artemis

(samhain)

October, 2017

(samhain)

 

 

 

the leaves fly as i drive home blowing formica gold seventies orange & a washed-out green just a few bright reds this drought has made for a dull autumn still the sun reflects the jewelry in leaves yet clinging to trees the leaves fly after a frost so long in coming oh demeter i will miss you as you search for your daughter oh hecate i do revel in your golden splendor oh artemis i long to join you in this season’s hunt the leaves fly as i drive home the sun sets in a mass of growing clouds red & gold & purple & midnight blue the onset of a cold front

***

About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

 

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

March, 2016

artemis

(Dedicated to Sunshine)

artemis1

(Photo Credit: symbolreader.net)

he Greek Goddess, artemis, is very complex. She personifies opposites.

She is seen as a virginal moon goddess, however, She is a goddess of fertility and childbirth. She was a fierce hunter, who could kill with one shot of her arrow; yet, She fiercely protected the animals of the forest and woods.

She is said to be born of Zeus and Leto. At the time of her birth, Leto was very weak, and so, it is told that She helped birth her twin brother, Apollo. Due to this, she is a Goddess of Fertility and Childbirth, a force of creation. Women in childbirth would pray to her for the safety of their children and of themselves.

As a child, she was asked by Zeus what she wanted for her birthday. She replied that she wanted a bow and arrow, like her brother; She wanted to bring light into the world, and She wanted to live her life free from love and marriage.

She valued freedom above all else and refused to conform to convention or the traditional roles of women. She was quick to anger if any man would look upon her.

Aktaon was found spying on her, unclothed, while she bathed. In Her anger at his behavior, she turned him into a stag. His hunting dogs, not knowing it was him, tore him apart.

artemis2

(Photo Credit: greekmythology.wikia.com)

As a bringer of light into a dark world, She is often portrayed carrying a torch or a candle, always lighting the way for others. She nurtured the needy and protected the weak. As She defended the people against the patriarchy of the Olympian gods, She was an early feminist and is invoked by some of today’s Goddess feminists, most often in her guise of the Roman Diana.

artemis3

(Photo Credit: gettyimages.com)

She is portrayed always in the company of other women, bathing or roaming through the forest, which was Her domain. This domain is the home of two of her symbols, the bear and the stag. Her rituals were conducted within the forest and trees, under the sacred light of the full moon.

The women, or nymphs that accompanied her, would run with here through the woods, as fast and sure as the deer. When they could not run from the men who chased them, they would call upon artemis for protection.

One such woman was Daphne, who ran away from Apollo, the brother of artemis. She was in such fear of being captured and used by Apollo, that she called out to emis to save her, whereupon artemis transformed her into a laurel tree. Apollo was ever seen after that with a wreath of laurel upon his brow.

artemis4

(Photo Credit: greekmythology.wikia.com)

Another, Arethusa, who also loved her freedom and roaming the wood, was running from Alpheus when she called upon artemis. She was rescued by being transformed into a beautiful spring of clear, clean water; as such she would still have the freedom to roam through the forest.

Even though they looked to Her as the Goddess of War, She was worshipped as the many-breasted Mother Goddess of the Amazons at Her Temple at Ephesus, which was a Wonder of the Ancient World. She was served by the Melissa, the Bee Priestesses, who are also associated with Aphrodite, Persephone, Demeter and Cybele. As the Mother of the Amazons, she was called “Proto Thronia” – artemis, First Upon the Throne. She and her Temple were held as sacred.

This is a portrayal of the Melissa, the Bee Priestesses of artemis.

artemis5

(Photo Credit: realmofgoldthenovel.blogspot.com)

The Greek traveler and geographer, Pausanius said of Ephesus, “All cities worship emis of Ephesus and individuals hold her in honor above all other deities. This is due to the renown of the Amazons, , those who first consecrated the land of Ephesus, those who dedicated the first image of the Goddess before the Ionian Greeks arrived”.

artemis6

(Photo credit: thinglink.com)

While some will state that the Temple at Pyrrichos in Greece belonged to Apollo, it was to artemis that the Temple belonged, as it was built to honor Amazons who had fallen in war.

While emis was identified with Dyktynna in Crete, Britomartis in Minoa and Bendis, who rode a mighty horse through Thrace with her torch and spear, She is most identified with the Roman Goddess Diana.

Diana, who was originally the Goddess of the open sky became the Huntress Moon Goddess of Rome. She also was worshipped only out of doors. Her name comes from the word “diania”, which means intelligence. She gives her name to Dianic Witchcraft, as founded by Zsuzanna Budapest.

A ritual to emis would have your altar adorned with a green altar cloth and green candle to symbolize the forest. The Goddess candle, symbolizing artemis, would be white or silver. Some of the symbols you could include would be the moon, a stag or bear, or any other forest animal.

As always, take a cleansing bath before ritual and cast a circle in your own tradition. Breathe, meditate and focus on artemis and what you would ask of her. Light the white Goddess candle. When done, thank Her for Her presence and close your circle according to your own tradition.

Blessings

Resources:

The New Book of Goddesses & Heroines by Patricia Monaghan

goddessgift.com

Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood by Merlin Stone

Girl Talk: Getting to know the Goddesses

May, 2013

 

This is the first article for this new monthly series. The intention is to explore their myth’s, symbols and sacred objects, and other interesting information addressing an individual Goddess each month.

 

Since this is the first of this series I decided to start with emis: Goddess of Light and Protector of the Vulnerable. I have been drawn to emis for years, and have been fortunate enough to have received her assistance.

 

In Greek mythology emis was the daughter of Zeus, ruler of the Olympian gods. The first story we hear of emis is that her mother, Leto, gave birth to her after a short and painless labor, but as her labor continued with emis’s twin brother Apollo, Leto began to have difficulty. Moved to compassion, the infant goddess emis, only a few minutes old, became her mother’s midwife and delivered Apollo. It would seem that emis was naturally born to serve as a nurturer and protector. Due to the fact that she caused her mother no pain during childbirth, and successfully served as midwife during her brother’s birth, she naturally became the patron of childbirth, protector of children, and the goddess who especially heard the appeals of women.

 

emis was always responsive to the needs of the vulnerable and suffering, and was quick to defend the powerless against unjust treatment. It is not a surprise that emis would come to be thought of as the “feminist” goddess.

 

emis’ association with the natural world , the wilderness, symbolizes her own untamed spirit. The most independent of the goddesses, she roamed the forests as a huntress with her pack of hunting dogs. She was famous for her hunting skills, her unerring aim. She was known as a fearless and responsible hunter, able to bring down any beast.

 

emis was especially fierce in her protection of the young and gentle animals. In spite of this side of her she could also be vengeful and impulsive. When she discovered that Callisto, one of the nymphs in her band of companions, had violated her vow of chastity and become pregnant as the result of an affair with Zeus, she changed her into a bear without a moment’s hesitation. Had Zeus not intervened and placed her in the stars as the constellation Callisto (The Bear) she would have died quickly as a victim of the hunt.

 

emis was often associated with the moon, especially the new moon. One of the many names she was also known by was Phoebe which means light or bright one. As “Goddess of light” she had the divine duty of illuminating the darkness. emis was often depicted carrying a candle or a torch, lighting the way for others.

 

In Greek mythology emis is depicted as one of the compassionate, healing goddesses, in spite of her fierce independence.

 

The Greek Goddess emis gives us courage. Like her counterpart, the Roman goddess Diana, she illuminates those places that frighten us, and lends us the strength to bring us safely through our fears.

 

Goddess Symbols and Sacred Objects of emis

 

General: Crescent moon (new moon), bow and arrow, clouds, 3 pillars, blue sky

 

Animals: Dogs, guinea fowl, horses, bear, dove, deer, and bee

 

Plants: Anemones, flowering almond, hazel, ranunculus, honeysuckle, thistle, laurel

 

Scents: Jasmine, aloe, ginseng, lemon verbena, and camphor

 

Gems: Moonstone, pearl, quartz, diamonds, turquoise, crystal

 

Metals: Silver, aluminum, and iron

 

Colors: Silver, white, red, green, and turquoise

 

I have found emis of great help in protection spells for children and dogs. I have had quite a few “heart to heart’s” with this goddess and she has been of assistance to me on more than one occasion. Call to her in meditations where you seek self assurance, courage, helping you to be fair and honest with others. She is definitely a Goddess of compassion, but don’t forget that she can also be impulsive so be sure to leave her an offering of thanks whenever you call upon her.

 

The Grove

April, 2010

emis

Silence. Only the sound of my breathing breaks it.

Stillness. Only my fidgeting disturbs it.

No stars are visible tonight. The moon covers its face with a tattered curtain of cloud. Ah there it is, flashing briefly in the distance. Wrapping velvety blackness around me like a cloak, I step out into the night & begin to walk. I am one shadow amongst many, & yet… isolated.

I glance upward again. This time I fail to find it. I feel as far away from my goddess of choice as I do the hiding moon. I’ve been a self-dedicated priestess of artemis since roughly 2005. It should be easy for me to speak of Her;I feel odd that it isn’t.

I don’t claim to have a complete understanding of the Athenian calendar system, but I try my best to incorporate as much of it into my spiritual life as I’m able & is meaningful for me. I’m aware of a couple of feast-days which honour artemis falling in the Month of April. On the 8th She is celebrated as an embodiment of all that’s feminine in Nature & protectress of women. On or around the 18th there’s a day which honours Her as an embodiment of the moon. I suppose it’s natural, then, for my thoughts to turn to Her at this time.

I can’t help but notice a certain sense of duality in Her nature. This is shown from Her birth. Her parents are the Olympian Zeus & the Titan Leto. Her brother is Apollo,   god of prophecy, healing, & music. As He took on some of the duties of the solar deity Helios, so did artemis take on traits of the lunar Selene. Sharing a bond closer than most siblings, the twins form 2 sides of the same coin.

I am not a mother yet & I find it difficult to relate to this aspect of Her. I find it somewhat ironic that a virgin goddess preside over matters pertaining to childbirth & pregnancy.  As artemis Kourotrophos She’s the ‘upbringer of young children’. As Lochia She becomes the patroness of pregnant women. One might think that artemis got an early start in these roles. Her arrows might bring death to Her prey, yet She is equally capable of creating life. A jealous Hera cursed Leto, saying that no land would shelter her when her time came. Zeus raised the island of Delos for her. artemis was born 1st & was able to assist Her mother giving birth to Her twin.

artemis favours mountains & wild places. As much as She seems to value Her solitude, She is also deeply loyal to those She cares about. artemis & Apollo  slew  the children of Niobe, wife of the King of Thebes. Once she boasted to to Leto, the divine twins’ mum, that even as a mere mortal she had bore more children & therefore was superior than the Titan. Apollo heard of this & became violently insulted. He told artemis, who helped him hunt down all Niobe’s children. Apollo shot & killed all the males; artemis took down all the females.

She has always strongly defended Her sense of self & principles. She is fiercely protective of Her virgin status. Spare a thought for the hunter Aktaion’s tragedy. He has the misfortune to accidental stumble across the goddess bathing in a river. A snarling emis immediately transformed him into a stag, which was ripped apart by his own dogs. Harsh! However, this isn’t to say She’s entirely without compassion for men. Although immune to the goddess of love Aphrodite’s charms, emis came to greatly admire the hunter Orion. Orion was also seeing goddess of the dawn Eos on the side. Apollo grew concerned that His sister’s chastity was in danger & that She would be used as Eos was. In the end the archer god sent a giant scorpion after him. Orion attempted to swim to the island sanctuary of Eos in hopes that She’s protect him. In one version of the myth Apollo conned emis into an archery contest, betting that She couldn’t hit that little speck on the horizon. Never one to refuse a challenge, She hit Her mark & put an end to Orion & the threat he posed to Her virtue.

artemis possesses the surety of the arrow. Her sight is true. Her aim is steadfast. She challenges each of us to stay true to our core selves & to demand nothing less than the right keep to our ideals & goals. Remember Her dual nature, though. Balance temper or stubborn pursuit with compassion, passion with reason. Above all, seek Her. Look for artemis in green & silent places. Ask that She bless you with Her presence & let you walk beside Her for a time.