Ganymede was a youth from the Phrygian region of Asia Minor, reputed to be the most beautiful mortal ever born. One day as he tended his sheep, Zeus in the form of an eagle came soaring down from the sky, lifted him in his talons, and abducted him, carrying him off to Olympus to serve as cupbearer to the gods, and Zeus’ boy-toy plaything. Zeus was so enamored of him that he granted him immortality, the only one of his paramours to receive this honor. Eventually he set him in the heavens as the constellation Aquarius, the Water Bearer.
The relationship between Zeus and Ganymede became a model for the Hellenistic social custom of pederasty, wherein an older, mature male takes a youth under his protection and forms an intimate bond including sexual involvement. The Roman name for Ganymede was Catamitus, from which we derive our word “catamite”, referring to the young boy kept by a pederast. The name Ganymede was given to one of Jupiter’s moons, most of which are named for Zeus’ lovers or conquests; it is Jupiter’s largest moon, and the ninth-largest object in the solar system, with a diameter greater than Mercury.
Astrologically, Ganymed can indicate homosexual attraction or involvement, but also resonates to any relationship in which there is a significant disparity between the partners, whether that be social standing, age, economic status or any other defining characteristic.