'Tis true indeed that thou a spirit art,
But thou wert born but to become again
A mortal; thou must go to earth below
To be a teacher unto women and men Who fain would study witchcraft in thy school
Yet like Caine's daughter thou shalt never be,
Nor like the race who have become at last
Wicked and infamous from suffering,
As are the Jews and wandering Zingary,
Who are all thieves and knaves; like unto them
Ye shall not be...
And thou shalt be the first of witches known;
And thou shalt be the first of all i' the world;
And thou shalt teach the art of poisoning,
Of poisoning those who are the great lords of all;
Yea, thou shalt make them die in their palaces;
And thou shalt bind the oppressor's soul (with power);
And when ye find a peasant who is rich,
Then ye shall teach the witch, your pupil, how
To ruin all his crops with tempests dire,
With lightning and with thunder (terrible),
And the hail and wind....
And when a priest shall do you injury
By his benedictions, ye shall do to him
Double the harm, and do it in the name
Of me, Diana, Queen of witches all!
--This text is from Leland's original translation from the Italian, as recorded in Charles G. Leland, Aradia or the Gospel of Witches, A New Translation by Mario Pazzaglini, Ph. D. and Dina Pazzaglini, 1989. (128, 130-131)
Now when Aradia had been taught, taught work all witchcraft, how to destroy the evil race (of oppressors), she (imparted it to her pupils) and said unto them:
When I shall have departed from this world,Then shall follow the Conjuration of Diana
Whenever ye have need of anything,
Once in the month, and when the moon is full,
Ye shall assemble in some desert place,
Or in a forest all together join
To adore the potent spirit of your queen,
My mother, great Diana. She who fain
Would learn all sorcery yet has not won Its deepest secrets, them my mother will
Teach her, in truth all things as yet unknown.
And ye shall all be freed from slavery,
And so ye shall be free in everything;
And as the sign that ye are truly free,
Ye shall be naked in your rites, both men
And women also: this shall last until
The last of your oppressors shall be dead;
And ye shall make the game of Benevento,
Extinguishing the lights, and after that
Shall hold your supper thus:
You shall make cakes of meal, wine, salt, and honey in the shape of a (crescent or horned) moon, and then put them to bake, and say:
Conjuration of DianaAnd thus shall it be done: all shall sit down to the supper all naked, men and women, and, the feast over, they shall dance, sing, make music, and then love in the darkness, with all the lights extinguished; for it is the Spirit of Diana who extinguishes them, and so they will dance and make music in her praise.
Know neither rest nor peace, and ever be
In cruel suffering till she will grant
What I request, what I do most desire,
I beg it of her from my very heart!
And if the grace be granted, O Diana!
In honour of thee I will hold this feast,
Feast and drain the goblet deep,
We will dance and wildly leap,
And if thou grant'st the grace which I require,
Then when the dance is wildest, all the lamps
Shall be extinguished and we'll freely love!
--This text is from Leland's original translation from the Italian, as recorded in Charles G. Leland, Aradia or the Gospel of Witches, A New Translation by Mario Pazzaglini, Ph. D. and Dina Pazzaglini, 1989. (131, 132-133, 139-140)
These two passages from Leland's Aradia were not necessarily ever meant to be read together as I have presented them here under the title, The Vangelo Charge. They both are from what Leland called the Vangelo or Gospel of Witches, aka Vangelo delle streghe.
I have added The Vangelo Charge to my web site, because it stresses the importance of Leland's text, Aradia, as well as the Goddess Aradia in the original revival movement of Wicca.
Compare The Vangelo Charge with the two versions of The Charge of the Goddess below and you will see the direct influence of Leland's translation.
Doreen Valiente is the person who is most responsible for the various versions of The Charge of the Goddess. She rewrote what is sometimes known as the proto-Charge or Lifting Up the Veil aka Leviter Veslis. (If you are interested in reading this proto-Charge, you can track it down in Aidan A. Kelly, Crafting the Art of Magic, Book I, 1991 or Aidan A. Kelly Inventing Witchcraft, 2007.) Valiente created two versions of The Charge: the first in rhymning verse and the second in prose. In both, she purposely used "...the words from Aradia, because these are traditional." (Janet & Stewart Farrar, Eight Sabbats for Witches, p 42) Because The Charge was presented as "traditional material" to most students of Wicca, numerous versions of both the prose and rhymning aboud. Below are two different prose versions which I have used in ritual.
Charge of the Goddess
Listen to the words of the Great Goddess, she who of old was also called among men, Isis, Astarte, Diana, Ge, Aphrodite, Melusine, Luna, Morgan, Brigid, Freyja, Arianrhod, Danu, and by many other names.
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, who am Queen of all Witcheries. There ye shall assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won its deepest secrets: to these I will teach things that are yet unknown. And 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 the joy on earth, for my law is love unto all beings. Keep pure in your highest ideal, strive ever toward it; let nought stop you or turn you aside. For mine is the secret which opens upon the land 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 sacrifice, for behold I am the Mother of all, and my love is poured out upon the earth.
Hear ye the words of the Star Goddess, she is the dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven and whose body encircles the universe.
I, who am the beauty of the green earth, and the white Moon among the stars, and the mysteries of the waters and the desire of the heart of man, call unto thy soul. Arise, 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. Let thine innermost divine self be enfolded in the rapture 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 for me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not unless thou knowest 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 Charge of the Goddess
Listen to the words of the Great Goddess, who was of old called Diana, Gaia, Rhiannon, Asherah, Brigid, Hulda, Nokomis, Isis, Inanna, and many more:
Whenever you have need of anything and better it be when the moon is full, assemble in some place and adore the spirit of Me, who is Queen of all the Wise. You shall be free from slaveries, and shall be adorned howsoever you choose. There you shall assemble, you who wish to learn, and I shall teach you that which is unknown. Sing, feast, dance, make music and laughter, all in My presence, for Mine is the ecstasy of the spirit and Mine also is joy on earth. For My law is love unto all beings. Mine is the secret that opens upon the door of youth, Mine is the cup of the wine of life that is the cauldron of inspiration that is the holy grail of immortality. I give knowledge of the spirit eternal and beyond death I give comfort and ease and reunion with those that have gone before. Nor do I demand aught of sacrifice, for behold, I am the Mother of all things and my love is poured out upon the earth.
Hear the words of the Star Goddess whose body is the universe:
I, who am the beauty of the green earth and the white moon among the stars and the mysteries of the waters, I call upon your soul to arise and come unto Me. For I am the soul of nature that gives life to cosmos. From Me all things proceed and to Me they must return. 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 your 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. I have been with you since the beginning, and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.
I would also like to encourage you to read Mario and Dina Pazzaglini's translation of the original Italian of those same passages from Aradia, which are called The Vangelo Charge.
There is an interesting discussion in Charles G. Leland, Aradia or the Gospel of Witches, A New Translation by Mario Pazzaglini, Ph. D. and Dina Pazzaglini, 1989, in a short essay by Robert E. Chartowich called Enigmas of Aradia. In it, he discusses some critical lines in the original Italian:
60. Pero uomini e donneThe Pazzaglinis translate these as:
61. Sarete tutti nudi, per fino.
62. Che non sara morto l'ultimo
63. Degli oppressori e morto,
60. But, men and womenAlthough "nudi" literally means "naked," it may not have meant that in the literal sense in Italian. As Chartowich stated, "...nudi does not necessarily even mean naked (it may also mean vulnerable)." (453)
61. Will all be naked until
62. Every last one
63. Of the oppressors is dead,
I can't emphasize enough anyone really wishing to study the original Vangelo should read the Pazzaglinis' book.
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