Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Luna Invictus that Almost Wasn't...or Shouldn't Have Been!

This is a deeply interesting video featuring Janet Farrar and her husband/ working partner, Gavin Bone.  First and foremost, one is treated to Janet reciting The Charge of the Goddess.  But, what makes this lecture all the more fascinating are the anecdotes this brilliant pair relay at the commence of this prose.  Apparently, Doreen Valiente not only came to abhorred her own prose, The Charge of the Goddess, because every so-called "High Priestess"--wether Gardnerian or not!--would merely read it by rote from the Book of Shadows instead of reciting it from memory; but also because many practicing Witches are under the misimpression that by reciting The Charge they are effectively "Drawing Down the Moon" and thereby invoking The Goddess, as if all the power lay behind their intent and the rhythm of the words--not so!  The Charge was initially penned to avoid a lapse of embarrassing time when The Goddess was not authentically invoked into the High Priestess, or "drawn down" (as we say), because Gardner's initial Priestess was a Medium, which was a skill that was not passed down the line to the other initiates within the Tradition.  Farrar and Bone were able to confirm this by speaking with numerous Elders within the early Gardnerian movement.  This is nothing less than a Pagan bombshell that should have vast repercussions!  Indeed, it deserves out attention.

Coda: an acquaintance of mine, Rowan Pendragon, has stollen my thunder a couple months ago as she relates an identical encounter on her own Blog:
"I took a workshop with Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone on trance work a handful of years ago and during it Janet talked about how Doreen Valiente’s Charge of the Goddess was written to be part of the Drawing Down the Moon rite specifically to be recited by the High Priestess when the nothing happened.  Sometimes the Goddess doesn’t come.  She has her reasons, but we still need something to present to the coven.  This is where the Charge would come it. It still offers the advice and guidance and allows the Priestess something inspired by the Goddess to share with the coven.  I have to say that makes sense to me.  Usually when doing this rite, if the Goddess does come, there is no reciting of the Charge.  There’s no need.  She’s there and has other things to tell everyone."  (sic.)
She confided to me, however, that the only reservation she has about this story is due to the fact that Janet and Gavin have, to date, been the only source for it, despite her enquiry for corroborative data (pers. comm: 18 April, 2012).


  1. Shouldn't that be "Luna Invicta" rather than "Invictus"? The last time I checked a Latin dictionary, LUNA was feminine in gender.

  2. Please keep your posts relevant to the article at hand. Pedantry is really an unfortunate trait in my Pagan brothers and sisters. You could have phrased this any number of ways that would have received my adulation, but instead a tone was chosen that seems to me to be somewhat derisive at my expense in stead of any attempt at constructive criticism, implying that everyone whose anyone ought to know better when conjugating Latin (a language I have never studied, nor made any claims of fluency). If this was not your intent, however, I strongly implore you, in the future, to consider how what you are writing might be misconstrued.