This is one of the most beautiful pieces of prose ever written, and it is surely a result of divine intervention.
It was penned by the wonderful Doreen Valiente from an earlier version by Gerald Gardener. Many others have written different versions of the Charge, but I feel this is the most beautiful.
It is based on a passage from the wonderful book Aradia: Gospel of the Witches by Charles Leland in which the mighty goddess Aradia tells her followers how to honor her mother Diana, gain power, and learn of witchcraft. Small passages from works by Aleister Crowley were also used.
Listen to the words of the Goddess, and learn in love.
The Common Prose Charge
by Doreen Valiente
Listen to the words of the Great Mother, who was of old also called amongst men Artemis, Astarte, Diana, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Dana, Arianrhod, Isis, Bride and by many other names.
At my altars, the youth of most distant ages gave love, and made due sacrifice. Whenever you have need of anything, once in a month, and better it be when the Moon is full, then shall you gather in some secret place and adore the spirit of Me, who am Queen of all Witcheries.
There shall you 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 you shall be free from slavery, and as a sign that you be really free you shall be naked in your rites. And you 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 door 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 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 encircles the universe.
I who am beauty of the green Earth and the white Moon amongst the stars. And the mystery of the waters, and the desire of the heart of man, call unto thy soul. Arise and come unto me, for I am the souls 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 men, thine inmost divine self shall be enfolded in the rapture of the infinite.
Let my worship be with the heart that rejoices, for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.
And you who thinks to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail you not, unless you know the mystery, that if that which you seek you find not within thee, you will never find it without thee. Behold I have been with you from the beginning and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.
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