Callisto was a nymph following the goddess Artemis. As a follower of Artemis she was required to take a vow of chastity. Zeus saw Callisto and decided he loved her. In order to seduce her, he disguised himself as Artemis and had sex with her. Artemis discovered Callisto was pregnant and exiled her for breaking her chastity vow. Most versions of the story say that Zeus’ wife turned Callisto into a bear out of jealousy but other version say Zeus turned Callisto into a bear to hide his infidelity and others say Artemis turned Callisto into a bear out of anger. Regardless, Callisto is turned into a bear and has Zeus’ child. In the version I read, Callisto’s child grows up and almost shoots her while hunting, Zeus places them both among the stars as Ursa Major and Ursa Minor to prevent Callisto’s death. Other versions say Hera did not think Callisto’s transformation was punishment enough and sets Artemis out to kill her.
top of page
bottom of page