Ann Lee's tomb ; Artemis Sculpture in Selçuk Museum
Mother Ann Lee (28 February 1736 – 8 September 1784) was the leader of the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, or Shakers. In 1774 she and a small group of her followers emigrated from England to New York. After several years, they gathered at Niskayuna, renting land from the Manor of Rensselaerswyck, Albany County, New York (the area now called Colonie). They worshiped by ecstatic dancing or "shaking", which dubbed them as the Shaking Quakers, or Shakers. Lee developed radical religious convictions that advocated celibacy and the abandonment of marriage, as well as the importance of pursuing perfection in every facet of life. She differed from the Quakers, who, though they supported gender equality, allowed marriage and sexual relations.
In 1758 she joined the Wardleys, an English sect founded by Jane and preacher James Wardley; this was the precursor to the Shaker sect. She believed in and taught her followers that it is possible to attain perfect holiness by giving up sexual relations. Like her predecessors, the Wardleys, she taught that the shaking and trembling were caused by sin being purged from the body by the power of the Holy Spirit, purifying the worshiper.
In England Ann Lee rose to prominence by urging other believers to preach more publicly concerning the imminent second coming and to attack sin more boldly and unconventionally. She spoke of visions and messages from God, claiming that she had received a vision from God the message that celibacy and confession of sin are the only true road to salvation, the only way in which the Kingdom of God could be established on the earth. She was frequently imprisoned for breaking the Sabbath by dancing and shouting, and for blasphemy.
Ann Lee recognized how revolutionary her ideas were when she said, "We [the Shakers] are the people who turned the world upside down." Lee was also neutral during the American Revolution. Maintaining the position that they were pacifists, Ann Lee and her followers did not side with either the British or the colonists.
There were also songs attributed to her which were sung without words. The followers of Mother Ann came to believe that she embodied all the perfections of God in female form. The fact that Ann Lee considered herself to be Christ’s female counterpart was unique. She preached that sinfulness could be avoided by not only treating men and women equally, but also by keeping them separated so as to prevent any sort of temptation leading to impure acts.
She died at Watervliet and is buried in the Shaker cemetery located in the Watervliet Shaker Historic District.
Tout comme Athéna et Hestia, Artémis est une déesse « vierge ». Elle a demandé a son père de garder sa virginité pour toujours à cause de l'aversion pour le mariage que lui a donné sa mère dès la naissance. Improprement considérée par les mythocritiques jusqu'au xixe siècle comme « chaste », jusqu'à ce que Jean-Pierre Vernant éclaire davantage les adjectifs accolés à son nom. Artémis est parthenos, la vierge qui s'occupe du feu, ou, comme le rapporte Plutarque, celle qui s’abstient de tout commerce sexuel avec des hommes. Elle punit sévèrement les hommes qui tentent de la séduire : « tristes noces, celles que briguèrent Otos et Orion7 ». Quand Actéon la surprend par hasard dans son bain, elle le métamorphose en cerf et le fait déchirer par ses propres chiens.