By Phoenix of Elder Mountain – The Seven Sisters who science called the Pleiades, sit in a cluster inside the belly of Taurus the Bull, one of the four sacred cardinal points and associated with the Bull cultures like the Hindus and the Minoans. The Bull is feminine and so are her cultures, its symbolic meanings and shadows, born of the Age of Taurus.
The wisdom of the Seven Goddesses (sisters)…
When one finally chooses to move onto the path of choosing a relationship to seek the authentic self, our truth telling and telling our self the truth path, our life is filled with emotional ups and downs and we must learn to bend chaos in order to stay grounded.
“The Moon is set and the Pleiades
night’s half gone, time is passing.
I sleep alone now.” ~ Sappho
The Pleiades no longer mark the ancient rites of passage in ceremony of the great circle of women and have become a more blissful or adventure star-lore path in modern times, and in new age, the pot smoking cult of “I am from the Pleiades”. But the origins do not seem to hide the struggles and the struggles within collective mythology in general and that is…
… all of it was written by men. The associations of the other missing half, woman and her stories and perceptions, gifts and power, have persisted nevertheless in some of us who want wholeness and the continuation of our pre-patriarchal cultures (shaman cultures and dreaming cultures).
Ancient art for those who have soul eyes, can weave the stories from there into forms of understanding. Women have to adjust and almost rewrite all the ancient myths, like the Pleiades from older cultures and also astrologically in order to bring them to a wholeness and to serve her needs today through her story which can remain uncorrupted from the original myths. So lets start with the seven sisters…
The Seven Sisters name means “Daughters of Pleione” from the Greek word pleiôn which means… “Ladies of Plenty” and the The Seven Sisters are:
Maia – “grandmother,” “mother,” “nurse,” “the great one”, “the grandmother” The oldest of the Pleiades, she is the mother of Hermes (Mercury).
Alcyone – Also called Halcyone, “queen who wards off evil storms”, “strong helper”. By Poseidon, she is the mother of Anthas, Aethusa, Hyperenor and Hyrieus.
Asterope – Also spelled Sterope, “lightning goddess,” “twinkling sun-face,” “stubborn-face,” “star-faced” or “flashing-face.” Mother of Oenomaus, the king of Pisa. Ares and Oenomaus are her husbands.
Celaeno – “swarthy,” “black” or “night”, she is the mother of Eurypylus and Lycus. A different account says that by Prometheus and Celaeno are the parents of Lycus (wolf) and Chimærus (he-goat) by Prometheus.
Electra – “amber,” “shining,” “bright.” Mother of Dardanus, the founder of Troy. Some accounts place Electra as the mother of Iasion. She is called Atlantis by Ovid. According to Thaumas, this Electra may be the mother of the Harpies.
Merope – “eloquent,” “bee-eater,” “mortal” or “sparkling-face.” The youngest of the Pleiades, she was wooed by Orion. Merope sons: Glaucus, Ornytion and Sinon. She is sometimes said to be the mother of Daedalus, Alcippe and Iphinoe.
Taygete – Also spelled Taigete, “long-necked” or “of Mount Taygetus.” Mother of Lacedaemon, the founder of Sparta. She is an important goddess.
Their “Amazon” Pleiades names are:
Seven Sisters Asteroids, Pleiades Asteroids:
Maia asteroid #66 (Maja)
Asterope asteroid #233
Celaeno asteroid #3857
Electra asteroid #130
Merope asteroid #1051
When I work with these types of mytho-archetypes, symbolism and synchronicity in the real living aspects of life, something is always given to me from the mystery. I may not have money, clout, power, charm, but life has given me the ability to time travel, dream walk back into the past beyond death. I have learned much from living and dying, and the subtle evolution of woman’s stories of ancient times, into folklore over the 20 millenniums shows common traits that fit together.
Adding art, ancient art, folkology, oral traditions, traditional folk arts, or fine arts, astrology, esoteric, even astronomy – all of them are seeking perception of the other side of where we live in the old dynamics of the myth maker’s world.
As we unplug from half sided ancient mythology of men, that no longer serves anyone but the distorted hero complex, we must integrate these aspects of the feminine into our purpose, our personal intentions, our real gifts to be developed in both creative ways and relationship ways as a living myth retold and reborn.
Our ability to hold the sacred moon circle with other women in support of their gifts and purpose is what will save our souls after much destruction of the patriarchal one sidedness. This is how humanity and culture was created in the first place by women before its destruction, and this is the root of who we are that was hidden and hushed. But within our soul and our purpose of healing our soul these new stories of our freedom, our health and our love blooms under and side by side with the heavenly influences.
Lets start with the Pleiades Star Lore…
In Ukrainian traditional folklore the Pleiades are known as Стожари (Stozhary), Волосожари (Volosozhary) and Баби-Звізди (Baby-Zvizdy). Stozhary can be etymologically traced to “стожарня” (stozharnya) meaning reduced to the root “сто-жар”, (sto-zhar) which means a ‘hundredfold glowing’ or “a hundred embers”. The name for this constellation in Lithuanian is Sietynas and Sietiņš in Latvian. Both of which have a root word: sietas meaning “a sieve.” In Ukraine this asterism of the seven sisters was considered a female talisman until recent times.
Ukraine ‘Volosozhary’ means she with the glowing hair and ‘Baby-Zvizdy’ (female-stars) referrs to the female tribal deities of the goddess traditions. According to legend, seven mothers who lived long ago used the round dance in the autumn equinox to winter solstice, to sing the glories of the ancestors and old ones. After their death the ancestors turned them into water deities and took them to the Heavens, what is today know as Nymphs who don’t really carry any of the ancient qualities. Round dances in their origins of the Slavs and Balkans where symbolic for the “moving and movements the time” which was based on Nomadic lifestyles.
In both Latvian and Lithuanian folktales, the Pleiades constellation is shown as an inanimate object, a sieve that is stolen by the devil from the god of thunder used to bring light rain by the thunder god’s wife and children. In some Lithuanian folk songs, Sietynas is depicted as a benevolent brother who helps orphaned girls to marry.
Known since ancient times, its popular name of was: Pleiades, Mother Hen with Chicks designated by their mythological names from the Greek poet Aratus (III century BCE). Later, when Christians were approaching the Goddess and Pagan era’s it was known as the Dove, and dove is associated with peaceful soul. But almost all of the traditional and indigenous traditional stories reveal that the Pleiades shows symbolically that they are associated with loss, destruction and shadow, probably after the wars on the soul of the building of the kingdoms through religious domination over paganism and goddess cultures and then strictly through the military of the kingdoms which developed later after the 7th century ce.
In world lore, the Pleiades seem to have two meanings, the first and oldest lore, its associated with planting and harvesting times. The second and later folklore is about morning and loss. to the Bronze Age people and probably considerably earlier, the Pleiades were associated with funerals of the clans and tribes, since its the time after abundance, cross-quarter day between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice, it was from this acronychal rising that the Pleiades became associated with mourning.
Contrarianism – Daughters of an Amazon Queen – While many variations of the Greek myths in the Idylls, the Pleiades are the daughters of an Amazon Queen and the only one who is listed by the Greeks or what was left of her, was the Grandmother. She is also in Roman mythology as the Goddess of fertility, Latin Maia, literally “She who brings increase,” related to magnus “great.” Because Grandmothers and images of grandmothers were completely wiped out of history by founding Greek and Roman fathers and every other country, Maia is the wise grandmother goddess, but when reduced to maiden, the grandmother became the daughter of Atlas, and mother of Hermes, literally “mother, good mother, dame; foster-mother, nurse, midwife.”
Their Amazon Pleiades names are: Coccymo, Glaucia, Lampado, Maia, Parthenia, Protis and Stonychia and these sisters created ritual dances at night time in what are legends today (before the Pagans of the Dionysus Cult took them over).
North Africa & the Old Kingdom of Egypt – The goddess Hathor it was believed by the ancient Egyptians as the “Seven Hathors” which would appear at the birth of a new baby, foretelling the baby’s fate. The reason they’re mentioned is that during the Ptolemaic Period, when Egypt was under Greek rule, the Seven Hathors became identified with the Pleiades. Aside from Hathor, the Pleiades also represented the Goddess Net or Neith, the “Divine Mother and Lady (grandmother) of Heaven.”
The Tuareg Berbers call the Pleiades by the name of: Cat ihed, s “daughters of the night” and Amanar “the guide” and Tagemmunt “the group.” The changing of the seasons to prepare for the heat of summer and the colder weather that the rainy season brings.
East Africa – In the Swahili language, the Pleiades are called: “kilimia” which means to “dig” or “cultivate.”
South Africa – The Basotho call the Pleiades “Seleme se Setshehadi” meaning the “female planter.” When the Pleiades leave the night sky around April, marks the beginning of their cold season. The Khoikhoi tribe call the Pleiades by the name of Khuseti, the stars of rain or rain bearers.
Mesopotamian – Babylonian mythology and astronomy, the Pleiades are called MUL.MUL or “star of stars”.
Arabic – The Pleiades are known as al-Thurayya, the star, Aldebaran, meaning “the Follower” which is part of the Taurus constellation is seen as forever chasing al-Thurayya across the night sky.
Iran, Persian – Pleiades are known as Parvin.
Judeo-Christian – Pleiades are identified as being Kimah, meaning “cluster,” there is an indirect reference to this asterism found in Revelations 1:16: “In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword.” A context of harshness and the power of language and word over all things feminine. The Talmud Rosh Hashanah tells that mankind’s wickedness, removes two of its stars and caused that this star cluster would rise with the dawn and out of season alignment. This mean’s that men have done destruction and harshness to the earth and her seasons, I think Nasa and Cern have been the living proof of such destruction to not only the magnetic fields, but now the auroras.
Pakistan – Carrying a positive in the name Parvin, the stars it represents is a symbol of beauty.
Karatgurk – Wurundjeri of Australia, the Pleiades represent a group of seven sisters known as the Karatgurk. They were the first to hold the secrets of fire and each of the sisters carried live coals on the end of their digging stick. The sisters refused to share the coals with anyone and eventually were tricked into giving up the secret of fire to Crow who in turn brought the gift of fire to the rest of humanity.
Kidili – A moon god of the Mandjindja from Western Australia, he had tried to rape some of the first women on Earth. In retaliation, the lizard men, Wati-kutjara attacked and castrated him using a boomerang before leaving him to die in a watering hole. As for the women, they became the Pleiades star cluster.
Kungkarungkara – They are the ancestral women in the lore of the Pitjantjatjara tribe.
Makara – Adnyamathanha tribe, the Makara (The Pleiades) are the wives of stars within the Orion constellation.
Napaltjarri – From Central Australia, they were seven sisters being chased by Jilbi Tjakamarra. He had attempted to use love magic on one of the sisters. She refused Jilbi’s advances and she and her sisters fled from him.
In this story of the Koori’s Dreamtime, the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters were a group of seven beautiful ice maidens. Their parents were huge mountain whose peaks were hidden by the clouds and an ice-cold stream who flowed from some snow covered hills. The Seven Sisters would wander the land, their long hair flowing out behind them like storm clouds.
One day, a man by the name of Wurrunnah, caught two of the sisters and forced them to live with him while the others continued on their journey home to the sky. Wurrunnah soon found that the sisters he caught were ice-maidens and took them to his camp fire in order to try and melt the ice off of them. This only served to put out his fire and dimming the brightness of the two sisters.
Berai Berai Brothers And The Seven Sisters – Another story told of the Seven Sisters is that when they were on earth, of all the men in love with their beauty, the Berai Berai or two brothers were the most devoted. They always brought all the choicest catches from their hunts to the Sisters as an offering and token of their love. This love was not returned and when the Sisters wandered away, up to the mountains, the Berai Berai followed after them.
After the Sisters left for their journey to the sky, the Berai Berai mourned. A grave depression fell upon them that they eventually died. The spirits of the Dreamtime took pity on the brothers and placed them up in the sky, up where they could hear the Sisters sing. On clear nights, the Berai Berai can be seen, represented by the stars that form Orion’s Sword and Belt.
Ben Raji – Living in western Nepal and northern India, the semi-nomadic Ban Raji refer to the Pleiades as the “Seven Sisters-In-Law and One Brother-In-Law” or “Hatai halyou daa salla.” For the Ban Raji, when the Pleiades rise up over the mountains at night, they see their ancient kinfolk. e.
Celtic – The Celts associated the Pleiades with grief, mourning and funerals. At this period of time and history, the time of the Autumn Equinox and Solstice would have occurred around the time that the Pleiades star cluster rose in the eastern skyline as the sun set.
Aztecs – The Aztecs strongly believed their ceremony would prevent demons of darkness from coming to the Earth and devouring mankind. For this, they offered up to the gods human sacrifices to the Pleiades.
Chinese – Pleiades are known as Mao, the Hairy Head of the White Tiger of the West. The Pleiades seem to be the first stars mentioned in astronomical literature, appearing in the Annals of 2357 B.C.E. Aside from the name Mao, the Pleiades are also known as The Blossom Stars and Flower Stars.
Greek Catasterism – If the Pleiades weren’t getting chased by Orion, then they became stars after committing suicide over the fate of their father Atlas, a Titan. Or the loss of their siblings the Hyades and Hyas. After their death, the god Zeus placed the sisters up into the heavens.
India – Pleiades are known by a number of different names such Karttikeya, Kṛttikā, Kārtikā, Kumara or Subrahmanya. In both Indian astronomy and Hindu astrology, the names Krttika and Kartika translate into English means “the cutters.” Hindu – A story associated with this star cluster tells how the war-god Skanda was raised by six sisters known as Kṛttikā, making it so that one of his names he is known as is Kartikeya or “Son of the Kṛttikā.”
Skanda or Kartikeya was born to Agni and Svāhā after the Kṛttikā had impersonated themselves as six of the seven wives of the Saptarshi in order to make love with Agni. When the Saptarshi learned of this incident, they began to doubt their wives’ chastity and divorced them. The Pleiades are known as the Star of Fire and one of the most prominent of nakshatras associated with anger and stubbornness.
They are ruled by the Hindu god of war, Kartikeya. Another deity associated with Kṛttikā is Agni, a god of sacred fire. Additionally, it is ruled by the sun or Surya and has the symbols of a knife or spear.
Japanese – Pleiades star cluster is known as Subaru, meaning “coming together,” “cluster” or “united.”
Blackfoot – The Lost Boys – This is a story in which the Pleiades are a group of orphaned boys not taken care of by anyone, and Sun Man was angered by the boys’ neglect, so he punished the people with a drought, causing the buffalo to leave and be destroyed. The wolves, the only friends the boys had ever had, intervened for the people to have the buffalo return.
Sadden by their lives on earth, the boys asked the Sun Man to allow them to play up in the heavens. In addition, to remind the tribe of their neglect of the children, they hear the howling of the wolves calling.
Cheyenne – A Cheyenne legend, “The Girl Who Married a Dog,” tells how the Pleiades stars represent puppies that a Cheyenne chief’s daughter gave birth to after being visited by a dog in human form. Dogs are the lowest form of men in their animism shape from too much karma.
Cherokee – Both the Cherokee and Onondaga tribes tell a similar story about a group of seven boys who refused to any of their sacred responsibilities and only wanted to play.
Crow – The Crow military societies have many songs that use a play on words referencing the Pleiades constellation of high ideals to many amusing or comical stories.
Inuit – Nanook, the Inuit Bear God, a great bear threatened all of the people. This bear was chased up into the heavens by a pack of dogs.
Kiowa – There is a legend told about how seven maidens were being chased by giant bears. The Great Spirit created Mateo Tepe, the Devil’s Tower and placed the young women there. Still the bears pursued the maidens, clawing at the sides of the sheer cliffs.
Lakota – There is a legend that links the origin of the Pleiades with Devils Tower. This constellation is known as Cmaamc, an archaic plural form of the noun cmaam, meaning “woman.”
Mono – The Monache tell a story how the Pleiades are six women who loved onions more than their husbands were thrown out of their homes by their angry husbands and found their way up to the heavens. When the husband grew lonely and tried to find their wives, it was too late.
Nez Perce – They have a myth about Pleiades that parallels the ancient Greek myth and the Lost Pleiades. In this myth, the Pleiades are a group of sisters and one of the sisters falls in love with a man. When he died, she was so grief stricken, that she finally told her sisters about him.
The other sisters mocked her, telling her how foolish she is to mourn the death of a human. This sister continued to grow in her sorrow, to the point she became ashamed of her own feelings that she pulled a veil over herself, blocking herself from view in the night sky.
Onondaga – Their version represented lazy children who wanted to dance instead of doing their chores. All the while as they ignored the warnings of the Bright Shining Old Man. Eventually, light headed and dizzy from hunger, they died.
Shasta – In their stories, the Pleiades are the children of Raccoon who are killed by Coyote while avenging their father’s death. After death, they rose up to become the Pleiades. The smallest star in the asterism is seen as Coyote’s youngest child who helped Raccoon’s children. This shows the lower form of animals as having power instead of the greater ones and the trickster (coyote) verses the viscous ones (raccoon).
Zuni – They used the Pleiades as an agricultural calendar. Among the Zuni, the Pleiades were known as the “Seed Stars.” When the Pleiades disappeared on the western horizon during spring, it was time for planting seeds as the danger of frost had pass. The Zuni also knew to finish all of their planting and harvesting before the Pleiades returned on the eastern horizon with the return of colder autumn weather and frost.
The story of a missing Pleiad also appears in other cultures such as African, Asian, Australian, European, Hindu, Indonesian, Jewish, Mongolian and Native American mythology. The star Celaeno is currently the dimmest star. However the star, Asterope is actually two stars, both of which are dimmer than Celaeno. There does seem to be a basis for this part of the legends as astronomical evidence clearly points to a once visible star within the Pleiades cluster that has since become extinct by the end of second millennium B.C.E.
The Nebra sky disk is a bronze disk of around 30 cm diameter, patinated blue-green and inlaid with gold symbols. These are the Generally interpreted as a sun or full moon, a lunar crescent, and stars (including a cluster interpreted as the Pleiades).
Two golden arcs along the sides, marking the angle between the solstices, were added later. A final location addition was another arc at the bottom surrounded with multiple strokes of uncertain meaning, as the Milky Way or as a Rainbow.
The disk is attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt in Germany, and dated to c. 1600 bce. It has been associated with the Bronze Age cultures of Unetice and the disk is unlike any known artistic style from the period. According to an analysis of trace elements by x-ray fluorescence by E. Pernicka, the copper originated at the Mitterberg in Austria, while the gold is from the Carpathian Mountains.
Sources: Fountain in Belgium, etching from the mid 1600s called the three fountain maidens linked to the alchemy of mercury; Painting of the Pleiades (The Pleiades) by Elihu Vedder, 1885 Се Плейоны Плеяды (The Pleiades) Илайхью Веддер, 1885 год; List of Symbolism from https://brickthology.com; The Heavens Seemed to be on Fire- Kay Nielsen;