Role Of Astronomy In Modern Paganism Essay, Research Paper
Myths Concerning the Creation of Constellations and the Universe
?Long, long ago, the world slept in the arms of a dark void. From this
place of nothingness, Spirit drew together and created our Lady of infinite
love. The Lady danced among the heavens, her feet beating out the rhyth,
of all creation. Sparks of light catapulted from her hair, giving birth to the
stars and plantes. As she twirled, these heavenly bodies began to move with
her in the divine symphony of the universe… when thunder roars in the
heavens and lightning cracks from the ground, the Lord and Lady dance the
divine myth of creation so that we may remember them and know that we
are never alone. When the sun rises each morning, we bask in the joy of his
love for us, and when the moon moves through her phases, we understand
the cycle of birth, growth, death, and rebirth, as is the nature of our kind.?
-written by Silver RavenWolf
Paganism today is rife with astrological references. These references
are most apparent in the calendar of holidays- the wheel of the year. The
winter and summer solstices, the longest and shortest days of the year, are
celebrated- as are the fall and spring equinoxes, when day and night are of
equal duration. The full and new moon phases are honored as sacred times.
Each constellation has many myths surrounding its creation, as well.
The Greek bear myth involves the Big and Little Dippers, Ursa major and
Ursa minor. It is said that the Greek god Zeus fell in love with Callisto, a
beautiful mortal. When Zeus? wife, Hera, learned of this, she became
intensely jealous and changed Callisto into a bear! Callisto retained her
humanemotions, though, and when she saw her son, Arcas, she reached
out to greet him. The son thought he was being attacked and started to kill
the bear. At that moment, Zeus intervened and placed Callisto in the sky as
the Great Bear, Ursa major. He later placed her son, Arcas, near her as the
Little Bear, Ursa minor. Zeus? jealous wife, Hera, was not done with her
mischief yet! She made sure that Poseidon, the god of the sea, would never
allow bears into his realm, which is why the two constellations never set.
They were destined to remain high in the sky forever.
Some say Stonehenge, Europe?s great stone monument, may have
been created for early astronomers to track the movement of the moon and