Artemis – the Goddess
Artemis is the tall, lovely daughter of Leto and Zeus. She is the first born twin-sister of Apollo and assists her mother during an extremely difficult and painful labor of her brother. At 3 years old, she first meets her father, Zeus, who is very pleased with her courage and beauty and offers her anything she wishes. At this young age, Artemis already knows exactly what she wants and asks for a bow and arrow, a pack of hounds to hunt with, nymphs to accompany her, a tunic short enough to run in, mountains and wilderness and the privilege of making the selections herself. In the myths, Artemis acts swiftly and decisively to protect and rescue those who appeal to her for help. She is also quick to punish those who offend her without mercy.
Beautiful and tall young woman with golden curls, who was much taller than all her companions, Artemis liked wandering in the fields, in the woods and near springs.Her chariot was made of gold and was pulled by four golden horned deer.
Artemis never got married. She remained a virgin and she expected the same from her female companions (usually nymphs) who she was spending time hunting and hiking.
She was a proud, wild, instinctive and competitive, and sometimes extremely vindictive goddess whose arrows cause diseases and pierce anyone who who had the misfortune to expose themselves to her. Artemis the goddess never suffered, but usually caused others to suffer.
Artemis was a back-to-nature woman; a sister; she belonged to no man. Artemis strongly represents independence from men and male opinions, a passionate concern for powerless women and children, and for women experiencing childbirth.
Constant in the pursuit of an ideal, often individualistic in an accentuated way, even if she prefers to be part of a group; she is almost a portrait of the feminists of the seventies. Any type of relationship she sets up must be absolutely equal and must leave room for her sense of independence and pursuit of her interests.
Artemis – the Archetype (the "wild" aspect)
Artemis is a complex Goddess who is present in various Archetypes. Today I am concentrating on her "wild" or "back-to-nature" aspect. I will come back to Her in the next few months to explore Her other facets.
Artemis, as Goddess of the Hunt, the Moon and the Wilderness is the personification of an independent feminine spirit. The archetype she represents enables a woman to seek her own goals on terrain of her own choosing. She belongs to the Virgin Goddesses and is ‘One-in-Herself’, representing a sense of wholeness. This attitude allows a woman to take care of herself, to function on her own with self-confidence and an independent spirit which makes her feel whole without a man. When men are intimidated by a woman and feel her capacity for merciless destruction, it is most likely a woman with a dominant Artemis Archetype.
She is the one whispering in your ear about the magic of nature, getting out and going back to basics, about letting yourself be wild every now and then, to reconnect with your instincts, listen to your inner wild woman and take some time to walk the wild woman path.
Instead of paraphrasing Jean Shinoda Bolen writing about Artemis ... Let me just quote her ... She writes about Artemis in such a clear and clever way ...
" In her affinity for the wilderness and undomesticated nature, Artemis is the archetype responsible for the at-oneness with themselves and with nature felt by some women when they backpack into forested mountains, fall asleep under the moon and stars, walk on a deserted beach, or gaze across the desert and feel themselves in spiritual communion with nature.
Lynn Thomas, writing in The Backpacking Woman, describes the perceptions of a woman appreciating the wilderness through her Artemis nature: There are for starters, grandeur and silence, pure water and clean air. There is also the gift of distance…the chance to stand away from relationships and daily ritual…and the gift of energy. Wilderness infuses us with its own special brand of energy. I remember lying by the Snake River in Idaho once and becoming aware I could not sleep…natures’s forces had me in hand. I was engulfed by a dance of ions and atoms. My body was responding to the pervasive pull of the moon.
The eye-on-target clarity of focus of Artemis the Hunter, is one of two modes of “seeing” associated with Artemis. “Moonlight vision” is also characteristic of Artemis as the Moon Goddess. Seen by moonlight, a landscape is muted, details are indistinct, beautiful, and often mysterious. One’s vision is drawn upward to the starry heavens or to a vast, panoramic view of nature. In moonlight, a person in touch with Artemis becomes an unself-conscious part of nature, in it and one-with-it for a time.
In her book Women in the Wilderness, China Galland emphasizes that when women walk into the wilderness they also walk inward: “Going into the wilderness involves the wilderness within us all. This may be the deepest value of such an experience, the recognition of our kinship with the natural world.” Women who follow Artemis into the wilderness characteristically discover themselves becoming more reflective.
Often, their dreams are more vivid than usual, which contributes to their looking inward. They see inner terrain and dream symbols by “moonlight,” so to speak, in contrast to tangible reality, which is best appreciated in the bright light of day."
- Jean Shinoda BOlen
Goddesses in Everywoman
And by the way if you've not read that book ... well do so !
This amazing woman also wrote another amazing book, dedicated to the Artemis Archetype, called "The Indomitable Spirit in Everywoman".
To finish, here is a list of keywords and phrases to help you understand the Archetype. Of course they might seem string and definitive but they might help you get a better idea of what I'm talking about.
The Archetype expresses: power; independence; achievement; dynamism; integrity; inner strength; energy; vitality, entrepreneurial spirit; competence; audacity; determination; sisterhood; athleticism; competition; pride; focus; initiative; leadership; freedom.
Shadow aspects : detached from others; excess of masculinity; aggressiveness;inflexibility; hard character; lack of vulnerability and empathy;rigidity; lacks a real emotional and intimacy capacity; prefers friendship relationships or career, creative projects to lasting bonds; emotionally detached;easily hurts other people’s feelings; if offended, will destroy and punish without mercy; lack of humility.
Today, for the modern woman, she can be an inspiration to reconnect with nature and with her own nature, and to consider being more focused and determined, audacious and independent.
I'll let you ponder that and tell me all about it in the comments.
And I’ll see you lovely people.
In the meantime, I’m sending, as always, love, light and gratitude.
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