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or the Gospel of the Witches

by Charles G. Leland


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This classic of neo-Paganism is one of the few books which purports to be an actual sacred text of traditional witchcraft, in particular that of the Tuscan region of Italy. 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, 1897 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 (Oxford University Press, 1999), 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. Each of these theories has pros and cons: it may be that the second and third are closest to the truth.

Whatever the source of this material, it has had a profound impact on the emergence of neo-Paganism, and is required reading for anyone interested in the subject.

This version of the etext, originally scanned early in 2001, was proofread a second time in July of 2002 and upgraded to current coding standards of sacred-texts.

--J.B. Hare

Title Page
Chapter I. How Diana Gave Birth to Aradia
Chapter II. The Sabbat: Treguenda or Witch-Meeting--How to Consecrate the Supper
Chapter III. How Diana Made the Stars and the Rain
Chapter IV.The Charm of the Stones Consecrated to Diana
Chapter V. The Conjuration of the Lemon and Pins
Chapter VI. A Spell To Win Love
Chapter VII. To Find or Buy Anything, or to Have Good Fortune Thereby
Chapter VIII. To Have a Good Vintage and Very Good Wine by the Aid of Diana
Chapter IX.Tana and Endamone, or Diana and Endymion
Chapter X. Madonna Diana
Chapter XI. The House of the Wind
Chapter XII. Tana, The Moon-Goddess
Chapter XIII. Diana and the Children
Chapter XIV. The Goblin Messengers of Diana and Mercury
Chapter XV. Laverna
Appendix: Comments on the Foregoing Texts
The Children of Diana, or How the Fairies Were Born
Diana, Queen of the Serpents, Giver of the Gift of Languages
Diana as Giving Beauty and Restoring Strength