Diana is just one name for this multi-faceted Roman Goddess. Among her many names are "Lady of the Beasts", "Goddess of the Wild Woods" and perhaps most apt, the "Queen of Heaven". According to the "Temple of Diana" website, she is the Roman triple Goddess, her three aspects being that of Lunar Virgin, Mother of Creatures and the Huntress or Destroyer. In the guise of the triple Goddess, she could be compared to the Celtic Goddess Brigid, the Greek Goddess Hecate and Indian Goddess Kali. As mentioned before, Diana is a Triple Goddess, and according to stregheria.com, her name is pronounced differently depending on what "phase" she is in.
Aside from being associated with other Triple Goddesses, she is most often associated with the Greek Goddess of the Hunt Artemis. This is most likely due to the fact that around the time of the Roman empire, Romans would allow the places they over took or came into contact with to continue worshipping their own Gods and Goddesses, often incorporating those Goddesses into the Roman Pantheon. Artemis and Diana are practically the same Goddess and were worshipped at approximately the same times historically.
Diana's "birth" takes place before the beginning of time. She created the world of her own being, making herself be the darkness and making her brother Lucifer, the light. When she realized how beautiful the light was, she longed for it, and her longing was so was so intense that this desire became "dawn". Unfortunately, the light, Lucifer took leave of her so she sought counsel from the "Great Spirits" who told her that to "rise she must fall; to become chief of Goddesses, she must become mortal". (Temple of Diana)
As time went on, the Earth was created and Diana descended to Earth, as did her brother Lucifer. Diana taught magick and witches were born. Using the witchcraft she created, she took the form of the cat, the most loved animal of Lucifer. She crept into his chamber and lay beside him then changed into her original form, united with Lucifer and gave birth to her daughter Aradia. Lucifer was extremely angry that he had been conquered by the darkness, but to calm him, Diana sang him a magickal song, he became silent and fell asleep. This song became the sounds of the bees buzzing in their hives and the spinning of the wheel of the year.
Diana of Ephesus from Sacred Source
Diana and Actaeon by Titian
Another myth, according to Bullfinch's Mythology involving Diana includes Actaeon, who while hunting in the woods that Diana occupied, spied her and her nymphs while they were bathing. Diana in her anger turned him into a stag and as he ran, his hunting dogs pursued him, eventually catching him and killing him.
There are many symbols that are sacred to Diana, the stag, and hound being two of them. Other sacred symbols according to Teen Witch.com are the Moon, Water, Forest Items, Bow and Arrows. Lake Nemi, surrounded by Ariccia's wood is a place that is sacred to Diana, located in Italy. Worship of Diana has taken place there since the days of the Roman Empire. The festivals of Diana in Rome took place on August 13-15 and May 26-31. During these festivals, followers of Diana would visit her temple, (see figure X), dance, have feasts and celebrate the Goddess.
Lake Nemi courtesy of stregheria.com
Artist Rendition of Temple at Ephesus
Altar Dedication Ritual for Diana from "Temple of Diana" website.
Midnight is soon approaching, so you go to you familiar clearing within the woods. You bring with you 2 vessels, one water and one of wine, a mixing bowl, a small red bag containing a sprig of rue, and a pinch of salt. The magickal power of evening almost over comes you. You set your objects down and remove your clothing. You kneel into the soft ground, while the moisture of the grass sends tingles up your spine. You place the bowl in front of you, pouring some of the water and wine into it. Then you drop the pinch of salt into the bowl, as it sifts down through the liquid. You take the sprig of rue from the small bag and dip it into the bowl. You begin to anoint yourself in the manner of the pentacle... forehead... right nipple... left shoulder... right shoulder... left nipple... forehead. You then cup the sprig of rue in you palms and lift it towards the Moon, saying:
I kneel beneath the same Moon
that all the witches of old
have knelt before.
I am one with them
in this sacred light.
Hear me O' Diana, Goddess of the Moon,
Queen of all witches,
for I bear the symbols of the Old Religion.
bear me then,
and think yet even for a moment
upon this worshipper who kneels before you.
For I have heard the Strega's story,
and I believe the words of the Holy Strega.
When she spoke of your beauty in the night sky,
when she bid us seek and find you above all others.
Here as the Full Moon shines upon me,
receive me as your child
and grant me the powers of those who follow you.
For I believe in the gifts of Aradia
which you promised to all who follow the Old Ways.
You again anoint yourself... forehead... right nipple... left shoulder... right shoulder... left nipple... forehead.
Diana, beautiful Diana,
Goddess of the Moon and beyond,
Queen of all witches,
Goddess of the dark night and all of nature,
if you will grant me your favor.
You anoint yourself a third time with the spring of rue, saying:
In the name of Diana, so may it be.
You gather your things and make your way home, your body alive and tingling with energy and love from Diana.
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