Nemoralia – 13th August – Festival of Torches
Celebration of Goddess Diana and Hekate
In roman mythology, Diana was the great Goddess, the Goddess of the Moon, of the hunt, birthing and the Protector of the forests and all wild and untamed life. The Roman Goddess was known by many names including Queen of Heaven, the Great Goddess, Lunar Virgin, Mother of Animals and Lady of Wild Creatures. She is the Huntress of the forest seeking means of survival. She is the call of the wild, the beating heart of the forests, the animal spirit within, urging us to remember our origins.
Goddess Diana calls to us to let our animal essence out and hone our inherent sensibilities. Dance and sing to the Moon, run until our heart pounds to the top of a hill, to take a swim in a creek, roll around in the grass, or just gaze upon the stars in wonderment; knowing all the while that Goddess Diana is within us, sharing our journey.
Diana is the traditional Goddess revered by Witches and women.
She was immensely revered in all of the lands, especially the Stregheria, which is Dianic Witchcraft.
Although Diana is know as the Virgin Goddess of childbirth and women, she is one of the three Maiden Goddesses who each swore never to marry : Diana, Vesta and Minerva.
Sacred Oak groves were especially created for Diana, as they were sacred to her.
According to the Legends, Diana (of the Moon) was the twin of Apollo (of the Sun). They were born on the Island of Delos, as the children of Jupiter and Latona.
Diana, as one of the twelves Olympian Gods and Goddesses, was a Supreme Goddess in Rome and she was the Great seal of Chasity. She is always depicted standing by a Cypress Tree in a short toga with a drown arrow, but it was not the hunt of animals. She hunted man’s souls, to guide them to the Underworld, for rest, peace and rebirth.
NEMORALIA – FESTIVAL OF TORCHES
She was always revered at Her Festival in August, called Nemoralia, the Festival of Torches and lights which were placed by her workshippers surrounding Nemi, the Sacred Lake of Diana, also known as “Diana’s Mirror”. The Festival starts on 13 August and it’s celebrated until the Full Moon of August.
Nemoralia was a time of rest and celebration, especially for women. They would bathe, wash their hair, be adorned with flowers and then take part in a torchlit procession around the shores of the lake, under the Moon at night.
All these lights with the reflection of the Moon on the mystical lake showned that in darkness there is always light; this was a festival to also honour life. Catholics later adopted this Festival as the Feast of Assumption.
“[August] The 13th. Celebration of Diana and Hekate of the Moon in pre-Hellenic Greece, to protect the harvest. Origin of the Assumption Day in the Church Mary cycle. The Moon is Maiden/Mother/Crone, the Three Fates (Lachesis, Clotho, Atropos), the Morrigan (Ana, Babd, Macha), the Norns, the Three Mothers (Sarasvati, Lakshmi, Parvati) the Goddess’ three aspects.” – The Goddess Book of Days, Diana Stein (1988).
Prayer to Goddess Diana
“Hail and adoration unto you,
O, Great Diana.
Hail Goddess of the Moon and of the night.
You who have been since before the beginning,
You who caused all things to appear,
Giver and sustainer of life, adoration unto you.
Hail and adoration unto you,
O, source of all enlightenment.
I pray you to impart to me your illumination and enlighten my mind
That I may perceive more clearly all things in which I endeavor,
Illuminate my soul, imparting your essence of purity.
I reveal my inner self to you and ask that all be cleansed and purified within.”
~by Raven Grimassi~
On 13th August, by night, we pray to the Goddess Diana that we never forget the wonders of creation, the joy of being alive, and the importance of being a woman. Tonight we pray to Goddess Diana to be filled with Her strength to survive the challenges that would steal our dreams. Under Her Full Moon we are alive in Her reflection. As a Circle of women we pray to Goddess Diana to grants us development and change within ourselves. As we embrace Her energy that is the vibrations of the universe that lives within us let the hunt begin. Let us seek out and tame the resources that is the beast and the forest of our lives. As goddess Diana let us be the huntress of our path. Tonight as women we say “Great is the Goddess Diana and Great is the Goddess in Me”.
Go into the woods and send healing energy to the Earth. Each time you honor the Earth and its creatures, you are honoring Diana.
The date has also become associated with the Goddess Hekate.
August 13th is listed in modern Pagan calendars as being Hekate’s Night as Goddess of Witches, a night sacred to Hekate.
In Greek religion, Hekate was appeased during the height of summer to protect the crops against blight and detrimental storms. Because the Romans associated Hekate with Diana (especially as respective Queens of Witches), they began to include veneration of Hekate during Diana’s Nemoralia.
This festival was commonly ascribed to an aspect of Hekate known as the Lady of Storms with some notion that part of the reason for the festival was to propitiate Her to protect the harvest.
HEKATE AS BRIMO – LADY OF THE STORMS
Hekate as Brimo is Her most terrifying aspect. As the Queen of Rage, She is associated with the chaotic, horrible and transformative storms of life. Whether we need Hekate’s help with the chaos of our lives, to channel our own anger or to help us weather a nor’easter, the gifts of Brimo energy are plentiful.
Hekate as Brimo is the mighty Queen of Rage, bringing up all the anger, horror and chaos that is part of the Underworld. We can tap into Her as Brimo when we need to get fierce ourselves.
Brimo was an epithet given to deities associated with the Underworld, specifically those that were angry and fierce. Besides Hekate, Demeter, Kybele and Persephone were all called Brimo in ancient texts to refer to their terrifying selves. The chaos associated with Brimo energy is a vital part of the natural cycle of the earth, the destruction is necessary for maintaining balance.
For those dedicated to Hekate, August 13th holds special meaning – it is Hekate’s Night, a night to honor our great Goddess, She who bestows many gifts upon those who honor Her, including magical abilities and protection. Those who know Her, know that they have been chosen by Her, it is no accident that one becomes Her Priestess.
For those just beginning to hear Her call, accepting Hekate into your life will bring great change, there will be no turning back.
May your celebration bring you closer to our Lady!
PRAYER TO HEKATE BRIMO :
Hail Hekate Brimo,
Hail Hekate The Fierce,
Hail Hekate The Terrifying.
May I be prepared for the storms of life,
May I honor You through my actions,
May I learn from your gifts.
Guide me through life’s storms,
Remind me that I am strong beyond measure,
As I weather the chaos.
Grateful I am
For the terrors You send my way,
As I grow wise and fierce.
Hail Hekate Brimo, Storm Bringer,
Hail Hekate The Fierce,
Hail Hekate The Terrifying.
INVOCATION to summon HEKATE from the Orphic Hymns :
“Hekate of the roads I invoke,
The one who is adored at the crossroads
and where the three roads meet.
Celestial, Chtonian and Marine,
you who wear the saffron colored veil,
who celebrates in Bacchic Ecstasy with the souls of the Dead,
Daughter of Perses,
Lover of solitude, who enjoys the company of deers.
Nocturnal one, Protectress of Dogs, Irresistible Queen,
the One who emits the sounds of beasts,
ungirt One, Herder of Bulls, Queen of all Worlds who holds all keys,
Guide, Nymph, Nurturer of youth, Wanderer of mountains,
I ask thee Maiden to be present in my sacred rites,
Favorable to the herder, filled with graciousness and with propitious mood.”
May we all the blessed by the Great Goddess!
How are you going to celebrate Nemoralia this year?
Feel free to share you knowladge and wisdom about this Festival and your past experiences about this time of the year!
May the plan of Love and Light forever prosper!