Tag Archive: constellations


Goddess Matariki

“Matariki’s themes are stars, harvest and peace. Her symbols are stars and the number 7. In Polynesian tradition, this Goddess and Her six children became the Pleiades, and they continue to help humans by showing us when to begin harvesting the labors of hand or heart.

From mid- to late November the people of Hawaii take part in special rituals to celebrate the appearance of the Pleiades in the skies, which is the beginning of harvest season. In reverence for this occasion, all war is forbidden. It makes one wish that Matariki and her children appeared around the world all the time!

To encourage similar peacefulness in your own life, and harmony with those around you, carry seven stars in your pocket, wallet, or purse today. You can draw these on paper, use seven typed asterisks, get the marshmallow kind out of a cereal box, or collect seven noodles from a chicken ‘n’ stars can. If you use edible items, eat them at the end of the day to bring serenity to your spirit.

If there’s something you’ve been working on that seems to be taking forever, look to Matariki to show you how to begin effectively manifesting your efforts. Pray, meditate, and watch for unique openings throughout the day, especially after the stars appear in the sky, representing her power.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“The Pleiades” by Corina Chirila

The only other real mention that I found defining Matariki as a Goddess comes from the Goddess A Day site that states, “To the Maori, the Pleiades are Matariki and her six daughters: Tupu-a-Nuku, Tupu-a-Rangi, Wai-Tii, Wai-Ta, Wai-puna-Rangi, and Uru-Rangi.” [1]

However, the rest of my research found that Matariki wasn’t a Goddess, but is actually the Maori name for the Pleiades.  My research also found that Matariki is the traditional Maori New Year that is celebrated anywhere from late May to early June.  

“Matariki is the Māori name for the seven-star constellation that rises in the north-east before dawn in late May/early June. In Western astronomy it is known the Pleiades, and it forms the shoulder of Taurus the Bull.  Matariki marks the start of a new phase of life. It is a time of festivity for Māori, the tangata whenua, or first people of New Zealand.  Matariki is an important time in the Māori calendar and is associated with the start of the cold season when the pātaka kai (food storehouses) are full and the land is at its most unproductive.” [1]

“The Matariki star constellation marked a time for starting all things new, this was a particularly important period for new crops to be planted and the preserving of old crops to be finished. When Matariki was sighted ceremonial offerings of food were planted for the gods Uenuku and Whiro to ensure a good harvest for the coming year. Even the stars themselves were looked upon for guidance as to how successful the coming season would be; the brighter the star constellation the warmer the year was destined and the better the harvest was thought to be.

The timing of Matariki fell at the end of a harvest and food stores were full. Meat, fruits, herbs and vegetables had been gathered and preserved and the migration of certain fish ensured a great period of feasts. Matariki was seen as a time to share with each other, for family and friends to come together and share in the gifts that the land and sea had provided for them.” [2]

Similar to Samhain, “traditionally, Matariki was a time to remember those who had died in the last year. But it was also a happy event – crops had been harvested and seafood and birds had been collected. With plenty of food in the storehouses, Matariki was a time for singing, dancing and feasting.” [3]

Matariki Across the World

“Sprinling Stars – Matariki” by Ira Mitchell

“Matariki’s seven stars can be viewed from anywhere in the world and the constellation is globally recognised as a key navigational aid for sailors. It features in many cultures and acts as an important signal for seasonal celebrations around the world.

Europe: Pleiades, the Greek name for the cluster, is described as seven sisters, the daughters of Atlas and Pleone. In Greece, several major temples face straight towards Matariki, as does Stonehenge in England.

Māori and Pacific cultures: In Māori and Pacific stories, Matariki is described as a mother surrounded by Her six daughters.

Japan: In Japan, Matariki is known as Subaru.

Other: The Matariki cluster of stars has also been celebrated by Africans, American Indians, Australian Aborigines, Chinese and Vikings.

Unity, harvesting and planting, paying tributes to ancestors and looking ahead to the future are all themes of these celebrations.” [4]

 

 

 

Sources:

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Matariki“.

Taitokerau.co.nz, “Matariki“.

Teara.govt.nz, “Story – Matariki – Māori New Year“.

Wellington.govt.nz, “Matariki – Overview“.

 

Suggested Links:

Matarikievents.co.nz, “Matariki – Home“.

Ngawhetu.com, “Māori New Year“.

Tetaurawhiri.govt.nz, “Matariki“.

Wikipedia, “Matariki“.

 

Goddess Sopdet

“Sopdet” by BlueSilver

“Sopdet’s themes are fertility, destiny and time. Her symbols are stars and dogs.  The reigning Egyptian Queen of the Constellations, Sopdet lives in Sirius, guiding the heavens and thereby human destiny. Sopdet is the foundation around which the Egyptian calendar system revolved, Her star’s appearance heralding the beginning of the fertile season. Some scholars believe that the Star card of the Tarot is fashioned after this Goddess and Her attributes.

The long, hot days of summer are known as the ‘Dog Days‘ because they coincide with the rising of the dog star, Sirius. In ancient Egypt this was a welcome time as the Nile rose, bringing enriching water to the land. So, go outside tonight and see if you can find Sirius. When you spy it, whisper a wish to Sopdet suited to Her attributes and your needs. For example, if you need to be more timely or meet a deadline, she’s the perfect Goddess to keep things on track.

If you’re curious about your destiny, watch that region of the sky and see if any shooting stars appear. If so, this is a message from Sopdet. A star moving on your right side is a positive omen; better days are ahead. Those on the left indicate the need for caution, and those straight ahead mean things will continue on an even keel for now. Nonetheless, seeing any shooting star means Sopdet has received your wish.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Sopdet – Cosmic Auset” by TRSkye (available for purchase on Etsy.com).

“Sopdet (‘skilled woman’, also known as Sothis) represented Sirius, the Dog-Star. Sirius was the most important star to ancient Egyptian astronomers because it signalled the approach of the inundation and the beginning of a new year. New year was celebrated with a festival known as ‘The Coming of Sopdet’.

In fact, the ‘Sothic Rising’ only coincided with the solar year once every 1460 years. The Roman emperor Antoninus Pius had a commemorative coin made to mark their coincidence in CE 139. The Sothic Cycle (the periods between the rising of the star) have been used by archaeologists trying to construct a chronology of Ancient Egypt.

Sopdet was the wife of Sahu (‘the hidden one’), the constellation Orion, and the mother of Sopdu (‘skilled man’), a falcon god who represented the planet Venus. This triad echoed the trio of Osiris, Isis and Horus, but the connections were not always simple. Sopdet became increasingly associated with Isis, who asserts that She is Sopdet (in ‘the lamentations of Isis and Nephthys‘ c 400 BCE) and will follow Osiris, the manifestation of Sahu. However, as well as being considered to be the spouse of Orion (Osiris), She is described by the pyramid texts as the daughter of Osiris.

 

Although Sopdet started out as an agricultural deity, closely associated with the Nile, by the Middle Kingdom She was also considered to be a mother Goddess. This probably related to Her growing connection with the Goddess Isis. This connection was further strengthened by Sopdet’s role in assisting the Pharaoh find his way to the imperishable stars. It may be no coincidence that Sirius disappeared for seventy days every year, and mummification took seventy days.

         

In the first Dynasty ivory tablets Sopdet was depicted as a reclining cow with a unidentified plant-like emblem (possibly signifying representing the new year) between Her horns. However, She was most often depicted as a woman wearing the white crown of Upper Egypt topped by a star or a headdress with two plumes.

Less often, She is portrayed as a large dog, and by the Roman period the hybrid Goddess Isis-Sopdet was depicted as a woman riding side-saddle on a large dog.

Sopdet was occasionally shown as a male deity. During the Middle Kingdom the male Sopdet was in associated with Horus as one of the gods who held up the four corners of the earth and held Nut (the sky) in place. During the Greek period She was linked to Anubis as Sopdet-Anubis, possibly because of Her canine associations.” [1]

 

 

 

Sources:

Ancientegyptonline.co.uk, “Sopdet“.

 

Suggested Links:

Agaliha. Mysticwicks.com, “Thread: Sopdet/Sothis {Goddess of the Week}“.

Cowofgold.wikispaces.com, “Sopdet“.

Crystalinks.com, “Sirius“.

Egyptianmyths.net, “Sopdet“.

Thegoddesshouse.blogspot.com, Sopdet – The Goddess of the New Year“.

Herebedragons.weebly.com, Ancestral Memories,”Get Sirius“.

MXTODIS123. An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology and You, “Sopdet“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Sopdet“.

Schwader, Ann K. Goddessschool.com, “Sothis/Sopdet: Star of the Eastern Horizon“.

Seawright, Caroline. Articles by Caroline Seawright, “Sopdet, Goddess of Sirius, New Year and Inundation…“.

Tribe.net, “Sopdet“.

Wikipedia, “Sopdet“.

Writing, Jimmy Dunn. Touregypt.net, “Sah and Sopdet (Sothis), the Egyptian Astral God and Goddess“.

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