
Keep pure, then, your greatest ideal–strive ever towards it. Let naught stop you nor turn you aside, for mine is the secret door which opens upon the garden of youth, and mine is the cauldron of Cerridwen which holds the waters of rebirth.
Know that all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honour and humility, and mirth and reverence within you.
And you who seek to find me, know that your seeking and yearning shall avail you not, unless you know the mystery: If that which you seek you find not within you, you will never find it without you; for behold! I have been with you from the beginning and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.