Good Fortune. To attract abundance, display flowering plants such as orchids, tiger lilies. Put some Quartz Crystals near the plants. True Dynamo these stones are. Dried flowers give off excessive yin energy. Use live plants as much as possible because they enhance chi movement and, like crystals and hollow bamboo stems, they seem to have the capacity to filter negative sha into positive chi. To circulate and spread Good Fortune, use live plants and quartz crystals to help chi flow throughout your house and workplace. To improve the core essence of your daily existence, make your environment attractive and comfortable.
It is much preferable to work in a space filled with natural lighting surrounded by fresh plants with your back away from the entrance door. Bright colors, paintings and mirrors on the wall of a clutter-free office do help too. Red Tiger Lotus or Lilies. Also, acquire 6 quartz crystals, one for each corner of your house or apartment, put the fifth quartz crystal next to your computer and the 6th crystal next to your phone base.
By sharing and spreading True selfless and unconditional Compassionate Loving Kindness. By being kinder to your Self and more patient with your Self, by loving your body you amplify Joy and expand the Love you want to share with others. By forgiving your Self for your non-successes of the past. In other words, by saying YES to Life. By trusting that Life will be kind to you in direct proportion to the kindness you have for your Self and for others. That way you inner-grow and increase your chances to meet each new challenge as it arises and live a much happier Life. Your Cosmic potential is limitless.
However, that type of Cosmic Assignment is easier said than done. Indeed, it takes a lot of understanding of how Life works and lots of patience and persistence, but sooner than later Life will support your endeavors, your projects and will expand them. What are you waiting for? Simply, allow the good to come into your Life. IMAGINE building of a social network of contacts and friends, and making committed connections with interesting, sentimental, romantic, passionate, and sensual people.
IMAGINE matching-up with a mate who has a solid background, who is autonomous, secure in his or her own successful career, work professional Life, and financially stable. Dream or reality? Entirely up to you to take advantage of current astrological facilitators. Your move. Louis, ST. MARC chooses to be exceptional by helping others in a personalized way. MARC gives some free advice to help us along the way.
I've tried the suggestions and they really work. What a great bunch of people. Outstanding insight every day for every day help. It IS good for me alright, but also for people who appreciate artful astrology and its interpretation. Great research but light and funny. When you get to the end of the page, you want to read the whole thing over again. It's just plain fascinating. PS: No personal cheque please.
Too many bank returned NSF cheques. Blvd S Birmigham. We put you in charge of your publishing path, helping you every step of the way. Flat-Rate Shipping. Most of the shops are bookshops, some specialising in occult materials, others simply stocking a good range of esoterica. Recycle Bookstore is a general used bookstore with titles in almost every subject area. Seuss to Dr. Drew Sinton's iconic Haunted Bookshop is Australia's leading occult bookshop with the country's largest range of occult and supernatural titles instore plus tarot decks, Gothic literature, Gothic jewellery and cult horror DVDs for the dark and brooding or morbidly inclined.
There are several shops up and down the street, including Mimosa Bookstore, which is just off State, near the Civic Center. We're open 7 days a week and deliver for a flat rate, Australia-wide. Catland is Brooklyn's premier metaphysical boutique and event space. Yeats and particularly his philosophical reading and explorations of older systems of thought, where philosophy, mysticism, and the supernatural blend.
A few months ago, we asked readers to submit names of books for the Occult Bookstore, figuring we'd get a few hundred. It's no wonder that more and more people are engaging in healing activities such as yoga, meditation, and massage. We also sell Gift Certificates for John king Books online, in the store, and over the phone. An independent bookstore in Baltimore, MD focusing on indie comics and small press. The first one I found, The Magickal Library , also sells new items, herbs, and occult artifacts.
We've been expanding steadily since our beginnings over a decade ago, and now we're in a brand new location, with more books, herbs, incenses and magickal items than ever before. The sorcerer's apprentice sells exclusive occult books with free advice on spell casting and Ceremonial Magic. Pick up your copy of The Kingdom of the Occult in our Bookstore or a bookstore near you.
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You can make candles yourself using paraffin and dye, obtainable at arts and crafts stores. Have books to sell? Email for details. Low flat shipping rates and a day money back satisfaction guarantee. Distance miles Search. Charles Elder was the dean of Nashville booksellers until his retirement at the age of All My Relations is a 12, sq. The occult is on the rise; many young people are seeking their spiritual identity through Satanism. Mystic Journey Bookstore is the largest Metaphysical Hub in Los Angeles for sacred, magical and supernatural necessities for meditation, yoga, and decorating your home sanctuary.
A metaphysical shop for all your ritual supplies. The premiere esoteric book store in New York City. Argosy Book Store is now in its third generation of family ownership. Mystic Publishers Inc. He maintained the shop for many years until his work with Led Zeppelin kept him too busy. Many people would be surprised to find how commonly the occult is practiced in our society, and they may find it is closer to home than they realize.
I recently discovered the Daniel Faust series by Craig Schaefer, fantastic books about magic and the occult set in Las Vegas which I highly recommend. Article and photograph by Enquirer reporter, Cara Owsley.
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This world. Created by Dr. Inside its doors is a galaxy of specialty books and tools to guide spiritual travelers along their journey. It's not an exaggeration to say that rebellion is more than just an occasional theme. For more than 30 years, we have been dedicated to helping our customers find the books they have been looking for.
Boffins has been in business since In this groundbreaking book, acclaimed film music author Kevin Donnelly offers the first sustained theorization of synchronization in sound film.
Growing up in the s, Bebergal bore witness to a blossoming of rock music that brought with it a peripheral-yet-unshakeable association with the occult, which dovetailed with his interest in the eerier fringes of pop culture. An occult bookstore describes themselves as " Skilled and experienced pan-traditional team focused on preserving the wisdom of the masters and keeping the knowledge of spiritual ancient mysteries intact. Click here. Occult booksellers and publishers Whilst we try to keep this list up-to-date, these websites may become unavailable at any time.
Central Park Kiosk. Products and services to inspire the mind and delight the spirit. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. You could find massive libraries of doctines online, in fact; a BBS could be set up.
Merry meet and welcome to Mystic Spirit Metaphysical Shoppe! To Dion Fortune, occultism is a sacred science practiced by initiates people who have been inducted into the mysteries of the cosmos. An old-fashioned bookstore celebrating 30 years. Wings Bookstore Hours: Monday - Thurs.
Right next to it, you will find Book of Dzyan that increases Occult. We offer the largest selection of books and tarot decks in the region, as well as CDs, sacred, magickal, and ritual objects, plus all the tools of the intuitive arts and sciences. Praise: "This sharply written narrative illuminates the centrality of the occult imagination at the heart of rock and roll. Due to our huge volume, not all titles can be listed. A Mystery, Crime, and Espionage bookstore specializing in signed first editions, limited editions, and rare crime novels in New York City While my Ebay store is a business, it is also a labor of love.
Whether you are drawn to the angelic realms or the elementals, we have something to please! There are several factors that make the occult fascinating to everyone, even in our age of technological and scientific advances. Perhaps the most influential was Dane Rudhyar, one of the most respected American astrologers of the 20th century. He wrote that Astrology of itself has no more meaning than algebra. It measures relationships between symbols whose concreteness is entirely a matter of convention, and does not really enter into the problems involved—just as the symbols of algebra, x, y, n, are mere conventions.
In other words, the astrological realm of moving celestial bodies is like the realm of logical propositions. Neither one nor the other has any real content. Both are purely formal, symbolical, and conventional. Rudhyar was no cultural relativist, though, and he believed that, while the rules of astrological interpretation are cultural conveniences, the spiritual truths they reveal are absolutes. The psychologist C.
The Persian Zoroastrians actually imagined time as the lionheaded deity Zurvan. Most cultures have not gone this far, but, implicitly, time is often regarded as having agency, as being an active participant in the cosmos. One obvious answer is that societies with complex socioeconomic and political systems develop tech What all three cultures shared was a sense of precision, that the merest details of life could be timed to correspond exactly to the flow of celestial time.
One persistent argument holds that the appeal of astrology, like that of religion, rests in its ability to provide security for insecure people. However, the argument has been challenged on the grounds that it is an anachronistic projection into the past of modern skeptical critiques of astrology. Do they encode information about the world? One role was economic: the need to establish predictive correlations between the position of the constellations and other natural events important to the survival of the community such as the availability of particular foods or the onset of particular weather conditions.
Thirdly, the Aborigines regarded the stars as an integral part of both the physical landscape and a philosophic system, each element of which helped to explain, reinforce and legitimate the others and guarantee their continuity. Such a description may be equally applied to Chinese, Indian, Mesoamerican, and Western astrology. Keith Thomas considered whether Western astrology had a function in the development of historical thought. He concluded that it did, adding that the sociological worldview has at least partial roots in the astrological.
In his words, Astrology. Perhaps ancient star myths and modern astrology are also both means of transmitting culture. And with due respect to those readers who may be members of the clergy or of psychiatry, [the] client with psychological problems may often fail to find the tolerance or depth of understanding that the clergy might justifiably be expected to provide, receiving meaningless aphorisms instead; or may fail to obtain the insight into symptoms and the openness to discuss them without clinical labeling which the orthodox medical establishment sometimes finds rather difficult to offer.
Does this mean that astrology itself is a religion? Here again, the answers are mixed. The question can become meaningless in those cultures that make no distinction between religion and any other aspect of life: There is no point in asking whether astrology is a religion in India, or among Australian Aborigines, or indigenous Polynesians. Some historians assume that astrology was a religion once, when it was an accessory to the worship of celestial deities, but may not be now. The historian of science Bartel van der Waerden The guiding concept of astrology, that the gods of the sky rule our lives, was a religious concept.
Very right were the Fathers of the Church to condemn astrology! Pam Crane, a well-known British astrologer and minister in the theosophically inclined Liberal Catholic church, concludes: With the discovery of the Outer Planets, we men and women have taken a lot of spiritual power for ourselves. Nowadays it is unfashionable—even in some quarters unacceptable—to conceive of ourselves as truly children of an almighty being we call God, that this being is a person, and that He sent his Son into incarnation to teach us how to love, and to die for love of us.
At this time in our history when hubris has rendered us desperately vulnerable to self-created disaster, is it not time we reconsidered? Look at all I have shown you here. Is not Christ coming to us over and over again, in every conceivable way, as he always promised? Is Crane putting God at the center of the cosmos, or is she placing humanity there?
This is the question asked by Stephen Kemper in his study of Sinhalese astrology. In this sense, if the complex interpretative astrologies of Babylon, India, China, the Islamic world, Europe, and Mesoamerica have anything in common, it is that the focus of all creation, the sum total of space and time, is placed on the individual as the act of astrological interpretation proceeds. The center is not where God is, or the Goddess, or the gods: If astrology has a religion, perhaps it is humanism. An entirely separate question is whether astrology has religious uses. The answer to this, obviously, is yes, for there is no area of human activity to which it cannot be applied.
To return to the question, then: Is astrology a religion? Not if we require a narrow definition of religion as requiring the worship of a supreme being and a set of dogma located in a sacred text. In part the answer depends on how broad or narrow is our definition of religion. I have also emphasized those applications of astrology that may be religious in a broad sense so This does not, it must be stressed, mean that all astrology is a religion. The use of astrology by modern business analysts or psychologists, working in a secular context, is clearly not religious.
In particular instances, though, it may have religious qualities and functions, and it is these with which we are concerned in this book. Astrology may treat the stars as signs, causes, or influences, while the stars may act on terrestrial affairs, correlate with them, or simply indicate them. And, even when they are causes or influences, they may not have any power in themselves but be acting on behalf of some superior force, creator, or god. In this chapter I have suggested some useful distinctions between different kinds of astrology: Chaotic astrology is flexible, spontaneous, and pragmatic; cosmic astrology is codified, highly structured and complex; natural astrology deals with general influences or patterns, while judicial astrology requires the presence of an astrologer to make a judgment.
In this book we take a broad and eclectic view of astrology, encompassing as wide a range as possible of applications of the stars for religious purposes or to provide meaning. In the following chapters, for the first time, we examine a range of practices and beliefs from around the world, some that have been challenged by forces such as colonialism, while others are living traditions.
There will inevitably be many points of comparison and evidence of differences as well as similarities, both of which will help us answer questions about how human beings use the sky as a theatrical backdrop for their myths, rituals, religions, and personal engagement with the cosmos. The ancient culture of Australia presents us with a living picture of a religious cosmology that may date back tens of thousands of years in a continuous tradition.
That said, the Aborigines certainly have a sky-based culture of considerable antiquity. There is some datable, material evidence for this claim in the form of artifacts such as a diprotodon giant wombat tooth dated to around 18, b c e that is carved with twenty-eight notches, perhaps representing the days of the lunar month.
What we see now, we suspect, we might have seen 40, years ago. At least, that is our working assumption. On the other hand, just as there are local variations in aboriginal cosmology, so we should be alive to the possibility of evolution and adaptation through time. Its overwhelming characteristic is relational: People are related to stars, stars Two distinctive qualities of the aboriginal view of the cosmos require attention.
This is an eternal dimension that finds parallels in other cultures. The other, which is perhaps unique to Australia, is the concept of Songlines, traces left in the landscape by the creatures that sang the world into existence. This concept is the cue for a form of solitary pilgrimage that becomes a means for contacting the Dreaming. All these notions, though, are contested, and subject to competing interpretations by those few Western scholars who have investigated them.
We face significant problems in our attempt to understand traditional Australian cosmology. The collapse of aboriginal culture exemplified in the shrinking of social and language groups from between and in to fewer than in is the most obvious. In addition, until recently the convention among most educated white Australians was to hold that the Aborigines either had no astronomy or were simply not interested in the sky.
The situation has been partially rectified as a result of the efforts of some scholars, but there is still immense scope for scholarly work, especially for ethnographic accounts of the use and meaning of astronomical information. There are now a number of sound accounts of aboriginal cosmology. As aboriginal culture has suddenly become fashionable among sections of the white population, a tendency has emerged to reconstruct aboriginal astronomy.
There have always been feedback loops, a familiar problem in anthropology, in which people provide researchers with material adopted from either them or previous visitors. This is a problem if we are interested in authenticity, in genuinely recovering aboriginal worldviews. On the other hand, the adaptation of indigenous astronomies from around the world under the impact of the globalizing tendencies of New Age culture is a legitimate topic of religious study. The sources for aboriginal cosmology are as limited as they are in any other oral culture, a problem that is compounded by the initiatory nature of much traditional knowledge and a consequent reluctance to disclose it to outsiders; disclosure would, of course, destroy its value.
Isobel White has pointed out that, in an initiatory context, it may not be the actual knowledge that matters, but what one is permitted to know. It will, in effect, cease to be knowledge. At this point in the conversation, the curator clearly became worried. And she seemed to retreat from her previous statements, saying outright that her paintings did not come from dreams. Our available texts therefore consist of ethnographic reports by anthropologists who, inevitably, have their own agendas and interpretations and may be talking to Aborigines whose ideas may, in turn, have been influenced by contact with other Westerners, especially missionaries and, sometimes, other anthropologists.
On the other hand, some evidence emerging from anthropologists in recent years suggests that some aboriginal elders would rather trust academics with their knowledge than their own youngsters, on the grounds that the former are sometimes now more respectful than the latter. At the creation of the physical world, some of these souls became stones, others plants and animals and the rest human. The Dreaming then establishes order for In the creation, the ancestors, however they are conceived—whether as human, or animal, or fantastic—moved across a formless land creating the hills, valleys, plains, and forests that are, in different ways, sacred or significant.
As they moved they created the Songlines, paths in the sky and land. If walked, the Songlines will connect the traveler with the Dreaming, with the underlying creative, living power. They have been told, acted, sung, painted, walked, and chanted for tens of thousands of years, and they have been overlaid on other stories, creating a rich and deep tapestry of thoughts, images, and impressions.
Popular Songline creators that feature in these stories include snakes, whose movement is echoed in the serpentine form of valleys, caverns, and weathered rock faces; and birds, whose flight paths become Songlines in the air. Does Dreaming, anthropologists ask, relate to a time in the past or is it ever-present—and, if the latter, does it reveal itself in ordinary dreams? Then there is the claim by radical academics that Dreaming is nothing more than an anthropological construct, a Western ideology that Aborigines accept because they are unaware that they are being subjected to a form of philosophical neocolonialism.
The earliest substantial accounts of aboriginal astronomy were published in the late 19th century but were largely restricted to terminology. MacPherson also summarized the information provided by W. Stanbridge in The red star Aldebaran, Gellarlec, or rosecrested Cockatoo, is an old man keeping time to the dancers. This as a summer group corresponds well with the beautiful moonlight nights of November and December, when the air is balmy, and the signs in the heavens are the resplendent groups of Orion and the Pleiades, with such individual bright stars as Sirius and Aldebaran.
This is a rather fine description and brings alive the notion of the sky as theater—a dramatic setting for the living spirits of the Dreaming. As seasonal markers, stars enabled the Aborigines to navigate their life-world. We should not imagine, though, that a seasonal marker merely marks the passage of the seasons for functional reasons. True, when Arcturus appears in the eastern sky at sunrise, the Aborigines of Arnhem Land harvest the rakia, a spike rush valuable for making baskets and fish traps, while, in Victoria, when the star was in the north in the evening, it indicated that it was time to find and eat bittur, the pupa of the wood ant and an excellent source of protein.
Seasonal rituals might be determined by the seasons of the sun, the monthly patterns of the moon, or the regular appearance and disappearance of Venus. During the ritual, Venus, Barrumbir, is represented by a cluster of white feathers or down, and long strings with other feathers attached at the ends represent, it is said, rays, on top of a totem stick. In the Northern Territory, Yolngu cosmogony has a celestial element. In Western Australia, the Boorong people believed that the sun, Gnowee, was made by Pupperimbul, one of the old spirits that were removed to the sky before ordinary humans populated the earth.
According to this belief, the sun was actually created when Pupperimbul threw an emu egg into the sky, the egg burst, the sky was flooded with light, and the sun was born. As the celestial bodies were created, so they formed genealogical relationships, constituting a heavenly clan to watch over earthly families.
Socially, it has been interpreted as a motif of pursuit, rape, and sexual fear or fantasy. Yet, if astronomically Orion can never catch the Pleiades, does this provide reassurance that he will never reach the end of his chase? In some versions of the story one of the Pleiades is caught and raped while on earth, but in the sky the pursuit is perpetual, its quarry never caught: The starry realm offers safety in its regularity and order.
Another point we should draw attention to is the fluidity of astronomical relationships in societies that have not developed a highly codified astrology. Although we find as many regional differences in the physical structure of the cosmos as we do in the nature of the Dreaming, the model developed by the Tiwi people, who occupy the Bathurst and Melville islands, some 50 to 60 kilometers north of Arnhem Land, itself the far north coast, is typical.
So prevalent is this scheme, prior to the development in the first millennium b ce of classical notions of a spherical earth suspended Australia.
There was also a world beyond the juwuku. Some imagined it as a place where the dead lived on, appearing as stars as they shone through holes in the dome, and surrounded by flowers that were always in bloom and never wilted. Communication between the juwuku and earth could be two-way and take place via a rope, spear, tree, or rainbow, and a person who reached the sky might become a star or constellation.
The dome itself is supported by wooden posts in some versions, or by a tree in others, or by star people or, in one constellation version, by two guardians of the circumcision ceremony who live in the equivalent of the Greek stars of Scorpius, and are responsible for moving the sky. Below the earth, meanwhile, was an underworld—Yilaru to the Tiwi—through which the sun traveled at night and that, for some people in the south, was home to the spirits of unborn children. Some star myths preserve the memory of possible celestial cataclysms, again a genre of myth that is shared with most cultures and is usually read as representing a distant memory of ancient meteor collisions.
The story tells that the ancestral woman put her baby down while she danced in the Milky Way, so it contains a clear double meaning. On the one hand it explains an astronomical event of great magnitude and, on the other, it warns new mothers to take care where they put their children. The explanation is at once scientific and social. We have evidence of the use of a general astrology by the Aborigines, in their devotion to the ritual harmonization of their lives with the stars, but we have only the slightest glimpse in the surviving evidence of an astrology in the sense of the interpretation of the meaning of celestial signs, and consequent action.
The moon, we understand, is more mysterious than the sun, and hence more dangerous, and it serves as a warning against immoral action. The obvious association between the lunar and menstrual cycles resulted in a link between the moon and fertility and a warning to young girls not to look at the moon unless they wished to become pregnant. If one falls pregnant, though, the moon will provide a celestial timekeeper.
Certain carvings north of Sydney are dated to between 4, and 6, years old and are said to represent a series of prominent star groups equivalent to the Pleiades, the classical constellations Scorpius and Orion, and the modern constellation the Southern Cross. The problem with rock art, though, is the extensive and often speculative interpretation it requires; and the claims made about it are often unverifiable. We are left with the general proposition that aboriginal rock art is ceremonial, ritual, and cosmological and likely to contain astronomical referents, but, of the details there is little we can say with any degree of certainty.
The evidence we have now gathered suggests that the Aborigines made no more distinction between land and sky than did any other pre-modern people, and that the sky and the land constituted a stage set within which, and against the background of which, they lived. Aboriginal cosmology was rich, complex, and an integral part of the life-world, an aid to survival, and expressed through every facet of daily and ritual life. Australian aboriginal cosmology was chaotic, based on an emanation of the world from an original formless state.
The concept of the Dreaming, by which the creative powers that formed the world may be contacted, is egalitarian. In other words, although there might be complex kinship relationships and taboos concerning the knowledge that different people might hold, there was no inherent distinction between different parts of the world in terms of their innate power.
A piece of rock, or rock art, for example, might acquire power through its role in the Dreaming or by virtue of being decorated. We may never recover the full details of the diverse range of traditional Australian constellations, although we do know that they were radically different from those in other systems.
Astrology was important as a means of providing information on appropriate times for different actions, but our knowledge of it is fragmentary. We have no evidence of complex, codified systems, so we assume that Australian aboriginal cosmology was pragmatic, flexible, and designed to serve human needs rather than to subject individuals to a greater cosmic scheme.
Above all, it was concerned with the stars, Australia. Finally, Australian religion was concerned with the propitiation of higher powers, but it also accorded an important role to human beings. Walking the Songlines, for example, helped maintain the health of the cosmic ecosystem. In this sense we can describe Australian cosmic religion as co-creative. People did not bring the world into existence but, once it existed, their task was to maintain it.
Here am I on the peak of day, on the peak of night. The spaces of air, The blue sky I will make, a heaven. Oceania is a vast geographical region consisting primarily of ocean populated by mainly very small islands that extends over the Pacific in a vast triangle from Hawaii at the apex to New Zealand and Easter Island at the southwestern—southeastern extremes respectively, an area of around 25 million square kilometers. Within this area are identified the three zones of Polynesia; the majority of the region, Micronesia, to the west; and Melanesia, the smallest in terms of overall area, reaching from New Guinea in the west to Fiji in the east.
The entire region was settled by migrants from Asia, with two main periods of expansion across the Pacific. The first wave of migrants set out from New Guinea around b ce, reached Tonga and Samoa in the west a thousand years later, and spread over the whole Pacific island region by — c e ; New Zealand, the final destination, was settled between around and ce. Although the Polynesians speak around thirty-six languages, Oceania is a single cultural zone, with a shared cosmology.
As applied to the stars, most scholars are in agreement on this matter. The inhabitants of the region paid as much attention to the sky as we would expect of any people who not only lived under the stars but made astonishing ocean voyages guided by them. Yet it was the environment as a whole that was alive, so the stars were just a part of a living cosmos that also included the wind, the forests, birds, and beaches—everything that could be seen, touched, or experienced.
The texts with which the 21st-century scholar has to work therefore consist of information that can be extracted from colonial-era records going back through the 19th century, together with recent archeoastronomical investigations of shrines and stone monuments. The interpretation of folklore presents us with various problems. A further alternative, recently suggested from the natural sciences, is that many widespread myths, including those with Christian themes, are derived from the common observation of natural phenomena and events.
The latter is unlikely. We do have fairly good accounts of Polynesian cosmogony, though. In the central Carolines the creator was a goddess, Lukelong, and in the Gilbert Islands, now part of the republic of Kiribati, the male creator, Naruau, or Na Reau, collaborated with his daughter, Kobine. Generally, all creation originates in po, the dark, preexistent cause, eternity, the beginning of all things. Po had a counterpart, ao, or aiu, that was light, brilliant, and virtuous. From po and ao emerges the divine trinity of Kane who was associated with the sun and sky , Ku the god of war , and Lono representing fertility, agriculture, rainfall, and music.
The three may be regarded as either separate entities or different aspects of a single being. The first people were made out of mud taken from the four quarters and so themselves incorporated the structure of the cosmos in their being. In the version compiled by the Christian convert Kepelino, rather than three creator gods, Kane exists as a triad—Kane, Ku, and Lono—and exists alone in the dark night. As creation begins, he brings into existence, in a sequence, first light, then the heavens, followed by the earth, ocean, and then the sun, moon, and stars.
As Kane creates, he chants the following words: Here am I on the peak of day, on the peak of night. The spaces of air, The blue sky I will make, a heaven, Oceania. Behold the heavens! There is the heaven, The great heaven, Here am I in heaven, the heaven is mine. A standard interpretation of the Polynesian creation has Kane accompanying himself with a chant while he creates. Physically, the Hawaiian cosmos was a dome, or bowl, a model familiar from many cultures that could be compared to a calabash, or gourd, with the astronomical reference points inscribed on it.
Aiu, Light and Sky, exists above the Kaingu land, the surface of the earth and Po, darkness, exists below it. Kaingu, also perceived as the Womb of the Earth, therefore becomes the means for communication between Aiu, the world in which humanity exists, and Po, the source of creation. Sacred places are therefore liminal zones that facilitate communication between creator and creation. The chief celestial bodies, as elsewhere, were the sun and the moon, the latter the basis of a lunar calendar.
In the Gilbert Islands the sun and the moon were the children of the first man and the first woman, an unusual inversion of the normal sequence of creation, in which the sun and the moon precede humanity. In a tale that carries clear warnings against disobedience yet suggests that punishment can be avoided if there is a sufficiently persuasive explanation, Na Reau, the male creator, threatened to beat his human children to death for defying his order that they have no children of their own.
In terms of cosmic politics this piece of astronomical myth also provides a model for good governance: Even when people break the law they may be able to give a reasonable account of their behavior, to which the wise ruler will pay attention. Invariably the universe was described as alive and dramatic. Sometimes In the Celebes, the sun, moon, and stars were the body of a girl who was thrown into the sky. Some stories explain the origin of day, others the origin of night.
In the Banks Islands, in northern Vanuatu, the story is told that, in the distant past, the day was endless. The creator, Qat, received complaints about this monotonous, endless day from his brothers and so, taking a pig as barter, set off to find Night, and buy nighttime. When he returned home, nighttime slipped into the sky and the sun slid down over the horizon, inaugurating the first night; Qat even taught his brothers how to sleep, thoughtfully providing roosters to wake them at dawn.
In all societies astronomy serves a navigational purpose, but for the island dwellers of Oceania, its application by travelers was of supreme importance. To sail hundreds of miles between islands that may be barely visible on the horizon only when relatively close is an astonishing achievement, and the means by which this was accomplished has only recently been understood by Westerners. The calendar seems to have generally begun with the first appearance of the Pleiades in the eastern sky at sunset, followed by, typically, twelve thirty-day months.
But of the precise calendrical markers and seasonal rituals that were in some other cultures marked by astronomically aligned sites, we are only now establishing evidence, after some false starts resulting from over-enthusiasm and lack of rigor. It seems, then, that the Hawaiian temple builders might have prioritized any feature of the terrestrial or celestial cosmos, with one part being inherently more important than any other. As with the astronomical alignment of sacred sites, astrology in the sense of the use of stars and planets to derive meaning or anticipate the future is Oceania.
Of this we have simple examples. In parts of Fiji, the god of hell, a one-toothed man who devours the dead, flies through the sky as a meteor—so both here and in other places, such as the Torres Straits Islands, meteors were often evil omens. In Tahiti, the god Tane could be a meteor, and in New Zealand, the god Rongo-mai came to earth like a ball of fire, suggesting that the shooting star either embodied him or acted as his agent.
In New Zealand Tunui-a-te-ika, a comet, seems to have been less a star for the Maori than a demon and presages death and violence. Atmospheric events, we should also remember, are sky phenomena and therefore potentially astrological. There may be no stars involved in this account of meaning in the cosmos, but it portrays the cosmos as infused with romantic love better than any stellar story. Even in navigational matters, sailors would consult the stars to find the most auspicious times to sail, just as fishermen might seek advice on the best time to fish, farmers to sow their crops, and soldiers to go to war.
In New Zealand, the Maori developed a class of experts in the entire range of celestial lore, including the measurement of celestial positions and evaluation of their significance. We can infer their actions and the value attributed to them from secondary accounts. These were men We read of the thoughts of one famous old wise man of the 19th century who spent long nights watching the stars from the summit of a hillock near his hut.
A night under a starry sky, though, could have had other functions. The tohunga kokorangi could have been watching for omens—messages from the stars— purging his soul or communing with celestial deities. He may even have been actively engaging with the sky, acting as a co-creator, for there was a belief that certain men, with sufficient power, could cause a solar halo to appear at will. Just before the battle of Orakau we saw this sign.
As we were a war party of course our warriors made much of this omen.
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To the first heaven. Soar to the second heaven, Where sacred powers reside, And sacrifices are made, And offerings are given. Other astrological signs had agricultural significance, but no distinction was made between celestial omens and seasonal markers—all were signs that required a correct response, whether lifting a crop or reciting a sacred chant. There has been a tendency to reduce Oceanic astronomy to the purely functional in the form of navigation, as if the stars can be measuring points devoid of meaning. It is now increasingly accepted that the sky functioned both as a source of order according to which important religious, political, and social events should be organized and as a theatrical medium through which celestial deities could transmit meaning to humanity.
Whether the full extent of Oceanic astral religion, divination, and astrology of various kinds can ever be recovered, though, is doubtful. A great emphasis was placed across the region on cooperation between society and the wider environment, in which stars were one component along with the ocean, mountains, and all forms of natural phenomena. So much Polynesian sky lore has been lost, and we have little or no evidence of the development of a highly codified astrology.
Instead, the sky was seen as a tableau across which living beings moved, sending messages concerning the regular unfolding of time as in the cycles of the sun and the moon or unexpected events such as comets that warn of coming drama. The Polynesian cosmos was, above all, theatrical. Yet it was an essential ally, for without the predictable motions of the stars, navigation between islands would have been impossible and the unity of the entire culture would have been no more. Polynesian religion is based in nature, in the expression of the cosmos through the sun, moon, winds, and ocean currents.
It is greatly concerned with higher powers, but these are friends as much as to be feared: Without the movement of the oceans and seasonal changes in the weather, and without the signs of these alterations in the stars, Polynesian culture would have come to an end. In the traditional societies of pre-colonial North America, the sky and earth are a single part of the same life-world, containing all visible and invisible things.
The stars, as much as people, are part of the natural world, full of life and endowed with meaning, and the natural world is indistinguishable from the supernatural. The study of Native American cosmology, as with the study of all things Native American, is beset by political problems.
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First, there are those who attempt to particularize Native American cosmology, making it special by rendering it unique and different from, for example, European thought. Second are those who attempt to normalize Native American ideas by drawing out similarities to European concepts. The scholarly study of traditional North American cosmology dates back to the mid- to late 19th century, but it is only since the s that the subject has attracted a dedicated group of academics.