The Seven Sisters of the Pleiades: Stories from Around the World

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What do Halloween, Atlantis, Subaru, the American Presidential elections, the Petticoat Lane markets in London, the ship Titanic and atlases all have in common? Each can be traced to the legends of the Seven Sisters of the Pleiades. Poets, priests, prophets, shamans, storytellers, artists, singers and historians throughout time have all gazed into the night skies and come under their spell.

Inspiring and captivating diverse civilisations, this star cluster has left an indelible mark on the human psyche. Munya Andrews, a Bardi woman from the Kimberley region of Western Australia, examines the myths and legends of the Pleiades from Indigenous and ancient cultures around the world. Designated at M45 on astronomy charts and maps, the nine visible stars are named after the Seven Sisters from Ancient Greek mythology, and their parents, Atlas and Pleione.

Around the world, people looked to the skies to tell them when to sow and harvest their crops, and when the rains would come. The ‘sailing stars’ have guided explorers and endless migrations of people. In Old Europe, among the Ainu of Japan and in Indigenous Australia the Pleiades were associated with water and birds. They become Oceanids, Ice Maidens, Water Girls and the Subaru. The Parthenon in Athens, the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt and the Mayan Temple of the Sun in Cuzco, are all said to be aligned with the Pleiades. The Seven Sisters of the Pleiades will amaze and awe you, and above all will remind you that all of humanity shares the night skies.

Reviews

The Seven Sisters of the Pleiades [is] a veritable treasure trove of stories and information about the Pleiades star cluster, which not only inhabits the night sky, but is found in mythologies around the world, from antiquity to the present.

–Rachael KohnThe Spirit of Things

With rare good humour and aplomb, she leads her reader through a maze of sources from a dazzling range of disciplines.

–Denise O’DeaJAS Review of Books

... I really appreciated the scope of the scholarship put into this book... Some of the information on sacred landforms, spiritual practices, and the connections between “myths” and astronomical reality [sic] were truly fascinating, as were the inklings of the writer’s own cultural experiences with the Pleiades as a sacred constellation.

writereaderly

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