In 1645 Matthew Hopkins began his infamous hunt of witches in England and obtained sworn evidence of written pacts. Some of his 230-plus victims may have been condemned largely on the basis of such "evidence."
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Diana (Artemis) Classical goddess of the Moon and the hunt and one of the most important aspects of the Goddess in Wicca. Diana (counterpart to he Greek Artemis) personifies the positive attributes of the moon, which is the source of Witches' magical power, as well as independence, self-esteem and fierce aggressiveness. A virgin goddess and maiden warrior, she is the eternal feminist, owned by no man, beholden to none. As a moon goddess, Diana shares the lunar trinity with SELENE and HECATE and serves as patron goddess of witches. In the trinity, she represents power over the earth.
Diana's origins as Artemis comprise a rich mythology. Her cult flourished throughout the Mediterranean region during the Bronze Age. The Amazons build a beehive-shaped temple to her at Ephesus circa 900 B.C.E., and it is considered the Seventh Wonder of the ancient world. The temple contained a statue of Black Diana, on which was implanted a magical stone. Emperor Theodosius closed the temple in 380, allegedly because he despised the religion of women. Early Christians sought to destroy the cult as Devil-worshipers, and Black Diana was smashed ca. 400.
According to myth, Artemis was born of Zeus and Leto, a nature deity and the twin sister of Apollo, who became the god of oracles and of the Sun. As soon as she was born, Artemis was thrust into the role of protector and helper of women. Though Artemis was born without pain, Apollo caused Leto great suffering. Artemis served as midwife. As a result, women have traditionally prayed to her to ease childbirth.
As a youth, Artemis exhibited a boyish taste for adventure and independence. At her request, Zeus granted her a bow and a quiver of arrows, a band of nymph maidens to follow her, a pack of hounds, a short tunic suitable for running and eternal chastity, so that she could run forever through the wilderness. She was quick to protect wildlife and animals, as well as humans who appealed
to her for help, especially women who were raped and victimized by men.
She was equally quick to punish offending men. Ac-taeon, a hunter who spied Artemis and her nymphs bathing nude in a pool, was turned into a stag and torn to pieces by his own hounds. She killed Orion, whom she loved, with an arrow shot to the head. In one version, she was tricked into killing Orion by Apollo, who did not like Orion; in another version, she killed him out of jealousy over his feelings for Dawn. She sent a boar to ravage the countryside of Calydon as punishment to King Oeneus, because he forgot to include her in the sacrifice of the first fruits of harvest. (None of the bravest male warriors of Greece could slay the boar. It took another woman, Atalanta, to do it.)
In British myth, Diana directed Prince Brutus of Troy to flee to Britain after the fall of that city. Brutus, who then founded Britain's royalty, is said to have erected an altar to Diana at the site where St. Paul's Cathedral is located today. A surviving remnant of that altar is the London Stone.
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