Friday, August 12, 2011

The Feast of Diana

Three Days for Diana
The Feast of our Mother

The feast is described by the Augustan poet Grattius Faliscus, Cynegetica ("The Chase"), 479-496. The feast is mentioned in relation to cures for plagues, in which fire (and Vulcanus) played an important role:
"A thousand plagues hold their victims, and their power transcends our care. Come, dismiss such cares (our confidence is not so great in our own resources), dismiss them, my mind: the deity must be summoned from high Olympus and the protection of the gods invoked by suppliant ritual. For that reason we construct cross-road shrines in groves of soaring trees and set our sharp-pointed torches hard by the woodland precinct of Diana, and the whelps are decked with the wonted wreath, and at the centre of the cross-roads in the grove the hunters fling down among the flowers the very weapons which now keep holiday in the festal peace of the sacred rites. Then the wine-cask and cakes steaming on a green-wood tray lead the procession, with a young goat thrusting horns forth from tender brow, and fruit even now clinging to the branches, after the fashion of a lustral ritual at which all the youth both purify themselves in honour of the Goddess and render sacrifice for the bounty of the year. Therefore, when her grace is won, the Goddess answers generously in those directions where you sue for help; whether your greater anxiety is to master the forest or to elude the plagues and threats of destiny, the Maiden is your mighty affiance and protection." (translation Loeb, Minor Latin Poets)

The feast of Diana can be traced back to antiquity and was once venerated as a festival to the Goddess of the wild, the hunt, the moon, and magick. During the three days of her feast people would celebrate the tribe, the family, and the hearth all while venerating their wild-side! This is a time for us to pay homage to Diana, make offerings, draw upon the mighty Goddess for strength, wisdom, removal of obstacles, blessings, wishes, etc.

Day One- August 12

The moon is almost at her peek and today we mark the first day of the Feast of Diana. Today we are to pay homage to the Goddess by dedicating time for reflection upon our paths. The focus is placed on acknowledgment of the divine gifts we have been given be they wisdom, divine intervention, family, wealth, whatever those may be! Today essentially we are stopping to smell the roses.
Today if possible make offerings of thanks to Diana. She is particularly fond of fava beans, fresh herbs, wild flowers, a nice red wine, bread, etc. Light candles for her today and testify of her love, wisdom, beauty, and power and how she has made herself known in your life!

In our tradition we acknowledge three 'faces' of Diana, each when said places a different emphasis on the name of Diana. On this first day, we honor her as Dee-anna, the Maiden aspect or youthful face of Diana. In this aspect we see the pure power of potential! Dee-anna is the aspect of the Goddess that is wild in the woods, barefoot and untamed. She is all of the powers of nature untamed. In many ways we see her as and aspect of Diana similar to Persephone, Macha, or even Nimue.

The Holy Prayer of Dee-anna

The Lady's Prayer

Our Mother who art all things,
Our Lady who art the moon, sun, and heavens,
Hallowed be thy name
By thy sovereignty of the sacred land,
Thy divine will be done
On Earth as it is in all realms.

Give us the gifts of the untamed soul,
Bless and guide us, Great Goddess
And protect us from all harm and evil
For thine is the power, beauty, and spirit
Of the free.

August 13th- Day two of the feast

On this day we continue to observe the magnitude of Diana's influences on our lives by holding vigil all day. In the morning the first words spoken are prayers to the Goddess. We ritually bathe in the mornings and align our intentions and thoughts with God Herself. Today shall be filled with gifts of love to the community, prayers of peace, blessings to those who find their way to you this day, and shall culminate with a great feast.

Before feasting, offer the first plate of food to Diana as an offering after blessing the feast.

The Blessing of the Feast

We join together to feast in honor of Diana!
May this food nourish us, give us strength, and heal wounds inflicted by our oppressors!
With each taste may we know our own power, with each swallow may we know our own will, and as it moves through-us may it bring us closer together.
Hail Diana the sovereign! Hail Diana the Beautiful! Hail Diana the Queen of Heaven!

Ritual should consist of drawing down the moon, re-aligning ourselves with the will of Diana, and sending thanks to her, the spirits who guide us, and the ancestors. This is also the perfect time to reassert your own definition of who you are, your goals, your affirmations, standards, etc. Before drawing down the moon say the following invocation to Diana.

Invocation of Diana on her feast day

Hail to Diana of the sovereign crown!
Hail to Diana of the wild forrests!
Hail to Diana of the moon!
Upon your feast night we draw down your silver rays,
We call upon your ancient might!

Diana, we your children call to you!
Mother, life giver, we your children invite you here.
Diana, triple Goddess we your children call you here!

Come Diana, great Queen of Heaven!
Come to us oh sovereign Goddess.

Fill our cups with your waters, fill our souls with your light!

Hail Diana! Be Here Now!

Day three- August 14th

On the third and final night of the feast of Diana it is customary to spend time in the morning doing empowerment meditations. These meditations can be as elaborate or as simple as you would like. I generally prefer to spend some time simply going over my goals and reaffirming not only my commitment to each goal but also my commitment to the dedication it will take to achieve them. Finish your meditations with a simple prayer to Diana.

Holy Mother, on this last night of your feast
I pray to you for love, guidance, and strength.
I ask not for a miracle, but for the tools to achieve these goals.
Blessed Be.

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