George Noory's guest on the Friday, May 18, 2012 edition of Coast to Coast AM Radio was none other than Salem Witch and High Priestess Lori Bruno. Appearing on the show to discuss the traditions of Strega Witchcraft, Bruno was quick to point out the differences between Strega and Wicca traditions.
Strega is the Italian word for 'witch' and Stregheria, or Strega, follows ancient Italian witchcraft traditions. Strega is sometimes referred to as 'la Vecchia Religione' , or the 'Old Religion' because it dates back to ancient times before any of the organized religions even existed.
A Strega witch may be psychic or have special healing abilities. They may be able to interpret dreams or read the cards or tea leaves, or even communicate with spirits.
According to Bruno these abilities are inherent in all human beings and manifest themselves when we're still very young children. But most parents discourage these abilities as soon as they become evident, and if they're not nurtured these abilities fade away. Bruno likened it to caring for a plant. If you don't water it , feed it and encourage it to grow, the plant will gradually die.
The main difference between Strega and Wicca is that Wicca tradition and magic can be learned by anyone while Strega traditions and magic are inherited, passed down from generation to generation.
For example, over a period of time, and with intense study, a Wiccan might be able to learn and use a healing spell. But a Strega is born with the ability to heal and with the nurturing guidance of his or her parents that ability grows in strength.
In ancient times, explained Bruno, there were many Strageria families in Italy, each with it's own traditions. Some were prophets, psychics or healers. Their role was similar to a consiglieri in that they were there to protect people and act as intermediaries or mediators. They were often priests or priestesses and many were midwives and caregivers. They also cared for the poor and made sure their cities and towns were well cared for.
Bruno explains the tradition of Strega as being based on positivity:
...our belief is not of negativity. It is of positivity, and to make all mankind and womankind feel that they can achieve the highest goals in life. That they walk hand in hand with god and goddess and have no fear of deity. Fear is not part of the religion of the wise or the path of the wise. We have no fear of our god and goddess. We have love and respect for them, as we love and respect all of their creations.
Bruno was born in 1940 into one of the last lines of Ancient Dream Prophets out of Sicily. Her family was well known for their magical healing abilities and Bruno herself has psychic and healing powers. On Friday night's Coast to Coast program she shared a healing spell she uses when she's asked to help heal a sick child.
Please let this child be healed. It is an innocent, let this child be healed.
And if it is the will of that which is most holy, let it be. From sickness, he or she will be free.
Bruno, like many Strega witches, is a practicing Catholic and she says Strega tradition holds that everyone is entitled to their own religious beliefs and can worship in whatever way serves them best.
Strega witches do not believe in the devil and they don't hold black masses. They also do not believe in sacrificing animals, children or adults for any reason. The tradition of Strega believes in kindness and care for all creatures, and even the planet and one phrase Bruno repeated quite a few times was: “We live to give and we give to live.”