We come from the stars!
Do you ever look up at the night sky and feel a longing? A familiarity? As if perhaps you came from the stars?
Whenever I look at the Pleiades I feel a calling to home. Many indigenous tribes say they came from the Pleiades. And there’s a reason for that and that’s the subject of today’s episode.
We come from the stars. The carbon, nitrogen and oxygen atoms found in all life on earth, including humans, was produced originally in stars billions of years ago.
That is scientific fact. The materials in our cells once came from the sky.
The universe is in us. The universe is us.
Stars that collapsed, exploded and scattered over the universe became part of gas clouds and formed the next generation of solar systems.
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson says, “The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them in their cores and exploded these enriched ingredients across our galaxy, billions of years ago. For this reason, we are biologically connected to every other living thing in the world. We are chemically connected to all molecules on Earth. And we are atomically connected to all atoms in the universe. We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.”
According to scientist Carl Sagan, “The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars.
“We are a way for the universe to know itself. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from.We long to return. And we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff.” He said this in the 1980 PBS series “Cosmos.”
Here’s an explanation from theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss: “Every atom in your bodycame from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than the atoms in your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about the universe: you are all stardust.
“You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements [the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, all the things that matter for evolution] weren’t created at the beginning of time, they were created in stars. Stars died so you could live.”
Native American teachings about stars
As is so often the case, things that scientists are just now proving have been known by the ancients for time immemorial. They didn’t need proof; they had an inner knowing of what was right and true.
Some Native American tribes teach that there is one star in the heavens for each human on earththat is their soul twin.
Most ancient cultures around the world, have legends about the major star clusters.
They teach they are descendents of immigrants from Star Nations, particularly the Pleiades.
Native American legends denote the Pleiades as a sacred place in the heavens. Lakota legend says the Lakota originated from the Pleiadesandthat, after death on earth, the soul returns to its home in the Pleiades.
And while they are on earth, they were given the task by the Pleiades to tend and care for Mother Earth. Native American tribes have done a very good job of that tending. The rest of us have not.
One of the Mayan names for the Pleiadesis “The 400 boys” – keep in mind that this was at a time when telescopes able to count the 400 stars of the Pleiades had not yet been invented. Or had they?
Today’s telescopes can see that there are about 1,000 stars in the Pleiades cluster, but there are 7 that are most visible to the naked eye, depending on your eyesight and the visibility of the night sky.
The Chinese Emperor Huang Ti, who scholars credit with the cultural, social and economic development of China around 2500 B.C., attributed his knowledge to visits from beings from the Pleiades.
The Kiowa have a legend of the formation of Wyoming’s Devil’s Tower and the Pleiades: The story says that Seven maidens were being chased by bears. The Great Spirit came to their rescue by placing them on top of Mateo Tepe, the Devils Tower rock formation. However, the bears continued to hunt them by climbing the cliffs. The vertical striations found on the Tower today were the result of marks from the bear’s claws which gouged the rock as they climbed. As the bears closed in on the maidens, the Great Spirit placed them securely in the sky in the Pleiades star cluster where the bears could never reach them. So that’s why some tribes call the Pleiades the Seven Sisters.
The Zuni of New Mexico call the Pleiades the “Seed Stars,” because this cluster’s disappearance in the evening sky every spring signals the seed-planting season.
Here is a Cherokee story of the origin of the Pleiades and the Pine Tree as told by James Mooney in “History, Myths and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees”
“Long ago, when the world was new, there were seven boyswho used to spend all their time down by the townhouse playingthe gatayu’sti game, rolling a stonewheel along the ground and sliding a curved stick after it to strike it. Their mothers scolded, but it did no good, so one day they collected some gatayu’sti stones and boiled them in the pot with the corn for dinner. When the boys came home hungry their mothers dipped out the stones and said, ‘Since you like the gatayu’sti better than the cornfield, take the stones now for your dinner.’
“The boys were very angry, and went down to the townhouse, saying, ‘As our mothers treat us this way, let us go where we shall never trouble them any more.’ They began a dance– some say it was the Feather dance – and went round and round the townhouse, praying to the spirits to help them. At last their mothers were afraid something was wrong and went out to look for them. They saw the boys still dancing around the townhouse, and as they watched they noticed that their feet were off the earth, and that with every round they rose higher and higherin the air. They ran to get their children, but it was too late, for they were already above the roof of the townhouse – all but one, whose mother managed to pull him down with the gatayu’sti pole, but he struck the ground with such force that he sank into it and the earth closed over him.
“The other six circled higher and higher until they went up to the sky, where we see them now as the Pleiades, which the Cherokee still call Ani’tsutsa (The Boys). The people grieved long after them, but the mother whose boy had gone into the ground came every morning and every evening to cry over the spot until the earth was damp with her tears. At last a little green shoot sprouted up and grew day by day until it became the tall treethat we call now the pine, and the pine is of the same nature as the stars and holds in itself the same bright light.”
Here’s a Greek legend of the creation of the constellation Orion – the Great Hunter:
With his great skill as a hunter, Orion provided meat each day for the gods’ meals. One day, Artemis (Diana), the moon goddess and goddess of the hunt, asked if she could accompany Orion on his daily hunt. He readily agreed. The next day as they were hunting in the woods, they saw a deer. Orion carefully fitted an arrow to his bow and shot. So sure was his shot that the deer died instantly, which pleased Artemis greatly. At dinner that evening, Artemis told everyone, even Zeus, of Orion’s great ability with the bow. All of the praise extremely pleased Orion, who vowed to impress Artemis even more the next day.
Arising at dawn, Orion proceeded again to the forest where he shot every animal he found. He then made a large pile of these animals near the door to Artemis’ house. Then, knocking on her door, he asked her to come outside and see the great surprise he had for her. Upon seeing the great pile of dead animals, Artemis was horrified! For you see, Artemis was also the protector of animals and punished those who killed more than they could eat. In her anger, she stomped her foot on the ground and out of the dust came a great scorpion which stung Orion on the heel causing him to die in great pain. But in honor of his great service to the gods, the God Zeus placed his constellation in the sky.
What do these star teachings mean for us?
How can we use this information?
First of all, things we take for granted often have profound spiritual meaning.
This tiny star cluster, the Pleiades has taken on a huge significance in almost every ancient culture: Native American, Asian, Greek, Celtic and Norse mythology. In fact, Subaru is the Japanese word for “Pleiades” and the auto company’s logo, an oval with six four-pointed stars, represents the Pleiades cluster. It also refers to the Japanese cultural value of “harmonious grouping” or teamwork, a characteristic of samurai societies.
This is an important teaching of finding more harmony in your relationships.
If you live in the city, get away once in a while to the mountains or desert and look up at the night sky with wonder. If you live in the country, take advantage of clear nights to do the same. The best time for viewing them is winter.
And once again we are brought back to the most basic of ancient teachings: we are all one, all related, all responsible for one another.
Before there were maps on paper, the ancient mariners used the stars as a map. That’s how they traveled and explored the world long before Columbus.
You may want to study the stars. Learn more about them; how/why did they earn the name we know them by today.
The Pleiades represent communitybecause they are in a cluster. Cherish your community and contribute to it. If you don’t have one, create one.
You are star stuff so act like it. Be unlimited, wise, ancient, benevolent.
Act as a relative to all living thingsbecause we all share the same origin!
Look up to the night sky for inspiration; there is always light in the darkness.
It may help put things in perspective – that we are part of a greater whole. And our mission in this life is to find our place, our contribution. To truly be stars on earth. That doesn’t mean to be famous, but to make a contribution.
Just like stars, we may feel we’re exploding and dying, when we’re actually turning into a supernova. Something more beautiful than we ever imagined. That’s our destiny.
There’s a beautiful Serbian proverb: “Be humble for you are made of Earth. Be noble for you are made of stars.”
I’ve recorded a meditation, You Are Light which follows. It’s available on my CD, Ancient Journeys. If you’re in the car, please don’t listen now because it’s just too relaxing. Please pause the podcast and listen at home where you can truly relax into it.
Molly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller “The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman.” She is passionate about helping people live life to their fullest potential through her classes and blog at www.MollyLarkin.com