“Mighty Artiú, Mother of the Wilds and Queen of Beasts! Grant me the sight of my forebears to see the dangers and challenges ahead so I may face them and adapt.”
Artio as she’s more widely known as a Goddess of plenty, wildlife, hunting, and of course, bears. It would also seem fitting to see her as a Wild Queen. She commands wildlife, she decides if a hunter is going to cross paths with a deer for his supper, or a bear for his disrespect of the wilds and spirits there in, or maybe to humble him and honor the huntress with a curious bear that sniffs the air near her before continuing on its meandering. In some ways, she is a goddess of luck. Revered in the Alps and along the Rhine in some areas; she is a Goddess worth revering, for what self respecting mother would allow her cubs to fall prey to a mountain lion or worse? Despite leading an honest life, respecting the wilds and keeping to ethics; bad things happen or mistakes are made and yet a bear endures.
Bears seem to be everywhere, from the night sky, to art, a child’s bedroom, in prose, song, the nightmares of the fool and the imagination of our ancient predecessors.
In my veneration of her, I learned there is a code that applies to hunting and surviving. The Great Huntress guides those who honor her code and protects the child who shows drive and the stamina to survive. If one doesn’t survive the wilds, she is merciful. She will guide the dead to their rest. Her code as per my beliefs:
Do not hunt a doe or an animal mother.
Do not kill a stag with less than three points on its antlers. If there are hard times and you need to hunt as much meat as you need, this rule is waived.
Do not kill the young.
Treat the wilds with respect lest the birds find your corpse.
Do not step on fungi, edible fungi are gifts. Be gracious and respectful when harvesting.
Take what you need, nothing more. If you have a family, one animal per family member.
Make the meat and food last.
Do not waste meat.
Do not waste berries or produce.
If an animal kills and eats someone, hunt it as it sees how easy it can be to kill a human rather than a deer.
Harvest fungi as per your needs.
Cannibalism marks you as prey to Artiú and you will feel no mercy lest the dead consent when no other prey is available.