The Greek goddess, Diana, is the protagonist of Judith Post’s novels Empty Altars and Spinners of Misfortune. She’s forsaken Mount Olympus to live in a penthouse condo that overlooks Central Park. Mortals no longer leave offerings on her altars, but she hasn’t forgotten them. To her surprise, when her runes send her to the Norse lands to battle hell hounds, she discovers that Tyr, Donar, and Freya are still active, protecting mortals, also. More, she decides that maidenhood isn’t as tempting as the sky god, Tyr. They team up to fulfill their duties as deities.
Diana has agreed to meet with a mortal and answer questions. She strides to an outdoor table at the café they’ve agreed on. The interviewer stares. Even in mortal form, goddesses are extraordinary. Dressed in brown, leather pants that hug her long legs and a white, tunic top, she’s as willowy and graceful as he expected. With her wavy, chestnut hair falling past her shoulders and her moss-green eyes, she embodies Nature.
Q: If I remember right, you were the goddess of the hunt, weren’t you?
Diana shrugs: Myths change with time. I’m not only goddess of the hunt, but also mistress of the moon and witchcraft, and if you’re smart, you’ll avoid me at crossroads at the dark of the moon.
Q: Why is that?
A: If I weigh your heart and evil overshadows good, I’ll rip it from your body and feed it to my hell hounds.
Q: You have hell hounds? I thought you battled Heid’s in the Norse meadow.
A: Norse hounds can’t compete with mine. Mine romp in Hades’ halls until I need them.
Q: You get along with Hades?
She takes a sip of wine: I didn’t say that. I said he cares for my hounds. Not many immortals dare to cross me.
Q: Is it true that your father is Zeus?
A: Yes, I had a happy childhood. Father enjoyed spoiling me.
Q: And your mother?
A: Leto. She gave birth to me, and then to my twin brother, Apollo.
A hesitation: Apollo is god of the sun, and you’re mistress of the moon?
A grin: The moon suits me and my purposes better.
Q: As the mistress of witches, you have another name, don’t you?
A: Yes, Hecate, the goddess of magic, witchcraft, the night, moon, ghosts and necromancy.
Q: Plus the hunt? How do you get everything done? It seems like you wear a lot of different hats.
Diana laughs: Goddesses don’t punch time clocks. I do what I want, when I want. I’m goddess of the hunt on days that call me into the forest. Nature restores me. So does the kill. My arrows never miss. I ensure survival of the fittest. I don’t have patience for weaklings. As Hecate, I rule magic. I can bless or curse. Magic blossoms better in shadows and moonlight.
A wary glance at the goddess: You’ve never worked with the Norse before. How did that happen?
A: My runes sent me to help them. The bones are never wrong.
Q: Bones? I thought runes were made of rowan or carved in stone.
A: Mankinds’ are. Mine are personal to me. When I toss them, they sing to me and show me the answers I seek.
Q: What did they say about Tyr? You fell hard for the Norse sky-god, didn’t you?
Diana’s eyes narrow and she stares at her interviewer: If you’d done your homework, you’d know Tyr fell for me. At first, I wasn’t interested, but it’s hard to overlook the wonderfulness of the sky-god. And I’d been a maiden long enough.
Q: The wolf, Fenrir, chewed off his right hand. That didn’t bother you?
Her words turn sharp: If anything, it made him appeal to me more. Would you have been brave enough to offer your hand so that the gods could bind the wolf and defend mankind?
Q: Sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you.
A: Mortals rarely think before they speak. You’re no exception.
A sigh: Now that you’ve defeated Heid and the six spinners who defied the gods, what are your plans now?
She finishes her wine: Tyr and I will continue to do our jobs, and we visit each other often. Our goals are constant, which is more than I can say for mankind. Are you finished now? Noir’s waiting for me at my condo.
Q: Your cat? He’s rather independent, isn’t he?
A: Yes, that’s why I like him.
She raises an eyebrow at the interviewer, and he gives in graciously: Thank you for your time.
She turns to walk away and fades from view. The interviewer stares after her for a moment, then turns to leave, too. Interview over.