Answering The Call of The Divine Huntress
There are times in all our lives when we feel a calling; a pull to stretch ourselves a little further, and seek the unknown, learn a new skill, be brave, go for adventure or embark on a quest for our hearts desire. The call of the Divine Huntress is one we all hear from time to time, thrumming in our veins, inviting us to taste the wild, and howl beneath the full moon and a sky full of stars…
Huntress Goddesses are found throughout the world’s oldest religions. One of the earliest was worshipped in Pre-Dynastic Egypt; the primordial creator goddess Neith, who oversaw war and hunting. Her symbol was two crossed arrows, and she was known as ‘the opener of the ways’ -breaking new ground in society and leading the dead on their path as well as creation itself. In ancient Greece, the Huntress Goddess Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo. Artemis was born already standing up, ready to go and seek out her destiny. Artemis is a goddess of hunters, but also paradoxically a goddess of wild animals. She is associated with the moon and young women, although she can be called upon by women of any age who seek guidance or courage to be independent. Huntress Goddesses are often associated with the moon and the lunar mysteries, and the Thracian goddess Bendis has many qualities similar to Artemis. Once long ago night time horse races by people carrying fiery torches were held in her honour. These two goddesses are both similar to the Roman Goddess Diana, whose name means ‘bright sky’ despite her lunar associations, and is especially important in the tradition of Stregheria, or southern European witchcraft, which see Diana as Queen of the Witches. These goddesses are particularly helpful for supporting women seeking their own way in life, as well those entering, or hoping to enter motherhood. Equally they may call to older women who feel it is time to make a change in life, find a new direction, become more assertive, or go on a spiritual quest.
Other Huntress Goddesses are found in northern Europe, such as the Finnish Mielikki, who is the friend of animals and knows many healing spells and skills. Her name comes from the Finnish word for luck and she is said to help those who care for the animal world and nature. Traditionally hunters of small game, as well as those who forage for edible plants and fungi in the forest make prayers to Mielikki for blessing and assistance. The Slavic goddess Devana also cares for the wild and animal world and is said to be found in the deep forests, but she also oversees fertility and blesses babies and young girls. The Norse Skaði is both a Jötunn (giant) and a winter goddess associated with mountains and hunting with a bow. In Ireland the goddess Flidais is said to use a chariot drawn by deer and care for all animals, domestic and wild, and her British counterpart is more recently called Elen, the Antlered Goddess. Her name is related to the ancient words for reindeer, and an Iron Age figurine was found in France, of a goddess with reindeer antlers, which may be her original form, though her original name is now lost.
Wild, intuitive, questing and adventurous, the Huntress Goddess is often depicted as wearing antlers, as well as the colours brown and green. She seems to appear from within the wild parts of our hearts as well as the deepest most secret places in nature; beneath the moon, under the stars, or at rest in the dappled sunlight of the forest. She calls to us to listen and be still, returning our wild natural selves, the call in our hearts leading the way to something new. She watches us with wide, ancient eyes that take in everything we do not show the world, and she helps us hunt a treasure; that we too may return to the paths less travelled.
The Huntress Goddess feels no fear when making her own way through life, seeking her own treasures and making her own choices without regret or uncertainty. She will fiercely defend her values and inner sovereignty, and seek out that which gives her passion and joyful purpose. Though she may wander the forests of her life for extended periods sometimes, she is never lost. She knows sometimes to wander freely is the only way to pick up the track that will lead her to what she seeks. Always independent, the Divine Huntress may choose to love, or leave, but always on her own terms, trusting the guidance she feels from within.
Under the moon
The Huntress Goddess is often associated with the moon, particularly the waxing crescent moon, which arcs like a bow, echoing her love of archery. The moon is the mistress of dreams and the subconscious, showing us how to see our lives in a different way, and valuing the subtle, the sensual and the mysterious. The moon also teaches about the spirit world and our own spiritual workings. Meditating on the moon can help us to develop a deeper relationship with our own souls and our hearts inner yearnings, as well as encouraging our psychic and intuitive abilities. The moon is a primal source of female power, her endless cycles of waxing, full and waning echo a woman’s fertility and the cycles of life and death itself. The waxing crescent moon, as it turns from ‘dark moon’ when it can’t be seen in the sky, to full moon, oversees growth and new life, and the urge to sow seeds and embark on new adventures.
Call to the Divine Huntress when the waxing moon is in the sky to help you draw on her endless fertility, to bring life and growth to your dreams and ambitions. Meditate on her luminous silver rays to help you get into closer contact with your inner feelings, and let your inner voice be heard. Talk to her in the dark moments of your life for emotional solace and support. When the moon wanes, from full to dark, whisper to her your fears and regrets and let her take from you what you no longer need or want, clearing the way for a new cycle ahead.
5 ways to encourage your Huntress Goddess within
There are lots of ways to connect with the Divine Huntress and draw her empowerment and independence into your life. See if you can come up with your own, but here’s some to get you started!
1) Go outside, no ifs, no buts! Time with your feet on the soil and your head under the sky cannot be substituted, there is a whole wild world out there to explore. Seize the day, don’t watch it go by outside the window.
2) Learn a new skill or put a dream into action. The Divine Huntress doesn’t have things fall into her lap while she sits and waits, she’s all about action and hunting down the result she wants, with persistence and determination, carrying on through ups and downs no matter what. Fuelled by her instincts and her love of the wild, she learns to hear her inner voice and sees her adventures through to the end.
3) Honour nature- learn about the plants and trees that grow in your area, walk lightly on the earth with an eye on your ecological footprint, and take steps where you can to stand for the earth, and all its inhabitants.
4)Grow stronger- our fitness waxes and wanes throughout our lives, for a myriad of reasons. This is not about getting thin, becoming a fitness addict, or criticizing ourselves if we don’t. Accept yourself just as you are, but where you can- push yourself a little, or a lot. Use your body as much as you can, enjoy your physicality and every gift it offers you.
5)Treasure moments alone- learn to hear your instincts and your inner feelings. Often this isn’t about your thoughts, but about what your gut, or your solar plexus says. It’s the little, subtle voice so easily overlooked in a busy world- but if you learn to honour it, it will grow louder and clearer with practice. Trust you know what you need, what you must do, in any given moment, if you can clear away the inner and outer chatter that may lead you astray. Make connection with yourself a sacred task.
Developing your intuition and instincts
Heeding your inner voice and trusting your intuition and instincts can take time. In a world where we are often pulled to be less conscious, less present, it can take a lot of practice and courage to find another way and become truer to ourselves. Sometimes we need to start out small, making something important to us become precious and weaving it in regularly into our lives, making time for it no mater what. What are the things that are most important to you? What things make you, uniquely you? What gives you passion? You may need to become more assertive, insisting your boundaries and choices are respected. Have patience with yourself, and keep going, keep trying. In time, your wild nature will return to you, and you will find others naturally respect it. One way, if the Huntress Goddess calls to you, is to start by making time to honour the cycles of the seasons, time spent under the moon, and the liminal ‘in-between’ times of dawn and dusk. This can help you align to the waxing and waning cycles of life; a time to move, a time to act, when to be still, and when to let go. This can teach you to heed your intuition and be present in a world that encourages our distraction.
A Wild Life
Surround yourself with reminders of your wildness, and your place in nature. Make a home for yourself that reflects your closeness to the elements and the earth. Limit your time with technology where possible, and feel your feet on the soil. Grow plants, care for animals, seek out earthy natural colours and fabrics, and try to feed your soul when you feed your body by being fully aware of what you eat- and what is in it!
Perhaps make an altar or have a special place in your home for honouring the Divine Huntress, in whatever form calls to you the most. Make a place for special feathers, and interesting stones and bones found on wild walks. Seek out images of your most beloved wild places, animals and trees, whisper your secrets to the moon, and open your windows on stormy nights. Keep your senses nurtured and alive.
Remember the magical side of the Huntress Goddess and call upon her to help you hunt down the life you dream of, tackling any challenges that come to you with confidence and wisdom.
If you are seeking guidance or a path to a goal, try this magical arrow spell, to forge a connection and draw you along the right direction to achieve your aim:
Wait until you see the moon in the sky, and call to the Huntress, by any of her names; Flidais, Elen, Artemis, Skaði… Breath deeply, and feel your connection with her grow in your minds eye. Now speak to her about what you need, what is going on in your life. When you are ready, visualise that you have a bow and arrow in your hands, knocked and ready for use. Ask her to bless your arrow that it may find what you seek, and breath deeply, putting your passion and will and heart into the arrow, seeing it glow with your intention. Trust that the Divine Huntress will guide it, and by extension, you, to your goal. Count to three slowly in your mind, and then with all your might, raise your arms and see yourself shoot the arrow up into the sky and towards your desire. Give it some time, and you will find your life naturally pulls you along its path into the future, to manifest what you have hunted for in your inner vision.