Talk:Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Featured article Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on March 27, 2007.
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Religious texts (Rated FA-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Religious texts, a joint subproject of WikiProject Religion and WikiProject Books, and a project to improve Wikipedia's articles on Religious texts-related subjects. Please participate by editing this article, and help us assess and improve articles to good and 1.0 standards, or visit the wikiproject page for more details.
Featured article FA  This article has been rated as FA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Neopaganism (Rated FA-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Neopaganism, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Neopaganism on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Featured article FA  This article has been rated as FA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Occult (Rated FA-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Occult, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of articles related to the occult on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Featured article FA  This article has been rated as FA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Italy (Rated FA-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Italy, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of articles on Italy on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Featured article FA  This article has been rated as FA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
Wikipedia Version 1.0 Editorial Team / v0.5
WikiProject icon This article has been reviewed by the Version 1.0 Editorial Team.
Taskforce icon
This article has been selected for Version 0.5 and subsequent release versions of Wikipedia.
Featured article FA  This article has been rated as FA-Class on the quality scale.

Did You Know?[edit]

This article was featured on the Main Page's Did You Know? section on October 13 2005. Jkelly 00:39, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

"Charge of Aradia"?[edit]

"Charge of Aradia" has been hilighted as a key term, and I know there is a page of that name (which redirects here, I think), however I am uncertain of the provenance of this name. I don't believe the term appears as a heading in any edition of the book, and I haven't come across it before seeing it in Wikipedia. It seems likely that the term was coined for its similarity to "Charge of the Goddess". It's an obvious, but not necessarily a widely-used, term... Fuzzypeg 02:15, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

It gets 67 Google hits. It is only here because I merged another article with that name into this one. Charge of Aradia was talking about Aradia's speech at the end of Chapter I. We should probably get rid of it. Incidentally, Raven Grimassi puts a poem called "The Charge of Aradia" into one of his books, which is clearly a variant on Valiente's "Charge", but I'm not putting a "Trivia" section into this article. Jkelly 03:11, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Problems with Hutton[edit]

I've found significant problems with Hutton's treatment of Leland, and I'd like to come up with a way of redressing this that doesn't stray into original research. I had started trying to word this previously with the following section:

Hutton himself is a sceptic,[1] despite having elsewhere critiqued microhistorian Carlo Ginzburg's discovery of witchcraft-like beliefs in the Benandanti of 16th century Italy,[2] which show certain similarities with the beliefs expressed in Aradia.

Basically, Ginzburg has identified elements in witch-trial records that were not expected by the interrogators, and are repeated over wide chronological and geographical distances. He discovered several Italian and surrounding groups, in particular the Benandanti, who claimed to follow a goddess, gathering in ecstatic groups, out of their bodies in spirit. The themes are (to my mind) remarkably similar, and although the name of the Benandanti's goddess is not mentioned, similar groups followed goddesses of various names, including that of Herodias. In Rumania the same silencing of the leading "h" even led to the almost identical names "Irodiada" and "Arada".

Hutton, although he has supposedly read Ginzburg, and even spent a couple of pages critiquing his work, does not see fit to mention any of this in relation to Aradia (or anywhere else in Triumph of the Moon), and even claims that no other Italian folklorist has come up with anything like the Aradia material (Ginzburg is Italian). I've methodically worked through all of Hutton's criticisms of Leland, and found every single one of them unconvincing. Most of them are fairly pedantic attacks against his scholarship, which cannot be sustained. For instance, Hutton says Leland flies in the face of the "apparently unassailable fact" that Herodias is a figure from Christian, not Pagan mythology, and gives no evidence to support his claim; Leland in fact gives his reasoning in the appendix, and cites another author (I can't remember who) who had previously made this claim. Again, Hutton seems quite unfamiliar with Ginzburg's work, for Herodias is clearly demonstrated in his Ecstasies: Deciphering the witches sabbath to be a deity of Pagan, not Christian origin. Hutton elsewhere criticises Leland for using the term "witch" rather than the (specifically British) term "cunning-folk", and he even attempts to translate the Italian stregheria ("witchcraft") as "cunning-craft". I detect a strong agenda in Hutton's work, and it rankles to see him trampling on the work of Leland, whom I have found no reason to doubt the honesty of.

The trouble is, can any redress be achieved without breaking the policy of WP:NOR? Are the groups identified by Ginzburg sufficiently similar that we can mention them in this article? Or do we require a reputable source to have made this connection first? I'll have a look at the books when I get home and see what else I can find... Fuzzypeg 05:29, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

I think that the "Claims questioned" section has a good balance right now. But then again, I wrote it. I suggest that right now the section is giving a reasonable amount of attention to Hutton's analysis, gives a brief response from Clifton addressing some of the concerns with Hutton's work that you seem to have, and then there is the paragraph devoted to Mathiesen, followed by a brief mention of Magliocco's article. I'd rather restrict the summary to the work done by actual academics here, not just out of WP:NOR and WP:RS concerns, but also because it avoids giving undue weight to views outside the mainstream, and to avoid winding up with an article that seems to be leading the reader to a conclusion. Keep in mind that if were writing this article before 1998, poor Aradia wouldn't have had a single academic defender! All of that said, check out Magliocco's article if you haven't already. Grimassi, who has a very idiosyncratic take on Aradia (see Aradia di Toscano), devotes a lot of writing to connecting Ginzburg's research to Italian Pagan witchcraft survivals, but, for the reasons given above, I don't think it belongs in this article (it does get a passing mention at Stregheria, though). Jkelly 20:14, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
I think you're probably right. What you've got here has, I think, achieved as close to a good balance as the current literature on the subject of Leland's Aradia can provide. I believe a comparison with other "cult of Herodias" groups would be out of place here, since Leland's witch-cult has not previously been included in any such comparisons by reputable scholars. OK. Well done. Fuzzypeg 22:36, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
We want to mention the Calusari's worship of Iriodiada, in Gail Kligman's Calus: Symbolic Transformation in Romanian Ritual. This is important, because the Calusari have initiations, magic circles, and are associated with the fairies, with Iriodiada as the Queen of the Fairies. Where this becomes important is in its dovetailing with Ileana Sanziana (sometimes Consanziana), which literally means "Ileana Saint Diana". This is a Slavic/Romanian fairy-figure who represents the Moon. Her brother the Sun commits incest upon her. We thus have the elements of Aradia, found squarely in folk tradition : Diana/Moon incestuous relation with the Sun. CarlaO'Harris (talk) 03:07, 18 November 2009 (UTC)


I'd like to do a spoken version of this article before it hits the front page. I think I know how to pronounce Aradia, but I want to be sure, can someone tell me how to pronounce it correctly? CB Droege 19:09, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Anyone? CB Droege 21:37, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
I honestly don't know. Ask a native Italian speaker what sounds right, I guess. Jkelly 21:39, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
are-AH-dee-uh is common modern pronunciation. The only other possibility I can see that still follows Italian pronunciation rules would be are-uh-DEE-uh, but I've never heard that before. Fuzzypeg 03:55, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, but I guess it's a little late :( I had been planning to record the article over the weekend, so that it would be done in time for the frontpage... I guess I underestimated response time to my question (not that I blame you Fuzzypeg, I'm sure that you answered as soon as you saw it, it's just sad that no one saw it earlier). For some reson, I thought that someone would see and answer immediately. Lesson learned. CB Droege 11:46, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Link pointers[edit]

A lot of links were changed in a recent edit. The edit also introduced what we used to call "Easter eggs", which would take a reader to an unexpected article through use of a pipe, and changed some British spelling to American, so I reverted it. Are there any specific links that really should point to different articles than they currently do? Jkelly 22:07, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, a bunch of those were legitimate edits. I'll go through and redo the appropriate ones. ShadowHalo 00:30, 27 March 2007 (UTC)


When I read Aradia, it was my understanding that the Lucifer mentioned in the text was not a sun god, or the christian devil. Lucifer was actually the planet Venus in its role as the "morning star". This is the role Lucifer originally played in ancient Roman paganism. As the morning star, Lucifer was sort of a herald for the rising sun, and thus "the bringer of light". In fact, the idea that the christian devil was named Lucifer is actually due to a poor translation by an early christian named Jerome. (All of this info can be found on the wiki entry for Lucifer). 14:07, 27 March 2007 (UTC)


Hi, The current FA is vandalized. Please do the needful.--Nirajrm talk ||| sign plz! 20:32, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Yeah... been reverting this darned article all day... apparantly people today are so bored that vandalizing wikipedia is their only way to get some jollies. Cascadia TALK| HISTORY 20:43, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
I know what it's like Cascadia. I think this speaks for itself. Spellcast 06:13, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

"Christian church"[edit]

I removed the word christian from this passage because the link is to the article on the Roman Catholic Church. Now, either this book talks about the RCC, in which case we should say so too, or it doesn't, in which case we should not be linking to the RCC. We could also write "Christianity". I see no reasonable problem of ambiguity however. If there is we should be all the more precise and not compound it with fuzzy terms like "Christian Church", as there has never been anything of that name. Str1977 (smile back) 10:10, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Except that you didn't. Did you make an edit and not save it? (I agree with you, though.) ElinorD (talk) 11:31, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
I did yesterday (without explaining) but was reverted. Therefore I now posted this explanation. I would make a bigger change myself but am prevented by not knowing enough about this book here. Str1977 (smile back) 14:11, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

In regards to whether this book refers to the RCC or not, a quick search of the word 'Catholic' in the book led me to this quote: "...she asked her whether she would become a nun; to which she replied that it was not possible, because she had left the Catholic Church and become a worshipper of Diana and of the Moon...".[1] Spellcast 17:10, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Criticism of Clifton[edit]

Hi, an anonymous editor has added a section of text that is critical of Clifton's interpretation and supportive of Grimassi, which I removed because it doesn't meet the no original research policy. They have since added it back, making no response to my edit comment and providing no other form of justification. I thought I would explain the original research rule a little, in particular that part dealing with synthesis:

If we quote notable theories and opinions from a reliable source, then everything's fine, however when we gather separate pieces of evidence (that may each be reliable) and use them to draw our own conclusions or interpretations, that counts as original research and is unacceptable in WP. Individual editors have no voice in Wikipedia, except through quoting reliable and reputable authors.

The claim that's been inserted into the article is that Martello's and Grimassi's Aradias don't require comparative analysis against Leland's Aradia, since Leland's version has not conclusively been shown to be authentic; and furthermore, that it cannot be used as a basis for criticism of them. This is merely one editor's opinion, stated as fact, and has no place in the article. It should be fairly easy to see how other views are possible: I would say of course comparative analysis is necessary, because Leland's version has not been conclusively shown to be spurious; there is much that could be learned about the possible development of a religious concept by this comparison, or alternatively it may lend further credibility to the theory that all three represent authentic remnants of early modern magical tradition and folklore. Historiography is based on the process of comparing multiple things of unknown provenance and gradually establishing better certainty through these comparisons.

And while any criticism based on Leland's Aradia will of course not be final and decisive (since the provenance of this text itself is uncertain), that doesn't preclude its use in a critical process.

I've discussed these possibilities merely so the editor understands a little better why stating this opinion as fact is dubious; regardless of these arguments, though, it is indeed original research and thus I will remove it.

Reverting another editor's changes without explanation is normally frowned upon (except in the case of clear vandalism); therefore, if you disagree with these changes you will please explain your reasoning here. Thanks,  Fuzzype talk  02:22, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Righto. The editor in question, User:Rasenna, has just clumsily obliterated my comments on the talk page. I'm cleaning this up, and his/her comments were as follows: Fuzzypeg 01:03, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
== Fuzzy seems a bit fuzzy ==
The claim that the edit has been inserted into the article in an attempt to assert that Martello's and Grimassi's Aradias don't require comparative analysis against Leland's Aradia is erroneous at best. The edit is meant to point out that using Leland's Aradia material to discredit or challenge the view of other authors is illogical because the Aradia material itself is disputed. Therefore it cannot be the measure of authenticity. This is not an attack on Clifton, and in fact the edit has nothing to do with him or his opinion. The edit is just an insertion of logic, and nothing more.
The repeated deletion of text that offers a balance within the section about Clifton, Martello and Grimassi strikes me as a purposeful suppression of alternative and equally valid views.
Rasenna (talk) 07:34, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
Thank-you for your response (finally). OK, the text you added stated that Leland's material cannot "honestly" be used to discredit other works, which implies to the reader that a) Clifton has an agenda to discredit Grimassi and Martello, and b) Clifton is dishonest. Not acceptable. I see you changed the wording later on, which was good of you. Secondly, the text you added suggests that Clifton is in some way wrong to state that comparative analysis is needed; as I have discussed above, I can see no reason to disagree with him, and every reason to disagree with you, but when push comes to shove, what you think and what I think are unimportant, since neither of us are well known as reliable authors on the subject.
What you describe as "just an insertion of logic" is in fact an insertion of your own logic, which does not necessarily follow. If it were logical that disputed material could not be used to evaluate other disputed material, we would have no scholarly study of the history of Christianity, for example, since the provenance of all early documents of Christianity is controversial to some degree.
Now if you want to provide balance, do a little bit of research, find a reputable author who discusses the comparitive values of Grimassi's, Martello's and Leland's writing, and cite their work. Not your own. Fuzzypeg 01:03, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Ongoing Edits[edit]

Fuzzypeg, you are incorrect to paint my view as depicting Clifton in the wrong. I merely point out that there are other views of equal merit. But you seem to be allowing your personal opinion alone to prevail through your reversals of text. You say on one hand that disputed material can be used to dispute other material, and yet you seem determined to suppress such things as suits your agenda. For myself, I don't delete, I simply add text in the interest of fairness and balance. Your ongoing suppressive edits strike me as an Internet form of book burning.

As for your instructions regarding my contributions to Wikipedia, I will give your advice all the consideration it merits. Rasenna (talk) 02:25, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Hmm. It's becoming a bit clearer what's going on. Either Rasenna is Raven Grimassi or someone who has read Grimassi's recent critique of this article at
Essentially Grimassi has made some editorial comments about the article on his own page rather than here in the discussion page; which is fine, however I'm copying it here where it will show up on the watchlists of editors of this article. As far as I can make out his criticism is levelled at this article, not at Clifton, although it is quotes of Clifton that he's arguing:
The Gospel of Aradia, by Charles Godfrey Leland is, perhaps, one of the most controversial writings on witchcraft. There are many opinions regarding Leland's writings, and the Aradia material in particular. Some of these opinions come from people have actually taken the time to do the reading themselves.
There are many misunderstandings regarding the Aradia material, and it is indeed a difficult text to unravel. I do like to take the time whenever possible to attempt a correction or an alternative view. So in that light I want to address one particular commentary.
In the online encyclopedia known as Wikipedia, an entry appears within an article on the Gospel of Aradia, by Charles Leland, stating:
"The reception of Aradia amongst Neopagans has not been entirely positive. Clifton suggests that modern claims of revealing an Italian pagan witchcraft tradition, for example those of Leo Martello, and Raven Grimassi of Stregheria, must be 'matched against', and compared with the claims in Aradia.
I find it a curious statement that a match "must" be in order, especially considering the fact that within the academic community the Aradia material is a disputed text. So naturally (regarding Leland's Aradia material) matches and comparisons for authenticity as envisioned by Chas Clifton would require that the Aradia material be genuine throughout the text. To date there is no proof that it meets such a standard. Without proof that the Aradia material is authentic and representative of Italian witchcraft it cannot be the measure of authenticity. Therefore it cannot effectively be used to discredit other writings or views on Italian witchcraft, nor is it a representative ethnographic foundation against which other writings or views "must" be compared. The Aradia material is, unfortunately, a disputed text with problems of its own when compared to the usually accepted folklore, folk traditions, and folk magic practices of Italy.
Another entry on Wikipedia's Aradia article reads:
"Clifton further suggests that a lack of comfort with Aradia may be due to an "insecurity" within Neopaganism about the movement's claim to authenticity as a religious revival. Valiente offers another explanation; that the identification of Lucifer as the God of the witches in Aradia was "too strong meat" for Wiccans who were used to the gentler, romantic Paganism of Gerald Gardner and were especially quick to reject any relationship between witchcraft and Satanism".
This passage appears to be another questionable view expressed within the Wikipedia article. While some neo-pagans may be uncomfortable with Leland's Aradia material, the reasons need not stem from insecurity. One of the major objections to the Aradia text is the inclusion of negative stereotypes related to witches and witchcraft. This is regarded as an insult by many neo-pagans (as opposed to a feeling of insecurity). Because most neo-pagans reject Leland's Aradia material as an accurate depiction of religious witchcraft, its consideration in the context that Clifton suggests, appears to be without merit. However, the kernel of truth within the Aradia material is the tale of the continuation and survival of the witches' sect, and of this no true believer is in doubt or insecure. Its appearance within a Christianized distortion (Lelands' Aradia) is an unfortunate preservation of the survival of religious witchcraft (fragmented and disjointed as it is in Leland's telling). But there it seems to reside nevertheless.
This is a rather novel situation for me, finding a person featured in an article writing an off-site rebuttal of the article, and then (if this is Grimassi) copying it into the article. I've done the best to clean up what were quite lengthy quotations and rearrange text so that article flow wasn't so disrupted, but I'd like advice from other editors on what else (if anything) they think is necessary here. Thanks, Fuzzypeg 00:22, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
A quick check with the google cache reveals that Grimassi's critique did not appear on his website until some time after 20 Feb, so it seems quite likely to me that it was written directly in response to conversations with me (I first reverted edits along these lines by User: on 24 Feb). A small piece of evidence in favour of this is that the wording on the stregheria website is
"Therefore it cannot effectively be used to discredit other writings or views on Italian witchcraft, nor is it a representative ethnographic foundation against which other writings or views "must" be compared." (my emphasis)
whereas the wording originally posted here was "Without proof that the Aradia material is authentic and representative of Italian witchcraft it cannot honestly be used to discredit other writings or views on Italian witchcraft" (my emphasis) [2]. The wording only changed from "honestly" to "effectively" on the 25th Feb [3] after I pointed out in a revert comment that the wording implied a questioning of Clifton's honesty. The wording finally evolved to:
"Therefore it cannot effectively be used to discredit other writings or views on Italian witchcraft, nor is it a representative ethnographic foundation against which other writings or views "must" be compared."
posted by User:Stephanie Taylor on the 10th March, at which time it was an exact match with the website.
There's something a little kooky going on here, and I wonder whether Grimassi took my comment above — "Individual editors have no voice in Wikipedia, except through quoting reliable and reputable authors" — a little too seriously... Fuzzypeg 01:04, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

i think its safe to say we are having a edit war. I just removed some content that violated NPOV. Before anyone considers major editing, they sould post here about it and why they want this content in. Its just meaningless for the multiple users, regardless if they are one person or not, to just remove content like that and insert opinion. They don't even try to keep the original stuff there! Its ridculous. Xuchilbara (talk) 15:36, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Fuzzypeg - The fact that you went to the trouble of investigating another website to check out its cache for the date of material seems a bit over zealous. And ultimately it doesn't matter when or why an opinion arises, as what does that have to do with the purpose of Wikipedia? The seeming paranoia you display through your comment that Raven Grimassi might be Rasenna appears inappropriate as well. I think you may need to recuse yourself as an editor of this article. I feel you are much too invested in this article, which speaks volumes on its own. Stephanie Taylor (talk) 17:04, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

To be, or not to be[edit]

Quoting from Raven Grimassi, an award-winning author of over a dozen books on Wicca & Witchcraft, is not a violation of NPOV. The opinions of other authors are being allowed. So what's your problem with Grimassi being one of them? His name was originally brought up in the article, and additional relevant information is being add. Isn't that what Wikipedia is all about? It is certainly not a place, as Rasenna pointed out, to suppress information as Xuchilbara and Fuzzypeg seem detemined to do.

It's clear that there's an anti-Grimassi sentiment at work with the editors of this article, as anything that presents Grimassi in a positive light is quickly deleted. But Wikipedia belongs to the community, not to a couple of people alone. And by the way, "the original stuff" was not deleted, it was added to and expanded. The only deletions of text have been by Fuzzypeg and Xuchilbara. Stephanie Taylor (talk) 16:21, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

You are violating NPOV. This is not about "positive" outlooked of Grimassi. This is about neuturality. Wikipedia is not put here to make one author look better in favor of another. Its about presenting facts and letting people form their own opinions. You have deleted and omitted many things and you only want to favor Grimassi. By your edits the article is more opinion than fact and requires removal.

Xuchilbara (talk) 21:15, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Xuchilbara, please explain how my quoting an author, in this case Raven Grimassi, is a violation of NPOV? If posting text, whether one agrees with the author or not, is a violation of NPOV, then all statements about authors must be deleted under the NPOV provision. That's because all of the statements concerning authors have been entered by someone, and so do we regard these as violating NPOV? Shall we begin going back and deleting all author's statements and references as in the case of Clifton, Valiente, and so on? Or is it just the text pointing out Grimassi's views that you object to? Stephanie Taylor (talk) 21:41, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

pardon me, mrs taylor, but i do not believe you are really one to speak of NPOV concerning Grimassi, considering that if you are who your name suggests, you are married to mr grimassi. Stregamama (talk) 21:30, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

Quoth the Raven, nevermore?[edit]

The question has arisen regarding what’s going on with the edits of this article. It’s been suggested there’s an edit war being waged around text pertaining to Raven Grimassi.

Well, I’m the infamous Raven Grimassi, and perhaps I can help clear up some things, and put to rest some allegations/suspicions. First off, Rasenna is one of my research assistants on staff here at the College of the Crossroads. From time to time students and staff here do use the computers to frequent Wikipedia and various forums in their spare time. I neither encourage nor discourage the use of our computers for such personal time activities.

Second, to the best of my recollection, I’ve never personally posted to any article on Wikipedia. I have, however, from time to time been alerted to various mentions of my name on this encyclopedia. My staff suggested that I post a response on my website to the matter of the Aradia article, since the edits appeared to be suppressive of information intended to expand the article. After looking over the edits, I agreed it was warranted.

On the general matter of my name appearing in Wikipedia articles, in the beginning the entries were very negative and erroneous, and attempts by various people to dispute these were vigorously countered by a few editors and one administrator. I never addressed them personally, as I believe that people should be allowed their own views. Unfortunately this outlook is not something reciprocated by the aforementioned individuals.

Due to the constructive efforts of several individuals who believe that the best opinions are informed opinions, truthful and supporting text has remained in place within the articles that mention my name (despite aggressive ongoing deletions). It’s a sad commentary that such efforts are necessary, and especially in a format like Wikipedia, which is intended to be an accurate and unbiased resource for the community.

It is unfortunate that the mention of my name, and statements related to my position within relevant articles, is a point of contention. One administrator commented that he saw no need for mention of my name or reference to my work (even though the article pertained to topics that I frequently write about in my published work, and inclusion was relevant to the existing text within the Wikipedia article). This is a sad state of affairs, and in my opinion it’s a misuse of the encyclopedia.

Many people feel that personal bias and agenda has no place in Wikipedia articles. Although this goes both ways, I do note that the people who include my name and references to my work, without implied criticism of me or my positions, are not the ones who delete contrary entries. Deletion seems to be the exclusive providence of those who have a problem with me or my positions. Statements of implied criticism appear to be allowed, and anyone who tries to balance them with additional information seems to be held to a greater standard and is called to a stricter adherence of the rules. I believe this is quite telling, and if someone wants to understand what's going on with the edits, I feel they need look no further than the core causation (which I have addressed here).

In closing, I regret that mention of my name and my position has caused such a flurry of contested edits. I have no wish to see any Wikipedia article subjected to disruption of any kind. Any chance here we can all just get along? Raven grimassi (talk) 23:52, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Not trying to be too challenging here.. But how do we know you are the real Raven grimassi? Xuchilbara (talk) 00:37, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Xuchilbara, not a problem; my email address is That's easy enough to verify on the Internet. Feel free to write for verification. Raven grimassi (talk) 04:39, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Well, I'm satisfied that this is the 'real' Grimassi. Who else would have updated the stregheria website? Fuzzypeg 01:57, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Thank-you, Raven for taking the time to clear that up. It seems my "investigations" were not so misguided: the critique on your website was indeed essentially written to win an edit war, although it was not you personally, but an assistant of yours who first got the ball rolling. I'm still not sure what I think of this rather novel example of reflexivity in action, but I guess I can live with it.

Your wording above implies that you feel editors like me, Xuchilbara and JKelly are performing "aggressive ongoing deletions" to promote a "negative and erroneous" view regarding you and your work. I think you are mistaken. I personally have read a number of your posts in internet forums such as Mysticwicks in which I have been impressed by your obvious detailed knowledge of historical witchcraft and Italian folklore. I have also, I admit, flicked through books of yours on traditional Italian witchcraft that I found a little less convincing. But as an experienced wikipedia editor I regularly edit information with which I personally don't agree. Far from deleting it whenever I see it, I often improve it (grammar, spelling, etc), and in doing so, make it sound more authoritative. I also cheerfully add information myself which I personally disagree with! As an example, I am a Co-Freemason, yet I have put a lot of care into ensuring that the arguments of masculine Masonry against Co-Freemasonry are clearly and prominently represented in the Co-Freemasonry article. Furthermore, I remove opinions with which I personally agree, when they are not appropriately attributed.

My main care, as well as that of the other editors you're accusing, is to ensure that information in articles is verifiable and is presented neutrally (whether we personally agree with it or not). We run into disputes on a regular basis, and these almost invariably come down to someone not properly understanding Wikipedia's content policies. The edits regarding Clifton were not neutral in tone, as they started out directly implying that he was dishonest. They got better as they progressed, but still the wording implied a judgement that he was wrong. Once it turned into a quotation of you, that didn't matter so much, because it was no longer the article making the judgement, but you personally, and you were clearly attributed. A little further editing for concision, and we're now in relatively good shape. I haven't, note, removed your quotes, just made them a little less dominating and fixed the order so they didn't disrupt the readability of the article (Valiente's opinion had been orphaned from its context, and clumsily stuck on the end of a lengthy quote by you about insecurity versus insult).

If you wish to suggest further improvements to the article, please do so, but your accusations of bias are out of line, and in this regard you don't know what you're talking about. Fuzzypeg 01:57, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Fuzzypeg, thank you for what was mostly a courteous reply. But I see you couldn't resist taking a little shot at the end. ;) Fair enough.

To be clear, my comments regarding bias were intended to be general and purposely went without naming anyone since I was referring to several entries on Wikipedia that include references to me (not just the Aradia gospel). I still stand by my obsevations in that regard. I've been around the block a few times, having been active in the Wicca/Witchcraft/Pagan community since 1969, and I recognize politics when I see them. But I have no personal issue with you, as you've been clear from the start where you're coming from (even though I respectfully disagree with your reasoning in the editing department).

Now, regarding the article on the Stregheria website, well, it was certainly not my intent to support a war of any kind. But as to anyone using my post as a reference source, I think that's fair usage in any case. Afterall, by your own admission, you're not trying to suppress information, so no worries. In any event it ultimately led to a more informative and balanced article on the Aradia gospel, and all's well that ends well. Raven grimassi (talk) 04:39, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Cheers, and sorry if I took your comments about bias too personally. As you say, all's well that ends well, and perhaps you'll be pleased that as it currently stands, the final word in the article is yours. Best wishes, Fuzzypeg 22:53, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, and I appreciate your efforts to resolve the matter. I think we're back in good shape. Raven grimassi (talk) 16:21, 16 March 2008 (UTC)


I've seen mention of a Vangelo de' la Stregh (sp), all references point to Aradia, anyone have any knowledge of this? Sephiroth storm (talk) 19:54, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

The book Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches, written by Leland was a compilation of a number of texts. The largest of these was (according to him) referred to as the Vangelo, and this constitutes the first part of his book. See the intro of this article for more info. I believe the word "Vangelo" is related to "evangelise". Fuzzypeg 01:09, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Grimassi is not irrelevent to this article[edit]

The recent deletion of data by "JKelly" related to Grimassi's research and views on the Aradia material strikes me as inappropiate. JKelly states he removed the inclusion of Grimassi's views in order to keep the article balanced and scholarly. I feel it actually serves the opposite result. Grimassi is a published author in the field of Aradia and Leland and I see no reason to exclude his views from this article. Other authors and their views are included, and so to intentionally remove Grimassi's views on the Aradia material strikes me as an extreme negative bias.

In addition, Grimassi's research has corrected some of the errors previously contained in the article. These corrections were also removed by JKelly (despite the proper source material quotation to validate the data). How does deleting data that is pertinent to this article keep it "scholarly and balanced" - I'd like to know. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rasenna (talkcontribs) 21:50, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

  1. ^ Hutton, Ronald (2000). Triumph of the Moon. Oxford University Press. pp. p. 148. ISBN 0500272425. 
  2. ^ Hutton, Ronald (2000). Triumph of the Moon. Oxford University Press. pp. pp. 276–8, 377–8. ISBN 0500272425.