2. How did you become first aware of this deity?
I can't really remember when I first learned about Artemis - without doubt I was exposed to her myths, and other Greek myths, when I was much younger. When I first came to paganism the Greek pantheon was actually the first that caught my eye, and was the first I tried to form some bonds with. Nothing came of that, however.
It wasn't until many years after that, that Artemis came to my attention in any sort of spiritual sense. I feel like I'm probably going to get the dates wrong here, but if I remember right I think it was sometime around late 2007 when I first started to feel pulled to her.
At that time, I had just come out of Egyptian reconstruction, and I was struggling a bit with finding direction. Even though I knew reconstruction was not where I belonged, I still worshiped the Egyptian deities. They were the only real constant for me then, so feeling this other deity on the edges? I wasn't having it. Frankly, it was scary. It felt like too much change, too quickly. It would have been just like starting over... Which, as it turns out, was what I really needed on many levels, although of course I didn't know that at the time.
There was also the fact that this was the first non-Egyptian deity that I had ever felt anything from, and that was a bit intimidating in it's own way. It was almost like there was a bit of something akin to culture shock from that.
So, I put off truly responding to this pull for a very long time... at least a year, but if I remember right it was closer to two years. (I know I've written a bit about this before, I need to go back and tag it properly sometime...) Eventually, I had a dream which contained a message I couldn't deny, I knew what it was I should be doing, and at the same time many other areas of my spiritual practice began to stagnate, and eventually the Egyptian deities that I worshiped and worked with seemed to collectively step back - while at the same time, giving a nod to what needed to be done.
So I went with it - and it's lead me to where I am today. Walking a path that makes a lot more sense to me on a personal level than anything I was doing before... and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have made it here had I not ever become aware of Artemis, felt pulled to her, and actually finally responded to that pull.