The theme of our Keep-Our-Sanity challenge this week is Star.
“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”
― Carl Sagan
This quote – one of my favorites about stars – is a profound statement. Think about it. Stars as a creative force manifesting conciousness into beings such as ourselves. We reflect upon the universe – stars – and thereby reflect upon our selves – upon our very nature the source from which we came.
Over tens of thousands of years humans have architected meaning about stars and our relationship to them, in the form of myths, legends and art. We tend to associate them into pictographic groups; i.e., “constellations“, each culture describing their own variations and interpretations.
As an example of differing interpretations, consider the constellation Orion: mythologized as a hunter in Europe, and as a severed hand in the America Northern Plains peoples, the distinctive “belt” identified as the Hunter’s Belt in the former case, and as the severed part of the wrist in the latter. In terms of depiction… “the earliest has been linked to the constellation of Orion is a prehistoric (Aurignacian) mammoth ivory carving found in a cave in the Ach valley in West Germany in 1979. Archaeologists have estimated it to have been fashioned approximately 32,000 to 38,000 years ago..(~Wikipedia).
The Pleiades – a star cluster, not a constellation – is also widely storied in cultures around the world. Again, variations in interpretation are plentiful. Among my favorite of these is the legend told by the Wurundjeri people of south-eastern Australia: “The Pleiades were represented by the seven Karatgurk sisters. These women were the first to possess the secret of fire and each one carried live coals on the end of her digging stick. Although they refused to share these coals with anybody, they were ultimately tricked into giving up their secret by Crow, who subsequently brought fire to mankind. After this, the Karatgurk sisters were swept into the night sky. Their glowing fire sticks became the bright stars of the Pleiades cluster.” (~Wikepedia).
Constellations, star clusters, and notable single stars, all have inspired human imagination from the earliest beginnings of our capacity to create stories and imagery.
Do you have any Star creations or thoughts you’d like to share?