Here I have gathered some myths of a few constellations:
Bootes | Orion | Andromeda | Centaurus | Taurus | Corvus & Crater | Ursa Major
Bootes is known as the Herdsman. He was the son of Demeter. Though another tale tells him to be the son of Zeus and Callisto. Callisto (now Ursa Major) was changed into a bear by Zeus' real wife Hera. Her son (Bootes) was almost tricked into killing his mother when out hunting. Then Zeus decided he must protect Callisto from Hera, and so she was put into the sky.
Orion is known as the Hunter. He and Artemis fell in love. Artemis was so infatuated with Orion, that she forgot to light up the night sky with the moon. Apollo, her twin brother, did not like what had become of his sister. So when he saw Orion swimming out in the sea, he challenged his sister to hit a small dot among the waves with an arrow. She did not know this dot was Orion, and accepted the challenge. When she found she had killed him, she placed his body in the sky with his hunting dogs.
Andromeda was the daughter of Cassiopeia, and Cepheus. Once, Cassiopeia said that she was much more beautiful than the daughters of Nereus. They sent Cetus to destroy Cassiopeia's kingdom. Though, if they would sacrifice Andromeda to Cetus, it would leave the kingdom alone. Just as Cetus emerged out of the sea, Perseus came to the rescue. He had beheaded Medusa, who when stared at turned you to stone. He held Medusa's head up to Cetus, the monster then accidently was caught in her stare and was turned to stone.
Centaurus is ironically the Centaur. Chiron the Centaur, who wasn't mean and brutal like the other Centaurs. Chiron was wise, and tutored Jason and Hercules. One day, Hercules accidentally hurt Chiron. Chiron was in great pain, but could not die because he was immortal. Zeus allowed Chiron to die instead of living with that pain, and then placed him in the stars!
Taurus is known as the bull. In Greek mythology, Taurus was Zeus disguised as a bull. You see, Zeus fell in love with Europa, the daugher of Agenor, king of Phoenicia. When playing at the water's edge one day, a majestic white bull caught Europa's attention. It was Zeus actually that was grazing among her father's herd. She climbed onto the bull's back. It then stood up and took off into the sea. Only part of the bull is shown in the constellation, for it is rising from the waters.
|Corvus and Crater|
Corvus is known as the crow, and Crater as the cup. Corvus was sent one day to get a cup of water for Apollo. Corvus was slow when returning back to Apollo, for he had been waiting for a fig near the spring to ripen. He brought the cup Crater back with him, along with Hydra, the water serpent. He told Apollo he was slow returning because Hydra had attacked him. Yet Apollo knew that Corvus had been lying. So, he placed all three in the sky. Crater is within reach from Corvus, but Hydra prevents him from drinking from it.
Ursa Major is known as the Great Bear. In the Greek legend, Zeus and Callisto had a son. Of course when the jealous wife Hera found out about this, she turned Callisto into a bear. One day when her son was out hunting, he almost killed her, for he did not know that the bear was her. Before he did, Zeus came and rescued her, and put her safely in the sky. It is said Callisto is Ursa Major, and her son is Ursa Minor. The Iroquois and Micmacs also have a legend. They say each year the bear is hunted by seven warriors. Each spring the bear leaves his den, Corona Borealis. Although the warriors don't kill the bear until fall. The skeleton then remains in the sky until the hunt begins once again in the next spring.