Artemis is a Goddess associated with Hekate due to their common properties. In the hellenistic period Hekate and Artemis were seen as the same Goddess. Let's learn more about Artemis, Hekate's cousin!
There are four women known with name Artemis. The first is daughter of Zeus and Persephone, the second one is daughter of Uranos and Phoebe, the third one is daughter οf Dionysos and Demetra and the fourth one that most known is the daughter of Zeus and Leto. Artemis was born in Delos Island one day before her brother Apollo was born. Her name comes from the word “artia” (άρτια) that means “entire” because Artemis was responsible for the people's health. Artemis is the daughter of Leto and Zeus. Leto's parents are titan Koios and Phoebe. Leto's sister is Asteria, Hekate's mother.
Artemis is one of the six Goddesses of the total 12 major Gods and Goddesses of Olympus. She is the most loved in the countryside from all Gods. The wild woods belonged to Her. The wild animals, trees, plants, wild nature etc. She is the protector of the wild life and She is a great punisher for all those who don't respect animals, trees, life.
Artemis is a complex Goddess with multiple epithets. She has more than 200 epithets, 200 properties. She is a virgin Goddess, who is very independent, with a strong character. She walks in the woods, hunting with Her company, the nymphs of the forests. She represents nature and spring. Artemis is also a fan of gymnastics. Many athletes were praying to Her before any match or competition. In war, She was invoked to help defeat the opponent. Artemis protected all women when they giving birth. The young children also got the blessings from the Goddess when her mothers brought them to Her temple. She is protector of shipping, houses and the roads because she lights with her torches the road of the foot passengers at night. She also protects the births because they believed that selene was influencing them, quality that was given to her by the Fates. Artemis being maiden and pure like her brother Apollo who holds the qualities of the sun signifies the cleanness and the imperishability of the light meaning the new life that was born. She was also thought to be averter of bad and responsible for the fate of the young, virgin women who died identifying her as one of the Fates. Artemis protected the travellers too, like Hermes and Hekate. Artemis is the Goddess of rebirth like Hekate too.
Artemis killed everyone who didn't respect wild life, small animals, family, young women, and her virginity. She used arrows to get Her revenge.
Artemis holds the qualities of the moon (selene) and she also had the name Hekate (=distant, far). She is is holding bow and arrows. The bow symbolizes the zodiac and its elliptic motions while the arrows symbolize the rays. She also holds torches that symbolize the phases of the moon. Near her there are deers that signify the fast movement.
A great part of her power arises from her role as goddess of nature. ; in the mountains, in the hills, in the banks of fountains, in the ports and in the banks of rivers. As Goddess of nature she expanded her area of protection in agriculture. Responsible for the wetness according to her the harvest was taking place and the maturation of the fruits. She takes care of the fields and as an exchange she wants as an offering the first fruits. When people forget this, wild animals and frost destroy the fields. The Goddess does not protect the field anymore. Just like the plant kingdom is under her orders the same way the animal kingdom is. From the birds she loves the bird skylark (korydallos), bird of the spring , that carries an hyacinth, a flower that represented the resurrected God Hyacinthos of Sparta. . Other wild animals are under her protection such as the bear, the lion, the wolf, the wild pig. Sacred to Artemis are the mountains, the forests, the low lands, the fountains and the harbors. Among herbs, artemisia. Among animals the dogs, the deers, the cats, the goats and among fish the gurnard.
She was represented as a young woman with uncovered arms carrying bow and quiver gone around by dogs. Also holding a torch, a chalice. She wears a short robe and sandals. Sometimes sited in a chariot which was trailed by four deers with golden horns or two white deers. Sometimes sited on a bull or on a deer. Because of the fact that she was a identified as Selene, Hekate and Eileithyia she was drawn holding torches and having horns on her head.
Artemis had many temples all over Hellas. The most well known are in: Ephesus, Tegea, Laconia, Messenia, Hleia, Athens, Vravrona, Theres, Thebes, Thespies, Livadeia, Tanagra and Hyampolis.