Artio is the Continental Celtic Goddess of fertility and wild animals,
especially bears, and in fact that is exactly what Her name means, "Bear".
The female bear usually conceives in the autumn and spends Her hibernation time
pregnant, and Artio is shown here with child in a cave in the deep winter. Bears
are associated with shamanism, as the hibernation period in winter symbolizes
the journey into darkness and their emergence in spring with cubs the return
to the light bearing the wisdom gained on the journey. The constellations of
Ursa Minor and Ursa Major are behind Her; the pole star of Ursa Minor represents
the center that is the shamaness's destination.
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