Sisters of the Huntress

Year of Creation: 2014

Dedicated Clergy:

Stella Iris RedRaven, High Priestess of Conscious Joy - dedicated to Artemis
Strega Manea Trinacria, High Priestess of Wild Magick - dedicated to Diana
Temperance, Priestess of the Soul's Journey - dedicated to Artemis
Gwen, Priestess of Story and Song - dedicated to Artemis

The Sisters of the Huntress are a circle of priestesses that span several generations of CAYA who are dedicated to Artemis and Diana.
We are witches, feminists, and nature-lovers who climb trees, shoot arrows, and howl at the moon.

Artemis

We connect with Artemis in woodlands, in wild places, and through the moon. These are physical parts of nature that we seek out to feel close to our goddess. Iris goes up onto her roof to watch the moon. Gwen says, "Me in a tree is something that happens on a regular basis.”

We connect with Artemis through feminism and fierce independence. We connect with her through protection of children, the needy, and the disenfranchised. Iris says, "I work with Artemis because she's a badass feminist." Temperance is inspired by how "as a single woman Artemis takes care of herself, and doesn't need anyone to protect her." Artemis as midwife speaks to the mothers among us. In Artemis’s name we take a stand for women’s reproductive rights, for the right of women and children to be safe in our homes and our relationships, and for a socially just world.

We also connect with Artemis as she who walks the liminal space between life and death, Huntress and hunted. She is protectress of women in childbirth and she who takes those who die in labor. We honor her truth that death is a necessary part of life, that some creatures must die that others may live. Sometimes death happens whether or not it makes sense. We can turn to her when faced with death and dying.

Diana

Manea says, "I started working with Diana because of my Italian ancestry." She connects with her as the Queen of Witches and Faeries, as goddess of the woodlands, animals, and especially of the moon. She particularly connects to the aspect of Diana worshiped at Nemi, at the lake Mirror of the Moon. She connects with Diana as a proponent of feminism and women’s rights, and as an active agent in the change she wants to see in the world.

Maker's Moon altar, March 2014

Maker's Moon altar, March 2014

Workings, Public and Private

Our cult offered a self-identified women’s ritual for the 2014 Maker’s Moon and raised energy to further expand and ensure women's reproductive rights and ability to make our own health decisions. Most of us participated in the 2014 Dyke March, aptly themed "My Body, My Business, My Power." We have private trips to do archery in the woods throughout the year. In addition, several of us have personal practices related to her worship:

Iris: “In honor of Artemis, I personally use her altar for the Mothers of the New Time to end patriarchy and bring about a world with greater equality.”

Temperance: “I've been doing a lot of goal-setting, finding a target and using her altar as a space to work towards it, and when I need to draw from my roots as a strong woman I often go to her as a role-model.”

Gwen: “I go and spend time at creeks and in the woods hanging out with Artemis. I have also worked closely with her as a hospital chaplain and hospice volunteer, as she is a goddess intimately connected with the border between life and death. I silently pray to her to help me work with patients and families who are facing the very real possibility or reality of dying or are in a ‘dark night of the soul.’”


Resources

Artemis, by Sorita d'Estes: containing comprehensive study of classical sources

Pagan Meditations: Aphrodite, Hestia, Artemis, by Ginette Paris: a Jungian professor’s analysis of the myth, symbolism, and meaning of these goddesses in their Greek contexts and today

The Goddess Path, by Patricia Monaghan: contains short (10-12 pg) lyrical chapters focused on different goddesses including one for Artemis. Each goddess’s chapter contains primary texts, overview of myths, meditations on symbols and meaning, and a suggested ritual.

Women in Greek Myth, by Mary Lefkowitz: not directly about Artemis (though she is discussed a little), but a feminist scholarly look at human women’s roles in Greek myth including Atalanta, Iphigenia, and other women involved with Artemis.

A brief web encyclopedia entry, however, it includes bibliographic references to original sources

A collections of pictures and links related to Artemis, curated by our Priestess Temperance

Walking with ArtemisStella Iris runs a blog and Gwen wrote a great sermon on Artemis and tenacity here