Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Artemis/Diana ~ Goddess of the hunt & chilbirth



Origins: Hellinistic, Greek
Language: Greek
Translation: Meaning unknown, possibly related either to Greek αρτεμης (artemes) "safe" or αρταμος (artamos) "a butcher".
Feast Days: Month of April, May 24th, & December 29th (Artemis) and April 11th, May 27th, & August 17th (Diana)
Goddess of: hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and protector of young girls, bringing and relieving disease in women
Goddess Type: Mother Goddess & Earth Goddess
Also Known As: Diana, Eileithyia
Symbols/Offerings: deer, cypress, Bow, arrows, stags, hunting dog, moon

History

Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Her Roman equivalent is Diana. Some scholars believe that the name and indeed the goddess herself was originally pre-Greek. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron: "Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals". The Arcadians believed she was the daughter of Demeter.

In the classical period of Greek mythology, Artemis was often described as the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. She often was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows. In later Hellenistic times, she even assumed the ancient role of Eileithyia in aiding childbirth.

As a virgin, Artemis had interested many gods and men, but only her hunting companion, Orion, won her heart. Orion was accidentally killed either by Artemis or by Gaia.
Alpheus, a river god, was in love with Artemis, but he realizes that he can do nothing to win her heart. So he decides to capture her.

Artemis, who is with her companions at Letrenoi, goes to Alpheus, but, suspicious of his motives, she covers her face with mud so that the river god does not recognize her. In another story, Alphaeus tries to rape Artemis' attendant Arethusa. Artemis pities Arethusa and saves her by transforming Arethusa into a spring in Artemis' temple, Artemis Alphaea in Letrini, where the goddess and her attendant drink.

Bouphagos, the son of the Titan Iapetos, sees Artemis and thinks about raping her. Reading his sinful thoughts, Artemis strikes him at Mount Pholoe.

Sipriotes is a boy, who, either because he accidentally sees Artemis bathing or because he attempts to rape her, is turned into a girl by the goddess.

Moral of the story...leave her be...

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