Updated: Aug 12, 2020
“When women reassert their relationship with the wildish nature, they are gifted with a permanent and internal watcher, a knower, a visionary, an oracle, and inspiratrice, and intuitive, a maker, a creator, and inventor, and a listener who guide, suggest, and urge vibrant life in the inner and outer worlds”
From Skye Alexander´s ¨Your Goddess Year¨book:
Dates for inviting her: August 7-13
The ancient Romans worshipped the goddess Diana at Nemoralia, the festival of Torches, on August 13. This week we, too, honor the fiercely independent deity who protected animals, women, and slaves, as we seek her protection in our own lives.
The Roman moon goddess Diana is the daughter of Jupiter and the sister of the sun god Apollo. (The Greeks knew her as Artemis.) Considered a maiden goddess, she is often pictured as a teen or young woman dressed in hunting garb. The free-spirited ¨animal whisperer¨ swore never to marry and chose to live in the forest among the woodland creatures that she protected and preferred as companions, instead of engaging in the ongoing dramas of her fellow Roman deities. However, she is also known as the goddess of the hunt and is often depicted carrying a bow with a quiver of arrows slung over her shoulder. Thus she represents the sacred hunt, during which an animal offers itself as a sacrifice and is taken with reverence and gratitude, rather than in meaningless slaughter.
Although Diana watched over all animals, domestic as well as wild, she is most often shown in the company of deer and hounds, or sometimes bears. Some art and legends link her with horses, and or boars, and Roman sculptors even carved statues of her with three heads: a dog´s, a horse´s, and a boar´s.
As a moon goddess, Diana is linked with and safeguards women and children, who according to astrology are governed by the moon. Mothers-to-be sought her aid in childbirth, and women who wanted to become pregnant asked the goddess to make them fertile. Because she also helped slaves and people of the lower classes in Roman society, she became and still remains, one of the most revered deities.
According to one myth, the goddess took a fancy to the great hunter Orion, but her brother Apollo disapproved of the match. Apollo challenged Diana to a shooting contest in which she accidentally killed Orion. The heartbroken moon goddess then turned her beloved into a constellation so she could join him in the night sky, and she positioned his loyal hunting dogs near him for companionship (the constellations Canis Major and Canis Minor.)
Do you feel you have become too reliant on someone else or gotten too entangled in other people's affairs? Is a relationship smothering you? Do you need some time and space to yourself? If so, Diana can show you how to be more independent and to stand up for yourself with confidence. She will teach you how to care for others without losing yourself in the process. Let her guide you into the ¨wood¨ that represent your own inner nature and show you how to reconnect with your natural wildness. Diana can also assist women during pregnancy and help mothers care responsibly for their children without limiting their freedom.
This week summon Diana as her Roman followers did, by celebrating her festival. Honor not only the fullness of the season, but also your own wholeness as a person complete and beautiful within yourself.
1.- Wear summer flowers in your hair or hang a garland of blossoms around your neck. If you have a pet dog, decorate its collar with flowers that are safe for dogs.
2.- Share bread and seasonal fruit with friends and family, and be sure to leave food out for the wild creatures.
3.- When the moon rises high in the night sky, light a candle in the goddess's honor. In ancient times, revelers carried burning torches to Lago di Nemi, a sacred lake south of Rome, and shone their light on the surface of the water where it merged with the moon's reflection. If there is a pond, lake, or other body of water near you, you may choose to do the same. Otherwise, simply light your candle and give thanks to Diana for your blessings.
4.- Ask the goddess to protect you throughout the rest of the year.