A Goddess Dedication
By CathyMoon, Adept, Sisters in The Goddess Tree
Artemis is considered one of the most popular of all goddesses because she possesses the characteristics and powers of many other goddesses. She was known as a Mother Goddess who helped women and children, an Earth Goddess who protected nature and brought rain to make the earth fertile, and the Goddess of Hunting and the Moon. With these attributes, the fame of Artemis grew and grew. She was worshipped for centuries in the Mediterranean area. The cult of the goddess spread through such areas as Anatolia to Egypt, the Aegean Islands to Crete, Greece and Italy.
In the ancient world, historians theorize that in the 2nd millennium BC, Amazons settled on the west coast of Asia Minor, now known as Turkey. They were thought to be the first to establish many cities including Ephesus. The Amazons worshipped a deity they called “the Lady of Ephesus,” which they believed was Mother and Protector of children. Around the 8th Century BC, Greek speaking indo-Europeans began traveling from the north and settling in classical and mainland Greece. The Greeks that colonized along the west coast of Asia Minor began to associate the “Lady of Ephesus” with their goddess Artemis. By 750 BC the worship of Artemis had spread all over Greece. In 625 BC, a magnificent temple to Artemis was built in her honor, which became known as one of the seven wonders of the Ancient world. A cult statue was found showing her with numerous “nodes” on her chest. Some say these nodes are breasts; others say they are bull testes that were sacrificed to her as a way of renewing her strength so she could better assist her worshippers. Either explanation represents fertility.
Those who worshipped her passionately believed she answered their prayers and would visit the temple with offerings of incense and sacrificial animals. Holy rites in her honor were important and became part of the community. Great crowds would gather to walk along a sacred path through cemeteries carrying her statue. Women of high society lavishly decorated the statue as she was carried to the temple by torchlight.
Artemis was worshipped as a major goddess throughout mainland Greece. She was regarded as the Fleet Young Huntress and the Protector of Animals who roamed in the woods, mountains, and other undeveloped wilderness lands.
One of the most famous festivals took place in Brauron, located in the eastern areas of Attica and Athens. In this cult, she appears as a She-Bear who protects her cubs. When young Athenian girls reached puberty they were dedicated to the goddess as young bears, called the “avktoi.” They dressed in bearskins and did bear dances in her temple. Goats were ritually slaughtered during these ceremonies to show young girls the dark side of the mother and her blood mysteries of death, sacrifice, and renewal.
When young girls wanted to marry, they were asked to lay their personal belongings of their virginity on an altar to Artemis. They were such things as toys, dolls, and locks of hair. This represented their transition from childhood to adulthood closing the door of the domain of the virgin goddess forever.
When Greece fell to Roman rule, they saw that the attributes of the Greek goddess Artemis resembled many of the characteristics of the goddess they called …
Diana, Huntress of the Moon.
Diana was worshipped in a temple on the Aventine Hill where mainly lower-class citizens and slaves worshipped her. Slaves could ask for and receive asylum in her temples. She was worshipped at a festival on August 13. Her name may have come from diviana “the shining one.” Over the centuries, she has been known as a Mother Goddess, Protector of Nature, Children, and animals. She represented fertility, brought rain, and played a key role in a young girls’ passage into womanhood. Throughout her transformations, as one civilization conquered another they adapted her universal attributes and core values. Her name has lasted and she is still worshipped to this day.
Ritual to Artemis
Ritual created by CathyMoon
The purpose of this ritual is to seek Artemis
-Silver/white Goddess candle, silver/white altar cloth, silver/white ritual garb, 4 white altar candles,
symbols: moon, mother, animals, silver items
-Carve Artemis’ name in your Goddess candle, take a cleansing bath or wash hands, gather items
-Cast Circle by visualizing a white or silver protective sacred space
-Call 4 directions and light direction candles
Sit quietly. When you are ready, think about Artemis and what she means to you, how she can play a part in your life.
Feel, taste, smell, and see her.
When you are ready, light the Goddess Candle.
Chant to Artemis
Original Chant created by CathyMoon
This candle I dedicate to thee
Light the way so I might see
Your presence I do call
Mother, nurturer to us all
Hail Goddess Artemis
Sit quietly with the goddess. Ask her if she has a message for you. When ready, distinguish the 4 quarter candles and thank the directions. Thank the Goddess Artemis and distinguish her flame, knowing that each and every time you light your candle, you are invoking Her. Allow the circle to fade into the earth. Blessed be.
I retrieved the information from: Goddess Artemis