Over the last few months, the last few weeks, the last few days, I’ve been hearing different versions of Aradia’s story.
There’s a version of her story that I’ve heard where she was born in Italy in the fourteenth century, or thereabouts. As it happens, I have Italian heritage in my own make-up, but maybe that doesn’t apply to you. But tell me – where do your ancestors come from? Where were people of your bloodline living back in the fourteenth century?
Scotland – Wales – Scandinavia – Germany – Russia – Ireland – England – Poland – France…
So I want you to begin to imagine what life might have been like in those places, back in the fourteenth century; I’m finding it hard, myself, but imagine… What do you think it might have been like?
Hard – short – basic – a struggle – just like life – frightening – local – village-like….
I’ve asked around and I can’t discover if Aradia was part of a peasant family, or maybe more of a merchant class, or if she perhaps was born into the aristocracy… but let’s take a moment to imagine her life if her family were peasants… or if they were merchants, or of a type of middle class… or if she was part of the aristocracy… For whatever reason – and maybe it was just being born a woman – she had a sense of justice and injustice. For whatever reason, she was inspired to learn and teach and spread knowledge and skills. Perhaps you also have a background that has inspired you towards questioning and rebellion, towards seeking and working for change? Is that the case?
There’s another story I’ve been hearing about Aradia, and that is that she was born divine, to divine parents. To a Goddess and an Angel, to Diana and Lucifer, or the moon and the sun, but that she became mortal. As we are mortal. Take a moment to acknowledge your own mortality. Look into the face of the person standing next to you, acknowledge their mortality. Yes. We are living now, but we are mortal and we will all die.
Let me tell you a story. When I was a child, maybe 8 or 10 or 12, I used to climb out of my bedroom window, quite late at night and go into the garden. It was quite difficult to do – my room was on the first floor, so I had to walk along a ledge, clinging to the wall, until I got to the outside staircase and could climb down. And I used to lie on the earth and dig my fingers into it and I used to whisper, ‘Take me back…’
Have you ever imagined or felt that the earth was your mother? That your parentage was divine – that you belonged to the mountain or the river or the forest? Have you felt that that was where you truly belonged, that you were a child of the divine? Who here has felt that? Who did you believe your true parents were?
The mountain – the ocean – the stars – a tree – wolves – the wind….
Well, and maybe that was how it was for Aradia… sent to earth to teach these skills and this knowledge. Do you, also, have skills that you have been sent to teach? What are they? Shout them out, call them out to me! Do you have knowledge to share? Are there issues you care so much about that you will speak out, that you will act, that you will stand forth and teach and work and speak for them? What are these issues? What will you stand for? What do you care about?
The Great Barrier Reef – Coal Seam Gas – injustice – racism – equal marriage rights – child slavery – poverty – education…
So there’s one more story I’ve been hearing about Aradia, this week. Do you know what that story is? Do you remember it? We spoke of it only yesterday….
I am Aradia –
I am Aradia! – I am Aradia! – I am Aradia! – I am Aradia! – I am Aradia! –