A Summary of the Powers of the Greek Goddess Artemis

Artemis was an Ancient Greek Goddess known for her supreme hunting skills and expertise. Specifically, she was the goddess of the hunt, the wilderness, wild animals, the moon and chastity. Due to this she was highly revered by the young girls who saw her as their patron and protector. The Olympians are a race of deities who are a third or fourth generation of immortal beings and they were worshiped as the principal deities of the Greek pantheon. Artemis was the daughter of Zeus, the King of the Gods; and she is one of the twelve major Olympian Gods. She thus possessed the powers of the Olympian Gods which include super-human strength; immortality; eternal youth; and the ability to bless and curse. Moreover, as the Goddess of the hunt, she was extremely observant and had exceptional strategic skills. Here is an overview of the major powers of the Greek Goddess Artemis.

Goddess of the Hunt

As a goddess of the hunt, Artemis took pleasure in roaming wild places and in hunting wild animals. The bow and arrow were her signature weapons. As such, Artemis is always shown carrying a quiver full of golden arrows and a silver bow, indicating her all-time readiness to unleash the inner huntress. She is sometimes also depicted with a hunting spear. The weapons of Artemis were made by Cyclopes, the creator of the characteristic weapon of Zeus, the thunderbolt. Artemis received her weapons as birthday gifts from her father Zeus. Moreover, Artemis rides a chariot pulled by four golden horned deer; and a pack of fierce and swift hounds always accompanied her during her hunting ventures.

Artemis as a huntress
Artemis as a huntress – Sculpture in the Louvre, Paris

Goddess of Chastity

In Greek Mythology, the virgin goddesses or maiden goddesses do not marry or bear any children, the usual way or not at all. Artemis was one of the three major Virgin Goddesses in Greek mythology; the others being Athena and Hestia. Artemis’s virginity is not merely an observation of asexuality or chastity but also a symbol of her iron-like determination, pride, maturity, power and independence, equivalent to that of male gods.

Artemis took an oath of eternal chastity during her childhood and fiercely protected her virginity. Thus she was regarded as the patron and protector of young girls and their chastity throughout their transition from girlhood into womanhood. Artemis expected her worshipers and priestesses to live pure and chaste lives as well. Severe punishments were brought upon if one would break their vows of abstinence. As she took up the task of protecting the chastity of young girls, she came to be regarded as the Goddess of Chastity.

Statue of Artemis by Kephisodotos
A Roman copy of the Statue of Artemis by Kephisodotos

Power To Protect Young Girls

Being the protector and patron of young girls, Artemis has the power to bring sickness upon women and relieve them of it. She is able to protect the young girls in retaining their purity by transforming them into animals or trees so that the men couldn’t force themselves on them. Artemis also helps women during the course of their pregnancy and consequently during childbirth by playing the role of a midwife.

Statue of Roman Goddess Diana
Roman Goddess Diana as Huntress (1720) – Statue by Bernardino Cametti

Immortality And Eternal Youth

In Greek mythology, all the Olympian gods are immortal, including Artemis. Moreover, Artemis, like most Greek goddesses, has the gift of eternal youth, which meant that, unlike mortals, she would always look young and beautiful. Apart from immortality and being eternally youthful, she is also one of the most independent, intelligent, wise and headstrong of the Greek deities.

Super Human Abilities

Artemis is one of the powerful goddesses of the ancient Greek pantheon. Once, she mistakenly killed the mighty and a handsome huntsman named Orion with the perfect aim of her bow and arrow. She is capable of running and moving at great speed; resistant to physical injury; a master archer and huntress; immune to all known earthly diseases and can communicate in all languages and dialects. Besides, Artemis also has super human strength.

Shape Shifting

In Greek mythology, many gods and goddesses possess the ability to shape-shift, or physically transform oneself to some other being. Artemis is also a shape-shifter and can shape-shift at will. Aloadae is the collective name for two giants namely Otus and Ephialtes. According to a myth, Artemis shape shifted into a beautiful stag to mislead Aloadae and tricked them into shooting each other with their arrows.

Diana over Orion's corpse (1685)
Diana over Orion’s corpse (1685) – Daniel Seiter

Ability To Bless And Curse

Being one of the 12 Olympians and a prominent Greek goddess, Artemis has the ability to bless and curse. It was common for Artemis to curse people who had the audacity to question her hunting skills and her beauty. She also cursed anyone breaking their vows of abstinence. Once, Artemis cursed and transformed Actaeon into a stag for trying to force himself on her. In another instance, Artemis transformed Callisto into a she-bear for breaking her vow of chastity. On the contrary, Artemis also possesses the power to bless anyone. Like she blesses and puts the Orion’s body among the constellations as a tribute to their majestic friendship.

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