The Drūið and The Uātis Dance with Pleiades

What we call the sisters today are the keys to the motion.

Gaulish Druidism, Gaulish Polytheism

These High Days are based on the farming year. These were critical to the Ancestors of ancient times, and I think it was also in Gaul. Now I have nothing of solid evidence that the Senodruides viewed these days at the moment to back my thoughts besides doing agricultural work and living by the seasons by the motions of the stars, along with a few finds.

Farming was crucial for the tribes. It literally meant Life and Death. If the weather was unkind or even if the animals and crops got diseases, it could be disastrous to the farmer and the people of the tribe. The Dēuoi (Worshiped Beings) meant everything to them. Knowing the correct offerings to give and rituals and sacrifices to perform was very spiritual knowledge. As we know, a lot of the Dēuoi themselves are associated with agriculture and agricultural ideas.

Knowing the change of seasons is very important for the Wrong or Right days to do Agricultural work such as plowing, sowing, and reaping. These days had to be in favor, and the Divininatory powers and knowledge from the Senodruides and Senouātīs played a big part in that. We can envision the Senodruides and Senouātīs out in the Nemeton doing a great rite during the time that fall or spring begins. The Senodruides preparing the space and getting the people ready as the Senouātīs reads great omens for the coming time.

Bringing us to the Pleiades now, I feel the Senoruids and Senouātīs would have known of these marking points in the sky, as Pomponius Mela states.

They [the Gauls] have an eloquence of their own, and their Druids as masters of wisdom. These profess to know the magnitude and form of the earth and the world, the motions of the heaven and the stars, and the will of the gods. They teach the noblest of the nation many things privately, and for a long time, even for twenty years, in a cave, or in inaccessible woods. One of their precepts has become public, namely, that they should act bravely in war, that souls are immortal, and that there is another life after death. Therefore along with the dead, they burn and bury things which belonged to them while living. Their debtor and creditor accounts were transferred below. Some even went so far as to ascend the funeral pyres of their friends of their own accord, as though about to live with them.”

Pomponius Mela, “De Situ Orbis”, iii, 2, 18 and 19

This tells us they understood the motions of the sky. 
I feel that if the Senodruids did not know of these days and found out about them, they most certainly would have incorporated them into their Calendar. Either way, we know now about these days and have learned much more about the motions of the cosmos.

Now, these days are the start of the Seasons. They act as a clock. We must remember that just because it’s the beginning of spring for me doesn’t mean the being of spring for you. This is why knowing your location is essential. For my location, it’s when the dogwoods bloom. The days are the Dēuoi telling us to start preparing for the change. And in the farming realm, this is key to life. As we often forget about the importance of it as we live a life separated from it. 

The Pleiades

First, let me state these have nothing to do with Ancient Aliens or far-out thoughts like that.

The Pleiades (The Seven Sisters) is a heliacal rising object which means relating to or near the sun —used primarily for the last setting of a star before and its first rising after invisibility due to conjunction with the sun. This is why the ancient world used this object to help with essential dates within their calendar and with the changing of the seasons.

The Pleiades are within the Taurus constellation. And Above to the right of Orion. They are an Open Star Cluster containing hundreds of stars, but only 6 are viewed with the human eye 7 on a good night. They are also known as Messier 45, The seven sisters, and Matariki. There are a lot of names. So the Pleiades are like our big sky objects, the Sun and Moon, and one of the reasons we can use them to tell changes is because it’s on the Ecliptic. Well, it’s 4 degrees off. The ecliptic is the great circle on the celestial sphere representing the sun’s path during the year.

Some Accounts of The Pleiades

We have finds of evidence that is speculated to be telling’s of time with the Pleiades within Europe. We have The Nebra Sky Disk, a bronze disk dating to 1600 BCE. This is considered the oldest realistic representation of the cosmos found, and the date of this varies as its a debated relic. This is painted a blue-green color with gold embossed symbols of a crescent moon, the sun or the full moon, stars, and a group of 7 stars that are in the shape of the Pleiades. This was found in Germany near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, in the Pergamon Museum.

Then there is a star map, as folks speculate, in a cave in Lascaux, France, the paintings dating to 16,500 years. These drawings appear to show scientific knowledge of the stars. One of the paintings is of a bull and what appears to be 7 stars in the shape of the Pleiades. This drawing is the same form as the constellation Taurus with the Pleiades right next to it. This shows us that our identification with the stars goes back a very long time. Side note could the Pleiades be Tarvos Trigaranus over the Bull? Going back to Indo-European myth? Just a random thought.

From Munich, Untermenzing, Bavaria, we have a small hilted short sword adorned with various metals representing the sun and moon and what I speculate as being the Pleiades. This is what is thought to be a ritual item showing us their lunar symbolism.

Next is a reference from Diodorus Siculous, a 5th century BCE. ancient Greek historian.

The Hyperboreans also have a language, we informed, which is peculiar to them, and are most friendly disposed towards the Greeks, and especially towards the Athenians and the Delians, who have inherited this good-will from most ancient times. The myth also relates that certain Greeks visited the Hyperboreans and left behind them there costly votive offerings bearing inscriptions in Greek letters. And in the same way Abaris, a Hyperborean, came  to Greece in ancient times and renewed the good-will and kinship of his people to the Delians. They say also that the moon, as viewed from this island, appears to be but a little distance from the earth and to have upon it prominences, like those of the earth, which are visible to the eye. The account is also given that the god visits the island every nineteen years, the period in which the return of the stars to the same place in the heavens is accomplished; and for this reason the nineteen-year period is called by the Greeks the “year of Meton.” At the time of this appearance of the god he both plays on the cithara and dances continuously the night through from the vernal equinox until the rising of the Pleiades, expressing in this manner his delight in his successes. And the kings of this city and the supervisors of the sacred precinct are called Boreadae, since they are descendants of Boreas, and the succession to these positions is always kept in their family.

Diodorus Siculous, the Histories, Vol 2, 47

The constellation would have appeared in their skies in the autumn, showing that it was time to start bringing in the harvest and disappeared in the spring, indicating the time for planting crops.

Magic behind the Coligany
These two High days coincide with our Coligany Calendar.

  • When the Pleiades are falling in the sky, it lines up with (Heliacal Setting)
    • Samonios (May-June).
    • Pleiades Setting in the evening sky May 2
    • This marks the start of spring.
    • Time for sowing.
  • When the Pleiades are rising in the sky, it lines up with (Acronical Rising)
    • Giamonios (November-December).
    • Pleiades rising in the Night sky October 15
    • This marks the start of fall.
    • Time for reaping.

These days are strung together with life and death.
(These are using the spring start of the Coligany Calendar.)

This is all giving a week or two with the dates. What I mean by this is the location. If I lived on the beach, I would see the Pleiades on the lower horizon before I would see them. If I lived in a valley surrounded by trees, before I could see it, they would be higher on the horizon. Also, it is a matter of what you chose as the dates as it is not precise as in today’s standers of timekeeping. What I’m suggesting is that these two days are the reason behind the Coligany Calendar. It is not too stretched of an idea, as the Senodruides measured the days by night. So it would seem logical that timekeeping this way is best by the calculations of the motions of the Pleiades.

Remember that every night the Pleiades rise higher and higher in the sky and set four minutes earlier each night. During winter, you will know it’s midwinter when they rise directly overhead, reaching the zenith (highest point).

The Pleiades appear around the time of the first autumn frost, which kills the hot weather loving crops (corn, peppers, tomatoes, squash, potatoes, etc.). Cool temperature crops can continue to survive. As the growing season nears an end you watch the sky for the appearance of the Pleiades. You know you need to harvest all your crops before the plants are killed by frost and the crops are frozen, damaged, and no longer edible. After the zenith of mid-winter, the star cluster descends on the western side of the horizon until they disappear in spring around May 5 to 10th. Which just happens to be the time of the last spring frost. The Seven Sisters remain in the sky October 10 -15 to May 5 -19, for 153 to 163 days. This is about the length of the growing season in many places. If you can see this star cluster in the sky in the early evening, your crops are in danger of experiencing frost (freezing temperatures).

Donna L. Long

Alternative Time Keeping
So an inserting thing happens in the motions of the Pleiades. Venus passes through the center of them every eight years. This year marks year one. It happened on April 3, 2020. So one can keep track of the cycles by watching Venus. We in the Gaulish Community have a gnosis with Venus and a Sironâ connection.

This world we have created disconnects us from the natural order of things. We rely too much on other things to tell us about time. This way of thinking connects you to something archaic and cosmic well, it connects you to the Dēuoi. As for being a Druið and a Uātīs, one must understand the motions of the stars and have a deep understanding of the seasons. There is magic in going out and looking at the stars and being in the realm of the Dēuoi that can not be matched. This study is key to understanding what it means to be a Druið and a Uātīs. Marking time is a very sacred act, and it brings us to the passage of time to mark life and death.

For your location to keep time with this, I would suggest finding a special place away from others where you can do rituals and find when the Pleiades is coming or going. So you can know when Spring or Fall is here. For me, I have a nice place in the mountains that I travel to a few times a year to observe the sky and see the placement of the Pleiades.

Gaulish Druid High Days
This will be the foundation of two Îuoi (Holidays) within Drunemeton.
So in all, The Pleiades are very likely the reason for the Coligany Calendar

Druids: Towards an Archaeology – Andrew P. Fitzpatrick


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