Monday, September 21, 2015

Carpe Diem #824 Orion

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First a view announcements:

1. I have published our prompt-list for October 2015, our 3rd anniversary month;
2. Please remember that our fourth kukai "Peace of Mind" is still running and that you can submit your all new haiku (only haiku) with a maximum of three until September 25th at 10.00 PM (CET);
3. I have changed the judging-rules for our kukai. The kukai-judging is also open for those who didn't submit haiku for the kukai;
4. I am busy with creating our CDHK You Tube channel and I am exploring the possibilities to launch a CDHK merchandise line.

Ok ... enough announcements made. Let us go on with our space odyssey in which we are exploring the 88 known (and listed) constellations. We have had several unknown constellations, but the constellation for today is very known I think. Today we are encountering Orion, mostly known for its very clear three stars which are seen as the belt of Orion. Let us take a closer look at Orion:

Credits: Orion
There are numerous stories about this constellation. The most dazzling one I think is that one of the stars in Orion's belt is inhabited ... if that's true I don't know, but I was stunned when I read that idea. However that story I will not take with me in this episode, because there are several other stories based on mythology which I cherish more.

The earliest depiction that has been linked to the constellation of Orion is a prehistoric (Aurignacian) mammoth ivory carving found in a cave in the Ach valley in Germany in 1979. Archaeologists have estimated it to have been fashioned approximately 32,000 to 38,000 years ago. The distinctive pattern of Orion has been recognized in numerous cultures around the world, and many myths have been associated with it. It has also been used as a symbol in the modern world.

Ancient Near East

The Babylonian star catalogues of the Late Bronze Age name Orion "The Heavenly Shepherd" or "True Shepherd of Anu" - Anu being the chief god of the heavenly realms. 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—both constellations represent the herald of the gods, in his bird and human forms respectively.

In ancient Egypt, the stars of Orion were regarded as a god, called Sah. Because Orion rises before Sirius, the star whose heliacal rising was the basis for the Solar Egyptian calendar, Sah was closely linked with Sopdet, the goddess who personified Sirius. The god Sopdu was said to be the son of Sah and Sopdet. Sah was syncretized with Osiris, while Sopdet was syncretized with Osiris' mythological wife, Isis. In the Pyramid Texts, from the 24th and 23rd centuries BC, Sah was one of many gods whose form the dead pharaoh was said to take in the afterlife.

In ancient Aram, the constellation was known as Nephîlā′, the Nephilim may have been Orion's descendants.
Credits: Orion (as depicted by Hevelius)

Orion's current name derives from Greek mythology, in which Orion was a gigantic, supernaturally strong hunter of ancient times, born to Euryale, a Gorgon, and Poseidon (Neptune), god of the sea in the Graeco-Roman tradition. One myth recounts Gaia's rage at Orion, who dared to say that he would kill every animal on the planet. The angry goddess tried to dispatch Orion with a scorpion. This is given as the reason that the constellations of Scorpius and Orion are never in the sky at the same time. However, Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer, revived Orion with an antidote. This is said to be the reason that the constellation of Ophiuchus stands midway between the Scorpion and the Hunter in the sky.

East Asian antiquity

The Rig Veda refers to the Orion Constellation as Mriga (The Deer). It is said that two bright stars in the front and two bright stars in the rear are The hunting dogs, the one comparatively less bright star in the middle and ahead of two front dogs is The hunter and three aligned bright stars are in the middle of all four hunting dogs is The Deer (The Mriga) and three little aligned but less brighter stars is The Baby Deer. The Mriga means Deer, locally known as Harnu in folk parlance. There are many folk songs narrating the Harnu. The Malay called Orion' Belt Bintang Tiga Beradik (the "Three Brother Star").


The Seri people of northwestern Mexico call the three stars in the belt of Orion 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.

Credits: Boy Chief of the Chippewa or Ojibwe

The Ojibwa (Chippewa) Native Americans call this constellation Kabibona'kan, the Winter Maker, as its presence in the night sky heralds winter.

Wow ... what a rich stories about Orion and what a joy to share this with you all here at our Kai. I like all those stories, but I was caught by that little short story about the "Winter Maker" and that inspired me to compose this haiku:

Orion trumpets
at the deep blue sky of the night
first snow falls

© Chèvrefeuille

And I love to share another haiku from my archives here again:

Orion's Belt
brighter than ever
in a moonless night

in a moonless night
wandering over the heath -
the Milky Way

the Milky Way
a path of thousand stars -
like a river

© Chèvrefeuille (2013)

Orion´s Belt
Well ... enough inspiration I think. So good luck .... This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 24th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, an all new Tokubetsudesu, later on. 


  1. fascinating subject matter. I especially love the Giza - Orion correlation theory.

  2. Loving the story in your chained haiku, Chevrefeuille ---

  3. And ... I neglected to comment on the wealth of information here. All I can say is "wow" -- :)
    Thank you for a great prompt!