I would first like to thank those who have bought my books and kept in touch with me through social media. I am very happy with the reactions I have been getting for “Time Maps: Matriarchy and the Goddess Culture” and I very much enjoy meeting and interacting with you through other channels as well. I would also like to keep you updated on what I’ve been up to since it has been a little while since my last post. I am at the moment collecting sky legends from different cultures which include as many legends about the sun, the moon, the stars, etc that I can possibly find to later compile them into a book. I am quite excited about this project as I get to know many myths that I have never heard of before as well as revisit some more familiar legends and be in awe of them all over again. I will be sure to share with you some of them in this blog.
Songs of the Ice Maidens
In the Dreamtime, the cluster of stars which we know as the Pleiades were seven beautiful ice maidens. Their parents were a great mountain and an ice-cold stream that flowed from the hills. The seven sisters wandered across the land, their long hair flying behind them like storm clouds. Their beauty was so entrancing that every man who saw them fell in love with them instantly. But the maidens’ affections were cold.
One day a man named Wurrunnah captured two of the maidens and forced them to live with him while their five sisters travelled to their home in the sky. When Wurrunnah discovered that the sisters he had captured were ice maidens, thus could never return his affection, he was disappointed. So he took them to a camp fire to melt the cold crystals from their limbs, hoping to somehow turn them mortal. But as the ice melted, the water quenched the fire, and he succeeded only in dimming their brightness.
Disappointed as he was, Wurrunnah kept the two ice maidens captive and had them help him with chores around the house. The two sisters longed for their home in the clear blue sky. One day, Wurrunnah told them to gather pine-bark in the forest. After a short journey, they came to a great pine tree, and commenced to strip the bark from it. As they did so, the pine tree extended itself to the sky. The maidens climbed home to their sisters. However, they never regained their original brightness, and that is why there are five bright stars and two dim ones in the group of the Pleiades.
Of all the men who loved the seven sisters, the Berai Berai (two brothers) were the most faithful. When the maidens set out on their long journey to the sky, the Berai Berai were grieved. They laid aside their weapons and mourned for the maidens until the dark shadow of death fell upon them. When they died, the fairies pitied them, and placed them in the sky, where they could hear the sisters singing. On a starry night, people can always see them listening to the song of the seven sisters. We know them as Orion’s Sword and Belt.
The Old Man of the Sea and the Birth of the Star Sisters
Rolla-Mano was the old man of the sea in Australian Aboriginal mythology. He ruled a great kingdom in the depths of the sea filled with shadows and strange forms. One day, Rolla-Mano went to fish in a lonely mangrove swamp close to the sea shore. He noticed two beautiful women approaching him and was determined to capture them. He hid in the branches of the mangrove tree, and, when the women were close to him he threw his net over them. One woman escaped by diving into the water. He was so enraged at her escape that he jumped in after her with a burning fire stick in his hand. As soon as the fire stick touched the water, the sparks hissed and scattered to the sky, where they remain as golden stars to this day.
Rolla-Mano never did caught the woman who dove into the dark waters of the swamp. He returned to the shore in a foul mood after a fruitless search and threw the other woman to the sky to forever separate her from her sister. That woman became the evening star. From her resting place, she gazes with dread through the mists of eternity at the restless sea – the dark, mysterious kingdom of Rolla-Mano, and with longing to the dark waters where her sister disappeared. On a clear summer night, when the sky is studded with golden stars, the people remember that they are the sparks from the fire stick of Rolla-Mano, and the beautiful evening star is the woman he captured in the trees of the mangrove swamp.
The Hummingbird who Saved the World
A native American mythology says that a long time ago, the great spirits noticed that none of the animals were getting along. They then decided to teach the animals a lesson and took the sun away, covering the sky with a great dark blanket. Many animals volunteered to pull away the blanket, including the coyote and the bear, but none could do it.
At last, the smallest of the birds, the hummingbird, volunteered. As she was so tiny, the animals all laughed at her, but still they let her try. She flew as far as she could all the way up to the blanket, and was able to puncture it with her beak. But she was too weak to do much more. Still, determined, she flew up again and again, each time poking a new hole. Eventually, the other animals, amazed at her effort, began to help, boosting her up whenever she lacked energy. When the great spirits saw this, they removed the blanket as a reward. But at night, every night, they put the blanket back so that beings on earth can see the stars, and always be reminded that everyone is useful in their own way. This is why we have the night, the day, and the stars.