The Influence of Artemis
The Femme Moon was originally inspired by and named after the Arktoi (“ärk-ˈtoi̯”), a group of young students in ancient Greece who worshipped the moon goddess Artemis. According to historical studies and text from 412 BC, Brauron of Attica was the central location of sacred sites and temples in honor of Artemis. There, the “arkteia” rites took place, delving into music, artistry, dancing and practices rooted deep in esoteric magick. Wearing animal-esqe outfits and masks, embracing androgynous wilderness and connecting strongly to Nature, the Arktoi became what was communally referred to as:
Little She-bears in Ritual Wildness
To decide what path they would like to take whilst entering the stages of puberty and whether these students took a life of marriage and motherhood, or creativity and career, or both, or something else altogether, the spirit of being “wild and free” would be embedded in their emotional and intellectual approaches. This time frame was to help each individual build their root strength, so that it may inform their inner intuition.
Artemis’ interest as a protector, in harmony with the forest and mountains, inspired self-sustaining community. Her symbolic “virginity” was, in many lights, considered a silent implication of her queer identity and regardless of speculation in art and literature, Artemis is considered a prime queer feminist icon in the mythological pantheon due to her undoubted resistance to patriarchal social conditioning. Organic connections and support of women’s wide array of experiences gave Artemis more than icon status; she upheld free expression and gender liberation whilst having an acute awareness of the dangers around the safe spaces created in kind.
Artemis strongly encompassed many aspects of the other central Greek Goddesses as well. She was sensual in an esoteric eroticism, somewhat astray from the lavish flirtations of Aphrodite. She facilitated communications and routines based in trust and balance with the Earth, rather than the strategic political prowess and competition of Athena. With “mama bear” protection, though less explosive and strict than the likes of Hera, midwives and children were not only welcome but viewed as integral to the village of women in which Artemis led.
Forever in connection to the Greater Cosmic energies of the Moons and Seasons with a rich inner and outer world, able to understand there are complications to overcome but also aspects to recognize, the folklore surrounding Artemis and her community inspired us deeply. Our core beliefs can be summarized into one simple phrase:
“Arktoi en Alt”
With the pandemic’s challenges, we found available time to study Moon cycles and our relationship to the Seasons. Similarly interested friends began to discuss our decades of light reading about Paganism, deconstructing programming around organized religion and gender. We aimed to rewrite an approach to “magick” with sensitivity and soul, information and intuition. Applying the ancient concept of Arktoi and extending it to the modern hearth that encompasses all walks of Life, an ethos was concocted:
Arktoi en Alt = “En” (meaning “in”) + “Alt” (meaning “everything”)
Arktoi en Alt is now a zine series in progress, each installation a nod to the planets and the Gods and Goddesses that rule them. We will extend Artkoi en Alt to further encompass any specific study of Magick, such as workshops, events, rituals and more.
We are currently taking submission for THE SENSUAL WORLD, a zine about Venus Magick.
Our dedication to growing, learning and joyfully embracing unrestricted “femme-nergy” may be a focus as of now, but we stand by ideologies that encourage kinder connection. This includes but is not limited to:
Fairness towards all people; recognizing different forms of expression and energy in the realm of “femme”, not solely experienced by just cis individuals or bound to a binary; and the many ways to encompass said fire and spirituality. Basically, no TERFs or SWERFs need apply!
Support through respectful boundaries; eschewing social constructs of capitalistic ideologies of success which create jealousy and greed; reciprocating empathetic compassion; finding gentle approaches even in radical honesty.
Creativity, whether in an artistic medium, problem solving, communication, or flourishes of our environments can help facilitate healing; energy is important and valuable and is worthy of being treated with delicacy and balance.