Star Chart & Astrology
Many Native American tribes of the Great Plains, notably the Pawnee, Shoshone, Arikara, and Wichita, had complex beliefs which included the use of a Star Chart & Astrology. Tribes such as the Cherokee believed that everything in the world is an earth reflection of the stars. The Pawnee believed that stars were deities who once lived on Earth and then were transformed into stars at death. Comets, meteorite showers and novas were viewed as omens of great disasters. The pictures depict a Pawnee Star Chart with clearly recognizable constellation patterns, as shown in the picture below. Instead of measuring the location of stars in order to calculate a location the Native Americans used the location of stars and constellations in the Star Chart & Astrology maps to signal seasons and events of the year.
Star Chart & Astrology and the Shaman
The Star Chart & Astrology maps were used by the Shaman in preparation for an important ceremony or ritual, the position of stars indicated the proper timing of sacred ceremonies and spiritual rituals. These Star Charts, or Star Maps were used by a Medicine Man, or Shaman, and were included with many other sacred objects that they kept in their Medicine Bag. In their tribal beliefs the Milky Way was seen as a pathway to the afterlife. The stories, myths and legends relating to the heavens were recalled by the Shaman whose role included that of an educator and historian, the keeper of myths, legends, traditions and tribal wisdom.
Star Chart & Astrology - Star Gazing
A dark night sky afforded the opportunity for star gazing when it was possible to behold various constellations and planets with the naked eye. These were studied by the star gazing Shaman as a form of communion with the night sky. The brightness of the stars and their prominent placements of the constellations seen in the night skies were important to increasing the sacred knowledge of the Shaman which he transferred to a Star Chart & Astrology map. The stars signalled times to plant crops and the position of the stars played an important mystic role in the everyday life of Native American Indians.
Importance of the Star Chart & Astrology in the Everyday Lives of Native Americans
The Star Chart & Astrology maps not only served as a measurement of time but was perceived of such importance that many tribes reflected of the position of the stars in the way their camps and villages were laid out. This was a form of an earthly connection to the world of the heavens. The use of a Star Chart and astrology map played a significant role in the lives of the Skidi group of Pawnee Indians. The layout of the Pawnee villages adhered to the position of the most important stars in the sky:
- The lodges in each village were arranged in a pattern that reflected specific star groupings
- The entryway to the lodges faced east to the rising sun
- The far east and far west points of the village contained shrines to the morning star and the evening star
- The morning star is the brightest star in the sky at dawn. The morning star is actually the planet Venus as seen in the eastern sky around dawn
Pawnee Star Chart & Astrology Map
The picture of the Star Chart and astrology map clearly depicts recognizable constellation patterns and these have been highlighted and named in the following picture. The Pawnee Star Chart and astrology map was created between 100 -300 years ago and is painted with ochre on to a soft leather deer hide measuring 22 inches by 15 inches. The Pawnee Star Chart and astrology map was acquired by the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and was labelled as part of the contents of "Pawnee Sacred Bundle No. 71898". The Pawnee called the Star Chart and astrology map the Big Black Meteoric Star Bundle. The bundle included a wooden pole and skin container for storing the star chart.
Pawnee Star Chart Astrology Map
Description of the Pawnee Star Chart & Astrology Map
The description of the Pawnee Star Chart & Astrology Map provides interesting information and facts about this amazing artefact. The above picture of the Star Chart & Astrology Map highlights various stars and constellations. Experts believe that the Star chart probably was never intended to function as a map accurately depicting the locations of astronomical bodies but was viewed as a magical object that reflected the powers of stars.
- The stars on the Star Chart & Astrology Map are depicted as four-pointed symbols and are drawn in five different sizes representing the brightness of the Stars.
- Some of the constellations and stars are drawn in a more exaggerated style to emphasize their importance
- The constellations depicted on the Star Chart include Coma Berenices, Corona Borealis, Ursa Major, and Ursa Minor and the Milky Way
- The faint Stars, through the center of the Star Chart, represent the Milky Way, which is divided into the two main seasons
- The star clusters depicted on the chart include Pleiades and Hyades
- The stars depicted on the chart can be identified as Mizar, Polaris, Aldebaran, Lambda Scorpii, Upsilon Scorpii and Alcor
- At each side of the chart is painted with orange tones believed indicate the directions of West and East
- The whole of the Star Chart & Astrology Map is surrounded by a thick solid line that represents the horizon
Star Chart & Astrology - Meteors and Bad Omens
All Native American Indian tribes believed that comets and meteorite showers were bad omens of great disasters. The Shamans of many tribes depicted a famous event that occurred took place on the morning of November 13, 1833, which is now called the Leonid meteor shower. This fantastic meteoric display and was was witnessed throughout North America and referred to as the 'Year the stars fell'. An interesting point of interest for those looking for information about the Native American star chart and astrology.
Native American Culture - Star Chart & Astrology
- Star Chart & Astrology - Native American beliefs
- Chart, Culture and History of Native Indians
- Interesting facts and info about Star Chart & Astrology Map
- Information and description of the Star Chart & Astrology
- Native American Culture - Star Chart & Astrology Map
Star Chart & Astrology - Pictures and Videos of Native Americans
Star Chart & Astrology. Discover the vast selection of pictures which relate to the History and Culture of Native Americans. The pictures show the clothing, War Paint, weapons and decorations of various Native Indian tribes that can be used as a really useful educational history resource for kids and children of all ages. We have included pictures and videos to accompany the main topic of this section - Star Chart & Astrology. The videos enable fast access to the images, paintings and pictures together with information and many historical facts. All of the articles and pages can be accessed via the Native Indian Tribes Index - a great educational resource for kids.