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Ways of Worship: Artemis

Hellenic Witch/Wiccan Worship of Artemis

Artemis is an amazing female icon and a very strong Goddess, as one of the 12 Olympians. She is the daughter of Zeus and Leto and twin to Apollo. In the lore of their birth, Leto was on the island of Delos alone when she gave birth to the twins, and Artemis, being the firstborn, helped Leto to deliver Apollo seconds after she was born. Artemis and her brother are otherwise known as the Twin Archers, as they are both depicted as wielding a bow and arrow.

Artemis is the maiden Goddess of the moon, the hunt and wild animals, chastity, wilderness, and fertility/childbirth, and reliever of illness and disease in women. She is seen as the protector of women, especially those in childbirth. Artemis is the head of a group of immortal girls known as the Hunters of Artemis. These women are asked to take a vow of chastity in order to join the hunt and they go around with Artemis hunting wild game and even protecting young women. There have been many interpretations of what the word "chastity" means in relation to Artemis. Most people assume it's in reference to virginity, but many believe it's actually in reference to not being tied to/owned by a man. This can also have many implications, as can a married woman worship Artemis or is it only one who is not "owned" by a man?

It is important to note that men can and have worshipped Artemis. Those who have lost their virginity and continue to have sex while worshipping Artemis are a thing, too. So are married women, no matter the relationship you have. You do not have to be a female virgin to worship her. It's also important to note that Artemis has become a modern hero for women who face abuse and she's swift to take revenge for those who ask.

Altar, Offerings, and Symbols

General: Crescent moon (new moon), bow and arrow, sandals, clouds, three pillars, and blue sky, menstrual blood.

Animals: Dogs, guinea fowl, elephant, horses, bear, dove, deer, and bee.

Plants: Anemones, flowering almond, hazel, ranunculus, honeysuckle, thistle, laurel, and fir tree.

Scents: Jasmine, aloe, ginseng, lemon verbena, and camphor.

Gemstones/Metals: Moonstone, pearl, quartz, crystal, silver, turquoise, iron, aluminum, and diamonds.

Colors: Silver, white, red, green, and turquoise.

These are only suggestions and things unique to Artemis. Anything you wish to put up as an offering would be fine. For instance, I offered her a dried rose head when I had nothing else to offer. The only thing I would avoid when making an offering to any God is your complete devotion. Things get messy, people change, people forget, and completely devoting yourself to them for a lifetime is a serious thing.

Prayers

Some things to consider praying for are strength against men if you have been abused, ask for strength in general or self-restraint, help with your temper, help you with sick or injured animals or to take care of nature, help with pregnancy/childbirth, and relief/help to deal with an illness or disease in a woman.

Invocation of Artemis

Artemis I sing thy praises.
From thy woodlands great
I call unto thee.
I have answered thee
In the dark of night.

Thy hands have fed me,
And I am full.
Thou huntress of Night,

Divine Protectress,
Keeper of all mysteries

Let thy light flood me with wisdom
And thy presence fill me.
I have answered thee
In the early morn.

Thy song has comforted me
And I am strong.

Great Goddess of moon and magic
Mistress of the deer and owl
Be thou my guide and inspiration.

Teach me thy mysteries
And lead me in thy ways
For I have seen thee beneath the cool dark night
And I have answered thee.

Prayer to Artemis

Artemis, Protector of Women,
Goddess of the Hunt,
Help me peel away the layers of self-doubt and mistrust
Help me know my own strength
Grant me courage to stand alone
To stay true to myself
In this I pray,
Thank you Artemis.

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