The Samhain God Charge… or why accreditation is important

For a number of years now, I have used a poem usually referred to as ‘The Samhain God Charge’ in my Hallowe’en/Samhain celebrations. This poem:

‘I am the God who waits
In the dead of the Year, in the Dark of life,
In the depths of the wood where no birds sing
There will you rest again in My hand

Be fearless to look upon My death’s head
For I have other faces, and another hand
To give again that which I take

Come gladly to my call;
The Great Mother  holds My promise
And no thieves shall steal from you,
Nor evil ones harm you
In the compass of My hand.

Remember you trusted Me in the Spring –
Green child places, finding enchantment,
Found Me merry in Summer attendance
when you wed
Feared not to meet Me in Autumn forest hunt,
Shrink not from Me in the Winter snow.

Have you not seen the return of life to the Earth,
Safe in My keeping?
Will I do less for you My children?

I am the Great Lord of Death who waits for you
Have faith in Life and trust in Me.
As the circle of the year
Brings forth the time of My domai
Take Me to your hearts
As you have ever been in mine.’

I tried on several occasions to find the author of it. I wrote as late as 2021:

Invocation: I can’t find an accreditation for the Samhain God Charge. However, it was quoted in Persuasions of the Witch’s Craft: Ritual Magic in Contemporary England by T. M. Luhrmann, originally published in 1989.

Patricia Crowther – in her book One Witch’s World, p.93, mentions poet Gwion:

One of Gwion’s poems has appeared several times in print, without due acknowledgement to the author. Originally entitled ‘The God Speaks’, the verse begins: ‘I am the God who waits, in the dead of night, in the dark of life, at the end of the lane…’

I tried to find out more about ‘The God Speaks’ but came to a dead end.

Here is another link, thanks to Tam!

But again no accreditation whatsoever!! This is so frustrating!

However, eureka! … on 23rd October 2022, during an online meeting, Rhys Chisnall did recognise it and told us:

“The original poem is called, ‘The Dolmen’ and is by Reg Hinchliffe.” He was even able to locate the magazine it appeared in and sent these images:



Finally I was able to accredit Reg Hinchliffe as the author!

Why accreditation is important. The moral of this story is to check the sources of ritual texts, poems and so on. Sometimes we need to double-check, especially when we are quoting someone.

When we use quotes from ancient texts such as The Greek Magical Papyri it is important to note the translation used. It is common practice to copy the link to the translation and date accessed. We may never know who the author is of an ancient text so let us try our utmost to accredit recent authors. This is particularly important – but rarely happens – when people quote (published) Books of Shadows. How many times have you wondered, who wrote this and when?? Remember ‘Credit where credit’s due’.

As a side note, I am trying to find out more about Reg Hinchliffe and his contribution to the Craft. I really like his poem ‘The Dolmen’ and can understand why it has been used on numerous occasions as a ‘Samhain God Charge’. I understand he has written more poems. Who knows what we might find?

Watch this space!

See also: Blood Moon & Samhain October 28/31, 2023.

Over Morgana

"Morgana is Anglo/Dutch and lives in the Netherlands. She is a practising Gardnerian HPS. Over the years, she has facilitated a variety of Wiccan groups. She is co-editor of the international and bilingual "Wiccan Rede" magazine, which was launched in 1980 and is coordinator of Silver Circle, a Wiccan network in the Netherlands. As International Coordinator for PFI she travels extensively giving talks and workshops about Wicca and Paganism."
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