To Diana in Chiqueda (Portugal)

Last year, one of my dogs – the oldest one – started having lumps on her belly. At the time, my mother and I took her to the vet who told us that, given the age of the animal and assuming that the lumps would not get any bigger, it was best to let it be, as a surgery might prove deadly. A few months ago, however, they started growing, one of them a lot!, and so we asked the doctor to go forward with the procedure, knowing that we might lose our animal on the operating table. It turned out that the whole uterus was infected and had to be completely removed.

A few days before the surgery, and after requesting advice from fellow members of the Religio Romana mailing list on the correct ritual form, I made a vow (votum) to Diana, promising to erect Her an altar of pilled stones if my dog would survive the surgery and recover from it. When that happened – the operation was a success and the animal regained health – I fulfilled my vow as soon as possible and erected an altar to Diana on Midsummer’s Eve 2010. I picked a spot near the spring of the river Alcoa, in Chiqueda (Portugal), given it is a wooded area and there are plenty of rocks to use. My mother went with me and we both erected the altar to Diana, where I offered Her incense, wheat seeds and a flower wreath, along with an incense offering to Janus, too (which was actually the first being offered, as is proper). On one of the rocks I wrote DIANAE VSLM (Votum Solvit Libens Merito), which translates as “To Diana, vow fulfilled willingly and deservedly”. It was from then on my ex-voto to the Goddess of Animals.

To get there, should you happen to be close to the city of Alcobaça in Portugal, you need to get to a bridge next to a church in the town of Chiqueda. On one side of the bridge you’ll find a detour that goes along the river, at the end of which there is a second, but more rustic bridge. A few meters ahead you’ll find a trail that enters the woods: the altar should be some distance ahead, on the right side of the trail. On the map I posted here, it is signaled by the white circle. I’ll keep a close eye on this one and should be able to add updates on its preservation.

Updates:

#1: Having been found half broken, this altar was partly rebuilt on the 16th of August 2010.
#2: The winter floods destroyed the altar, leaving however a solid basis of pilled rocks which now support a new altar, erected on April 10th 2011, on the same spot and with the same inscription.

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7 thoughts on “To Diana in Chiqueda (Portugal)

  1. Thank you, Svartesol.

    It felt great erecting the altar: the walk under the sun, the feeling of bonding with a deity through the exchange of gifts, the satisfaction that all was well and the peacefulness of the place when my mom and I stood there waiting for the incense to burn down, hearing only the wind and surrounded by several butterflies.

    I should erect more!

  2. Em principio em Agosto irei para estes lados, espero poder visitar este Altar!
    Esta iniciativa da criação de altares publicos é excelente, e estou a considerar criar um, no Monte Zéfiro (hoje Cerro de São Miguel), no Algarve.

  3. Se precisares de indicações extra, diz; e avisa se fizeres um no Cerro de São Miguel: a ideia dos altares públicos partiu do Steve Socratous, que é um pagão Helénico da Austrália, e ele mantém uma lista dos altares no Facebook.

    Eu estou a planear três em Lisboa: um a Minerva (talvez para os lados da Cidade Universitária), um a Neptuno (em Algés ou Paço de Arcos) e outro ao Njord em Belém. A ver se ergo o segundo a 23 deste mês.

  4. Saudações! A iniciativa dos altares públicos parece genial! Parto do principio que qualquer panteão possa ser integrado nesta ideia. Já ando a planear um oferenda a Nemetona na zona do Parque Natural da Serra de Aire e Candeeiros e acho que vou fazê-la na forma de Altar, para que também possa ser revisitado. Entretanto espero visitar alguns dos Altares que aqui foram expostos. Obrigada pela partilha*

    • São bem vindos altares de qualquer panteão politeísta. Eu entretanto tenho que reorganizar a lista, quanto mais não seja porque eu desconheço o estado actual de muitos deles e convém deixar isso claro. Quanto ao de Diana em Chiqueda, não sei se é possível chegar lá nesta altura do ano: o trilho tende a tornar-se num rio no Inverno graças às várias nascentes que há em redor e, felizmente, não tem havido falta de chuva. Tenho que lhe fazer uma visita para o reconstruir (é uma necessidade recorrente), mas estás à vontade para procurá-lo 😉

      Depois diz-me como e onde ficou o de Nemetona 😉

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