2010
Click the audio play button above to hear me talk about the Star Goddess discovery.

Meeting the gaze of the Goddess

The Star Goddess rediscovered…

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
She rises from her sea of stars again, High in the south on midwinter night. With arms spread wide to bless all here on earth, Our lady gazes down with eyes so bright.
I am she that rises with the Dog star, I am she that is called Goddess by women, I divided the Earth from the Heaven, I show the paths of the stars, I order the course of the Sun and Moon. Extract from hymn of Hellenistic Egypt, c.2200 BP
or the images formed by groups of stars in the night sky. However different cultures throughout the years have found other ways of seeing and identifying them.
First visualisation based on star map
Move your mouse pointer over these side images to see a bigger picture
Orion walks over Waden Hill reaching out to Taurus.
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
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
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 Goddesses who were prominent in the Vedas. She is “the Wide Eyed One”, “Infinity”, the “Unbounded Sky Goddess” and is described in the Vedas as having her legs spread wide to give birth to the Gods. If the Gods are seen as related to the wandering planets then they all visit Her from time to time as they traverse the line of the ecliptic. Aditi shares many attributes with Durga, the first Goddess, who was brought into existence to act as champion for the Gods who were losing their battle with the demons at the beginning of time. She arrived riding on a tiger and defeated the leader and last of the demons, who had taken the form of a buffalo, by forcing him into the ground. The piece of sky we are considering is flanked by the constellations of Leo and Taurus and Taurus appears to sink back into the ground, under the hand of Aditi or the Goddess, as the stars turn to the west
Drawings based on primal serpent goddess from Crete circa 1600 BC
She is a dark woman unto herself, She is as beautiful as Dawn, She is as beautiful as a full moon, She is a dark woman with four faces. Her hips are as wide as the valley, Her breasts are as full as the hills. She is a dark woman with four arms, On them she wears bracelets and bangles Of brilliant jewels, emerald and sapphire. She is dark as a thundercloud. She is the bearer of all blessings. Indian Mahabharata Virata Parvan
Her “eyes”, which set into the hills in the west just as the sun rose in the east, suggest the appearance of the “Eye Goddess” images from the Neolithic era. In fact, as shown in the accompanying illustrations by Jamie Blackwater, many of the archaic images from across Europe and out as far east as Japan show this woman of the stars.
Early 4th Millennium Goddess figurine
Early 4th Millennium Goddess figurine
It is not only at Avebury that this vision of the Goddess walking on earth could be experienced. Other sites in southern England which lend themselves to it are at Uffington, below the white horse, Wilmington over the downs above the Long man and over the Tor at Glastonbury. There, up at the top of the lane which leads past Chalice Well, the view to the south-south-west did and does reveal the image. A little consideration of the landscape requirements of this midwinter ceremonial experience reveals that, for 10,000 years, it has been available and visible to people anywhere in the northern hemisphere right round the world.
Hail to the Goddess, the sky torch, the pure one. Hail to heaven’s noble one, crowned with great horns. Hail to the moon’s oldest daughter, heaven’s greatest queen. I sing of her greatness, her beauty, her nobility. I sing of her brilliance in the evening sky. I sing of her rising, to shine down on all our lands. Babylonian incantation
It is difficult to believe that our ancestors, from prehistoric times, did not respond to the powerful combination of visual image, significant timing and location of this long neglected group of constellations on the galactic plane and at the intersection with the plane of the ecliptic. Although the Goddess is harder to see in the sky made dimmer by man’s light pollution, those with eyes to see can still look up to Her. The best time is during November, when She rises in the east after sunset, through December and the Solstice and January when She rules the frosty skies of midwinter. Direct personal experience of Her presence changes the abstraction of dry text to a heart warming reality. The Goddess is universal, common to all cultures, paths and times. Clothe Her as you will She remains the Unbounded One” and cannot be hijacked by any one spiritual, social or religious system. Like the stars She is eternal.
Heaven and Earth at Avebury
Jon Appleton
Megalithic Insights               						Jon Appleton
Although the stars seem fixed in their eternal courses, the way we humans have named the constellations over the millennia has changed. These days most people in the West are accustomed to the predominantly Greek and Roman classical names f
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.
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
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, night long, 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.
These ideas lead naturally to a direct observation of the midwinter night sky at midnight when Castor and Pollux are horizontal. As soon as one looks up at the stars of Gemini, with the concept of eyes in mind, the majesty of a giant figure with arms outstretched stands above and looks back down at you. The hand on the right is marked by Capella, above the head of Taurus, which is the only part of this figure which remains visible throughout the year. The hand on the left is Procyon, also known as Canis Minor. The breasts are clear to see just rising above the “foam” of the Milky Way draped across her body. Her wide skirt reaches down past Orion her child and the “Hunter” to her feet, the star Rigel and the horizon here above Silbury Hill. The figure marks the limit of the path of Venus as an evening star and is visited by Mars, Jupiter and Saturn as well as the Moon. During the summertime the Sun invisibly brushes across her breasts when she spends time in the underworld in the South, after joining him in the Spring. At Avebury the raised horizon created by Waden Hill ensured that the Goddess really did walk on the earth; and in more ancient times, when the early inhabitants of the area built the long barrows, she would have been more firmly rooted in it.
The changes made to the way the stars in the south were seen, brought about by precession over the last 12,00 years, can be detected in the way the depiction of the Goddess alters in time. In the earliest period She was seen as much squatter or sitting down. Later She was seen as a taller standing figure, sometimes with outstretched arms. In terms of the development of the mythos, another effect was that the stars of Orion, always a male figure, only became visible in about 5000 BCE. This may have coincided with the rise of patriarchal dominance in religions. As the stars of Orion rose so that he stood upon the earth he began to usurp the authority of his “Mother” and took on the role of the hero, bull slayer and god. He also adopted the dogs that had once been Hecate’s companions as she carried her torches through the night sky to stand at the crossroads of the heavens. At many times throughout the history of the world the constellations, the planets and the Sun and Moon have provided the imagery for myth and religion. Understanding the significance of this is vitally important as it opens up a wealth of possibilities for a greater awareness of the depth of ancient symbolism and belief systems.
The text of this article is necessarily abbreviated and condensed for purposes of magazine publication. There is a lot more background research material relating to the concept. In addition there are many further cross references to Goddess mythology and archaeology from a wide range of cultures. Some of this will be added as an appendix here and much more awaits fuller exposure in book form. At midnight on the winter solstice the Star Goddess looks down over Avebury. Her eyes are Castor and Pollux (Gemini), the Milky Way crosses her body and she stands on Silbury Hill. Rug based on the star map for 2800 bce.
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Click the audio play button above to hear how to contact me…
Click the audio play button above to hearme talk about the Star Goddess discovery.
2010

Meeting the gaze

of the Goddess

The Star Goddess

rediscovered…

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
She rises from her sea of stars again, High in the south on midwinter night. With arms spread wide to bless all here on earth, Our lady gazes down with eyes so bright.
The Star Goddess rediscovered
I am she that rises with the Dog star, I am she that is called Goddess by women, I divided the Earth from the Heaven, I show the paths of the stars, I order the course of the Sun and Moon. Extract from hymn of Hellenistic Egypt, c.2200 BP
Although the stars seem fixed in their eternal courses, the way we humans have named the constellations over the millennia has changed. These days most people in the West are accustomed to the predominantly Greek and Roman classical names for the images formed by groups of stars in the night sky. However different cultures throughout the years have found other ways of seeing and identifying them.
At midnight on the winter solstice the Star Goddess looks down over Avebury. Her eyes are Castor and Pollux (Gemini), the Milky Way crosses her body and she stands on Silbury Hill. Rug based on the star map for 2800 bce.
First visualisation based on star map
Orion walks over Waden Hill reaching out to Taurus.
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. She is “the Wide Eyed One”, “Infinity”, the “Unbounded Sky Goddess” and is described in the Vedas as having her legs spread wide to give birth to the Gods. If the Gods are seen as related to the wandering planets then they all visit Her from time to time as they traverse the line of the ecliptic. Aditi shares many attributes with Durga, the first Goddess, who was brought into existence to act as champion for the Gods who were losing their battle with the demons at the beginning of time. She arrived riding on a tiger and defeated the leader and last of the demons, who had taken the form of a buffalo, by forcing him into the ground. The piece of sky we are considering is flanked by the constellations of Leo and Taurus and Taurus appears to sink back into the ground, under the hand of Aditi or the Goddess, as the stars turn to the west
Drawing based on primal serpent goddess from Crete circa 1600 BC
She is a dark woman unto herself, She is as beautiful as Dawn, She is as beautiful as a full moon, She is a dark woman with four faces. Her hips are as wide as the valley, Her breasts are as full as the hills. She is a dark woman with four arms, On them she wears bracelets and bangles Of brilliant jewels, emerald and sapphire. She is dark as a thundercloud. She is the bearer of all blessings. Indian Mahabharata Virata Parvan
These ideas lead naturally to a direct observation of the midwinter night sky at midnight when Castor and Pollux are horizontal. As soon as one looks up at the stars of Gemini, with the concept of eyes in mind, the majesty of a giant figure with arms outstretched stands above and looks back down at you. The hand on the right is marked by Capella, above the head of Taurus, which is the only part of this figure which remains visible throughout the year. The hand on the left is Procyon, also known as Canis Minor. The breasts are clear to see just rising above the “foam” of the Milky Way draped across her body. Her wide skirt reaches down past Orion her child and the “Hunter” to her feet, the star Rigel and the horizon here above Silbury Hill. The figure marks the limit of the path of Venus as an evening star and is visited by Mars, Jupiter and Saturn as well as the Moon. During the summertime the Sun invisibly brushes across her breasts when she spends time in the underworld in the South, after joining him in the Spring. At Avebury the raised horizon created by Waden Hill ensured that the Goddess really did walk on the earth; and in more ancient times, when the early inhabitants of the area built the long barrows, she would have been more firmly rooted in it. Her “eyes”, which set into the hills in the west just as the sun rose in the east, suggest the appearance of the “Eye Goddess” images from the Neolithic era. In fact, as shown in the accompanying illustrations by Jamie Blackwater, many of the archaic images from across Europe and out as far east as Japan show this woman of the stars.
Early 4th Millennium Goddess figurines
Early 4th Millennium Goddess figurine
It is not only at Avebury that this vision of the Goddess walking on earth could be experienced. Other sites in southern England which lend themselves to it are at Uffington, below the white horse, Wilmington over the downs above the Long man and over the Tor at Glastonbury. There, up at the top of the lane which leads past Chalice Well, the view to the south-south-west did and does reveal the image. A little consideration of the landscape requirements of this midwinter ceremonial experience reveals that, for 10,000 years, it has been available and visible to people anywhere in the northern hemisphere right round the world.
Hail to the Goddess, the sky torch, the pure one. Hail to heaven’s noble one, crowned with great horns. Hail to the moon’s oldest daughter, heaven’s greatest queen. I sing of her greatness, her beauty, her nobility. I sing of her brilliance in the evening sky. I sing of her rising, to shine down on all our lands. Babylonian incantation
The changes made to the way the stars in the south were seen, brought about by precession over the last 12,00 years, can be detected in the way the depiction of the Goddess alters in time. In the earliest period She was seen as much squatter or sitting down. Later She was seen as a taller standing figure, sometimes with outstretched arms. In terms of the development of the mythos, another effect was that the stars of Orion, always a male figure, only became visible in about 5000 BCE. This may have coincided with the rise of patriarchal dominance in religions. As the stars of Orion rose so that he stood upon the earth he began to usurp the authority of his “Mother” and took on the role of the hero, bullslayer and god. He also adopted the dogs that had once been Hecate’s companions as she carried her torches through the night sky to stand at the crossroads of the heavens. At many times throughout the history of the world the constellations, the planets and the Sun and Moon have provided the imagery for myth and religion. Understanding the significance of this is vitally important as it opens up a wealth of possibilities for a greater awareness of the depth of ancient symbolism and belief systems. It is difficult to believe that our ancestors, from prehistoric times, did not respond to the powerful combination of visual image, significant timing and location of this long neglected group of constellations on the galactic plane and at the intersection with the plane of the ecliptic. Although the Goddess is harder to see in the sky made dimmer by man’s light pollution, those with eyes to see can still look up to Her. The best time is during November, when She rises in the east after sunset, through December and the Solstice and January when She rules the frosty skies of midwinter. Direct personal experience of Her presence changes the abstraction of dry text to a heart warming reality. The Goddess is universal, common to all cultures, paths and times. Clothe Her as you will She remains the Unbounded One” and cannot be hijacked by any one spiritual, social or religious system. Like the stars She is eternal.
Jon Appleton
Megalithic Insights               						Jon Appleton
Click the audio play button above to hear how to contact me…
Continue Back