Themes: Instinct; Protection; Flexibility
Symbols: A Bear; a Willow Branch; the Constellation Ursa Major
Appearing sometimes as a she-bear guarding her cubs, the Greek goddess Callisto reinspires the natural instincts with which we have lost touch and illustrates the intensity of maternal love. Her other name is Helic, which means “to turn” or “willow branch”; she thus has the power to help with personal transformations. In mythology, Callisto became Ursa Major while pregnant with Zeus’s child. Artemis changed her into a bear, along with her son, who became Ursa Minor.
To Do Today:
In Korea, the festival of Chilsong-je begins at midnight with an offering of white rice and water to the seven stars (Ursa Major). This gift ensures Callisto’s assistance when needed throughout the coming months. If you can’t stay up till midnight, just leave the rice and water in a special spot before you go to bed.
From her celestial home, Callisto stands ready to protect us in the new year and provide us with adaptability as a coping mechanism. To encourage this, carry a silver or white stone bear, or a piece of dried willow wood. Bless this token, saying:Callisto, release in me the power of flexibility. Where’er I carry this little charm, keep me ever safe from harm.
If these tokens aren’t handy, you can substitute any white or silver item, or a hand-drawn picture of Ursa Major (the Big Dipper).
By Patricia Telesco