The Grove of Aricia - Places: A witch’s Travel Guide

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

The Grove of Aricia
Places: A witch’s Travel Guide

Groves were dedicated to those deities now known as Queens of Witches: the Grove of Aricia within the Forest of Nemi was dedicated to Diana and is located approximately 16 miles east of Rome in the Alban Hills. The name Nemi derives from the Latin nemus or “sacred grove.”

The grove overlooks Lake Nemi, a circular, volcanic crater. The lake was known as Diana’s Mirror. Once upon a time, her temple stood amidst the sacred grove. The reflection of the full moon in the mirror-still lake could clearly be observed from the Temple.

Diana’s shrine combined various locations associated with magical power: forest, grove, hill—and a grotto, too. A stream flowed into the lake from a sacred grotto near Diana’s Temple. The entire Forest of Nemi was under Diana’s dominion. Diana had broad powers: she was a lunar, fire, and water goddess with dominion over magic, witchcraft, women and children, fertility, hunting, and wild animals. In addition, Diana was a Matron of Slaves and Outlaws; many sought and found refuge in her forest.

The shrine was the equivalent of Diana’s home: she lived in the shrine together with her male consort, the horned spirit Virbius, and her friend, the mermaid Egeria.