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Aradia by Charles Godfrey Leland

Aradia (1890)

by Charles Godfrey Leland

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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» See also 3 mentions

English (3)  Italian (1)  All languages (4)
Showing 3 of 3
The story of Aradia and the information that she supposedly passed on to Charles Leland. I think that this has since been discredited, but it is a good book to read for refernce to the origins of modern witchcraft both from the Wiccan and Stregheria perspective. ( )
1 vote lkrough2 | Feb 10, 2007 |
An important source for wiccan history. ( )
  lizw | Jan 7, 2006 |
The edition I would recommend is: Leland (1998). Aradia or the Gospel of the witches: A new translation by Mario Pazzaglini and Dina Pazzaglini. Washington, Phoenix Publishing.

I'm not sure about the 2004 translation - the 1998 by the Pazzaglini is very good indeed, in terms of translation; they also offer Leland's translation (in which he often sacrificed meaning for rhyme), an Italian translation and the "original" dialect.

There is some discussion of the veracity of the ms., which is interesting but in some ways ultimately a question for the historian - the impact of Aradia is huge, no matter what the provenance.
2 vote tole_lege | Oct 22, 2005 |
Showing 3 of 3
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charles Godfrey Lelandprimary authorall editionscalculated
Buckland, RaymondIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drew, A.J.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Farrar, StewartIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giovannini, FabioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Menegoni, LorenzaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morgan, KeithEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
White, AnneContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
White, NelsonContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"It is Diana! Lo!
She rises crescented."
~ Keats

"Make more bright
The Star Queen's crescent
on her marriage night."
~ Keats
First words
Preface:  If the reader has ever met with the works of the learned folk-lorist G. Pitre, or the articles contributed by "Lady Vere De Vere" to the Italia Rivista, or that of J . Andrews to Folklore, he will be aware that there are in Italy great numbers of strege, fortune-tellers or witches, who divine by cards, perform strange ceremonies in which spirits are supposed to be invoked, make and sell amulets, and, in fact, comport themselves generally as their reputed kind are wont to do, be they Black Voodoos in America or sorceresses anywhere.
This is the Gospel (Vangelo) of the Witches:
Diana greatly loved her brother Lucifer, 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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Aradia, Gospel of the Witches, a most influential and remarkable book, is the forerunner and one of the key sources of the modern Witchcraft revival ...
This work, written during the late 1800s (1890), was the result of a 10-year friendship between Leland and Madeliana, a semi-literate peasant woman born of an Italian witch family. By presenting a strange and intersting mixture of Italian Witchcraft Doctrine, Aradia opened the door to a hidden world.
In the words of author Doreen Valiente, " ... a picture emerges from it of an ancient and secret cult, La Vecchia Religione - 'The Old Religion' - with its distinctive beliefs and practices, time-worn until it has become like some ruined building of olden days with the last remaining stoned gilded by the setting sun."
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0919345107, Paperback)

Originally published in 1899. The major link between ancient European witchcraft and modern practices.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:10 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

If Gerald Brosseau Gardner is the father of the religion that calls itself Wicca, then Charles Godfrey Leland is the grandfather of Witchcraft as a religion in the English-speaking world, and his small book, "Aradia, " is that religion's birth-announcement. It is the first work in English in which Witchcraft is portrayed as an underground old religion, surviving in secret from ancient Pagan times. Until now "Aradia" has been a work more often cited than read. Its first edition (1899) garnered only one review, and sank from sight like a stone cast into murky waters; it sold poorly and is now a rare book. By chance a copy fell into the hands of Theda Kenyon, who devoted a few pages to it in her sensational "Witches Still Live" (1929), thereby calling it to the attention of many readers. By the 1950s Doreen Valiente had read "Aradia, " and she incorporated some of its most beautiful passages into the Wiccan rituals that she wrote. In the '60s and '70s it was reprinted four times, but always from a defective copy of the first edition that had lost its last page. Only in the '90s did another reprint finally restore the missing page. "Aradia" has always been a controversial work, among Witches and scholars alike. Scholars have questioned whether it may be a fiction or a forgery by Leland or by his principal informant, Maddalena (Margherita Taludi). Witches have objected to it on theological and ethical grounds, since some of the myths that it tells are about Lucifer and Cain as well as Diana and Aradia, some of its spells work by threatening or coercing the Deities and spirits, and in its revolutionary fervour it does not shrink even from teaching that the poor and downtrodden should use poisons to destroy their feudal overlords. Despite all that, it remains a beautiful and compelling work. This edition has brought the format and typography up to date, while keeping the text unchanged. A modern reader will undoubtedly find this new edition of "Aradia" much easier to read than the original or any of its facsimile reprints.… (more)

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