Apollo’s twin sister and counterpart: Artemis was to the moon what Apollo was to the sun. She held other religious facets like goddess of the hunt and the wilderness as well as protector of youth everywhere. She was one of the maiden goddesses of Olympus along with Hestia and Athena.
In mythological stories, Artemis is depicted as having a short temper and a taste for cruel vengeance. The unlucky hunter Actaeon was out gallivanting in the woods when he happened upon a stream that widened into a pool. Lo and behold, the goddess Artemis was bathing in all her naked beauty and Actaeon was captivated. Artemis saw the spying youth and in her wrath flung drops of stream water on Actaeon’s face, turning him into a stag. Actaeon’s own hunting dogs fell upon him and killed him.
Like the other Olympian gods, Artemis’ religious form was a fluid thing. In Greek cult and myth she is the goddess of the moon and the hunt. At the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Ephesian Artemis is depicted as a many-breasted goddess of fertility. And in later religious poems, Artemis is the goddess of three forms: Selene in the sky representing the moon, Artemis on the earth in her huntsman persona, and Hecate in the lower world wrapped in darkness and evil magic.