Thursday, March 3, 2011
Aradia : Gospel of the Witches
Aradia: Gospel of the Witches
Charles Leland, Easy Reads LLC
In Northern Italy there are vestiges of an ancient faith that maybe still practiced by the common people. It is a vestige left over from the ancient Etruscan religion. The Etruscans lived in Tuscany, Italy. The main Goddess for the practitioners of this faith is the Goddess Diana. She is the Goddess of the moon, queen of the fairies and protector of the down trodden. She is also the goddess of witchcraft.
Charles Godfrey Leland traveled to Italy in the Mid to late 1800's and gather all this material about the ancient Etruscan religion.. It was gathered from local sources and he was helped by a young female. In Northern Italy there are Strega or Italian witches who still practice Etruscan magic and are expert in it's ways.
The book is very simple to read filled with stories and some rather easy to do spells. The spells are not at all complicated and there is no circle casting as one would find in Wicca or Ceremonial Magic. Usually a spell is something as simple as making an invocation to the goddess and leaving an offering. For example take the family that is poor and is in need of money. They leave an offering to Diana of flowers and leaving them by her statue. The family becomes wealthy as a result. many of the invocations also threaten the deity if there request is not met. This seems to be a common motif even in Italian Christian practices. Much different from Wicca. If one wants a fuller representation of the Italian witch faith then one can read further in the author's other works such as "Etruscan Roman Remains" and "Legends of Florence"
Aradia who is called the Queen of Witches was sent down to help the suffering people of Italy who were oppressed by the nobility and the clergy men. Often time they were forced to work as slaves and their property was confiscated arbitrarily by the Church of oppressive noblemen. The people were not strong enough to fight back so Aradia taught them magic witchcraft and the use of poison to counter the oppression.
Aradia was also the daugher of Diana and Lucifer (not to be confused with Satan). The elder gods created Diana and from her other half came the sun god Lucifer. In Roman legend he is called Apollo. After separating from Lucifer Diana suddenly has a longing for him. She tries to persue him but he only succeeds in evading her. Finally while down on Earth she couples with him by disguising herself as a cat. From that union came Aradia.
The Witches gather together monthly on the full moon, their celebration a sabbat. There is feasting on wine, moon cakes and their is ecstatic gathering and breaking of the overly strict laws of modesty.
For those looking for a more simple magic to follow this book maybe a start to something that you are looking for. To do Stregeria all one needs is intent, invocation and then maybe the offering or spellcraft. Many people like me get swallowed up in the long complicated rituals and lose focus of the objective.
The book is also a window into the lost world of Etruscan, Roman magic and religion.
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