Song for the Huntress
by Amanda Artemisia Forrester
Sing, O Muses of Helikon Mount
Of the Wild Virgin, daughter of Zeus
She who men call Artemis
The lunar twin of solar Apollo
Leto’s daughter, whose only lover is the woods
Which reaches out to embrace Her
She haunts the wild places of the world
And runs with Her nymphs, virgins all
Racing through the underbrush
Hearts beating wildly
Blood rushing through veins
Wind whipping through Her hair
She hunts her target
Tracking its scent
Her sandaled feet barely touch the ground
Her prey hears Her behind him
The stag flees, his panicked heart a siren call
In the silence of the forest night
The Huntress quickens Her pace
She draws an arrow from Her quiver
And lets it fly
The arrow splits the air with a hiss
And finds it target
Piercing the heart.
With a throaty bellow
The great stag dies.
O Artemis, Virgin Huntress,
Queen of the Wild Beasts
You are both the protector
And the destroyer
Of all animals, great and small
You hear the smallest cry
Of the abandoned pup
And hasten to its side
Yet You are also the Huntress
The Great One who brings down the adult stag
In the prime of His life
The devouring mother
Keeping populations in check
For You understand intimately the way of the wild
And that if one species begins to outweigh another
Then all will suffer
Wise Artemis, grant us the wisdom
To understand the secrets of wild Nature
And to be in harmony with it.
by Fiona Husch
Mistress of the woods
Never shed a tear for her prey
Until Dionysos begged
For a grave favor.
And as she loosed that arrow,
Watching it soar towards the mad god’s bride,
A tear slipped down her cheek.
by Rita Rippetoe
Life enveloped or death dealing.
Pillar of breasts, testes, queen cells;
Swift moving lass, whose dart kills.
How shall we know thee.
Artemis, swift-footed, virgin huntress, racing through the wilds,
heart beating in her slender chest with excitement for the chase.
The hint of a smile turns up her lips as she scents her prey’s fear upon the air,
the deer rushing headlong through the thicket, desperate to escape Leto’s proud daughter.
She it is, the doubling goddess, who has never known the touch of man,
but keeps the company of athletic girls and wild beasts,
who despite her fondness for the chase, is the one who nurtures all young,
human and animal alike, and stands guard at their birth.
She takes the fawn to her breast, nursing it like a maenad on the hill,
and watches as it takes its first, faltering steps. Under her keen gaze
the deer grows strong, knowing only joy in its innocent sport.
Yet she it is who draws the bow, and spills their blood upon the loamy soil,
dual natured mother of the wild
To Artemis of the Three Ways
Hail to you bright lady Artemis,
mother to the dappled fawn and the curious raccoon
and all who call the forest their home,
maiden with long hair and swift feet,
leader of the baying hounds of the hunt,
queen of those who leave their bodies
to roam the black heavens and
offer bloody sacrifices at the crossroads
on moonless nights;
may you be pleased with this prayer
and graciously accept the gifts I have set before you.