The canoe of Tama Rereti sets sail in November from Aotearoa signaling to Māori navigators that it was time to start planning their journeys back to Rarohenga. Rarohenga means the domain, the rohe, beyond the Sun, Ra. Māori call that the places they cannot see beyond the curvature of Earth.
At the fringe of our milky city of stars, on the north-western horizon, the Pleiades, the Shining Ones (Te Tawhiti) are preparing for the journey to the underworld. They are to disappear shortly behind the Sun and will stay there for a while.
And the explanation goes that since people of old did not really have an explanation about space, in trying to figure out where exactly the Pleiades went, they invented a underworld. This is probably one of the reasons why this group of stars is so linked to stories of death, rebirth, and ancestors, and used to mark the beginning of the year in some cultures.
I smiled every morning in Chile watching Orion rise toes first in the sky. It might put a smile on your face to watch him peek above the horizon as he rises in the northern hemisphere. We all have a unique perspective of the universe, and our lives due to our experiences. When you look up, be humbled by the vastness of the universe, but above all keep learning and put a smile on your face, be filled with the joy that is the universe, and let that wonder take you to new possibilities.
“Every Microcosm, every inhabited region, has a Centre; that is to say, a place that is sacred above all.”
Finding directions from the stars has never been easier. In the modern times, everyone has a phone app.
However, there are some old tricks just in case you run out of battery. Having said that, my colleague and cartoonist Eugene G and me (still unable to get over my engineering degree) are preparing an engineer’s guide to finding South by the stars.
In the meantime, here is the description of how to do that anyway with or without maps.