Hear now the words of the witches.
The secrets we hid in the night.
When dark was our destiny’s pathway,
that now we bring into the light.
Mysterious water and fire,
the earth and the wide ranging air,
By hidden quintessence we know them,
and will keep silent and dare.
The birth and the rebirth of nature,
the passing of winter and spring,
We share with the life universal,
rejoice in the magickal ring.
Four times a year the Great Sabbat returns,
and then the witches are seen,
At Lammas and Candlemas dancing,
at May’s eve and old Hallowe’en.
When daytime and night-time are equal,
when sun is at greatest and least,
The four lesser Sabbats are summoned,
and the witches then gather and feast,
Thirteen silver moons in a year are,
thirteen is the covens array,
Thirteen times at Esbat make merry,
for each golden year and a day.
The power was passed down the ages,
each time between woman or man,
Each century unto the other,
eve time and ages began.
When drawn is the magickal circle,
by sword or athame of power,
It’s compass betwixt the two worlds lies,
in land of the shades for that hour.
This world has no right than to know it,
and the world of beyond will tell naught,
The eldest of gods are invoked there,
and the great work of magick is wrought.
For the two are mystickal pillars,
that stand at the gate of the shrine,
And two are the powers of nature,
the forms and the forces Divine.
The dark and the light in succession,
the opposites each unto each,
Shown forth as the God and the Goddess,
of this our ancestors teach,
By night he’s the wild wind’s rider,
the horn’d God, Lord of the shades,
By day he’s the king of the woodland,
the dweller in green forest glades.
She is youthful or old as she pleases,
she sails the torn clouds in her barque,
The bright silver Lady of moonlight,
the crone who weaves spells in the dark.
The Master and Mistress of magick,
that dwell in the deeps of the mind,
Immortal and ever-renewing,
with power to free or to bind,
So drink the good wine to the old Gods,
and dance and make love in their praise,
Till, Elphane’s fair land shall receive us,
in peace at the end of our days.
And ‘Do what you will’ be the challenge,
so be it love that harms none,
For this is the only commandment,
by magick of old be it done!
by Doreen Valiente