Caveat: Readers, some of these sentences may read as a challenge to your beliefs. That is not my intent. My intent is heightened awareness.
I watched the PBS show, Ancient Skies – Gods and Monsters, last night. Fascinating. Humans have always looked to the skies for divinity and direction, and it hasn’t really changed much in a few thousand years, science notwithstanding. We humans put far more belief-weight in the sky than the earth we stand upon. (Pele and Juracan come to mind as earth-based, but there aren’t nearly as many as sky-based.)
Astronomers officially recognize 88 constellations covering the entire sky in the northern and southern hemispheres. Currently, 14 men and women, 9 birds, two insects, 19 land animals, 10 water creatures, two centaurs, one head of hair, a serpent, a dragon, a flying horse, a river and 29 inanimate objects are represented in the night sky (the total comes to more than 88 because some constellations include more than one creature.) …The ancient constellation-makers probably meant for them to be symbolic, not literal, representations of their favorite animals or fabled heroes, a kind of celestial “Hall of Fame.”
Do you believe in astrology? Have you updated your “sign” with Nasa’s current star positioning? Or are you still using the position the Babylonians identified over 3,000 years ago? For example, you used to think you were a Scorpio. With the current actual star positions you’re an Ophiuchus. Huh? Am I still passionate and sexy?
Do you believe a comet portends doom for your ruler? Do you wish on a falling star?
Does the full moon impact crime/emergency room visits/werewolves?
Is the new moon a rebirth for you? Or just a gravitational pull on the ocean tide?
“Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight…” This star is usually the planet Venus you may be wishing upon. The early Mayans believed Venus represented one of their most powerful deities and built homes and temples in alignment with this planet.
These are just a few of the most common Western beliefs about the elements visible in our night sky compared with earlier and indigenous peoples’ beliefs. (I almost wrote the word “heaven”, which brings its own beliefs). Cultural beliefs seep into us so subtly we’re not even aware of them unless we deliberately examine them.
Cultural beliefs affect our beliefs about ourselves and, therefore, our Journey. If we’re not aware, our mythical and cultural heroes insidiously become our allies and mentors. If we are not aware of cultural beliefs, they can transparently hinder our living/breathing mentors and allies and we’ll never know why we’re not completing our Journey.