Mythology of the Stars   22 comments

Interstellar Mythology…Star Myths

The stars, remote but also familiar, have been a source of fascination us throughout history and are an integral part of many myths and legends. Early references to the Greek constellations mythological significance are found in the works of Homer, dating back to around the 7th century B.C

                          deep_sky_big_dipper

“Children of the sun and moon” is the way The Paiute of North America refer to the stars. They consider the sun loves to eat his children, based on the stars disappearing at sunrise. They say the moon, is the mother of the stars, who dances happily across the sky with them. To the Yakut of Siberia, see the stars as crystal windows giving the gods opportunity to look upon earth. The Turko-Tatar, tent-dwellers of Central Asia view the sky as a large tent covering earth, and the stars tiny holes in it.

Myths of the Milky Way.

The Milky Way, the faint band of light visible in the sky on clear dark nights, runs along the line of the galactic equator, marking the centre of the galaxy to which our solar system belongs. It consists of a combination of the light of a vast array of stars, and in areas clouds of obscuring interstellar gas and dust. 

      milkyway Our_Location_Milky_Way milky_wayA

One Peruvian tradition, believes the Vilcanota River is a reflection of the Milky Way and water constantly circulates back and forth between the river and the heavens. In the minds of The Navajo the Milky Way was created by “Coyote” a con artist who using a blanket threw and scattered in a huge arc, in the sky, an array of sparkling stone chips to form a pathway between heaven and earth.

           Vilcanota_Rivernavajo xibalba

The Maya considered the Milky Way to be the road to Xibalba, the underworld. Native Americans believed the Milky Way was the path the souls of the dead walked. According to the Southern African Zulu and Ndebeles the stars are the ancestor’s eyes, watching over them.

Constellations and Individual Stars in Myths.

 By the 5th century B.C., most of the constellations were connected to myths, “At this stage, the fusion between astronomy and mythology is so complete that no further distinction is made between them” (the Catasterismi of Eratosthenes)

In Chinese mythology gods such as the god of literature and the god of long life, were connected with the stars.

                                                god of literature god of longlife

In Greek mythology Pleiades were the seven daughters of the Titan, Atlas and the ocean nymph Pleione. Zeus placed them in the sky to protect them from Orion the hunter. But Orion became a constellation and continued to chase the Pleiades across the heavens. The Inuit of northern Greenland considered Orion a series of steps in a great bank of snow linking earth and heaven.

                                         pleiadesatlas

Mythology, influenced the naming of many objects in the night sky, including planets. Their Roman mythological name reflected their characteristics

In Norse mythology Venus was originally the toe of the hero Aurvandil. Thor carried Aurvandil out of Giantland across the river Elivagar. En-route, one of Aurvandil’s toes froze, so breaking it off Thor threw it into the sky. To the Greeks, Venus was Hesperus, grandfather of the goddesses called Hesperides. She who guarded the golden apples of eternal life on western sea

            Surface_of_VenusThor planet-venus

Even the names of the Galilean moons of Jupiter (the four largest). Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto were all desired–and taken by force–by Jupiter. Ironically the mythological women the king of the gods so fervently pursued now revolve around him.

          jupiter-moons-1Jupiter_and_moonsGalilean_moons

**(Credit for this blog post topic and also previous one: “Androgoth Prince of Goths”)

Thank you for the subject suggestions Androgoth Smile

 

22 responses to “Mythology of the Stars

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  1. It is interesting to note that people who have returned from near Death experiences, report encountering a long dark tunnel illuminated by flecks of light passing by.Your paragraph about the Mayan and Native Americans, reflect this description very well.

  2. I also like the referance to the god of literature and the connection with the stars. The Ancients new more than most would credit them for.What was it someone once said? "There is no star beyond which the human mind can see" or words to that effect. Good Blog Wolfie, Makes pleasent reading at this time of night. x:o)x

  3. There are no "horizons" so distant that the human mind can not reach and pass beyond !!!

  4. …or light at the end of the tunel…..(ref. Natalia above) Excellent Wolfie! Great collection of pictures and information. The Mayans studid the stars. The Greeks and Romans did too! The heavens were observed in a unique fashion in the Americas’. This is the birth of astrology.

  5. Pardon moi for my misappropriation of such unique and thought provoking words. Thank you for administering corrective measures, Kenny. :op :oD :oD xx

  6. Brilliant Blog Wolfie, love the idea of the stars thought of as Crystal Windows really appeals to my imagination

  7. Mythology and Symbolism, two intriquing subjects. My father always told me stories of the sky, he was a sailor and he knew the sky. My son at six asked if they were holes in the sky, I will tell him now at 36 of the Crystal Windows. There is so much to learn from ancient civilizations which are facinting, also Native people all over our Earth. You have a great blog here.

  8. Thank you to everybody who has taken the time and interest to stop by and leave a comment…as always your visits are very much valued and appreciated🙂

  9. Love this blog Wolfie! You have go some beautiful images and I love hearing about the myths and legens of the sky and seaLove Suki x

  10. HooOOOOWWWWWLooooooo Suki! Thank you for your kind and thoughtful comments, I have learnt much myself in the process of exploring the subject in more detail…it has been enlightening! Wolfie hugs x🙂

  11. Just checking with you Wolfie

  12. HooOOOWWWWLLLLLooooooo! Wolfie is here Rosemary! I can see you thru the Crystal Windows…lol…it’s a little bit like seeing you "thru the looking glass"😉 Thanks for your earlier comment🙂 The Crystal Windows appealed to the Wolfie imagination too… x

  13. Yes another extremely informative feast here… I was looking at some of your comments on various aspects of the total eclipse (Sunday July 11th 2010) and decided to take a brief look into some of the wicked stats of same… However as this comment is based on just the eclipse I shall just add that it must have been a most exciting happening… In outer Space… I am not learned in the Moon’s Penumbral Shadow either but still a delightful subject nonetheless.. Androgoth XXx

  14. The Credit for all of these Mythological additions to your blogging are indeed yours Europa Icewolf (Okay… Icy-Draws Then.. lol) Thereare some very interesting facts and the educational factors certainly enhance them, definitely a nice learning curve for all that read them.. Androgoth XXx

  15. Got a great view of the Eclipse from the homeworld (Europa) Androgoth!!!😉 About the only place this side of the solar system that did I think…Planet Earth certainly wasn’t a good choice! No joy in viewing it from the S Hemisphere either🙂

  16. Androgoth The Goth Prince…if it had not been for your good self and the suggestions you put forward in your comments, as to blog topics it would not have occurred to me to add these last two ‘Mythological additions’ for which I am very appreciative. And they proved both enjoyable and entertaining to work on too! So…Androgoth…you are most deserving of the credit and it stays with you! Like it or like it not!!! lol ;))

  17. Okay Then Thank You For The Credit Attribute.. Yes The View from the Southern Hemisphere Would Only Have Been A Partial Eclipse But Still An Interesting Sight.. However One can Never Beat A Total Eclipse… Thank You for Calling By And Adding To Our Latest Combined Script… No Idea Where It Will Take Us All But I Have No Doubt That It Will Be A Scream.. lol Androgoth XXx

  18. Very nice post🙂 , lots of new information here, but I’m not good with Mythology…Great pictures… specially the Milky Way and Pleiades – The open star cluster (M45) , also called as the Seven Sisters or althuraya in arabic

  19. Mundhir…how thoughtful of you to stop by! I didn’t see the update till I visited your profile page. Thank you🙂 These mythology posts have been quite a learning curve for me too! I love the Arabic name for M45…Althhuraya sounds so much more exotic and interesting than Pleiades or the Seven Sisters! And it certainly beats M45!😉

  20. Hi Wolfie, managed at lst to get a window [Crystal] of time to drop by, I wish I could have time to really explore all the links, what are we missing in life’s eternal rush and busy-nessI looked up to the sky last nighgt looking for Mars, but no luck, probly looking in the wrong place.

  21. Also hoping to se the meteor shower that is usually showing at this time, but it got a bit chilly.super pics on the blog, very well put and a real ‘taster’ for Norse mythology. It rather spoils the image of Venus being told she was a toe, poor Holst will be turnng in his grave. LOLLuvsya.

  22. Hi Arlene🙂 Good to see you back in blogging world! Your absence seemed a lot longer than it probably was in reality…you must not deprive Wolfie of any more of your blogs ok? lol😉 Yes…was unfortunate for Venus being told she was a toe! lol! I haven’t seen Mars either…thick cloud and only a hint even of the Moon…as to meteor showers…no chance! Thanks for the visit😉 Luvsya too!

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