Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sky Messages - Part I

A litttle chick, winglets flapping, eyes bulging in alarm is loudly squeaking, "the sky is falling." Now our childhood taught us that this was an illustration of an act of pure panic. It still has significance, however, because of the reference to "sky."

Sky, is that all encompassing firmament which overlays us endlessly, day and night. It cannot be ignored, and it demands ongoing explanation. In most respects we can call it the master of all science, a glorious ingredient in many spiritual beliefs, and a foundation for great art and music.

The very earliest human as well as some of our simian relatives observed, reacted to, and worshiped the sky above. What they called that process is not really known. It was the Greeks who introduced the word "kosmos" and it was the Romans who added the Latin "ology" to kosmos. This evolved into the term "cosmology" which even now has several connotations depending upon what hat you are wearing.

John Ruskin, the British artist, poet and author of the Victorian era reflected on "sky" this way. "Sometimes gentle, sometimes capricious, sometimes awful, never the same for two moments together; almost human in its passions, almost spiritual in its tenderness, almost Divine in its infinity." This in my mind comes very close to capturing what I perceive to have been the view of most of the ancient cultures, including the Anasazi, that settled the Southwestern United States. It most likely also comes very close to the spiritual views of today's Native American cultures as well as my own.

In the next two parts of this topic I will introduce what is now labeled as ethnoastronomy, but is really the study of the practice of native astronomy by both the ancient cultures that settled the Southwest as well as the ongoing use and study of astronomy by Native Americans and other worldwide cultures today. Part II will specifically talk about the "Anasazi Sky" (my term) and its presence in their spirituality, there architecture, there pictographs and petroglyphs, and their daily efforts to sustain themselves. I hope you will join me.

CREDITS: The image above is clipart of "Chicken Little" and is copyrighted by the Disney Corporation. It is used here by permission (

Anasazi Dreams (c) 2009 Waddell Robey. All individual copyrights apply.

No comments:

Post a Comment