Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Pawnee in Nebraska Had a Hermetic Astronomical Belief System - As Above So Below - Village Plans based on the Stars - LexiLine Journal 369

In an irony of ironies, the greatest proof for the correctness of the theories presented by me in Stars Stones and Scholars and at may come from the very area in the United States where I grew up, the State of Nebraska.

Steve Burdic has just sent me what is by far the most interesting e- mail of the year. He refers to the following source:

American Anthropologist 1902
cached at where the full URL is

and where it is written as folows:
"Fletcher, Alice C. Star Cult Among the Pawnee-A Preliminary Report. American Anthropologist October-December, 1902 Vol.4(4):730-736.

Fletcher writes about the influence and importance of a Pawnee cult centered around star worship. The Pawnee once lived in the area that is now Nebraska, but they were relocated to northeastern Oklahoma after Europeans reached America. Fletcher focuses on the organization and cult of the Skidi band of Pawnee. Within the Skidi band there are several villages that each have their own sacred articles, which they keep in a shrine. Each village is a representative of a star, which is believed to have given them their symbolic articles, rituals and ceremonies. Almost every aspect of the five main Skidi villages is related to their individual star, including its name, geographical location and spatial relation to other villages. The western-most village of the Skidi band was the most important, in that all of the other villages in the band were referred to as branches of this village. The ceremonies associated with the shrines of the other four villages relate to activities such as planting, harvesting, hunting, change of leadership, and honoring warriors.

Fletcher's Pawnee informant described the ceremonies of the star cult as, "giving an account of creation, the establishment of family, and the inauguration of rites by which man would be reminded of his dependence on Tirawa, of whom he must ask food." Tirawa refers to a higher power that the Pawnee revered as above all other stars. There is a fundamental message in the star cult ceremonies; the duality in the universe which is similar to that between males and females. The importance and influence of the cult can be seen in the earth lodges that the Pawnee constructed to represent the stars. The stars the Skidi band worshiped is not known, but Fletcher believes that they may be the four main stars of Ursa Major.

BRAD HANSON Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Fletcher, Alice C. Star Cult Among the Pawnee A Preliminary Report,
American Anthropologist 1902 Vol. 4 pp.730-736

Alice Fletcher documents the astrological symbols of an American Indian culture in Star Cult Among the Pawnee. She notes the historical diffusion of beliefs and rituals throughout American trade and pilgrimage routes. Fletcher focuses on the Pawnee perception of the stars and its effects on village planning and indigenous mythology.

Up until the late nineteenth century the Pawnee inhabited the Platte River in what is now the Midwestern state of Nebraska but were exiled onto reservations in Oklahoma. Fletcher investigates the Skidi Pawnee clan who portray astrological themes in village construction. Skidi comprise five functioning villages, each containing ritual icons for the worship of certain constellations. Each village took on characteristics of certain star systems, and ceremonies were initiated to celebrate the astronomical rhythm of favorite constellations. The geographic location of five Skidi villages in relation to one another corresponded respectively to the constellations to which they were symbolically attached. [emphasis added by LexiLine Journal]

The stars were, and are, an important part of Pawnee mythology. At the top overseeing all of creation is the god Tirawa, who represents the primal universal principle. Below Tirawa are the galaxies that protect and guide lower forms of physical reality. Planet Earth is connected to certain astronomical constellations such as the Pleiades and Draco. Some clans have believed that earthly human origins might be located in far off galaxies. Fletcher notes that ceremonies and rituals help to reinforce this version of the creation myth. These ceremonies portray the Pawnee perception of duality in the universe, an even split of male and female qualities. The star systems of the West represent the feminine principle, while the male influence rises on the eastern horizon.

Fletcher explains how the earth lodge abodes that the Pawnee build are based on constellation patterns. The circular floor connects man to earthliness, and the rounded roof the arching sky. Four cedar logs prop up the roof and represent the four most powerful Pawnee clans. A ritual star shrine points towards the West, a conduit for devotional energy toward the female constellations. [emphasis added by LexiLine Journal]

Alice Fletcher begins an intriguing study of astronomy and astrology as adapted by one Native American society. The Pawnee transform observation of stellar patterns into village planning, hut construction, and religion. These tribes had an intensive ritual life that took place at shrines dedicated to the night sky over the flatlands.

Clarity Ranking: 5
RALPH BACHLI Boston University (Parker Shipton)"


The Pawnee had the same ancient hermetic system that I have found in the megaliths.
As above, so below.

Thank you Steve! This is the most cogent proof of my theories that I have yet seen in print.

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