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    Gods and Goddesses ; Aradia

    Soaring Bird

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    Gods and Goddesses ; Aradia

    Post  Soaring Bird on Sat Oct 03, 2009 3:34 am

    Aradia in Leland

    The title page of Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches.

    Leland claimed that the majority of the book was based upon a manuscript given to him detailing the beliefs of an undiscovered religious witchcraft tradition in Tuscany.

    Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches begins with Aradia's birth to Diana and Lucifer, who is described as "the god of the Sun and of the Moon, the god of Light (Splendor), who was so proud of his beauty, and who for his pride was driven from Paradise". Diana asks Aradia to "go to earth below / To be a teacher unto women and men / Who fain would study witchcraft". Aradia does so, becoming the first witch, and promising her students that "ye shall all be freed from slavery, / And so ye shall be free in everything"[1].

    Aradia is described as having continuing power to affect the world after she returns to Diana. In "A Spell to Win Love", as an example, the "Invocation to Diana" asks Diana to send her daughter Aradia to perform the magic.[2]

    Leland equates Aradia with Herodias, writing "This was not... derived from the Herodias of the New Testament, but from an earlier replica of Lilith, bearing the same name... So far back as the sixth century the worship of Herodias and Diana by witches was condemned by a Church Council at Ancyra".[3] Pipernus and other writers have noted the evident identification of Herodias with Lilith.[4] Historian Ronald Hutton suggests in Triumph of the Moon that this identification with Herodias was inspired by the work of Jules Michelet in Satanism and Witchcraft[5]. Sabina Magliocco, on the other hand, is willing to consider a connection between the Italian Erodiade (Herodias), the Cult of Herodias and Aradia.[6]

    Aradia in Neo-paganism

    Some Wiccan traditions use the name "Aradia" to refer to the Goddess or "Queen of the Witches"[7]. The Charge of the Goddess, an importance piece of liturgy used in Wiccan rituals, was inspired by the speech attributed to Aradia in the first chapter of Aradia.

    Aradia is a very important figure in Stregheria (some adherents of which prefer not to be categorized as "Neopagan"). Raven Grimassi, who has written a number of books on Stregheria, describes Aradia as being both the name of an ancient goddess, and being "the name taken" by Aradia di Toscano, whom he identifies as the founder of his religion in the fourteenth century. Grimassi claims that Leland's Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches is a "distorted version" of the story of Aradia[8].

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