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As Roman Goddesses go, Diana is my absolute favorite. Not only was she a symbol of the "fierce feminine" with her weapon aimed and ready but she also represented the mystic and creative spirit of woman. She was immersed in the natural world, could communicate with the animal kingdom and was known as a protector in the birthing process with her planetary partner, the moon. Definitely a multi-tasker! (please click Read More below)
The statue of her (above) is at Brookgreene Gardens in South Carolina. There are many sculptures of Diana there. The co-founder of the gardens, Anna Hyatt Huntington, was the creator of several of them. She was drawn to the Goddess and some of her most famous works are life-sized bronzes of Diana, both as a youthful archer and as a mature huntress. Personally, I think Anna's success as the first female American sculptor to reach worldwide audiences (in the 1920's) plus being the creative force behind America's largest sculpture garden - all while pursuing her career as a sculptor into her 90's certainly gives her Goddess stature of her own.
For all of that success, she is not well known. I only know of her because she was a distant cousin of my Mother's and one of her Diana statues was in the center of a large fishpond in a relative's garden in upstate New York. My discovery of Brookgreene Gardens and the details of Anna's life was just a few years ago. She married a poet, Archer Huntington after being well established in her career. They never had children but had a veritable zoo of animals so that she could sculpt from life. She designed their Mediterranean style villa, Atalaya, near the sea coast of South Carolina. It is only a shell now, but still very beautiful. There are no known pictures of the home as it was when they lived in it. They were philanthropic superstars but seem to have been reclusive. (hmmm .... a familial DNA strand for reclusive tendencies?)
But the more time I spend at Brookgreene among the sculptures of Gods and Goddesses (of which there are many), the more I am enchanted by the power of their myths. They were larger than life in their powers but many of them had fatal flaws (think of Achilles) and their stories taught lessons with a bit of magic thrown in for spice. Wow, don't you want to be a Goddess?
Unfortunately I'm not sure that our virtual reality world allows for the appreciation of epic stories that can only be told and cannot be seen. And I don't think we learn as children these ancient myths and inspiring legends. But as James Taylor famously sang, "But I can sing this song, and you can sing this song when I'm gone".
We need to tell the stories and keep these beautiful myths alive. How else will our daughters and granddaughters learn to be Goddesses?