Greek Mythology

The Classical Gods of Ancient Greece

CALLISTO

Greek Star Goddess

Also known as KALLISTO, HELICE

Starry Goddess of the Great Bear

A virgin maid of Artemis, Zeus took her out for a meal with disastrous consequences. Disguising himself as Artemis, he had his way with her and a child, Arcas, resulted. So much for those vows of chastity.

Hera, as usual, was jealous and turned the beautiful maid into a bear, while her son was rescued by Hermes and became a great hunter. Many years later they met in a wood. An overjoyed Callisto tried to give her son a bear hug, but he was scared stiff and shot her with an arrow.

To make events a little more bearable, Zeus gave them both a place in the Heavens. Callisto became the Great Bear (Ursa Major), while Arcas tagged behind as the Little Bear (Ursa Minor).

Americans who refer to these constellations as the Big and Little Dippers obviously haven’t noticed that they never sink below the horizon and can never touch the sea. That’s because Artemis, angry with Callisto for losing her virginity, asked Tethys to nail them into place, depriving them of water forever.

Callisto Facts and Figures

Name: Callisto
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names: KALLISTO, HELICE

Gender: Female
Type: Goddess
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: Stars
Area of expertise: Star, Stars

Good/Evil Rating: Unknown at present
Popularity index: 1160

Cite this article

Here's the info you need to cite this page. Just copy the text in the box below.

Article last revised on September 06, 2018 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

Permissions page