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06/08/2018 – Ephemeris – Anishinaabek constellation of the Sweat Lodge

June 8, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, June 8th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 29 minutes, setting at 9:26, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:57. The Moon, 2 days past last quarter, will rise at 3:37 tomorrow morning.

This past Monday I talked about the constellation of Corona Borealis, high in the southeast at 10:30 in the evening and the Greek mythology that surrounds it. It’s a small three-quarters of a circle of stars sandwiched between the larger constellations of Boötes to the west or right and Hercules on left or east. To the Anishinaabek people, who are natives of our region of which the Ottawa or Odawa, Chippewa and Ojibwe tribes are a part it is the Sweat Lodge. A section of what we call Hercules next to it is the Exhausted Bather, who is a participant lying on the ground after the ceremony. The seven stones that are heated for the Sweat Lodge ceremony are the Pleiades, now too close to the Sun to be seen.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Sweat Lodge finder animation

The Anishinaabek constellations of the Sweat Lodge and the Exhausted Bather looking high in the southeast at 10:30 p.m., Click on image to enlarge. June 8, 2018. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

The constellation art is part of the latest versions of Stellarium. Ojibwe (Anishinaabek) constellation art by Annette S Lee and William Wilson from Ojibwe Sky Star Map Constellation Guide, ISBN 978-0-615-98678-4.

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03/12/2018 – Ephemeris – The Fisher is rising as spring approaches

March 12, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, March 12th. The Sun will rise at 8:00. It’ll be up for 11 hours and 44 minutes, setting at 7:45. The Moon, 4 days past last quarter, will rise at 6:05 tomorrow morning.

Now in the evening the Big Dipper has moved up in the northeast. The Anishinaabek peoples around the Great Lakes, like the Ottawa and Chippewa saw instead of a dipper or a bear: Ojiig the Fisher. It’s a magical weasel-like creature who, with some animal friends, brought summer to the Earth. The story is too long to relay here, but my telling of it is here. For his trouble he was slain, and was placed among the stars of the sky by the Great Spirit Manitou where we see him today. His blood is said to paint the trees with the fall colors. However as the Fisher rises in the northeast in late winter and early spring it is a signal for the maple trees to bring forth their sweet sap.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

The Fisher rising

Finding the Big Dipper and the Fisher at 9 p.m., March 12, 2018. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

The Anishinaabek constellation drawings are from Ojibwe Sky Star Map Constellation Guide  by Annette S. Lee, William Wilson, Jeffrey Tibbets and Carl Gawboy available locally and online.  They are part of the latest editions of Stellarium, a free planetarium program.  Links to it are on the left.  Other information and links are available within the Sky Lore tab.

Here’s one of the links: http://www.nativeskywatchers.com/.  It also contains links to Lakota star maps and lore.

03/08/2018 – Ephemeris – Beware the Great Underwater Panther

March 8, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, March 8th. The Sun will rise at 7:07. It’ll be up for 11 hours and 31 minutes, setting at 6:39. The Moon, 1 day before last quarter, will rise at 1:56 tomorrow morning.

The Anishinaabek people of the Great Lakes Region, which includes the Ottawa or Odawa, Chippewa and Ojibwe Indians have two constellations of winter that I know of. The first is The Winter Maker which uses many of Orion’s stars plus Aldebaran and Procyon. It rises in the eastern skies in the evening as winter is beginning. The second, of late winter and early spring is Curly Tail, the Great Underwater Panther. Which uses the stars of Leo the lion’s backward question mark as its tail and the small knot of stars that are the head of Hydra the water snake below Cancer as its head. I imagine this constellation was a warning to youngsters to keep off the thinning ice of spring, lest they fall in and be snatched by the great underwater panther that lives beneath the ice.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Western and Anishinaabek constellations

Finder animation for western and Anishinaabek constellations for March 8, 2018 at 9 p.m. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

The Anishinaabek constellation drawings are from Ojibwe Sky Star Map Constellation Guide  by Annette S. Lee, William Wilson, Jeffrey Tibbets and Carl Gawboy available locally and online.  They are part of the latest editions of Stellarium, a free planetarium program.  Links to it are on the left.  Other information and links are available within the Sky Lore tab.

Here’s one of the links: http://www.nativeskywatchers.com/.  It also contains links to Lakota star maps and lore.

 

 

02/20/2018 – Ephemeris – Tonight’s the night to spot a chain of three of my favorite craters

February 20, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, February 20th. The Sun will rise at 7:35. It’ll be up for 10 hours and 43 minutes, setting at 6:18. The Moon, 3 days before first quarter, will set at 11:29 this evening.

I was a day off in my Moon calculations yesterday. The three of my favorite craters, just south of the partially illuminated Sea of Tranquility will be visible tonight. From north to south or top to bottom, near the terminator or sunrise line is Theophilus, which slightly overlaps the crater wall of Cyrillus, then a bit farther south another older crater Catharina. These craters were named by a Jesuit astronomer Giovanni Battista Riccioli (Ri’cholli). He even named a crater Copernicus, even though he followed the Church teachings of the time he didn’t believe in the Copernican Sun centered system, but the system put forth by Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe where the Moon and Sun circled the Earth, but the other planets circled the Sun.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Crescent Moon

The crescent Moon on the evening of February 20th, 2018. showing the craters discussed in the test. Created using Virtual Moon Atlas and rotated to approximate its orientation in the sky after sunset.

Repeating from yesterday:  For anyone east of here who can see the Moon at 19:00 UT, on the 20th should see Theophilus shadow filled with the crater rim and the central peak poking into sunlight.  It should be visible from Europe and the Mid East.  Let me know with a comment if I guessed right.

10/17/2017 – Ephemeris – The Fisher paints the autumn leaves red

October 17, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Tuesday, October 17th. The Sun will rise at 8:00. It’ll be up for 10 hours and 53 minutes, setting at 6:54. The Moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 6:35 tomorrow morning.

This morning, if it’s clear the red planet Mars will appear just to the right of the thin crescent Moon. Mars isn’t the only thing that’s red now. So are the maple leaves as we advance into autumn. The native Anishinaabek peoples have a story about how that came to be. Of how a magical weasel-like creature called the Fisher or Ojiig brought summer to the Earth from Skyland. For his trouble he was shot with an arrow in his only vulnerable spot, the tip of his tail. As he fell to Earth the Great Spirit, Manitou caught him and placed him in the sky where we see the Great Bear (Ursa Major) and the Big Dipper. Every autumn we see his tail swoop down to the ground where his tail paints the leaves red with his blood.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addenda

The Moon and the morning planets this morning

The Mon with the morning planets

The Moon and Mars at 6:30 this morning October 17, 2017. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

At 00:21 UTC on the 18th Venus will be south of the Moon.  It will be visible from Asia.

The Fisher (Ojiig) paints the trees with the autumn colors

Autumn colors

Autumn colors. My image.

Fisher brushing his tail along the horizon

An animation of Fisher brushing his tail along the horizon on autumn nights. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

The constellation art is part of the latest versions of Stellarium. Ojibwe (Anishinaabek) constellation art by Annette S Lee and William Wilson from Ojibwe Sky Star Map Constellation Guide, ISBN 978-0-615-98678-4.

See the version of the story I learned:  The story of the Fisher Star.

There are other variations of the story, and other adventures of the Fisher.  Perform an Internet search for: Fisher or Fisher Star or Ojiig.

 

 

 

10/09/2017 – Ephemeris – Old World vs New World

October 9, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Columbus Day observed, Monday, October 9th. The Sun will rise at 7:50. It’ll be up for 11 hours and 17 minutes, setting at 7:07. The Moon, 3 days before last quarter, will rise at 10:09 this evening.

Today the United States celebrates Columbus Day , a Monday near the date Christopher Columbus landed on a Caribbean island, and found people who got there at least 15 thousand years earlier. Due to superior technology, and nothing else really, the Europeans conquered the peoples of the continents they called the Americas, deeming the indigenous peoples, incorrectly, as savages.

My astronomical journey started with learning the constellations and their stories from the ancient Greeks. About five years ago I began to investigate the constellations and stories of the Anishinaabek peoples whose ancient lands we live on, which turn out to be as rich and as meaningful as those I learned in my youth from the Old World.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

05/22/2017 – Ephemeris – Why does the Great Bear have a long tail?

May 22, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, May 22nd.  Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 4 minutes, setting at 9:11, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:06.  The Moon, 3 days before new, will rise at 5:01 tomorrow morning.

The Great Bear, or Ursa Major as the Greeks, Romans and others saw it, has been handed down to us to this day.  We see the Great Bear as the Big Dipper overhead in the evening now, which is just his hind end, with a long very unbearlike tail.  The ancient Greek story goes that a god, not wishing to grab the end with the teeth, grabbed instead her stubby tail and in hurling her into the sky, and stretched the tail.  Native Americans who also saw a bear here, saw the three stars of the dipper handle as three hunters following the bear.  The local Anishinaabek people saw here instead the Fisher, a magical weasel-like animal who had a long tail naturally.  He brought summer to the Earth, and was killed for his efforts, but was placed in the sky to show us the seasons.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

The Great Bear and the Fisher

The Big Dipper/Great Bear/Fisher as seen by western and Anishinaabek people. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

Western art is by Johan Meuris.

The source for the Ojibwe constellation art in Stellarium is from Ojibwe Sky Star Map Constellation Guide (An introduction to Ojibwe Star Knowledge) by Annette S. Lee, William Wilson, Jeffrey Tibbetts, and Carl Gawboy, ISBN 978-0-615-98678-4.  The illustrations are by Annette S. Lee and William Wilson.  There is also a poster sized star map available.  It should be available in book stores locally, or on Amazon.  I found my copy at Enerdyne in Suttons Bay.

My retelling of the Fisher or Fisher Star is here:  https://bobmoler.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/the-story-of-the-fisher-star/