There are many myths and legends that praises themselves on being the best hunter. In Greek mythology there is the Goddess Artemis, who is the Goddess of the hunt and the moon. Artemis protects the woods and was worshiped by women of all ages.
The Birth of a Goddess
Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo whose parents are Leto and Zeus. Like many of the affairs Zeus had, he took on a different form falling in love with Leto due to her beauty. Hera in a fit of jealousy, told Leto she was not allowed to give birth on the mainland or any islands. The island Delos defies Hera’s order allowing Leto to give birth on its shores.
Artemis is the Goddess of the moon, the hunt, the wilderness, wild animals, and protector of young girls. Her bow and arrows were crafted by the cyclops making them both weapons of immortality. She is often found with her hunting companions, wood nymphs, or her hunting hounds which are usually wolves.
It’s well-known that Artemis was sought after by both Gods and men, yet she never returned those feelings expect for one who was her hunting companion. Orion was a companion of Artemis and was the only man to steal her heart. There are two versions of his death either Artemis shooting him by accident or her brother kills Orion in a fit of Jealousy. Jealous that his sister had fallen for a human. Afterwards his body is taken to the heavens where he becomes the consolation of the archer.
There are two myths that many consider in relation to the Goddess. One is the story of Iphigeneia, and the tale of Adonis. Iphigeneia was the daughter of King Agamemnon, who had slain a stag under the Goddess’ protection. When his ships were prepared to leave for Troy, Artemis took over the winds.
Hoping to please the Goddess he sacrifices his daughter who was stolen from the rock by Artemis, who Artemis turned into an immortal companion of the Goddess. There is a tale of a mortal man who spotted Artemis bathing in the woods among the wood nymphs. Who once caught by Artemis was turned into a stag and devoured by his hunting hounds. The man’s name was Adonis.
I have always been fascinated by the Goddess of the hunt and moon. She is a protector of the wilderness, yet also hunts knowing that animals provide humans food and shelter from the elements. Artemis acts like a mixture between a tomboy and a child born in nature. She is shown wearing a tunic and breeches allowing her to move through the woods with ease.
She is often found lost in the woods either with her hunting companions or with wood nymphs. I can relate, since I love being in nature finding it calming for my mind when I feel overwhelmed with the world. I agree with her desires to protect the wilderness for animals need people to protect them since they have no human voice to speak out against the cruelty done to them.
Furthermore, its clear that the Goddess was adored for her abilities and her protection of the animals that live within the forest. Many hunters to this day, pray to her hoping for a successful hunt. Others enjoy the concept that there is a person representing the moon. Knowing that where the moonlight touches there will always be someone watching over them.
Now, shush, I’m trying to read,