Artemis and You
Updated: Nov 22, 2020
The Goddess most often associated with the sign of Sagittarius is Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt and the protector of women. Known as Diana to the Romans, Artemis was associated with wild animals but also domesticated animals as she roamed the forests with her dogs. Animals sacred to Artemis include the stag, hare, doe and quail as well as the bear and lioness. These animals represent her elusiveness and gentleness as well as her regality and destructive power.
The tall, lovely and fiercely independent daughter of Zeus and the Titan Goddess of modesty and kindness, Leto, Artemis, was three years old when she was brought before her father and her other divine relatives. Zeus was so taken by his beautiful daughter that he offered to give her whatever her heart desired and Artemis asked for a bow and arrows, a pack of hounds to hunt with, a chiton (a short dress, worn casually with one breast bare), nymphs to accompany her, wilderness to roam in and eternal chastity.
Artemis was determined to remain a Virgin. The word “virgin” in those days was used to describe an unmarried woman who was autonomous, independent and untied. It did not mean she was untouched.
In myth, Artemis acted swiftly to help those who appealed for her help and she was equally decisive with those who offended her. When the giant Tityus tried to rape her mother, Artemis slew him with her bow and arrow and when poor blundering Acteaon stumbled upon Artemis and her nymphs bathing in a pool, Artemis changed him into a stag and he was ripped apart by her dogs.
Artemis was also worshipped as a Moon Goddess and in this aspect is related to both Selene and Hecate.
Artemis and You
Artemis is an archetype present in women who are in touch with their masculine energy and come across, especially in youth, as boyish. These are the women who like me, preferred the company of animals and trees to playing with Barbie. These are women who are nurtured by Mother Nature and attuned to their wild nature.
Many girls start out as archetypes of Artemis but puberty and patriarchy turn us into socially acceptable versions of femininity. Where once as young girls we were unafraid to compete and speak our minds, we comply by refraining from authentic self-expression and purposefully stunt our own personal development.
We learn not to express anger or strong opinions. We dumb ourselves down. We learn to feel ashamed of parts of ourselves that do not fit into a patriarchal view of what it means to be attractive and feminine.
(When I use the word patriarchy I am not talking about men because as bell hooks says, patriarchy has no gender and is enforced and normalized by men and women)
The Virgin archetype is an independent type. This is a woman who is comfortable in her own skin and doesn’t need an “other” to complete her.
You identify with this archetype if you -
Have a genuine connection with Mother Earth
You need wilderness like you need oxygen
You have a special relationship with animals
You are a fierce protector of animals, wilderness, children and women
You may also need to work on the following:
Reclaiming the parts of yourself that you cut off as a girl or young woman in order to blend in.
Feel your feelings.
Share your opinion.
Work on building better relationships.
Develop and show your nurturing side.
Connect with nature on a deeper and more instinctual level.
Bolen, Jean Shinoda, M.D. 1984 Goddesses In Everywoman, Powerful Archetypes in of Women's Lives Publisher HarperCollins, New York