Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches After the eleven-year search, Leland writes that he was unsurprised by the contents of the Vangelo. It was largely what he was expecting, with the exception that he did not predict passages in "prose-poetry". They adored forbidden deities and practised forbidden deeds, inspired as much by rebellion against Society as by their own passions. He organised the material to be included into fifteen chapters, and added a brief preface and an appendix.
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Start your review of Aradia: Gospel of the Witches Write a review Jul 28, Steve Cran added it 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. It was gathered from local sources and he was helped by a young female. 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. This seems to be a common motif even in Italian Christian practices. Much different from Wicca. 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. This book is considered important to modern Witchcraft from a historical standpoint. I, however, did not like it and consider it to be a fine example of primitive and unsubstantial folklore you could find. The book has very little to do with Aradia, female savior of the Italian Witches, and seems to be a Christianized version of the history of the Streghe.
While I This is a book I had been meaning to read for some time. While I understand and agree that the Witchcraft revival may not have progressed as steadily without this publication, I do not consider it necessary reading. You will, most likely, be either shocked, appalled, or bored. My two cents. I have moved on to the Meaning of Witchcraft by Gerald Gardner and am much more pleased with it.
It amazes me the importance of this book given its size. In many ways it reads like a children Aradia is considered the foundation text for modern witchcraft, especially British Traditional Wicca. Only in this case the folklore is about witches.
The writing style certainly is easy and suitable for all reading levels. You can read Aradia in one sitting. The content, however, is anything but suitable for young readers or anybody who thinks witchcraft is all white light and pretty crystals.
Aradia is hardcore. Cursing, poisoning and controlling type love spells are all advocated as a means to exact revenge on economic oppressors i. Liars and thieves are perceived in a rather favorable light as members of the lower classes forced into lives of crime for survival. Throughout recorded history witchcraft has been an illegal practice.
It was illegal in pagan Rome and a crime punishable by death. Aradia reaffirms the status of the witch as a person who lives on the edge of society: the person you go to when you are powerless and have no one else to turn to for help or justice.
Aradia: Gospel of the Witches
Charles Leland was an American expatriate journalist, folklorist, and author. He based this book on material which he received from a woman named Maddelena, who had assisted him in collecting regional Italian folklore. On New Years day, she handed over to him a document in her own handwriting, the Vangel, which is the core of this book. Maddelena then reportedly went missing, and never contacted Leland again. The authenticity of Aradia has always been in question.
Aradia Or the Gospel of the Witches
Charles Leland based this book on material which he received from a woman named Maddelena, who had assisted him in collecting regional Italian folklore. On New Years day, she handed over to him a document in her own handwriting, the Vangel, which is the core of this book. Maddelena then reportedly went missing, and never contacted Leland again. The authenticity of Aradia has always been in question. Ronald Hutton, in his scholarly study of the roots of neo-Paganism, The Triumph of the Moon, presents three divergent theories about Aradia: first, that is a genuine text of an underground Italian Goddess religion, second, that Maddelena wrote it based on her family tradition, or third, that Charles Leland forged it based on his extensive knowledge of folklore.