Searching for the Cave of Artemis the Bear

The goddess Artemis has been worshipped in many forms, but one of the most unique forms of her embodiment is a Bear. In Crete, there are rumours of a cave inside a mountain, where a massive rock in the shape of a bear can be found bending over to drink from what appears to be a water troth. Tradition states that every year mothers would bring their daughters to this cave in a rite of passage, where young women would leave their childhood toys or clothes in the cave and by drinking from the sacred water bowl of Artemis the Bear, they would enter into the next phase of womanhood, as young maidens ready to become brides.

The cave is said to be massive in size and the ritual performed well into the late Roman period. After the fall of the Roman Empire, and the dispersed occupation of Romans in Crete, the cave lost much of its purpose, and consequently, its use. The mountain has long been commandeered by the Greek Orthodox Church centuries ago, and the hidden cave all but forgotten.

Today, I’m on a journey to climb the mountain, descend into every cave, until I find the long lost cave of Artemis the Bear. Come with me!

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  1. Irène Stenvatten

    Not forgotten and not lost …
    I think we are many that have heard the calling and visited … ;D

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