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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in charge
A Witch's Practice of Prayer: It's within You (part 2)

When last we met, I quoted the last line from a version of the Charge of the Star Goddess:  “…if that which you seek, you do not find within yourself, you shall surely never find it without. For behold, I have been with you since the beginning, and I am That which is attained at the end of desire.” 

I find this last sentence so compelling because it reminds us of Who we are. Some people say we are spiritual beings having a human experience. I’m not sure I subscribe entirely to that position, given that I believe in a theology of immanence, that the Holy is here and now in this place and this time, wherever one is, and that the human experience is holy of itself, and doesn’t need a separate category of spiritual-ness to make it sacred…but that’s for a separate time.

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Getting a Real Charge

The Charge of the Goddess is Doreen Valiente's masterpiece, incontestably the best of its kind.

In fact, the Charge has single-handedly created its own literary genre. Modern paganism's hodgepodge of gods, few of whom many of us grew up knowing about, has made the charge—a "self-description of a deity"—a liturgical necessity.

Note that the pagan use of the term, though, departs significantly from its original use in Freemasonry, where it means, essentially, "a list of instructions." Although the divine monologue was known in late antiquity—Classicist R. E. Witt would call it an "aretalogy"—Valiente's Charge is the Great Mother of all modern charges.

Think of the other charges that you know.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Brilliant indeed! As always. A copy is going into the San Quentin Wiccan Circle Binder of Shadows.
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Proud to be part of it: thanks!
  • tehomet
    tehomet says #
    Brilliant.

One of the main signifiers of many Pagan traditions are the way in which they seek to reframe the material and specifically the body as holy and sacred.  Unlike other religions which might cast the affairs of the flesh as sinful or of a base nature, Pagan traditions seek to break up these associations and honor things like sex, desire, and pleasure. Many traditions today still do their rites naked, as a way of proclaiming their freedom from the slavery of shame modern society places on the body. 

I will just put this out there:  I struggle with this embrace of the body, and I suspect my history as an addict and an alcoholic play no little part in this.  Addicts and Alcoholics historically have problematic relationships with our bodies.  Our addictions are embodied obsessions.  We experience them as physical cravings that crawl through our nervous system, scrambling our brains ability to think clearly or cogently.  The fierce need to experience pleasure becomes a thirst that drowns out all other concerns, a strong steady drumbeat that gets louder and more insistent until you finally feed it.  I’ve often experienced my body as a prison, a needy demanding egocentric organism that keeps my spirit-which in my ignorance I think is my TRUE self-- from being truly free.  

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Alay'nya
    Alay'nya says #
    You've written an amazing and thought-provoking blogpost, Hope, and I'm so glad you've given this topic so much depth - and have s
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you for your wise words.
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    Good article. I find that this rings true and that its something not overtly addressed in general.
  • Hope M.
    Hope M. says #
    Thanks for reading Taylor!

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