Artemis, the archaic mistress of animals, probably dates back to Paleolithic times. Her realm is the wilderness, and her concern extends to all wild, untamed things. She presides over the hunt and is the goddess of hunters. Fiercely individualistic and independent, she remains apart from relationships to men. Despite her fierceness she is addressed as a healing and soothing goddess/. Protector of births, she alleviates the suffering of women in childbirth, She is also responsible for the initiation of young girls. Artemis is a wonderful symbol of female independence. She reminds us of the value of solitude and the importance of wild, unprotected places. She shows us those frightening places that bring healing even through fear.