Monday, March 9, 2020

Artemis The Deer Slayer In Everyday Life

Last week, Hellenes celebrated the March Festival of Artemis known as Elaphebolia, in honor of Artemis specifically as the Deer Slayer (exact dates may slightly vary from person to person and organization to organization, and I am sure some celebrate it over the course of several days instead of just one). Traditionally, offerings given to Artemis during this time consisted of cakes in the shape of stags. My wife and I did this in the past by making cupcakes and placing pretzels on top to look like deer antlers. Artemis as the Deer Slayer obviously focuses on Her epithet of hunting and the slayer of wild beasts of the forests, hills and mountains. It's in reverence of Her as the Goddess who holds all of the wild, both life and death, in the sights of Her bow. But what does this all mean for each worshiper on a personal basis? If we live in cities and/or aren't even hunters, what purpose does Artemis the Deer Slayer hold in our personal lives?

For starters, it reminds us all who worshiper Her that the natural processes of Nature, and the Divinity within it, are essential to our survival. For those of us who aren't hunters, the Deer Slayer specifically can still take on a great physical and metaphorical meaning. Artemis spots the deer (Her target, the thing She wants) and She doesn't take Her eye off the target, but goes after it with all haste, not stopping until She has succeeded. Imagine if all humans had that simple mentality, to go after the things they want, or the things they feel they deserve, with all the power they have, and to never accept defeat. Every year, Artemis teaches us to pursue our goals and dreams. It doesn't matter what religion we are or which theology we subscribe to, if we aren't being the best we can be every single time our opportunity comes into view, we are cheating our purpose in life.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.
Anastasia Aldridge.