Greek Star Myths
"Look up into the night sky. You will see the constellations which the Greeks themselves saw. They called them katasterismoi. Those twelve signs that intersect the sun’s dawn, they were called the zodiakos. Most constellations were, according to Greek mythology, heroes and beasts who received a place in the heavens in memorial of their deeds. The Greeks imagined the heavens as a great solid dome upon which the constellations were set. This was held up by the titan Atlas who spinned it around on his shoulders.
Some Greek Constellations: Aquarius—The Water carrier, The youth Ganymede who was carried off to Olympus to be Zeus’ cup bearer. He is next to the Eagle (the form Zeus took during the kidnapping) constellation Aquila.
Aries—The ram, Chrysomallus, who had the golden fleece Jason was sent to fetch.
Cancer—The crab, Carcinus, who dwelt in the Lernaean swamp and assisted the Hydra during its battle with the Hydra. Hera placed it in the stars as a reward for aiding her vendetta against Heracles.
Capricorn—Aegipan, the sea goat who aided Zeus in the war against the titans.
Gemini—The divine twins, the Dioscuri, Castor and Polydeuces.
Leo—The Nemean Lion, impervious to all weapons. It was strangled by Heracles.
Libra—The scales of the Goddess of Justice Astraea. Set up in the heavens next to the goddess.
Virgo—The goddess of Justice Astraea, she departed from the earth when the brazen race of man (our race) grew up.
Pisces--The fish of Aphrodite, when Typhon attacked Olympus, Aphrodite and her son Eros fled south. They came to the river Eridanus and threw themselves in disguised as fish. The event was later placed in the stars.
Saggitarius—Either Chiron, or Crotus who was a companion of the Muses on Mount Helicon, placed in the stars for his zeal to the goddesses.
Scorpio—The scorpion sent by Gaia to kill the hunter Orion who had boasted that he would kill all the animals on earth.
Taurus—Zeus in the form of a bull as he was when he seduced the princess Europa and carried her across the sea to Crete.
Andromeda—Princess of Ethiopia, who was chained to a rock as sacrifice to a sea monster because her mum insulted Poseidon. Perseus saved and married her and slew the beast.
Perseus—The hero himself was set up near Andromeda. He not only saved her but also slew the gorgon Medusa. The whole myth was set up in the stars by Athena.
Centaurus—Chiron, the wisest centaur, and the tutor of Heroes like Jason and Asclepius.
Draco—The huge serpant who guarded the golden apples of the Hesperides, defeat by Heracles and set in the stars by Hera.
Hydra—Slain as one of Heracles 12 labours.
Ursa Major—The great bear, said to be the nymph Callisto. She was a follower of Artemis. Zeus seduced her in the form of Artemis and Callisto fell pregnant. The Goddess demanded chastity in her nymphs and transformed the girl into a bear along with her son who became Ursa Minor.
Finally, the Milky Way said to be Hera’s breast milk. Zeus attached Heracles to Hera’s breasts while the goddess slept. She woke up and because the baby was so rough threw it away in disgust. The milk that splattered forth became the Milky Way.”
Cat on Constantine’s Foot, Palatine Museum, Rome
ETA: This is a scene from The House I Live In, a film on the American drug war and its effects on communities of color, education, the class disparity and the prison industrial complex. I cannot recommend this film highly enough.
The pair are anti-heroines in the mould of an Elaine Benes or a Roseanne Conner, characters who are not beloved for feminine virtues of ‘kindness’ or ‘niceness’, but for living their lives unapologetically. - Nicole Elphick
George Takei describes the moment when he and his family were sent to an internment camp.