Saturday, January 29, 2011

Corrections to Some Previous Statements

I always pride myself on being as factual as possible as a writer. I believe it is an important responsibility to my readers not to post any erroneous information about topics or individuals. However, being human, sometimes things go awry. I present a point in one of my articles that I believe is factual, and I then discover that it is either wrong or misleading. This happened recently when I posted an article that was about Dianus and Diana of the Stregan family del Bosco Sacro, who have come to this country from Italy. I didn’t intend in any way to impugn the legitimacy of any of the Stregan families that were already in the U.S., but that is how my statement was interpreted.

Here is what I said, which has turned out to be quite invalid and incorrect. It also inflamed some individuals, much to my dismay.

“While there has been a few representatives of the Strega tradition in this country since the 1960's, most notably the late Dr. Leo Martello (who represented a Sicilian branch of that faith), and more recently, with the brilliant and fascinating Raven Grimassi, this tradition has not really had a true and legitimate lineage traceable to the old country. I might be wrong about that, but I am pretty certain that no one from the actual Strega families came to this country and set up their practice with the knowledge and affirmation of their elders.”

Of course, what I meant is that Dianus and Diana were the first (as far as I knew) to come to this country as a lawful and sanctioned transfer of knowledge from a Stregan family in Italy to the U.S. I unfortunately used the term “legitimate,” which means “lawful” or “sanctioned,” but it can be easily misconstrued to indicate that I didn’t consider any of the American Stregan families to also be legitimate. There is some confusion between the words legitimate and authentic, but needless to say, the statement was wrong and highly misleading. It completely distracted my readers from focusing on Dianus and Diana and their situation in San Diego, and that was not at all my intention.

I would like to make certain that my readers know that I have nothing but the highest respect and regard for Raven Grimassi and Leo Martello. I even had the opportunity to meet and briefly get to know Mr. Martello in May of 1988, when I helped to bring him to the Heartland Pagan Festival in Kansas as a main speaker. I found him to be kind, gentle, extremely courteous and eminently just. He also knew an enormous amount about the occult spanning many different and diverse subject areas. I will always honor that meeting and look back upon it as a cherished memory. 

Dianus quickly replied with this comment to my blog article, and I accepted that correction from one who knew what he was talking about, compared to me, who had far less information about this matter.

“Dear Frater Barrabas,

Please excuse that I do not yet write much English and am therefore sending this letter to you with the help of a translator.

Your article, in general, is very interesting. Since our arrival in the USA, we have indeed been a bit surprised by the actions of certain individuals in the Neo-Pagan community. In Stregheria in Italy, things are very different. Partly the result of Centuries of persecution having forced Stregheria to go underground to survive exclusively along family lines, the various known surviving families enjoy an exemplary level of harmony and cooperation.

There are a couple of errors in your article that need to be corrected. You write that prior to our arrival ‘no one from the actual Strega families came to this country and set up their practice with the knowledge and affirmation of their elders.’ This I do not believe to be the case.

Let us not forget the groundbreaking work of Leo Martello and Raven Grimassi. I never had the pleasure of meeting Leo Martello, but I am aware of his family in Stregheria in Italy. Raven Grimassi, I would also like to mention, has been most graceful and helpful in welcoming our family to America. My conversations with Raven Grimassi have convinced me that his family additionally represents a legitimate lineage of Italian Stregheria.

Our family, ‘del Bosco Sacro’ has always been respected and honored among Stregheria families, due to our history first as the guardians of ‘The Sacred Forest’ (del Bosco Sacro) of Nemi where the temple of Diana once stood, then as the guardians of the sacred forest of Benevento. As such, our family has always been the custodians of the deeper mysteries of The Great Rite.

This is the great gift that our family brings to America. With the help of Raven Grimassi, we are already entering into contact with the other families of Stregheria in America with the aim of reinforcing their position through the communication of these additional mysteries from the Sacred Forest of Benevento.

Bearing the torch of Diana Lucina,
Dianus del Bosco Sacro ”

Others in the American Stregan families objected to this erroneous statement, and I agreed that it was incorrect, written as it was from the perspective of an outsider who was not part of the Stregan families.

I have to take responsibility for making that misleading and false statement, and also apologizing to anyone who was offended by it. It was an honest but foolish mistake, and I have been corrected by individuals who actually know the real facts behind the history.

Hopefully, this situation can be seen as a mistake and we can all move on to the real concerns, which have to do with Dianus, Diana, Lupercus and their mission in this country representing the del Bosco Sacro family.

Frater Barrabbas

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