The general consensus on Callisto from Greek mythology:
- She was either a nymph (spirit of land, water, sky, forest, etc.) or the daughter of King Lycaon of the land that would be called Arcadia.
- She was so devoted to Artemis, or Diane (moon), that she became the a companion in her retinue. A companion is a servant or close advisor. In this case, she hunted with Diane regularly.
- A prerequisite of being a companion, is to uphold a vow of chastity.
- Zeus tricked her into breaking that vow by pretending to be Artemis.
- She bore a child called Arkas (Greek for bear), whose name was the inspiration for the place name Arcadia
- She was transformed into a bear by either Zeus to cover up his infidelity, or Hera, wife of Zeus, because of his infidelity, or by Artemis for breaking her vow. Moreover, when it was discovered by Artemis that she was with child, Artemis became enraged when she was the perpetrator of this action.
- She was either killed by Hera, or by Artemis at the behest of Hera, otherwise Artemis did so to please Hera.
- Another account states she was killed when she strayed into the forbidden grounds of Zeus.
- Out of pity, Zeus elevated her into the sky, namely Ursa Major and her son became Ursa Minor
- As a final act of punishment, Hera went to her nurse, Tethys, the wife of Oceanus, and beseeched her to punish Callisto and Arcas. Tethys decided to deprive the pair of water, and so the great bear and the little bear are cursed to circle in the skies, never to dip below the horizon for a refreshing bath or a cool drink. Here the peoples of ancient Greece explained why the two constellations are circumpolar, visible all year round.