The 'Gardnerian' Book of Shadows

The Prose Charge

(1957)

THE CHARGE, to be read while the initiate stands, properly prepared before the Circle.

[Magus]: Listen to the words of the Great mother, who was of old also called among men, Artemis, Astarte, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Diana, Arianrhod, Bride, and by many other names.

[High Priestess]: "At mine Altars the youth of Lacedaemon in Sparta made due sacrifice. Whenever ye have need of anything, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is 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 who 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 be really fre e, 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 is also joy on earth. For my Law is Love unto all beings. "Keep pure your highest ideals. Strive ever towards it. Let naught stop you or turn you aside. "For mine is the secret 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 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 aught in sacrifice, for behold, I am the Mother of all things, and my love is poured out upon earth."

[Magus]: 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.

[High Priestess]: "I who am the 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. I 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, all things must return.' Beloved of the Gods and men, thine inmost divine self shall be enfolded in the raptures of the infinite. "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 me, know that thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not unless thou know the 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."