Kestrel's Nest

The Early Stuff

Here is the poetry I wrote in the years previous to my dedication to my path at Samhain 2002.

In Your Stars?
Hymn of Thanks for Transformation
Invocation of the Goddess (Pentacle Invocation)
Charge of the Goddess

In Your Stars?

This was my first serious attempt at poetry. It was written in exasperation with the way fate seems to deal an uneven hand, the friend about whom this is written having suffered illness after illness throughout her life. It can be read simply as it is but, at the time, I was heavily immersed in books on paganism, astrology, alchemy and the Qabalah. The imagery of all these appear in the piece. The Shakespeare quote is at the heart of it and provided the title.

When aeons hang on a wild star
And the planets rage against the cosmos
How can one earth-bound soul defeat these awful powers?
But each earth-bound soul is a cosmos within itself
With as many facets as a rose cut diamond.
Fire and ice.
A powerful heart can fight against the planets’ rage
And conquer all.

© Angela Grant. 24/5/2000.

Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar.

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Hymn of Thanks for Transformation

This is the sole product of my 'Egyptian Period'. Isis had the guiding hand that brought me into paganism and I was devoted to the Great Mother until I realised her spirit came from another land and I needed to be in touch with the spirits of my own land. Nonetheless I am very grateful for Her guidance in the formation of my path. At the time I wrote this I had been abroad for a serious operation. The 'land of pine and roses' is the State of Oregon, USA. For those not familiar with Kemetic symbolism Kheperi, Ra and Atum are three aspects of the Sun God. Kheperi, usually depicted as a scarab beetle or a scarab headed man, represents the sun at dawn and hence the east. Ra is the Sun at noon. Atum is the setting Sun and hence the west. Anubis is gatekeeper of the underworld and, since in the flat land of Egypt, the underworld was reached by crossing the horizon, Anubis became synonymous with the horizon. In hawk form Isis used her breath to bring life back to the restored body of Her husband Osiris.

O Isis! Lady of Life!
      You are most gracious.
      You have heard my prayers and answered.
      You have given me that which I most desired.

So I fled from Kheperi the transformer
      And sought Atum where he met with Anubis
          To find a Magus – a healer with a knife
               To part me from that which was mine and not mine.

And I found him in a land of pine and roses at the world’s rim
      And Kheperi the transformer followed me
           And as he pushed his sun-dung hindwards from his burrow
                To rise and become Ra
                     So was I transformed in glad wakefulness
                          And became mistress of my life.

O Isis! Lady of Light!
      To you be praise given.
      You have heard my prayers and answered.
      Hawklike you have breathed new life in me.
      Your wings protecting
           You have fulfilled my desires.
O Isis! Lady of Life!
      You know my dreams and grant me truth.

© Angela Grant 8/4/2001

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Invocation of the Goddess (Pentacle Invocation)

After my sojourn with Isis, I immersed myself in witchcraft and, as a result, wrote some pieces suitable for ritual use. The majority are too weak to stand publicity but the Invocation and the Charge that follows it are among the better examples of my work at this time. The first verse follows an earth invoking pentagram (hence the title) earth, water, air, fire, spirit. For those unfamiliar, Drawing Down the Moon involves the officiating priest drawing the energy of the Goddess down into the officiating priestess. This can be a profound experience for the priestess concerned, as I can confirm. However, there are dangers and it should never be done lightly and only with reverence after proper study and preparation.

Lady, hear my soul’s call.
World Mother, living stone,
Sea Mother, oceans’ breath,
Wind Mother, mind’s tempest,
Flame Mother, passion’s fire,
Soul Mother, spirit salve,
Milk-white Moon,
Ever changing, changeless,
Womb of all nature,
Mother of life.

You who are ever with us,
Waken us in your presence,
Grant us the strength to serve you,
Free us with your living power.

For Drawing Down the Moon:
Fill now your waiting priestess,
Let her eyes be your eyes,
Let her lips be your lips,
Let her breath be your breath,
Let her voice be your voice,
Let her know you now!

Otherwise:
Grace us with your presence.
Let us know you now!

© Angela Grant 14/8/2002

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Charge of the Goddess

The Charge is normally recited by the priestess who has had the Moon drawn down into her. The original was written by Doreen Valiente and put into modern language by Starhawk, to both of whom I owe a debt of gratitude. However, I had real problems with the original and so wrote my own versions, of which this is the third and nearest to what I felt at the time. Now, in particular, I'm not so sure that the good-warm-light and bad-cold-dark correlation is necessarily correct.

I hear your soul’s call and I am with you,
For I am always with you.
Call Me by any name and I will answer,
For I am wisdom’s Queen.
I hold all,
I encompass all.

Honour Me in all things you do,
In gladness and in sadness,
In love and pleasure,
And when your heart is full.

I am the spark, the flame that burns in all.
My hand is in the soft breeze,
And in the Dragon’s fire.
My touch can be loving, freezing, burning,
For I am Life and Death in One Being,
All is Mine and Mine is Everything.

For I am in all things as all things are born of Me,
And as all are born of Me, to Me they must resolve.
Without Me there is no light, no feeling, no passion, no thought
All is darkness.
Within Me there is warmth and loving and passion and freedom
All is light.

There is no secret,
If you feel not My Spirit in you,
Then you cannot know Me.

I am the beginning as I have always been,
And I am the ending as I will always be,
For I am the source of your immortality,
And the mirror of your soul.

© Angela Grant 21/8/2002