Some days ago, as usual, I went to the forest in the hills around my house to make the legnaticum.
I have made a long walk with my baculum (I left my car in the garage any time I can: I prefer to walk whenever I can): I went through the forest to pick dead branches the trees leave on the ground. With these branches I make some bundles I use during winter at home for my fireplace.
As usual, while walking inside the forest, my thoughts were directed to those Goddesses giving life to these so particular places. First of all Diana: then I invoked Marica in order to be able to make my legnaticum in harmony with the trees and the forest in that moment were hosting me (we are always guests in any sacred place) giving me the possibility to make the legnaticum.
Marica is "the Lady of the Forests", an Italic potnia (maybe with origins in Sabinia): she was very well-known and respected in the past in the countryside in Central Italy. This Goddess had a lucus near Minturno, but all the forests (in particular the moist and swampy forests) are sacred to Marica (mara = swamp). Marica moreover gives life to the wild plants and grass in the forests giving to these plants their peculiar properties.
Marica also protects the newborns (Bona Dea)
Marica, sometimes also assimilated to Circe, symbolically gives life, support and help but in the sametime she can give Death: she transfers these characteristics to the wild plants. It is thus important for the Arvales to have a deep knowledge about Marica and the properties of the wild plants and herbs.
She is the sacralization of these places scarcely contaminated by the human presence. She is the Lady of the "Nobody's Land".
I have written this brief invocation, to be used before entering a forest, using contributions from Callimachus and the Orphic Hymn to Artemis.
You rarely go into town
You live in the mountains, visiting
the cities of humans, only when women
struck with painful labor, call to you for aid
Wild, infera, you kill the beasts with the happy destiny
You occupy the forests in the mountains, hurt the deer, augusta
I recognize you as queen of these places