Greek Nature and Constellation Myths: Fact or Fiction?

Hello Greek Mythology Explorers!

As you get ready to begin your research on your Greek god or Goddess or Greek demigod or hero, for inspiration, I thought it would be fun for you to watch some videos on Greek nature and constellation myths. This was previously assigned homework in preparation for this week’s blog post.

Please choose one of the myths (either a constellation or nature myth) and write a reflection. Include somethings you have learned, why you chose the myth, and do you believe the story is more fact (believable) or fiction (made up) and why?

One small paragraph

Greek Mythology: Nature Myths from Brenda Wooding on Vimeo.

95 comments

  1. I think the myth with Persephone and Demeter was the most realistic myth. It was about Persephone, the daughter of Demeter, picked a beautiful flower. The moment she picked it, she was captured by hades and brought back to the Underworld. Hades needed a queen. When Demeter found out, she was extremely upset. Since she was the Goddess of the harvest, nothing grew because she was so sad. Zeus summoned Hermes and told him to get Persephone out of the Underworld. Hermes successfully made it out with Persephone, but when they left, Persephone ate pomegranate seeds. If someone eats food from the Underworld, they are bound there. So when Demeter was reunited with her daughter, she was happy again. Crops grew. Trees grew leaves. But when Persephone told her mother about the food, she was immediately felt sad, for she knew she would have to go back. Then Zeus stepped in. He said she wouldn’t stay in the underworld forever. She would stay for a month for every seed she ate. When she left, Demeter was sad agin and nothing grew. This represents Winter. When Persephone cam back every year, she was happy and things grew. This represents Spring. I think this myth is more fact because it makes a lot of sense

  2. One myth that I really liked is the one about how Andromeda and Cassiopeia thought they were the prettiest on land in sea. Then Poseidon herd them and sent a sea monster named Cetus and it was trying to kill the hole village. But if they tied Andromeda to a rock in the middle of the sea the village would be saved. As she was hanging on a rock a mane named Perseus saw her and saved her. The became married and lived a wonderful life.

  3. Perseus was a demigod who had slayed the gorgon medusa and saved a wonderful maiden Andromeda. It’s started with Andromeda and her mother Cassiopeia were sitting in there castle bragging how good they look. Andromeda knows you should never say your better than a god but her mother bragged and Poseidon heard. He was furious with her and sent Cetus a massive killer fish to destroy them and the kingdom for revenge. The king needed to save his kingdom so he went to the Oracle and he said he needed to sacrifice his daughter to save them. He was devastated but did what must be done. While she was hanging on the rock, Perseus was flying by and saw her beauty and went to save her. She explained the story and Perseus went to stop the monster. Luckily he had killed medusa and anything that looks at medusa turns to stone even if its dead. He used the eye to kill the beast and went to marry her. Cassiopeia was jealous and sent guards to kill him and he said if you are my friend look away. They didn’t and he pulled out the head every bad guy turned to stone even Andromedas parents. The gods had pity and put her parents in the sky as remembrance and them with the fish to show he always chases her just out of reach.

  4. My favorite of all the myths was the story of Hermes, the sun god. And his son Phaethon who is a human. Hermes runes across the sky every day on his chariot, and goes to his palace at night. Hermes is so happy that his son found him, he asked anything he wanted because of his sones return. His son asked that he could ride in his chariot across the sky. His father did not think this was a good idea. Phaethon was not a good driver of this chariot, because Hermes’s fire breathing horses carrying the chariot were not used to a mortal driving the chariot , the horses were used to a gods touch driving the chariot. Phaethon was out of control. He went very close to the ground and created deserts for miles, and many volcanoes and dry land. Zeus had to take action before he destroyed the world. He struck Phaethon down with his bolts of lightning. Luckily Hermes still was able to soar the sky. But his son was never found.

  5. Demeter and Persephone are the myph that I chose. I choose this myph because I really think that the changing of the seoson is really cool. The myph was that there was a godes of harvest. She would make food grow for every single thing her doughter was Persephone the godes of nature they were really happy. Meanwhile in the underworld Hades had everything that a king could want exept a queen to share it with. He herad about how beutiful Persephone was so one day Persephone was piking flowersshe saw a really preatty flower just when she piket it Hades jupt out of ground and got Persephone. Her mom sercht for long then she felt really sad and then every thing staredet to die. Zeus saw what was hapening so he send hermes to free Persephone just before they left HAdes gave her a seed but there was a cath anyone who would eat food there would have to stay. Persephone told her mom but that means that she sould go back but every month she can come back and thats why the sesons change. I think that is more fiction than fact because all of this did probablry happen but it has logic.

  6. Orion was a skilled hunter, but he bragged about himself which made Apollo mad. Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, was running through the forest looking for a companion to hunt with. Artemis ran into Orion and he showed Artemis how good he was at hunting by shooting a small red leaf with an arrow. Artemis and Orion strolled together hunting when Apollo sent an evil scorpion after him. Orion escaped in the ocean and he was the son of Poseidon so the scorpion couldn’t catch him. Artemis, however, was looking for Orion when Apollo came down from Olympus to challenge Artemis. Apollo told Artemis to shoot a small speck in the water who she didn’t know was Orion. The arrow hit Orion and he died. When Artemis found out what she did, she placed Orion in the sky as a constellation so he could always be with her at night to hunt.

  7. Orion is a very interesting myth. I decided to choose this because it seems relatively realistic, and was a unique story. This is realistic because there is justification, such as an actual constellation of Orion and the scorpion. I learned that he was actually being chased throughout the story, and that Orion was very arrogant. I don’t actually believe the story, yet it seemed to be more believable than the majority of the other myths. If you want to learn all about the myth, you should watch the video for further explanation.

  8. The myth I chose was Echo because I thought it was pretty believable. It was about a girl who was to obsessed with talking and Hera ( Zeus’s wife) came down to ask her a question when Echo keeps interrupting Hera and she makes Echo only able to repeat what someone already said. Echo got really upset and hid from a lot of people. This myth is said to believe that this is why we have Echo’s when we scream some places. I never thought of that and it was cool to learn it.

  9. As I yank out the gorgons heads before Cetus eats Andromeda he turns to stone. I chose a constellation myth because I have Perseus for the project for making a digitial device. In this myth Cassiopeia says to Andromeda we are the most beautiful people on the earth. We are more beautiful then the nymphs of the sea. Posiedon heard and got angry and sent Cetus a sea monster to plague the island. To make the monster go away the king had to sacrifice his daughter by chaining her to a rock before Cetus ate her Perseus came up and saved her. I chose this myth because I like Perseus and I have seen the movie. I learned that Cassiopeia said we are the most beautiful. I think this myth is believable because some people do crazy things.

  10. I chose the myth about why the seasons change. Demeter and her daughter Persephone were on earth when persephone saw a flower and went to pick it hades captured her. Demeter got sad and the fields died. Zeus said that Persephone could go to earth from the underworld, but hades gave her some pomegranate seeds, and for every seed eaten, one month had to be spent in the underworld. When Persephone was with Demeter the plants grew, but when she was with hades they died. I learned that the for every seed Persephone ate she spent one month in the underworld. I also learned how Persephone got to the underworld in the first place. I chose this myth because I’m interested in the underworld. This myth would seem believe able, if the God of harvest was sad plants would probably die, and if she was happy, it makes sense they would grow.

  11. I thought it was very interesting how the ancient Greeks thought that echoes happen. In this myth there was a young nymph that was very chatty. Hera came one day looking for Zeus and got very annoyed and cursed Echo. Echo was only able to say the words she last heard for the rest of her life. Then one day she meets a boy, what happens next?… Well you’ll have to watch the video and find out. Eventually all of Echo fades away except for her voice, and Echo’s voice creates an echo. This myth was very interesting to me because it shows me a little bit of how the Greeks explained natural things. I love this myth, but it is not very believable for me because I don’t think it is possible for somebody’s body fade away but not their voice. Even though I don’t believe it I still think it is a little more believable than other Greek myths.

  12. The Greek myth of Echo was about a woman who talked too much. Hera tried to tell her to not talk so much, but Echo kept interrupting her. Hera was fed up with Echo’s annoying behavior so she made it so that she could only say what she just heard being said. The Greeks thought that’s why you can hear a voice when you yell at the top of a mountain. To me, this is fiction because it has been proven that the reason you hear yourself again at the top of a mountain is because the sound waves are bouncing back at you.

  13. The constellation of Orion is a wonderful and adventurous myth in Greek Mythology. This myth was about a powerful, muscular, and dashing hunter named Orion who becomes a hunting partner of the goddess of hunt. The god Apollo becomes furious when he finds out and talks to the goddess of the Earth. She then summons the scorpion to kill him, but instead it is her fellow hunting partner who kills Orion in an attempt to win the bet Apollo made. I chose this myth because it describes a lot of gods traits. I also chose this because I like how the god of hunt protected the small animals from the big one. I think this is not believable because Orion could walk through the water without sinking even though he is Poseidon’s son.

  14. I liked the nature myth about Echo because at I thought that Echo deserved it. Then I felt kind of bad for her. This myth is about how a chatty nymph annoys a queen. Then the queen puts a curse on her so that she can only repeat the last few last words someone says. I have learned how ancient greeks believed how echoes occur. I chose this myth because it kind of made senses. I think this story is more fiction than fact because you cant put a curse on some one in real life.

  15. My most favorite myth was the one with Orion the hunter and Artemis. The reason I thought it was better because it made the most scene. The myth is that Orion is a hunter who is son of Poseidon and over confident with his skills. Artemis is the god of the hunt she spends her time in the wild, then Orion showed Artemis hi’s skills they became a great hunting team. Artemis went back to mount Olympus and Apollo gets jealous of Orion and goes down to meet Orion he heard Orion bragging on how he could kill every animal. When Apollo told Gaea about this she sent a giant fearsome scorpion to attack Orion, but Orion got to the sea and started to get away. Apollo knew he was escaping and tricked Artemis to shoot Orion. When Artemis found out she killed Orion she put him and his hunting dogs in the night sky. You can spot the constipation on the night sky on a clear night.

  16. In the myth with the sun god, his mortal son is told that he is the son of Helios, and so he runs to his dad’s temple. His father is overjoyed to see him, and tells him that he can have anything that he wanted. Phaethon, the son, wants to drive his dad’s chariot across the sky. Helios reluctantly agrees, but the four horses that pull the chariot aren’t used to Phaethon, and start to go out of control. The chariot goes onto the ground and catches fields on fire, and that made the deserts and volcanoes. Phaethon then pulled up sharply, and the chariot shot sky high. That is what made the ice caps on mountains. The chariot crashed after that, and Phaethon died. Helios was very sad and never let another mortal drive his chariot again.
    I chose this myth because it was the first one that came to my mind. I have learned to trust my gut instincts, because Helios didn’t want to let his son drive the chariot. This story is more fiction because it said that Helios drove his chariot from one side to the other, but the earth is round. Also, it said that Helios drove one day, then slept and did it again. If helios was the sun, he would have to never stop driving.

  17. Orion was my favorite myth. This myth is about a great hunter named Orion. He was very full of himself. Artemis and him meet and they become great hunting partners. Artemis’s brother Apollo doesn’t want her sister to be partners with Orion because he is to full of himself. Orion thinks he can defeat any animal. Apollo tells mother nature and she gets mad so she gives him a giant scorpion to kill. Apollo notices Orion is getting away in the first ocean. Apollo puts his sister to a challenge to shoot the speck in the ocean. Artemis accidentally shoots Orion. Orion then becomes a constellation. I learned that myths can be very interesting. I chose this myth because it was very interesting and adventure packed. I think this is more fiction because of the giant scorpion and how Artemis shot Orion from like 500 yards.

  18. Echo was an extremely talkative nymph that talked a little too much. One day when Hera was looking for her Husband Zeus, she asked Echo where he was. Echo would interrupting Hera, so Hera got so angry that she took away Echo’s power of speech. Echo could only say the last thing she heard. While walking in the forest, Echo saw an extremely handsome man. His name was Narcissus. Echo followed Narcissus until he sat down by a river. He than saw his own reflection in the water. So when ever Narcissus said something, Echo would repeat it. Echo tried and tried to get his attention, but it wouldn’t work. When Narcissus went to touch his reflection, it disappeared. So Narcissus plunged into the water after his own reflection. After that Echo got very sad, so she wandered and wandered until all that was left of her was her voice. So whenever you say something, you might just hear Echo saying what she just heard.
    I learned how echoes came to be, and also about the narcissus flower. (Watch the video for info) I think the story is fiction because people can’t take away other people’s speech.

  19. My favorite myth was the Sun god Helios and Phaeton. In this myth, Helios lends his chariot to Phaeton. The chariot, according to the myth, is the Sun itself. Phaeton’s trip went well until he lost control. The chariot started to descend. Because of this, many lands burned up. People say this was how volcanos and deserts were created. I think this myth is more fiction. I think that these Greek thinkers just created this myth to have a good excuse for why volcanos exist.

  20. Echo was a nymph that talking all the time. One day she was talking to a group of young nymphs when Hera came to her and asked where Zeus was. As Hera was talking Echo interrupted her over and over again. Hera was furious and cast a spell of Echo. Now Echo could only repeat what other people say. She was so miserable. One day as she was walking she saw the love of her life. Narcissus was the man she fell in love with, but she could not talk to him. See the video to find out the rest. In this story I have learned that I should never disrespect someone who is very important. I chose this myth because it showed how greeks interrupted a natural phenomenon. I think this story is fiction because scientist have already found out what an echo is and how it works.

  21. My favorite myth was Hades and Persephone and Demeter. Hades captured Persephone and brought her down to the under world. Demeter was so sad that when she walked by a plant they all died. Zeus was mad about all the plants dieing that the sent Persephone up from the under world. She was so happy to leave that the she ate some pomegranate she ate six seeds. If you eat pomegranate in the under world you have to stay there. She only ate six seeds so she has to stay the six mouths out of the year. That made the seasons. When Persephone was gone all the plants died. When she came back the came back to live. I chose it because my god is Hades. I learned about the entire myth.

  22. This myth is about Andromeda and Cassiopeia. Cassiopeia insulted Poseidon causing him to make Cetus the sea monster attack the city. In order for him to stop they had to sacrifice Andromeda. Perseus saw Andromeda tied to the rock and fell madly in love. He killed Cetus with the head of Medusa and freed Andromeda. They wanted to get married and Andromeda’s parents didn’t like it. Cassiopeia told her soldiers to kill him. When they tried to kill him he told everyone who is his friend to look away. He pulled out Medusa’s head and turned the attackers to stone. Sadly Andromeda’s parents didn’t look away and were turned to stone. From this myth I learned to never brag about yourself. I chose this myth because I like the message. I think this myth is fiction because the constellation shape isn’t the way it is because of a person.

  23. The myth with Demeter and Persephone was my favorite. This was because it makes sense and I also didn’t know anything about this myth with media interesting. This myth was about Persephone, Demeter’s daughter who was very beautiful. At the time Hades was looking for a Queen, so when Persephone picked a Narcissist flower Hades strikes. He comes up from the Underworld and snatches her. Demeter was the goddess of the harvest and when she heard the news she was devastated. Where ever she walked the plants behind her died which caused the seasons of Fall and Winter. Zeus was not. Zeus was not happy about this so he sent Hermes to go retrieve her. But before she left she ate six piece of Pomegranate. Since she did this she must stay in the underworld for six months. When she go reunited with Demeter she was so happy the plants grew again, but when Persephone had to leave again she would miss her so much that the plants would die again.

  24. Remember when your parents told you not to accept food from strangers? Apparently, Persephone had her head in the clouds when her mom told her this lesson. This myth is my favorite because it seems a lot more fact than fiction. It starts out with Demeter who is the goddess of the harvest and her daughter Persephone on Earth. While Persephone is dancing and Demeter is tending to the crops; Hades who is the God of the underworld, searching for a queen. To lure Persephone into his kingdom, Hades puts a beautiful flower in the middle of the field. As soon as she picks up the flower she is sucked into the underworld. Demeter becomes miserable at the apparent loss of her daughter; everywhere she goes the plants die and the trees lose their leaves. Hades notices that Persephone is very sad and let’s her go, but before she leaves Persephone ears six pomegranate seeds and returns to the Earth. When Demeter finds her daughter she finds out that Persephone ate some of the fruit that Hades had offered her; this means that she must go back to Tartarus, because if any food is accepted from hades you must stay in his kingdom. Zeus, who knows that Demeter will not tend to the crops without her daughter, says that Persephone only has to stay for sixth months out of the year; one for each seed. According to this myth this how the seasons change. When Persephone is staying with Hades, the Earth becomes cold and lifeless, when Persephone comes back the plants come bs k to life and the earth gets warmer. I have learned to never take food from strangers.

  25. Since this was my favorite story in the videos, I will be writing about the myth of Persephone, Demeter, and Hades. I liked this because it is a creative way to describe the change of seasons, an event that the Greeks didn’t understand. In the myth Demeter’s (the goddess of the harvest) daughter Persephone is picking flowers when she sees a particularly beautiful one. When she takes it the God of the underworld, Hades, comes out of the ground on a chariot to take her to the underworld to be his queen. Demeter did not know where her daughter was, a and she got so sad that all of the plants died (which caused winter). Zeus (king of the gods) then got involved and made a deal with Demeter and Hades that Persephone would spend half of the year in the underworld, and the other half on the Earth. The half when she was got was winter, because Demeter was sad, and the other was spring/summer. In the myth I learned that a compromise can always be made, even at the worst of times. The story is unrealistic since we now know that seasons are caused by the way the earth moves and rotates.

  26. Greek mythology is completely fiction,and is often so ridiculous that people end up scratching their heads in confusion.With people being put into the sky to horses with wings, how could it not?However, it all seems to fit in together and has stories about anything and everything.Such are the constellations.Orion,for example,was a arrogant hunter put in the sky by the goddess Artemis.And Andromeda was tied to a rock going to be eaten by a sea monster for her mothers crimes of saying that they were the most beautiful in the land until Perseus,a hero flying on a horse saves her.

  27. I love the Greek myth about Persephone. Demeter loved her so much that when she was kidnapped by Hades she stopped making things beautiful. From this myth I learned why the seasons are like what they are, and that if you eat food from the underworld you must stay there forever. My favorite type of myths are the ones that explain why things are what they are, so this Persephone myth was just my style. Hades captured Persephone and and then told her that she could leave but not without tasting the fruit of the underworld. Persephone ate the seeds and then returned to Demeter. When Demeter saw her she was so overjoyed that she made all the fields blossom and birds sing again. Once Persephone told Demeter that she had eaten food of the underworld Demeter got sad again. Zeus helped make a compromise. Instead of having Persephone stay in the underworld for the whole year, she would only have to stay one month for every fruit seed she ate. When Persephone is gone in the underworld Demeter is very sad, and that is how we get the seasons. This myth is more fiction than fact because the seasons are caused by the earth revolving around the sun, and not from a greek goddess going into the underworld.

  28. The goddess I choose is Calista I chose her because I liked the story behind her. She was the wife of Zeus but Calista and Zeus got a divorce Zeus remarried to Hera. Hera got jealous of Calista because Calista could have a baby but Hera couldn’t. So with all her power she turned Calista into a bear. Calista’s son was in the woods one day and he saw a bear little did he know the bear was his mother who was trying to say something. A loud growl came out of her mouth her son raised his spear as he was about to stab Calista, Zeus came and told him that that bear was his mother. Zeus turned Calista’s son into a baby bear he made them a constellation in the sky so that they can be together forever. I think that it is fiction because it cannot be real, for someone cannot become a bear. Just remember something’s will never have an answer.

  29. Persephone fell into the Underworld as she picked the beautiful flower. My favorite Greek myth was the one about how the seasons changed! It all started out when Hades, the God of the Underworld, was searching for a beautiful queen. Persephone caught his eye and he was like, “I need her!” So he decided to bring Persephone into the Underworld by tricking her. He planted a beautiful flower so that when she picked it, she would get swallowed into the dark Underworld. Persephone picked the flower and got sucked in. Her mother, Demeter, grew depressed since Hades took her away. So Demeter stopped tending to the crops and they all slowly died and snow filled the lands. Hades finally told Persephone that she could go, but offered her some pomegranate seeds first. Silly Persephone did not know that when you eat food from the Underworld, you have to return. Persephone excepted the seeds and returned home. Demeter became so happy to see her daughter that she started tending to the crops again. But as soon as Persephone told her about the pomegranate seeds, Demeter became sad. Zeus, being a wise God, said to compromise and let Persephone go to the Underworld for half of the year. So for half of the year when Persephone left, winter and fall spread through out the lands. When Persephone came, spring and summer was there.
    This myth is my favorite because it explains how the seasons work and it would be very believable if I lived in Ancient Greece. I learned that Greek myths are about how things work and not all about love or talkative nymphs. I definitely do not believe that this ever happened because Greek Mythology is not real. Otherwise it wouldn’t have “Mythology” in it’s name.

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