Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Shooting Star - Symbol and Myth

The Shooting Star has been revered with awe and amazement
throughout history. To better understand why this has been so,
we must first imagine the night sky under which Ancient cultures
viewed the many heavenly wonders.

Unlike the night sky under which we live today, which is blotted out
by big city light pollution, Ancient cultures lived under a vast, dark
canopy which was wondrous, awe-inspiring and Eternal.

The night sky of the Ancients contained an infinite abundance of
Stars, planets (the Wanderers), constellations, comets, meteors
and Shooting Stars.

During certain times of the year, the Ancients would experience
meteor showers streaking across the sky. They envisioned these
streaking lights to be the Lightening bolts of eternal forces which
were at war with each other.

Occasionally, one of these streaking lights would fall from heaven
and tumble to earth as a ball of fire. Since fire is the Symbol for
light, illumination and enlightenment, the Ancients perceived that
these balls of fire which plummeted to earth contained the Breath,
Essence and Enlightenment of Divinity. In effect, these Ancient
cultures considered Shooting Stars to be "gifts of the gods".

Shooting Stars consist of iron. Therefore iron, which was bestowed
upon the Ancients in a fiery package from Heaven, was also
considered to be a Spiritual Gift which contained all of the Aspects
of Divinity. The Ancients used this "gift of the gods" to fashion
their tools, weapons and sacred implements.

Perhaps the most interesting implement fashioned by the Ancient
Egyptians was the one that was crafted for the Opening of the Mouth
funerary Ceremony.

During this Ritual an iron bar, in the shape of the Big Dipper,
was used to Ceremoniously "pry open" the mummified mouth of
the recently deceased. The iron in this Ceremonial instrument
symbolically represented the Essence and Breath of Divinity which
was reverentially pried into the mouth of the deceased so that the
Breath and Essence of Divinity could accompany the deceased
throughout his, or her, journey through the afterlife.

The Symbolism contained in designing this iron instrument in the
shape of the Big Dipper alluded to the fact that the front part of the
ladle of the Big Dipper points directly to, and appears to be attached
to, the pole star. This symbolically causes the Big Dipper to rotate
around the pole star, as do the handles of a clock, thereby forming a
Circular path around an unmoving center point. This rotation
creates the Sacred Symbol of a Dot Within A Circle.

Additionally, in other sections of Egyptian funerary scripts, Deity
would be invoked to "open up your iron gates" in order to allow
the recently deceased entrance into the realm of the Infinite.

The Shooting Star has mesmerized individuals throughout the
course of history. Even today we have a ritual of making a wish
upon seeing a Shooting Star in the Hope that Divinity will grant
our request. Whenever we make a wish upon a Shooting Star we
are sharing the same awe and respect for Divinity as did our
Ancient ancestors many, many centuries ago.

Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
people with similar thoughts and feelings. My email address is
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Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2009
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Windy Grace Mason said...

I awoke at 2:49 this morning at just the right moment to see a shooting star. At almost two hours later, I still don't quite know what to think of this experience...

David Jevons said...

As I stood looking north at the big dipper this morning in the pre-dawn light a meteor or shooting star streaked across the center of the dipper. It was rather long streak of light and I stood quite some time contemplating its significance. Having lost my eldest son to Covid in the early days of this pandemic I have been seeking comfort and understanding anywhere I can. Fully aware none are alone in this suffering I often hesitate to answer when an unknowing person asks about him. In eternity we earth walkers are as fleeting as the shooting star, yet we struggle to realize just how fleeting this temporal existence is. The shooting star is a vivid reminder to make the most of our journey. The universe is full of wonder as am I when I view and contemplate it. Galaxies upon Galaxies are out there beyond our physical reach and I wonder, is there an edge, does it go on forever? Even with the great Hubble and Webb telescopes in space we cannot say for sure, nor will we ever. I am a shooting star...