October 12, 2007.
Aradia The Tuscan legend of Aradia, daughter of the moon goddess DIANA who was dispatched to earth to establish witchcraft and teach it to witches, was published by the American folklorist, CHARLEs Godfrey LELAND, in 1889. Leland said the legend had been passed on to him by a hereditary Etruscan witch named Maddalena. Godfrey said the name Aradia is a corruption of Herodias, or Queen Herodias, the wife of Herod, with whom Diana came to be identified by the 11th century.
Leland went to Tuscany in northern Italy in the 1880s. There he met a "sorceress" named Maddalena, whom he employed to collect from her witch "sisters" old spells and traditions. In 1886, he heard about a manuscript that supposedly set down the old tenets of witchcraft. He told Maddelana to find it. A year later, she gave him a document in her own handwriting, an alleged copy of this manuscript.
Leland translated it into English and published it as Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches. He was struck by the references to Diana and Lucifer, and offered it as evidence of witchcraft as an old religion. In his preface, he
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