Saturday, 11 December 2021

Saturday 11th December: Luna

 Here we are at the second weekend of Dogvent already, and technically I am allowed to go outside today, which is very exciting.  However, as Test and Trace made a mistake with Lily's dates, she isn't allowed out until Tuesday for some reason and so in solidarity I'm not going out either.  We've put up our tree and wrapped some presents so that's a little more cheery. Ironically, out of the three of us in the Walker household, Lily is the most recovered, she is absolutely fine.  The rest of us feel like we've been hit by a bus. Stupid Covid. Anyway, on with today's image and for a change, it's a sculpture...

Luna: The Goddess Diana as the Full Moon (1866) Henry Weekes

Apparently, the Goddess Diana liked larking about pretending to be a full moon, but then everyone needs a hobby.  Her dog looks less than impressed, and has quite rightly spotted a good time to have a bit of a nap as you'll not get any sense out of her when she's in that sort of mood. The reason why Diana is dressed as the moon is to do with her 'triple goddess' status, where she has merged with two other goddesses (Luna, the moon and Hecate, the underworld) to become one super goddess, much in the same way that Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole merged to become a unitary authority. 

Diana as Huntress (1717-1720) Bernadino Cametti

So, we know Diana as the Hunter, which is her normal guise, and I suppose in that state, having a dog with her makes sense.  Although her little dog in the Luna sculpture doesn't exactly look like she's off hunting (mind you, never trust a little dog, they can be ferocious.  I was once terrorized by a very grumpy chihuahua).  There is armour there too so that aspect of Diana's character is referenced.

She's a little sleepy pup.  Here's a gratuitous image of Blossom as Diana's hunting dog...

She's an impressive dog.

Actually, another link to dogs and Diana comes from Hecate. Dogs are one of the attributes of Hecate and her approach is heralded by howling. I don't know if the link between female deities and dogs is a general one between women and dogs - dogs are also linked with childbirth in mythology.  The strength and loyalty of dogs is not a bad thing to see as female, goodness knows we normally have more rubbish things attributed to us. I'm sure that you know the stories attached to Diana, especially one that features dogs...

The Death of Actaeon (1559-1576) Titian

Actaeon saw Diana bathing and so she turned him into a stag and he was killed by his own dogs. The message being of course not to peek at nudey ladies and you'll always be held accountable by your dog. I quite like the idea of dogs as social justice warriors, as dogs are very honest creatures. Listening to Blossom snore in her armchair, it's hard to picture her as a majestic companion to a goddess but in the statue of Diana as Luna, her little dog is snoozing too, so I'm sure a sleeping dog is equally as majestic and capable of dishing out celestial justice, should they need to.

Catch you tomorrow...

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