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Leviter Veslis

A charge is a set of instructions read to a candidate standing in a temple, which, in the 15th century, meant "injunction, order". The term was used by Freemasons, along with the phrase "so mote it be" in the 18th century. The Charge of the Goddess, also known as Leviter Veslis "lifting the veil" is a speech given by a High Priestess to her coven.

  The Opening of the Veil

Aleister Crowley, 1913



High Priest: "O circle of Stars whereof our Father is but the younger brother, marvel beyond imagination, soul of infinite space, before whom Time is Ashamed, the mind bewildered, and the understanding dark, not unto Thee may we attain, unless Thine image be Love. Therefore by seed and root and stem and bud and leaf and flower and fruit do we invoke Thee."

High Priestess: "But to love me is better than all things; if under the night-stars in the desert thou presently burnest mine incense before me, invoking me with a pure heart, and the serpent flame therein, thou shalt come a little to lie in my bosom. For one kiss wilt thou then be willing to give all; but whoso gives one particle of dust shall lose all in that hour. Ye shall gather goods and store of women and spices; ye shall wear rich jewels; ye shall exceed the nations of the earth in splendour and pride; but always in the love of me, and so shall ye come to my joy. I charge you earnestly to come before me in a single robe, and covered with a rich head-dress. I love you! I yearn to you! Pale or purple, veiled or voluptuous, I who am all pleasure and purple, and drunkenness of the innermost sense, desire you. Put on the wings, and arouse the coiled splendour within you: come unto me! To me! To me! Sing the rapturous love-song unto me! Burn to me perfumes! Wear to me jewels! Drink to me, for I love you! I love you. I am the blue-lidded daughter of sunset; I am the naked brilliance of the voluptuous night-sky. To me! To me!"

High Priest: "O secret of secrets that art hidden in the being of all that lives, not Thee do we adore, for that which adoreth is also Thou. Thou art That, and That am I. Thou that art One, our Lord in the Universe the Sun, our Lord in ourselves whose name is Mystery of Mystery, uttermost being whose radiance enlightening the worlds is also the breath that maketh every God even and Death to tremble before Thee -- By the Sign of Light appear Thou glorious upon the throne of the Sun. Make open the path of creation and of intelligence between us and our minds. Enlighten our understanding. Encourage our hearts. Let thy light crystallize itself in our blood, fulfilling us of Resurrection. A ka dua. Tuf ur biu. Bi a'a chefu. Dudu nur af an nuteru."

High Priestess: "There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt." 


Lift Up the Veil

Gerald Gardner, 1949


High Priest: "Listen to the words of the Great mother, who of old was 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, ye shall assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of Me who am Queen of all Witcheries and magics. There ye shall 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 ye shall be free from slavery, and as a sign that ye be really free, ye shall be naked in your rites, both men and women, and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music, and love, all in my praise. There is a Secret Door that I have made to establish the way to taste even on earth the elixir of immortality. Say, 'Let ecstasy be mine, and joy on earth even to me, To Me,' For I am a gracious Goddess. I give unimaginable joys on earth, certainty, not faith, while in life! And upon death, peace unutterable, rest, and ecstasy, nor do I demand aught in sacrifice."

High Priest: "Hear ye the words of the Star Goddess."

High Priestess: "I love you: I yearn for you: pale or purple, veiled or voluptuous. I who am all pleasure, and purple and drunkenness of the innermost senses, desire you. Put on the wings, arouse the coiled splendor within you. Come unto me, for I am the flame that burns in the heart of every man, and the core of every Star. Let it be your inmost divine self who art lost in the constant rapture of infinite joy. Let the rituals be rightly performed with joy and beauty. Remember that all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. So let there be beauty and strength, leaping laughter, force and fire within you. And if thou sayest, 'I have journeyed unto thee, and it availed me not,' rather shalt thou say, 'I called upon thee, and I waited patiently, and Lo, thou wast with me from the beginning,' for they that ever desired me shall ever attain me, even to the end of all desire."

The Prose Charge

Doreen Valiente, 1957


High Priest: "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."

High Priest: "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."


The Verse Charge

Doreen Valiente, 1961


I the Mother, darksome and divine, Say to thee, Oh children mine (All ye assembled at mine Shrine), Mine the scourge and mine the kiss The five-point star of love and bliss Here I charge ye in this sign. (Assume Goddess position.)

All ye assembled here tonight Bow before my spirit bright Aphrodite, Arianrhod, Lover of the Horned God, Mighty Queen of Witchery and night

Astarte, Hecate, Ashtaroth, Dione, (Morrigan, Etain, Nisene), Diana, Brigid, Melusine, Am I named of old by men, Artemis and Cerridwen, Hell's dark mistress, Heaven's Queen.

(Whene'er trouble comes anoon) All who would learn of me a Rune Or would ask of me a boon, Meet ye in some secret glade Dance my round in greenwood shade, by the light of the full moon.

(In a place wild and lone) With the comrades alone Dance about my altar stone. Work my holy Magistry,Ye who are fain of sorcery, I bring ye secrets yet unknown.

(Whate'er troubles come to thee), No more shall ye know slavery Who give due worship unto me, Who tread my round on Sabbat-night. Come ye all naked to the rite, In token ye be truly free.

I teach the mystery of rebirth, Keep ye my mysteries in mirth Heart joined to heart, and lip to lip, Five are the points of fellowship That bring ye ecstasy on Earth.

I ask no offerings, do but bow, No other law but love I know, By naught but love I may be known, All that liveth is mine own From me they come, to me they go.

Unveiling the Goddess

Janet and Stewart Farrar, 1981


Be ye far from us, O ye profane, for the unveiling of the Goddess is at hand.
O thou that was before the earth was formed - Rhea, Binah, Ge. 
O tideless, soundless, boundless, bitter sea,
I am thy priest, O answer unto me.
O arching sky above and earth beneath,
Giver of life and bringer-in of death,
Persephone, Astarte, Ashtoreth,
I am thy priest, O answer unto me.
O golden Aphrodite, come to me!
Flower of the foam, rise from the bitter sea.
The hour of the full moon tide draws near,
Hear the invoking words, hear and appear -
Isis Unveiled, and Rhea, Binah, Ge.
I am thy priest, O answer unto me.
O Isis, veiled on earth, but shining clear,
in the high heaven now the full moon draws near,
Hear the invoking words, hear and appear -
Shaddai el Chai, and Rhea, Binah, Ge.

I am she who were the earth was formed, was Rhead, Binah, Ge.
I am that soundless, boundless, bitter sea,
Out of whose depths life wells eternally.
Astarte, Aphrodite, Ashtoreth -
Giver of life and bringer-in of death,
Hera in Heaven, on earth, Persephone,
Levanah of the tides and Hecate -
All these am I, and they are seen in me.
I am that soundless, boundless, bitter sea.
All tides are mine, and answer unto me.
Tides of the airs, tides of the inner earth,
The secret, silent tides of death and birth.
Tides of men's souls, and dreams, and destiny -
Isis Veiled, and Rhea, Binah, Ge.
The hour of the high full moon draws near,
I hear the invoking words, hear and appear -
Isis Unveiled and Rhea, Binah, Ge.
I come unto the priest that calleth me.