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The Story of “The Queen of Witches” – A Look Into Italian Wicca

Aradia was known as the first witch to descend to Earth and teach witchcraft and magick to women and men who would learn the craft. In the late twentieth century, she became a very important Wiccan goddess and was depicted as the Moon Goddess, or the “Queen of Witches”. Around the 1950’s and 60’s, her name was said to be a code word for the goddess of Gardenian. In the 1980’s, Raven Grimassi introduced Aradia as an “ethnic Italian” Wicca. Her image and other works were all influenced by a work published by Leland. His texts went on to influence the works of the Gardnerian Book of Shadows and the Charge of the Goddess. Aradia was birthed by Diana, a spirit of darkness, and Lucifer. When Aradia grewold enough, Diana sent her down to Earth in her steed, disguised as a human to teach her followers witchcraft and magick. This was Aradia’s first coming; she rose to power quickly and was said to not have any qualms about exacting retribution on the humans that dared to harm her people. Aradia is described as a Messiah, like Jesus and King Arthur. In her first descent, she protected and exacted retribution, keeping the church from imprisoning and killing her people. On her second descent, she is said to have been born into a mortal family with a mortal body. She was born in Volterra, Italy on August 13, 1313, and was said to have been taught the Old Ways – before Christian traditions placed them into hiding, and was taught by her family. She used this knowledge and passed it along to other followers, sparking Italian witchcraft and magick in Italy once again. She is said to have been captured and burned during the Inquisition, however before she died, she left a manuscript behind. This depiction was written about in the text The Gospel of Witches or Aradia, published in 1899 by C. G. Leland. His accounts were said to be a myth but were proven wrong when a work was published in 1508 by an Italian Inquisitor, Bernardo Rategno, whom made an account of a rapid increase of witchcraft some one hundred and fifty years ago. In recent history, Aradia’s image of a moon goddess changed and she is now depicted as a goddess of nature with a crescent moon as a crown. She is said to be a young and beautiful woman, but she is wise, an overseer perhaps. Aradia is also said to still be an important goddess in Wiccan beliefs as the “Queen of Witches”, a teacher and a protector of her followers.

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