Orion (constellation)

Orion, the Hunter

Orion, the Hunter, is by far the most famous seasonal constellation. No other is more distinct or bright as this northern winter constellation. The famous Orion’s Belt makes the hunter easy to find in the night sky. Orion looks very much like a person. First, you should spot Orion’s Belt, which is made of three bright stars in a straight line. One of Orion’s legs is represented by the bright star Rigel, one of the brightest stars in the night sky. His two shoulders are made of the stars Bellatrix and Betelgeuse. You can see Betelgeuse’s reddish color without a telescope. Other bright stars make up the two arms, one which holds a shield, and another that carries a club. Many different civilizations saw this constellation in the sky. The most famous stories come from Greek and Roman myths. Orion was a famed hunter, and in one story boasted that no creature could kill him. Hera then sent a scorpion to sting the hunter. Orion smashed the animal with his club, but not before he was poisoned. Both are now on opposite sides of the sky. They cannot be seen at the same time. A different story tells of the love between Orion and the goddess, Artemis. One day, Orion was swimming out in the sea. Apollo, who very much disliked the man, bet his sister that she couldn’t hit the object in the sea with her bow. Artemis didn’t realize it was her lover, and shot Orion with an arrow. When she later found out what she had done, she honored the hunter by putting him in the sky. There are several clusters and nebulae to view in this awesome constellation. The famous Orion Nebula is located in Orion’s sword, which hangs from the belt. It is so bright, that even the naked eye can see the fuzzy patch. It looks spectacular even with a small telescope or binoculars. There are numerous other objects in Orion, so scan the constellation with a telescope or binoculars on a clear night!

http://www.astro-tom.com/getting_started/mythology.htm

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_(constellation)

Orion

Constellation

Orion
List of stars in Orion

Abbreviation
Ori

Genitive
Orionis

Pronunciation
/ɒˈraɪ.ən/

Symbolism
Orion

Right ascension
5 h

Declination
+5°

Quadrant
NQ1

Area
594 sq. deg. (26th)

Main stars
7

Bayer/Flamsteed
stars
81

Stars with planets
6

Stars brighter than 3.00m
8

Stars within 10.00 pc (32.62 ly)
8

Brightest star
Rigel (β Orionis) (0.12m)

Nearest star
GJ 3379
(17.51 ly, 5.37 pc)

Messier objects
3

Meteor showers
Orionids
Chi Orionids

Bordering
constellations
Gemini
Taurus
Eridanus
Lepus
Monoceros

Visible at latitudes between +85° and −75°.
Best visible at 21:00 (9 p.m.) during the month of January.

click on to see large image

Credit: Mouser Williams

For other uses, see Orion (disambiguation).

Orion, often referred to as The Hunter, is a prominent constellation located on the celestial equator and visible throughout the world. It is one of the most conspicuous, and most recognizable constellations in the night sky.[1] Its name refers to Orion, a hunter in Greek mythology.

Visualizations

See also: List of stars in Orion

Orion as depicted in Urania’s Mirror, a set of constellation cards published in London c.1825.

Orion includes the prominent asterism known as the Belt of Orion: three bright stars in a row. Surrounding the belt at roughly similar distances are four bright stars, which are considered to represent the outline of the hunter’s body. Descending from the ‘belt’ is a smaller line of three stars (the middle of which is in fact not a star but the Orion Nebula), known as the hunter’s ‘sword’.

In artistic renderings, the surrounding constellations are sometimes related to Orion: he is depicted standing next to the river Eridanus with his two hunting dogs Canis Major and Canis Minor, fighting Taurus the bull. He is sometimes depicted hunting Lepus the hare.

There are alternative ways to visualize Orion. From the Southern Hemisphere, Orion is oriented differently, and the belt and sword are sometimes called theSaucepan, or Pot in Australia/New Zealand. Orion’s Belt is called Drie Konings (Three Kings) or the Drie Susters (Three Sisters) by Afrikaans speakers in South Africa,[2] and are referred to as les Trois Rois (the Three Kings) in Daudet‘s Lettres de Mon Moulin (1866). The appellation Driekoningen (the Three Kings) is also often found in 17th- and 18th-century Dutch star charts and seaman’s guides. The same three stars are known in Spain and Latin America as "The Three Marys".

In the tropics (less than about 8° from the equator) the constellation transits in the zenith which is best seen in Nov-Feb each year. In the northern hemisphere, it is a winter constellation because from Apr-Aug it can only be viewed in the southern hemisphere. However, in Antarctica it is best seen in the winter months of the southern hemisphere, due to the summer sun not setting and therefore no stars are visible. From May-July in the southern hemisphere, Orion is in the ‘daytime’ sky; however for most of Antarctica, the Sun is below the horizon even at midday, so stars (and thus Orion) are most visible at twilight for a couple of hours around midday low in the North. On the South Pole itself (Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station) only Rigel is 8° above the horizon and the belt sweeps just along the horizon.

Navigational aid

Using Orion to find stars in neighbor constellations

Orion is very useful as an aid to locating other stars. By extending the line of the Belt southeastward, SiriusCMa) can be found; northwestward, AldebaranTau). A line eastward across the two shoulders indicates the direction of ProcyonCMi). A line from Rigel through Betelgeuse points to Castor and PolluxGem and β Gem). Additionally, Rigel is part of the Winter Circle. Sirius and Procyon, which may be located from Orion by tracing lines, also are points in both the Winter Triangleand the Circle.[3]

Notable features

Stars

See also: list of stars in Orion

  • Betelgeuse, known alternatively by its Bayer designation Alpha Orionis, is a massive M-type red supergiant star nearing the end of its life. When it explodes it will even be visible during the day. It is the second brightest star in Orion, and is a semiregular variable star[4]. It serves as the "right shoulder" of the hunter it represents (assuming that he is facing the observer), and is the twelfth brightest star in the night sky.[5]
  • Rigel, which is also known as Beta Orionis, is a B-type blue supergiant that is the sixth brightest star in the night sky. Similar to Betelguese, Rigel is fusing heavy elements in its core and will pass its supergiant stage soon (on an astronomical timescale), either collapsing in the case of a supernova or shedding its outer layers and turning into a white dwarf. It serves as the left foot of Orion, the hunter.[6]
  • Bellatrix was designated Gamma Orionis by Johann Bayer, but is known colloquially as the "Amazon Star;" it is the twenty-second brightest star in the night sky.[7]Bellatrix is considered a B-type blue giant, though it is too small to explode in a supernova. Bellatrix’s luminosity is derived from its high temperature rather than its radius,[8] a factor that defines Betelguese.[4] Bellatrix serves as Orion’s left shoulder.[8]
  • Mintaka garnered the name Delta Orionis from Bayer, even though it is the faintest of the three stars in Orion’s Belt. It is a multiple star system, composed of a large B-type blue giant and a more massiveO-type white star. The Mintaka system constitutes an eclipsing binary variable star, where the eclipse of one star over the other creates a dip in brightness. Mintaka is the westernmost of the three stars that constitute Orion’s Belt.[9]
  • Alnilam was named Epsilon Orionis, a consequence of Bayer’s wish to name the three stars in Orion’s Belt (from north to south) in alphabetical order. Alnilam is a B-type blue supergiant, despite being nearly twice as far from the Sun as Mintaka andAlnitak, the other two belt stars, its luminosity makes it nearly equal in magnitude. Alnilam is losing mass quickly, a consequence of its size;[10] approximately four million years old [10].
  • Alnitak was designated Zeta Orionis by Bayer, and is the easternmost star in Orion’s Belt. It is a triple star some 800 light years distant, with the primary star being a hot blue supergiant and the brightest class O star in the night sky.
  • Saiph was designated Kappa Orionis by Bayer, and serves as Orion’s right foot. It is of a similar distance and size to Rigel, but appears much fainter, as its hot surface temperature (46,000°F or 26,000°C) causes it to emit most of its light in theultraviolet region of the spectrum.

Of the lesser stars, Hatsya (or Iota Orionis) forms the tip of Orion’s sword, whilst Meissa (or Lambda Orionis) forms Orion’s head. In common with many other bright stars, the names Betelgeuse, Rigel, Saiph, Alnitak, Mintaka, Alnilam, Hatsya and Meissaoriginate from the Arabic language.

Belt

Orion constelation PP3 map PL.jpg

Orion Constellation Map

Orion Belt.jpg

Closeup Image of Orion Belt

Orion’s Belt or The Belt of Orion is an astronomical asterism in the constellation Orion. It consists of the three bright stars ζ Ori (Alnitak), ε Ori (Alnilam), and δ Ori (Mintaka). Alnitak is approximately 800 light years away from earth and considering ultraviolet radiation, which human eye can not see, Alnitak is 100,000 times more luminous than the Sun[11]. Alnilam is approximately 1340 light years away from earth and shines with magnitude 1.70. Considering ultraviolet light Alnilam is 375,000 times more luminous than the Sun[12]. Mintaka is 915 light years away and shines with magnitude 2.21. Mintaka is 90,000 times more luminous than the Sun. Mintaka is a double star. Both stars orbit around each other every 5.73 days. [13] Looking for Orion’s Belt in the night sky is the easiest way to locate constellation Orion in the sky. In the Northern hemisphere, Orion’s Belt is best visible in the night sky during the month of January at around 9:00 PM when it is approximately around local meridian.[14]

The same three stars are known in Latin America as "The Three Marys".[15] They also mark the northern night sky when the sun is at its lowest point, and were a clear marker for ancient timekeeping.

Richard Hinckley Allen lists many folk names for the Belt of Orion. The English ones include: Jacob’s Rod or Staff; Peter’s Staff; the Golden Yard-arm; the L, or Ell; the Ell and Yard; the Yard-stick, and the Yard-wand; theEllwand; Our Lady’s Wand; the Magi; the Three Kings; the Three Marys; or simply the Three Stars.

The passage "Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?" is found in the Bible‘s Book of Job.

Meteor showers

Around October 21 each year the famous Orionid meteor shower reaches its peak. Coming from the border to the constellation Gemini as much as 20 meteors per hour can be seen.

Deep sky objects

Hanging from Orion’s belt is his sword, consisting of the multiple stars θ1 and θ2 Orionis, called Trapezium and the Orion Nebula (M42). This is a spectacular object which can be clearly identified with the naked eye as something other than a star; using binoculars, its swirling clouds of nascent stars, luminous gas, and dust can be observed.

Another famous nebula is IC 434, the Horsehead Nebula, near ζ Orionis. It contains a dark dust cloud whose shape gives the nebula its name.

Besides these nebulae, surveying Orion with a small telescope will reveal a wealth of interesting deep sky objects, including M43, M78, as well as multiple stars including Iota Orionis and Sigma Orionis. A larger telescope may reveal objects such asBarnard’s Loop, the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024), as well as fainter and tighter multiple stars and nebulae.

All of these nebulae are part of the larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex which is located approximately 1,500 light-years away and is hundreds of light-years across. It is one of the most intense regions of stellar formation visible in our galaxy.

Cultural significance

Star formation in the constellation Orion as photographed in infrared by NASA‘s Spitzer Space Telescope.

The current configuration of stars now known as the constellation of Orion roughly formed about 1.5 million years ago, as stars move relatively slowly from the perspective of Earth. Orion will remain recognizable in the night sky for the next 1 to 2 million years, making it one of the longest observable constellations, parallel to the rise of human civilization.

Because they are so bright and distinctive, the pattern of stars that forms Orion was recognized as a coherent constellation by many ancient civilizations, though with different representations and mythologies.

Ancient Near East

The Babylonian star catalogues of the Late Bronze Age name Orion MULSIPA.ZI.AN.NA, "The Heavenly Shepherd" or "True Shepherd of Anu" – Anu being the chief god of the heavenly realms.[16] The Babylonian constellation was sacred to Papshukal and Ninshubur, both minor gods fulfilling the role of ‘messenger to the gods’. Papshukal was closely associated with the figure of a walking bird on Babylonian boundary stones, and on the star map the figure of the Rooster was located below and behind the figure of the True Shepherd.[17]

The Bible mentions Orion three times: Job 9:9 ("He is the maker of the Bear and Orion"), Job 38:31 ("Can you loosen Orion`s belt?"), and Amos 5:8 ("He who made the Pleiades and Orion"). In ancient Aram, the constellation was known as Nephila, Orion’s descendants were known as Nephilim.[18]

The stars of Orion were associated with Osiris, the sun-god of rebirth and afterlife, by the ancient Egyptians.[19][20][21]

Orion has also been identified with the last Egyptian Pharaoh of the Fifth Dynasty called Unas who, according to the Pyramid Texts, became great by eating the flesh of his mortal enemies and then slaying and devouring the gods themselves. This was based on a belief in contiguous magic whereby consuming the flesh of great people would bring inheritance of their power.[22] After devouring the gods and absorbing their spirits and powers, Unas journeys through the day and night sky to become the star Sabu, or Orion.[23] The Pyramid Texts also show that the dead Pharaoh was identified with the god Osiris, whose form in the stars was often said to be the constellation Orion.[24]

Greek and Roman

Main article: Orion (mythology)

Orion’s current name derives from Greek mythology, in which Orion was a gigantic hunter of primordial times[25]. Some of these myths relate to the constellation; one story tells that Orion was killed by a giant scorpion; the gods raised him and the Scorpion to the skies, as Scorpio/Scorpius. Yet other stories say Orion was chasing the Pleiades.[26]

The constellation is mentioned in Horace‘s Odes, Homer‘s Odyssey (Book 5, line 283) and Iliad, and Virgil‘s Aeneid (Book 1, line 535)

Hungarian

In ancient Hungarian mythology, Orion is also a great hunter and warrior, his name is Nimród and he’s the mythological father of Hungarians.

Scandinavia

In pre-Christian Scandinavia, "Orion’s belt" was known as Frigg‘s Distaff (Friggerock) or Freyja‘s distaff[27].

In Finnish mythology the constellation of Orion is called the scythe of Väinämöinen. The term most likely comes from the fact that it can be seen in the sky in early autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, the time of harvesting crops.

Indian

In Indian mythology, the Rig Veda refers to the Orion Constellation as Mriga (The Deer).[28]

Chinese

In China, Orion was one of the 28 lunar mansions Sieu (Xiu) (宿). Known as Shen (參), literally meaning "three", it is believed to be named so for the three stars located in Orion’s belt. (See Chinese constellations)

The Chinese character 參 (pinyin shēn) originally meant the constellation Orion (Chinese: 參宿; pinyin: shēnxiù); its Shang dynasty version, over three millennia old, contains at the top a representation of the three stars of Orion’s belt atop a man’s head (the bottom portion representing the sound of the word was added later)[29].

Native American

The Yokut Native American tribe of the California Central Valley saw the three bright stars as the foot prints of the god of the flea people. According to legend, when his five wives became itchy and ran away, three times the god of the flea people jumped into the sky to look for them. When his footprints are seen (stars are visible in the winter months) the flea people grow afraid and go into hiding (i.e. dormant). This helped explain to the tribal people why they couldn’t count on those stars for guides in the summer months, and why there were no fleas about.

The Seri people of northwestern Mexico call the three stars in the belt of this constellation Hapj (a name denoting a hunter) which consists of three stars: Hap (mule deer), Haamoja (pronghorn), and Mojet (bighorn sheep). Hap is in the middle and has been shot by the hunter; its blood has dripped onto Tiburón Island.[30]

The Aztecs called the belt and sword of Orion the Fire Drill. Its appearance over the horizon served as the signal of the start of the New Fire ceremony.

Australian aboriginal

Orion is also important in Australian Aboriginal Astronomy. For example, the Yolngu people of Arnhem Land say that the constellation of Orion, which they call Julpan, is a canoe. They tell the story of two brothers who went fishing, and caught and ate a fish that was forbidden under their law. Seeing this, the Sun sent a waterspout that carried the two brothers and their canoe up into the sky where they became the Orion constellation.

Contemporary symbolism

The imagery of the belt and sword has found its way into popular western culture, for example in the form of the shoulder insignia of the 27th Infantry Division of the United States Army during both World Wars, probably owing to a pun on the name of the division’s first commander, Major General John F. O’Ryan.

The defunct film distribution company Orion Pictures used the constellation as its logo.

Future

Orion is presently located on the celestial equator, but it will not always be so located due to the effects of precession of the Earth’s axis. Orion lies well south of the ecliptic, and it only happens to lie on the celestial equator because the point on the ecliptic that corresponds to the June solstice is close to the border of Gemini and Taurus, to the north of Orion. Precession will eventually carry Orion further south, and by 14,000 CE Orion will be far enough south that it will become invisible from the latitude ofGreat Britain [31].

Further in the future, Orion’s stars will gradually move away from the constellation due to proper motion. However, Orion’s brightest stars all lie at a large distance from the Earth on an astronomical scale. (For example, they are much farther away thanSirius is.) Orion will still be recognizable long after most of the other constellations – composed of relatively nearby stars – have distorted into new configurations, with the exception of a few of its stars eventually exploding as supernovae. For example,Betelgeuse, the "right shoulder", is so large and old enough that it may explode and disappear within a few thousand years.

[edit]See also

Notes

  1. ^ Dolan, Chris. "Orion". Retrieved 2007-10-05.
  2. ^ Three Kings and the Cape Clouds at psychohistorian.org
  3. ^ Orion Constellation
  4. ^ a b "Variable Star of the Month, Alpha Ori". Variable Star of the Season. American Association of Variable Star Observers. 2000. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
  5. ^ "Betelgeuse". Chris Dolan’s Constellations. University of Wisconsin. 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
  6. ^ "Rigel". Jim Kaler’s Stars. University of Illinois, UrbanaChampaign Campus. 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
  7. ^ "Bellatrix". Chris Dolan’s Constellations. University of Wisconsin. 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
  8. ^ a b "Bellatrix". Jim Kaler’s Stars. University of Illinois, UrbanaChampaign Campus. 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
  9. ^ "Mintaka". Jim Kaler’s Stars. University of Illinois, UrbanaChampaign Campus. 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
  10. ^ a b "Alnilam". Jim Kaler’s Stars. University of Illinois, UrbanaChampaign Campus. 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
  11. ^ http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/alnitak.html
  12. ^ http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/alnilam.html
  13. ^ http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/mintaka.html
  14. ^ http://www.astro.wisc.edu/~dolan/constellations/constellations/Orion.html
  15. ^ Lenda de Órion e as Três Marias
  16. ^ John H. Rogers, "Origins of the ancient contellations: I. The Mesopotamian traditions", Journal of the British Astronomical Association 108 (1998) 9–28
  17. ^ Babylonian Star-lore by Gavin White, Solaria Pubs, 2008, page 218ff & 170
  18. ^ Peake’s commentary on the Bible[citation needed]
  19. ^ The Oxford Guide: Essential Guide to Egyptian Mythology, Edited by Donald B. Redford, p302-307, Berkley, 2003, ISBN 0-425-19096-X
  20. ^ Mackenzie, Donald A. (1907). "Triumph of the Sun God". Egyptian Myth and Legend. Gresham Pub. Co.. pp. 167–168. ISBN 0517259125.
  21. ^ http://www.coldwaterschools.org/lms/planetarium/myth/orion.html; http://www.constellationsofwords.com/Constellations/Orion.html
  22. ^ Mackenzie, Donald A. (1907). "Triumph of the Sun God". Egyptian Myth and Legend. Gresham Pub. Co.. pp. 167–168. ISBN 0517259125.
  23. ^ The Oxford Guide: Essential Guide to Egyptian Mythology, Edited by Donald B. Redford, p302-307, Berkley, 2003, ISBN 0-425-19096-X
  24. ^ The Oxford Guide: Essential Guide to Egyptian Mythology, Edited by Donald B. Redford, p302-307, Berkley, 2003, ISBN 0-425-19096-X
  25. ^ Star Tales – Orion
  26. ^ Chandra :: Photo Album :: Constellation Orion
  27. ^ Schön, Ebbe. (2004). Asa-Tors hammare, Gudar och jättar i tro och tradition. Fält & Hässler, Värnamo. p. 228.
  28. ^ Holay, P. V.. "Vedic astronomers". Bulletin of the Astronomical Society of India 26: 91–106.
  29. ^ 漢語大字典 Hànyǔ Dàzìdiǎn (in Chinese), 1992 (p.163). 湖北辭書出版社和四川辭書出版社 Húbĕi Cishu Chūbǎnshè and Sìchuān Cishu Chūbǎnshè, re-published in traditional character form by 建宏出版社 Jiànhóng Publ. in Taipei, Taiwan; ISBN 957-813-478-9
  30. ^ Moser, Mary B.; Stephen A. Marlett (2005) (in Spanish and English). Comcáac quih yaza quih hant ihíip hac: Diccionario seri-español-inglés. Hermosillo, Sonora and Mexico City: Universidad de Sonora and Plaza y Valdés Editores.
  31. ^ http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/moonkmft/Articles/Precession.html

References

External links


Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Orion

Constellation history

Coordinates: Sky map 05h 30m 00s, +00° 00′ 00″

Categories: Orion constellation | Constellations | Northern constellations | Constellations listed by Ptolemy | Eastern constellations

Orion’s Belt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the group of stars within the constellation Orion. For other uses, see Orion’s Belt (disambiguation).

Astrophotograph of Orion’s Belt.

Orion’s Belt or The Belt of Orion is an astronomical asterism in the constellation Orion. It consists of the three bright stars ζ Ori (Alnitak), ε Ori (Alnilam), and δ Ori (Mintaka). Alnitak is approximately 800 light years away from earth and considering ultraviolet radiation, which human eye can not see, Alnitak is 100,000 more luminous than Sun[1]. Alnilam is approximately 1340 light years away from earth and shines with magnitude 1.70. Considering ultraviolet light Alnilam is 375,000 times more luminous than Sun [2]. Mintaka is 915 light years away and shines with magnitude 2.21. Mintaka is 90,000 times more luminous than Sun. Mintaka is double star. Both stars orbit around each other every 5.73 days. [3] Looking for Orion’s Belt in the night sky is the easiest way to locate constellation Orion in the sky. In the Northern hemisphere, Orion’s Belt is best visible in the night sky during the month of January at around 9.00 PM when it is approximately around local Meridian.[4]

The same three stars are known in Latin America as "The Three Marys".[5] They also mark the northern night sky when the sun is at its lowest point, and were a clear marker for ancient timekeeping.

Richard Hinckley Allen lists many folk names for the Belt of Orion. The English ones include: Jacob’s Rod or Staff; Peter’s Staff; the Golden Yard-arm; the L, or Ell; the Ell and Yard; the Yard-stick, and the Yard-wand; the Ellwand; Our Lady’s Wand; the Magi; the Three Kings; the Three Marys; or simply the Three Stars.

The passage "Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?" is found in the Bible‘s Book of Job.

Gallery

Map of Orion.

Amateur astrophotograph of Orion’s Belt.

Astrophotograph of the region of Orion’s Belt and the Flame Nebula.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_(constellation)

 

LEGENDS

OF

ORION

The legend as given here is from "Dictionary of Ancient Deities" by Patricia Turner & Charles Russell Coulter, pg. 365. Oxford Press, 2000.

ORION – Oarion, Urion (Greek)

Hunter. Constellation. Orion, a famous giant and hunter, was the son of the sea god Poseidon or Hyrieus, the king of Hyria and Euryale, the daughter of Minos. He became the father of the nymph Menodice. In a later account of his birth it is said that Hyreius, king of Thrace or of Boeotian Hyria, who had been a gracious host to Poseidon, Hermes, and Zeus, was asked by the gods how they could repay him. He asked for a child. They urinated on the hide of a bull and buried it. After nine months, Orion grew up on the spot and was named Urion by his father. Orion married Side, who bragged that she was more beautiful than Hera. It is possible that this did not sit well with the jealous goddess, for Side died young and was sent to the Underworld.

The idea of Orion being a son of three gods who represent the elements of (respectively) Water, Air and Earth is an interesting one. Orion, composed of stars then becomes Fire. Being born from the urine of these three gods is a sort of "male divine virgin birth" that is not often seen in mythology but is not uncommon. Kartikkeya (Skanda) the son of Shiva is said to have been born from a spurt of Shiva’s semen which contained 7 drops. These drops fell into the river and became Kartikkeya, who was then raised by the Pleiades (Kartik). The river, in this case is the Milky Way. Orion sits near to the Pleiades, so we have a little cross-referencing of myth here. He also sits near Taurus the Bull and the gods are said to be urinating on the hide of a bull. The name of his first wife — Side (sy-dee) is also similar to the name of the Hindu goddess Siddhi (see-dee) or Success, who is sometimes said to be the sister of Kartikkeya. Also similar to the Siddhe (shee) or Tuatha de Danaan. The Tuatha de Danaan are "the sons of the goddess" as are the bene elohim (Hebrew) and the Adityas or Danavas (Hindu), who are also said to be giants and artificers.

Orion met Meriope, the daughter of Oenopion, king of Chios, and asked for her hand in marriage. As the price of betrothal Oenopion set the task, which Orion quickly accomplished, of clearing his island of wild beasts. Impatient, Orion did not wait for the wedding, he raped his fiancee and reaped the wrath of her father, who blinded him and threw him out on the beach. Orion, who had the power to walk on water, found his way to Lemnos. Out of pity, the god of fire and metalworking, Hephaestus, offered him the services of his servant, the dwarf Cedalon, who mounted on the shoulders of the giant guided him to the sun where his eyesight was restored by the sun god Helius (some say Apollo).

Chios? Is this an allusion to chaos (khaos)? I ask this question, because there are many legends regarding the "lost sister of the Pleiades", Meriope. The Pleiades are called the Seven Sisters, but only six are visible. Many cultures have explained this by weaving stories to the effect that she left her ‘husband’ (whatever his name in the story) and went to live with the Seven Sages, who are the stars of Ursa Major or the Big Dipper that revolve around the northern pole-star. It would seem that perhaps this star exploded and ‘disappeared’, possibly hurtling off fragmented toward the northern portion of the heavens. Every year, in August, comes the Perseid meteor showers and hundreds if not thousands of meteor trails adorn the night sky. Perseus sits in the same area of the sky as Orion, Taurus, the Pleiades and Hyades. This is a very active region of the sky and could seem to be chaotic in terms of the amount of astronomical phenomena going on in it.

The story of Orion asking for Meriope’s hand in marriage and not waiting until the wedding night to have her is very similar to a story in Genesis, where Shechem asks for the hand of Dinah, a daughter of Jacob and sister to Jacob’s sons Levi and Simeon. Shechem is so in love and infatuated with Dinah, that he too does not wait for the wedding night and ‘rapes’ her. (She’s supposedly staying at his house at the time, so can’t say if it wasn’t a mutual kind of thing.) Simeon and Levi become enraged over this and go to the town and supposedly kill every man-jack there and steal all the women and animals for their own. (How very ‘Hebrew’) One wonders how two men accomplished all this! Is this a case of the writers of the Bible borrowing again (this time) from Greek mythology? Possibly. And it possibly indicates that Genesis was not written as long ago as we are led to believe. I say this, because at the time the books of the Bible were being assembled and written at Qumran, Greek occupation of the Holy Land was in full swing. The Greeks ruled and enforced their ways and ideals on the Hebrews. Not to think that the writer or writers of Genesis were not aware of the myths of the Greeks and their ‘blasphemies’, is denial of their great knowledge and adept usage of myth.

Orion’s ability to ‘walk on’ or under water is seen in his relation to the Milky Way, as the head of the constellation is just into the edge of said river of stars.

Some say Orion became drunk and attacked Merope, others say the King made Orion drunk and put out Orion’s eyes while he slept. Orion’s blindness explains why the stars in the head of Orion are faint.

Orion regained his eyesight when he asked to be led in the direction of the rising sun. (At first glance this doesn’t appear to make sense: when Orion is visible, he is always running toward the west, not east. It might make more sense in the context of precession of the equinoxes.) [ from http://www.scivis.com/AC/stor/orion.html ]

Like Samson, Orion is also blinded. While Samson does not recover his sight, physically, he does recover his ‘light’ and finds his way back to his innate divinity.

His eyesight restored but his judgement still cloudy, he chased the daughters of Atlas, the Pleiades and possibly their mother, Pleione (whom he didn’t recognize as his great grandmother), around for years until they became exhausted. To give them relief, Zeus placed them among the stars. Orion and his dog Sirius joined the moon goddess Artemis for the more traditional type of hunting. Old habits die hard; it is said that she shot him either for raping her or her attendant Opis, or out of jealousy because he slept with Eos, the goddess of dawn. In another less dramatic version, he was stung by a monster scorpion sent by the goddess Gaea (earth) and died. After death Orion became the brightest constellation in the sky along with Sirius, his faithful dog.

Orion is also equated with Osiris in Egyptian myth. People such as Robert Bauval have theorized that the three great pyramids of Egypt are an earthly reflection of the three stars of Orion’s belt. I personally agree with this theory. Osiris was the god of laws, agriculture and religion. The same source as the Orion myth says of Osiris:

His vegetable aspect is symbolized by corn and many effigies made of corn husks and corn-stuffed images bandaged like mummies have been located. Osiris is thought to have been the first mummy. Like the corn, he was first trodden in the earth (burial), then rested in the dark and the new seed germinated (resurrection). Osiris was also a tree spirit. In the hall of Osiris at Denderah, the coffin containing the hawk-headed mummy of Osiris is depicted as enclosed within a tree…. He owas regularly identified with the bull of Apis of Memphis and the bull Mnevis of Heliopolis. His name may mean "place of the eye" which would correspond with his written sign.

Here, we find the connections made with Dumuzi/Tammuz and Dionysius/Bacchus, as well as the Death of the Corn King, and the death of John Barleycorn. Connecting these divinities to Shemyaza also makes him a ‘corn king’, the dying and resurrected one. While all this may seem confusing and hopelessly intertwined, it’s not. Not at all. They all represent a single concept on both the earthly and spiritual planes. One must die to be reborn in a purer form. That death may be symbolic. It is the death of the Phoenix, who is reborn from the pyre of it’s own ashes. Osiris is reborn in a purer form and becomes immortal. Gnostically speaking, the ideal is to die symbolically and reach one’s enlightenment while still living in the flesh. This is refered to in the song Exodus (Zoon), when McCoy sings "Rise, rise, rise alive!".

We also see the connections with the bulls Apis and Mnevis, who are symbolized in the sky by Taurus. There is also a reference to Osiris’s ‘tree aspect’. Recall that the Watchers were dreamed of as two hundred trees in the Book of Giants . They were also called ‘trees’ or ‘cedars’ because of their giant stature and their knowledge. Tree spirits in many pantheons are seen as tutelary (teaching) dieties, which is exactly what the Watchers are. They "taught men the worthless secrets of heaven" [Enoch]

Sirius – the binary star that follows at Orion’s heels and is said to be the ‘head of the dog’, is also connected with Isis….but that may have to be another page 😉

http://www.semjaaza.com/seven/orion.html

[star chart]

India & Constellation Orion Myths

India & Constellation Orion Myths: Ancient Hindu Mythology About the Hunter and Nearby Constellations http://www.suite101.com/content/india-constellation-orion-myths-a26806#ixzz0ytmDbctg

Ancient Hindu Mythology About the Hunter and Nearby Constellations

Jul 21, 2007 Paul A. Heckert

In ancient Hindu mythology, the constellation Orion was the god Prajapati, who had an incestuous relationship with the dawn.

Prajapati and the Rg Veda

The oldest Hindu myths are those found in the Rg Veda, which is the oldest known document in any Indo-European language and was passed down orally for several centuries before it was written.

In this ancient tradition the constellation, Orion, is the god Prajapati, one of the creator gods. In an interesting parallel with one of the Greek myths about Orion, Prajapati has a relationship with the dawn or in some versions the sky. There is a twist however. She is his daughter. The relationship is incestuous.

Dawn took the form of a doe, so Prajapati took the form of a stag to seduce her. The other gods did not approve of this incestuous relationship. They assembled a malevolent deity, Rudra, and told him to shoot the incestuous stag with an arrow. The deer or the deer’s head is the modern constellation, Capricorn. Sirius, the brightest star in the sky and now thought of as one of Orion’s hunting dogs, was the deer piercer who shot the arrow.

The brightest star in Taurus, Aldeberan, was called Rohini and represents the female deer. Prajapati is represented by Orion, but the row of three stars that is considered his belt in western tradition is the arrow that pierced him. The three arrow (belt) stars are Agni, Soma, and Visnu representing the shaft, head, and point of the arrow. Visnu was the solar or supreme god. Soma was both the god’s ambrosia and the moon. Agni was the fire god. Extend Orion’s belt to find Sirius and Aldeberan representing the deer piercer and Rohini. They are roughly equidistant from Orion’s belt but on opposite sides of the belt.

In this version of the myth only Prajapati pursued Dawn, but in a later alternate version, Prajapati and his four sons, Fire, Wind, Sun, and Moon all pursue her. In this latter version Dawn was actively seductive by taking the form of a nymph.

Skanda and the Mahabharata

In the Mahabharata, a later epic and the major Hindu epic, Orion was the warrior, Skanda. Skanda was the six headed son of Shiva, the god of ascetics and cosmic destruction. Skanda’s aliases included Kumara, Karttikeya, and Guha. He was both the god of war and the general of the gods. Riding a red crested cock and blowing fearful sounds on a conch-shell, he thrust his spear into the White Mountain. The top split off into the sky becoming the Milky Way. The hero also killed various demons and restored peace.

Read more at Suite101: India & Constellation Orion Myths: Ancient Hindu Mythology About the Hunter and Nearby Constellations http://www.suite101.com/content/india-constellation-orion-myths-a26806#ixzz0ytmDbctg

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