February 11, 2010

Make My Aim True: A Greek Goddess Shows Me the Way. ~ Kathryn Budig

Anyone familiar with my writing knows that I have a major love of anything mythical, magical or supernatural.

I’ve been known to compare ex-boyfriends to vampires, write articles inspired by the Twilight series and to hand out Harry Potter books to souls in need of adventure and escape. I do this knowing the true magic that they all hold. If I’ve learned anything from my love of the mystic, it’s that it is very powerful.

Let me clarify. Will Brad Pitt show up at your doorstep in full Victorian regalia if you watch ‘Interview with the Vampire’ enough times with strong intention? No. …Although, I did see a ‘Republicans for Voldemort’ bumper sticker on a Prius in Venice yesterday — and laughed so hard I sprayed kombucha out my nose.

The kind of magic I’m talking about is the kind that you create yourself. It comes from the unwavering, deep belief that we hold the entire tool kit within ourselves and can mend ourselves once we realize we have the power. Problem is, most of us don’t have that kind of belief.

I know, because I was there not too long ago.

A string of unsavory events had left me confused and frustrated, longing for clarity and joy. I had been keeping a Roman/Greek myth book next to my bed that I would read at night to take my mind off issues that weren’t as appealing as learning the tale of the Minotaur. I found myself especially drawn to the stories of Artemis. Artemis is the Huntress or the Goddess of the Moon. She’s easily recognized by the crescent moon she wears across her brow, her short Grecian dress (well, short for those days at least) and her constant grip on a bow with a quiver set on her back.

Basically, she’s the epitome of female courage. She’s the protector of women and provider of strength. At this point I was looking for the dotted line to sign up. I wanted to become a huntress and run with Artemis. I was sick of failed relationships and letting them determine my worth. I wanted to get back to my core. I needed to remember my worth and revive my soul.

Like many true blooded women, when upset…I shop. I am a strong believer in retail therapy. On this fateful day, I was driving home from work when I got a phone call from a friend telling me she had started seeing my ex-boyfriend after a small period of time since our break-up. Clearly not thrilled, but determined to not let it hurt me, I drove to the nearest store and bee-lined in. I stood there mesmerized by the onslaught of jewelry and then, I saw it: a simple gold arrow dangling on a slender gold chain. Right next to it, just as it should be, hung a crescent moon.

I laughed to myself,

“Artemis, a goddess, is helping me shop. Perhaps I should pick up some gold lace-up Hermes sandals while I’m at it?”

Once I got over the humor of the situation, I bought the two charms. I dutifully slid the chain around my neck and immediately experienced a sense of calm and purpose. I strode confidently out of the store, shocked at the lack of weight on my shoulders.

In fact, I thought about the phone call and laughed. Was I really going to get upset over a relationship that I was happy to be out of? I gently grabbed the necklace, gave it a grateful squeeze and walked on.

From there on out I found myself holding the necklace in times of need and asking Artemis for support. My mantra became simple: Please give me strength. Please free me from obstacles. The strangest part was it worked. Each day I could feel myself becoming stronger, more aware, full of belief that my prayers to Artemis were being heard. I was so impressed that I looked up a prayer for her and started saying it to myself once a day.

The prayer goes like this:

Artemis, huntress of the moon, make my aim true. Give me goals to seek and the constant determination to achieve them.

Grant me communion with nature, allow me to live surrounded by plants and animals that I can grow, protect and nurture.

Allow me the strength and wisdom to be my own mistress, not defined by the expectations of others.

And sustain my sexuality to be as yours — wild and free as nature itself.

My girl, Artemis, doin’ her thang. . . .

I wrote the prayer on a piece of paper, and now keep it in my car fastened with the guardian angel pin that my mother gave me as a small child. I feel stronger just looking at the prayer — it’s like a constant reminder of not just who I want to be but who I already am.

Next thing you know, doors were opening up. So much opportunity presented itself that I had to start turning things down. Not to mention the powerhouse women that entered my life. I’m talking seriously mind-blowing, inspiring, earth-shaking women who wanted to support me. To help me grow and put me back on my path. I was honored, touched, inspired and grateful.

The best part was when I received the opportunity to share my strength. A dear friend was going through a world of pain. Her marriage was rocky, money was sparse and her belief in herself was nearing empty. I knew it was time to pass Artemis on. I told her my story, then put the necklace around her neck and told her that it was time to believe. To believe in her gifts, her abilities, her power. She still wears the necklace and I have seen her blossom and push obstacles out of her way. The issues are still there, but her light has been turned back on from the inside.  Whether or not she can see her own light, it’s illuminating a path where I see her getting one step closer every day.

Does this mean that I actually think there’s a goddess out in the woods that dances in the moonlight when she learns I’m responding well to her gifts? Well, hey, maybe. Stranger things have happened. But what really matters is that the principle of a goddess reminded me that I am inherently just like her and that no arrow, relationship or person can shake that belief.

And that we share fabulous taste in jewelry.

*This is dedicated to my dear friend and huntress sister, who now proudly wears the arrow around her neck. Stay strong and I love you.

When Kathryn isn’t nose deep in a good myth she is a lover and teacher of yoga by day, a wizard in the kitchen by dinner time and a professional dog snuggler at night.

Follow Kathryn @kathrynbudig or on Facebook


photo credits: Andrew Stephen Cebulka of HeirloomCreative Photography and James Brown

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