Ritual Adventures with the Sisters of the Huntress

by Gwen 

On Friday night, I had the joy of leading a ritual adventure on behalf of the Sisters of the Huntress in Tilden Park in Berkeley.  Due to various life circumstances (some quite last-minute), my Sisters were unable to attend, and I missed them sorely.  (We will do this again, I promise myself.)  Artemis’s wild moonlit woods magic happened nonetheless.

CAYA’s priestx Melissa Ra Karit and aspirant Lynda Lou, my sister, a friend, and I began with a chanted invocation and annointing blessings.  As I donned my antler-handle athame, blessed to Artemis, a pair of deer emerged from the woods to eye us and then silently move on.  It was one of those moments when my breath stops a little and my heart soars in communion.

We spent the first hour cleaning up trash from woodland picnic sites as a devotional act.  We laughed over the particularly Pagan pre-ritual experience of standing in a store looking at displays of items--potential food offerings, herbal essential oils, candles, and so on--and asking our gods, “Alright, what do you want?”  We groaned about some picnickers’ decision to celebrate by scattering a site with improbable amounts of plasticized confetti.  As the sun began to set in earnest, we gathered at a trailhead beside the last picnic area and prepared ourselves for a dusk-to-moonlight ritual hike.

We filled a container with creek water and added a few drops of sacred Artemis oil, and walked silently into the woods.  Around us the night sounds were wakening--birds settling in, insects humming, unseen mammals rustling in the brush.  We paused at great bay laurels and redwoods, offering greetings in prayer and in scattered nuts, dried apricots, Greek olives, and the blessed water.  The growing dark and rising half-moon found us all perched in--or under, in a cave formed where hollow trunk and roots arc--a spreading laurel whose branches could comfortably host a scout meeting.  The moon was bright enough to walk by with only occasional flashlight checks.  I watched steady shadows cast by Her silver-blue light--mine, my companions’, the trees’.

We circled together in a broad grassy field bathed in moonlight.  We honored the directions and the Huntress Herself with more offerings, and one by one spoke gratitudes and petitions to Her with libations of the sacred water.  My friend frolicked wildly.  Several of us plopped down, grasses waving high overhead and moon and stars higher still.

At last we returned through the dark woods, pausing to talk quietly or admire the gleam of moonlight on the creek’s surface.  We lingered over a final circle, sharing gratitudes and blessings, before piling into my car and returning to civilization… with a little more holy wildness in our hearts.

Artemis Midwife

Born a midwife, born in between the cracks of life and death
on the island between day and night
Artemis! I hear you.
I hear your strong voice calling
calling me to step up.
Barely heartbeats born, and the strong-voiced one
aided Leto in Apollo's birth.
Imagine: blood on her hands, blood between her mother's legs
herself newborn learning what a body was, how to move her feet and hands
knowing that her mother needed help
and there was no one else to give it.
Artemis, strong-voiced one
calls us to step up
because, she taught with her first moments of life,
when need calls
we have what we need to answer.
Women are powerful survivors.
We are justice-warriors.
We get up after the long dark night
and make breakfast for the children.
We get up.  We step up.
We are powerful.  We get it done.
Artemis, strong-voiced one
calls us to cut it out, figure it out,
be the change we need to see.
We are powerful.
We get it done.
Sometimes we are flood-powerful, crashing through resistance,
swift and true as a hail of the Huntress's arrows.
Sometimes we are creek-powerful, small and quiet
and persistent.
There is a saying about rocks and rivers.  The smallest, quietest trickle
will carve its way in time, if it does not allow itself to be diverted.
Artemis, strong Huntress!
Help us find our strength
that we, too, may do what needs doing
however hard, however long the struggle.

Artemis by Joanna Barnum

Artemis by Joanna Barnum

Walking with Artemis at the Dyke March and the Solstice of the Fertile Mother!

Happy Pride!

The Sisters of the Huntress, a devotional group honoring Artemis and Diana within CAYA Coven, are happy to announce Walking With Artemis at The San Francisco Dyke March, as well as the Rite of the Fertile Mother!

This all takes place on Saturday, June 27th. We will gather at 3pm near 18th and Delores in SF. This will be our time for sacred songs, revelry and sisterhood. We will (those that wish) take our tops off, adorn ourselves with words of power, and join the March!

About 5pm, The Sisters of the Huntress will head to the Bloodroot Honey Rite of the Fertile Mother, in Alameda. This rite will start later than usual, at 8pm, at the Home of Truth Cottage. We will call upon Artemis as the Midwife, to assist us as we birth our dreams, projects, and goals.

Any and all self-identified women are welcome to join us for all, or any part, of the day!
Possible rideshare if needed, contact walkingwithartemis@gmail.com with questions or to RSVP!

Walking with Artemis at The Dyke March:

Welcome all you sisters in Goddess! Join the Sisters of the Huntress as we enjoy a day of freedom and sovereignty!
We are meeting at 18th and Delores in San Francisco at 3pm, to join the March beginning at 3:30!
We will sing to the Maiden Goddess, paint our bodies with words of power and march together as sisters.
Contact walkingwithartemis@gmail.com with questions or to RSVP!

The Solstice of the Fertile Mother:

The Bloodroot Honey Priestess Tribe invites all self-identified women to
Come As You Are to the Solstice of The Fertile Mother!

Saturday, June 27, 2015
the Cottage at the Home of Truth
1300 Grand St, Alameda, CA 94501
PLEASE NOTE: LATER START TIME
doors at 7:45, ritual begins at 8pm
$20 donation requested, no one turned away

Please be welcome as we gather to honor Artemis, the midwife, and seek her aid to create and make manifest our desires and dreams. We are the mothers, the makers, and midwives to the future. At this ritual, we will focus our dreams and bless our bodies, honoring all that they can create. We will be offering special blessings to women who are carrying a child, have recently given birth, or those who wish to conceive. 

Please bring a blanket to sit on, any pillows or comfort items you might need or want, and any special items you wish to charge on the altar.
Feel free to bring cakes & ale to share, if you like.