The Cimatura, often called the Talisman of the Witches, is undoubtedly the oldest surviving symbol of hereditary Witchcraft.
This symbol is certainly inherited from the antique bronze amulet of the Etruscans representing the grass Rue, which amulet is found in the museum of Bologna. As late as the 19th century, ancient cimatura amulets were made of silver, a tradition that continues to this day. The cimatura symbol itself is a blade of grass known as rue, worn as a sign of membership in the Society of Diana, and by association with the Old Religion of Witches.
The rue strand symbol is divided into three branches, representing Diana Trisformis, the Three-Faced Goddess (who may be related to the Goddess Greek Hecate, also bearing the name of Trisformis). Each branch ends in a bud to which various occult symbols are attached.
For Italian witches, the cimatura contains the symbols of the fish, the rooster, the moon, the snake, the key, the dagger and the flower.
The fish is sacred to Proserpina, goddess of the sea and by association, is a creature of the underworld. The fish is a symbol of the occult force of life, of the fertile power of procreation.
The rooster is sacred to the sun and nicknamed "the watchful guardian". It is the herald of sunrise, but roosters are also very aggressive and will chase away any intruder into their territory. There legend indicates that roosters also drive away undesirable spirits, in this we can see an association again with the sun driving out the darkness of the night. Therefore, the rooster appears as a symbol of vigilance and protection.
The moon on the cimatura is the representation of the cult to the moon goddess, since in ancient times the moon was seen as the goddess in herself. So to wear this symbol means to bear allegiance to what it represents.
The serpent is a symbol of health, as well as reflected in the ancient symbolism of Caduceus. The passage to the Underworld was guarded by snakes, sometimes represented by ropes and in this we can interpret that health "blocks" the coming of death. The serpent is also associated with the underworld because it disappears into holes and crevices. During antiquity, it was also linked to the themes of sensuality and sexuality (the essential essence of life force).
The snake indeed can represent a phallus, which moves, which comes and goes in the holes and crevices, in the Hells of the rebirth. In ancient art, we often see a snake forming a circle with its body, swallowing its tail in its mouth, thus symbolizing perpetual union, the wheel of life that turns and has no end. The poisonous serpent is a symbol of the power of transformation, of the sexual aspects of the magical fluids produced in the body by stimulation of the endocrine system.
The key is the symbol of the guardian of the gates. Keys allow access to prohibited or restricted areas. On the cimatura, the key indicates that whoever wears it has the key to the Mysteries.
The dagger is Diana Venatrix's stinger, which has the power to destroy and transform (just like the poisonous serpent). It is the symbol of the power of the wizard.
The flower on the cimatura is a vervain flower, its five petals symbolize the pentagram of protection and the sign of the witch.
It is interesting to note that Hecate Trisformis, from which Diana would come, in ancient iconography, is represented with a key, a snake and a dagger.