Charge of the Goddess

There have been many iterations of this, the majority of which originally comes from Aradia (Gospel of the Witches) by Charles G. Leland, but I prefer this version, created by Doreen Valiente. I have put in bold the portion that I recite during my Full Moon ritual.

“Listen to the words of the Great Mother, who was of old also called Artemis; Astarte; Diana; Melusine; Aphrodite; Cerridwen; Diana; Arianrhod; Isis; Bride; and by many other names.

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

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

And ye shall be free of slavery; and as a sign that ye are really free, 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 also is joy on earth; for my Law is Love unto all Beings.

Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever toward it; let naught 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 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. 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 ye the words of the Star Goddess, she in the dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven; whose body encircleth 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 heart’s desire, 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 must all things return; and before my face, beloved of gods and mortals, thine inmost divine self shall be unfolded in the rapture of infinite joy.

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, honor 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 know this mystery: that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou will 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.”

Blessed be,

S.

Nine Basic Components of Ritual

This is the framework I use for formulating all of my rituals:

  1. Purification of self
  2. Purification of space
  3. Creating sacred space
  4. Invocation
  5. Ritual observance (on sabbats and esbats)
  6. Energy raising (during magick)
  7. Earthing the power
  8. Thanking the Goddess and God
  9. Breaking the circle

Source: Cunningham, Scott. Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practicioner. Woodbury: Llewellyn Publications, 2019. (First edition, revised)

Blessed be,

S.

Witch’s Brew: Nourishing Herbal Infusions

Nettle grows abundantly and is one of the most nourishing plants on the planet.
Image source: theherbalacademy.com

It is evening – the sun has set, dinner is done, and the table has been cleared. It’s time to do some clean-up in the kitchen, and prepare my nettle infusion for the next day.

First, I fill the kettle with fresh, cold water, and set it to high heat on the hearth. As the water heats, I grab a 1-quart mason jar from the cupboard, and my stash of dried nettle. Using a scale, I measure out one ounce of the nettle and pour it into the jar – I also add a pinch of dried mint from the garden. By the time I am done with this, steam is billowing from the kettle and it is starting to whistle. I grab the kettle from the hearth, and pour the bubbling water over the herbs, giving it a good stir to make sure that the herbs are fully immersed. Steam floats up and I revel in the earthy forest fragrance of wild nettle and mint.

Nettle is a somewhat unassuming plant in appearance; lush, green and leafy. But you will immediately recognize it if it makes contact with your skin, as it has nearly invisible spines that will deliver a searing sting! This plant likes a bit of cool shade and moisture, and can be found somewhat easily in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. It is also one of the most nourishing plants on the planet. While it must be handled with care, nettle is most generous with its nutrients and grows in abundance, happy to heal those who seek it out. Once you begin consuming nettle, whether eaten as a cooked food or imbibed as a nourishing infusion, you will quickly become aware of its zippy and generous personality. Nettle delivers a boost of fresh energy and vibrancy, and will give you a rosy glow and a pep in your step! The infusion is a dark green, almost black liquid, loaded with healing chlorophyll, and it makes my Green Witch heart happy.

Once I have filled the jar up with boiling water, I cap it and place it on the windowsill to infuse overnight. In the morning I will strain it, and chill it in the fridge, before sipping on it throughout the day. I feel immense gratitude and respect for this potent plant spirit.

Nettle and red clover infusions.

I first learned about nourishing infusions several years ago from the book Healing Wise by Susun Weed, and have been consuming them on a regular basis ever since. Nourishing infusions are a true Witch’s brew – healing, simple, effective, and a beautiful way to connect with plant spirits. They are also inexpensive – in fact, several of these plants can be wild harvested or grown in a garden, depending on where you are located.

An herbal infusion is different from a tea – in Healing Wise, Susun Weed describes it as “the most medicinally potent water-based herbal preparation.” Here is the standard preparation:

  1. Set a kettle of water to boil.
  2. Measure out one ounce of your dried herb.
  3. Put herb in a quart jar – canning jars are best, make sure it is heat-proof glass.
  4. Pour boiling water over the herb to the top of the jar – you may want to give it a stir to make sure the herb is fully saturated.
  5. Cap the jar and let it sit at room temperature for at least 4 hours (I like to make mine before bed and let it infuse overnight).
  6. Strain out the herb, pour liquid back into jar, and drink throughout the day. You’ll want to drink at least two cups per day, although I like to have the whole quart. If you don’t finish the quart in a day, be sure to refrigerate it at night. I always give the last few sips to my house plants. 🙂

Here are the herbs Susun Weed recommends for use on a regular basis – generally speaking, you will want to infuse these individually, and rotate as you go (eg. nettle infusion on monday, oatstraw infusion on tuesday, red clover infusion on wednesday, etc):

Nettle – This zippy plant is a true powerhouse of nourishment! It is a kidney/adrenal ally, digestive restorative, respiratory strengthener, hair and skin nourisher. Contains proteins, macro and trace minerals, and nearly all the vitamins we need. With regular consumption, this infusion will give you a significant boost of energy. If you are harvesting these in the wild, be sure to wear thick gloves at all times while handling them, until they have dried.

Oatstraw – Cooling and soothing, strengthens the nervous system and endocrine system, eases muscle spasms and inflammation, restores sexual flow. Contains proteins, macro and trace minerals, and high amounts of B vitamins.

Red Clover – anti-cancer, aids in fertility, nourishes hormones, nourishes skin, helper to the lymphatic system, boosts immune system. High in proteins, macro and trace minerals, vitamins, and is an excellent source of phytosterols.

Comfrey – AKA “Bone Knit”, strengthens and heals bones, skin, and other tissues, improves digestion and respiratory health. Rich in proteins, and a great source of folic acid, vitamins, minerals and trace minerals.

Linden – Anti-inflammatory, aids digestion, cold and flu preventative, relaxing nervine, benefits the heart. Rich in antioxidants, tastes like sunshine. 🙂

Speaking of taste, if you find the flavor of any of these herbs challenging, try adding a pinch of mint. I really enjoy adding a bag of peppermint tea to the nettle infusion, and a wedge of lemon (after straining) to the red clover infusion.

Having a constant rotation of these nourishing infusions as part of your daily nutrition will build a strong foundation for your health. If you are interested in learning about herbal allies, and getting to know the personality of the plants, pick one of the herbs listed above and try drinking a quart of it every day for a full week- you will get to know the plant very well! In a way, you will embody the plant, and get a good sense of its personality and healing qualities.

To learn more about working with herbs, I can’t recommend Susun Weed’s book, Healing Wise, enough. It is a go-to reference and constant guide for me in healing with plants.

Healing Wise by Susun Weed – I consider this an indispensable resource in my Green Witch library.

As mentioned above, you may be able to harvest some of these herbs in the wild or grow them in your garden. This is ideal, just be sure to do your research on foraging and drying first! You can also purchase them online from Mountain Rose Herbs or Frontier Co-op.

In summary:

  • Nourishing infusions are a potent daily tonic and healing way to connect with plants.
  • The five herbs used (individually) in nourishing infusions are: nettle, oatstraw, red clover, comfrey, and linden.
  • The general ratio for making nourishing infusions is one ounce herb to one quart water, and should be infused for at least 4 hrs.
  • Nourishing infusions are simple, safe and affordable.
  • To learn more, read Healing Wise by Susun Weed.
  • Herbs for nourishing infusions may be grown or wildcrafted, but do your research first.
  • Nourishing infusions can be part of a daily practice for the Green Witch and/or Kitchen Witch.

Blessed Be,

S.

Definitions of Magick

What is Magick, anyways?

“Magic is the art and science of causing change to occur in conformity with will.” – Aleister Crowley

“Magick is the art, science, and practice of producing ‘supernatural’ effects, causing change to occur in conformity, and controlling events in Nature with will.” – Gerina Dunwich

“Magic is the art of effecting changes in consciousness at will.” – William Butler

“We do not affect fate by our magical operations, we affect ourselves; we reinforce those aspects of our nature which are in sympathy with the powers we invoke.” – Dion Fortune

“Magic is a comprehensive knowledge of all nature.” – Francis Barrett

“Magic is making something happen that you want to happen.” – Raymond Buckland

“Magic is the act of using your will to cause change, by focusing and directing your psychic energy.” – Jennifer Hunter

“Magic…is the art of obtaining results without resort to the ordinary mechanism of cause and effect.” – Serge Hutin

“The work of magic involves transformation, and the first transformation is the shift of perception.” – Marion Weinstein

“In its true sense magic is a high art and science itself, that should release the powers of the imagination for the benefit of any other part of life.” – Gareth Knight

“Magic is the science of the control of the secret forces of nature.” – S.L. Macgregor-Mathers

“[Magic is] the mastery of occult forces and their use in order to produce visible effects.” – Frank Gaynor

“Magick is the art and metaphysical science of manifesting personal desires through the collection and direction of energy.” – Raven Grimassi

“Magic is concerned with the conversion of universal energies into practical frequencies that can be utilized according to the needs of the occasion.” – Murry Hope

Source:

Buckland, Raymond. Wicca for One. New York: Kensington Publishing Corp., 2004.

Blessed Be,

S.

Thirteen Goals of a Witch

A useful reference I go back to, any time I feel like I have lost my way a bit on this crooked path…

  1. Know yourself
  2. Know your Craft
  3. Learn
  4. Apply knowledge with wisdom
  5. Achieve balance
  6. Keep your words in good order
  7. Keep your thoughts in good order
  8. Celebrate life
  9. Attune with the cycles of the earth
  10. Breathe and eat correctly
  11. Exercise the body
  12. Meditate
  13. Honor the Goddess and God

Source:

Cunningham, Scott. Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. Woodbury: Llewellyn Publications, 2019. (First edition, revised)

Blessed be,

S.

Welcome

Greetings, web-traveller, and thank you for stopping by on this tiny facet of a seemingly infinite prism of places to visit. Please, grab a mug of cider and come sit by the fire with me, and we can discuss all things wondrous and wonderful.

My name is Saga Nightryder – I am a seeker, a psychonaut, a traveler of realms, a magician, a creator, a tinkerer and more. Here I will tell you of the things I have learned, the places I have explored, my studies and creations, all on my path to becoming a Witch. Please chime in if you feel so inclined (in the comments below!) – it would make my heart all a-flutter.

The fire glows strong and the stars shine bright, and there is so much to tell…

Blessed Be,

S.