Or the Gospel of the Witches

Charles G. Leland

160 Blz., ISBN 978-1564146793     
New Page Books, 2003     

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Before Gerald Gardner ever thought to write his first book, there was an explorer named Charles Leland, who felt he could discover and preserve the secrets of Italian Witchcraft. Leland´s original quest was to make contact with practicing Italian Witches. After years of trying, he met one by the name of Maddelena, who imparted to him the secrets for which he was searching. These teachings have become Aradia or the Gospel of the Witches. Reportedly handed down in an oral tradition, Leland later translated and published the work in the late 1800s.

Today, a great amount of debate exists over whether Aradia was an authentic representation of Italian Witchcraft at the time Leland published the manuscript. Some go as far as to argue that Maddelena never really existed. While it is true that Maddelena´s involvement with Leland cannot be proven, the fact remains that, even with its uncertain origin, Aradia is one of the most important manuscripts available to the Pagan community. Even if it does not reflect the ideology of a hidden tradition of Italian Witchcraft, it most definitely presents such a powerful message that, even today, its words are repeatedly found throughout Pagan literature. In fact, it is the foundation for one of the most powerful and wellknown documents in modern Pagan lore, "The Charge of the Goddess."

With an introduction and new material by A.J. Drew, this is Aradia as never presented before.

Another New Page Books exploring the mysteries of Wicca: A Wiccan Bible, also by A.J. Drew.

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