The independent, feminine spirit is personified in the Greek goddess Artemis. Her imagery shows us a woman who seeks her goals on a terrain of her own choosing. Although we need both masculine and famine qualities to achieve inner balance (this is the true meaning of wholeness), Artemis reminds us modern women to maintain emotional and intellectual balance in our lives.
The assertive Artemis
In Greek mythology, Artemis was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows. She favored nature and lived in the woods, where her companions were nymphs and wild animals. She punished mortals with unerring aim. In one story, the hunter Actaeon had the misfortune to discover the goddess while she was bathing. She changed him into a stag and set her hounds on him. They chased him and tore him apart. This is why you should never disturb a woman who’s taking a relaxing bubble bath at the end of a long, tiresome day!
Artemis was also very competitive, and kept love at arm’s length, though she loved the hunter Orion the hunter. One day her twin brother Apollo spotted Orion swimming far out at sea. He dared his sister to shoot an arrow into this target. Not knowing it was Orion, the goddess accepted the challenge and took aim. She beheaded her beloved Orion. Her one true love was a casualty of her competitive spirit.
Free spirit and independence define an Artemis woman
Cruelty and competitiveness have their place in our lives but so do sensuality and femininity. Because Artemis was also portrayed with the moon and stars surrounding her, she is considered a virgin goddess of the moon. She’s not a virgin in the sexual sense, but in the sense of being “one-unto-herself,” whole and free-spirited. The moon is a symbol of this independent virginity, of intuition and mystery, of the deepest intact parts of a woman’s self. In Artemis, we see this feminine, independent spirit as something that belongs only to her; when we see ourselves as Artemis, we are independent and not subservient to others. “Being “whole unto yourself” means you have a sense of completeness that is not defined by others. It’s living life on your own terms.
How can we embody these aspects of the goddess Artemis to create a balanced life?
- See yourself as a whole image of creation. The independent and confident spirit within you grows when you see yourself as a beautiful and whole, not just as a parent, wife, mother, business partner, or caretaker. You are not just an appendage to others; you’re complete as you are. Feel good about who you are!
- Seek your goals on a terrain of your own choosing. When you embrace the Artemis within, you must maintain inner and outer balance by embracing both beauty and cruelty, both life and death, as part of the earth experience. Life is reciprocal, and you can’t give all the time without accepting gifts, too. Self-worth is created on a two-way street.
- Honor your competitive spirit. Don’t suppress your energies but create them productively. To lead a balanced life, you need to respect both masculine and feminine qualities within.
Part of your ability to cope with life comes from knowing and respecting all your different aspects. Begin your day with an affirmation that helps you recognize your “wholeness.” Let’s affirm:
“Today, my life is filled with meaning and wholeness. I am alive with purpose and am a unique and special creation. I am a shining star among many constellations, and my light is bright. I am whole and powerful, and I feel full, knowing that I illuminate others across the universe. I make a difference in millions of lives.”
For all you Goddess Aficionados, here’s an Artemis quiz to text your mythological knowledge:
1. Artemis can be characterized as:
- A Greek Goddess who was dependent upon Zeus to provide her with happiness
- An independent spirit, a self-sufficient goddess who understood her masculine and feminine qualities
- One of the Seven Wonders of the World
- The best friend of Diana of Ephesus
2. Why did Artemis shoot Orion?
- She was preparing for the biathlon competition in the upcoming Greek Games with Apollo
- Orion caused Leto to be in labor for nine days
- She was being true to her nature at all costs
- He had an affair with Callisto and Zeus asked her to seek revenge
3. Artemis was associated with:
- Bows and Arrows
- Deer, stags, and mountain streams
- The moon and stars
- All of the above
4. Why does Artemis exemplify the concept of virginity?
- She could be “whole unto herself,” spiritually autonomous, and was comfortable in her sense of inner completion
- She could not find a satisfactory relationship and had no other choice
- She had to remain pure in order to be part of a triple goddess
- Actaeon desired her and she agreed, but she first took a bath in a mountain stream
Correct answers are: 1 (b), 2 (c), 3 (d), 4 (a).
© Charlene M Proctor and The Goddess Network, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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