Artemis Is Calling: Women, Respond! Part 1: Are You Hearing the Call?
This is the first post of a series, Artemis is Calling, in which I’ll do my best to introduce the goddess and the archetype, and explain why she’s important for us now.
Amongst the women that I speak to it seems that we’re all aligned. We’re aware that big shifts are occuring that cannot be denied and we’re worried about what’s going on. We’re concerned about the younger generations and our apprehension, it’s fair to say, is more than just the typical situation of older generations lamenting the new.
We’re anxious about the skyrocketing problems of mental health. We’re disturbed at the medicalisation of conditions that, in our experience, were simply a part of growing up. We’re horrified at the ease by which drugs are being used to treat everything from anxiety through to gender transition in the very young.
And we’re very concerned about the future for our girls. Our boys as well. We’re not denying or diminishing the issues that are facing our sons. But as women, our concern for the girls is in our gut, and it’s formed not just from what we’re reading, but from our flesh and blood experience of being female.
Artemis Is Calling: She Wants Us to Protect the Girls
We’re worried about the effect of Social Media, and we don’t need science and statistics to prove what we know. Intuitively and in our body/mind we know that Social Media is messing around with our young people, and the reality is that girls process things differently than do boys. Girls internalise in a particular way. Their emotions go deep and take root. So when boys, typically, project their issues outward, girls embody their doubts. Literally, their insecurities are written on the body. We know this because we remember, and we want to do something, but what?
When it comes to protecting our girls, we feel powerless, and we also know this: the feeling of disempowerment is no coincidence. Despite how much more we’re receiving – more information, more news, more comments and likes and followers – in the final analysis, we’re losing. Nature, health, trust… it’s all dwindling away. Little by little, technology is denuding us of our nature.
But it hasn’t quite won. As women, we carry within us what our matrilinear ancestors have always known: that when the times get tough, the best thing we can do is come together and unite with the same intention. This makes us strong. And that’s not all. We also know how to amplify our strength through identifying, connecting with and collectively embodying a power that is greater than our own.
At this historical moment, when it comes to protecting our girls, we can’t do better than call upon the goddess Artemis and emulate the best of her.
If you’re reading or receiving this post and if you’re feeling aligned, then you’re hearing the call of Artemis. Artemis is the archetypal presence in our collective unconscious that is activating our deep desire to protect young girls. We need to listen and learn how to work with her.
And if you’re feeling aligned, but you weren’t aware, as I wasn’t just a little while ago, that Artemis is calling, then this raises a couple of other important questions: What happened to the goddesses? Why don’t we know about them?
Where Did All the Goddesses Go? Artemis in Our Collective Unconscious
To understand the importance of Artemis and why we need to heed her, it’s useful to understand a little about archetypes and the collective unconscious. In Goddesses in Everywoman, Jean Shinoda Bolen explains:
“C.G. Jung introdroduced the concept of archetypes into psychology. He saw archetypes as patterns of instinctual behaviour that were contained in a collective unconscious. This collective unconscious is the part of the unconscious that is not individual but universal, with contents and modes of behaviour that are more or less the same everywhere and in all individuals. Myths and fairy tales are expressions of archetypes, as are many images and themes in dreams. The presence of common archetypal patterns in all people accounts for similarities in the mythologies of many different cultures. As preexistent patterns, they influence how we behave and how we react to others.”
This collective unconscious is the part of the unconscious that is not individual but universal, with contents and modes of behaviour that are more or less the same everywhere and in all individuals... As preexistent patterns, they influence how we behave and how we react to others.”
Jean Shinoda Bolen, Goddesses in Everywoman
By going way back to the roots of our culture, we can see how certain archetypes have formed, as well as how they’ve been suppressed and forgotten. This means tracing our spiritual inheritance backwards to ancient Greeks. In a nutshell:
Before Christianity there were the Olympians. Before the Olympians there were the Titans. The Titans were born of the union between Gaea (Earth) and Uranus (Heaven), her son. Before Uranus, there was only Gaea (Earth), Tarturus (the Underworld) and Eros (Love), all of whom took form from Chaos. Thus, the first gendered, fertile, reproductive essence who gave birth to All That Is was the Great Goddess, Gaea. This was recognised throughout antiquity, across cultures and continents, albeit with different names. Of all the deities, the Great Goddess was most revered and all powerful. The highest feminine principal prevailed.
Summed up, that’s the genealogy of our spirituality. Essentially, it’s a history of the erosion of the divine feminine principle by patriarchy, and it’s responsible in large part for how our consciousness has formed.
The Disenthronement and Dismemberment of the Great Goddess
Through persuasion and brute force, over the course of millenium, the old ways that honoured the feminine life force have gradually been stripped away. In the first chapter of Goddeses in Everywoman, and referencing anthropologists, mythologists, scholars and archaeologlists, Jean Shinoda Bolen outlines how it happened.
First, there were the invaders. Then, as the mythologies of ancient Greece and Rome testify, the Great Goddess was dismembered and divided into various lesser deities, who each received a particular set of her attributes and symbols: one became the goddess of fertility (Demeter), another the queen of the Underworld (Persephone), one received the doves (Aphrodite), another the snakes (Athena), and so on.
The “disenthronement” was complete when Hebrew, Christian and Moslem religions determined that an all-encompassing male deity was the only one permissable. This history is important for understanding ourselves as female in today’s world. Bolen refers to the study of Merlin Stone when she writes,
“The female goddesses faded into the background, and women in society followed suit.” Stone notes, “We may find ourselves wondering to what degree the suppression of women’s rites has actually been the suppression of women’s rights.”
The more we learn about pre-Christian culture and spirituality, the more we understand how much we’ve lost, both as a culture and as individuals. But luckily, at the same time, something else has been going on. Although the divine feminine was cut up, displaced, redefined, silenced, scandalised, tortured and burnt, it’s never been possible to eradicate her completely.
The female deities lived on. They remained fertile in our dreams, in our desires and in our imagination. They took the form of archetypes and took up residence in our collective consciousness. They are there, right now, and they’re part of us. And, like our own internal superheroes, they’re ready to be activated and empowered whenever we need them.
If we want assistance in protecting our girls, then we need to listen in. Artemis is calling, and she’s here to help us win.
COMING UP: Part 2: Who Is Artemis and How Can She Help Us Now?
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