Aradia Crowley is an eighteen year old witch who holds the title of the Maiden of all Witches, one of the three highest positions among the witch clans. She plays a pivotal role in the series, appearing in Spellbinder, Black Dawn (where she serves as a central protagonist) and Witchlight. Aradia is among the most respected and revered of the Night People, especially as she has the ability to see the future, despite being physically blind. She is also referenced in the prophecies of the Wild Powers as "The Blind Maiden"; the Wild Powers are all deduced by the prophecies to be a year younger than Aradia.
Aradia was born around eighteen years before the events of the series. When she was about a year old, Aradia somehow lost the ability to see (due to the Wild Power prophecies stating that the Wild Powers, who are all seventeen, were born "in the year of the Blind Maiden's vision"). In spite of this however, Aradia retained the power to 'see' visions of the future. This rare and useful ability, in addition to her being very wise and mature for her age, is likely what lead to Aradia becoming Maiden.
Aradia's debut is in the third novel. Aradia has come to Las Vegas, Nevada, for the Samhain celebrations and is present when Thea, Blaise and Dani are summoned before the Inner Circle and charged with working illegal magic. Aradia has a vision of the spirit of Suzanne Blanchet coming to attack Eric Ross in the stone circle, where Thea had intended to lure her to send her back to spirit realm. Aradia does not fully understand the meaning of the vision, but senses Eric is in danger. Upon hearing this, Thea flees the Inner Circle and races to the stone circle, getting there just in time to save Eric and send Suzanne back. Aradia and the rest of the Inner Circle follow Thea and witness the sending-back. When debating what should be done with Thea and Eric, Aradia defends them, seeming to believe that they should be spared in spite of breaking Night World law. When Thea and Eric volunteer to drink from the Cup of Lethe to erase their memories of the Night World, Aradia is aware that Blaise had actually switched the potion with iced tea - having presumably foreseen it - but keeps their secret. Aradia accompanies Thea and Eric to their car and gives them time to say goodbye to Blaise. Aradia reveals she'd heard that some Night People had talked of starting up Circle Daybreak again and suggested that Thea and Eric seek them out.
Black Dawn Edit
By the events of Black Dawn, Aradia had seceded from the Night World and joined Circle Daybreak, along with the majority of her species. Shortly prior to the events of the novel, Aradia and a group of witches were on a mission in the Washington Mountains, attempting to locate the Wild Power Delos Redfern. Unfortunately, there was an avalanche, resulting in the deaths of most of the witches, with the exception of Aradia. She is found by the rogue witch Sylvia Weald and her human boyfriend Miles Neely. Sylvia recognises Aradia as the Maiden and brings Aradia back to her apartment with Miles, intending to interrogate her about Circle Daybreak. Miles attempts to protect Aradia when he learns of Sylvia's intentions, but she has them both knocked unconscious and abducts Miles. Sylvia uses a truth serum on Aradia in an attempt to get her to talk, but Aradia has a terrible allergic reaction to the serum, which almost kills her and makes her very weak. Unable to get any useful information from her, Sylvia decides to send Aradia to Hunter Redfern in the Dark Kingdom.
Aradia is placed in a wagon with three other prisoners, including Maggie Neely, Miles' sister, who has come looking for him. When Maggie asks Aradia her name, Aradia slurs her words due to the effects of the serum and Maggie mishears it as 'Arcadia', leading her to nickname Aradia 'Cady'. Maggie is able to overturn the wagon and the girls escape, with Maggie supporting a barely-conscious Aradia and leading her up to the mountains. They have a close call with a shapeshifter named Bern, but are rescued by Delos. Maggie refuses to abandon Aradia even though she's putting her own life at risk in the process, much to Delos' frustration, but he grudgingly helps them and Maggie gets water for Aradia. When night falls, Maggie helps Aradia back down the mountain where they are reunited with the other escaped slaves, P.J and Jeanne, the latter of whom helps Maggie carry Aradia after she faints.
Aradia wakes the next morning, running a high fever, but beginning to recover from her reaction to the truth serum. She thanks the girls for their assistance. However, her condition worsens again, prompting the girls to brave sneaking into the castle to find a healer for her. Aradia is able to assist by 'seeing' a tree for them to climb to avoid the guards. In the castle, the slave Laundress is initially distrustful of Aradia, even threatening to kill her, due to recognising her as a witch. Maggie stands up for Aradia and Laundress agrees to trust Aradia after dubbing Maggie 'the Deliverer', a prophesied saviour of the slaves. Aradia is then taken to be healed. Maggie later overhears Sylvia and Hunter talking about Aradia and learns her true identity. Once she is fully recovered, Aradia thanks Maggie again for her help and says that the witches will be indebted to her. She also tells Maggie what really happened to her brother Miles; how he chose his family over becoming Sylvia's consort and how he tried to defend her, but explains she doesn't know what became of him after Sylvia had him taken away.
Unfortunately, Aradia and the others are found and captured by Hunter and Sylvia, who sentence them to death via a hunt. Aradia, however, assisted by Maggie, appeals to Sylvia, saying she is still a daughter of Hellewise and commanding her to remove the enchanted brace from Delos' arm that keeps his blue fire abilities at bay. Aradia seemingly becomes a 'vessel' of Hellewise herself, even appearing to take on her likeness. Awed, Sylvia does as Aradia/Hellewise bids and removes the brace, though she pays dearly for it - Hunter has her impaled her with an iron lance for her defiance, fatally wounding her. However, with the brace off, Delos is able to activate the blue fire and immolates Hunter and the other Dark Kingdom nobles, saving the protagonists and ending the Kingdom's reign of tyranny. Aradia comforts Sylvia as she lays dying; she declares her a true daughter of Hellewise and closes her eyes after she passes away. After Maggie's brother Miles is found alive and well (Sylvia having turned him into a falcon shapeshifter), Aradia returns to Circle Daybreak.
Aradia appears right at the end of Witchlight, attending the meeting between the shapeshifters and the witches to secure an alliance between the Draches and Harmans, via a promise ceremony between Galen Drache and Iliana Dominick, the third Wild Power. Aradia instantly senses that Iliana is the Witch Child, despite not being able to see her. Just before the ceremony begins, Iliana leans over to whisper something in Aradia's ear, no doubt asking about the possibility of substituting the betrothal for a blood-tie ceremony with Raksha Keller, so that Keller and Galen (who are soulmates) can be together. Aradia presumably agrees with this, as moments later Iliana cuts both her hand and Keller's, proclaims them blood sisters and announces her intentions. The First House of the Shapeshifters accept the blood-tie and join the Daybreakers, with Aradia presumably taking part in the celebration afterwards. Keller later discusses the "witch who isn't a witch" with Aradia and Mother Cybele - the person whom Azhdeha claims woke him and the other dragons from their eternal slumber. Aradia seems understandably concerned about this, and wonders aloud about the identity and current location of this mysterious person.
Aradia is described as being very beautiful, with "cafe-au-lait" skin and dark hair. However, her brown eyes are unfocused, revealing that she is in fact physically blind, although many characters have noted that she has the ability to "see" in a way that is mysterious to them.
Aradia is noted as a serene and quiet witch, and is a highly revered member of the Inner Circle. She conducts herself very graciously and is in turn respectful and dignified to others. Surprisingly, Aradia seems to hold a neutral, even kindly, stance in regards to human beings, as shown in Spellbinder; she is not perturbed by the human Eric Ross's knowledge of the Night World, and even comes to his defense when the Inner Circle has to decide on how to deal with Eric's relationship with Thea Harman. Aradia additionally covers for Eric, Thea and Blaise as she knew, unlike the rest of the circle, that Eric and Thea were not affected by a memory potion given to them to make them forget the Night World.
As a witch, Aradia is naturally skilled in witchcraft and spells. In addition to this, Aradia is noted for being able to see visions of the future, which prove integral to not just the Witches, but to the entire Night World. Aradia cannot control when these visions come however, but will draw attention if she deems they are relevant. Additionally, although blind, Aradia has demonstrated a type of "sight" similar to normal vision, although people who see this are left startled as to how this is so.
Aradia's skill is formidable, as shown in Black Dawn, when she is able to call forth Hellewise Hearth-Woman from beyond death in order to convince Sylvia Weald to free Delos Redfern from the enchanted arm brace restricting his powers. Even while ill, she is able to utilize verbal spells to conceal herself and others from other Night People.
- Aradia shares her name with a goddess of the Italian Stregheria religion, who was linked with the Roman goddess Diana, the virgin patroness of animals, the moon, hunting, and children. Aradia was said in the religion to have had the mission of going to earth to teach witchcraft to others, and was credited with being the first witch.
- In Greek Mythology, Arcadia was a wilderness region of Greece sacred to the god of the woods, Pan, and the goddess Artemis (the Greek counterpart of Diana). Arcadia was also the name of a Roman princess who took a vow of chastity and created a monument to the Christian Saint Andrew.
- Amusingly, yet fitting, Aradia was able to win over Sylvia Weald when the fate of the world was at stake; Aradia's name is linked to a goddess of the woodlands, while Sylvia's name itself means "forest" or "woods". This fact may or may not have been coincidental.
- According to the family tree posted by L.J. Smith, Aradia's surname is Crowley and she is the adopted daughter of Selena Harman. However, as this is the surname of her father/foster father, due to the matriarchy of the witches, this should not be Aradia's last name; even if adopted, her surname should actually be "Harman", unless her birth mother also had the surname Crowley.
- It's possible that, with the death of Grandma Harman in Witchlight, Aradia may have become Mother of the Witches, with Mother Cybele becoming Crone.