Diana, Protector of the Natural World

the asteroid Diana has links to the natural world and is a guardian of young girls

Q. Occasionally in your articles you mention the asteroid Diana but not as frequently as some of the goddess asteroids. Just how significant is she?

A. Working with the asteroids in general has various challenges with it. The first one is obviously who do you include in a chart and how many do you choose to use out of the thousands of them?! On one hand, the inclusion of the asteroids adds tremendous depth and breadth to the information you can get from a chart; on another it can have you splitting hairs in the psyche in ways that take you away from the essential unity of life and its beings.

It's very much a personal choice amongst astrologers, depending on their own systems, charts, experience and the nature of the clients they attract. As both a karmic and psychological astrologer, I tend to attract people with lots of the dark goddesses alongside strong Chiron, Saturn and outer planet emphases, as a reflection of my own system.

As for Diana, whose other face is Artemis, she has a critical place in the overall scheme of things as one of the obviously ecological deities. In her form of the Huntress she is visualised as a lean, rangy young woman who carries a bow and arrow and presides over that natural world in its purity as both hunter and protectress. You see her in the energies of ecological activists, ecowarriors, and lovers of the wilderness and in the "feral" community. Anyone born with her strong in their systems has a profound connection and attraction to the natural world in some form or another. On an inner level, she is also a protector of what is wild and natural inside us against the confines of civilising influences and suppression. This part of self needs a lot of space, the more psychically purer the better; given the freedom to run and to roam and regular, healing access to the natural world.

Like most of the goddesses, she has a much deeper cultural and archetypal ancestry than the Greco-Roman versions most of us are familiar with, and was much more closely associated with the Great Mother, particularly her much earlier multi-breasted, animalistic forms. Later Diana/Artemis still retained her connections with childbirth, midwifery and as a protector of the newborn and the vulnerable in both human and animal kingdoms. This includes being a fierce guardian of virginal girls, and I would add boys, against inappropriate sexual attention. To see Diana in her naked form, even by mistake, meant losing your sight! You can also seeing her rising in those protesting against the wholesale sexualisation of childhood in our media and marketing cultures.

On a more psychological level, she represents that lovely kind of freedom found in pre-sexual adolescents and in young women before their relationship experiences take them along the path of Persephone. As one of the so-called virginal goddesses, in truth meaning "to be owned by no man" and "to hold her own divinity and wholeness in her own right, needing no one to make her complete", she is a part of self that seeks to retain a healthy psychic autonomy whatever one's relationship or sexual status.

It has to be acknowledged though, that when this gets out of balance towards the protective end of the spectrum, she can become a hurdle in relationships by limiting our capacity for true intimacy, a tendency that is shared with other "virginal" goddesses like Pallas Athena and the feminine warriors like Lilith and Medusa.

As adults then her position in our charts represents an access point to this level of freedom which is wild and untamed, to our "inner adolescent" and her movement via transits and progressions describes our connection to this freedom and our ability to retain it as we grow older. She is part innocent, part warrior, part mother, part daughter and our inner and outer worlds would be an even greater mess without her.

P.S. Artemis has her own asteroid and in our charts and in experiential astrology, is another fruitful access point for the Diana/Artemis archetype.

Daniel Sowelu (BSc Dip Ed) is a therapeutic astrologer, primal therapist and groupleader in his 27th year of private practice. He is very welcoming of
questions of a general nature for the Question and Answers section on this
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