In many of your rituals you will want to invite Deity to stand as witness, assist and/or enliven the work of your celebration. These God forms may vary from that of familiar archetypes to the pure essence of what the Divine means to you personally. This singular act will set the tone for what follows. You may find the terms “evocation” or “invocation” used as the process for bringing the energy of Deity into sacred space.
Invocation or Evocation?
The act of invocation is one of inviting Deity to be present. To invoke is to call to one’s self the specific energies that are desired. This is a process that contains the emphasis that what you are calling resides outside of you (versus Evocation, which draws upon those energies and dynamics of archetype that are within your own state of consciousness). To invoke is an invitation to a particular Deity or Deities to be present, to witness and to potentially offer assistance in whatever the predetermined focus of the ritual may be. For example, for our Lammas ritual we invoke the Goddess as the Great Mother from whose bounty we reap the harvest. We invoke the God as the Great Horned God, protector of the animals and natural world and guardian of the bounty the harvest provides. At Brighid (Imbolc) we invoke Brighid, Goddess of the Triple Flame, healer and bringer of light and life. And we invoke the God as Lugh, spear of fire, and the forger of our Will.
If no specific God or Goddess is needed, the charges below serve to call the energies of God and Goddess in their many forms. Specifically, the Charge of the Goddess is often used during Esbat rituals, as the range of archetypal energies needed vary in accord with the phase and astrological considerations of the lunation. And, the Charge of the God can be used at Mabon or Lammas:
The Charge of the Goddess
Whenever ye have need of any thing, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, then shall ye assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of She, who is Queen of all witches. There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won its deepest secrets; to these will She teach things that are yet unknown. And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye be really free, ye shall be naked in your rites; and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in Her praise. For Hers is the ecstasy of the spirit, and Hers also is joy on earth; for Her law is love unto all beings. Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever towards it; let naught stop you or turn you aside. For Hers is the secret door which opens upon the land of youth and Hers is the cup of wine of life, and the cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the Holy Grail of immortality. She is the gracious goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the heart of man. Upon earth, She gave the knowledge of the spirit eternal; and beyond death, She gives peace and freedom, and reunion with those who have gone before. Nor does She demand sacrifice, for behold, She is the mother of all living, and Her love is poured out upon the earth.
She who is the beauty of the green earth, and the white moon among the stars, and the mystery of the waters, and the desire of the heart of man, calls unto thy soul. Arise, and come unto Her. For She is the soul of nature, who gives life to the universe. from Her all things proceed, and unto Her all things must return; and before Her face, beloved of gods and men, let thine innermost divine self be enfolded in the rapture of the infinite. Let Her worship be within the heart that rejoiceth; for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are Her 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 Her, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not unless thou knowest the mystery; that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, then thou wilt never find it without thee. For behold, She has been with thee from the beginning; and She is that which is attained at the end of desire.
**The Charge of the Goddess is attributed to Doreen Valiente, a student of Gerarld Gardner. The poem, originally found in the Gardnerian Book of Shadows, is now loved by all wiccans as a statement of reverence for the Goddess and Nature. Valiente used materials from the Gospel of Aradia by Charles Leland (1901), and Aleister Crowley’s writings to compose the piece and it is commonly used to invoke the “Goddess” during Esbats and Sabbats.
The Charge of the God
Listen to the Words of the Horned God,
Who was of old called among men:
Adonis, Tammuz, Dianus, Herne,
Bran, Beli, Lugh, Gwyn,
Dionysus, Osiris, Cernunnos, Pan,
And by many other Names.
O Secret of Secrets,
That art hidden in the being of all that lives,
Not Thee do we adore,
For That which adoreth is also Thou.
Thou art That, and That am I.
I am the Flame that burns in the heart of every being,
And in the core of every Star.
I am Life, and the Giver of Life,
Yet therefore is the Knowledge of Me
The Knowledge of Death and Resurrection.
I am alone, the Lord within ourselves,
Whose Name is Mystery of Mysteries.
I am the Horned God
I am the Lord of the Universe,
The Father of all living,
The All-Devourer and the All-Begetter.
I am He Whose Seed lies strewn
As glittering Gems across velvet darkness
Within the Womb of the Mother.
I am the Lord of the Shadows
In the darkness of the Underworld,
For I am the Midnight Sun.
I am the Light of the Stars,
And the Spark of the Spirit Eternal,
For I am the God Within.
I am the Horned Leader of the Hosts of Air,
The Leader of the Wild Hunt,
The Judge of Gods and of Men.
I am the Hidden God,
Who ever yet remains,
For I dwell within the secret seed.
I am the seed of grain,
I am the seed of flesh,
I am the Seed of the Stars.
I am the Lord of the Heights,
I am the Lord of the Depths,
God of forest, of flock, and of field.
I am the Hunter and Hunted,
I am the wolf and the Shepherd,
I am the vine and the grain.
I am a Guiding Star above you,
I am a bright Flame before you,
I am a smooth Path beneath you
I am the Light of Life
I am the Flame of Love
I am the Horned God!
This topic also brings to mind the often times multi-opinioned subject of whether one demands or invites the Deities to be present. Although there are occasions where a stronger desire and need for the specific energies and help of a specific deity may be required; and thus a statement in the invocation may be made for them to be present without question on their part, even these types of supplication should be made as invite rather than demand. Even with invite, it is entirely, and rightfully so, within the prerogative of the Deity as to whether they wish to present. By placing the request in the form of an invitation with the potential for connection and blessing, you are more likely to be heard, for it has been done with respect and sincerity.