Artio. Goddess of wild life transformation and abundance.
She is a bear Goddess who awakens in the spring to announce the season and share fruit from Her storehouse. This is the fruit of daily providence and abundance even as the earth itself will soon show signs of abundant life and fruitfulness.
Her name comes from the old Celtic word for bear arth(e) which the Romans Latinized to artos.
Artio arrived in western Europe with the Helvetii a Celtic tribe who migrated to Switzerland around 450 BC. They worshiped Her as the “She-Bear”. In Northern Europe the bear was always associated with transformation and shape-shifting. The female bear usually passes the pregnant period in hibernation so it can give birth in the spring. If we associate with Shamanism where such a figure is constantly found the period of pregnancy during hibernation in winter symbolizes the journey in the midst of darkness while the birth of the cub in early spring symbolizes the return to light with the knowledge obtained during the season. This also symbolizes a cycle of transformation.
Some view Artio as a goddess of the hunt but she is more that of a protector – like a mother bear who fiercely protects her cubs. Artio protects wild animals and the natural world bestowing the abundance of nature of us her human children.
1. Artio Celtic Goddess of Wild Life Transformation and Abundance by Judith Shaw
2. Artio - Bear Goddess of Abundance by DanFF on santuariolunar.com