Artemis has many myths as to whose daughter she is and where she was born. It is said Artemis was born in Delos as the daughter of Leto and Zeus and the sister of Apollo. It is also believed she was born in a cavern at a foot of a mountain near Ephesus. Artemis' temple at Ephesus was one of the 7 wonders of the Ancient world. And was said to be built by the Amazons, her group of devout nymphs, Priestesses, and hand Maidens.
However I agree with Carla Osborne who says "Artemis is far too old a Goddess to be the daughter of Zeus, as ancient Greek writers would like to claim. The Goddess most often named as her mother was Leto, originally named Eni Mahanah and also very ancient. Both have Anatolian roots that stretch back to the Neolithic. If Artemis were the daughter of Leto then she probably would have been a parthenogenetic one, or a Leto herself as a youth."
Artemis is a Triple Goddess and represents each phase fully. She is the Maiden free, wild, and without need of a man, whole unto herself. She is the mother as seen as the Many Breasted Artemis at her Temple in Ephesus, nurturer of all that lives. It was believed that this statue of the Many Breasted Artemis fell from heaven. And she is the powerful Crone, huntress, collector of souls. Artemis provides swift death with her silver arrows to her women and animals, keeping the natural laws of life, death, and rebirth. All life is sacred to her but she favors women, children and animals.
As the Amazonian Moon Goddess she was called the Mother of all creatures. Yet she was also the Huntress, killer of the very creatures she brought forth. In Her Huntress aspect she is another form of the destroying Crone and waning Moon. At night Artemis led her Priestesses in the nocturnal hunt. The Greeks called the Scythians who revered Artemis, Alani "Hunting Dogs". Her Priestesses wore the masks of hunting dogs during this hunt and it is believed that the mythological hunting dogs who tore the God Actaeon to pieces were really Artemis' sacred bitches!
For my original art I chose to make a mask of one of Artemis' hunting dogs. This mask is modeled after my own dog Sukeena who is a Basenji and hunting dog from Africa.
Dogs, horses, deer, bears, wolves, birds, lions, animals in general.
Artemisia (mugwort), cypress, cedar, hazel, laurel, oak trees, almond, and mandrake.
Bow and arrow, all Moon phases, breasts, swiftly running water, the double axe, masks and face paint.
Moonstone, pearl, quartz (amethyst) lakes and woodlands, sanctuaries in nature.
Artemis is associated with the Goddess Diana, Leto, Hipta, Bendis, Bast, Hecate, and most Maiden Goddesses.
Artemis' Priestesses at her Temple in Ephesus were called Mellisai or Bees. They worshiped her in Sparta with orgiastic dancing and called her Korythalia.
In great circle dances with clashing swords and shields and the stomping of battle clad feet she was worshiped by the Amazons as a war mother and Protectress of their daughters.
In Greece all full Moons were sacred to the Goddess of the wilderness. There was a great feast to honor her on the full moon in September. At this feast a goat was sacrificed to her in recognition of the fact that she controlled all animal life. In my research of ritual sacrifice I have found that the animal that was to be eaten at the feast was the one "sacrificed" in a ritual manor offering the head of the animal to the Goddess and then cooking and feasting on the body.
It was said that Artemis would hang up her bow and quiver, robe herself in splendor and lead her Amazons in dance.
The Temple of Artemis:
(from the net, original author unknown to me, and me)
Altar to Artemis
Midnight is soon approaching, so you go to a familiar clearing within the woods. You bring with you 2 vessels, one water and one of wine, a mixing bowl, a small red bag containing a sprig of rue, and a pinch of salt. You take a moment to enjoy the Magickal power of the evening. You set your
objects down and remove your clothing. You kneel into the soft ground, while the moisture of the grass sends tingles up your spine. You place the bowl in front of you, pouring some of the water and
wine into it. Then you drop the pinch of salt into the bowl, as it sifts down through the liquid.
You take the sprig of rue from the small bag and dip it into the bowl. You begin to anoint yourself in the manner of the pentacle... right nipple.. forehead… left nipple.. right shoulder… left shoulder… right nipple.
You then cup the sprig of rue in you palms and lift it towards the Moon, saying:
I kneel beneath the same Moon that all the Amazons of old have knelt before.
I am one with them in this sacred light. Hear me O' Artemis, Goddess of the Moon,
Queen of all Amazons, for I bear the symbols of the Old Ways. **
Hear me then, and think yet even for a moment upon this worshipper who kneels before you.
For I have heard my Sisters stories, and I believe the words of herstory.
When they spoke of your beauty in the night sky, when they bid us seek and find you above all others. Here as the Full Moon shines upon me, receive me as your child
and grant me the powers of those who follow you. For I believe in the gifts of Sisters past.
You again anoint yourself... right nipple.. forehead… left nipple.. right shoulder… left shoulder… right nipple.
Artemis, beautiful Artemis, Goddess of the Moon and beyond,
Goddess of the dark night and all of nature,
please grant me your favor. You anoint yourself a third time with the spring of rue, saying:
In the name of Artemis, so may it be. ** I had painted a V on my forehead.**
Then I did the part I wrote which is: Artemis' birthday:
I come this night to honor you mother, my Queen.
Eternal Queen of the Amazons mother of us all.
I Varia offer you 5 reasons I am grateful to you.
You have shown me the way to my Sisters, my kin, my Nation.
You have given me the most beautiful Amazon Body. **This applies to every Amazon body out there!!!!**
You continue to stand at my side no matter how much I push you away.
You are the life force beating within us all.
You are teaching me to be proud, smart, strong, and whole.
Artemis I come to celebrate your birth with an offering of my blood, wine, and bread.
Feast this night Artemis and know I am yours forever more.
Varia )O( May 04
I believe that Artemis is and was a lesbian. She needed no man to be complete, she was whole unto herself.
She preferred the company of her Amazons and animals to that of men and Gods. And it is believed that Callisto or Kalliste was Artemis' lover.
Z. Budapest sees Artemis this way and I agree.
"I am Artemis lover of women. My lovers prowess is equal to that of men. I am wild and love to roam. Freedom is my natural environment. I am Lady of the Beasts. I am possessed by a hungry, grownup kind of love. I am yearning for my mate, my most beautiful and beloved Callisto, the winds lift her skirts and reveal her milky thighs, she sets me on fire!"
Z. Budapest - The Grandmother of Time.
Artemis to me is a whole and complete Goddess, needing no man at her side to help her rule her domain. She has qualities for each phase of our lives and can be called upon for just about any need.
Artemis' power is swift and forceful and one must be ready for this when enlisting her help.
She stands for freedom, liberation, equal rights for all living things. Artemis encourages us to revel in the thrill of the hunt, to be naked, free, and whole unto ourselves. Artemis leads and encourages us to lead. She teaches great love and dedication and also teaches the greatest love of all…. death.
The knowing that in ending suffering, giving death to something or someone is in itself the greatest gift of life and love through rebirth.
I am forever in your service Artemis!!
Love Varia )O( Moon