►Greek Mythology: “Artemis´Dual Archetype” / “Collaboration with Resa McConaghy and Mirjana M. Inalman”🌛🏹.
“Diana, The Huntress” by Guillaume Seignac. 19th century.
Artemis (Roman Equivalent: Diana) is often depicted in two ways: as a huntress goddess and as the goddess of the Moon.
Artemis/Diana by Jean-Antoine Houdon (18th century)
Artemis was the first-born child of Zeus and Leto. Her mother was forbidden by jealous Hera to give birth anywhere on the earth but the floating island of Delos provided her sanctuary. Immediately after her birth, Artemis helped her mother deliver Apollo for which she is sometimes called a goddess of childbirth.
Her twin brother Apollo was similarly the protector of the boy child. Together the two gods were also bringer of sudden death and disease: Artemis targeted women and girls, Apollo men and boys.
Artemis was officially the goddess of the Hunt, but because the Titans had fallen, the Titan Selene‘s position as the Titan of the Moon was turned over to Artemis, and the same happened with Helios to Apollo.
Before Artemis became goddess of the moon, the Titaness Selene owned the Moon chariot, which she drove across the sky at night. When Typhon began his path of destruction to Mount Olympus, Selene rode into battle with the moon chariot. Therefore, soon after, Artemis was the legatee of the carriage. In the same way, Apollo received the Chariot of the Sun, once the sun of Helios became identified with him.
The Chariot of Artemis. Attic Red Figure. 460 – 440 B.C.
The Chariot of Artemis. Attic Red Figure. 400 BC.
“Helios [Apollo] on His Chariot” (Detail) by Hans Adam Weissenkircher (17th century).
Phoebe was one of the many names she was called. The name Phoebe means the “light one” or “bright one”.
One can see this moon goddess as a complete redressing of Artemis in order to make her a more traditional, feminine being.
The phases of the moon (Triple Goddess Moon) The symbol is also known as Hecate’s Wheel.
Furthermore, in Greek mythology, there are many goddesses associated with the moon. These include Selene, the personification of the moon itself, Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, and Hecate, the goddess of crossroads and witchcraft.
Together Artemis, Selene and Hecate embody the phases of the moon. Many depictions of Selene show her wearing a crescent moon, and one of Hecate’s symbols includes the dark circle of the new moon.
Artemis is one of the goddesses that make up the triple goddess symbol:
•The Maiden -waxing moon- Artemis, represents the huntress on earth
•The Mother -full moon- Selene, represents the moon in the heavens
•The Crone -waning moon- Hecate, represents the underworld
“Diana” by François Lafon (19th century)
Probably the state of the moon was given to Artemis solely to compliment the depiction of her twin brother Apollo, the Sun God, during the time when the blending of the Greek and Roman Pantheon took place.
Patriarchal societies often dismiss a woman´s individuality and see her as a reflection of her male counterpart.
Therefore, it is entirely possible that the identity of liberated Artemis was altered because of the status of a masculine figure, her own brother at that.
Her mythos is not changed by the addition of stories of a more delicate goddess to warrant her long, modest robes; only her appearance has been changed.
This depiction is in line with the fact that Artemis is also considered the protectress of Virginity and the girl child up to the age of marriage.
In her two sides, Artemis is mostly seen as the Goddess of Hunt, where she wears a short tunic with her hair into a ponytail, holding a bow and quiver and mostly with her golden stag. When she is the Goddess of the Moon, she wears a long gossamer dress and has her hair held up.
The huntress depiction presents her as a wild maiden who exists uninhibited by the restraints of conventionality.
The moon goddess rendering, however, shows her clothed in a more conventional garb, in an attempt to tame and mature her image.
“A Companion of Diana” by Frémin, René 1717. Musée du Louvre, Paris.
In contrast to the primarily social community that made up the Greek Pantheon, Artemis has been depicted throughout mythos as keeping fairly isolated.
Aside from a few attendants, Artemis is rarely described as seeking out or having company.
With a natural preference for the company of other females, the Artemis archetype´s positive relationships with men who do not become lovers at all or who were lovers in the past, can be separated into those who are paternal or fraternal.
The paternal relationship, implying Zeus´role is one that is particularly rare. The vital factor ensuring the relationship is constructive and positive, as it is given by the paternal´s figure support of her daughter.
“Apollo and Artemis” by Gavin Hamilton.1770.
When Artemis was presented to Zeus for the first time as a small child, the father bequeathed his child whatever she desired.
Artemis selected as her gifts her iconic symbols, realms and attendants, all of which provided the foundation of her mythos.
Artemis is, moreover, like Apollo, unmarried.
She is a maiden divinity never conquered by love. The priests and priestesses devoted to her service were bound to live pure and chaste, and transgressions of their vows of chastity were severely punished.
“Jupiter and Callisto” by Jean-Simon Berthelemy. (18th century).
In line with this interpretation, there is a highly illustrative myth, starring Zeus.
The Ruler of Gods, changing his form to resemble Artemis, managed to seduce Callisto, one of Artemis’ hunting attendants. As a companion of Artemis, she took a vow of chastity.
Zeus appeared to her disguised as Artemis and they had sexual relationships. As a result of this encounter she conceived a son, Arcas.
Artemis is considered one of the virgin goddesses on Mount Olympus besides Athena and Hestia.
Hestia, Athena, and Artemis made an oath on the River Styx to Zeus saying that they would not marry and would stay virgins for eternity.
“Artemis: The Indomitable Spirit in Everywoman” by Jean Bolen. Click for details.
However, Jean Bolen in her book “Artemis: The Indomitable Spirit in Every woman” clarifies that the term “virgin” does not necessarily denotes “chastity”, but rather that a woman governed by the Artemis´archetype is “psychologically virginal”, free and untamed. She may love but she will never give herself over entirely, or her freedom will be at risk.
Jean Bolen contends that for Artemis, sex is something to pursue based on the physical experience rather than any committed emotional expression.
For Artemis women, the risk of vulnerability often prevents them from forming lasting relationships, particularly romantic ones. Solitude means safety and security, while connections run the risks of diminishing the strength of independence .
“Diana and her Nymphs” by Domenichino (1617)
“Landscape with blind Orion seeking the sun” by Nicolas Poussin (1658).
Artemis ´s love towards Orion, the sole icon of romantic love, ends tragically.
In the myth of Orion, he was also a hunting companion of Artemis and the only person to have won her heart.
However, he was accidentally killed either by the goddess or by a scorpion which was sent by Gaia.
In many accounts, Apollo directed the scorpion to go after Orion. As he wanted to protect Artemis´chastity vows.
He placed Orion´s constellation in the skies, along with Scorpio. Thus, at night, when Scorpio comes, Orion simultaneously begins to drop away to the opposite side, forever hightailing it away from the scorpion.
Statue of Artemis, from Mytilene. Roman copy of a 4th century BC type.
Artemis and her hound (Diana), Vatican Museums.
Bronze Statuette of Artemis, Roman 2nd-3rd century A.D.
Enthroned goddess Artemis between two Attendants – Terracotta statuette, circa 4th c. BC.
Image based on a Classic white marble statuette of Artemis.
This second part of the post on Artemis consists of a collaboration with Resa McConaghy and Mirjana M. Inalman.
Resa is an artist and costume designer from Canada.
Mirjana (AKA Oloriel) is a Serbian artist, writer and poet.
Resa invited us to join us in a project aiming to recreate Artemis´manifold attributes.
Taking into account the purposes of this project, Resa created a beautiful gown based on Artemis while Mirjana wrote a great poem as a poetic tribute to the goddess .
So, with that being said, let´s move on to the collaboration at issue!.
“Artemis by Moonlight”. Artgown by © Resa McConaghy. 2017).-
Resa created a stunning gown. She named it “Artemis by Moonlight”. She chose an abstract animal print and copper satin for the tails.
She painted part of the fabric with iridescent metallic paint. Besides she added satin tubes and braids to adorn the gown. Both the rounded tail and the moon shaped copper amulet mimic Artemis as the Goddess of the Moon. The ending product stands out! 😀
Want to see more?. Please check out Resa´s post “Artemis by Moonlight”, on her blog Art Gowns.
(Disclaimer: All photographs below were taken by Resa and featured on her blog.”Artemis by Moonlight” . Artgown by © Resa McConaghy. 2017).-
►About Resa McConaghy:
Resa is a canadian artist, costume designer and author.
©Color me in Cyanide and Cherry, 2017. “Artemis”. Artwork by Mirjana M. Inalman for her own poem. Click on the image to purchase Mirjana´s artwork!.
Mirjana´s poem “Invoking the Huntress” is a beautiful tribute to Goddess Artemis. Mirjana describes Artemis´two sides (Huntress Goddess and Goddess of the Moon) and she does so with verses that are metaphorically powerful and at the same time faithful to Artemis mythos. The different stanzas celebrate the goddess and provide different approaches as well as tell a story, somehow. I commend you to read and savor this great poem by Mirjana M. Inalman! 😀
Invoking the Huntress
The crescent beckons a heave,
a touch upon your corners,
a light brewing
not like a thunderstorm, or a torrent,
but a sickle ready to brand you
you will be
like two eyes among the pines,
as she lowers her hips downwards,
descends her bow to your forehead;
she tramples your heart with her deer,
her name preaches – You can be here, free;
free in the forest of flesh,
a dancing hunter among the cypress.
She will give you the bear – to fold his head before you.
She will give you the wolf – its maw now your sisterhood.
She will give you the boar – the towns named after your sins but dust beneath him.
She will give you the stag – the horns ripping the night itself to drip
over mouths of dirty gold
whispering her hymns.
Her Kingdom atop the arrowhead
more eternal than the sway of day,
the wilderness, soft and pure, and nectar
grow out the belly
it not fetter the beasts,
let them run through her chambers of your bones and chest;
let her tame them with a single breath.
Her name, like a dream of ground
wet with vine, sizzling like fire
over which the prey darkens,
her innocence unlike any altar,
her savagery unlike any temple,
and the winds grasp for air;
Ursa major sticking from her untouched hair,
a moonlight promise,
a devotion of flame
made of her vestibule,
her name, Artemis.
© Mirjana M. Inalman. 2017 .-
►About Mirjana M. Inalman:
Mirjana M. Inalman is a writer and poet, living in Belgrade, Serbia.
She writes poetry and she is actually working on several novels. Besides, she is a cover designer and likes Photography. She speaks four languages and says she “hopes to experience all forms of art at least once”. Check out Mirjana´s blog: Color me in Cyanide and Cherry. She wrote a book, “Colour Me In Cyanide & Cherries”. You can find the book and buy it here. Furthermore, you can purchase Mirjana´s artwork on Fiverr. Make sure to connect with her on Twitter too!.