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Home > Temple Questions > Wicca

What are the Charge of the Goddess and the Legend of the Descent of the Goddess? Where can I find them? And what are those mysteries?

These are two texts that are used within many traditions of Wicca, with minor variations. Of the two, the Charge is more widespread than the Descent, probably because the Charge simply deals with the nature of the Goddess, while the Descent deals with the balance and interplay of life and death, a topic many people find uncomfortable or emotionally challenging.

You can find both texts in any of a wide variety of books on Wicca, and in many places on the Internet. Note that many versions of the Descent, particularly those found online, have been somewhat whitewashed to tone down elements felt to be disturbing by some people.

As for the mysteries — well, as we've already explained, mysteries are things that aren't easily put into words! But the major ideas expressed within them can be roughly described as follows: The Charge deals with the sort of polytheistic/pantheistic view of divinity we just talked about, and with the immanence of divinity within nature, and with some of the basic principles of the Wiccan way of life. The Descent concerns the nature of life and death, the balance between them, and the difficulty of coming to terms with the existence of death and suffering and the harsher side of life.

Both contain many levels of meaning, and should not be read superficially. Very little in Wicca has only one meaning, and these texts least of all!

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