Ukraine Vinok (вінок) Seasonal Wreaths and their Symbolism

Sbu Zapobihla Kontrabandi by the border of cultural values of Kiev Rusy. A unique complex starovynnykh jewellery with gold and silver stayed in Ukraine.
Kyev Rus, Folk Ukraine, this is our story, this is our treasure.

All Slavic traditions and folk traditions include flowers especially during Kupala and Noc Kupala, but Ukraine exceeds them all in the abundant uses of flowers and symbolic flowers. The Ukrainian Wreath Vinok (вінок) is a crown made of wild flowers and herbs which is collected in the traditional ways.

There are different types of wreaths: a wedding wreath, a wreaths of love, monastic wreath, wreath of hope, wreath of devotion and kupala wreaths. The wreath of love was not only for marriage ceremonies but also divorce ceremonies. In Ukrainian culture the wreath was traditionally worn worn by maidens (unmarried) as a pagan tradition. 

ukraine crown
Ukraine “Summer” Vinok Wreath

In the more prominent neopaganism groups today during Kupala, more and more wreaths are returning back before religious influences and are worn by women of all ages. The wreath dates back to the old East Slavic customs that predates Christianization of Rus which still remains a valued part of Ukrainian national creative attire, worn on festive occasions and on holy days.

Flowers are a part of all their celebrations, traditional folklore, craft embroidery, women and their ceremonies, and even painted interior and exterior home decorations. They mark the seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. The pagans honor Lada and her daughter Lely and the wreaths are in their honor. Midsummer is the time to gather flowers and herbs to not only make wreaths but for healing herbs and for prosperity.

ukraine ribbons
Ukraine “Spring” Vinok Wreath

Some of the most common are the crown for summer solstice called Kupala and are made with cornflower, marigold, saffron, parsley, parsnip, Corollas mint, lovage, marjoram, cornflower and sage, which are all protections against shadows.

In the full traditional Ukrainian wreaths, there should be 12 flowers: Wormwood, immortal, lynx, cornflower, chamomile, cherry blossom, apple, gooseberries, mallow, peonies, cornflower and baptismal bells. Wormwood is a symbol of inertia and immortal, a symbol of the immortality of the human soul. The cherry blossoms are a symbol of maternal love.

The wreath varies in many of the regions as young women throughout the country wore various headdresses made with yarn, ribbon, coins, feathers and grasses, but these all had the same symbolic meaning. In parts of central and eastern Ukraine, the flowers were raised in the center front and multicolored ribbons were attached to the back.

Ukraine wedding crown
Ukraine “Bridal” Vinok Wreath

Custom weaved wreaths denote the seasons as the customs came to Ukraine from prehistoric times and garlands with flowers and herbs are one of the oldest Ukrainian symbols. In ancient Goddess images of women, she wore headdress of flowers, grasses, herbs and branches in her shamanic beginnings.

large flower crown, ukaine
Ukraine “Bridal” Vinok Wreath

Putting your wreaths into water is to tell your future and personal guidance but putting a wreath in the Sea and it will tell the fortune of your soul. Setting wreaths on the water usually accompanies folk songs, because that was the first honoring of the first goddess.

Its more popular today to wear the casual versions of the vinok. It is not uncommon to see women in Kiev wearing a headband embellished with flowers during the summer as a fashion statement or Ukrainian pride. Additionally, the growing popularity of the vinok has contributed to the increase of vinok specialists, as well as the demand of local florists

Ukraine flowers , herbs, color of ribbon and their symbolic meanings…
Braided wreath – Symbol of prosperity and fertility.

autumn ukraine wreath
Ukraine “Autumn” Vinok Wreath

Clover – Symbol of fidelity;
has the magical power to reconnect.

Elecampane – Root of nine forces,
strengthens and returns health.

Fern (Rozmai herb) – Attracts love.
Garlic – Protection, also weaved into
braids on the bride crown before the wedding.

Hatchets – Field grass is a symbol of healthy fields, cornfields and abundance.
Iris – Peace and vitality.

King-flower – Vastness.
Krinov (lily) – Magical symbol of the feminine because she is essentially moist energy. The ancient name of the flower Krinov means “well” as it treats heart ailments.
Kalina (raspberry, rose) – Three sisters, acrimony as a form of magical contact, when there is a prick of blood. Overcoming obstacles, after which comes the miracle and magical dream as the likeness of eternity.

ukraine autumn vinok
Ukraine “Autumn” Vinok Wreath

Loboda – Symbol of misery and poverty.
Lyubka – a symbol of beauty and youth doable.
Lovage – Love, harmony. Bathe in lovage.
Lions (sunflower) – Symbol of fertility, growth and fruiting, and, hence, yield.
Marigold – Mans beauty.
Narcissus – Protects ones health.
Nechuy-wind – Boundaries
Oregano – Symbol of maternal
love and care of children.

Pansies – Symbol of love of family.
Parsley (wormwood) – Spring
Pauline – Bitterness of life, is protection agai
nst shadows.

 

ukraine.jpgPeppermint – Guardian of children and their health.
Peonies – Flowering of maturity.
Poppies (red)- Beauty, purity and magical forces of protection.

Rozsa (Rose) – Symbol of goodwill, prosperity, and swarming bees.
Red mug – Beauty and cleanliness.
Roman Herb Forest (chamomile) – Love.
Rouget (Rose hips, mallow, rue) – Glory.

Ruta – Sadness and a bitter life.

Vasylko (marigolds) – Ceremonies.
Violets – Joy.
Voloshky (blue cornflower) – Symbol of beauty and goodness, modesty and tenderness.
White Lilac – Family life.
Wreath of Roses -Symbol of health

Colors of Ribbons

ukraine baba
Ukraine Grandmother Vinok

A wreath of flowers and ribbons protects she who wears that halo on her head, it has a magic. Our grandmothers knew and still know this magic well, lot of different secrets of when and how to weave a wreath passed down from her grandmother.

Colorful Wreaths of Magic which is the union of Mother Earth with the Spirit Sky (Sun) as the divine marriage of the powerful belief of immortality – the way of Love. A corolla of intertwined ribbons of different colors, each have meaning:

Light brown: Mother Earth
Yellow: Sun, Blue: Water
Orange: Bread, Purple: Wisdom
Crimson: Sincerity
Pink: Abundance.

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On the left side of the white ribbon is gold thread as the sun, and on the right, silver, as the moon (month).

Red Colors (ribbons and mug, carnation, rowan, viburnum) – Divination and charms, blood and fire. On the one hand it symbolizes beauty, joy and love of life, the other, vengefulness and destruction. Red is used for charms, tends to counteract evil spell.

Popular color in Pysanky eggs and also using red thread, beads and flowers in divination embroidery. The best way to protect children from evil spirits and evil souls in dreams, is to tie the hands of a child something red.

winter ukraine wreath
Ukraine Winter Vinok Wreath

Green – Spring, beauty of nature, transformation, envy.
Purple & Green – Wisdom and caution.
Red & Blue – Fidelity and love.
White & red – Reward and respect.

White (ribbons and flowers) – Purity, innocence, joy. White is associated with daylight and life. Our ancestors believed in the relationship with the divine worlds. White robes are worn women in circles and by ancient priests or magicians. During the first crop of our ancestors wore a clean white shirt. White is also associated with death. Our parents, grandparents deceased wore white clothes and covered with a white shroud. White robes and ghosts are dead people.

Black – Night, Powerful Ancient moon women. Yellow – Sun, gold. In ancient times perceived as sunlight. Blue – Water, eternity. It unearthly secrets of the world. Symbolizes honesty, good reputation and loyalty. In mermaids cold and recalls the shade.

Ukraine neopaganism-folk Vinok (вінок)
Ukraine Neopagan Folk Vinok (вінок).

Sources: http://1vib.co.ua

Ukraine Traditional Folk Dress, Ivano- Frankivsk Region, Ukraine

 

 

Ivano-Frankivsk Region, Snyatyn District, Ukraine
Ivano- Frankivsk Region, Snyatyn District, Ukraine

For the whole series of each region of Ukraine go to:
https://www.youtube.com/user/FilmUaGroup/videos

Romanian Folk Magic at Midnight

Maramures, Romania

By Phoenix of Elder Mountain – Magical practice at the stroke of Midnight are symbolic practices and are the gifts of our ancient ancestors of the distant worlds and Romanian women have always kept these traditions alive. The older pagan cultures of the Slavic peoples celebrate the New Year on the Spring Equinox (and Ukraine still does). One such magical practice of the spring new year, which you could use at any equinox or solstice eve, is the tradition done the night before the Spring Equinox…

Goddess celebrations of Spring, in many cultures would last an entire week, from the 19th until the 23rd of March, because the energy of the Spring Equinox is at its strongest then. You can still do the rituals here, just make sure you set your intention clearly and simple…

At the end of the night light year in-between the old and the new year, at 12:00 midnight before the dawn turning into the Spring Equinox…. go and look at the night sky and count  the new stars you see and what will be your destiny. You can also go in the house, put a ring of gold in a glass of water, place it in front of a candle and behind the candle a mirror. They say the one who looks in the mirror sees an opening of the door of their destiny.

Magic Slavic Shamanism Pre Pagn 2Leave a small night light on or a candle in a lantern all night long when you go to sleep and dream, the gates are open to get luck as the old year leaves and the new returns the next morning on the Spring Equinox. They say, if your soul is clear, the opening of the door of the heavens will give you a glimpse.

Maramureș is a geographical, historical and ethno-cultural region in northern Romania and western Ukraine and these village people at midnight lean wood pieced against the home’s outside wall. Each piece of wood represents every soul in your house until morning and when you go outside in the morning to check on them, if any fell over, that’s considered a tough year for the person it was intended for.

Villagers also read the whole year’s weather with onions – cut an onion in half and set out 12 pieces of papers (one for each month of the year). Salt each of them in equal amounts. Set the onion in the center and circle the paper around the onion. Let them sit overnight and in the morning, depending on the amount of water collected, its said that the moisture or dryness of each paper represents the dry or wet months.

I imagine you can also do this with your moon ritual on the day of the spring equinox, if you want and set the intention of difficult moons (wet) and easy moons (dry) and then keep track of your moon cycles the entire year.

On the spring equinox morning ritual take a bath and wash yourself before sunrise. In the water put a silver penny, some basil and a branch of a tree and wash yourself for lucky year and blessings of abundance.

Enjoy and keep the Magic alive, Phoenix

Sources: Iulia Gorneanu, University of Bucharest; first photo a compilation photo including Romanian grandmothers called Baba Dochia and a selection of an image of one of Douglas Girard, figurative Landscape painter; Maramures, Romania Maiden; https://www.facebook.com/ElderMountainRetreats

Thunderstorms in the Twilight – Part 1: The Pleiades

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By Phoenix of Elder Mountain – I am doing a three part article on the shadows of Star Lore and how we have gone too far from earth because of the mind cults, and as earthlings everyone is born, dies and are reborn from our mother (earth) even the aliens. The first will be the Seven Sisters who science called the Pleiades. The seven sisters 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, the Minoans etc. The Bull is feminine and so are her cultures, its symbolic meanings and shadows of the lost ones who wish to find themselves again after lifetimes. The second article will be Orion and the third article will be Sirius, the dog star-lore.

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, its filled with emotional ups and downs and learning to bend chaos to stay grounded. The knowledge-spiritual, psycho-spiritual, social-spiritual, plant (drug) spiritual, drama-spiritual, dating-spiritual, paranormal-spiritual and book-spiritual all tend to fade away when we begin a self healing, self mastery and self spiritual journey and its duration. This generally starts around 37 when the Uranus opposition occurs and the energy of truth/chaos vs freedom energy begins. The adult crisis or transformation time.

The Pleiades no longer mark the ancient rites of passage in ceremony of the great circle of women and have a more blissful or adventure star-lore in modern times, but their origins do not seem to hide the struggles and the struggles of collective myth. The problem is with the reality of collective in general when it comes to mental body arts as in written myth handed down for millenniums. Its hard to master the person and impossible to master the collective, because… its the collective. The associations have persisted nevertheless of the morning and shadow sides accounts for the significance of the Pleiades in older cultures and astrologically.

“The Moon is set and the Pleiades.
Night’s half gone, Time is passing.
I sleep alone now.”    ~ Sappho

The Seven Sisters name means “Daughters of Pleione” from the Greek word pleiôn “Ladies of Plenty.” Her Age of Taurus of her Bull and Cow 1,200 bce – 2012 ce.

Maia – “grandmother,” “mother,” “nurse,” “the great one” or “good nursing mother.” The oldest of the Pleiades, she is the mother of Hermes.

Alcyone – Also called Halcyone, “queen who wards of evil storms” or “strong helper”. By Poseidon, she is the mother of Anthas, Aethusa, Hyperenor and Hyrieus.

Asterope – Also spelled Sterope, “lightning,” “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 “dark.” She is the mother of Eurypylus and Lycus. A different account says that by Prometheus, she is the mother Lycus and Chimærus.

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.

Seven Sisters Asteroids, Pleiades Asteroids:

Maia asteroid #66 (Maja)
Alcyone
Asterope asteroid #233
Celaeno asteroid #3857
Electra asteroid #130
Merope asteroid #1051
Taygete

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When I work with archetypes, symbolism, synchronicity which are the actions or results of symbolism in the real living aspects, or lore and folklore, art, ancient art, myths, folkology, oral traditions, traditional folk arts, or fine arts, astrology, esoteric, even astronomy – all of them are seeking perception of the other side of the entire reality we live in the old dynamics of the myth makers world.

As we unplug from the blindness and the ancient myths that no longer serve, its all about our emotional and mental health or the wellspring, some call it the gates to the self.  I have walked this path for the truth (personal, interpersonal and collective in that order) and the truth to seek wholeness and pick out the corrupted or rotten parts of self, to apply this to the working symbolism and healing of my spiritual path…

Lets start with the Pleiades Star Lore…

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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.

the-heavens-seemed-to-be-on-fire-kay-nielsenKnown 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.

SYMBOLISM MYTHOLOGY

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 listed by the Greeks or what was left, was the Grandmother. She is also in the Roman mythology as the Goddess of fertility, Latin Maia, literally “She who brings increase,” related to magnus “great.” Maia, one of the Pleiades Greek Goddesses was then reduced by the Greeks into daughter from the Amazons Great Grandmother and Romans great Mother. Maia to the Greeks is daughter of Atlas, mother of Hermes, literally “mother, good mother, dame; foster-mother, nurse, midwife,” said by Watkins to be from infant babbling.

Their Amazon Pleiades names are: Coccymo, Glaucia, Lampado, Maia, Parthenia, Protis and Stonychia and these sisters created ritual dances at nighttime in what are legends today (before Dionysus Cult took them over).

North Africa & the Old Kingdom of Egypt
The goddess Hathor has an interesting take in her role and aspect as a Mother goddess for it was believed by the ancient Egyptians that “Seven Hathors” 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 star cluster. Aside from Hathor, the Pleiades also represented the goddess Net or Neith, the “Divine Mother and Lady 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”.

ArabicThe 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 SistersAnother 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 CatasterismIf 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).

ZuniThey 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.

pleiadi-nebra_scheibeThe 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;

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