Orion | Mythic Giant

Orion Greek Mythology

Orion or Orionte (Greek: Ὠρίων, transl.: Óríōn), in Greek mythology, was a giant hunter, one of the best in Artemisia's service. He was placed by Zeus among the stars in the form of the constellation of Orion.

Origin of the Pleiades and Orion (Astronomy)

When Pleione was crossing Beotia with the Pleiades, her daughters with Atlas, Orion tried to attack them. Pleione escaped, but Orion searched for her for seven years without finding her. Zeus then pointed out a path in the stars for them, which came to be called by some astronomers the Bull's tail. Thus, to this day Orion seems to be following the Pleiades as they move westward.


Orion was the son of the titan Gaia, and of Poseidon, so he had great hunting skills and a vast knowledge, but he was a small giant. He was the giant opponent of the twin archers, Artemis and Apollo, but he deviated from his role and became a friend of the gods and the faithful and most valiant hunter of Artemis.

After being killed by a scorpion he was placed as a constellation in the sky, the well-known constellation of Orion which is near the constellation of his friend Sirius known as the star Sirius.

In another version it is said that Orion is the legacy of Apollo, that is, the son (or grandson and the like, it is not known or certain) of a son of the god of the sun and beauty, this being one of the reasons for having generated jealousy in the god, for being endowed with his mastery with the bow and arrow and a beauty that captivated the goddess of the hunt and the moon, Artemis.

Helios = Legend has it that Orion was a giant hunter, loved Artemis, whom he almost married. Artemis' brother, Apollo, in turn, was annoyed by this closeness between the two, because his sister had sworn to be a virgin forever. So he warned Artemis.

Impeccable in her aim, she hit her beloved, who was fleeing from a scorpion that Gaia had sent to kill him. Orion's dying body was taken to Poseidon. Realizing the mistake she had made, Artemis, in tears, asked Zeus to place Orion and the scorpion among the stars: the giant dressed in a belt, a lion skin, armed with a sword and his club, accompanied by Sirius, his dog, fleeing from his scorpion enemy.

Another version is that Orion tried to rape the goddess Artemis. In order to punish him, Artemis sent a gigantic scorpion to bite his heel, killing him. For the service rendered to the goddess, the scorpion was transformed into a constellation, symbolizing Artemis' anger at having been threatened with rape or, according to some versions, having had her affective and sexual offer rejected.

There is still another version in which Orion was just a hunter, descendant of the gods, but still a normal man. In this version, he falls in love with Artemis, who responds to his love, but Apollo, jealous, puts a giant scorpion to chase and kill the boy.

On the beach with his sister, he challenges her to hit a black spot in the ocean saying that she is not as good as him. Artemis proudly says that she is even better, and straightening her bow and arrow she prepares the shot, which hits the target.

The tide turns red and Orion's dying body is brought to the breakwater, where the goddess takes him in her arms, weeping copiously and asking his forgiveness. It was then that she begged her father, Zeus, to raise Orion to the stars (some versions, she herself turns him into a constellation) making the boy into the constellation Orion.

She swore to him her love and that from then on she would never fall in love again, turning her back on male companionship (in the sense of love). It was also from this day on that her aversion to man was born, driven by her hatred for Apollo, for he showed that man can be a great deceiver, a liar, especially this.

In another version, Apollo, in a fit of jealousy at the closeness of the two, drove the hunter to madness, awakening in him an extreme thirst for blood, until he was killed by a giant scorpion. Sad, Artemis transformed her beloved hunter into a constellation, to honor his memory.