Becoming Aradia

photo of Tempest by Carrie Meyer
photo of Tempest by Carrie Meyer

I’m not going to lie – it’s been quiet around here for a while because I’ve been processing a lot of what I’ve been seeing around me.  And I felt like whatever I was going to write about that could be helpful wasn’t going to be read anyway.  These kind of funks are rare for me, especially when I get to the point of losing faith in humanity. The fuckery of the world just seems like too much weight to bear.

Then, thanks to my Facebook feed, I was reminded that it was around this time last year that #WeAreAradia started. (Read about how it happened here, and the New Charge here.) I wasn’t instantly fixed upon seeing this memory – if anything I felt even more dejected about the state of the world. However, in true Italian fashion, the idea nestled in like a clove of garlic stewing in sauce, slowly releasing a familiar aroma bringing back awareness. If you have ever cut fresh garlic, then you know it has a tendency to latch on to you – not letting you forget about it.  A garlic clove: something so small, yet so pungent and powerful. A little goes a long way. aradiapatchwm

In one of my most recent posts, I talk about the Seed of Greatness and how humanity is prone to concocting divine origins to explain the great deeds of inspiring people. It strikes me that the story of Aradia is very much stewed in the same sauce.

The story goes (according to Leland’s Aradia or The Gospel of the Witches) that the goddess Diana sent her daughter Aradia to earth to teach humanity the ways of Witchcraft.  Her target for witchy education was not just any group of people, but specifically those who were poor, downtrodden, and disenfranchised. So they could free themselves from their oppressors and keep the tradition alive. People like to argue about authenticity, often missing the point of the myth – what it says about Witchcraft – and us.

I know Aradia was real – not because of the historical evidence and source material or out of need for a Witch savior.  I know she was real because of human nature: our tendency to become entangled in a cultural mess and the great strides we must take to break free – time and time again. She existed because myth always has at least a toe in this reality, if not a whole foot, or leg, or hand. Legend always has truth at its root. I don’t believe she was born more divine or special than any of us.  If she was the daughter of Diana, then we all are children of Diana. If the gods spoke through her, then they speak through all of us.  We all are Aradia when we resolve to manifest change.

"The Walnut Tree of the Benevento" - painting by Laura Tempest Zakroff
“The Walnut Tree of the Benevento” – painting by Laura Tempest Zakroff

We love the idea of being born a Witch. But regardless of natural talent or parentage, we who follow this path BECOME Witches.  Every experience we have defines our path and refines our abilities. Residing within each of us is the power to tap into the metaphysical, to walk in the liminal, to weave magick.  Sometimes we just need to be reminded of who we are and what we are capable of. We are the fighters, the workers, the thinkers, the seers, the doers – subversive, political, and mighty.

It’s easy to lose our way when the hearts of those around us swirl with fear, hopelessness, misplaced anger, frustration, and confusion.  These feelings can feel like an ocean wave descending down upon us, threatening to wash us away.  But it is not our job to change the whole ocean. Instead, we change ourselves, in turn altering those around us.  Drop by drop, cup by cup, we distill, purify, and bless the salty tears. Despite what they might tell you, every drop matters. A small change is mighty – this truth we must remember.

As Witches, we are beholden to no one but ourselves.  We choose our contracts and responsibilities in accordance to our will, in the wake of the motion of the Universe. We stand between the worlds as conduits, guides, beacons, and teachers. Our powers can be used to illuminate the path, as well as to bring balance and justice within this world. Sacred names spoken within our hearts, the taste of vengeance and strength on our lips. We remember who we are meant to be.

I know Aradia was real, because we are Aradia.

 

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