Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Honoring Artemis on the 6th of Each Month




Even before I converted to Hellenic Polytheism, Artemis was one of my most favorite Goddesses from my Greek studies in mythology and history. As many of you probably already know, I grew up in very rural North Carolina, basically in the middle of a forest down in a small valley. I was as close to the wilderness as one could get in my area. I remember times when I would take my dogs for a run through the woodlands behind my house, and I could feel Artemis always in my mind. Everything from the tree bark to the leaves and streams would add to the enchantment of Her name and thought. With the Greek Gods always calling to me in some form, perhaps it was inevitable that I would eventually choose the Hellenic Path, and of course, Artemis later became one of my Matron Goddesses, as many Pagans would call it.

As a Hellene, we have numerous holy days throughout the year. The Gods are always being honored in some form. On the 6th of every month, we honor the birthday of Artemis, and so it is a full day of worship and sacrifice to Her. But it's also action that can be very general, not something that has to be long, drawn out, and fancy. I normally try to carry prayers, simple sacrifices, and celebration throughout the day. One must remember, it's also a good time to personally connect with a Deity. I usually begin the day by lighting forest or flower-based incense if I have any, to release a wilderness scent. Otherwise, I might use general incense like frankincense, and I then recite a prayer before my shrine and my statue of Artemis along the lines of this,

O' holy Artemis,
Goddess of light,
shining Lady of the green forests,
the lively animals,
the beautiful birds in the air,
and the gentle fish in the cool streams,
this day you were born was among the greatest the Universe ever had,
and one of the most blessed days gifted to Gaia, and all who live upon Her.
Come, noble daughter of Zeus and Leto,
to my life, home and altar today,
and delight in the sweet fragrance I burn for you,
and return to heaven with me and my family in your heart and mind forever.

If you prepare for the monthly holy days each time before their arrival, you will also find that you'll have an abundance to use for celebration. In this case, give things to Artemis throughout the day such as wild fruit, wild plants, game meat (deer, boar, fish, fowl), leaves, pine needles, tree bark, and libations of wine, stream or river water, and apple juice. In other words, make a day of it each time you celebrate a holy day for a God by using things relevant to them, and include personal relevance to your own life and present times. With Artemis, for example, I would probably include a prayer for the protection of my children and/or the natural world around me like the forests, hills, and wildlife. And if you want some really good Pagan music about Artemis, watch this video .

There is always something you can find, and always something you can do, in everything you care about.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.