Artemis: of milk and honeybees

September 13, 2010

The fountain of Diana of Ephesus has water flowing from her numerous breasts, symbolizing fertility and abundance, both of nature and of intellect. This goddess, known as Artemis to the Greeks, originated in Ephesus in present day Turkey, where her sacred temple was once one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Other fountains include the Fountain of the Dragon, the Oval Fountain, and the Avenue of the Hundred Fountains. ~ Julianne Davidow



Identity: Olympian virgin huntress. Sister of Apollo

Descriptive archetype: Athletic, outdoor maiden archer. Patroness of animals

Symbols: Bow and arrow. Torch. Animals in general, but the cat (or lion), dog, hind and bear, in particular.

Upright Meanings

Chastity. Reliability. Protection, particularly against unwarranted attentions. Caution. Good coordination. Love of animals. Sporting skills. Outdoor life. Devotion to parents and close friends. Selectivity of company.

Reversed Meanings

Insensitivity. Remoteness. Recklessness. Lack of coordination. Implacability. Unwarranted disdain.

Psychological Comment

Artemis people are strongly drawn to nature and the country and are seldom, if ever, really at home in urban environments. They are selective where friendships are concerned and jealously guard those whom they feel to be true and loyal companions. But Hades help the friend who is foolish enough to betray such a trust!

Individuals of this archetype tend to be somewhat ill at east with the human race as a whole. They are not party goers or great socialites, preferring the quiet company of those of like mind to what is popularly considered to be a good time. 

Greek classical scholar, Professor Carl Kerenyi, suggests that Artemis’ original companion was a lion, which tends to support Herodotus’ statement that Artemis was one and the same as the Egyptian cat goddess Bast, or her earlier personal the lioness Tefnut, twin sister of the sky god Shu.

~ Words Murry Hope, Olympus: An Experience in Self-Discovery


Two Artemis Image Credit: Lactating Fountains

The Ephesus goddess of fertility, Artemis (sometimes called ‘Diana’) in Tivoli, Italy. Artemis was often pictured as draped with eggs and/or multiple breasts  from her waist to her shoulders. What a positive and empowering way to view the human breast!

 Artemis’ fountain was built in the 1500s by Cardinal Ippolito d’Este, son of Lucretia Borgia. Diana’s Fountain once stood at a central location in the gardens of Villa d’Este. She eventually became viewed as ‘too pagan’ and was relocated to a more hidden spot in the garden.~ Source DrMomma

(left) Monument in the Upper Town; (right) Mosaics

Image Credit

Further Reading: The Biology Behind the Milk of Human Kindness

Roman Homes: The Fountains, the Gardens of Tivoli Villa D’Este

%d bloggers like this: