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ARADIA: GOSPEL OF THE WITCHES
by Charles G. Leland


Chapter I

How Diana Gave Birth To Aradia (Herodius)

"It is Diana! Lo!
She rises crescented."

-Keats' Endymion

"Make more bright
The Star Queen's crescent on her marriage night."

-Ibid.

This is the Gospel of the Witches:

Diana greatly loved her brother Lucifer, the god of the Sun and of the Moon, thegod of Light (Splendor), who was so proud of his beauty, and who for his pride was driven from Paradise.

Diana had by her brother a daughter, to whom they gave the name of Aradia (i.e. Herodius).

In those days there were on earth many rich and many poor.

The rich made slaves of the poor.

In those days were many slaves who were cruelly treated; in every palace tortures, in every castle prisoners.

Many slaves escaped. They fled to the country; thus they became thieves and evilfolk. Instead of sleeping by nigh, they plotted escape and robbed their masters, and thenslew them. So they dwelt in the mountains and forests as robbers and assassins, all to avoid slavery.

Diana said one day to her daughter Aradia:

'Tis true indeed that thou a spirit art,
But thou wert born but to become again
A mortal; thou must go to earth below
To be a teacher unto women and men
Who fain would study witchcraft in thy school

Yet like Cain's daughter thou shalt never be
Nor like the race who have become at last
Wicked and infamous from suffering,
As are the Jews and wandering Zingari,
Who are all thieves and knaves; like unto them
Ye shall not be...

And thou shalt be the first of witches known;
And thou shalt be the first of all I' the world;
And thou shalt teach the art of poisoning,
Of poisoning those who are great lords of all;
Yea, thou shalt make them die in their palaces;
And thou shalt bind the oppressor's soul (with power);
And when ye find a peasant who is rich,
Then ye shall teach the witch, your pupil, how
To ruin all his crops with tempests dire,
With lightning and with thunder (terrible),
And with the hail and wind...

And when a priest shall do you injury
By his benedictions, ye shall do to him
Double the harm, and do it in the name
of me, Diana, Queen of witches all!

And when the priests or the nobility
shall say to you that you should put your faith
In the Father, Son, and Mary, then reply;
"Your God, the Father, and Maria are
Three devils..."

"For the true God the Father is not yours;
For I have come to sweep away the bad
The men of evil, all will I destroy!"

"Ye who are poor suffer with hunger keen,
And toil in wretchedness, and suffer too
Full oft imprisonment; yet with it all
Ye have a soul, and for your sufferings
Ye shall be happy in the other world,
But ill the fate of all who do ye wrong!"

Now when Aradia had been taught, taught to work all witchcraft, how to destroy the evil race (of oppressors), she (imparted it to her pupils) and said unto them:

When I shall have departed from this world,
Whenever ye have need of anything,
Once in the month, and when the moon is full,
Ye shall assemble in some desert place,
Or in a forest all together join
To adore the potent spirit of your queen,
My mother, great Diana. She who fain
Would learn all sorcery yet has not won
Its deepest secrets, then my mother will
Teach her, in truth all things as yet unknown.
And ye shall all be freed from slavery,
And so ye shall be free in everything;
And as the sign that ye are truly free,
Ye shall be naked in your rites, both men
And women also: this shall last until
The last of your oppressors shall be dead;
And ye shall make the game of Benevento
Extinguishing the lights, and after that
Shall hold your supper thus:

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