Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

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a-RA-di-a or a-ra-DI-a?

It's a name to conjure with, for sure: Aradia.

It's thoroughly in keeping with the irony-laden history of the modern Craft that one of the most common names for the Goddess of Witches should derive ultimately from the name of a first-century member of the Judaean royal house.

Well, it's a long story. (I'll tell it to you some time. If you don't already know and want to find out, you can do so here. Scroll down for the good stuff.)

No, my purpose today is much simpler: stress. Is it a-RA-di-a or a-ra-DI-a?

I consulted my friend and colleague Sabina Magliocco of Cal State, whose credentials to give a definitive answer on the subject are impeccable. Not only did she write the definitive study on the Aradia figure in Italian folklore, but she grew up speaking Italian at home, and is an MOT (member of the tribe) to boot. (Tribe of Witches, that is.)


And the winner is (breaks sealing wax, unrolls virgin parchment): a-RAH-di-a. (Keep those vowels Continental, now. There are no long As in Italian.)

So: that's the Italian pronunciation. Which may or may not be how they say it where you come from.

Which, of course, is just fine.

Because all authentic paganism is local.

Even where they say: a-RAY-di-a.


Sabina Magliocco (2009). 'Aradia in Sardinia: The Archaeology of a Folk Character,' in Ten Years of Triumph of the Moon. Hidden Publishing.

_____ (2002). 'Who Was Aradia? The History and Development of a Legend,' in The Pomegranate: The Journal of Pagan Studies, 18














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Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.


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