Return to Cauldron Home Page

Please donate now to pay our monthly server fees:
Donate to The Cauldron
[More Info]

Community Menu
Community Home

Message Board
Board Home
Board Rules
Board Extras:

CauldronMUX [Client]
Sister Forums:
   Asatru Lore


Site Info & Rules
Site Archives
Volunteers Needed
Advertise Here

Pagan Supplies
Buy Pagan Books
Buy Pagan Supplies

Books & Media
Books Home
Games Home
Music: Free | Pagan
Online Books
Pagan Book Browser
   Academic Books
   Divination Decks
   Fiction Books
   Pagan Books
   Speculative Books
   DVD & Videotape
Submit Review

Pagan Features
Article Library
Chat Log Index
File Library
Pagan Holidays
Pagan Primer
Pagan Rituals
Pagan Supplies
Pagan Youth
Spell Grimoire [Blog]
Web Resources

Pagan Living
Cauldron Cookbook
Take Political Action

Back Issues

Other Features
Greeting Cards
Syndicated Articles
World News/Opinion

Cheap Web Hosting
Doxy's Bazaar
Witchcraft Course

Old Indexes
Article Index
Webcrafting Index

Network Sites
Cauldron and Candle
Cauldron's Grimoire
RetroRoleplaying: The Blog
Software Gadgets
The Terran Empire

Site Search
Entire Web
The Cauldron

Member - Pagan Forum Alliance
Charter Member

Get Firefox! While this web site is designed to work in all major browsers, we recommend Firefox.

This site hosted on
a Linode VPS
Formerly hosted by

Why Use Dreamhost?

Site copyright
© 1998-2009
by Randall

Home > Books & Reviews > Pagan > Aradia Search

Book Review:
Aradia or the Gospel of Witches

Editor: Charles G. Leland
Trade Paperback, 160 pages
Publisher: New Page Books
Publication date: August 2003
ISBN: 1564146790
Price & More Info: Click Here

Charles Leland's Aradia or the Gospel of Witches was published in 1899. Like Sir James Frazer, Leland was one of the nineteenth century's armchair folklorists. While much of their work is discounted today, Leland's Aradia was a major influence on early Wicca. For example, the traditional Charge of the Goddess was taken from it.

According to Leland (as recorded in the appendix to this book), the majority of the text of Aradia was collected for him by an Italian woman named Maddalena who he paid to collect folklore for him. He says he first heard of the work in 1886 and she was finally able to provide him with a copy in 1897. This means the true origin of the work is unknown. While Maddalena could have obtained it from Italian witches, she could have had it written to please Leland or the like. (Some even say Leland may have written it himself as a Marxist screed.) This is why Aradia is consider unreliable by scholars today.

Reliable or not, Aradia has played a sizeable role in modern Wicca and it well worth reading by anyone interested in Wicca. A few Wiccan traditions are even heavily based on the text. While the text is long out of copyright and is available many places on the Internet, a bok is much easier to read.

Unfortunately, A.J. Drew's introduction and commentary add nothing to the work. They make no attempt to place the work in the context of its time and place. They make no attempt to explain the possible origins of the work. They do not clarify or expand on the original. As far as I can tell, all they do is give Drew a place to expound his often unorthodox Wiccan beliefs and to present his personal interpretations of the actual meaning of selected points in the book. While Drew's notes to Aradia are not nearly as bad as the Scofield Notes to the Bible, they could have been left out of this book without any loss of value.

If you are looking for a nicely printed and bound copy of Leland's Aradia or the Gospel of Witches, this book will easily fulfill your needs. Just don't buy the book for the commentary.

Reviewed by Randall

Read another review of this book.

Top | Home | Message Board | Site Info & Rules | Report Site Problems
Thanks to Cauldron Sponsors
(Sponsor The Cauldron!)

Cheap Web Hosting Report | Pagan & Magick Supplies
Witchcraft Course
Download Hundreds of Magic Spells