Artemisia Of The Moon

“As long as I live, I will have control over my being. Talk about a woman who was ahead of her time.”

Artemesia Gentileschi (1593-1652)

Yes, let’s talk about her. What a woman. Artemisia Gentileschi was an Italian Baroque painter. The daughter of an already renowned painter, she came to the public eye as a teenager, via a seven-month-long hugely publicized rape trial.

She’d lost her mother a few years before and the case for the defense was that she was already “a whore” at age 18.  Eventually, the rapist was convicted, and she built a successful art career, admired by her peers as well as the powerful Medici family and becoming the first woman admitted to the prestigious Accademia del Disegno.

One of her artistic specialties seems to have been showing well-known biblical or mythological scenarios – common fodder for the art of her period – from a female perspective or with the woman far more of a protagonist than usually depicted.

She was a Cancer and I wonder if her name was selected because of her birth in the sign of the Moon? Artemis the Moon Goddess was a frequent subject of Artemisia’s artist father.

Her Cancerian Sun was square Pluto and opposite Jupiter – she became adept at hustling within powerful circles, creating without compromise and all as – mostly – a single mother.

Pluto squares to the Sun can compel someone to generate or regenerate a blazingly strong identity while Jupiter is protective and  prosperous.

Nonetheless, Jupiter ensures that the power-struggle is writ-large, playing out on a much vaster scope than you might naturally envisage. Psychic battles become cultural victories, as in her enduring work and influence upon the artists who followed.

Artemisia was also born with Venus Retrograde in Leo conjunct Neptune with this Venus-Neptune duo trine Uranus + Pluto in Aries. Add her Scorpio Moon to the mix and you realize that this bold, talented woman was ultra-Plutonic. Of course she vowed “control over my being” and yes she is talked about – centuries later – as a woman who was ahead of her time.

Susan Vreeland, author of The Passion of Artemesia, says the artist lived a remarkably modern life for a woman of that era.  She built it all herself and in a time that was far less tolerant of ‘strange women.’

Thoughts?

40 thoughts on “Artemisia Of The Moon”

  1. Have always identified with Artemis, even before finding out I had Moon in Aries. This appeals to me even more. Thank you for the beautiful pic & reminder of the true radicalism of Artemisia Gentileschi – planning to read that book now!

  2. Mystic, this post was exactly what I needed today. Holy synchronicity.

    Thank you. And thank everyone’s insights, as well.

  3. Holy mother, last night I was admiring the image of my boyfriend in bed, bathed in candlelight and thought, “He looks like a Gentileschi,” but thought perhaps that would be too morbid (she’s most famously associated with Judith Slaying Holofernes, yes?) and so said, “You look like a Caravaggio” instead. Synchronicityyyy~

    Flirtation, ex (lol eternal) art school girl style.

  4. This depiction of the moon is sooo good. i was on another virgo-y rant @ modern western astrology for holding onto sexist/racist/otherwise oppressive worldviews. but this fiercely fit wild jungle lady suits me much more comfortably. which actually proves my point anyway….

    …which is that the moon/yin/venus energy is seen as weaker because its associated with THE FEMININE, and we live in an imperialistic, exploitative PATRIARCHAL settler society. so yes, water and earth signs and the moon and venus were traditionally considered… ‘female’ and ‘negative’. negative means, literally, a LACK of something. what is it that the mental category of ‘female’ lacks? humanity? dignity? power? a dick?
    HOW MUCH FARTHER HAVE WE ACTUALLY COME SINCE THEN?

    REALLY?
    an altnerative? Dont think of dualisms, tihnk of equillibrium instead [like a scale rather than hierarchical categories]. as humans we ARE nature whether we accept it or not… ie no person is “illegal” or more “evolved” than anyone else. Thats called scientific racism which was invented to justify slavery and exploitative capitalism. but we need water to live just like the trees…. its called having some humility. Actually earth signs, particularly virgos are probably devalued in trad./”modern” astrology because we are subversively close to nature… in that we are able to feel impurities and be critical of them, which might disrupt something like the status quo of blowing up mountains so that rich fucks can wear their celebrity endorsed gold bling-bling feminine ideal shit. & yes— water signs are arguably not glamourized in western astrology /society because they are subversively close to their inner selves/spirituality, and it serves corporate powers to keep people separated/dumb/ desensitized.

    PS americans aren’t dumb because they’re just dumb, either. our schools are actually fucked, its terrible from inside, you can see how much the government REALLY fucks “its” people over. but you’d never know because people all over are manipulated by them, like “america’s number 1 nothing that bad can happen there!” and because education sucks, especially for poor people, many americans do think like that. it actually makes me sad.

    HAH i didn’t meant to rant that long, but anyway

    as an aqua mooner conjunct the NN, in the 1st house, this is SO perfectly how i relate to the moon. i’m a wanderer at heart, i walk/dance/sing/smoke special herbs/write poetry through forests alone for the quest of it. i wake up some mornings feeling like i just skinny dipped in magick rivers, in other galaxies. i can usually feel the moment when the moon changes signs. when i was a kid i deemed clams/snails to be my favorite sea creature, for whatever reason, i dont remember the point of this post or of being on this internet or of like anything in life peace out

  5. hiddendragonqueen

    my crab moon daughter is a perfect artemis, loves and nurtures small animals but her joy is in seeking them out in the wild; endless searches for lizards and snakes and critters hiding under rocks, on branches, in puddles. if there is a creature within 100 feet she will find it, and have it in her hands within 5 minutes. in this she takes after her kataka sun dad completely- he will screech off to the side of the road from 70mph to rescue a snake he glimpsed from the corner of his eye. i’ve always mourned for him as he would have been an amazing naturalist, it’s so intuitive, but it was beaten out of him for his dreaminess in the face of “this is work, boy, this is all you’re good for,” and he eventually internalized it. truly tragic. but my girl! if the artemis temple was still going, she, in her 8 year-old cusp between childhood and maidenhood, would be THERE. she is fascinated by magick and ritual, is a natural with the bow… such a natural wild thing. moon children, aah. from antiquity to the renaissance (yes this post about artemisia is WONDERFUL) to the present, they are so lovely… 🙂

  6. hiddendragonqueen

    my crab moon daughter is a perfect artemis, loves and nurtures small animals but her joy is in seeking them out in the wild; endless searches for lizards and snakes and critters hiding under rocks, on branches, in puddles. if there is a creature within 100 feet she will find it, and have it in her hands within 5 minutes. in this she takes after her kataka sun dad completely- he will screech off to the side of the road from 70mph to rescue a snake he glimpsed from the corner of his eye. i’ve always been sad for him as he would have been an amazing naturalist, it’s so intuitive, but it was burned and beaten out of him for his dreaminess in the face of “this is work, boy, this is all you’re good for,” and he eventually internalized it. truly tragic. but my girl! if the artemis temple was still going, she, in her 8 year-old cusp between childhood and maidenhood, would be THERE. she is fascinated by magick and ritual, is a natural with the bow…

  7. ironic that this post came up just after I finished reading, and being inflamed by, an article by Dan Savage in which he spouted off about the need to protect men from rape accusations. (um, didnt they design the justice system to do that for them??)

    Logically I can see the need for men to protect themselves BUT the same men who argue for this protection always coveniently overlook the fact that patriarchy, sexism, male dominance and rape are all utterly illogical imbalances women must contend with without any protection. If they were truly concerned about justice being served and logical processes they’d focus a proportionate amount of energy on widespread, illogical injustices women do face, instead of obsessing over the single rare one that *might* (if they were incredibly unlucky) cause problems for them.

    Just like this image of thumbscrews being applied to a rape victim, its still assumed that men have more to lose or fear from sexism than women do. Thats why the metaphorical thumbscrews continue to be applied to rape victims today: because their real suffering is still downplayed by sexist men.

    Oh and people who dont get that mothers and warriors are synonymous have clearly never crossed paths with a nursing bear!

  8. Artemesia, i think may have been the female painter featured in the ‘Borgias’,perhaps lip service to a woman painter who had to disguise herself as a boy to be ABLE to paint and have an apprenticeship.
    I find that era 14-16th century fascinating and read much about it, love love the paintings since presented with a large book on renaissance art when a
    sprog of 7 years old.

    It is said one returns to what one loved as a child when all is said and done.

  9. yep, amazing strength and fuq you to convention.

    Artemis is with my sun, mercury, jupiter & P. Fort on the via combusta…

  10. Yes, that’s it. In some ways Artemis reminds me of the hermit, but while he shines a light in the darkness she hunts outside its radius.

  11. I go with this side of the moon, most def! Thanks for all these posts Mystic, I’m loving the 3D representation of our sign.

  12. my sagg moon approves of a woman who can shoot things being in sync with her maternal care and protection. I hate that we edit this out of the female psyche and call it masculine.

    1. Yes, this. My cancerian sun/sagg moon 7 year old daughter loves the warriors and their stories, especially women. She loves archery and secret wild spots, the moon and the wild. She is very intuitive and close to her dreams, her subconscious.

      She is teaching me, and I am learning about the mother/warrior aspect of this archetype. My Sagg asc loves this. Hunting outside of the light of the hermit in the wilderness – such a great image.

      The mother and warrior are one – Silver Huang, your insights are really inspiring me this morning. Thank you.

      Artemis is a great goddess to remember in these times.

  13. you think about how hard this is now and how much balls you would have had to have to go through all that then, and then sadly how much has not changed, esp in certain parts of the world, since the middle ages. Artemis indeed.

  14. Could just be the gay boy speaking but I have always loved a strong feminine figure. Asteroid Artemis is the tip of a yod where my Asc/Dark Moon Lilith conjunction sextiles Asteroid Medusa. LOVE the painting. Will have to look her up. Thanks!

    1. That is why I adore my gay boy friends so much, they not only get but love strong feminine archetypes.

  15. I once had a dream where I was in a car with all the women named Diana /Diane that I know… five of them, and me. One of the Dianas was driving.

    Really like that description of the moon goddess… earthy and strong, self sufficient. Love it.

    1. love this

      just inspired to look up the old barbershop tune ‘oh diana’

      “I’m so young and you’re so old
      This, my darling, I’ve been told
      I don’t care just what they say
      ‘Cause forever I will pray
      You and I will be as free
      As the birds up in the trees
      Oh, please stay by me, Diana”

      hmmm…

  16. The absurd nature of the legal process, just as f’d up then as it is now. The burden falling upon the victim and victims of sexual violence to prove the actuality of the offence(s). Who is really on trial?
    While justice did eventually surface. The damage to her career and character was another act to which she survived. Her sensitivity to the female form, and her ability to not shy away from feminine strength is an amazing legacy. Thanks for this post Mystic.

  17. I love this. Makes me proud of my cancer moon. I often feel the cancer moon in me is truly innate but I try and deny it, conscious of my ‘crab’ like behaviour like withdrawing, hiding in my shell, being a bit of homebody…This makes me want to own it!
    “the Moon Goddess is wild. Fiercely fit, she hunts alone and takes long runs through the moonlit jungles”
    Yep.

    Paints an awesome picture.

    And the yes to the secret sanctuaries bit.

  18. Interesting! I never identified with my Cancer moon at all – not really into the stereotypical gogo Cancer descriptions.

    But running at night – been doing that for YEARS. Silent, early morning runs are a perfect reset for my poor little brain.

    Something clicked with this post. Cool 🙂

    1. having been raised the way I was, I was always surprised how 1950s housewife the cancer moon is portrait for the feminine. Esp in astrology where we have such archetypes like Artemis.

      1. 1950’s housewife is a great description of that stereotypical image, but the Artemis image is so brilliantly multi-faceted. A woman, alone, hunting the wilds at night – just imagine the confidence, bravery and skill required to hunt successfully at night, when you can’t see. And hunt what?!

        It’s something to aspire to, isn’t it? 🙂

      2. doubleliblottascorp

        Staggeringly wonderful painting….love the image of singularly powerful woman with dog companion. This has made me LOVE my Cancer moon…thanks!

    2. curiouser and curiouser crab

      moon in cancer here. have always loved my night wallks and, living in a hot climate, do lots of it. and near the water. perfect bliss.

      1. I love it and my moon in Kataka/Kataka rising loves it too. Like you own your soul and all it’s glorious passion and are immune to those who try to destroy it, ‘cos you bathe in your secret sanctuaries and go a hunting yourself for what nourishes your soul. Not hunting relationships with a yang to complete you. They can join the ride but if they can’t keep up they fall away.

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