ARADIA Gospel of the Witches


When Charles Godfrey Leland (President of the American Folklore Society) published Aradia at the end of the nineteenth century he did not realize that he was providing the key source-book that would be the missing link between ancient and modern witchcraft. Indeed, this book was the foundation upon which Gerald Gardner built his revival in the 1940s and ?50s. Not only did Aradia inspire Gerald Gardner, Doreen Valiente, and the other founders/revivers of twentieth century neopagan witchcraft, it continues to serve as a reference, check point and inspiration for others.

“Probably the first major influence (on the lineage of modern witchcraft) in relatively modern times is that of Charles Godfrey Leland” said Doreen Valiente. When Gardner gave her the responsibility for rewriting some of their coven’s key rituals, she took Leland’s translation of Aradia and, using it for inspiration, wrote the now standard version of the ‘Charge of the Goddesswhich is one of the most important rituals in modern Wicca.

Although it’s been over a hundred years since its first publication, Aradia continues forward, valued even today by the wisest followers of the ‘new’ old religion.

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