In my first post on “The Goddess of 10,000 Names”, I would like to pay homage to one of my Matron Goddesses: Artemis. Artemis was a Goddess I initially felt I didn’t resonate well with. I was a passionate, worldly, meek woman, in stark contrast to Artemis’ virginal, otherworldly, fiercely independent ways. I always found myself more closely aligned with Aphrodite, who I regularly prayed to for love and beauty. The myths of Artemis made Her seem so masculine, so cold, so unforgiving.
I never took much interest in Her, until She reached out to me during a time in my life I will never forget. I was trapped in a very abusive relationship, living with my ex boyfriend and his family in a foreign country. Not only had my family washed their hands of me out of frustration with my poor decision making, but I also was concerned of an unplanned pregnancy. I had no access to healthcare or external support, and I felt I didn’t have the strength to exit the relationship. Artemis stepped in to my life at this critical point in my life, when everyone else had lost hope and abandoned me. She showed me my inner strength and gave me the confidence I needed to break away from the life of servitude I had been living in my ex’s household.
She was with me when my ex attacked me and broke my arm, when I locked myself inside the bathroom at night to escape his rage.
She was with me when I started my menstruation for the first time in four months, freeing me from the fear of an unwanted child growing inside me that would only keep me chained in my miserable circumstance.
She was with me the day I left that country, looking at the city below where I had lost so much, looking forward to a future where I had so much to gain.
Artemis set my spirit free.
For the past year since leaving that relationship, I have ignored Her yet again. I have pursued unsatisfying companions and relationships. In trying to forget the misery I left behind, I created more misery. Now I have left that life behind, in favour of pursuing a more spiritual life, and forming a better relationship with the Goddess who helped me when I could not even help myself.