Adrano is Sicily’s sacred guardian. Together with his sons, the Palici, he protects Sicily and Sicilians. Adrano is the presiding spirit of Mount Etna. Adrano’s temple on Mount Etna was guarded by a pack of one thousand Cirnechi dogs. The Cirneco, also known as the Sicilian greyhound, native only to Sicily and renowned for its beauty, intelligence, and hunting skills, is believed to descend from Egyptian Pharaoh hounds. Cirnechi dogs have lived in Sicily for over three thousand years. They once roamed wild throughout the island and held sway over Mount Etna. Hounds greeted pilgrims, escorting them to Adrano’s shrine but allegedly attacked those who arrived with bad intent, especially thieves. The Cirneco (plural Cirnechi) is Adrano’s sacred dog and very closely identified with him. Coins from the third century BCE show Adrano on one side and a Cirneco on the other.


The cult image in his shrine on Mount Etna depicted him as a warrior holding a lance. Coins from the third century BCE depict Adrano as a mature, bearded man. He is almost always in the company of one or more dogs, who obey him implicitly.

The modern town of Adrano, at the foot of Etna, is named in his honor. Whether Adrano is an indigenous Sicilian or whether he arrived with the Phoenicians is subject to debate. If he did come from Phoenicia, Adrano may be the one who first brought Cirnechi hounds to Sicily.






The obvious offering is anything on behalf of the Cirnechi, his beloved dogs, and Sicily in general. Although the breed has now been revived, it almost disappeared until restoration efforts began in the early twentieth century.


1. If you can obtain a coin bearing Adrano’s image, hold it in your left hand as a talisman during your journey. Keep it on his altar or in a safe place when not in use.

2. Before you begin, look at some pictures. Familiarize yourself with the appearance of Mount Etna and Cirnechi dogs.

3. Visualize yourself leaving home and traveling to Mount Etna. Take any route you prefer. (This is a visualization: travel by foot, boat, plane, broomstick, or magic carpet, your choice.) Likewise, you can see Mount Etna as she is today or at any time in the past or future.

4. When you arrive at the base of the mountain, take off your shoes and begin to walk up. The ascent must be made on foot. (Carryyour shoes, place them in a backpack, or leave them at the bottom.)

5. Pay attention to your surroundings. Mount Etna is inhabited by many spirits: it is possible that you will encounter others besides or even instead of Adrano.

6. At some point on the slope, Adrano’s dogs will greet you. Imagine being greeted by one thousand dogs! The dogs may suddenly appear or you may first hear their barking. They will lead you to Adrano. When your time with him has ended, ask him for a gift. Then the dogs will escort you back down the mountain.

7. When you arrive at the base, put your shoes back on and go home the same way you came.


  • Aetna
  • Hephaestus
  • Palici


Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.