Ursa Major (constellation)
References for Greek and Latin
written by Susanne M Hoffmann
The constellation of the Great Bear was invented for navigational purpose: it was not directly at the northern celestial pole in antiquity but it was close enough to serve for determining the direction.
Later, it was connected to the Attic initiation ritual for young women (cf. myth of Callisto changed into a she-bear) because this group of stars is high up in the sky during spring time (when the initiation rituals take place).