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The Amazons

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Isis
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« on: February 18, 2007, 04:54:56 am »

The Gods of the Amazons

The Amazons' main pantheon of deities were Artemis, Ares, and Cybele. These three deities however are not exclusive to the Amazons. Namely, alternative theories state that the Amazons worshipped Artemis (in all of her aspects), Ares, Cybele, Astraea (daughter of Themis), Hecate, and Athena, as well as other deities (some sources have gone so far as to state the Amazons worshipped Indian, or non-native gods). The Amazon deities represent several archetypes which related to the Amazon way of life.

 
Ares

The worship of Ares in the Amazon pantheon is obvious in relation to their way of life. Ares, the Greek god of war, held domain over battles, warriors, soldiers, but was also affected by the rage of war (hence he's been given the attribute of a berserker).


 
Artemis
 
The worship of Cybele and Artemis are also in direct relation to the Amazons' way of life. Both Cybele and Artemis are goddesses representative of the moon. The moon throughout history has been seen as a symbol of the feminine; its regular cycles correspond to the lifecycles of women: maiden, mother, and crone. Both Cybele and Artemis were connected to the moon with many different aspects, not entirely corresponding to the triad of maiden, mother and crone. For example, the goddess Artemis, was known and celebrated as Artemis Brauron, and in her most violent aspect the tauropolos. Artemis's main domain was over childbirth, hunting, the protection of small children, the healing of small children, the protection of girls, etc. She also held special significance as the goddess over adolescence, and childhood. The goddess Cybele (also known as the Titan Rhea), held significance as a goddess of the moon and of fertility, but was also worshipped in her earthly aspects as a fertility deity. Both Cybele and Artemis are largely a contrast to one another. Artemis who represented a wild sense of feminity in one instance, and in another represented a nurturing aspect, in quite another was the sublime virgin goddess. This virginity was held in such high regard within the myths of Artemis, that in one, when Actaeon sees the goddess bathing, he is turned into a stag by Artemis and his hunting dogs tear him apart. Rarely, if at all, is Artemis ever seen as a goddess with domain over motherhood (the closest she comes is holding domain over childbirth, owing to her painless birth by Leto). Cybele alternately, (also known as Rhea) was the Titan mother of the Olympian gods, who held domain over fertility, the earth, etc. Though it was through the union of the Titans Rhea and Chronos that Zeus was born, and later from Zeus and Leto (who was also born from the Titans Phoebe and Coeus), that Artemis was born, there is little to support that Cybele was an incorporated aspect of Artemis, though Cybele was probably worshipped by the Amazons. Taken together, the worship of both goddesses do not suggest that Amazon worship was a compilation of maiden, mother, and crone aspects, rather than each goddess had their own aspects as were thought of as separate deities.

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