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ARADIA: GOSPEL OF THE WITCHES
by Charles G. Leland


Chapter II

The Sabbat, Treguenda Or Witch-Meeting

Here follows the supper, of what it must consist, and what shall be said and done to consecrate it to Diana.

You shall take meal and salt, honey and water, and make this incantation:

I conjure thee, O Meal!
Who art indeed our body, since without thee
We could not live, thou who (at first as seed)
Before becoming flower went in the earth,
Where all deep secrets hide, and then when ground
Didst dance like dust in the wind, and yet meanwhile
Didst bear with thee in flitting, secrets strange!

And yet erewhile, when thou were in the ear,
Even as a (golden) glittering grain, even then
The fireflies came to cast on thee their light
And aid thy growth, because without their help
Thou couldst not grow nor beautiful become;
Therefore thou dost belong unto the race
Of witches or of fairies, and because
The fireflies do belong unto the sun...

Queen of the fireflies! hurry apace,
Come to me now as if running a race,
Bridle the horse as you hear me now sing!
Bridle, O bridle the son of the king!
Come in a hurry and bring him to me!
The son of the king will ere long set thee free!
And because thou for ever art brilliant and fair,
Under a glass I will keep thee; while there,
With a lens I will study they secrets concealed,
Till all their bright mysteries are fully revealed,
Yea, all the wondrous lore perplexed
Of this life of our cross and of the next.
Thus to all mysteries I shall attain,
Yea, even to that at last of the grain;
And when this at last I shall truly know,
Firefly, freely I'll let thee go!
When Earth's dark secrets are known to me,
My blessing at last I will give to thee!

Here follows the Conjuration of the Salt.

I do conjure thee, salt, lo! here at noon,
Exactly in the middle of a stream
I take my place and see the water around,
Likewise the sun, and think of nothing else
While here besides the water and the sun;
For all my soul is turned in truth to them;
I do indeed desire no other thought,
I yearn to learn the very truth of truths,
For I have suffered long with the desire
To know my future or my coming fate,
If good or evil will prevail in it..
Water and sun, be gracious unto me!

Here follows the Conjuration of Cain.

I conjure thee, O Cain, as thou canst ne'er
Have rest or peace until thou shalt be freed
From the sun where thou art prisoned, and must go
beating thy hands and running fast meanwhile:
I pray thee let me know my destiny;
And it 'tis evil, change its course for me!
If thou wilt grant this grace, I'll see it clear
In the water in the splendor of the sun;
And thou, O Cain, shalt tell by word of mouth
Whatever this my destiny is to be.
And unless thou grantest this,
May'st thou ne'er know peace or bliss!

Then shall follow the Conjuration of Diana.

You shall make cakes of meal, wine, salt, and honey in the shape of a (crescent or horned) moon, and then put them to bake, and say:

I do not bake the bread, nor with it salt,
Nor do I cook the honey with the wine;
I bake the body and the blood and soul,
The soul of (great) Diana, that she shall
Know neither rest nor peace, and ever be
In cruel suffering till she will grant
What I request, what I do most desire,
I beg it of her from my very heart!
And if the grace be granted, O Diana!
In honor of thee I will hold this feast,
Feast and drain the goblet deep,
We will dance and wildly leap,
And if thou grant'st the grace which I require,
Then when the dance is wildest, all the lamps
shall be extinguished and we'll freely love!

And thus shall it be done: all shall sit down to the supper all naked, men and women, and the feast over, they shall dance, sing, make music, and then love in the darkness, with all the lights extinguished; for it is the Spirit of Diana who extinguishes them, and so they will dance and make music in her praise.

And it came to pass that Diana, after her daughter had accomplished her mission or spent her time on earth among the living (mortals), recalled her, and gave her the power that when she had been invoked...having done some good deed...she gave her the power to gratify those who had conjured her by granting her or him success in love:

To bless or curse with power friends or enemies (to do good or evil).
To converse with spirits.
To find hidden treasures in ancient ruins.
To conjure the spirits of priests who died leaving treasures.
To understand the voice of the wind.
To change water into wine.
To divine with cards.
To know the secrets of the hand (palmistry)
To cure diseases.
To make those who are ugly beautiful.
To tame wild beasts.

And whatever thing should be asked from the spirit of Aradia, that should be granted unto those who merited her favor.

And thus must they invoke her:

Thus do I seek Aradia! Aradia! Aradia! At midnight, at midnight I go into a field, and with me I bear water, wine, and salt, I bear water, wine, and salt, and my talisman - my talisman, my talisman, and a red small bag which I ever hold in my hand - con dentro, con dentro, sale, with salt in it, in it. With water and wine I bless myself, I bless myself with devotion to implore a favour from Aradia, Aradia. (emphasize italics and repetitions)

Aradia! my Aradia!
Thou art my daughter unto him who was
Most evil of all spirits, who of old
Once reigned in hell when driven away from heaven,
Who by his sister did thy sire become,
But as thy mother did repent her fault,
And wished to mate thee to a spirit who
Should be benevolent,
And not malevolent!

Aradia, Aradia! I implore
Thee by the love which she did bear for thee!
And by the love which I too feel for thee!
I pray thee grant the grace which I require!
And if this grace be granted, may there be
One of three signs distinctly clear to me:
The hiss of a serpent,
The light of a firefly,
The sound of a frog!

But if you do refuse this favour, then
May you in future know no peace nor joy,
And be obliged to seek me from afar,
Until you come to grant me my desire,
In haste, and then thou may'st return again
Unto thy destiny. Therewith, Amen!

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