Magical Buffet Mythology: Artemis

By Rebecca

Artemis is known as the goddess of the hunt, the wild, the moon, and childbirth.  The later originating from the fact that Artemis assisted her mother Leto in the birthing of her brother Apollo, which took place immediately following Artemis’ own birth.  Most women aren’t able to do much of anything following their own birth aside from wriggling, squirming, and crying, let alone assist their mother in the birth of their twin!  But it is the wild that Artemis is generally associated with.  She is known as a wild woman and gifted hunter.  Also, like the teen pop stars of our era, she gets a lot of press over her virginity.  Unlike our pop music teeney boppers Artemis kept her virginity!  (Oh yeah, I went there!)

Some say that Artemis’ mother Leto knew that neither of her children would have much luck in love.  Perhaps as a premonition, perhaps mother’s intuition, or maybe it was the fact that Artemis choose to live deep in the wilderness and spend her time hunting and protecting wildlife and not a moment on manicures!  However she knew, Leto was correct…Artemis was definitely not going to settle down with a man.  The myths vary, but all have the same theme.  At some, point Artemis asks her dad, Zeus the grand high poohbah of the Greek pantheon, to grant some wishes.  Now me, I would’ve asked for a body that wouldn’t quit, maybe some occult secrets, and some handsome Greek man to attend me, but Artemis had other things in mind.  A hunting tunic, a bow, and quiver full of arrows, hounds, stags to lead her chariot, and nymphs as her hunting companions are all things that have been said to have been requested.  Now some retellings say that Artemis asked Zeus to say that she never had to marry, others say that she asked her father to grant her eternal virginity.  Whatever she may have asked, it’s fair to say that Artemis kept her legs together tighter than a banker’s smile.

This leads us to the quintessential Artemis story.  It been told several different ways, here is my special version.  One day Artemis is bathing and frolicking in a lake with her virginal nymph companions.  Along comes this man, in most of the retellings he is the Theban prince and hunter Actaeon.  Well Actaeon had been out hunting with his dogs and decided it was time for a much needed rest.  He settles down, the dogs lounge, everything is normal.  Then Actaeon hears it; women’s voices, all giggling and being playful, and some water splashing.  Perhaps in the time of goddesses roaming the earth man should have known better, but I prefer thinking of this as a prime example of the hot blooded human male stepping in it.  Carefully he approached some brush and when he pushes the foliage aside, he sees Artemis in all her hot goddess nakedness frolicking with her not god level but still pretty darn attractive nymphs!  Now Actaeon is no dummy, he immediately recognizes the goddess Artemis but he can’t look away.  Yeah, she’s the wild huntress, but at that moment, she was also a totally hot babe of mythological proportions!  Actaeon realizes that he may be pressing his luck and goes to leave when…snap!  He steps on a branch.  Of course, Artemis turns and sees the prince.  Now most of us would’ve let out a yelp or perhaps smacked him across the face, but we are not Artemis.  She turns the prince into a stag.  In some stories, she turns herself into a hound and rouses the prince’s dogs into chasing down and eating the prince.  Other times it is just said that she causes the prince to be eaten by his hounds.  Either way, Actaeon is dog food.