Artemisian Order
The Artemisian Order is a feminist Neo-Pagan group
founded in the 1990s by Oriethyia, a feminist poet. It is a clan
of sisterhood and society of women who protect one another
while serving nature. Formally identified with Dianic Wicca
(centered upon the Roman goddess Diana), Oriethyia found
herself drawn more to the Greek equivalent, Artemis, and decided
to start a new Wiccan group with Artemis at the center.
Like all feminist Wicca, Artemisian faith affirms the female
image of deity, which stands in sharp contrast to the primarily
male image with which Oriethyia had been raised. Unlike most
Wiccan traditions, she saw no need to balance male-female energies
by naming a male consort God to stand with the Goddess.
She believes that the balancing of energies derives from
the assertion of the feminine within a masculine-dominated
culture.
Artemisians also identify with the ancient Amazons, the legendary
fighters whom even the bravest of male warriors feared
and respected. They describe themselves as proud and capable
women worshipping the goddess Artemis. They submit to no
man in the recognition that women have been subjected to patriarchal
cultures that persecuted and killed women for their
beliefs. They have threatened to hunt down and kill any man
discovered spying upon their activities (though there is no hint
that such has ever occurred). Only a few men are associated
with the group. They are known as the Gargareans and Philos
of the Artemisians. The former are the male companions of the
Artemisians who assist the female Artemisians with their duties
to nature and to other females. The Philos are the trusted
friends of the order.
The modern Artemisian Order consists of the sisterhood,
plus the Philos and Gargareans. The sisterhood administers
the order on a day-to-day basis. The female members may hold
position as either Sophias, who lead with their wisdom; High
Priestesses, who keep the rituals; Amazons, who defend the way
of life; or Maidens, who assist with their strength of mind and
spirit. The Gargareans and Philos assist the sisterhood by protecting
their sacred ways. Only females may become initiates.
Males may become part of the order, but only as Gargareans
and Philos.
The Artemisian Order may be contacted through Oriethyia
at P.O. Box 7184, Capitol Station, Albany, NY 12224. Website
httpwww.artemisian.orgsanct.html.
Sources
Hopman, Ellen Evert, and Lawrence Bond. People of the
Earth The New Pagans Speak Out. Rochester, Vt. Destiny Books,
1996.