A resource and community for modern Witches.
We are a brand new resource site that is an outgrowth of Vinnie's personal projects, the resources that were previously hosted at the original Arsenic & Old Lace website, and the need to help clarify the imense amount of pagan information that is on the web. Our goal is to be a repository for useful information that is of interest to the new Seeker and the experiences pratcitioner, alike.
Our focus is Pagan religious Witchcraft with origins in Italy/Sicily, Europe, & the USA.
Future Features - we will be adding new functionality as we get the time and resources. Some of our plans include a forum section to help foster community and member sections including personalized member pages.
The following are descriptions, not definitions.
They serve only to help us develop a common language when interacting at Streghe.US.
Witch - A person who actively practices a form of cultural or folk magic (witchcraft) as part of their worldview or spiritual path. Someone whose spiritual practice includes the active use of magic or manipulation of the (occult) hidden or unseen forces of the Universe.
Origin of the word "WITCH" - Middle English wicche from Old English wicca, masculine, wizard & wicce, feminine, witch; akin to Middle High German wicken to betwitch, Old English wigle divination, and perhaps to Old High German wīh holy. First Known Use: before 12th century.
The Craft, The Old Religion - Shorthand for the traditions and practices of (usually) European based religious Witchcraft.
Strega/Stregone - The Italian words used, respectively, for a female or male practitioner of Stregheria or Stregoneria (Italic Witchcraft). Some traditions have additional names and titles used within their tradition.
Stregheria - An archaic Italian word for Witchcraft that is becoming to come back into modern usage that refers to Witchcraft specifically in association with the Sabbat and the worship of Diana. In other words, religious Witchcraft as part of the worship/reverence of the Old Gods of the Italiac cultures (including modern Italian-American cultures and ancient Greco-Roman cultures such as Sicily). Many expand this description to include the forms/traditions of religious Pagan Witchcraft based with roots in the greater Mediterranean cultures, past and present.
Stregoneria - The Italian word for witchcraft, meaning magic as a practice regardless of religion or spirituality, i.e. the practice of magic, spell work, creation of charms/talismans, and folk magic both in Italy/Sicily and within the Italian/Italian-American cultures.
La Vecchia Religione - The Italian phrase "La Vecchia Religione" translates into English as "The Old Religion". However, when the original Italian phrase is used, it specifically refers to the various religous Witchcraft traditions and practices native to, and derived from, the cultures of the Italic people including Italy, Sicily, and the greater Mediteranean. When the English phrase is used, it usually refers to the European based traditions/practices or to all Priesthoods of Witchcraft regardless of cultural origin.
Wicca - A common misconception is that Paganism and Wicca are one and the same. Originally, Wicca refered only to the collective of traditions now know as BTW (British Traditional Witchcraft). In the modern USA, and over the past several decades, the term "Wicca" has begun to be more inclusive as the diversity in the various Traditions has become more apparent. Used this way, Wicca (Modern Wicca or Neo-Wicca as opposed to BTW) more generally refers to the Priesthoods of the Old Religion that share certain characteristics, namely: 1) they are traditions of Witchcraft that are based in the cultures/lores of Europe; 2) they are the lineaged, Initiatory Mystery Traditions; and 3) they share a common ancestry (via lore and/or initiatory transmission) back to the New Forest area of Great Britain. Modern Wiccan includes the BTW Traditions (Alexandrian, Gardnerian, Mohsian, Central Valley Wicca, etc.) as well as more diverse/pluralistic Traditions of Modern (or Neo-) Wicca such as Chthonioi-Alexandrian Wicca and Protean.