Love Stories – Storytelling for Everyone

Greek Mythology

Artemis, Greek goddess of wild animals, the hunt, and of chastity and childbirth, was the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. She was the goddess of wild nature, who danced, usually accompanied by nymphs, in mountains, forests, and marshes. Artemis embodied the sportsman’s ideal, so besides killing game she also protected it, especially the young.

Orion was a handsome giant hunter, the son of Poseidon and Euryale, the wife of King Minos. Orion traveled to the island of Crete, where he would eventually meet Artemis. In this initial encounter in Crete, Orion tried to impress Artemis, both being hunters, in some kind of hunt or a shared interest in the wild and nature.

Love Story 1: The Boastful Orion

There was a story where the two fell madly in love and would then hunt together, continuously trying to outdo each other. That is until Orion made the mistake of telling Artemis that he could slay anything that came from the earth.

This only served to anger Gaia, who considered all living things on earth to be her children, and so she took Orion’s boasting as a threat. As you would expect from any mother who thought her children were in danger, Gaia attempted to protect them.

She summoned a giant scorpion which Artemis and Orion would have to fight together. Orion was sadly killed during this battle; whether it came from the scorpion’s sting or Artemis’s accidental arrow—the love story ends here.

At the request of Artemis, the fallen hunter was placed in the sky as the constellation Orion and the Scorpion as Scorpio.

Love Story 2: Apollo, the Jealous Brother

So, let’s continue to the part of the story where Artemis and Orion defeat the giant scorpion and go on to live a long, happy and peaceful life together—except that never happened. Their relationship was never really left uninterrupted.

If Orion wasn’t killed by Artemis or a giant scorpion, then it was Artemis’ twin brother Apollo who ensured that the two would never be together.

It’s not easy to pinpoint the exact reason for Apollo’s actions, but jealousy and a dislike for giants may have something to do with it. Apollo could have been jealous for numerous reasons. One of them being the fact that he and his twin sister were very close. They grew up shunned and isolated by the rest of the gods, and together they battled and earned respect and the position they believed they deserved.

There’s no doubt that they were much more potent and a force to be reckoned with when they were together. Apollo would have been shoved to one side with Orion now in the picture, and their time together would have been limited, arguably making Apollo weaker. He also may not have liked that Artemis was willing to give up the vows that she had taken, especially for a giant.

One day, Apollo came across Orion when he was bathing in a lake. When standing, the giant was submerged to the point where only his head was visible. Apollo approached Artemis and challenged her to a competition to determine who was superior with the bow. When she asked her brother what exactly she would be aiming at, he pointed across the lake at what seemed like a rock. She accepted her brother’s challenge, pulling back her bow, firing and hitting the target.

Apollo was then overcome with joy, which was quite weird for someone who had just lost. Artemis drew closer to see exactly what she had hit; she realized that it was Orion in the lake. It was Orion’s head that she had hit, and it was her lover Orion who was now dead. Orion would once again become a constellation along with his pack of hunting hounds.

In one story, Apollo instead pointed to Orion’s head which bubbled in the lake and told Artemis it was the man responsible for attacking one of her followers. So Artemis wanting vengeance did not examine the situation; she just aimed and fired.

Regardless of what story you read, there are none where Artemis and Orion live a happy life together. They all end with the death of Orion and his place among the stars.



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