Meeting the gaze of the Goddess Continued... Work at Avebury Henge, that great rival to Stonehenge 16 miles to the south , revealed an  extraordinary and unexpected drama in the heavens at Midwinter. Most of the alignments to  astronomical events at henges are to places on the horizon where solar or lunar risings and  settings occur. However here at Avebury two of them point south and bracket Waden hill,  one leading directly to Silbury Hill that unique outlier to this enormous complex. Noticing  this makes it necessary to look at what happens on the horizon in that area. Clearly, if it’s  not solar or lunar then, it must be stellar. This insight led to the identification of a long lost  image, in the night sky, of a huge female figure looming over Waden Hill and standing on  Silbury. It seems likely that the Neolithic people who built the henge also saw and  respected her. Night comes up with her many eyes, Looking for a spot to rest, Filling the sky with beauty, Filling the water with her darkness, Oh Night, immortal Goddess, look with favour on us here, We who occupy these lands where you have walked. Indian Vedic hymn  At midwinter a very significant part of the sky is visible in the South. The stars of Orion,  Castor and Pollux (Gemini), Taurus, Cancer, Leo and, climbing up from the east Sirius.  Above Orion is the point of intersection of the Milky Way with the plane of the ecliptic (the  path of the sun and moon and all the planets). The stars reach the highest point in their path  across the sky there and seem to travel from east to west in an arc above Waden Hill. Look! I see her with my own eyes, The Mother Queen of the West, Look! I see her silvery hair, The Mother Queen of the West, I see her, in her arched home, The Mother Queen of the West. I see the three legged raven who serves The Mother Queen of the West. Poem by Ssu Ma Hsiang Ju China cira c. 2150 bp  Bearing in mind that, because of the effect of the precession of the Equinoxes, all the stars  in this part of the sky have seemed to have risen slowly higher and higher for 13,000 years.  It’s possible, by using an astronomical computer programme, to see where they were in  2500 BCE. At that time Orion, followed by his dogs Sirius and Procyon (Canis Minor)  appeared to walk over the top of Waden Hill and his foot Rigel “landed” on Silbury. As he  moved forward to the west Taurus, the Bull, backed down into the earth. Over his head  arched the Milky Way, which could be seen as the Wild Hunt or the path of souls into the  west. All of this would have been a magnificent, nightlong, ceremonial spectacle for people  in the south circle at Avebury. However, much more can be discovered high above Orion where the twin stars of Gemini  shine brightly and, at midnight are horizontal. These were known by at least two ancient  cultures as eyes. In the Norse tradition they are the eyes of Thiazi, a giant from the  beginning of creation. In pre Vedic India they were the eyes of Aditi. This area of the sky is  known in Indian astrology as Punarvasu, the mansion of Aditi. She was one of the very few  Godesses who were prominent in the Vedas. © Jon Appleton 2010 Move your mouse over image to reveal more Orion walks over Waden Hill reaching out to Taurus. Early 4th Millenium Goddess figurine