of the Witches
Charles Godfrey Leland
Foreword by Gemma Gary
The finale in a series of books exploring Italian magical folklore, charms and sorcery written towards the close of the nineteenth century, Charles G. Leland’s Aradia or the Gospel of the Witches would become one of the primary source-texts for the witchcraft revival. It is not without justification that Leland has been called ‘the grandfather of modern witchcraft’.
Aradia, the ultimate fruit of a working relationship between Leland and the enigmatic ‘Maddalena’ presents a beguiling collection of magical cosmologies; rites for the worship and adoration of Diana, Queen of the witches; evocations of her powers and those of her daughter Aradia; conjurations, spells, and charms of operative magic; and tales featuring Diana, witches and night spirits. All said to have been drawn from the peasants and witches of Romagna and the Tuscan Mountains by Maddalena; Leland’s chief informant.
A controversial book, celebrated by some, questioned by many and scorned or even avoided entirely by others, Aradia is the object of diverse, sometimes vividly opposing theories, such is its mystery.
This new edition of Aradia is accompanied by a foreword by Gemma Gary, balancing a tight-rope path through the various theories and possibilities surrounding this work and its origins, and exploring the impact of Aradia upon the reemergence of witchcraft.