For mine is the Spirit of Ecstasy, and mine as well is joy on Earth,
and Love Unto All Beings is My Law.”
~ From the Charge of the Goddess by Doreen Valliente
Early in my journey as a Pagan when I felt called to the faith of Witchcraft I tried to find a Coven, but could not. So I read and studied and practiced on my own. The Solitary Witches journey is a difficult one, and there are a lot of side paths, but it has been my path for 17 years now. I would not trade a moment of it because it is how I got to the wonderful place in life where I am today.
At one point, fairly early, in my journey I began to read and analyze the Charge of the Goddess, and other writings and liturgy within modern Witchcraft. For me the Charge is a divinely inspired work; as much so for the Witches faith as the Bible is to any Christian, the Koran to any Muslim. The text of Valliente’s Charge represents The Goddesses Own Words. In my studies I realized one day that the above quote was central to my understanding of the faith. Yet, surprisingly one never sees it given any emphasis in the written works about Witchcraft. Heck, sometimes it doesn’t even get mentioned unless the author quotes Valliente’s Charge, or one close to it.
I sometimes joke that as a Witch my Goddess instructs me to Love all people; unfortunately the way some of them choose to behave makes this very difficult!
Love unto All Beings. This is the ideal. You know, one of the ones we are supposed to strive ever towards? The practice, well, the practice of this is much harder.
It starts with trying to honestly love yourself, your head, your heart, and your body. To act and think and make choices for oneself rooted in that love. Not to beat yourself up emotionally when you do or say something you regret, but to accept that you are mortal and mortals make mistakes. To Love and accept who you are, what you look like, where your life is right now, and the choices you have made that brought you here.
You may not be where you want to be. But as I’ve learned you cannot change your life for the better until you can see yourself and your choices clearly with both love and acceptance. From that place, which can be tricky to find sometimes, you can move on to finding love within yourself for others. Loving them for who they are, not what you wish they were, and sometimes in spite of what they do or have done.