Venus and Pleiades April 2020
In Australian Aboriginal art, the Pleiades and Venus are always depicted in this particular conjunction. In Australian mythology, the story of the Napaljarri-warnu Jukurrpa (Seven Sisters Dreaming) depicts the story of the seven ancestral Napaljarri sisters who are found in the night sky in the cluster of seven stars in the constellation Taures commonly known as the Pleiades. In contemporary Waripiri paintings, traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, the female star Yantarialarangi (Venus – the Evening Star) who chases the seven Napaljarri sisters for having stolen the night from her. Mythological stories of the Pleiades also cross many other cultures outside Australia for example in ancient Greek mythology. The Venus-Pleiades conjunctions only come in early April and recur in cycles of eight years. Why were these eight-year Venus-Pleiades conjunctions so important in Australian mythology? Is this cycle in which the “hunter” catches his “prey” related to global events?
The story of the Seven Sisters is a tale of lust, love, passion, and anger and is one of the most popular ancient Dreamtime tales of Aboriginal Australia. The Dreamtime or Tjukurpa is the Australian mythology of the Aboriginals and describes important features of Aboriginal spiritual beliefs and existence. They believed that the Dreamtime was at the very beginning in which the land and the people were created by the Spirits and their ancestors. These spirits gave each tribe their land, their totems, and their Dreaming. Dreamtime is the foundation of the Aboriginal religion and culture and dates back some 65,000 years ago, the beginning of time that never ends accompanied by the “never-ending sound” of the Yidaki or Didgeridoo.
Lost Pleiad (1884) – William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905)
Star or Seven Sisters Dreaming – Justinna Napaljarri Sims
The Venus-Pleiades conjunctions only come in early April and recur in cycles of eight years. Why were these eight-year Venus-Pleiades conjunctions so important in Australian mythology? Is this cycle in which the “hunter” catches his “prey” related to global events?
A moving song about women’s power. The song tells the Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime tale of the Seven Sisters, girls who underwent the demanding man-making ceremony to prove they were equal to men. The sky spirits were so impressed with their achievement the sisters were swept into the heavens and became the Pleiades. Even today we need only to look at those stars to be reminded that men and women are equals on this earth.
The song is based on one of the stories in Seven Sisters: Spiritual Messages from Aboriginal Australia by award-winning author Laine Cunningham. Each story is paired with an essay that teaches modern readers how they can integrate ancient wisdom into their lives. The stories touch on parenting, war, love, families, and relationships of all kinds – Laine Cunningham