Friday, March 6, 2015

Festival of Artemis

Today is the Festival of Artemis on the old Greek calendar, and to celebrate, I am constructing a temporary private shrine and altar to Her, where my wife and I will offer prayers, general offerings such as incense and libations, and our special creation during this time of year, the stag cakes. Artemis is the Goddess of Forests, and associated with the stag. Seeing a deer is a sign of Her presence. Last year, my wife and I made cupcakes with frosting and used broken pretzels as antlers to put on the cakes. These creations were done specifically for Artemis and given to Her. I believe we also partook in Her honor. The incense will be moon incense, as She is also associated with the moon. 

This is one of my favorite religious celebrations. Not just because it is in honor of wonderful and beautiful Artemis, but because the way to spring is basically being opened. Artemis, being Goddess of the Wild, and soon, all of the wild and nature will begin to erupt with life. The waters will thaw, the trees will bloom, and the animals will stir. Because of all this, I also associate Artemis with the spring, because all of Her realms come alive. It is time to celebrate the coming of nature's life.

Artemis holds such a special place in my heart that some of my life's work is dedicated to Her. The reason I founded The Artemis Tree and Animal Conservation Society was so that I could help protect trees, woodlands and forests, because these belong to Her. That is not to say, however, that I only do it for religious purpose. If you are celebrating Her today, I pray that She will bring you light and blessings, and I leave you with this small prayer:

O' Artemis,
Goddess of the Hunt,
Goddess of Forests,
Mistress of Animals,
glorious maiden,
shooting many arrows,
as you run about the forest hunting your deer,
and keeping safe the wild,
may you take time to hear our prayers,
delight in our festivities,
and accept our devoted offerings,
for it is all given in love and reverence of you.
O' Goddess who brings light,
great Virgin,
the creatures of the wild rejoice at your coming,
the Nymphs of the forest revere your name,
and the woodlands rumble as you fire your bow,
striking down the stag.
The beautiful fish in the mountain rivers,
the soaring birds in the sky,
the rabbits who hop along the peaceful forest trails,
and the innocent fawn who sleeps in the meadow,
all the wild is yours.
Keep it in your loving embrace.

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