Greek - A Giant, famous as a hunter. Son of Poseidon and Euryale. Son of Hyrieus, some say. Husband of Side. Father of the Coronides. One account of his birth relates that Hyrieus, having entertained three gods, Hermes, Poseidon and Zeus, asked them to provide him with a child. They urinated on the hide of a bull which Hyrieus then buried and from which arose a son, Urion, later Orion. Other accounts say that he was the son of Dionysus and Demeter. He pursued the Pleiades until they were changed first into doves or pigeons and then into stars and set in the heavens by Zeus. Oenopion promised him the hand of his daughter Merope if he would rid his island of dangerous beasts but he went back on his promise. Orion got drunk and raped Merope and Oenopion enlisted the aid of some satyrs and blinded Orion. Guided by Cedalion, Orion sought out Helios who restored his sight. He looked for Oenopion to exact revenge but failed to find him and spent the rest of his life in Crete where he met Artemis and went hunting with her. He was killed by an arrow shot by Artemis in the mistaken belief that he was the rapist of her priestess Opis, or out of jealousy of Eos who was also in love with Orion. Others say Apollo, displeased with the attachment between Artemis and Orion, set her an archery test. She aimed at and struck a floating speck in the sea which turned out to be the head of the swimming Orion. Others say that he died when bitten by a scorpion sent by Artemis (or Gaea) when he boasted of his intention to kill all wild animals, or when he tried to rape Artemis. Orion was set in the heavens as that constellation, with his dog, Sirius. Known as Orion, Candaon, Candaon, Orion, Oriens, Oriens or Orion.
General - The brightest constellation in the northern hemisphere. This constellation is referred to in the myths and legends of many cultures. (1) The Arabic version is Al Jabbar (the Giant) - which equates with the Hebrew Gibbor - or Al Babadur (the Strong) or Al Shuja (the Snake). (2) In Babylonian lore, Orion was identified with Tammuz. (3) The Chinese call the constellation Shen and regard it as the realm of the White Tiger. (4) In early Egypt it was the demon, Sahu; in later times it was Horus or Osiris journeying across the sky. (5) The Greeks had many names such as giant, warrior, double axe, etc. but earlier, the name was Kandaon or Woarion. (6) The Hebrew version is Kesil or Gibbor, equated with Nimrod. (7) In Mesopotamia it was Ningirsu or Tammuz or Uru-Anna, the deity of light. (8) The Mexicans recognise it as Atli the bowman. (9) Norse mythology sees these stars as Odin or as Freya's spinningwheel. (10) In North America it is recognised as three fishermen (Micmac), a celestial hunter or the Hanging Lines (Zuni). (11) Siberian lore says that the stars are Erlik Khan and his three dogs and the wapiti they are chasing. In the Buriat version a hunter, born of a cow, was carried to the heavens by the gods when he shot an arow at three stags he was chasing. (12) In South America it is recognised as condors holding two criminals in Peru, as three bolas by others, while some tribes say the stars are a leg, in some cases the leg of one of the Pleiades after it had been bitten off by an alligator. Occasionally identified as Orion, Candaon, Candaon, Orion, Oriens, Oriens or Orion.