Friday, April 1, 2011
Diana, Huntress Goddess of the Moon.
Diana is the Roman Goddess of the moon, as well as of animals, nature, and the hunt. She is the equivalent of the Greek Goddess Artemis, who she was later merged with in Ephesus. She is often depicted accompanied by dogs or deer, and carrying a bow and arrow. Diana was the virgin Patroness of childbirth and is known for protecting women and girls. Daughter to Jupiter and Latona, and sister to Apollo, she was originally worshiped on mountains and in wild places.
Diana had a temple in the forest on the shores of Lake Nemi, where she was known as "Diana Nemorensis" or "Diana of the Grove". The Oak tree was sacred to her and she was often worshiped in Oak forests. It is said the her male priests would fight to the death to become one of hers. She also had a shrine on Aventine Hill where she was mainly worshiped by slaves and lower class people.
In the old practice of Stregheria, or Italian Witchcraft, she was known as "Queen of the Witches", and she had a daughter, Aradia. It is said that Aradia was sent to earth to teach witchcraft to the peasants, to fight against the new church. Some think that Aradia was a figure in Italian myth, others think she was a real person who actually led a group of Diana worshiping witches.
Diana was also associated with the Goddesses Luna and Hekate. It is interesting to note that one of Diana's sacred festivals was August 13th, which was also the day Hekate had a sacred festival. She was so closely related to the Goddess Artemis, that the two became interchangeable later in history. In Ephesus, her and Artemis were both worshiped at the great Temple of Artemis, where the famous many breasted statue of her stood.
Diana teaches us to connect with nature, to find our way back to our roots. As we are all children of Mother Earth. She helps us to honor our bodies and menstrual cycles as women, and she protects us during childbirth. She also teaches us to have strength and to fight for what we believe in. On your altar to Diana, have representations of the moon, picture or statue of deer, dogs or the Goddess herself, white candles, clear quartz crystal, selenite or moonstone, herbs of mugwort, jasmine or lavender and honey.
Enjoy working with this wild woman Goddess of the Moon!
Photo courtesy of Hrana Janto
Posted by Tara at 3:44 PM