- The Pleiades
- The Seven Sisters
- Taurus constellation
- Athor-Aye (Hebrews and Chaldeans)
- Athor (Egyptian)
- Atauria (Arab)
The Pleiades, also known as the Seven Sisters, is a prominent star cluster in the Taurus constellation, containing hot B-type stars. Situated about 444 light years away, it’s among the closest star clusters to Earth, easily visible to the naked eye.
The cluster is recognized for its blue luminous stars, formed within the last 100 million years. Reflection nebulae, once thought remnants of star formation, are now seen as unrelated dust clouds through which stars pass.
Computer simulations suggest the Pleiades formed from a configuration resembling the Orion Nebula. It’s estimated to last another 250 million years before gravitational interactions disperse it. The Pleiades and the Hyades together form the Golden Gate of the Ecliptic, a significant astronomical configuration.
The name “Pleiades” comes from Ancient Greek, possibly indicating its importance in Mediterranean sailing seasons. In mythology, it refers to seven divine sisters, named after their mother Pleione. In ancient times, the Pleiades played a crucial role in calendars, marking the vernal point and indicating the beginning of the ancient calendars in various cultures such as India, Mesopotamia, Greece, and among the Ancient Arabs.
For instance, in ancient India, the Pleiades represented the first lunar station, “Kṛittika,” signifying the break of the year. In Mesopotamia, a list of gods associated with stars began with the Pleiades. Similarly, in Greece, the name “Pleiades” likely had a functional origin, reflecting the idea of multiplicity and assembly. Among the Ancient Arabs, the Pleiades were the starting point for an old calendar.
Even after leaving the vernal point, the Pleiades retained significance symbolically and functionally in various ancient calendars, demonstrating its enduring importance throughout history.
Makali’i (the Pleiades)
The 1st of November
Halloween/The day of the dead/ saints day
In the most ancient calendar in India, the year commenced in the month of November, which bears the name Cartiguey, i.e., the Pleiades; a constellation which … must by its rising at the time, once have regulated the primitive year. We find also that, in the month of October the Hindoos, like ourselves, have three days which are connected with the festival of the dead.
In the ancient Egyptian calendar, the same resemblance can be traced between the name of the Pleiades, which among the Hebrews and Chaldeans is Athor-Aye, with that of the Egyptian month of November, which is Athor. The Arab name for the Pleiades, Atauria, also suggests a resemblance
Ħaġar Qim is a megalithic temple complex found on the Mediterranean island of Malta, dating from the Ġgantija phase (3600–3200 BC). The Megalithic Temples of Malta are among the most ancient religious sites on Earth.
From the documentary Chasing the Equinox:
By chance, the Pleiades rise at due east, to represent the stars in the Pleiades constellation.
Nebra sky disc
The Nebra sky disc is a bronze disc of around 30 cm in diameter, having a blue-green patina and inlaid with gold symbols. These symbols are interpreted generally as the Sun or full moon, a lunar crescent, and stars (including a cluster of seven stars, axiomatically interpreted as the Pleiades.
The disc was found buried on the Mittelberg hill near Nebra in Germany. It is dated by archaeologists to c. 1800–1600 BCE.
Australian Aboriginal seven sisters
The Pleiades constellation figures in the Dreamings and songlines of several Aboriginal Australian peoples, usually referred to as the seven sisters. The story has been described as “one of the most defining and predominant meta-narratives chronicled in ancient mainland Australia”, which describes a male ancestral being (with names including Wati Nyiru, Yurlu and others) who pursues seven sisters across the middle of the Australian continent from west to east, where the sisters turn into stars. Told by a number of peoples across the country, using varying names for the characters, it starts in Martu country in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and travels across the lands of the Ngaanyatjarra to South Australia.
In the Kimberley region of Western Australia, the eagle-hawk chases the seven sisters up into the sky, where they become the star cluster and he becomes the Southern Cross.
In the Western Desert cultural bloc in central Australia, they are said to be seven sisters fleeing from the unwelcome attentions of a man represented by some of the stars in Orion, the hunter.
In the Warlpiri version of the story, the Napaljarri sisters are often represented carrying a man called Wardilyka, who is in love with the women. But the morning star, Jukurra-jukurra, a man from a different skin group and who is also in love with the sisters, chases them across the sky. Each night they launch themselves into the sky, and each night he follows them.
The people of around Lake Eyre in South Australia tell how the ancestor male is prevented from capturing one of the seven sisters by a great flood.
The Boonwurrung people of the Kulin nation of Victoria tell the Karatgurk story, which tells of how a crow robbed the seven sisters of their secret of how to make fire, thus bringing the skill to the people on earth.
In another story, told by peoples of New South Wales, the seven sisters are beautiful women known as the Maya-Mayi, two of whom are kidnapped by a warrior, Warrumma, or Warunna. They eventually escape by climbing a pine tree that continually grows up into the sky where they join their other sisters.