Wednesday, 21 October 2015
Sisters of the Valkyrie? (part x) Pleiades
There are Valkyrie-like goddesses and demi goddesses in other belief systems, who resemble the characteristics of the Northern Valkyries. It makes you wonder if they belong to the same species or come from the same root legend. I've written entries about the subject, starting with individuals and then perhaps go onto research different aspects of the Valkyrie. The tenth entry on the "Sisters of the Valkyrie" is about the Pleiades.
The Peiades are known as a star cluster but named after the stellar group of celestial nymphs, the Pleiades, or the Seven Sisters. Pleiades the stars and nymphs are associated with the cold season as they appear as frosted lights in the northern hemisphere. They appear in the sky strongest and brightest during late autumn and over the winter season.The stars Pleiades is commonly associated with late October and November, corresponding with Winter Nights harvest festivities.
The Winter Nights holidays include sacrifical rites as the most favourite Disablot, to honour the female spirits, disir and the Valkyries. It was very important to ancient Germanic peoples that the rite was performed by women, priestesses and elder mothers. Most people in modern times are sickened by the term of sacrifices but this doesn't always mean butchering people against their will. For instance, the death of a king who fell off his horse and was killed was considered a form of sacrifice so that his own passing meant a better harvest. The sacrifice of a healthy animal was a sacrifice in itself to feed a starving village and provde warm clothes and medicine. Various Scandinavian countries celebrated disblot in late winter and early spring, although the Anglo Saxons celebrated it during autumn. This was called Mothers Night or "blot monath".
But mostly during Winter Nights season is Alfablot, blood sacrifice to the elves. This is linked with the home and paranormal realms, and the dark elves who were spirits of the departed. Light elves were also considered a higher form of spirit that were almost godlike and immortal. Read up on the Old Norse Samhain here.
The term Pleiades means "sailing" and the most highest point of the star cluster visible in the sky is during the time when the veil is the most thinnest, that spirits walk the earth. Celebrations like Disablot and Alfablot honouring the dead, spirits and feminine including valkyries occur around this time but most of all so does the famous Samhain, or better called Halloween. The mysterious opening of the dead, highlighted when the star nymphs fly through the night sky on horseback with glittering armour goes to show that the Plaeides and valkyries are somewhat similar. The valkyries enter bettlefields to take the souls of dead warriors across the bridge to Valhalla. The Pleiades shine at the highest point in the sky during the seasons and celebrations of the dead. The Celts considered the star cluster a vision of the dead and mourning.
The Pleiades were recognised throughout the world. In Greek mythology, they resemble seven beautiful maidens who were daughters of the titan Atlas. These celestial girls include Electra, Sterope, Merope, Maia, Taygete, Alcyone and Celaeno. It was a sad legend that their father was punished to carry the world on his back, and Orion transformed the girls into birds, who then turned to stars. However, some believe that the Pleiades represent Freyja's hens. These hens were once supposedly princesses who died and returned as bright feathered hens or golden chicks. Saying this, the hens were not really birds. They were nicknames of the smaller winged ladybirds and butterflies, because it was believed that the seven maidens had such fantastic wings as these critters. Identical to the fae, these seven spirits granted peoples wishes and protected children from the dead. They were considered shining inhabitants of the night sky.
Art "Pleiades" by Kagaya