The word “Strega” comes from the Italian “Stregoneria” or “Stregheria” which means “witchcraft”.
Currently, Strega researchers believe that Stregheria is more in line with the archaic tradition of witchcraft, and Stregoneria is already witchcraft with strongly Christianized motives for people who want to be witches, but are afraid to be pagans, fearing a curse.
Therefore, they invented Christian witchcraft, which allows you not to violate the will of God.
The woman who practices this tradition is called Strega, the man is Stregon. The basis of the Strega tradition are the spirits of Lare and Laza.
Lare patronizes the hearth, family, clan. Laza is a less domestic spirit and its origins are very ancient.
In early Etruscan times, the Lazes were female deities and guarded the graves of their ancestors. Over time, the Laz began to appear as spirits of nature, who were once people and continue their spiritual paths after death.
In the sixth century BC, the ruler of the Etruscan region, Servius Tullius, dependent on the power of Rome, prompted by both force and friendly persuasion, recognized the Roman Goddess Diana.
This led to the assimilation of Etruscan beliefs into Roman society, and the concept of Lare and Laza formed the main centerpiece of La Vecchia Religione.
This Old Religion did not survive the advent of Christianity, and did not survive, except for some myths and superstitions, but in 1353 a woman named Aradia revived the Old Religion, persecution began again.
The Italian Inquisition issued a death sentence on 500 witches in 100 years, which is relatively merciful by the standards of the day.
There is a legend in Tuscany that tells that Aradia was the daughter of Diana and Lucifer. Diana sent her daughter down to earth to teach all the witches in the human race the art of magic.
When her goal was completed, she was called back to heaven, but left her gift and power to the witches. Adherents of the Strega tradition revere Aradia as a moon goddess and invoke her during esbat and other rituals.
Aradia is believed to have endowed witches with powers such as:
- cure diseases
- communicate with the dead
- foresee the future
- bless friends
Today it comes to life in the Aradian tradition, which is the core of Strega.
There are three degrees of learning in the Aradian tradition. Training begins with the study of the Book of Roads, which is an analogue of the Book of Shadows. Each stage of learning and reaching certain levels correspond to certain parts of the Book of Roads.
The duration of primary education is not set and depends on the ability, effort and achievement in learning, as assessed by teachers.
The Aradian tradition is not the only one in Stregheria, but is best known in large part due to such a well-known Wiccan writer as Raven Grimassi.
It was this tradition, under the guidance of Raven Grimassi, that the equally famous Wiccan author Scott Cunningham studied for three years.
The image of Strega continues to live today – it would even be strange if it had not been preserved.
This is both the Christianized witch Befana and the character of Strega Nona’s children’s books. As well as Strega liqueur, capable of bewitching with only one color and aroma.