More About Goddesses: The Roman Goddess Diana
by Tim Kavi
Diana is known as the goddess of giving birth, the hunt and the moon in Roman mythology. She is commonly associated with the woodland, possessing the power to control animals and communicate with wild animals. She is also commonly associated with the woodland, particularly oak groves, which are considered a sacred place associated with her worship.
Diana is commonly associated with other gods and goddesses that harness similar abilities to her own. She is one of the three maiden goddesses in Roman mythology that swore to never marry to keep their powers and abilities pure. Minerva, goddess of wisdom and Vesta, goddess of the home, hearth and family joined Diana and took these vows of virginity which are honored by priesthoods devoted to their order. Diana is also commonly associated with her family ties being the daughter of Latona and Jupiter as well as the twin brother of Apollo. She is often seen as working alongside the water nymph Egeria, who acts as an assistant midwife and Diana’s servant in Roman mythology. The woodland god Virbius will also commonly work alongside Diana.
Symbolism of the Goddess
Diana is often seen accompanied by deer or dogs, representing her power over the hunt. She will commonly carry a bow and arrow for a similar purpose. She was originally worshipped in wild places or in the mountains and is commonly drawn or depicted in forest areas. Over time a temple to Diana was built along the forested shores of the Lake Nemi, an area that came to be known as Diana Nemorenesis. A shrine to her was also built on Aventine Hill for lower class and slaves to worship her. Male priests in her order are said to have fought to the death to become one of her own.
The festival to honor Diana was held on August 13, which was simultaneous with the festival of Hekate.
Associations of Diana with Nature
Diana is commonly used by groups that would like to collect more closely with nature, often taking on the role of Mother Earth for less traditional worship. She protects the menstrual cycles of women, encouraging them to honor their bodies and live in tune with the nature which controls them. Alters to Diana have often presented pictures of the moon, deer, dogs, white candles, clear quartz, jasmine, lavender or honey. These note her purity and her love for the outdoors while also honoring the pure light of the moon in which Diana controls.