Poems for the Royal Spades

King of Spades

Hail to the King of Elf-Arrows,
Leader of the Wild Hunt!
Hail to the Great Stormer,
Magnificent and deadly,
Pitiless judge and executioner,
Source of all winds!
Only the bravest souls seek
Your sorceries among the snows!

***

Queen of Spades

Hail to the Queen of Elf-Arrows,
Mistress of Shadows and Winter!
Scathing and frosty one,
Bringer of woe and anxiety,
Even the wisest among us
Flee the lash of your bitter tongue!

***

Jack of Spades

Hail the Knave of Spades,
The Killer Frost and Ill Wind—
Misfortune’s Archer!
Sharp darts of elf-shot
flying unseen from your bow
strike us from behind!

***

I picked up Robin Artisson’s Hands of Fate before Christmas and started delving into playing card-based cartomancy. The author’s folk witchcraft perspective gave my divination and imagination the jump-start they needed. I’m sure to review this book in the future, but for now I’ll simply say I recommend it highly.

The Charge of the Dark Goddess

Listen to the words of the Dark Goddess, She of Many Names.

Whenever you have need, take yourself to a private place and call upon me. Better yet, adore me when the moon is new, for I am the Queen of Shadows.

You will know no shame. You will tell no lies. As a sign of your freedom, let your soul be naked in my rites. Sing, dance, feast, make music, and make love in my presence. I take joy in your joy, and all acts of pleasure are my rituals.

My law is that you love all beings. I am the darkness of the womb, and I am the darkness of the tomb. All comes from me, and all returns to me. In this all creatures are united, from the smallest to the greatest. I am the beauty of the soil and earth. I am the depth of the oceans and the space between the stars. I am the soul of nature that gives life to the universe, and I have breathed life into every being in existence. I need no sacrifice but self-compassion and kindness to one another.

Contemplate this, and you will know the greatest of my Mysteries: what you cannot find within yourself you will never find without. I have been with you from the beginning, and I will be with you to the end and beyond. I am the peace that is attained at the end of desire.

(Original Charge of the Goddess by Doreen Valiente, adapted by William Briar. Image by lightstargod on pixabay.)