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I have a problem, and it really is a problem – it has me creating boxes and closing doors. It makes me miss the bigger picture. I can’t help but feel that older equals better. It’s an impulse I’ve been trying to stomp, because I think it’s a handicap.

Gardnerian Wicca is older and therefore better than the Alexandrian tradition. Both are better than modern Wicca popularized in books today.

Wicca is stupid, it was invented in the 50s, afterall. Reconstructionism is better. It’s older, truer, more real.

Charles Leland invented the myth of Aradia- it’s fake.

The Romans integrated so many other cutures into their own… Their deities aren’t actually Roman, but Greek.

These are opinions I’ve held in the past, and they’re still tied to me in more remote areas of my conciousness with a twinkle of guilt. Some I’m certainly moved past. Others…

The problem is that no myth is “real”, of it’s original form. They’ve all changed over time, they’ve all been tampered by various cultures, religious groups, storytellers and scribes. This goes for The Bible, Irish Myth and History books. You can’t take anything literally.

Myth is important because it preserves a collective ideal. It’s the symbolism that counts.

It’s in my studies of Italian Craft that this issue needs to be addressed. The subject of Aradia is important to so many Witches, but I give absolutely no credit to the “research” done by Charles Leland. I also very moved by Diana’s Hunt, which was written in the 14th Century and is clearly not Pagan. I see great symbolism in both these stories but struggle with their “real”ness. I’m not the only one, either, as author Raven Grimassi feels the need to insist at the beginning of his book on Italian Witchcraft that Stregheria is older than the Witchcraft of the Celts. (Yes, there are many things wrong with that statement, but that’s not the point.)

There is a lesson in every story, be it a passage from the Bible, an old myth, an anecdote from your Mother’s past or  an impromtu campfire tale.  Each of them is only as “real” or “right” or “correct” as we trust in them. They become real when we have faith in them.

And so, I do agree that the story of Aradia does have important lessons. I don’t know if I can accept it as a core of my practice, but it’s a start.