Pizza isn’t the only thing found in Italy. Stregheria, which is the Italian word for, ‘witchcraft,’ or ‘Old Religion,’ is a tradition of sorts that was started during the mid-14th century when teachings from the Holy Strega, Aradia, were preached. Stregheria is unlike other witchcraft and wizardry practices that we may have heard of that stem from Africa and then later America (namely, New Orleans). Let’s look into what exactly Stregheria is.
What Were Stregheria Teachings?
The Teachings of Aradia were based on a primitive set of beliefs that can be dated back to pre-Etruscian Italy. The teachings point towards the worship of the ‘source of all things,’ which is done through personifying God and the Goddess.
All of the teachings used in Strega are based around nature. Nature is one of the ‘great teachers’ in Strega. Aradia’s teachings hold a deep history behind them. In the Mythos, there is also a prophecy stated which talks about, ‘the Age of Daughter,’ which means that there will come a time when society will be ruled by reason.
Is There An Afterlife in Stregan Belief?
In Stregheria, the afterlife is a viewed as a time when souls return back to the ‘Realm of Luna’ when the moon is waxing and be returned to earth when the moon will wane. When the person is finally ready, they will pass through the great big Sun, being made into new bodies and returning to the stars.
Are There Any Supernatural Beings That Play Specific Roles In Stregheria?
In Stregheria, there are different supernatural beings that play specific roles. The Guradians guide the rites of people, whereas the Grigori watch over them. The Lare alongside the spirits of the ancestors are the ones who can be worshiped and called upon for aid and help. The Grimas play an important rule keeping traditions pure. In Stregherian belief, the most important things are family and tradition, which is where it gains it’s power and strength from.
Are There Any Differences Between Stregheria and Wicca?
There are many similarities and differences between Stregheria and Wicca (Wicca is a pagan witchcraft movement that emerged in the 20th century and can be called modern witchcraft.)
Wiccan Sabbats and Stregan Sabbats differ in the way that different mythos are followed. The Sabbat that appears in the Wheel of the year for Streghans differs from Wiccan Sabbats.
Those who practice Stregheria follow and reflect upon the philosophy of, ‘add, but never remove.’ This helps to preserve the elements found in their rites. The rituals are all very well structured and the clan/family is of great importance, and the strong commitment to kin spirits is reflected in Stregan practices like ancestor reverence (calling upon the spirits (Lare)). Wicca contains many elements from Stregan tradition of the Old Religion and Elder faith.
So, even though Stregheria is an Italian witchcraft culminated centuries ago, the roots still remain and can be found in modern day witchcraft, Wicca.