Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Peculiar Maiden Goddess

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Every girl dreams of growing up, getting married and having a family of their own, right?

Not exactly.

Some girls want to experience motherhood, but some would rather stay as young women who are free from men. And there’s one goddess in particular, who isn’t quite fond of men herself, besides her twin brother and some of the other deities of course. Rather, she’d be much more comfortable out in the woods, hunting game.

The goddess Artemis, also known as Diana by the Romans, is the patron of the wilderness and girls in general. Her mother is the goddess Leto and her father is the king of the gods Zeus while her twin brother, the sun god, is Apollo. For a virgin goddess, she is surprisingly, also the patron of childbirth. Imagine that! A maiden goddess who patrons women who are giving birth or a pregnant. It was quite the odd addition to her myth, but that’s what makes her an interesting figure.

When she was a little girl, as the myths have mentioned, Artemis sat on her father’s lap and asked for six wishes; One was to remain a virgin forever, the second was to have plenty of names to differentiate her from her twin brother Apollo, the third was to be a Phaesporia or ‘Light Bringer’, the fourth is to have a bow and arrow and a knee-length tunic so that she could hunt, talk about being masculine huh? The fifth is to have sixty daughters of Okeanos (or Oceanos) as her choir and all of them should be 9 years old, twenty Amnisides Nymphs as handmaidens to watch her dogs and bow while she rested. Her last wish was to have no city dedicated to her, but to rule the mountains, and for the ability to help women in the pains of childbirth. Again, she clearly states that she wants to be a virgin, but in my opinion, could it be possible that she also wants to be a mom? Why not?

As much as Apollo is the sun god, Artemis is the moon goddess. Myths say that she captured deer and hitched them to her silver chariot which flies around the evening sky. It makes you wonder though, what the relationship of her deer was to Santa Claus’s Reindeer, since they both fly. But side comments aside, Artemis as the moon goddess symbolizes elegance, as well as rest and evening light. Truly, she is quite the strange one, a huntress and a midwife, all at the same time.

She must’ve been quite pretty, since she did have some men chasing behind her. That and her brother was known for his numerous affairs. In Artemis’ history, only one man had successfully stolen her heart. This man was named Orion, but in the end, he was killed by either the goddess or the titan Gaea. Also, she was known for killing Bouphagos after she read his ill intentions towards her.

In a context, Artemis can also be called careless. In the old myths, two males, namely Acteon and Sipriotes were punished by the goddess after they accidentally stumble upon her while she was yaking a bath. Poor Acteon was turned into a stag and was hunted by his own dogs while Sipriotes was turned into a girl after seeing Artemis’s body. Personally speaking, the goddess is the one to blame because she does not know the meaning of covering her body.

All her bad points aside, Artemis is a nature-loving goddess. She takes care of the wild and is usually out in the woods hunting fair game like most of the men during that time. She also takes care of the women in the society, but at the same time, she also sends pestilence and diseases to plague women. For a goddess, she is quite versatile and can compete with her brother at any time. It’s no wonder she’s the epitome of all women who stand up for themselves and strive to survive in life.

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