‘Mum…. Where do we come from?’ is a question I have been asking since first quizzing my mother at the age of four. With neither of my parents coming from a religious background, I was raised without the dogma of religion, so never held any beliefs of our origins. Never believing the Darwin Theory, I embarked on a journey over 30 years ago, to learn the truth of our origins.....
In the eastern sky on a clear night, a small but conspicuous cluster of stars are seen. This group of stars are called the Pleiades.
They are not a constellation by themselves, but are part of the constellation, Taurus the Bull with Sirius and Orion following not far behind. The Pleiades are what astronomers call an open cluster or a galactic cluster, in which stars are grouped randomly but decreasing number outwards from the cluster center. In the case of the Pleiades the outline of the brightest stars is that of a tiny dipper or cup. Classically the Pleiades are said to consist of seven stars, however there are about 200 stars in the core of this cluster.
Drawings and stories of the Pleiades mythology ranges from prehistory times. The star lore has been known since antiquity to cultures from all over the planet commonly associated with festivities, ceremonies, and rights. Many ancient cultures have handed down oral stories, others painted in caves, some carved in stone, even religious texts make reference to what we know of, as ‘The Seven Sisters’ . (also known as Krittika, Kimah, Matariki, Virgins of Spring, Hens and Flock of Doves to name a few).
The widespread similarities in beliefs concerning the Pleiades, both across Australia and among Aboriginal and European cultures, has led to an abundance of popular literature concerning the Seven Sisters … The Pleiades were known as Seven Sisters/brothers by the indigenous people in North America, Siberia and Australia. This common heritage shows they were described more than 40,000 years ago.
Among the large variety of myths concerning the Pleiades are several mechanisms for their ascension into the Skyworld.
Ancient Star Lore of the Indigenous
Australia - It is unsurprising that across Australia the Pleiades – and their heavenly companions of Orion’s Belt, are very much alive as actors in Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories, culture, seasonal ceremonies and calendars that provide evidence of the relationship between the here-and-now and the journeys and adventures of the heroic ancestors.
Approximately Fifty different versions of Pleiades Mythology have been surveyed across Australia. The element most versions share is that a group of young women/girls are fleeing from either a single man or a group of men. In parts of the Kimberley Aboriginal people consider that an “old man,” the planet Venus, chases the youngest of the Pleiades sisters across the night sky.
In the Aboriginal Dreamtime there are several different stories regarding the Pleiades. “Where the Frost comes From” (Lambert & Parker 1993: Wise Women of the Dreamtime (1) we are given the story of the Meamei, or Pleiades, the seven beautiful sisters with long hair and resplendent bodies, sparkling with many icicles adorning them.
A family of young men, the BeraiBerai used to follow the Meamei everywhere, always leaving special gifts of honey, they were skillful in finding beehives. The Meamei were happy to accept the honey but resisted their ongoing advances.
One day the old Ancestor of fire Wurrunnah stole two of the girls. He tried to heat their icicles, however in the process, he extinguished his own fire. After sometime in captivity, the two were taken to the sky. There, they were reunited with their 5 stationed sisters, who also have become stars in the meantime.
The brothers were extremely upset that the sisters had left, they pined away to an early death, they also became stars in the sky (Orions sword and belt), but for the Daens(Aboriginals) it actually is the Berai-Berai brothers.
The Ngatadjara tribe of the Warburton ranges of Western Australia, tell of a dreamtime story about a group of women the ‘Kunkarunkara’ whom were protected from the unwelcomed attentions of the moonman named ‘Kula’… Another version indicates, they were constantly being pursued, and sometimes raped, by ‘Jula’ whom was from constellation of Orion before finally escaping into the sky and becoming the Pleiades.
A legend told by the Wurundjeri people of south-eastern Australia, the Pleiades were represented by the seven Karatgurk sisters. These women were the first to possess the secret of fire and each one carried live coals on the end of her digging stick. Although they refused to share these coals with anybody, they were ultimately tricked into giving up their secret by Crow, who subsequently brought fire to mankind. After this, the Karatgurk sisters were swept into the night sky. Their glowing fire sticks became the bright stars of the Pleiades cluster.
An aboriginal elder whom I met recently ‘Aunty Lilah’ tells me that the Milky Way is where creation began. She describes a ball (planet) exploding and the seven sisters of the Pleiades coming to the Seven corners of the Earth to teach mankind love and peace.
The Aboriginal Elders claim that many ceremonial rites were originally taught to them by ‘blueberry-skinned sky gods’ who were referred to as ‘The Ancient Ones’ (2)