In Greek mythology, Artemis was a much-loved goddess most commonly associated the hunt, wilderness, and the moon.
Tattoos relating to Artemis are unique and interesting choices due to the variety of imagery associated with her, including the crescent moon, animals and a bow and arrow.
She may also be presented in her physical representation in tattoos; typically, she is portrayed as a beautiful young woman. The symbolism of an Artemis tattoo will differ depending on which aspect of her you choose to represent.
In the following sections, we will look in more detail at the history of Artemis in both mythology and tattoo history, the meaning of an Artemis tattoo and why someone might choose to get a tattoo representing the figure.
What is the mythology of Artemis?
In Greek mythology, Artemis was a beloved figure worshipped as a goddess of the hunt, the moon and nature.
In time, she also came to be associated with childbirth and chastity, known as a pure goddess who defended the innocence of those who worshipped her.
Typically, Artemis was viewed as a free spirit and a fiercely independent goddess who was firm in her beliefs of innocence and chastity; she was believed to be harsh in her punishment of any worshippers who went against these beliefs or acted in an impure way.
Generally, Artemis is presented as a beautiful young huntress, often in the act of hunting wild animals. She is regularly depicted wearing a tunic and holding a bow and is frequently portrayed alongside an animal or the moon to represent her associations with nature.
What do Artemis tattoos symbolise?
An Artemis tattoo may symbolise freedom and independence, particularly for women
. She was typically presented in short clothing which would have been considered improper in ancient Greek times and often strayed from the path set out for women of the time.
Artemis was often portrayed as something of a loner, choosing to live freely in the wild rather than becoming a wife or mother. In this way, she is symbolic of a life lived off the beaten path, independent and free.
Artemis tattoos are full of symbolism for those who may be looking for something unique, as she is typically represented as different from other goddesses.
Tattoos related to Artemis are meaningful for those wanting a different option than the figures in Greek mythology who are typically chosen for tattoos, such as Aphrodite or Zeus. Artemis tattoos are likely to be steeped in symbolism for those wanting to express their individuality.
What is the meaning of Artemis tattoos?
Artemis can be depicted in tattoo form in different ways; some people may choose to get a tattoo of her physical appearance, while others may decide to represent her with a symbol related to her.
This choice will affect the meaning behind the tattoo, as you may choose to represent all of her or just certain aspects of her.
The natural and wild aspect of some of Artemis’ associations can be representative of a connection to wildlife and the environment.
Her close association with the moon and wilderness is likely to be representative of a deep respect and admiration for the natural world. In this case, an Artemis tattoo is likely to have a personal meaning for anyone with a love of nature, animals and the wild.
Her symbol of the bow and arrow is also linked with sport, wellbeing, and the outdoors, indicating a particular meaning for those interested in health and nature.
Why might someone get an Artemis tattoo?
There are many reasons why some people choose to get an Artemis tattoo, which will differ depending on the individual. It is likely that a tattoo of Artemis will stem from personal reasons related to the person and their beliefs.
Some people may choose to get a tattoo depicting Artemis for spiritual reasons. Although Greek mythology is widely considered to be an ancient religion and is now thought of as fable, many gods and goddesses continue to be worshipped today.
Wicca and Paganism are two religions which are associated with Greek figures, which includes Artemis.
Followers of these religions may decide to tattoo Artemis on their bodies as a way of symbolising their beliefs, feeling closer to their spirituality, or to serve as a mark of pride.
Artemis was often depicted as an independent, strong character in Greek mythology. She was often portrayed as a fearless warrior of the hunt, self-sufficient and free-spirited.
For these reasons, someone may decide to get a tattoo of Artemis to represent their own independence and strength.
What is the history of Artemis in tattoos?
In Ancient Greek times, marking or altering the body was frowned upon, as it still is in many religions and belief systems today.
Ancient Greeks are thought to have only tattooed people who had done wrong as a symbol of punishment or shame and a permanent reminder of wrongdoings.
It may have been seen as a sign of disrespect to tattoo a god or goddess on your body, even if it was intended as a mark of admiration.
So it is unlikely that tattoos dedicated to Artemis would have been seen until years after Greek mythology was prevalent.
In the years after Ancient Greek civilization fell, warriors began to tattoo their bodies to indicate their status as soldiers or to make it easier to identify their body if they died. In these times, Artemis tattoos may have begun to appear, particularly the symbols that are associated with her mythology.
Historically, the mark of a god or goddess associated with war or known as a warrior may have been worn for added protection in battle. For these reasons, Artemis and her symbols may have been tattooed more regularly.
Artemis tattoos are unique and typically deeply personal tattoos which may represent a person’s spirituality or the way they perceive their own character.
It may symbolise a person’s individuality or their independence, reminiscent of the mythology of Artemis.