Lake Nemi is an ancient lake that is located east of Rome in the Alban Hills where the temple of Diana once stood, surrounded by her sacred grove. In ancient times the lake was known as "Diana's Mirror" because the reflection of the moon upon Lake Nemi could be perfectly viewed from the temple.
A stream flowed into Lake Nemi from a sacred grotto nearby the temple. This stream was associated with the water nymph named Egeria. Both Egeria and Diana are early forms in the Lady of the Lake mythos. The Lady of the Lake was intimately connected with the guardian of the sacred grove of Diana. He was referred to as Rex Nemorensis, the King of the Woods, whose role it was to guard Diana's sanctuary at Nemi.
It might be mentioned that the Irish word neimed that means "sanctuary" is uniquely similar to the word "Nemi" itself, which comes from the Latin nemus, meaning "sacred grove."
One of the major problems with 'defining' Paganism and/or its beliefs and practices is that it is an 'organic' movement, in that it is undergoing constant change and re-evaluation from within, and as such any 'one-size-fits-all' approach to understanding Paganism will be found wanting.
Due to the very 'organic' nature of Paganism, and the many differing Paths and Traditions within it, in many cases no one definition may be universally accepted by all Pagans. Therefore, where such cases of possible conflicting and/or contradictory meanings of certain terms occur I have endevoured to give not only the generally accepted meaning, but also any major 'variations' in belief and/or practice.
Christians who believe this difference in meaning of certain key terms, beliefs and practices to be unique to Paganism need to remember that such conflicts also arise within the Body of Christ - the Church. Take for instance the differing practices amongst Christians concerning Baptism and the different attitudes towards women in the clergy.
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