Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Kalends of June

It's almost June, and the moon is almost dark. I spent time in the pool this evening, enjoying the sunset, trying to avoid the bugs. I'm in a contemplative mood, reevaluating things as they stand and preparing to excise that which does not serve. I won't bore you with the minutiae of my day, I'll give you some pretty:

Last week, a statue of a Goddess that has been looted from Sicily and illegally purchased by The Getty Museum was returned. She has been called Aphrodite, but many suggest that name is incorrect and was actually either a cover for what she really represents or the looters didn't have the knowledge and just named her whatever. It was stolen in the 1980s.

Here is an incantation to Diana, from The Secret History of Virgil. A friend reminded me of this work, which has an odd flavor to it: I don't know if it's the region of the writer, the Roman context it was shoved into, or if it's the translator causing the issue, but it's still pretty and I'm posting it here. You can find the Latin version at the link above:

Beautiful Goddess of the bow!
Beautiful Goddess of arrows,
of hunting and of dogs!
You watch with the stars
when the Sun has gone to sleep,
You with the Moon on Your forehead,
hunt by night better than by day
with Your Nymphs to the sound
of the horn - You Queen
of Hunters,
Queen of the Night!
You Yourself the huntress
most powerful of all
hunters - to You I pray
that You think a little on us!
Beautiful Goddess of the rainbow,
of stars and of the Moon!
Most powerful queen
of hunters and of the night.
To you we run
and seek Your help
that You might give us
good fortune always!
If ever our spell
You hear,
and will give us good fortune,
then give us a sign!

Pretty, but... Diana as Goddess of the Rainbow? Um.... what? The latin text of that line is actually:

Bella Dea arci caelestis

Which translates to:
Beautiful Goddess of the Heavenly Castle

In Latin, arcu is bow and arci is Castle.

Makes more sense now in the context of what we know about Diana and her worship. So before we all start freaking out on her associations with Iris, I'd say let's check our translations first. In the text provided the word arci is used in both places.

Off to bed, Back in June!

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