XIV: Tantalizing lights


To those who may be receiving one of these post-notifications for the first time: This is not a blog; it’s actually part of a book, and will make little sense to you without knowledge of what has come before—which you can easily obtain, along with a goodly amount of satirical theatre as matters progress, by simply entering ttgftyri.org into your web browser, opening the menu, and starting at page one. J.J.


Scene 10

But then just up the trail, Gaim comes upon another priest who scoffs that if the Bird hoped to make its nest atop the real Mountain of all this, it had better be able to fly clear up among the stars!

“For no sooner had I turned my own attention to that Great Wet Windstorm in the Sky,” he reports, “than I began to find myself lying awake half the night staring overhead at all these twinkling lights and whether there might be anything else of importance going on up there—and soon made a startling discovery.

“I think you’d better sit down,” he told Gaim, “because this is going to take awhile.”

* * *

“Now then, as I lay on my back staring straight up at the stars night after night,” the priest begins his story after Gaim has comfortably seated himself, “after awhile, I noticed that they appeared to be moving. And in fact, before long I realized that they were all moving in the same direction: east to west.

“Which just happened to be the same direction that the moon too moved—and the sun, during the day!

“And so I turned to the east, hoping to find the source of all that—and soon observed new stars continually coming over that horizon! Which of course, now made me want to stay awake all night,” the priest yawns helplessly here, “for howsoever many that it might take to make sense of all this!

“But then, how to make anything out of all those stars?

“Then I had an idea: I simply took note of the more prominent ones as they appeared or ‘came out’ each evening; divided the rest into small, manageable groups centered on those; and then marked these ‘constellations’ in my consciousness by associating them with things already familiar to me—that is, the Hunter would come out over there, the Deer over there, the Fish over there, and so forth—until finally, I found myself able to find my way around the whole celestial place from one night to the next!

“But then, pretty soon I ran into a problem; for as I kept working with all these constellations night after night—sharpening them in my imagination, memorizing their various locations in the sky, and so forth—I found that they not only moved westward during the night, but each night, would come out a little further west than the night before!

“Meaning that eventually, my original ‘eastern’ constellations were coming out way over on the western horizon, and then just skipping below it; after which, they’d no longer come out at all—as though they’d simply died, you know?

“And so imagine my surprise when—many, many nights later—I saw what certainly appeared to be these very same constellations coming over the eastern horizon again, albeit now just before dawn!

“So now, if only to verify my sanity after all my constant stargazing, I began recording each one’s arrival by scratching some symbol of it on a big rock; until in time, I produced a whole ‘calendar’ of what turned out to be a great, three hundred sixty-five night stellar round—and thus established the exact length of the year, or seasonal round itself.

“And over the next few years, as I carefully checked and re-checked all this—why, I not only verified my sanity, but discovered that the arrival of this one constellation invariably coincides with the start of the rainy season!

“Do you understand what I’m saying?” the priest now nudges Gaim excitedly. “It’s all those stars up there that really bring about the rain, ultimately fertilizing the earth and no doubt generating everything else that we’ve never quite been able to explain around here!”

Scene 11

And then producing this statue of Our Lady of the Stars wrapped in a dark, star-covered mantle, he thinks to teach Gaim some new manners.

“First of all, it’s hardly appropriate anymore for people to associate the Lord with the morning and evening stars,” he points out, “—rather, they should be satisfied to associate him with just the sun, moon and so forth.

“And then, bearing in mind that even way up there the Divine One continues to pass through her annual cycle of birth, death and rebirth, they may now actually see her rebirth—and mark the beginning of the new year—with their first sighting of the rain-constellation.

“While in the same spirit that they once kissed the earth, touched their newborn to the sea, immersed themselves in the river and so forth, they should now lift their newborn to the east, preferably at eventide; face that direction themselves when uttering their prayers, again best at eventide; situate their villages on the river’s eastern shore, but carefully entomb their dead over on the western—and never, under any circumstances, enter their homes or even their overnight encampments from the west, lest they bring themselves and everyone else in the vicinity bad luck!”

Scene 12

“But of course—the priest now returns to his story—”there eventually turned out to be more to all this than just east and west.

“For as I continued my observations, I soon noticed a few stars—way off to my left—that never left the sky at all, but just remained in the same general area, barely above the northern horizon, all year!

“And turning toward the most stable of these, or the ‘North Star’, as apparently the only fixed point in the entire sky—why of course, I found the east at my right hand, and the west at my left.

“And so people should always eat, do all their work, carry their weapons, welcome strangers, make their marks and so forth with their right hand, but wash away their grime, wipe their bottoms, carry out the waste, bury their dead and so forth with their left.

“And in fact, they should make their marks right to left, seat honored guests at the right, claim that they have the ‘right’ to do this and that, and refer to the established order as lying at the right of the political spectrum, while decrying any radical movement therefrom as leftward in spirit.

“Granted that there are still a few habitual left-handers around,” the priest sighs with obvious frustration, “who for the life of them can’t seem to get the hang of it!”

Scene 13

“And then, as to why there were so many stars up there,” the priest continues after a moment, “—by my own careful count over the course of the year, some six thousand—why, it’s just that the Divine One needs an awful lot of helpers: an important post to which her more faithful devotees may well aspire at death, since she’s always in need of more.

“Hardly to mention that a few of her helpers look a lot like stars,” he continues, “except that they never twinkle; rather, they shine steadily and are forever hurrying about the southern sky in every which direction, busily tending to who knows what!”

And distinguishing these as planets—from an old root meaning ‘wanderer’—he notes with some awe that the most prominent one, often misidentified as the morning and evening ‘star’, is actually the brightest light up there after only the sun and moon.

* * *

And finally, he points to a circle of several stars neatly crowning his new statue and explains that they represent the Divine One’s cyclical aspect.

“Although, since they’re supposed to be perceived as continually revolving around our ordinary world,” he adds, “I’ve come to think of them as a wheel,”—and here he demonstrates what he means by personally circumambulating his statue: east, north, west, south, and back to east again.

“High above the long-understood disc of this ordinary world,” he claims breathlessly in conclusion, “—precisely where the Mountaintop touches the North Star—there’s this Great Wheel that goes around and around, a virtual ‘Wheel of Fortune’ that ultimately brings to pass all that happens down here!”


If nineteen of the fifty or so deities listed below are identified with the Pleiades, it’s only because throughout the northern hemisphere, that constellation is generally found to be the oldest, most widespread, and often the most important of all; since for northern people it marked, and in many places still marks the beginning of spring, the planting season, and—at least in terms of agriculture—the arrival of the new year.

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  • Abhijit: Hindu astral deity associated with good fortune
  • Al Shua: Hindu deity of the Big Dipper
  • Ame-No-Taiabata-Hime-No-Mikoto: Shinto Japanese astral deity
  • Anuradha: Hindu astral deity associated with good fortune
  • Ardra: Hindu astral deity associated with misfortune
  • Arundhati: Hindu morning star deity
  • Aslea: Hindu astral deity associated with misfortune
  • Aûsrinē: Lithuanian morning star deity
1. Aûsrinē
  • Belit Ilani: Babylonian evening star deity; associated with onset of sexual desire
  • Cat ahăḍ: Tuareg deities of the Pleiades; name means ‘daughters of the night’
  • Ceiuci: Brazilian astral deity said to have created all creatures
  • Chulavete: Mexican morning star deity
  • Citlalincue: Aztec deity of the Milky Way
  • Citlaxonecuill: Aztec Big Dipper deity
  • Cmaamc: Seris name for the Pleiades, literally ‘women’
  • Dao Luk Kai: Thai name for the Pleiades, imagined to be a mother hen with six chicks
  • Dou Mou: Chinese deity of the North Star
2. Dou Mou
  • Fiastyúk: early Hungarian name for the Pleiades, conceptualized as a hen with chicks
  • Gendenwitha: Iroquois morning star
  • Houushin-O-Kami: Shinto Japanese deity of the Little Dipper
  • Hoy Kong: Chinese deity of the Little Dipper
  • Hulluk Miyumko: Miwok name for the Pleiades
  • Kefa: ancient Egyptian deity of the Big Dipper
  • Krittika: Indian deity of the Pleiades
  • Maia: ancient Greek head of the Pleiades
3. Maia
  • Morongo: Zambia/Zimbabwe evening star deity; said to have given birth to all the animals and then gone on to create people
  • PaiowaYana: Paiute evening star deity
  • Safekh-Aubi: ancient Egyptian deity of a star that was said to measure time
  • Serqet: ancient Egyptian morning star deity
  • Seven Hens: Norse name for Pleiades
  • Seven Maids: name for Pleiades in Ukraine
  • Seven Princesses: name for the Pleiades in Java
  • Seven Sisters: ancient Guatamalan name for the Pleiades
  • Seven Sisters: ancient Greek name for the Pleiades
4: Seven Sisters
  • Seven Sisters: aboriginal Australian name for the Pleiades
  • Seven Sisters-in-law: name for the Pleiades in western Nepal and northern India
  • Seven Star Girls: Kiowa name for the Pleiades
  • Shashaya: Tanzanian morning star deity
  • Six Sisters: Nez Perce name for the Pleiades (seventh star not visible with naked eye)
  • Six Wives: Tamil name for the Pleiades
  • Solbon: Slavic morning/evening star deity
  • Sothis: ancient Egyptian deity of Sirius
5. Sothis
  • Tala: Tagalog deity of morning and evening star
  • Tara: Hindu deity of morning and evening star
  • Topogh: Kenyan evening star deity
  • Ungamilia: aboriginal Australian evening star deity
  • Vakarinė: Lithuanian evening star deity
  • Zoryas: Slavic deities of the morning and evening stars
  • Zulu Dennitsa: Slavic morning star deity

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Photo Credits

1: Journeying to the Goddess https://journeyingtothegoddess.wordpress.com/tag/ausrine/

2: Esoteric Jenavi https://esotericjenavi.wordpress.com/2016/11/10/the-goddess-doumu/

3: Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/pin/323696291942724009/?nic_v1=1buaec%2FMLnpzimNSEVSIAZAK04hdx4jj4uBzjMEMSsNp7XbOeE5x5ZC37bOlJyvJzj

4: Wikipedia https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleiades_(Greek_mythology)

5: Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/rick7572/egyptian-sopdet-sothis/