“Callisto’s themes are instinct, protection and flexibility. Her symbols are a bear, a willow branch and the constellation Ursa Minor. 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 had 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.
In Korea, the festival of Chilseong-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 words like:
‘Callisto, release in me the power of flexibility
Where’re 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).”
(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)
For more information on Callisto, click here.