Today, I'm posting a mix-tape for Artemis. This idea is not mine; it's a combination of a wonderful idea by Sannion and Hellenion's monthly libation schedule. Hellenion is a Hellenistic organization from America and I used their wonderful calender and the great store of information they have gathered to start my own practice. Every month, Hellenion members pour a libation to a different Hellenic God or Goddess. This month, it's Artemis' turn, and while I will not be continuing this practice in the next Hellenic year, I will most certainly keep up the practice until then. To make the day more special, I have created a mix-tape of songs which either describe or would speak to Her.

Artemis is one of the few Hellenic Gods I'm fearful of. Artemis deals harshly with those who oppose Her, or anyone She loves. Picking songs for Her was slightly nerve-wrecking, I must admit. Artemis is most closely connected to women, and often enters their lives on the cusp of change: during their transition from girl to woman, during childbirth, and at the moment of their deaths. These are emotionally turbulent times, connected to a wild variety of pain, and while Artemis' connection to woodlands and animals is soothing, I'm always aware of the danger that belies Her touch upon humanity.

While Her brother Apollon has a similar connection to men as Artemis has to women, Artemis' connection to the dark of night--even if She's connected to its only source of light--always reminds me of the imminent danger Artemis' touch might bestow. As such, picking songs became a challenge, as the last thing I want to do is piss off a powerful deity like Artemis. On the other hand, I also didn't want to go full 'colors of the wind' on this. The result is what follows, and I hope it appeals to Her, and to you.

Björk - Hunter

A mix-tape to Artemis needs to include at least one Björk song. This must be a rule somewhere. As the eternally youthful hunter, the Far-Shooter--like her brother, Apollon--the mystery and subject matter must speak to a Theia as Artemis. Also, bonus points for the bear, an animal Artemis is highly associated with.

"I'm going hunting / I'm the hunter, I'm the hunter / I'm going hunting."

I Am Oak - On Trees and Birds and Fire

I adore 'I Am Oak', but I chose this song not for my love for them, but for the longing to be close to nature, and the memories of our youth that this song raises in me. It is a longing I could ascribe to Artemis as well, in Her epithets relating to nature and the wilds.

"Trees, oh trees / do you remember me / from before? / And birds, oh birds / can you recall my songs / from before? Fire, oh fire / I can still feel your warmth / like before."

Idina Menzel - Brave

Idina is always a bit... melodramatic, but I love the inclusion of rites of passage, the bravery it takes to get through the trials in life Artemis watches over. As I mentioned before, these points in our lives that Artemis touches, these are some of the most final. It goes with a bit of pain. Doing it right, however, means moving on to new challenges, and greater opportunities.

If this is the moment I stand here on my own / If this is my right of passage / That somehow leads me home / I might be afraid but it's my turn to be brave."

The Cardigans - My Favourite Game

As someone who got her first taste of music in the nineties, It's no surprise I chose The Cardigans to relate to the aspect of Her that does not tolerate disrespect by men. The other options were Garbage's 'When I Grow Up', and 'Open Your Eyes' by Guano Apes. Whatever the case, mythology is clear: crushes on Artemis, or accidentally running into Her while bathing, is lethal. As Apollodorus relates:

"To Autonoe and Aristaios was born a son Aktaion, who was reared by Kheiron and trained as a huntsman, but was later eaten up on Kithairon by his own dogs [because] . . . he saw Artemis bathing. They say that the goddess changed him on the spot into a deer, and drove his fifty hunting dogs into a frenzy so that they unintentionally ate him. When he was no more, they looked for their master with great howls and bays, coming in the course of their search to Kheiron’s cave. He made a likeness of Aktaion, which assuaged their grief."

"And this is not a case of lust, you see / it's not a matter of you versus of me. / It's fine the way you want me on your own / but in the end it's always me alone."

Nina Simone - Feeling Good

Artemis is a virgin Goddess, a Goddess who does not need a male to define Her, who rules over femininity without necessarily linking it to masculinity. The power to live your own life, independently, is a promise to those who revere Artemis. And Nina Simone? Perhaps one of the most independent women to have ever graced the planet. I don't hate the link to nature either.

"Stars when you shine you know how I feel / Scent of the pine you know how I feel / Oh freedom is mine / And I know how I feel."