Several days later I found myself still ruminating on the topic when -
- Artemis came to my mind.
When I was about 15 years old I studied the Greek gods and goddesses as part of high school humanities, and I'm sure that I drank it up more heavily than would have been expected of me as a student at the time. I was immediately drawn to Artemis. I saw so many aspects of myself in her: Artemis of the wild wood, the archer, fierce and independent.
So nearly two weeks later I sat down to pull some cards.
2. Strategy: My idol's ways of achieving goals.
3. My idol's greatest fear.
6. Me as a result: Summary of how my idol influenced who I am today.
|Pagan Otherworlds Tarot|
1. Core desire: 8 of Cups
Visually, this card brings to mind following the moon across wild and shadowy landscapes, which of course is a perfect backdrop for Artemis. Metaphorically it connects to going beyond quotidian life and searching for deeper meaning. It is about exploring the unknown, and discovering what ultimately satisfies and invigorates the spirit. I see Artemis in all of that.
One of the things that I loved about her when I was a teen was that she did not conform to a "traditional" goddess archetype of love, or marriage, or "tender of the hearth fire." Artemis was a free spirit. Though she did have relationships, and she was connected to the very feminine experience of pregnancy and childbirth, she had no desire to settle into a prescribed lifestyle of domesticity, and as such became such a beautiful symbol of female power and independence.*
2. Strategy: Queen of Pentacles
Wow. Yes. Artemis is known to not only be profoundly connected to the wild and natural world as a patron and protector, but also as a tireless supporter of women. Myth says that immediately after her own birth, she helped her mother Leto labor with her twin brother Apollo. Thus, despite being a virgin goddess, she was connected to childbirth. All of these reside within the domain of this Queen.
3. My idol's greatest fear: Sun reversed
This card brought a few thoughts to my mind: a fear of losing power and independence; a desire not to be overshadowed by her brother, Apollo, a sun god; a fear of either not having space to shine brightly enough, or of being subject to the dominating egos of others.
4. Weakness: Half moon.
This says to me: black and white. And this is how Artemis tended to view the world. She had a very strict sense of morality, and was unforgiving if she perceived a breach in her code.
5. Strength/Talent: 9 of Pentacles
Seriously, though. I often refer to this as the "strong, successful, independent woman card". I actually laughed when I pulled this one.
6. Me as a result: 2 of Cups
Artemis taught me to love myself and in turn to receive love. To truly bring the disparate elements of my being into harmony, to fully honor myself, has meant that I was able to enter into a strong marriage that never required me to limit or compromise myself in order to fit a particular mold. Artemis showed me that independence and strength are not incompatible with partnership - in fact they are prerequisites to healthy union.
And after all these years, I am still wild on the inside.
*As an adult I have a far more complex and dynamic understanding (and experience) of "female power and independence" which fully includes partnership and "traditional" roles of women under its umbrella.