Season: 5, Episodes: 1, Faction: DHARMA Initiative
Heather was a member of the DHARMA Initiative.
5×08 – LaFleur
In 1974, she inhabited a house at the Barracks and when a security alarm rang out over the camp, Phil rushed into her house, bringing with him Sawyer, Juliet, Jin, Miles, and Daniel.
Associated DHARMA Location
Decoded Season 1 Characters
Decoded Season 3 Characters
Decoded Season 4 & 5 Characters
Key Episode(s) to Decoding the Character
Leto is a daughter of the Titans Coeus and Phoebe. Kos claimed her birthplace. In the Olympian scheme, Zeus is the father of her twins, Apollo and Artemis, the Letoides, which Leto conceived after her hidden beauty accidentally caught the eyes of Zeus. For the classical Greeks, Leto is scarcely to be conceived apart from being pregnant and finding a place to be delivered of Apollo and Artemis, for Hera being jealous, made it so all lands shunned her. Finally, she finds an island that isn’t attached to the ocean floor so it isn’t considered land and she can give birth. This is her one active mythic role: once Apollo and Artemis are grown, Leto withdraws, to remain a dim and benevolent matronly figure upon Olympus, her part already played. In Roman mythology, Leto’s equivalent is Latona, a Latinization of her name, influenced by Etruscan Letun.
In Crete, at the city of Dreros, Spyridon Marinatos uncovered an eighth-century post-Minoan hearth house temple in which there were found three unique figures of Apollo, Artemis and Leto made of brass sheeting hammered over a shaped core (sphyrelata). Walter Burkert notes that in Phaistos she appears in connection with an initiation cult.
Leto was identified from the fourth century onwards with the principal local mother goddess of Anatolian Lycia, as the region became Hellenized. In Greek inscriptions, the Letoides are referred to as the “national gods” of the country. Her sanctuary, the Letoon near Xanthos predated Hellenic influence in the region, however. and united the Lycian confederacy of city-states. The Hellenes of Kos also claimed Leto as their own. Another sanctuary, more recently identified, was at Oenoanda in the north of Lycia. There was, of course, a further Letoon at Delos.
A measure of what a primal goddess Leto was can be recognized in her father and mother. Her Titan father is called “Coeus,” and his obscure name links him to the sphere of heaven from pole to pole. Leto’s mother “Phoebe” is precisely the “bright, purifying” epithet of the full moon.
Birth of Artemis and Apollo
When Hera, the most conservative of goddesses — for she had the most to lose in changes to the order of nature — discovered that Leto was pregnant and that Zeus was the father, she realized that the offspring would cement the new order. She was powerless to stop the flow of events. “Latona for her intrigue with Zeus was hunted by Hera over the whole earth, till she came to Delos and brought forth first Artemis, by the help of whose midwifery she afterwards gave birth to Apollo.” Hera banned Leto from giving birth on “terra firma”, the mainland, any island at sea, or any place under the sun. Antoninus Liberalis is not alone in hinting that Leto came down from the land of the Hyperboreans in the guise of a she-wolf, or that she sought out the “wolf-country” of Lycia, formerly called Tremilis, which she renamed to honour wolves that had befriended her for her denning. Another late source, Aelian, also links Leto with wolves and Hyperboreans:
Wolves are not easily delivered of their young, only after twelve days and twelve nights, for the people of Delos maintain that this was the length of time that it took Leto to travel from the Hyperboreoi to Delos.”
Most accounts agree that she found the barren floating island of Delos, still bearing its archaic name of Asterios, which was neither mainland nor a real island, and gave birth there, promising the island wealth from the worshippers who would flock to the obscure birthplace of the splendid god who was to come. The island was surrounded by swans. As a gesture of gratitude, Delos was secured with four pillars and later became sacred to Apollo.
It is remarkable that Leto brought forth Artemis, the elder twin, without travail, as Callimachus wrote, as if she were merely revealing another manifestation of herself. By contrast, Leto labored for nine nights and nine days for Apollo, according to the Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo, in the presence of all the first among the deathless goddesses as witnesses: Dione, Rhea, Ichnaea, Themis and the “loud-moaning” sea-goddess Amphitrite. Only Hera kept apart, perhaps to kidnap Eileithyia or Ilithyia, the goddess of childbirth, to prevent Leto from going into labor. Instead Artemis, having been born first, assisted with the birth of Apollo. Another version, in the Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo and in an Orphic hymn, states that Artemis was born before Apollo, on the island of Ortygia, and that she helped Leto cross the sea to Delos the next day to give birth there to Apollo.
Witnesses at the birth of Apollo
According to the Homeric hymn, the goddesses who assembled to be witnesses at the birth of Apollo were responding to a public occasion in the rites of a dynasty, where the authenticity of the child must be established beyond doubt from the first moment. The dynastic rite of the witnessed birth must have been familiar to the hymn’s hearers. The dynasty that is so concerned to be authenticated in this myth is the new dynasty of Zeus and the Olympian Pantheon, and the goddesses at Delos who bear witness to the rightness of the birth are the great goddesses of the old order. Demeter is not present; her mother Rhea attends. Aphrodite, a generation older than Zeus, is not present either. The goddess Dione (in her name simply the “Goddess”) is sometimes taken by later mythographers as a mere feminine form of Zeus (see entry Dodona): if this were so, she would not have assembled here.
Leto was threatened and assailed in her wanderings by chthonic monsters of the ancient earth and old ways, and these became the enemies of Apollo and Artemis. One was the giant Tityos, a phallic being who grew so vast that he split his mother’s womb and had to be carried to term by Gaia herself. He attempted to rape Leto near Delphi under the orders of Hera, but was laid low by the arrows of Apollo and/or Artemis, as Pindar recalled in a Pythian ode.
Another ancient earth creature that had to be overcome was the dragon Pytho, or Python, which lived in a cleft of the mother-rock beneath Delphi and beside the Castalian Spring. Apollo slew it but had to do penance and be cleansed afterwards, since though Python was a child of Gaia, it was necessary that the ancient Delphic Oracle pass to the protection of the new god.