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Lundy, Isle of Avalon

 Diana / Artemis

   Lundy, Isle of Avalon         Gods, Saints and Heroes

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Diana (Artemis), goddess of the moon

'Glamorous nymph with an arrow and bow.'

---Bob Dylan

The Goddess Diana was the Roman counterpart of the Greek virgin goddess Artemis, daughter of the god Zeus and Leto, daughter of a Titan. 

In Roman mythology Diana, goddess of the moon and of the hunt, twin sister of Apollo was essentially a goddess of the woodlands, her sanctuaries were commonly in groves, indeed every grove was sacred to her. She was chief hunter to the gods also the goddess of nature, and of the harvest. the guardian of springs and streams and the protector of wild animals

 In art she is typically shown as a young hunter, usually carrying a bow and arrows, like her brother Apollo. She would use her bow and arrows to punish  mortals who angered her.

Diana, like the Greek Artemis, with whom she was constantly identified, may be described as a goddess of nature in general and of fertility in particular. She was especially revered by women, and was believed to grant an easy childbirth to her favourites.

Artemis was also called Limnatis, "Lady of the Lake"

As the moon (lunar) goddess, Diana/Artemis  is sometimes identified with the goddess Selene (Moon) and Hecate.

The sea around the Island of Rhodes is overlooked by a temple to Artemis at Lindos.

The most celebrated shrine to Diana was on Lake Nemi, near Aricia. The attribute of the Goddess Diana at Nemi was an apple branch.

'The goddess of the moon has from earliest times also been the power that could blast or bring to luxuriant ripeness all green things.... Diana of the Ephesians....the vegetation goddesses Hecate, Demeter, Persephone, had also their lunar aspects. Plutarch for instance says: 'One Demeter is in the earth, lady and mistress of that which is on the earth, and the other is in the moon, and is called by those who live in the moon, Kore or Persephone." (De Facie Lunae, LXX.) We have noted that original tradition made Gareth the lover of Lynete, and Chretien de Troyes makes Gawain, who is of course Gareth under another name, lover of Lunete, and says expressly that she was the moon. (Ivain l.2398.) Lunete like Lorie de la Roche Florie, is called a fay, her name assuming the corrupt form Felinet. Probably her Welsh progenitor is Arianrhod, 'Silver ?" a name which suggests a lunar nature. Is it coincidence that both in classical and Arthurian mythology the mistress of vegetation, heroine of an abduction story and the object of a mystery cult, should be equated with the goddess of the moon?

Several of the sites on the trans European St. Michael line are dedicated to  Diana/Artemis

 

 

"That Christianity and the 'Dianic' cult both existed in Devon in the 14thc. is shown by the Bishop's register of Exeter. The Bishop found the monks of Frithelstock priory worshipping a statue like 'the unchaste' Diana at an alter in the woods and made them destroy it."

 

 

Hecate

Hecate was a mysterious divinity sometimes identified with Proserpina and sometimes with Diana. Hecate represents the darkness and terrors of night. She was also the goddess of sorcery and witchcraft, and was believed to wander by night unseen across the earth the barking of dogs the only sign of her presence.

 

 

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