It’s no real secret that I have had a fascination with both the stars and mythology since I was a little girl. Mythological stories that involved the stars were my favorite! Favorites have included the story of Orion, which ends with the mighty hunter and the scorpion being hung in the sky, stuck in an endless pursuit; and the story of poor Callisto and her son, both changed into long-tailed bears and thrown into the sky to protect them from a goddess’ jealous rage!
Recently, I stumbled across this article that covers some spring time constellations, including Bootes, Leo, and Ursa Major. I realize you’re probably sitting there trying to figure out why this is at all important to me, a writer, and why I would want to show such a thing here, but really, I think studying mythology is interesting from just about every disciplinary point of view.
In the case of writing, studying mythology is a great reminder that we write to entertain and to educate. They also serve as an interesting reminder that what was true from one point of view may not work in another setting. The stories that amazed me as a child because I could understand that it was an ancient people trying to understand their world now amuse me as an adult because they have helped prove scientific theories. Through them, we can witness changes in the world around us, and in the sensibilities of a period.
Writing allows us to record our thoughts and understandings relevant to our own time, but time will change things to make what we write less relelvant.