A Conversation with the Gods: Artemis

  • SumoMe

 

Artemis

In the grace of wilderness, Artemis loved solitude but when called on had the temperament of Ares; her arrows swift and precise.

Goddess of the hunt, protectress of the vulnerable, she rebelled against the norms, demanded respect and set the rules.

Somebody had to do it.

No Time to be a Child

First born from the womb – some say Artemis was an easy birth for her mother, Leto. Yet what followed was the great labor pains of her twin brother, Apollo. Artemis sprung into maturity and assisted in the birth.

She immediately accepted and declared her talents.

Cunningly, she asked her father Zeus for the tools to help her; in her famous six requests. The stags, bow and arrows, a band of nymphs, the wilderness, never to marry and remain a virgin, and that no city would be named for her.

With discipline and focus, Artemis perfected her archery on the trees and dangerous prowling beast of the ancient world. She became the patron of childbirth and was swift to defend anybody from unjust treatment.

And as for her relationship with her twin brother, to wrong one was to wrong the other.

Light fades to dark; dark fades to light.

 

Balance and Survival

Apollo the sun, Artemis the Moon.

Artemis was a mysterious contradiction; she protected animals but was goddess of the hunt. She assisted in childbirth but remained a virgin herself. Representative of a dualistic nature of Universal law; contradictions add lovely dimension.

In the dark where both fear and excitement exist, when longing to roam but stunned by anxiety, helpless in the cold, longing to fade; Artemis is the fire in the torch. The silver of the moon. Her arrows pierce through the heart of catastrophe while guiding us to sunlit destination; Apollo’s sun.

Survival is self-awareness.

 

Artemis

 

Nobody Touches a Goddess

Gods and men loved her, attracted to what they could not have. Many tried to deceive her and many of her Nymphs fell victim of manipulation of those trying to leap over the walls of boundaries.

Whether good or ill intentioned, they all paid the price.

But fate is complex and even a goddess is not immune…

 

Orion constellation

 

Orion in the Stars

Early morning sunlight cast over the island of Crete.

With his dogs at his side, gentle faced Orion took to the forest for a days’ hunt.

Darting between the cypress and pines, glimmers of white caught his attention, but Orion decided it was a trick of the mind. 

His dogs leapt for a target and suddenly Orion found himself face to face with the Goddess whose soul shone from head to toe. Terrified, he averted his eyes to the forest floor and noticed the wild violets, red poppies, young chamomile, flowering thyme; all the blossoms in nature seemed to bow down in respect.

Orion begged for Artemis’ forgives; he did not mean to intrude with her hunt.

Artemis listened and appreciated his sincerity; she had heard of his hunting prowess and his humble nature. She invited him to join her.

Goddess and mortal, together with their dogs, stalked the forest. After the sun sunk into the Aegean, they lit a camp fire and as they spoke common beliefs were discovered.

Moonrise over Greece

 

 

Orion braved the question on many men’s lips: how could Artemis welcome life into the world as swiftly as she could take it? Artemis was straightforward in her answer: it was her duty to ease suffering.

‘Is it true that you were your mother’s midwife just moments after your own birth?’ Orion ventured further.

Artemis shrugged ‘She suffered great labor pains giving birth to my twin brother. Perhaps that is why I felt compelled to dedicate myself to helping other women,’ Artemis paused in her thoughts and decided that yes, she would confide in her new friend. ‘And perhaps why I chose to live in maidenhood, as to never feel such pain.’

An inner whirlwind stirred Orion’s spirit, he thanked the fates that he and Artemis were so well met.

As the night darkened, the stars drew brighter, words faded from their lips; they slept by the diminishing embers of the campfire.

Greek sun

 

The sunlight of Apollo ascended in the morning sky. Where was his sister? Apollo searched the realm and finally found Artemis sound asleep, next to this strange man.

In all his anger, and in all his protectiveness of his sister and her oaths, he circled them and began to whistle a tune, waking them up.

Artemis, happy to see her twin, told Apollo to stay and meet Orion while she went to find them breakfast.

Apollo glared at Orion. From the ground manifested a giant, red terrifying scorpion. Orion sprinted through the forest, to the Cretan shores and dove into the chilled Aegean Sea where he swam for his life.

Artemis returned to their campsite and looked around in confusion. Where was Orion?

Apollo quickly changed the subject, led her to the shore, and challenged Artemis to shoot a tiny dot in the sea.

With swift precision, she extinguished the life of the gentle faced man who was unraveling her heart.

Apollo vanished as the realization settled in. In time Artemis would understand that Apollo was only protecting her; but Artemis mourned for Orion.

She cast him up into the sky as the constellation Orion.

 

 

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