Category Archive: Italian

Aradia or the Gospel of Witches

Aradia or the Gospel of Witches – Full PDF

 

 

Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches is a book composed by the American folklorist Charles Leland that was published in 1899. It contains what he believed was the religious text of a group of pagan witches in Tuscany, Italy that documented their beliefs and rituals, although various historians and folklorists have disputed the existence of such a group. In the 20th century, the book was very influential in the development of the contemporary Pagan religion of Wicca.

The text is a composite. Some of it is Leland’s translation into English of an original Italian manuscript, the Vangelo (gospel). Leland reported receiving the manuscript from his primary informant on Italian witchcraft beliefs, a woman Leland referred to as “Maddalena” and whom he called his “witch informant” in Italy. The rest of the material comes from Leland’s research on Italian folklore and traditions, including other related material from Maddalena. Leland had been informed of the Vangelo’s existence in 1886, but it took Maddalena eleven years to provide him with a copy. After translating and editing the material, it took another two years for the book to be published. Its fifteen chapters portray the origins, beliefs, rituals, and spells of an Italian pagan witchcraft tradition. The central figure of that religion is the goddess Aradia, who came to Earth to teach the practice of witchcraft to peasants in order for them to oppose their feudal oppressors and the Roman Catholic Church.”  –  Wikipedia

 Above is a link where you can view a PDF, kindly provided by Ravens Wyrd, of the entire book text written by Charles G. Leland.  Below is the first chapter.

Chapter One

How Diana Gave Birth to Aradia (Herodius)

“It is Diana! Lo! She rises crescented.” -Krats’ Endymion

“Make more bright The Star Queen’s crescent on her marriage night.” -Ibid.

This is the Gospel 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.

Diana had by her brother a daughter, to whom they gave the name of Aradia (i.e. Herodius).

In those days there were on earth many rich and many poor.

The rich made slaves of the poor.

In those days were many slaves who were cruelly treated; in every palace tortures, in every castle prisoners.

Many slaves escaped. They fled to the country; thus they became thieves and evil folk. Instead of sleeping by nigh, they plotted escape and robbed their masters, and then slew them. So they dwelt in the mountains and forests as robbers and assassins, all to avoid slavery.

Diana said one day to her daughter Aradia:
‘Tis true indeed that thou a spirit art,
But thou wert born but to become again
A mortal; thou must go to earth below
To be a teacher unto women and men
Who fain would study witchcraft in thy school
Yet like Cain’s daughter thou shalt never be
Nor like the race who have become at last
Wicked and infamous from suffering,
As are the Jews and wandering Zingari,
Who are all thieves and knaves; like unto them
Ye shall not be…

And thou shalt be the first of witches known;
And thou shalt be the first of all I’ the world;
And thou shalt teach the art of poisoning,
Of poisoning those who are great lords of all;
Yea, thou shalt make them die in their palaces;
And thou shalt bind the oppressor’s soul (with power);
And when ye find a peasant who is rich,
Then ye shall teach the witch, your pupil, how
To ruin all his crops with tempests dire,
With lightning and with thunder (terrible),
And with the hail and wind…

And when a priest shall do you injury
By his benedictions, ye shall do to him
Double the harm, and do it in the name
of me, Diana, Queen of witches all!
And when the priests or the nobility
shall say to you that you should put your faith
In the Father, Son, and Mary, then reply;
“Your God, the Father, and Maria are
Three devils…”
“For the true God the Father is not yours;
For I have come to sweep away the bad
The men of evil, all will I destroy!”
“Ye who are poor suffer with hunger keen,
And toil in wretchedness, and suffer too
Full oft imprisonment; yet with it all
Ye have a soul, and for your sufferings
Ye shall be happy in the other world,
But ill the fate of all who do ye wrong!”

Now when Aradia had been taught, taught to work all witchcraft, how to destroy the evil race (of oppressors), she (imparted it to her pupils) and said unto them:

When I shall have departed from this world,
Whenever ye have need of anything,
Once in the month, and when the moon is full,
Ye shall assemble in some desert place,
Or in a forest all together join
To adore the potent spirit of your queen,
My mother, great Diana. She who fain
Would learn all sorcery yet has not won
Its deepest secrets, then my mother will
Teach her, in truth all things as yet unknown.

And ye shall all be freed from slavery,
And so ye shall be free in everything;
And as the sign that ye are truly free,
Ye shall be naked in your rites, both men
And women also: this shall last until
The last of your oppressors shall be dead;
And ye shall make the game of Benevento
Extinguishing the lights, and after that
Shall hold your supper thus: