A meditation upon the Charge of the Goddess

Moon: Waxing Mead moon (age: 13 days)
Moon Sign: Capricorn
Weather: Fair, seasonably mild
Let My worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals.

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

And you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know 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 you from the beginning, and I am That which is attained at the end of desire.

~ Starhawk
I have been thinking quite a bit about the Charge of the Goddess recently. It's the closest to a Creed or profession of faith that can be found in modern Wicca. It is a luminous document that is filled with a great deal of depth and bespeaks of a mystery that lies beneath almost all religions: self-actualization and union with the Divine.

I have been stumbling again in my efforts to grow healthy and whole. It is hard for me to express deep and unconditional love for myself. My spell to bolster this hasn't borne any obvious and dramatic changes. It is, however, the way that spell craft works. It's not like some Hollywood glamor that goes off with a flash and suddenly transforms everything within it's reach. Instead, it is like changing the flow of a river by adding rocks. It is a slow process, but each stone added adjusts the flow ever so much until soon the whole river is moving along a new course.

I am working to become more accepting of all of my traits. It has been difficult work and at times it has been frightening. It requires changing what had been my (flawed) world view and (flawed) self image. I have been finding myself feeling proud of my accomplishments and making an effort to reach out to others (despite my debilitating social anxieties). I take this as a sign that the magic is working. I have been progressively becoming healthier in body and (hopefully) in mind. I am becoming more forgiving of myself and (slowly) less demanding.

One may ask how all of this relates to the Charge of the Goddess, especially the section I quoted above. There's a few different ways it ties back to this. First, we are taught that all acts of love and pleasure are Her rites. Love and pleasure are two separate things. It has been a tremendous act of self-love to strive to become healthier. It has taken a great deal of dedication and effort to reach where I am today, let alone progress farther down this path. Pleasure has made itself known in my life in small ways. Things like delighting in the fresh herbs I've been growing and the ripe berries on the wild black berry bushes in the back yard, or the sound of my children's laughter, these have been my sources of pleasure. While I'd be delighted to have a larger share of pleasure in my life, I will continue to engage in the acts of love as my daily prayers.

I have been seeking to know the Goddess within me. It has been a difficult task. I have been sifting through a lifetime of paralyzing self-doubt, criticism, and fear to find the glimmers of that which is really who I am. All women are a face of the Goddess just as all men are a face of the God. Even people who drive me to fits of frustration are faces of the unknowable Divine. It is my effort to know the face of the Goddess as reflected in my mirror every morning that will lead me to enlightenment and wisdom, along with health in mind, body, and soul.

Lastly, I have been striving very hard to embody the love that the Goddess and God have for all that is (for it is all a face of their Beloved). It is challenging to remember that love does not mean being a doormat and that sometimes it demands that we confront others regarding their behavior. It is especially challenging to remember that last bit. Still, I continue to make my efforts to be assertive and express my needs just as I would expect any other adult of sound mind to do in their relationships with their Beloved.

In it all, I remember that I am always within the 'magic circle of protection'. Unlike Ceremonialists, I don't need a symbol sketched out upon the ground to remind me of the sanctity of where I walk. My circle is the cycle of the day, the arms of my lover, the love of my family, the great horizon, the sphere of the Moon and Sun, and so much more that simply can not be expressed in mere words. I live within a blessed sphere and in the hands of the Gods. Somedays it is hard for me to remember that and then there are nights like tonight, where I see the Moon and feel blessings pouring out upon me in her silvery rays.


The Goddess is Love

We are one with the Lady, we are one with the Lord;
We are one with the Lady, we are one with the Lord;
And we know that earth's balance will one day be restored,
And they'll know we are witches by our love, by our love,
And they'll know we are witches by our love.

We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand,
We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand,
And together we'll spread the news the Goddess is in our land,
And they'll know we are witches by our love, by our love,
And they'll know we are witches by our love.

All praise to the Lady from whom all things come,
And all praise to the Horned Lord who makes us one,
And all praise to the people for joy and creation,
And they'll know we are witches by our love, by our love,
And they'll know we are witches by our love.

~ Anon. (adapted from They Know We Are Christians)

This little chant has been rattling in my mind for a few days now. It has been a gentle refrain as I struggle with my own challenges and individual problems. I find myself struggling with major self-image and self-worth issues. As Beloved pointed out to me, my problems are no less legitimate then his. He calmly and quite completely explained that my psychological difficulties are as in need of treatment as a physical one. Then he reminded me that I was worthy of healing, being loved, and of being successful. It brought me to tears.

This morning, as I lit my spell candle, it again struck me that the Goddess is love. She is more then that romantic rosy feeling that throws us topsy-turvy. She is the deep, abiding and compassionate love that is unconditional and sustaining. She is loving with out regard for how worthy a person feels they are or the opinions that others have of them. Unconditional love simply loves a person because they are there to be loved.

I've been struggling with cultivating that type of love for myself. And the faint refrain "we are love, love, love." just keeps echoing. I started this spell a little over a week ago. It is simply focused upon cultivating the love that I need in my life to be genuine to who and what I am. I now wear about my wrist a band with a charm in the shape of one of the ancient votive offerings to the Earth Goddess with the addition of a tiny heart.

I keep repeating my prayer that I started out with at the beginning of this whole process almost four years ago: Let me be healthy in body, mind, and soul. Taking the time to align myself with the Goddess in her face as Love, I think ... I think it will heal me as much as my vigorous efforts with exercise and diet have dramatically increased my physical health.