Night of Hecate

I want to thank Aine over at The Deepest Well for reminding me that tonight is infact the Night of Hecate.  It is the prefect time for me to honor the most wonderul goddess Hecate.

I have found the great ritual over on Hecate’s Cauldron to do tonight after sunset.  I need to figure out what kind of dinner to fix tonight.  My partner doesn’t like fish so that is out.  I think a simple meal will be just fine and I will make some special items to take to a crossroads and leave in offering. 

Blessed Be!!!

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Charge of the Goddess – Do you really know it?

The Charge of the Goddess has been around for some time.  The one that we are most familiar with was penned by Doreen Valiente the High Priestess of Gerald Gardner in the 1950’s.  It is believed that the final work by Gardner and Valiente was derived from various sources.  Among these is the book by Charles Godfrey Leyland, Aradia or the Gospel of the Witches.Normally during ritual the Charge of the Goddess is read by the High Priest and the High Priestess.  But during the last ritual I attended, our High Priestess was absent so I read the charge.  Now I have read the Charge before but never in a ritual atmosphere.  I will say it was different.

Reading it gave me pause and made me think.  Do I really know it?  How many read it and don’t think about it?  They are just going through the motions.

I am going to post the Charge of the Goddess.  Full version by Doreen, not the version by Starhawk.  Read it and then really read it.  Think about it.  It is the pure Charge with all the old English so it might be hard to read at first but if you truly read it will flow easily.

Charge of the Goddess

by Doreen Valiente

Now listen to the words of the Great Mother, who was of old also called among men Artemis, Astarte, Athene, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Diana, Arianrhod, Isis, Bride, and by many other names.  At her altars, the youth of Lacedaemon in Sparta made due sacrifice.

Whenever ye have need of anything, once in a month and better it be when the moon is full, then shall ye assemble in some secret place, and adore the spirit of me, I who am Queen of all Witches.

There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won its deepest secrets; to these will I teach all things that are as yet unknown.

And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye be truly free, you shall be naked in your rites; and yea shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in my praise.  For mine is the ecstasy of spirit, and mine also is joy on earth; for my law is love unto all beings.

Keep pure your highest ideals; strive ever toward them, let nothing 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 wine of life, and the Cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the Holy Vessel 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 the words of the Star Goddess, the dust of Whose feet are the hosts of heaven, 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.
I call upon thy soul to arise and come unto 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 rejoices for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals.

Therefore, let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.

And thou who thinketh to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not, unless thou knoweth the mystery; for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.
For behold, I have been with thee from the beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.

Read it out loud as well as to yourself.  Feel the power as the words are spoken allowed.  Read it during your daily devotion as a way to honor the divine.
Copy it into your book of shadows.  Keep it and know it.

Deities – Of Gods and Goddesses

How many names do you know for Deities? Do you know what their attributes are? Do you know whether they’re Celtic, Greco-Roman? Are they Norse, Hindu, Sumerian or Egyptian? Perhaps they’re Asian, Mayan, Native American or African? Does it matter? How do they fit into your spiritual life? Do you feel that certain ones really fit into your life and some don’t?

The concept of deities has been around for a very long time although it is unclear when the belief in a deity or deities truly appeared. Early burials, as far back as 50,000 – 30,000 BCE showed at least a belief in the afterlife. Some cultures view deities as being “above” them, not interacting directly with their human “subjects”. Others see the deity as a supreme being to be fear and worshipped. In many pagan beliefs they see the deities as being both a part of them and not. Another way to think of this would be ‘within and without’.


What is this theism thing?

Monotheism is the belief in one deity, usually a god figure. This one god figure it thought to be the creator of all things. The common religions that follow this theism are Abrahamic religions, such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Baha’i Faith.

Polytheism is the belief in many deities and usually come together in the form of a pantheon or group of gods from a similar culture. Egyptian, Roman, Greek, Germanic, Norse, Sumerian, Incan, Celtic, Slavic, Hindu, Japanese, Aztec, Mayan, Native American, and African are all cultures that hold to the belief in many deities.

How this fits into Paganism


The above list of polytheist cultures can also be called a list of Pagan cultures. I am going to focus on the polytheism and the Wiccan beliefs. Within most Pagan cultures there is a the belief in a Goddess and a God figure. Most Wiccans hold to this belief, and every Wiccan possesses his or her own conception of the Goddess and God. The concepts are obtained through research into those deities and subsequent pantheons that interest us. Others might work toward those deities and pantheon that are a part of their ancestry. Still others will go to deities and pantheon that the coven they belong to. There is no wrong way to find the deities and pantheon that resonates with you.

Personally I feel a draw to Hecate and Cernunnos which are of two different pantheons, Greco-Roman and Celtic. My ancestry is German/Swedish so if I was to go with the pantheons of my ancestors I can go with Germanic and Norse. I find the Norse Gods interesting but I am not drawn to them on a spiritual level.

The Goddess


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Goddess is seen as the female aspect of deity. She is seen as many different things to many different people. The Goddess is most often seen as a healer, a provider of wisdom and guidance and the child-bearer. The most common concept of the Goddess is the Triple Goddess; Maiden, Mother, and Crone. The Goddess is also related to the Moon and its phases. This also corresponds to the triple aspect. Maiden is to the New Moon & Waxing Moon, new beginnings and virgin. She is Artemis, Diana, Kore, Athena, Nimue, Sekmet, Luna, and many others. Mother is to the Full Moon, creativity, child birth, fertility and manifestation. She is Semele, Isis, Hathor, Shakti, Yemaya, Cybele, Demeter, and many others. Crone is to the Waning Moon & Dark Moon, magic, prophecy, and wisdom. She is Hecate, Baga Yaga, Morrigan, Grandmother Spiderwoman, and many others.

The God

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The god is seen as the male aspect of deity. Like the Goddess, He is seen as many different things to many different people. The God is most often seen as the Hunter, the Warrior, the protector and provider. The most common concept of the God is the Sun. Egyptians called Him Ra, Greeks called Him Helios, Romans called Him Sol, the African Yoruban tribe called Him Shango, and in Scandinavia He was called Baldur. The God is also associated with the two kings, Oak King and Holly King both which rule the seasons at different times of the year. The God is a complex concept, there are many different aspects, many more then I will mention here.


In rituals both or just one can be called. This is going to be the topic of one of my entries. Also I am going to break down each of the major pantheons that most people associate with and that is going to be over several posts.


Shameless plug time – We carry many statues to many Goddesses and Gods in my store at Grove of the Ancients Pagan Marketplace.