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.
#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.