Diana is the Roman Goddess of the Hunt and the Moon, known in Greek mythology as Artemis. She is the daughter of Jupiter (Zeus) and Latona (Leto) and is known as the queen of fertility, wild animals, forests, and childbirths. She has a twin brother named Phoebus, or Apollo in Greek mythology.
Diana, Goddess of the Moon
Typically depicted by the crescent moon, Diana is a lunar Goddess who protects hunters at night and she was sometimes represented by a deer. Mountains, trees and forests were consecrated to her.
Diana was also prayed to by women who wanted to conceive and by mothers who wanted an easy childbirth. Sometimes referred to as Lucina, Diana’s reputation of protecting mothers and children earned her a place of honor among women.
Protector of Witches
With the passage of time, Diana became a major deity among pagan cults in Italy. Earth worshippers referred to her as the protector of witches, who invoked her powers seeing in her an immense source of light and energy.
As with many pagan traditions, Christianity came to imply that the worship of Diana was a demonic cult. However, Italian witchcraft survived outside the cities, were people still celebrated her rituals. Some of this is portrayed in “Aradia: or The Gospel of the Witches”, where Charles G. Leland makes a collection of ceremonies, invocations and incantations to Diana in Italian witchcraft or Stregheria.
A Scene of Witchcraft by Jacques de Gheyn II