Diana like all Goddesses was once known as The Great Mother. There is a problem in using the word Goddess in that this word is the feminine form of the word God. Implying that Gods became before Goddess. Yet as anyone who has studied ancient religion knows it was the other way around.
So what did people call Goddesses before the word God was invented? The most well known name is Mother or The Great Mother, and some Goddesses names like the Egyptian Maat or the Mesopotamian Mami or Mammitu translates into Mother in English.
The Ancient religions did claim that. - "All Goddesses are one Goddess". Any study of ancient religions shows this to be true. Every name of a Goddess like - Isis, Hathor, Ishtar, Inanna, Kali, Devi, Aphrodite, Artemis, Diana, Venus, etc etc. Were all once names of local tribal Goddesses. Yet it was more than this. To these tribes the name of their Goddess to them meant Goddess. In other words if say a tribe called their Goddess Isis, to them that was the name of Goddess. Later on as these tribes mixed they found that the way they saw Goddess was different from each other and they had different stories about her. So some people began to believe in different Goddesses not realizing that they were talking about the same Deity. To counter this the Ancient Egyptians called Isis "The Goddess of a thousand names".
Many Goddesses have similar names. The Goddess Hecate in ancient Greece was similar in name to the Egyptian Heqit or Heket. In Norse she was called Hel, from which the Christian word Hell comes from. Other Goddesses with comparable names were Hera another Greek Goddess, Hebat from Anatolia, Heveh or Hawwa from Mesopotamia and Hvov from Persia. So we can see that the different names of these Goddesses simply came from the different dialects and languages spoken in different areas. So in truth all Goddesses are one Goddess it is just that she has been given so many different names and Characteristics.
One of the most ancient names of Goddess was Anna, which was originally a Sumerian name. So old was she that she was known as the Grandmother and later as the Mother of Mary whom in turn is still known as "The Mother of God". She was also known in Sumeria as Hannah and Di-Anna the mother of Mari. The name Mari later becoming Mary. Di has an ancient Aryan root, meaning "bright" suggesting that she is the Goddess of light. This is confirmed when in ancient Rome, one of the attributes of Diana or Dianus was of fire. "An" is Sumerian for "Heaven" so it would suggest that Di-Anna would mean "Bright Heaven".
To the Semitic people she was also known as Dinah or Ana and as Anatha she became for a while the consort of Yahweh. As Anna Perenna she was to the Roman's Grandmother Time and the Latin word Aeons comes from her again suggesting how ancient she was seen even in ancient Rome. She also stood for both the Alpha and Omega (the beginning and the end). Which was claimed also by John in "Revelation" for Jesus.
To the Celts she was also known as Ana and in Ancient Irish Ana meant "Mother". She was also known to the Celts as the Grandmother Goddess the Crone of the triple Goddess. Or as Morg-ana, the "Invincible Queen Death". She later became Black Annis or Angurboda, the Hag of the Iron Wood and the mother of Hel. She even became in Christian times Saint Anne the mother of the Virgin Mary.
This Goddess is more well-known in more recent times as the Roman Diana "The Goddess of the hunt". Though the Roman's also called her "Queen of Heaven", "The Triple Goddess", The Goddess of childbirth, nursing and healing and the Goddess of the Moon-grove. She was also the Goddess of the Vestal Virgins.
The ancient meaning of virgin is far different to what it means in Christianity. To the Christians a virgin is a woman who has never been penetrated by a man. Which then creates the problem in that Mary mother of Jesus was supposed to be a virgin when she conceived him. The Christian explanation is that God was the father of Jesus who fathered him through magical or divine means.
The pagan meaning of virgin is a woman who is owned by no man. So therefore she was at liberty to have sex with any man she chooses. To the degree that when she gives birth she may not know or care who the father is. Which is what happened to the Virgin Mary. In our more atheistic times it is more believable that Jesus was "fatherless" because his mother didn't know who his father was, than for his father to be God himself.
So the original meaning of the Vestal Virgins were probably an order of women who were resisting the patriarchal demands that all women marry and remain "faithful" to her husband. Marriage for thousands of years was only an "upper-class" concern. This was because it is all about possessions and inheritance. In ancient times all communities had Matrilineal succession. That is to say all inheritance came down the female line. This made sense because before patriarchal marriage it was only the woman who knew who her children were. The problem with this for patriarchy was that because of this it means that all property ends up in the hands of women, if all inheritance goes to daughters rather than sons. So to overcome this, marriage was invented where the woman had to be "faithful" only to her husband so he could know who his children were and pass on to his sons his inheritance.
For this reason marriage only become important for the ruling classes. For the poor it was unimportant because they had no property to pass on. The Christian Church didn't have any recognized form of marriage for the poor until the last few hundred years. So it does suggest the Vestal Virgins were all rich women who were resisting patriarchy and marriage to keep their wealth and pass it on to their daughters.
This was probably why the original Vestal Virgins were also called "Courtesans". For the same reason that Goddess Priestesses were called "Temple Prostitutes" in that they were independent from men and could have sex with whoever they choose. This is also where the concept of the virgin birth came from in that these women were producing children who were "fatherless". Even later when the Vestal Virgins were forced to be virgins in a Christian sense of never having sexual relationships with any man. It seems they still done this as an act of defiance, of preferring never to have heterosexual relationships rather than be a prisoner in a patriarchal marriage.
Virgin Birth had another aspect as it is a symbol of the original Great Mother. In her ability to create everything without the services of a man. Only later did she have a son, who became a brother and then a lover and finally husband. So the real meaning of a Virgin Goddess is that she is the original Great Mother from whom everything was created. This concept even survived in Christianity were the Virgin Mary is called "The Mother of God". Which came from the pagan saying that the Great Mother was "The Mother of all the Gods". So it means that Diana the Goddess of the Vestal Virgins as a Virgin Goddess was the Ancient Great Mother.
Diana wasn't the only Goddess that was worshipped by the Vestal Virgins. Their name came from the ancient Roman Goddess Vesta, who was the daughter of Rhea Silvia or "Rhea of the Woodland", who according to legend was the mother of Romulus and Remus. Rhea Silvia was a Pre-Hellenistic Greek Goddess and her name disappeared with the appearance of patriarchal Gods like Zeus and Jupiter. Rhea Silvia was replaced by Diana, but in truth only the names were changed they were still the same Goddess.
The interesting aspect of Diana is that she was the Goddess of the hunt. Now traditionally it is men who hunt not women. Anthropologists who have studied stone-age people in the 20th century mostly find that in these tribes it is the men who hunt while the women gather food. Yet it is not always true, they do sometimes find tribes where both men and women hunt and there are even tribes were it is the women who hunt and it is the men who gather food. So this is not a hard and fast rule. Likewise in the last two thousand years it has been nearly always men who have fought wars. Yet Archaeologists have found the graves of Female Warriors confirming the fact that women also once done the same. So it means the general behaviour of men and women today may be different to what it was in the past and probably in the future.
It means that Dianna is a symbol of a very ancient Goddess where the relationship between men and women was very different than we have in historic times.
Diana it seems also played the role of the defender of Matriarchy this is clearly shown in the story of Diana and Actaeon. In this tale Actaeon while hunting alone saw Diana nude. This made Diana angry who then turned him into a Stag and he then was chased and killed by his own hunting dogs. In this very simple little story there is much that pointed to a more ancient age than the Hellenistic Greek and Roman age when this story was told.
At one time Kings where the consort of the Queen who was the true ruler. So a man could only become King by marrying the Queen. In some ancient legends and customs the Queen would choose her suitors by allowing them to see her naked and see how he would react to her. (Which suggest he was also naked so she could see his "reaction"). So for Actaeon to see Diana nude harks back to this ancient custom. This is backed up by the fact that Actaeon is the son of a King. In the sanctuaries of Diana, kings engaged in combat to the death with the winner invested as the Goddess's new favorite. This was in the times when inheritance came down the female line so a man could only become a king by marrying the Queen. It also seems that kings also were ritually sacrificed when they no longer satisfied the Queen.
If we take the magic aspect out of the story what we have left is that Diana hunts him with her hunting dogs as if he were a stag and is killed by them. Diana like her Greek counterpart Artemis was also the Goddess of hunting dogs. Another aspect about ancient Kingship is that when he fails to satisfy the Queen he is killed and another suitor takes his place. So this then would be where the story of Diana and Actaeon originated. The later story then missed out the bit where Actaeon becomes Diana's lover and king, and puts in a bit where her is changed into a stag rather than the fact he was hunted like a stag by Diana when he no longer pleased her.
Diana it seems done the same to other men. Orion the son of Neptune also became Diana's lover. One day he was wading in the sea up to his neck and Apollo who didn't like him, pointed his head out to Diana. He gloated that she couldn't hit the small object far out to sea. She took up his challenge and duly hit the object with one of her arrows and kill Orion. This story in patriarchal times suggest that Diana was tricked into doing this. Though probably a more ancient version of this story would be that she killed him with her own hands because she grew weary of him. Fulfilling a far more ancient custom.
So why would the ancient Queens kill their Kings when they no longer needed them? Perhaps in truly matriarchal times they didn't have to. But when men started to want power for themselves, this custom then started. Before this men were probably totally dominated by women. So there would be no problem because when a king was dismissed he would accept his change of fortune with grace and acceptance. The problems would then come into being when men start to desire and enjoy power. In recent times many women have seen that the way to personal power is to marry a rich and powerful man. Likewise in the past as the matriarchal societies began to decline many ambitious men must of seen marrying the Queen as a path to personal power. So this may bring about the situation where the King may be dismissed because he tries to take more power for himself. Then as an ex-king he may begin to stir up trouble against the Queen and come the focus of disgruntled men who wanted to change the status-quo. This would bring about the situation where the Queen would be forced to have her ex-lover executed. In time this must of come such a common occurrence that all Kings were executed when the Queen discovered that he was more interested in personal power than in serving her. Resulting in it becoming a custom that the King will be executed or sacrificed. This tradition would continue until kings became strong enough to prevent themselves from suffering this fate.
In some ancient cultures there was a custom of the Queen having a new lover every year and at the end of the year he as sacrificed and the Queen took on a new lover. Reading stories like this we can get the impression that the Queens and Goddesses of old were very cruel. Yet some of these actions were probably seen as necessary by women to hold back the rising tide of patriarchy. In that ambitious men need to be murdered or sacrificed to keep men in their place. As we have seen in the case of Huyuk Catal archeologist have shown that this city existed for thousands of years without wars. So it is not normal for women to get involved in warfare if they are the dominant sex. Yet with the rise in patriarchy women were forced to take up arms as in the case of the Amazons in a last ditch effort to retain their way of life. This is also shown in the myths of the Goddess Diana in that didn't kill all her lovers. In one of her myths she falls deeply in love with a youth called Endymion because she is enthralled by his stunning beauty. She protects him from all harm and no misfortune ever happens to him. A clue to why he never rouses the anger of the Goddess is that he is a shepherd and is content to remain one. While Actaeon and Orion were sons of either a King or God and behaved in an arrogant manner. This suggests that Diana didn't kill or punish men who treated her with respect and veneration.
Surprisingly the sacrifice of Kings continued into patriarchal history. The rulers of Rome continued matrilineal succession right up to the time of Constantine. While the death of Julius Caesar, according to the scholar Barbara G. Walker was a ceremonial killing that he allowed to happen. Cleopatra VII, also had many lovers who were killed when she no longer desired them. It seemed to be also the fate of Anthony when he lost favour with her after his defeat at the battle of Antonius.
So it means that while many other Goddesses became more and more patriarchal in their behaviour as men gained greater control over society. As we have cases where Goddesses are raped as in the case of Europa, or become faithful wives like Hera or Juno, or even become monsters as in the case of Medusa who is then killed. Diana never lost her power, beauty or independence, and remained this way until the Christian destroyed her Temples and made her St Anna the mother of the Virgin Mary. Yet even then she was still worship by the peasants as Diana the Queen of the Witches.
Sir James Frazer wrote a book called "The Golden Bough", which is in one sense is all about the Goddess Diana. Unfortunately in writing it at the beginning of the 20th century, he had to be careful about what he said in the book. He wrote extensively about the ancient practice of kings being sacrificed, but suggested this was about younger stronger pretenders defeating the older king. Rather than the king being killed on the orders of the Queen. As much as he dared he tried to reveal the true story of Diana and gave hints to what happened to her after the Christians destroyed her Temples. In fact the Golden Bough is a secret name for Diana as the pagans used to worship her is a form of a cut branch or a log of wood.
He claimed that Diana had a divine consort "The King of the Woods", who was the Oak God Jupiter. The problem with this is that in Roman mythology Jupiter was supposed to be married to the Goddess Juno. Frazar gets over this problem by showing that Diana and Juno are really the same Goddess. Which is not difficult to do as pointed out before "All Goddesses are one Goddess". So it is easy to establish a strong relationship between one Goddess and another.
The interesting thing is that if Frazer wanted a consort for Diana there is a more likely candidate and that is the Great God Pan. The relationship between the two deities is very strong they both lived in the woods, where Pan had his Satyrs and Diana had her Nymphs. Both artists and writers have drawn and written about the sexual relationship between the Satyrs and the Nymphs. So it is surprising that there in no myth about Diana and Pan being lovers. Perhaps the reason for this is that Pan later became the Christian Devil while Diana is associated with the Virgin Mary. In the religious politics of the past neither the Christians nor the Pagans would of wanted this relationship. The Christians wouldn't because it would also relate Jesus to Pan and to the Devil. While the Pagans would of wanted to keep the Virgin Mary in Christianity, as it means they were till able to worship a Goddess in Christian Churches. So any association with the Devil would mean the Christians would attempt to ban her. This is probably why Frazer was keen to make Jupiter her consort rather than Pan.
What is interesting about all this is that Diana was the Goddess of the Vestal Virgins who just before the Christianity took over the Roman Empire became Virgins in the Christian sense. They then became Christian nuns, probably for the sake of their own self-preservation. This is a real contrast with the behaviour of Diana's Nymphs who it seemed walked around naked and had sex with Satyrs or any man she was attracted to. Another unlikely association is that a nun's "Convent" has the same root as a Witches "coven". This makes you wonder what really went on in nunneries just after the Christians took control. Perhaps many nuns then were Witches in secret and this is why the Church wanted to have such a firm control over them.
Unfortunately we today do not know much about Diana's role as the Queen of the Witches. In the later Witch-hunts the Christians claimed that it was the Devil who was the deity of the Witches and not Diana. So effective was this propaganda that even today most people are unaware that Witches worshipped a Goddess and not a God. So to understand what was her role in Christian times we have to look to her consort Pan.
There is a story in the ancient world that a great cry was heard; "The Great God Pan is dead". Where and when this story originated is unclear. Though some commentators have suggest that it happened when Jesus Christ was born. It seems to of been about the time when Goddess temples were being destroyed and the worship of pagan Gods and Goddess was being replaced by the worship of Gods like the Christian father God and Allah. This doesn't mean the Pan is gone for ever. There are many legends of the death and rebirth of deities. Like the death and rebirth of Inanna. Or of the Sphinx who; "rose again out of the ashes" and the story of the death and rebirth of the Egyptian God Osiris The first Greek Tragedy was about Pan the sacred king who died fertilizing the Earth, but later on was resurrected. So within the story of Pan there is a prediction he will later rise up from the dead. These myths predate the story of Jesus who again died and was resurrected in three days, but also many Christians claim that he will again return.
In more modern times the famous philosopher Nietzsche proclaimed in his book; "Thus Spake Zarathustra" that, "God is dead". This was written not long after Darwin's theory of evolution was accepted by the academic world. Which replaced the accepted belief, up until then, that God created the world. We can see today that the Judo-Christian God is dying, but what will replace it? In our modern world we can see signs of the return of the Great God Pan.
Pan as a deity is half goat and half man, but the most shocking thing about him, according to Judo-Christian thinking, is that he always seem to have a very large erect penis.
Strangely the erect penis is one of the last taboos we have in our society. In modern western society pictures of naked women are freely available and more recently women's magazines have pictures of naked men. But it seems that they still cannot buy in a normal bookshops, picture of naked men with a erection. So what is so threatening about a erect penis?
In patriarchal times a woman would rightly be frighten of a man who showed off a erect penis as she would fear he was about to rape her. It is true that there are some images of Pan chasing after Nymphs but for some reason images of Pan chasing and raping Nymphs doesn't ring true and were probably painted by patriarchal minded artists. What Pan is most enduring image of Pan he plays a pipe as he dances along as Nymphs chase after him. Very much like the Pied Piper of Hamelin who was probably Pan in a patriarchal disguise. It was later patriarchal Gods like Zeus and Pluto who went in for rape. Pan is a much older God who came from Ancient Greek Golden age when people were innocent of a concept like rape
Pan has been called a sensuous God. This is because to keep a erect penis all the time he would have to be very sensuous. In patriarchal times when men have erections they then want to quickly ejaculate inside a woman. Mostly it seems before she has had to time get sexually aroused. So a man who is only thinking about having a orgasm is only thinking of his own pleasure. While a man who has a erection all the time is there to please. In other words he can hold his erection as long has it is needed for the women to orgasm.
We can see a echo is this from Taoism where Taoist masters claim that they can have sex with any number of times without ejaculating. Taoist text claim that this is so men do not lose their sexual and spiritual energy. Yet practically speaking for any woman having sex with a Taoist would be a big advantage because she can be sure he will not ejaculate too early for her. So these Taoist masters are practicing a form of sexual relationships where he has to deprive himself of sexual orgasm to give women greater pleasure. With this is mind it is not surprising to hear that in the Tao-Te-Ching the Tao is also called The Mother and Taoism also like the Greeks talks about a ancient Golden Age.
So images and stories of Pan playing on his pipes and being chased by Nymphs, suggest he is a passive man who wants to please. He plays on his pipes and has a erection to attract attention. A patriarchal God like Zeus wouldn't bother with this. He would simply gather a Nymph up his arms and take her away to rape her. In contrast to when Pan gets the attention of Nymphs it seems it is up to them to make the first move, as they chase after him. In other words they are the hunters and he is the hunted.
We get a similar idea in the story of Actaeon: Another interpretation of this story is that as Actaeon is a hunter which is a aggressive occupation, suggesting he is a patriarchal man. Then it seems when he saw the beauty of Diana he changed into a stag. So like Pan he became a horned God. He then became passive as suggested by the fact he changed from being the hunter to being the hunted as he was chased by his own hunting dogs. One of the aspects of Diana is that she is the Goddess of hunt and of hunting dogs. The word bitch today is seen as a form of insult Diana was once known as the Bitch Goddess. So because of this later on the word Bitch used for assertive and promiscuous women. The saying, "Son of a bitch" is a old name for the Devil as he is the son of the Goddess Diana. So it means it was she who is chasing him. So this story does suggest that the beauty of the nude Diana has the power to change a patriarchal man into a passive matriarchal man
For some reason patriarchal religions have feared the power of nude or sexy women. As they have been frequently been condemned as harlots and tarts, because it seems they have; "led the sons of man away from the path of righteousness". In patriarchal times women have been encouraged to cover up because they might enflame men to the degree they will rape them. Even in recent times men have defended rape in court because the women was wearing "provocative" clothing. So a naked woman would be a dominant and confident woman who would know she has nothing to fear from men. Such a woman can only exist in a matriarchal society were women are greatly respected by men. The naked Nymphs were originally Priestesses of Goddess Temples, it also seems that many of their rituals were conducted in the nude and many were sex rituals. So the reaction againest nude and sexual women might be a fear of these Ancient powerful Priestesses. It is of interest that nude worship survived right up to the time of the Witch hunts of the middle ages.
Another reason might be that as we can see today many men are getting into Female Domination through their sexual fantasies. Perhaps this also went on in the past where men have been seduced into Goddess worship by very sexual women. So the patriarchs had to make strict laws about women who behaved too sexually. This fear must of been very great because even today in many Moslem countries women still have to wear veils and baggy clothing, so as to not to enflame men. In modern times one of the demands of feminism is that women are allowed to be sexual. To the degree that young women of today are not afraid to "chat up" men they are attracted to, and take the lead in sexual relationships. So this means that young women of today are becoming the hunters and men the hunted. Because of this men are starting to play the passive role and many young men of today are attempting to "look good" to attract women. So we are finding some men today wear make-up, diet, work out in the gym and spend hours dressing up to make themselves look attractive to women.
Many young men today are no longer behaving like the aggressive patriarchal Gods Zeus and Apollo. But are behaving more like the passive Pan. We are used to the idea that women with large breasts being considered sexy and in the past the same was true for women with large buttocks. In the Victorian times when women wore a bustle, pad wore under their skirts to make their bottom look larger. Women of today are now saying that they find men with a very small ass is very sexy. And a few are admitting to the fact they like to see men with a large erect penises. So it suggest that Pan in his ancient form was nothing more than a sex object for women. In much the same way that women with large breasts or large bottom was a sex object for men in patriarchal times.
So we can see the return of a long cycle where men today are become Pan like in their behavior. The fact that Pan was able sustain a erection because it will please and attract Nymphs. Suggests that he is sexually turned-on by playing the passive role with women. Likewise we can see in Fem dom scene that a increasingly number of men today are also being turn-on by playing the passive role with women.
The erect penis of Pan also can mean something else. He reflects a view modern women have about men in that men seem to; "have only one thing on their mind", or that; "men's brains are in their penis". This is confirmed by the fact that Pan is a horned God, he has horns growing out of his head and horns are a phallic symbol. Which seems to suggest that his is what he has got on this mind all the time. We find in Female Supremacy and Fem-Dom it is the penis that seems to "lead the way" for men to become subservient to women. For many men their first introduction to matriarchal concepts is sexual fantasies about being dominate by sadistic women.
So it all suggests that we are now returning to the Golden age of Pan, as prophesied in the in the ancient Greek myths. Where men are becoming as passive as Pan, while women are becoming as sexually aggressive and dominant as Diana and her Nymphs.
In patriarchal times Pan was called many names he became known as Dionysus, Bacchus and when Christianity took control he became know as Puck or Pook, The Green man, The Wild Man, Jack-In-The-Green, Green Jack, Robin Goodfellow, Robin-O-The-Wood and Robin Hood. So it is through the tales of these men that we can see the hidden face of Diana.
So if Robin Hood is another name for Pan then Maid Marian would be Diana. Now the name Maid Marian presents a problem. A maid was suppose to be a virgin and the name Marian is just a variation of the name Mary. So this means that Maid Marian is a not very well hidden name for the Virgin Mary. So does this mean that Robin Hood is Jesus Christ? This is not as far fetched as it sound because Jesus comes from a tradition of many other sacrificial and savior Gods like Odin, Loki, Bader, Osiris, Orpheus, Dionysus, Bacchus and Pan. Like Jesus they all died and then returned from the dead. Which is interesting as this means Jesus is in the same tradition as Pan who later became the Christian Devil.
William Blake in his famous poem/song "Jerusalem" in the first two lines he asked.-
"And did those feet, in ancient time, walk up on England's mountain Green. And was the holy lamb of God, on England pleasant pastures, seen?"
The beginning of this poem clearly suggests that Jesus once lived in England? This is how many people have interpreted this poem as there is a jingoistic myth that Jesus visited England. Yet Blake is an intelligent man and it is doubtful if he would go along with such nonsense unless he was trying to say something else that he knew wouldn't be acceptable in his time. What is interesting is that the symbology later on in his poem do not match the Jesus we know from the New Testament.
He talks about his "Bow of burning Gold" and his "arrows of desire". So we do have a slight connection to Robin Hood and Diana whom were both famous archers. Though Blake also refers to his "Spear O" which is a weapon also used by Diana but not as far as we know Robin Hood. He then goes on to mention his "Chariot of fire". The Chariot of fire would be the sun that Apollo rode and his role and the Sun God and brother of Diana. In Hellenistic times Diana was known as a Moon Goddess, and in then it was common to have Sun Gods and Moon Goddesses. Before this in more matriarchal times it was more common to have Sun Goddesses and Moon Gods. Now Diana's name as pointed out before means "Bright Heaven" which would of been a name for the sun. So was Blake referring to Apollo or Diana? This is a poem about England and the only person in English History famous for using a Chariot was Queen Boadicea. It is true she is a Queen and not a Goddess but in those days both Kings and Queens took on the roles of Gods and Goddesses. The Vestal Virgins also had a fire in their Temple that must never be allowed to be put out. This also was probably a symbol of the sun as many ancient cultures had a concern about the sun one day not appearing on the horizon at Dawn. So this would be the flame that must never be put out. Though when this happened to the Vesta Virgins they would only re-light it using the rays of the Sun. So we can see the strong Sun connection to the Vesta Virgins and Diana. Other cultures created sacrificial rituals to ensure the sun will appear every day. The South American native people took this to the extreme and sacrificed people in their hundreds to their Sun Gods.
Blake doesn't mention Jesus by name and calls him "the holy lamb of God". The symbol of the lamb comes from the "sacrificial lamb", slaughtered by pagans as a sacrifice to their deities. Which off coarse was what Jesus was when he allowed himself to be sacrificed at the sacrificial feast of Passover. Here we have another connection with Robin Hood. The original stories of Robin Hood comes from a few ballads of an unknown age. One was about the death of Robin Hood. Robin becomes ill and goes to cousin an Abbess with Little John for healing. John senses trouble as he knows that the Abbess is the mistress of one of Robin's enemies. The Abbess treats Robin by bleeding him (Bleeding was a common form of treatment in the past) and leaves him in a locked room to bleed to death. John becoming suspicious breaks into the room to find Robin at the point of death. In a rage John wants to burn the abbey to the ground with everyone in it, but is prevented by Robin who declares that he will never make war on women. Robin then dies after firing his last arrow to mark the place where he will be buried.
The mystery about this story is that why did Robin Hood deliver himself into the hands of a person who had a reason to kill him? Allowing her to do this with no resistance. In this way this story is very similar to the story of Jesus who allows himself to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. Then makes no attempt to help himself when the Roman Governor Pilate tried to save him. It seems that both men allowed themselves to go to their deaths "Like lambs to the slaughter".
A clue to this behavour might be that it was an abbess that killed Robin. In Christian Britain the only role a woman could play in religion was to be come a nun and an Abbess would be the highest station she could obtain. So it suggests the real meaning of this story is that the Abbess was really a High Priestess or Queen. So we are back to the story of Diana and Actaeon or Diana and Orion. This means that Maid Marian grew tired of Robin as a lover and had him put to death. The lover of the Abbess would be the new king replacing Robin. Now, for a man to voluntary allow this to happen. To die rather than cause his lady any inconvenience. To leave her way clear to have a new lover is the supreme sacrifice a man can make for a woman.
Blake finishes his poem by talking about building, "Jerusalem in England's green and pleasant land". Revelation in the New Testament also talks about building a New Jerusalem and later on in this book I will explain what this really means.
It is of interest that men today practice a similar form of sacrifice when they go to a Dominatrix. In that they pay to be tried up and allow the Domina to whip and torture them. They are in such a helpless position that she could kill them if she liked. So it is a symbolic act of sacrifice similar to the sacrificial Gods.
Another story with a similar theme is "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight". Though originally the Green Knight was called the Green Gnome. This strongly suggests he is Puck or Pan.-
The Green Knight rides into King Arthur's Court and challenges the knights of the round table to play a deadly game. He will allow any knight to strike him with his weapon if he agrees to receive a blow by his weapon in return. Only Sir Gawain agrees to play this game and strikes off the head of the Green Knight with his own axe. The Green Knight put back his head then tells Sir Gawain he must journey to the Green Chapel one year hence to receive back the blow he gave to him.
Near the time appointed Sir Gawain journeys to find the Green Chapel and arrives at the Castle of Sir Bercilak. Sir Gawain is told that by him that the Green Chapel is close by and he will guide him to it the when the appointed day arrives. Sir Bercilak offers Sir Gawain his hospitality and the next three days Sir Bercilak goes hunting and while he is away Lady Bercilak blatantly offers herself to him. Being a good Christian knight, Sir Gawain refuses this request but on the third day gives the Lady one kiss.
When the day dawns for him to receive the return blow he goes to the Green Chapel only to find that the Green Knight is Sir Bercilak. He bows his head to allow himself to receive the blow but is only given a nick by the Green Knight and is told that this is because of the kiss he gave Lady Bercilak. Then he finds out that Lady Bercilak is no other than Morgan le Fay who had arranged the whole drama to test the Chastity of the Knights of the Round Table.
As this story is told in Christian times we have to clear away the Christian additions to understand what this story is about. In many ancient cultures it was the custom that the king would be sacrificed every year, and the man who killed the old King would be the new one. So this makes sense of the blow in return for a blow in the Green Knight story. In cutting off the head of the Green Knight Sir Gawain is killing the old king. He then becomes the new King and the consort of Morgan le Fay. Then when the year is up he then accepts the fatal blow from the new king Sir Bercilak. For Morgan le Fay to allow Sir Gawain to refuse her advances would be completely out of character and would probably result in his instant death. So it means it was a Christian addition. As was the idea that Sir Gawain only received a nick rather than a fatal blow from Sir Bercilak. Putting a artificial happy ending on the story about the sacrificial King, where he would of died.
This story also has another meaning. Pan, Bacchus or Dionysus where matriarchal Gods represented by The Green Knight or Gnome. Sir Gawain is claimed by some scholars to be originally the Celtic Sun-God. In the Greek and Roman mythology the matriarchal Gods were replaced by the Sun Gods of Zeus, Apollo and Phoebus. This would then make Sir Bercilak the God who replaced the Sun God who was Jesus Christ, which would make Morgan le Fay the Virgin Mary or the whore Mary Magdalene. Both Marys are in truth the same Goddess, fulfilling the Mother/lover role played by matriarchal Goddesses to their male consorts.
Sacrificial Gods were very common in pre-Christian times. Odin himself was Hanged on a tree at the sacred grove of Uppsala. Where he was then brought back to life. Strangely this is also what happened to Jesus in one version in the Bible. In the King James version of the New Testament in The Acts it states that.- "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree." Chapter five, verse 30. This verse seemed to have got past the censors, but in the more modern versions of the Bible they have put this to rights and in the "Good News Edition" they have changed it to say that he was killed by being nailed to a cross. So it seems that the good old Christian tradition of censorship is still an alive and well today.
There may be a very good reason why the Christian would want to censor the idea that Jesus died by being hanged on a tree. As the pagan God Odin also died this way, also trees are associated with Goddess worship as the pagan worshipped trees as Goddesses like Diana. So this would mean that Gods like Odin and Jesus sacrificed themselves to the Goddess Diana.
Odin had a son called Bader, he was killed by a spear thrown by the blind God Hod. It has been pointed out by Robert Graves that the names Hod and Hood are similar. This would suggest that Bader was killed and replaced by Robin Hood as King.
There has been many attempts by some scholars to find Robin Hood in the past as a real person and some of them have been successful. Unfortunately too many Robin Hoods have been turned up by these scholars as it seems that Robin Hood was a fairly common name in medieval England. So if it is impossible to find Robin Hood as a man, what about his Merry-men?
Robert Graves gives a real clue to this when he points out that the original meaning of merry was Mary so in effect the merry-men would be Mary's men. This would point to Maid Marian being the real leader of this band of outlaws. (Surprisingly in Britain a recent children's TV series is called "Maid Marian and her Merry Men". Where Maid Marian is the real leader and Robin Hood is portrayed as a fool.) In one of the ancient Ballads of Robin Hood, he leaves Maid Marian to go into the woods on his own. She follows him dressed as a man. They meet each other but neither of them recognizes the other and they fight. In the end Robin asks who he is fighting and offers his opponent the chance to join his band. Marian recognizes his voice and tell him who she is and they fall into each others arms.
This tale reveals a completely different side of Maid Marian than is usual in Robin Hood stories. Where she seems mostly to play the role of a passive patriarchal woman. If she is brave and confident enough to go into the woods on her own and then is strong and skillful enough to match Robin Hood with a sword or quarterstaff. Then this story shows her to be more like an Amazon than a patriarchal woman. Perhaps there were tales of Maid Marian in the past showing her to be brave and resourceful but these were censored by the Church. They were able to just tolerate stories of Robin Hood the outlaw but not of a courageous leader of outlaws like Maid Marian.
So where in history do we find outlaws who are lead by women? The only group of people who would fit this description is the Gypsies. This is confirmed by the fact that in England another name for "The May Bride" or "May Queen", who was also called Maid Marian in the Robin Hood celebrations on May Day was also called Mary Gypsy.
Another old name for Gypsy was Diana's Foresters. So we have another connection between Mary and Diana. A common Gypsy surname is Faa, and from this they were also called "fays" which today we know as fairies. We can connect fairies with Robin Hood through Puck and Robin Goodfellow. Though fairies traditionally were always female and ruled by a Queen.
The Gypsies were until very recently matriarchal people who left Ancient India when it began to become patriarchal. They traveled into Europe but could never settle anywhere because wherever they went they were always coming upon patriarchal societies. They kept to their matriarchal ways, and avoided persecution as much as possible by always keeping on the move. So it was in this way that they became "outlaws", keeping to a different religion and customs to the countries they moved through.
Robin Hood was supposed to of "Robbed the rich to help the poor". Gypsies also have a reputation for stealing. Yet if they were to survive it was important for them to keep on friendly terms with the people they came into contact every day. In one of the Ballads of Robin Hood he says, - "never to harm any farm labourers, or yeomen nor knights that cause them no harm. However beat bishops and archbishops and hate the Sheriff of Nottingham."
Now the Christian Church up until recently persecuted the Gypsies. Many were burnt as Witches by the inquisition and considering how they have been treated over hundreds of years it is amazing they survived until today. It means they must of worked out many clever strategies for survival. One of them might be that they were careful about who they stole from. The Church was very rich, and they could steal from them with impunity because they were being persecuted by them anyway. Then they probably used this money to "buy friends" among the villages they passed through. To give them warning of attack by Witchfinders or members of the inquisition. This would also account for Robin Hood's hatred for the Sheriff of Nottingham. The inquisition never established itself in England but the Church would of used Sheriffs to hunt down and arrest Gypsies. So a policy of "robbing the rich and helping the poor" would be a way to survive in a very hostile world.
In Medieval times there where far more extensive forests and woodlands than today with a far smaller population. So in times of persecution Gypsies must of found it easier to live deep in these forests away from all other human inhabitation. Where they would live of the land as hunters and gatherers and off coarse using the bow and arrow for hunting.
Yet the whole myth of Robin Hood may not of come from Gypsies alone. They were not the only matriarchal people living in Europe. When Christianity took control of Europe and destroyed all Goddess Temples. There would of off course been people who would of objected to this. To voice their objections would of resulted in torture and death so the only way they could of continued their religious practices would of been to do it in secret. The poor it seems openly practiced paganism right up until the Witch-hunts. The words pagan and peasant have the same root and originally meant the same thing. As do the words villager and villain which gives a insight to how the rich and powerful regarded the poor in those days. So the Church were clearly very aware of the Pagan practices of the poor, but as they were for most part powerless it didn't worry them. Though any noblemen who still insisted in following the "old-religion" would of been persecuted. They would of been dispossessed by the Church and either killed or forced to flee for their lives. This is what happened to the Knights Templar, although they were suppose to be a Christian order it became clear that many of their rituals and practices were very pagan. They also became very rich and powerful and as such was a threat to the Church, so they had to be wiped out before they became too powerful to stop. In one of the myths about Robin Hood, his father was a nobleman who was disposed of his lands and wealth and killed. Suggesting strongly that Robin Hood's father also practiced the old religion and paid for it with his life. So there could of been many people that still wanted to worship a Goddess who were forced to live in forests for their own protection.
This may of even happened before the rise of Christianity. Followers of a Goddess who no longer had popular support and were not willing to change. Could also have been persecuted by followers of the new patriarchal Gods and forced leave their lands and live in the forests. This might of been the origins of the Satyrs and Nymphs who might of been matriarchal people who where forced to find refuge there. It also could be another explanation for the story of Diana and Actaeon. He could of been killed simply because he came upon a group of Nymphs alone without his hunting party. So having a chance to gain revenge on a patriarchal man they hunted him down like a stag. The word Panic comes from Pan and writers have claimed it was because of people becoming very frightened through meeting Pan in the woods. More likely it was the followers of Pan these people met who were then carrying on a guerrilla war againest the new patriarchal society
Even right up the point where Christianity took control of the Roman Empire the Goddess Diana remained an independent, beautiful and powerful Goddess. While other Goddess became consorts to Gods or were turned into monsters because of the decline of their follower's powers. This never happened to Diana and this suggests that the Vesta Virgin had greater power in Roman Society than the male writers of the time gave them credit for. As they had the power to protect the image of their Goddess.
An example of the power of the Priestesses of Diana is the story of Meleager. His father the King of Calydon omitted to offer sacrifices to Diana. So Diana sends a large wild boar to lay waste his kingdom. Nothing it seems could stop this boar so Meleager called on the heroes of Ancient Greece to kill this boar. It seems this included well known heroes like Jason, Peleus, and the fathers of Achilles and Ajax as well as Alalanta the daughter of the King of Arcadia. The heroes all fail to harm the boar and it was left to Meleager and Atalanta to finally kill.. He gives Atalanta the head and hide of the boar in recognition of her bravery. But this provokes the envy and anger of his uncles who snatches the trophy away from her. This enrages Meleager who fights and kills his own uncles. He is then in turn cursed to death by his own mother for killing her brothers. With the whole family in mourning of the death of their men and the destruction of their kingdom Diana take pity on this family and turns them into birds. So the moral of this story was beware of Diana's wrath if you fail to honour and give sacrifice to her. Suggesting the great power of the Priestesses of Diana in Roman society.
The Vesta Virgins may not only had the power to protect themselves and their way of life but to help other matriarchal inclined people. With the increasing power of the patriarch it would be natural for matriarchal people to band together and help each other for mutual protection. Through this the Vesta Virgins were connected with different matriarchal people in all classes of society. As the result an upper-class Vesta Virgin would find herself working with outlaw women living in the forests. This might be why the Vesta Virgins adopted Diana as their Goddess when the Goddess Rhea became "political incorrect" in Roman society.
This relationship may have continued even after the Christian take-over. Many wealthy and influential families in the past used convents to imprison daughters who refused to be married off or were rebellious. To any nuns in convents who still practiced the religion of Diana in secret these rebellious daughters must of been ready converts. Resulting in some convents bringing together matriarchal inclined women, who had both wealth and influence. It is common knowledge that both the priests and nuns of the past never took their vows of celibacy seriously. As some Vesta Virgins did become nuns as the Christians to control, they may of passed on the worship of Diana to other sympathetic nuns. As well as having matriarchal contacts outside of the convent walls.
In the 20th century when women were allowed once again to be educated some of them became anthropologists. When these women like Margaret Mead went out "into the field" to study native peoples they began to come up with results different to their male colleagues. The reason being that the male academics would only speak and observe the men of different societies they studied. While the women were not noticed and "unseen". It was their female counterparts who started to speak and study the women as well. What is interesting about this is that it showed how men had very little understanding and awareness of the lives of women even within their own societies. It is not for nothing that history is called His-story. Very nearly all knowledge of the past has been written by men who have mostly only written about the deeds of other men. This why the Vesta Virgins who although held an important position is Roman Society is hardly mentioned by the writers of the time.
matriarchal inclined women must of held far more power in society than is acknowledge by history. Because it took thousands of years for the patriarchal rulers to destroy the worship of Goddesses. Then even when Christianity banned all Goddesses they still were forced to compromise and bring back the Virgin Mary as Deity to be worshipped. Showing the power of matriarchal women in society even when Christianity took over the Roman Empire.
women are better at communicating then men, it would be natural for matriarchal women to form a network of different matriarchal groups all over Europe. Men would have hardly no access to this network as they had no interest in women's lives. So would have little knowledge of what was really going on. Gypsies would be the perfect people to keep the lines of communication open as they traveled from town to town and "gossiped" to other matriarchal people they met.
Writers like Robert Graves and Margaret Murray claimed that Robin Hood originates from Witchcraft. Unfortunately what we today know about ancient Witchcraft come from the "confessions" by Witches to Witchfinders and the inquisition while under torture, where the Witches were forced to confess to what the torturers wanted them to say which was that they worshipped the Christian Devil and that men ruled the covens. Because the last thing the Church wanted publicized was the fact that the Witches worshipped a Goddess like Diana, or that a women dominated matriarchal religion still existed. The Witch hunts were not only used to destroy Witchcraft but to undermine the power of women.
Many commentator on the Witch hunts claim that it was caused by "hysteria and superstition". Now it is true that the Church did encourage hysteria by feeding off the superstitious beliefs of the common people. But the motives of the Christian Church is always about self-interest. They only attacked others to gain wealth and power or because they feared any organized resistance to their power. The Roman Catholic Church slaughtered the Gnostic, the Germanic Pagans, the Cathars, Knight's Templar and declared war on Protestant countries because they saw all these peoples as organized threats to their authority. Likewise they must of saw the Witches in the same light. A few old women telling fortunes were never going to be a threat to the power of the Church. To have gone as far as murdering whole villages and towns and continued a sustained propaganda campaign means that the Church took the threat against them by Witchcraft very seriously. Suggesting that Witchcraft in medieval times was a well established organized religion.
What is surprising is that the Church also moved against the Witches so late in it's history. It seems that it allowed it to exist for nearly a thousand years without doing nothing about it. The only explanations for this is that Witchcraft was so well hidden from patriarchal men that the Church didn't know of its presence until just before the Witch hunts. Or it was so powerful that the Church dare not more against it until its power started to decline. Either explanation suggests a very well organized set-up.
One of the last Witch hunts happened in all place in a North American Colony of Salam Massachusetts. Where in the 1692, 20 people were executed for Witchcraft. Most commentators on this incident again claim it all to be the result of hysteria and to be fair it probably was. Yet in the last two hundred years it has been women from the USA that has led the way in women's emancipation. So were the Puritan leadership reacting to a real fear of Witchcraft and Female Power reaching the New World?
Many groups of people in Europe went to USA to escape persecution. If Witchcraft did survive until the settlement of America by Europeans. Then it would be natural for Witches wanting to go there in hopes of recreating their religion in freedom. This clearly never happened as religious persecution continued as much in USA as in Europe. Yet perhaps Witchcraft did get to USA and was part of the early settlers Her-story that men never wrote or knew about. Could it be that Diana was also worshipped in the forests of the New World as well as Europe? We know the Gypsies did travel to America though how many of their matriarchal beliefs traveled with them is unknown. As in recent times the Gypsies have adopted patriarchal ways with Gypsy Queens being replaced by Gypsy Kings. Perhaps Witchcraft did die out but the Witches continued to pass onto to their daughters the belief in women's Power. This then began to flourish in the frontier towns of North America. Finally leading to the woman's Emancipation Movement of the nineteenth century.
Diana has now started to be openly worshipped again in the modern Witchcraft movement which was started by Gerard Gardner. He claims to be part of a secret tradition that goes back the Middle ages. While others claim he made it all up himself. Gardner was also a Freemasons and some of his Witchcraft rituals are suspiciously like Freemasonry. So in this way he was part of a secret tradition that goes back hundreds of years in the form of Freemasonry. Many Freemasons themselves claim that Freemasonry was a secret society started by the survivors of the Knight's Templar whom survived the persecution by the Church. Yet it doesn't matter as all Pagan religions like modern Hinduism value the teachings that come directly from their deities through holy-men, gurus and mediums than a teaching thousands of years old.
Some covens now worship Diana and Apollo or Diana and Pan. While other covens call themselves Dianaic Witchcraft worships Diana on her own and don't have men in their covens. So it is possible to trace the Goddess Diana from the last matriarchal age to modern times as She made her journey with us through the Netherworld or patriarchal age.