The Ancient Ones of Strega
Strega is very old and predates the Roman Pantheon since most of its dieties are Etruscan and from native tribes and ancestor worship in Italy, Sicily, Sardinia and surrounding islands. The first, primal force is known as Uni--yes, that's right--universe comes from this name. She is the all consuming mother--the primal womb. From this womb came the Grigori-the Ancient Ones-the watchtowers, those here time before time. The Grigori have leaders; the ones a witch calls to open the gates of power in each direction.
In the North, we call Tago-he is the guardian of the North and represents the element of Earth. He is calm, steady, strong and brings stability to the circle/ritual. The North is masculine and the color is green or brown.
In The East, we call Alpena-she is the guardian of the East and represents the element of Air. She is soft, ethereal, thoughtful, and brings logic and order to the circle/ritual. The East is Feminine and the color is white or yellow.
In the South, we call Settrano-he is the guardian of the South and represents the element of Fire. He is passionate, impulsive, can be violent, and is the one element one must be careful with. The South is masculine and the color is red or orange.
In the West, we call Meana-she is the guardian of the West and represents the element of Water. She is emotional, compassionate, and also is the portal of the underworld. She represents the Crone as Meana/Umbria.
In Strega, there are three types of witches the Tannic, Jannic, and Fannic witches. Each one specializes in a particular adept in witchcraft. These traditions are in Italian, mainstream Strega. Sicilian Strega does not have these and much is combined into the other. In other words, Sicilian Witches do it all.
The Tradition of The Witches of Tana
In Tuscany, Northern Italy and Genoa, as well as the middle regions of Italy, usually have the Tannic witches. These are witches which specialize in moon Magick and spell craft. The are the witches of legends and the evil eye is their specialty. The use olive oil, keys, scissors, herbs (particularly rue. and fava beans) and are the keepers of the Mythos of Aradia. Aradia, born August 13, 1313, revived the old religion in these regions. She is revered as" La Bella Pilgrima," and is considered a Goddess for these practitioners. The Goddess Diana's Name is Tana and the God's name is Tanus.
The Tradition of the Witches of Jana
The Witches of Jana and her consort Janus can be found in the middle part of Italy in Latium and areas around Rome. They are astrologers and use the stars to create spells, divine the future and journey into the other worlds. They are the Shamans and have much in common with Native American Shamans. Janus, the Two faced God, was incorporated directly into the Roman Pantheon as well as the month of January. They are the diviners--tarot, runes, stones, beans, seeds and mysterious configurations and types of all kinds of divination are their realms.
The Tradition of the Witches of Fana
The witches of Fana and her consort Faunus are in the southern part of Italy and Sardinia. The lines of each tradition are not tightly drawn and one tradition may use, consult, and practice any one or all of the others. Faunus is linked with Pan and suffered the same fate as Diana and Artemis. These witches are the caretakers of the earth and use lei lines, power spots, large megalith stones, ruins, and other magnetic phenomena of the earth. They are the herbalists of Strega although all traditions have basic knowledge of herbs for spell use and for healing, these witches are the wise women of the village. They are the doctors and consult with Jannic witches on the use of herbs for physical healing.
The Sicilian Tradition
Sicily deserves a paper all Her own. She is the most mysterious of all-and kept in strict secrecy. One thing I can say, There is no such thing as one "Sicilian Tradition." Every family has its own rituals, spells, initiation ceremonies, some with degrees and some not. I cannot answer for all Sicilians. I can only answer for mine. My family is old, very old. We come from the town of Port Embeclo on the very southern wide part of Sicily. My mother's family came from Benevento and her father from Sardinia and Tuscany. My blood line is very mixed with French, Gypsy, Italian and Sicilian blood lines. When I visited Italy and Sicily, I found grave markers with our family names engraved with the pentacle and the sign of the Walnut tree, In Sicily the chimerrota and pentacle, vines of rue and fennel engraved on the tombstones and more. Believe me when I tell you, no one would speak about these things. I will speak of my family traditions in another paper.