It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
In the Roman era, the celestial pole was about equally distant from α Ursae Minoris (Cynosura) and β Ursae Minoris (Kochab).
α Ursae Minoris was described as αει φανης "always visible" by Stobaeus in the 5th century, when it was still removed from the celestial pole by about 8°.
I’m referring in this case to Celtic mythology and traditions, which bind the stories of the night sky to events, symbols, literature and cultural trappings which are very much a part of life in Britain today.
The entire assembly starts with Bootes the herdsman, that role now taken by Hu Gadarn, moves in a line through Ursa Major and comes down through Auriga to Taurus the oxen. If Hu is handling the plough, then it is easy to see why the seven stars of Ursa Major are so named in British tradition, although why Auriga is seen as the link to the oxen is now lost. In Welsh folk tales, Hu Gadarn rescues the land from a fearful monster, the Afanc (associated with Scorpius). He drew the Afanc out of Llyn Llion by use of his oxen and dragged it to Llyn y Ffynnon Las, where it is magically imprisoned. As the scorpion is unknown in western Europe, the Greek constellation of Scorpius became the Afanc or Beaver to the Celts.
The Afanc (Welsh pronunciation: [ˈavank], sometimes also called Addanc, [ˈaðank]) is a lake monster from Welsh mythology. Its exact description varies; it is described variously as resembling a crocodile, beaver or dwarf-like creature, and is sometimes said to be a demon.
The afanc was a monstrous creature that, like most lake monsters, was said to prey upon any foolish enough to fall into or swim in its lake.
According to a version of an afanc legend as put forth by the famous writer of myths and folklore Edward Williams known as Iolo Morganwg, its thrashings caused massive flooding which ultimately drowned all inhabitants of Britain save for two people, Dwyfan and Dwyfach, from whom the later inhabitants of Prydain descended.
According to one version of the myth, also put forth by Iolo Morgannwg, Hu Gadarn's oxen dragged the afanc out of the lake; once it was out of the water, it was powerless and could be killed. This version locates the creature in Llyn Llion.
There was a sign from the sun, the like of which had never been seen and reported before. The sun became dark and its darkness lasted for 18 months. Each day, it shone for about four hours, and still this light was only a feeble shadow. Everyone declared that the sun would never recover its full light again.
Between the years 535 and 536, a series of major global climatic events that took place that could easily be described as a global cataclysm with catastrophic consequences. The above abstract is from the sixth century historian and church leader, John of Ephesus, in his historical work, Church Histories (‘Historiae Ecclesiasticae’).
There was one way in which a Kelpie could be defeated and tamed; the Kelpies power of shape shifting was said to reside in its bridle, and anybody who could claim possession of it could force the Kelpie to submit to their will. A Kelpie in subjugation was highly prized, it had the strength of at least 10 horses and the endurance of many more, but the fairy races were always dangerous captives especially those as malignant as the Kelpie. It was said that the MacGregor clan were in possession of a Kelpies bridle, passed down through the generations from when one of their clan managed to save himself from a Kelpie near Loch Slochd.
...historical associations still remain today and none can be so powerfully epitomised as the legend of Bran the Giant. Bran is the brother of Branwen, daughter of the sea god Llyr. Branwen is married off to the king of Ireland, but is mistreated, leading to war between the Britons and Irish. The Irish king Maddolwch is defeated but Bran is mortally wounded by a poisoned arrow. He asks his followers to cut off his head and bury it in London, with his face to the south to stop the land being invaded.
If one recalls the Celtic belief that souls become birds, then Bran’s soul becomes a raven and his burial place, Bran’s tumulus, is now the site of the Tower of London. Tradition tells us that if the ravens desert the Tower, then the land will fall to foreign invaders, giving us an entertaining story and direct link back to Celtic mythology and the starry sky as the constellation of Corvus, the Crow, or “Bran’s raven” as the ancient Britons knew it.
The cauldron can resurrect the corpse of dead warriors placed inside it (this scene is believed to be depicted on the Gundestrup Cauldron). Bran gives his sister Branwen and her new husband Math — the King of Ireland — the cauldron as a wedding gift, but when war breaks out Bran sets out to take the valuable gift back. He is accompanied by a band of a loyal knights with him, but only seven return home.