Callisto and her son Arcas transformed as the Great Bear and the Bear Warden.
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Courtesy of Nova Development Corporation
Callisto and her son Arcas
Callisto was the favorite companion of the goddess Diana
. She accompanied Diana on the
hunt and attended her at her bath after the hunt. One day the god
caught a glimpse of the
beautiful Callisto and fell in love with her. Knowing that Diana
had warned Callisto of the deceitful ways of men and gods,
Jupiter assumed the guise of Diana.
In this disguise, Jupiter seduced the beautiful Callisto.
Callisto succumbed to the beautiful seductive words of Jupiter,
and in Jupiter's loving embrace, she conceived a child.
When Jupiter's wife Juno saw this evidence of Jupiter's
infidelity she became enraged, and changed Callisto into a
Callisto was ashamed and afraid, and fled into the woods,
not to see her son for many years.
One day, when Arcas was a
young man, he decided to go hunting and went into the woods
where his mother Callisto, the bear, resided. Callisto saw
her son, whom she had not seen for many years. Forgetting
she was a bear, she rushed forward to embrace him. Arcas
only saw a bear rushing down on him. He lifted his bow and
let fly an arrow to the mark.
At the last moment Jupiter
intervened and cast Callisto and her son into the heavens
as the constellations Ursa Major, the Great Bear, and Bootes, the Bear Warden. Arcas is always standing next to his mother.
Arcas became the ancestor of the Arcadian race in the Peloponnesus.
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