The Aquarius Myth- The Myth Of Artemis
The Artemis myth
Artemis is one of the Goddesses of the Lunar triad: she symbolised the waxing Moon.
In fact, the image of Artemis is that of a girl who lives in the woods, in contact with the Nymphs, secondary deities that live in the country, the woods and the water; they are protecting deities, who have been then replaced by fairies in the popular imagination.
Artemis was living with them; she was a very important Goddess, sister of Apollo, the God of the Sun, and had chosen this simple life, mainly in contact with girls and animals.
Illegitimate daughter of Zeus and Leto (Latona in the Roman mythology), she had chosen to live a free life and, therefore, embodies a type of womanliness without boundaries, which can be hardly set in the Greek context, since she had rejected the roles usually given by that society to women.
She loved free life and hunting; she was an infallible archer: nobody could beat her, not even her brother whose arrows lighted up and warmed the world.
But her arrows had a peculiarity: they caused no suffering and, also when they caused death, it was pleasant and painless: a restorative sleep. In fact, she was mainly called when women were suffering too much from birth pangs: she could speed up the birth of the child or, in case of complications, help them to sweetly leave life, without suffering. We could say she sort of “practised euthanasia”, something particular; she had a role of “angel of the suffering” who was always intervening to help women and never men, and this made her a kind of “avant-garde feminist”.
She intervened quite a lot of times also in defence of her mother: whoever dared to challenge or outrage Latona, had to deal with Artemis’s arrows; like Niobe’s daughters and the Dragon, which tried to attack her and her brother when they were born.
Artemis had already helped her mother when she was giving birth to Apollo and perhaps her attention to suffering women came from there, with an offer of sedation. She was called the “Goddess of birth pangs”.
She was also a beautiful Goddess: in his hymn to Artemis, the poet Callimachus tells that Zeus, when he saw her, said: “when the Goddesses bring me daughters like this one, the anger of jealous Hera does not bother me. My little girl, you will have all that you want”.
She was also famous for her rage when some men tried to rape the Nymphs or to invade her wood: the anger towards the hunter Orion, who had tried to kidnap one of her Nymphs, is well-known: she turned him into a deer and then made his own dogs kill him.
Like all the Lunar goddesses, she was the queen of boars and wild animals, which she unleashed, if necessary, against intruders or those who were disturbing the quiet of the woods.
She also intervened in defence of Iphigenia who was about to be sacrificed to Aeolus by her father. At the last minute, she saved the girl and replaced it with one of her hinds. The myth is full of moments when the young woman would not let a woman suffer because of a man.
A particular Goddess, almost adolescent … beautiful, young and statuesque, she was always dressed in a tunic and armed with an arch and quiver.
Because of the love she showed towards the world of women, she can be associated with Air and, particularly, with Aquarius, since the female natives are always very interested in the issues related to women and the society.
There are plenty of women with Aquarius values that show a particular solidarity towards women and children … perhaps by working in places where they can take refuge when they are in danger, or supporting them in difficult legal battles to have their rights recognised. In any case the issue of solidarity was very strong in Artemis, as it is in the female natives.
Another trait of their character is the strong push towards both psychological and sexual freedom, which makes them appear as “unconventional” people. They have a strange way of living their femininity… far from the roles of mother and wife… but they behave as “alternative mothers”, capable of also loving what is not theirs and able to love regardless of any contract or certainties. What really matters for them is the feeling and certainly not what results from a signature.
Artemis was actually a woman who contested certain patriarchal systems and who did not accept that there were certain established things a woman could not do. On the contrary, she performed men’s activities: hunting and archery.
According to some myths, she was one of the protectors of the Amazons, and she inevitably shows something wild in her nature, even though she never thought of depriving herself of her femininity, like the women she protected.
In fact, Artemis reminds us of Aquarius or a Moon in the sign; her way of living and acting is very unconventional; she does not waste her time contesting men’s power, but she just ignores it, does not follow it and gets rid of it by not recognising it.
This shows that this little girl had great power and great charm that derived from her being part of the lunar triad and being Zeus’s daughter: she had something integral and intact inside; in fact, she represents par excellence freedom and independence, without sacrificing her feelings, but without submitting to anybody.
She was quick, strong, determined and never missed a target: these characteristics too are far from certain vulnerable and soft woman typologies; her psyche tends to go on her own way and does not let anyone take her away from it. She is concentrated on herself and her own aims and therefore she thinks she does not need to be anyone’s other half.
Also inside a relationship, she is direct, frank and she stands by her man’s side as a partner; she is not afraid of him and does not want to manipulate him, she wants to communicate and to share ideals and common ground with him.
The fact that she is considered a Goddess of wild places makes her similar to a shaman: those who wander around the wild world are inevitably looking for themselves or, better still, for the wild dimension everyone has inside. Artemis urges us to take it out, to let it live and not to let us be influenced by the culture in which we live, which bridles our sense of freedom.
She should better dominate the “wild animals”; actually, in some cases she literally throw them against the unlucky people who deal with her very instinctive side which, perhaps, she could not control so well.
The Air woman generally renounces something of her instinct, which will often tend to evidently and irrationally get ahead of her, playing mean tricks on her unexpectedly.
Perhaps, a part of her dark side lies here: she must learn to dominate her “inner fire” so that she can really choose the instruments to use, and also accept a less rational side which, if recognised, can turn out useful and give her the inner view that results from feeling passion.