Deity of the Day
The classical moon goddess, Diana, is still worshipped by neopagans today. Long after Christianity’s triumph over classical paganism, her worship is still going strong. St. Kilian, a Celtic missionary to the pagan Franks, was martyred when he attempted to persuaded the peasants to abandon their worship of this goddess. A writing on the life of St. Caesarius offhandedly mentions “a demon whom simple folk call Diana.”
Diana was the personification of the positive aspects of lunar forces. She was also believed to have led groups of nightriders (known as the “Wild Hunt” or the “Furious Horde”) who flew through the air. The “Wild Hunt” was comprised of “people taken by death before their time, children snatched away at an early age, victims of a violent end.” The goddess would accompany her followers as they wandered at night among the houses of the well-to-do. Whenever they would arrive at a home that was particularly well-kept, Diana would bestow her blessings upon it.
Many benandanti (from the Italian for “those who go well” or “good-doers”) were followers of Diana. The benandanti were members of a fertility cult who were basically anti-witches and practicers of white magic. Nonetheless, they were tortured by the Inquisitors just the same as practicers of the black arts were.
Diana was intrinsically linked with several other witch deities, including Abonde, Abundia, Aradia, Hecate, Herodias, Holda, Perchta, Satia, and Venus.
Bibliography. (Ginzburg 40-46) Bibliography. (King 24)
Calendar of the Sun
Colors: Brown and white
Altar: On cloth of white and brown lay a spindle full of spun wool, a basket of white goose-feathers, two white candles, a needle and thread, a horn of mead, and a dish of honey-cakes.
Lean a broom against the altar.
Offerings: Cakes buried under the earth. Organize and clean the house.
Daily Meal: Hearty stew with root vegetables. Wholegrain bread.
Invocation to Holda
Frau Holle, good Lady
Of the Land Under The Earth,
Who we reach through
The well into the deep places,
You who reward each
As to the temper of the work
They accomplish each day,
You who have eternal patience
And yet no patience at all
With lazy fools who will not
Lift their hands in another’s need.
Lady of the hearth, the loom,
The spindle and the wheel,
The needle and the cooking pot,
These things that so many
Take simply for granted,
They are your kingdom
And your warm domain,
And if they should be removed,
We would sorely miss them,
Much more than we could guess.
Snow is coming
Feathers on the wind
Winter will begin…
(All approach the altar, seize handfuls of the goose feathers, and fling them into the air so that they fall like snow. Each then takes a turn with the broom, sweeping them up. The mead is shared and then poured as a libation.)
[Pagan Book of Hours]
The Wicca Book of Days for July 10th
It is a Wiccan tradition to pay tribute today to the underworld Goddesses called Holla (or Holda) among the Germanic peoples, and Hel (or Hella) by Scandinavians, Northern European Goddesses who can be equated with the Greek Hecate and the Goddess in her Crone aspect. In Norse mythology, the repulsive Hel, the daughter of the trickster Loki and the giantess Angurboda, ruled over Helheim, the realm of those who had not died as warriors. The Germanic Holla had redeeming features, such as the power to infuse newborns with souls released from her dark land.
The Silvery Moon
Look up at a clear night sky and you’ll see why the color that corresponds to the moon is silver. The qualities associated with silver are therefore lunar such as dreamy intuition and mystical insight. Develop these characteristics within yourself today by wearing silvery hues.