What is Benedicaria?

It’s witchcraft. It’s religion. It’s dogma & deities. It’s culture. It’s a collection from your heritage and your environment.

Let’s start with what you will read on wikipedia:

Benedicaria, which means “Way of Blessing,” is a relatively new term for a number of loosely related family-based folk traditions found throughout Italy, most notably in southern Italy and Sicily. Though referred to by some as “Folk Magic” or even as “Witchcraft,” the various Benedicaria Traditions are concerned almost exclusively with healing, cleansing, spirituality, and religious devotion.”

Yeah. Ok. That’s pretty close! And the reason this is the definition was simply survival. Catholicism was the main religion throughout Europe for quite some time, and in order not to be killed for following the old faith, a combination of the faiths emerged.

When people ask me to describe my faith or name it, I’ve always had a hard time answering the question because it isn’t as simple as a straight forward dogma. It’s “the things we do and have always done.” Now that I am out and about in the pagan community, the witchcraft community, and the community of the occult and spiritualism, I just didn’t find that any of their definitions and boundaries fit. I don’t like the word spiritualism or mysticism because they bring about a vagueness of not wanting to commit from your soul to who you are and what you believe. They’re like that boy-toy you had that just wouldn’t commit to you and yet you kept him around because he made you feel good about yourself. I don’t like the blanket term pagan because of the connotation it brings with it. It also just sounds like I believe in mythology (which we all do to an extent, right?). I’m not just a Stregha because I don’t follow all their holidays, rights, and systems. My grandmother was from Sicily, and we just didn’t name it. We didn’t talk about it. She was Catholic, yes, but what I learned wasn’t Catholic. My mother believed in the Earth and what it gives you. But my spiritual awakening came when I went into my African roots and let them rush over me like a violent river whose damn had held back the fresh water and the murk from thousands of generations. What do we call this?

Benedicaria. It’s a folk religion (specific doctrines and practices that are not recognized by formalized religion… I always tell people, like the Native Americans), that is comprised of cultures that influence/d the practitioner.

Welcome.

Now, I have dedicated myself as a cultural teacher, which means that I teach the performing arts, so to pass down experiences and to remind us of our humanity and how to treat one another. I teach the faith. I teach responsible use of witchcraft. I also heal and curse and talk to the dead. I also banish what should not be there and invite what could. My job as a spiritual teacher is not to judge the world around me, but to help it to continue.

Published by

Aly Cardinalli

Aly provides a place for belonging while encouraging everyone to find their individuality. Aly artistically educates with integrity through expression, class studies, philanthropy, and mentoring in a structured, safe, and inspiring environment. He is also a performer, having studied voice (opera, pop, and musical theater), dance (jazz, contemporary, Cecchetti ballet, tap, modern, lyrical, ethic studies), and acting (Stanislavski, Meisner). My vision is to help people feel they belong by helping people feel beautiful, wanted, valued, and help them grow and heal, either by performing or by watching performers. In turn, my students, performers, and trainees will be the best performers in the biz. Vocal Coach: Aly was trained in Opera, Pop, and Musical Theater, voice production and speech, breathing technique, and music theory. Aly was trained at Long Island University, the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, and under Marla Waterman, Mary Feeney, Rick Hip-Florres, Chris Neher, Angela Echard, Nancy Sacklad, Rod Hearn, Cathy Hearn, Darren Cohen, Thomas Morrisey, Jay Dias, Robin Clark, David Caldwell, and Casey Colgan. Director/Choreographer: Aly was a classically trained dancer who went musical theater, and after being wheel-chair bound from poor stretching technique and over-training, transformed his teaching to combine elements of Active Isolated Stretching, preventative stretch, Kinesiology, and stress retraction. Founder/Director of Visions Conservatory of Dance & Theater. Artistic Director for Tony ‘N Tina’s Hawaiian Wedding. Director/Choreographer: CATS, Ruthless! the Musical, Spirit of the Iao. Choreographer: CHICAGO, King & I, Sound of Music, Paquita, and many others. Co-Founder for the Sierra Ballet Theatre Co. Department Head for the Musical Theatre Program at the Academy of Dance Arts. Resident Choreographer for Maui OnStage. Master Choreographer in Cecchetti Ballet, Jazz, East-coast Tap, West-coast Tap, African, Modern, Lyrical, hip-hop, Fosse, Contemporary, and Contortion. Founder of Student Dance Organization of LIU, CW Post. Conservatory Degree in Integrated Theatre Arts from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. School Director and Administrative Director for the Studio Maui. Guest Choreographer for Maui Academy of Performing Arts, Alexander Academy of Performing Arts, Maui Prep Academy, Kihei Dance Academy, Theater Theater Maui, and Seabury Hall. Aly has also staged and re-choreographed "Thriller" for various companies throughout the country. Aly is a professional psychic medium and modern witch who grew up in Hawai’i and Nevada. He is a practitioner in Benedicaria, well versed in witchcraft, folk magic, Voodoo, Orisha, Stregheria, and world cultural occult studies. He holds certifications in mediumship, psychic training, magic, and the occult. Aly is still an accomplished performer, which is required by his beliefs for passing on history and culture so we connect to each other and the human condition. He uses his psychic abilities as a performing arts instructor to better his students’ education, and has finally decided to teach in the field of the supernatural. 15 years ago, Aly was the victim of a homicide attempt, which stripped the barrier between him and the spirit world, and Aly has communicated with those beyond ever since. He is a blogger for the new site http://www.benedicarias.com and is currently teaching at Zinzeudo Infinite Wellness. Aly lives in the Central Maryland Area.

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