“Do something that matters. Help transform the world, change the political situation, weave a tapestry or create a useful tool, write a book that teaches people how to be civilized and lawful. You can do it. Your mother raised you for this,” says Athena for the thousandth time with an impatient roll of her sky blue eyes.
“No, no, no!” says Artemis with angry tears flooding her cheeks. “Let me be with trees and wild things and walk with my dogs. I don’t want to deal with the politics of war or feel responsible to fix the human mess. I’m broken and lost in Athena’s urban world. Take me to the forest.”
Athena Goddess of the Metropolis and Artemis Goddess of the Wild have argued in my head for years. When I was a girl, I was all Athena like my mother. Achieve, achieve, achieve. Get the best college board scores and the biggest scholarship. Be president of student council. Athena energy exhausts me now, but she persists.
When I grew older and met my husband, I saw the power of Artemis, although I didn’t know her name. I learned it is not a waste of time to watch a sunset or spend time in nature. I learned the power of the wild feminine in childbirth and nursing. After Vic’s death, I found animals and trees as comforting and constant as humans, but Athena was back with demands in a few years.
“I’m too tired to push,” I tell her now. She doesn’t give up easily. “Let me rest in nature. Don’t demand unreachable goals—always more, more, more. Artemis is my Goddess now.”
As I listen to this endless inner conflict, I hear about the serious illness of my dear friend since 1967. With that startling information, Hecate, Goddess of the Night and Crossroads, swoops in to settle my conflict.
“Life and death matter,” says Hecate,” and love. You saw how little Vic’s achievements meant in the face of death. Remember those first years without him when you wept and did ritual every day, when you didn’t need to accomplish more than that? It’s time to BE and remember what you know. I’m the Goddess of the waning moon, at the end of the natural cycle. Your sick friend is in the waning of his life and so are you.
“It’s true and it’s hard,” I whisper.
“Your time on earth is precious and short,” says Hecate. “Honor Artemis, the crescent moon, as she watches over the forest. Make offerings to me, the waning moon at the crossroads of life and death.
“Forgive yourself for doubt and inner struggle when there’s no clear path ahead, but let go of Athena, even if she calls your name. Her goals are not yours. Not now. Let the lunar goddesses guide you through the pandemic night.”
Do you have inner voices that keep driving forward in a world that no longer exists? How are you handling the issues and conflicts of your new world? I feel for friends who have put out new books during this time or others who have started new businesses. They need to learn a whole new way to contact the world. The ambitious voice in me needs to be hushed for now, but I know she’s always waiting to help if I need hr. For another post about Artemis, see Lessons from Artemis: Goddess of the Wild. For a post about Hecate relevant to the politics of our time, see Have They Forgotten They Are Mortal? Lessons from Hecate.