Synopses & Reviews
Its accuracy is disputed by some, while others consider it a vital resource for studying and understanding Italian witch folklore of the 19th century. What is certain is that this 1899 classic has become a foundational document of modern Wicca and neopaganism. Leland claimed his "witch informant," a fortune-teller named Maddalena, supplied him with the secret writings that he translated and combined with his research on Italian pagan tradition to create a gospel of pagan belief and practice. Here, in the story of the goddess Aradia, who came to Earth to champion oppressed peasants in their fight against their feudal overlords and the Catholic Church, are the chants, prayers, spells, and rituals that have become the centerpieces of contemporary pagan faiths.
A new translation -- 25 years in the making -- with contributions by several eminent authorities.
Mario Pazzaglini, PhD, whose family origins on both sides are deeply rooted in the area where Aradia originated, has spent 25 years working on a new translation, giving a line-by-line transcription showing where Leland made his original errors. The new translation is then presented in the same format as the original edition (which is included here as well). Mario's research notes are also included. Chas Clifton has been studying witchcraft and the occult for over 25 years, and has a long list of published books to his name, including: The Modern Rites of Passage, Witchcraft and Shamanism, and Sacred Mask, Sacred Dance. He discusses the significance of Aradia on the revival of modern witchcraft. Robert Mathiesen, PhD, has been a member of the faculty of Brown University for over 30 years. During the last decade most of his research has been on the historical development of magical theories and practices from the Middle Ages to the present. He writes on the origins of Aradia, including the culture and religion of the area, as well as the difficulties involved in retranslating the book.