Greek Mythology Bedtime Stories

There is no doubt that the majority of the myths were written down by men, but maybe mothers told their daughters different stories. We have examples of very strong willed Ancient Greek women, like Gorgo and Kyniska, and I can’t imagine that they didn’t have their own take on the stories. Here are mine.


You know the story of Aktaion, right? The most common version is that Aktaion happens to accidentally see Artemis bathing and so she turns him into a stag and he is killed by hounds. This is how it went down:

After a really long day of running across the mountain tops with her woodland nymph companions, Artemis is sweaty and dirty, so she goes to take a bath. Aktaion spies the goddess naked and feels like she is bathing just so he can see her; he makes it all about him. She calmly tells him “dude, I just want to scrub this off and get refreshed,” but he persists in trying to talk to her, telling her how he’s a great hunter and many women would love for him to talk to them. She’s finally had it and turns him into a stag so he will shut up and leave her alone.

Men hearing of this, of course change the story to “he just saw her naked and she went crazy and turned him into a stag and set the hounds upon him and they ripped him to shreds.”

Moral of the story: when a woman doesn’t want to talk to you, leave her alone, and never pester a woman in the shower. That’s sacred space.


Medusa was a beautiful woman who just really wasn’t interested in men, so she became a priestess of Athena, who also really wasn’t interested in men. Despite sending very clear signals that she was REALLY NOT INTERESTED IN MEN by her choice of profession, Poseidon, the surfer dude bro, figured surely she’d be into him. She wasn’t. He pestered her at her place of work and would not take no for an answer. When her boss and mentor, Athena, learned that her uncle wouldn’t leave Medusa alone, Athena gave her snakes for her hair (symbols of female power going back to the Minoans and present in stories like Apollo’s murder of Python and taking of the Oracle at Delphi from Earth for his own) to warn men to back off and empowered Medusa’s stony gaze – the “no, really, I’m not into you and I just want to read my book, thanks” – with the ability to turn men to stone so she could live in peace. Athena further released Medusa from her service so she wouldn’t have to return to the place where she had experienced trauma.