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Author Topic: Reluctant to commit to Artemis...  (Read 11022 times)
Aetius
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« Reply #15: March 30, 2009, 11:41:00 am »

My reluctance with Artemis is mostly the virgin thing. I understand why the reason for virginity, mainly because Greeks considered women to be the receivers of men's essence. The men would release themselves into women and thus anything a woman said was seen as being influenced by the man's essence. This is why people speculate that Artemis wanted to be a virgin, so she could retain her independence and be free of men and her opinions were strictly hers.

I don't know how Artemis would see virginity today since we don't have the same views as the ancient Greeks. I see taking your sexuality and using it as a strength as well. To harness it is powerful. To me sex is natural and to be a goddess of nature I feel it odd not to involve sex in there as well.

Also, I'm a forgetful person that lets life get in the way a lot and I know I would forget to leave offerings at an altar, mainly because I took my altar down because my daughter was ruining it. I do take care of strays, I donate to environmental causes and I even took up some archery a while back because I'm fascinated by it. There are things that make sense for me to have Artemis as a patron goddess, but I fear her wrath when I forget one too many times to make any offerings or do what she wants to the T.


Too much, in my opinion, is often made of the significance of having patron deities.

I do not believe, and could never be convinced, that anyone who claims to have a patron deity is spiritually superior to any other mortal. Nor have I seen many people who claim to have a patron deity express such a belief.

One might even say, that to be drawn so closely to one Goddess' or God's essence, could distort a weaker mortal's personality dangerously out of balance. Those who practice intense devotion to one (or just a few) deities, while ignoring all others, are also willfully closing spiritual doors that might have been better left open.

Traditionally, it is often said that such divine/human relationships invite the wrath of the Deathless Ones. I disagree, conditionally. I'm not one of those Hellenic Pagans who trashes the idea of patron deities. I refuse to believe that pre-Christian Athenian polis religion [as presently documented] is simply the last word in all spiritual matters. It depends on the individual, in my opinion. I also see nothing wrong with making regular sacrifices to one of the Goddesses or Gods, without necessarily declaring a patron deity/mortal relationship to exist.
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« Reply #16: March 30, 2009, 11:49:44 am »

Too much, in my opinion, is often made of the significance of having patron deities.

This.

Quote
I do not believe, and could never be convinced, that anyone who claims to have a patron deity is spiritually superior to any other mortal.

And this.

Quote
I also see nothing wrong with making regular sacrifices to one of the Goddesses or Gods, without necessarily declaring a patron deity/mortal relationship to exist.

And this.  Seconding all three of these sentiments. 

(The rest of this is a more general response.)  As usual with these sorts of discussions, it's worth remembering that we seem to have an unusual concentration of people who do have that kind of relationship here at TC.  My feeling is that in a broader sense, probably most people don't, and they worship their chosen deities anyway.  Don't want to commit to a patron/worshipper relationship yet?  Then don't do it.  Honor Artemis as you can and as you feel you should, but don't make a bigger commitment than you feel you can keep.  If that means sticking to donating to environmental causes and studying archery, hey, that's great.  She doesn't have to be your patron in a personal sense for you to honor her in those ways.
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« Reply #17: March 30, 2009, 12:51:20 pm »


(The rest of this is a more general response.)  As usual with these sorts of discussions, it's worth remembering that we seem to have an unusual concentration of people who do have that kind of relationship here at TC.  My feeling is that in a broader sense, probably most people don't, and they worship their chosen deities anyway.  Don't want to commit to a patron/worshipper relationship yet?  Then don't do it.  Honor Artemis as you can and as you feel you should, but don't make a bigger commitment than you feel you can keep.  If that means sticking to donating to environmental causes and studying archery, hey, that's great.  She doesn't have to be your patron in a personal sense for you to honor her in those ways.

Good point. I just feel that I won't please her because I tend to forget to do things a lot. Taking care of animals is a priority for me, I'm trying to get into a vet tech program to help with animals even more. I love to take care of nature and that has always been my number one focus since I was a child. So that might just have to be the commitment that I can keep. I would love to do more. For some reason I think that since that is a part of what I normally do, it's not so much of a sacrifice and not good enough for Artemis or any other nature deity I might be making an offering to.

I think my urge to make her a patron goddess is because I was contacted by a goddess a while back during meditation, but i never got a name. There have been two goddesses that I've always been drawn to and Artemis is one of them. I figured it was her, but if it was Artemis I'm sure i would've gotten her name. I have to remember I don't need a patron goddess, I think its still my recessive Catholic getting in the way. Cheesy
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« Reply #18: March 30, 2009, 01:02:09 pm »

Good point. I just feel that I won't please her because I tend to forget to do things a lot. Taking care of animals is a priority for me, I'm trying to get into a vet tech program to help with animals even more. I love to take care of nature and that has always been my number one focus since I was a child. So that might just have to be the commitment that I can keep. I would love to do more. For some reason I think that since that is a part of what I normally do, it's not so much of a sacrifice and not good enough for Artemis or any other nature deity I might be making an offering to.

Just because it isn't a sacrifice as such doesn't mean it's not a worthy offering, though.  You can still do something in Her honor even if it doesn't involve any sacrifice on your part.  Doing something that She is interested in, and doing it to the best of your ability?  That's pretty nice, actually.  Dedicating the things you already do to a deity where those activities overlap with the deity's sphere of influence actually seems like a really sensible way to honor said deity, to me.

(All of this is, of course, barring Artemis having expressed a specific interest in sacrifices and specific ways to be honored--obviously, if she's expressed a preference then that's between you and her.)
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« Reply #19: March 30, 2009, 01:33:22 pm »

Just because it isn't a sacrifice as such doesn't mean it's not a worthy offering, though.  You can still do something in Her honor even if it doesn't involve any sacrifice on your part.  Doing something that She is interested in, and doing it to the best of your ability?  That's pretty nice, actually.  Dedicating the things you already do to a deity where those activities overlap with the deity's sphere of influence actually seems like a really sensible way to honor said deity, to me.

(All of this is, of course, barring Artemis having expressed a specific interest in sacrifices and specific ways to be honored--obviously, if she's expressed a preference then that's between you and her.)

Thanks for the help. Now I'm more relaxed about this. I'm always fearful that I will mess something up or that I'm not doing it right. Now I'm definitely at ease.
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« Reply #20: March 30, 2009, 02:30:51 pm »

I see it like this: Some people like to marry, some like to live in a free relationship or in several ones at once. Both could be right for the people involved if done in a sensible way. Wink
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« Reply #21: May 24, 2009, 01:53:39 am »


Too much, in my opinion, is often made of the significance of having patron deities.

I do not believe, and could never be convinced, that anyone who claims to have a patron deity is spiritually superior to any other mortal. Nor have I seen many people who claim to have a patron deity express such a belief.

Agreed. Way too much is made of this. A person isn't any better or more spiritual for having a patron relationship (despite accusations I've heard to the contrary, I have also never seen anyone claiming such). Its not necessary to be religious, there isn't anything wrong or lesser about being a more general practitioner and worshipping all the gods more or less equally.

One might even say, that to be drawn so closely to one Goddess' or God's essence, could distort a weaker mortal's personality dangerously out of balance. Those who practice intense devotion to one (or just a few) deities, while ignoring all others, are also willfully closing spiritual doors that might have been better left open.

This is the only point I might quibble with.

Not that what you say is wrong, being in intense devotion to one/couple of deities will close other doors, and does in time seem to change a person's personality more in line with the deity themselves (though often such people already resemble the deity in personality at least somewhat to begin with). I'm just not sure that I personally see this as a bad thing.

We can't have it all, can't experience everything there is to experience in any aspect of life. Every time you make a choice to do one thing over another, you're closing doors to other experiences that might have been just as good if not better (or worse, never know). But that's just the way it is, you have to decide what is more important to you, what is going to make you the most fulfilled in life, and let the rest slide.

The spiritual world isn't any different. Beyond patrons, if you choose to focus exclusively on the Greek deities, you're closing the door to the Celtic and Nordic deities (assuming for a moment that you are a hard polytheist and believe those other deities exist independently, either way you're still closing a door on those cultures and belief systems if nothing else).

There is a benefit to being so intensely close to one deity. But there are benefits to being a general practitioner as well. It balances out that way. Such people get to interact with a greater number of deities, perhaps not so intensely, but in meaningful ways nonetheless; there may be limits to how far and deep you can go, but there are a lot more roads open. As someone with a patron, that's something I lose out on. But I couldn't have both and I made my decision, and it was the decision that was right for me. For someone else, it might be something different. But whether you choose to get into such a relationship or not, a door is being closed.
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« Reply #22: May 27, 2009, 08:08:48 pm »

This is the only point I might quibble with.

Not that what you say is wrong, being in intense devotion to one/couple of deities will close other doors, and does in time seem to change a person's personality more in line with the deity themselves (though often such people already resemble the deity in personality at least somewhat to begin with). I'm just not sure that I personally see this as a bad thing.


I have long had a deep respect for your devotion to Hermes, and was trying to express the thought in a way that would convey that.

That's why I described the people whom I felt were at risk as, "weaker mortals".

I doubt that you fit into that category.
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« Reply #23: June 01, 2009, 10:50:04 pm »


I have long had a deep respect for your devotion to Hermes, and was trying to express the thought in a way that would convey that.

That's why I described the people whom I felt were at risk as, "weaker mortals".

I doubt that you fit into that category.

Ah, okay. I see what you were getting at. And yeah, I agree the experience can be destructive with the wrong person. Or even with the right person, things go wrong, failure happens. Nothing here is a hundred percent safe.

And thank you!  Embarrassed  Cheesy
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« Reply #24: October 27, 2009, 02:38:36 pm »

I've been interested in Artemis for along time. I love her independence and care for creatures, but i have heard that she can have a spiteful and malicious side. I'm starting to rethink making her my patron goddess.
Can any followers of hers tell me about their experiences?
including: what offerings to give, what she expects from me, her symbols, and just her general nature.

Two excellent books (that do include her harsh blunt side)
 Dancing In Moonlight: Understanding Artemis Through Celebration by Thista Minai http://www.lulu.com/content/1568962

and Pagan Meditations by Ginette Paris (get from the library most likely, even inter library loan) http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/13424090&referer=brief_results
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« Reply #25: November 12, 2009, 03:54:21 am »

I've been interested in Artemis for along time. I love her independance and care for creatures, but i have heard that she can have a spiteful and malicious side. I'm starting to rethink making her my patron goddess.

Can any followers of hers tell me about their expieriences?

including: what offerings to give, what she expects from me, her symbols, and just her general nature.

thanks so much (i'm loving this site!)
Well, first I'd like to say: Praise be to Agrotera of the Silver Bow!

Others have already mentioned it, but it cannot be stressed enough with blessed Artemis. If you make ANY commitment, oath, or other promise to her, no matter how small, make sure you keep it!

Be careful and ask her yourself what she would prefer.  No one but yourself and Artemis can tell you the best decision.

One night as I was praying I felt Artemis wanted me to simply write a song or poem in her honor as I had several tines for her twin. I told her I would do just that the next day. Of course, the next day I neglected to do as I had affirmed. Now, about a week or so later, I was very nearly run over by a car but instead ran into it. Now, this is mainly UPG, but I amquite sure this was a nudge from Aristo reminding me of that promise I had not kept. That night I fulfilled my oath and have been recovering well from the very minor injuries I received.

It tells a lot about the Goddess how relatively minor the incident was. This is assuming she kept me apive and safe and this was not due to the intercession of another deity, which it might have been. I'd like to think she would not kill over such a transgression, but she can be unpredictable like a mother bear.   
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« Reply #26: November 12, 2009, 04:04:30 am »

I've been interested in Artemis for along time. I love her independance and care for creatures, but i have heard that she can have a spiteful and malicious side. I'm starting to rethink making her my patron goddess.

Hades is my patron, but one thing that you must remember about any of the Hellenic Pantheon is that all of the Deities can be absolutely wonderful, but they can also be very nasty if they don't get what they want or if things are not going their way. If you are going to work with/follow a Deity from any Pantheon, make sure that you do some research and be incredibly careful with the promises that you make-no Deity is going to be pleased if you break a vow.
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« Reply #27: November 12, 2009, 03:47:51 pm »

Too much, in my opinion, is often made of the significance of having patron deities.

I agree, I don't think there is any need to commit to deities at all. Honouring them on a regular basis is all a person really needs to do, with a nice libation or some incense. Focusing all of one's attention on one deity isn't necessary at all.
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« Reply #28: January 10, 2010, 09:31:09 am »

My reluctance with Artemis is mostly the virgin thing. I understand why the reason for virginity, mainly because Greeks considered women to be the receivers of men's essence. The men would release themselves into women and thus anything a woman said was seen as being influenced by the man's essence. This is why people speculate that Artemis wanted to be a virgin, so she could retain her independence and be free of men and her opinions were strictly hers.

From what I understand from my archaeology classes at school, "virgin" had different connotations to the ancient Greeks. One aspect may have been an untouched maiden, but the majority of the label had to do with a woman completely independent from a man's will, like you've said. A "virgin" would have been strong willed, more than likely unmarried, and in control of all aspects of her life. I've never heard about men's "essence" and that probably has something to do with it, but I've always felt (UPG here!) that Artemis's "virginity" had less to do with never having sex (with men) and more to do with never ever ever allowing yourself to bend under the will and dominion of a man. Just my two cents. Smiley
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« Reply #29: January 10, 2010, 04:50:43 pm »

From what I understand from my archaeology classes at school, "virgin" had different connotations to the ancient Greeks.

The word the Greeks used definitely does not mean exactly the same thing as we mean by "virgin" -- however, I don't think we know exactly how different the definitions are. As you point out, however, there is probably more of the "not under the dominion of men" in the ancient Greek meaning than in the modern English meaning.
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