Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches/Chapter IV

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The Charm of the Stones Consecrated to Diana[edit]

To find a stone with a hole in it is a special sign of the favour of Diana. He who does so shall take it in his hand and repeat the following, having observed the ceremony as enjoined:--

Scongiurazione della pietra bucata.[edit]

Una pietra bucata
L'ho trovato;
Ne ringrazio il destin,
E lo spirito che su questa via
Mi ha portata,
Che passa essere il mio bene,
E la mia buona fortuna!

Mi alzo la mattina al alba,
E a passegio me ne vo
Nelle valli, monti e campi,
La fortuna cercarvo
Della ruta e la verbena,
Quello so porta fortuna

Me lo tengo in senno chiuso
E saperlo nessuno no le deve,
E cosi cio che commendo,
La verbena far ben per me!
Benedica quella strege!
Quella fàta che mi segna!"

Diana fu quella
Che mi venne la notte in sogno
E mi disse: "Se tu voir tener,
Le cattive persone da te lontano,
Devi tenere sempre ruta con te,
Sempre ruta con te e verbena!"

Diana, tu che siei la regina
Del cielo e della terra e dell'inferno,
E siei la prottetrice degli infelici,
Dei ladri, degli assassini, e anche
Di donne di mali affari se hai conosciuto,
Che non sia stato l'indole cattivo
Delle persone, tu Diana,
Diana il hai fatti tutti felici!

Una altra volta ti scongiuro
Che tu non abbia ne pace ne bene,
Tu possa essere sempre in mezzo alle pene,
Fino che la grazia che io ti chiedo
Non mi farai!

=== Invocation to the Holy-Stone. === [1]

I have found
A holy-stone upon the ground.
O Fate! I thank thee for the happy find,
Also the spirit who upon this road
Hath given it to me;
And may it prove to be for my true good
And my good fortune!

I rise in the morning by the earliest dawn,
And I go forth to walk through (pleasant) vales,
All in the mountains or the meadows fair,
Seeking for luck while onward still I roam,
Seeking for rue and vervain scented sweet,
Because they bring good fortune unto all.
I keep them safely guarded in my bosom,
That none may know it--'tis a secret thing,
And sacred too, and thus I speak the spell:
"O vervain! ever be a benefit,
And may thy blessing be upon the witch
Or on the fairy who did give thee to me!"

It was Diana who did come to me,
All in the night in a dream, and said to me:
"If thou would'st keep all evil folk afar,
Then ever keep the vervain and the rue
Safely beside thee!"

Great Diana! thou
Who art the queen of heaven and of earth,
And of the infernal lands--yea, thou who art
Protectress of all men unfortunate,
Of thieves and murderers, and of women too
Who lead an evil life, and yet hast known
That their nature was not evil, thou, Diana,
Hast still conferred on them some joy in life.[2]

Or I may truly at another time
So conjure thee that thou shalt have no peace
Or happiness, for thou shalt ever be
In suffering until thou grantest that
Which I require in strictest faith from thee!

[Here we have again the threatening the deity, just as in Eskimo or other Shamanism, which represents the rudest primitive form of conjuring, the spirits are menaced. A trace of this is to be found among rude Roman Catholics. Thus when St. Bruno, some years ago, at a town in the Romagna, did not listen to the prayers of his devotees for rain, they stuck his image in the mud of the river, head downwards. A rain speedily followed, and the saint was restored in honour to his place in the church.]

=== The Spell or Conjuration of the Round Stone. === [3]

The finding a round stone, be it great or small, is a good sign (e buono augurio), but it should never be given away, because the receiver will then get the good luck, and some disaster befall the giver.

On finding a round stone, raise the eyes to heaven, and throw the stone up three times (catching it every time), and say:--

Spirito del buono augurio!
Sei venuto in mio soccorso,
Credi ne avevo gran bisogno,
Spirito del folletino rosso
Giacche sei venuto in mio soccorso,
Ti prego di non mi abbandonare!
Ti prego dentro questa palla d'intrare,
E nella mia tasca tu possa portare,
Cosi in qualunque mia bisogna,
In mio aiuto ti posso chiamare,
E di giorno e di notte,
Tu non mi possa abbandonare.

Se danari da qualchuno avanzerò
E non mi vorra pagare,
Tu folletino rosso me il farei dare!
Si questo di non darmeli,
Si in testera tu vi anderai
E col tua Brié--brié!

Se dorme to desterai,
Panni dal letto laceraì,
Le farai tanta paura
Che allora di andare a dormire,
Andra alle bische a giuocare,
E tu nunqua lo seguirai.

E tu col tuo Brié-brié, le dirai,
Chi non paga deliti
Avranno pene e guai.

Cosi il debitare il giorno appresso,
O mi portera i danari,
O mi il mandera;
E cosi, folletino rosso!
Mi farai felice in mia vita,
Perche in qualcunque mia bisogna,
Verai in mio soccorso!

Se colla mia amante saro' adirato,
Tu spirito del buon augurio mio!
Andrai la notte da lei
Per i capelli la prenderai,
E nel letto mio la porterai;
E la mattina quando tutti gli spiriti
Vanno a riposare,
Tu prima di si' entrare
Nella tua palla si porterai
La mia bella nel suo letto,
Cosi te prego folletino,
Di entrare in questa mia palla!

E di ubbidire a tutti miei commandi!
Ed io ti porteró
Sempre nella tasca mia,
Che tu non mi vada via.

The Conjuration.[edit]

Spirit of good omen,
Who art come to aid me,
Believe I had great need of thee.
Spirit of the Red Goblin,
Since thou hast come to aid me in my need,
I pray of thee do not abandon me:
I beg of thee to enter now this stone,
That in my pocket I may carry thee,
And so when anything is needed by me,
I can call unto thee: be what it may,
Do not abandon me by night or day.

Should I lend money unto any man
Who will not pay when due, I pray of thee,
Thou the Red Goblin, make him pay his debt!
And if he will not and is obstinate,
Go at him with thy cry of Brié--brié!
And if he sleeps, awake him with a twitch,
And pull the covering off and frighten him!
And follow him about where'er he goes.

So teach him with thy ceaseless Brié--brié!
That he who obligation e'er forgets
Shall be in trouble till he pays his debts.
And so my debtor on the following day
Shall either bring the money which he owes,
Or send it promptly: so I pray of thee,
O my Red Goblin, come unto my aid!
Or should I quarrel with her whom I love,
Then, spirit of good luck, I pray thee go
To her while sleeping--pull her by the hair,
And bear her through the night unto my bed!
And in the morning, when all spirits go
To their repose, do thou, ere thou return'st
Into thy stone, carry her home again,
And leave her there asleep. Therefore, O Sprite!
I beg thee in this pebble make thy home!
Obey in every way all I command.
So in my pocket thou shalt ever be,
And thou and I will ne'er part company!

Footnotes to Chapter IV[edit]

  1. ^ Properly, the stone with a hole in it. But such a stone is called holy on shipboard, and here it has really a claim to the name.
  2. ^ This is an obscure passage, but I believe that I have given it as the poet meant or felt it.
  3. ^ Il sasso a palla.