The Story of The Seven Sisters

unfinished but still loved
unfinished but still loved | Source
seeing my quilt this made me realize it really is almost done,thank you Chocolate Lady for getting me inspired again!
seeing my quilt this made me realize it really is almost done,thank you Chocolate Lady for getting me inspired again! | Source

The myth and the truth known as The Seven Sisters

The Story of the Seven Sisters

There are several versions of the same myth. Depending on the research and your own personal preference the information actually remains pretty much the same. In a nutshell, the seven sisters were mortals whose parents were immortal...never a happy mix...and while they had their individual problems apparently one day they were out in the forest with their friend, Artemis, when along comes THE MIGHTY HUNTER! ORION! So here goes Orion, trying a few one line openers without success. Well really, what was Orion thinking? Artemis and all seven sisters were virgins and they were soooo NOT into boys! Their cold shoulder rebuke of his sexy self humiliated and bruised his giant ego so much that Orion just started to chase them through the forest.

What a jerk Orion was, as is, still, many of the other sex. This made Artemis so mad she decided she had to call in a favor from Zeus. Whatever made her think that was going to work out? The infamous saying "Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it" is a very old saying for a reason! Zeus helped the seven sisters all right...he turned them all into doves so they could fly away! Oh thanks a lot Great Zeus!

The seven doves flew so far into the heavens they became the stars known as the Pleiades. Poor Artemis was so upset to lose her friends that she put a bug in her brothers’ ear (that would be Apollo) to kill Orion by setting a trap for him with a monster Scorpion. That worked all right; Orion was killed, but here comes ole Zeus again and he puts Orion in the heavens right behind the Pleiades! So, the seven sisters are still being harassed by the mighty hunter, Orion. Zeus, ever the comedian, has the constellation Scorpio placed behind Orion so he is still being harassed by the Thing that was the cause of his death! Orion is so egotistical he thinks this is a GOOD DEATH!

And through it all who do you think is laughing the hardest? You got that right, ole Zeus sits back and belly laughs so hard it causes landslides and Tsunamis all around the Mediterranean!

To give Zeus a little credit, since Artemis is the Goddess of the moon, she is allowed to visit her friends, the seven sisters, whenever the moon passes close to the Pleiades. Thank the gods for small favors, eh?

What were their names?

The seven sisters, daughters of Atlas and Pleione, were as follows and also where the myths begin to fold upon themselves;

Celæno means swarthy and of all the sisters she seems to have led a rather dull life or was exceptionally good at escaping the paparazzi as there is no information except that she had two children, both sons, by Prometheus. Her sons were named Lycus (wolf) and Chimærus (he-goat)

Electra, means amber, shinging or bright. Electra of course, well known for her adventures after her father, Agamemnon returned from the fall of troy and found his wife, Electra's mother, in bed with another man! Electra's mother and lover killed Agamemnon then Electra sought revenge for her father by killing her own mother. Sweet daughter's love?

Taygeta means long-necked. Apparently Zeus wanted Taygeta, she resisted, Zeus had his way anyway and Taygeta gave birth to Lacedæmon, founder of Sparta. This made Taygeta an important goddess but she suffered from post partum depression and hanged herself! Now, I ask you, if so then how could she have been in the forest with her other sisters and Artemis when Orion came through? Or is Taygeta then the one sister that cannot be easily seen?

Maia means grandmother, mother or nurse. Maia was the oldest of the seven sisters and she was also involved intimately with Zeus! No wonder Zeus solved Artemis problem the way he did! He wanted all seven sisters for himself! Maia, seduced by Zeus gave birth to Hermes, messenger of the gods.

Merope means eloquent, bee-eater and mortal. Merope married Sisyphus. Sisyphus made it known that Zeus raped Ægina. For his punishment Zeus has Sisyphus roll a boulder up a hill in Hades that never stays at the top of the hill, making Sisyphus redo his punishment for all eternity.

Asterope, means lightning, twinkling, sun-faced or stubborn-face. Another sister not intimately involved with Zeus, Asterope was seduced by the Sea King, Poseidon. Asterope gave birth to Oenomaus, king of Pisa.

Alcyone (or Halcyone) means queen who wards off evil storms. Alcyone was also seduced by Poseidon and gave birth to Hyrieus (also the name of Orion's father, but not the same Hyrieus) or Anthas, founder of Anthæa, Hyperea, and Halicarnassus

The truth about the constellation, Pleiades or Messier 45:

The star cluster known as the seven sisters is visible to us in the Northern Hemisphere in late fall and throughout the winter months. It is one of the closest star clusters to earth. That must be why there are so many different "origin" stories, legends, myths about this constellation. It has always been very visible in the night sky regardless of where you were on the earths surface. In the Southern Hemisphere the Pleiades is visible during late spring and all summer. It was formed just one hundred million years ago, just a baby compared to our sun, who is way past its fifth billionth birthday! Although the Pleiades resembles a tiny dipper it is not part of either Ursa Major or Ursa Minor, rather a cluster of stars all of its own. It was the forty-fifth image cataloged by the 19th century, astronomer Charles Messier, hence the name Messier 45.

The NASA web site is my favorite spot to start looking for any information related to the night sky. There are beautiful pictures as well as information on when and where to search the heavens for the Pleiades. The web site for NASA is:

http://www.nasa.gov/home/index.html?skipIntro=1

Another wonderful site for information about the constellation and star cluster itself is the Gibson website http://www.naic.edu/~gibson/pleiades/ where I found that the Pleiades are part of the Taurus constellation. And to go even further with site hopping for my research I found another website with an even larger set of pictures; the Astronomy resources website found here: http://www.stsci.edu/resources/

Even with all the truth the legend or myth is still larger than life. The Pleiades is covered in folklore in every culture and there are different stories for each culture. If you want to find other stories about the same group of stars check out these websites:

http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/The-Pleiades-Yokut.html

http://books.google.com/books?id=SML7keLdfagC&pg=PA241&lpg=PA241&dq=american+myth+about+the+pleiades&source=bl&ots=MC63-CCkTQ&sig=juocL4KOjrQIGRXAsZFvQd6N2D4&hl=en&ei=J0c1StTDL5OktwfD96H5Dg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4#PPA242,M1

http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/980127b.html

As you can see, the search for answers, which is what research is after all, will take you far away from your original subject matter. And that is the worth of research, that it feeds your curiosity and rewards you with every bit of new knowledge. I could have chosen any of the many legends concerning the Pleiades; I stayed with the Greek retelling because it is my personal favorite. The point of following one specific path for research is to help you stay focused. When you research a subject the path will lead you down many tangles and brambles that do not scratch but rather entice you to keep moving, keep looking, and keep learning.

Why this hubpage?

This hubpage came about because of the new quilt blck I am (ha) TRYING to learn. It is the Seven Sisters Quilt Block. And while I finally have my first of seven blocks completed, the making of the block led me down the path to see what I could find about the origin of the seven sisters itself. That gave me so much information I felt it deserved its own hubpage. I hope you have enjoyed this retelling as much as I have enjoyed the research journey itself!

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Comments 40 comments

thuraiyya 7 years ago

hey i totally enjoyed reading this page. Recently went on a research marathon myself about these seven sisters. Found that wikipedia was quite helpful. I needed a user name to start blogging and took so long to find one cause i wanted it to be symbolic. I'm the least star person you can find lol but yoh i really researched this and was so taken. Had to have spent the better part of my weekend doing just that. I'm a teacher of science though. So knowledge is ever welcome. Especially when you can stir the minds of young ones with creative information that appeals to their imaginations. Nice page, thanks


thuraiyya 7 years ago

hey i totally enjoyed reading this page. Recently went on a research marathon myself about these seven sisters. Found that wikipedia was quite helpful. I needed a user name to start blogging and took so long to find one cause i wanted it to be symbolic. I'm the least star person you can find lol but yoh i really researched this and was so taken. Had to have spent the better part of my weekend doing just that. I'm a teacher of science though. So knowledge is ever welcome. Especially when you can stir the minds of young ones with creative information that appeals to their imaginations. Nice page, thanks


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 7 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Thuraiyya!! welcome and well thank you!! You'll laugh though...I had just finished devouring S Dallas' book "Prayers for Sarah" had tons of neat research on quilting and the seven sisters quilt specifically...I have finished two quilts/but don't dare wash them...definently more than 9 stitches per inch :) but I love them...this one is a better one and of course its the seven sisters...hope to have the next section up and written in another 2-3 months :) I am actually on to the quilting part now!!/as they should be/get better and better...what grade do you teach? looking forward to reading your hubs!! I invited myself to your fan club!! hope you enjoy HubPages/I certainly do!!


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

Thanks for the interesting read. Wonderful as always.


ZeusAlmightySexOffender 6 years ago

This was a great read! Thanks a lot for writing it!


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

thank you so much :) it was fun..

love to you


peacenhim 6 years ago

Fascinating! I learned something new, Thanks!


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

cool!! but I am at a total standstill on the quilting part and that's what its down to...the hand quiltng....all put together so pretty/all basted and what am I doing? buring as usual...I am a pyro and currently have two gours and one elk leather purse that I am putting a LOT of pyrography on!! but I will get back to my seven sisters quilt and this was a cool research proect about the!! taks for commenting peacehim and love to you!


sophs 6 years ago

I love this hub! Anything to do with the stars/planets etc etc fascinates me! Great writing RNMSN :)


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

thank you sophs!!! and the pics oh my goodness they are so pretty!! I especially love the last one of the pleiades don't you, it looks like an angel flying to me...one of the sisters themselves soaring through the galaxy :)

!! this was my first attempt into researching astronomy itself...it was fun!!!

however, although my pyrograghy elk bag will win a ribbon I hopeIhope!! in Apr at the county fair I STILL haven't actually finished quilting my seven sisters quilt!! Shameful!!!!

love to you sophs!!


gramarye profile image

gramarye 6 years ago from Adelaide - Australia

I enjoyed this, thought it was going to be a book review of a book by the same title. Anyway, it was good.


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 6 years ago from Sparti, Greece

Good Hub - an interesting look at Greek mythology and the fickle gods.

I live on the slopes of the Taygetos mountains, near Sparta, and you can feel the ancient history running through the land :)


dj 6 years ago

I was trying to sum up in a quick 1 or 2 paragraphs the saga of the 7 sisters, their seductions, their off springs and the stalking by Orion when I ran across this hub. I loved it and knew I could not do better so put my attempt aside and thoroughly enjoyed this. Thanks for a delightful read.


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

man am glad my computer virus is killed!!!! thank you all for your wonderful comments

gramarye...county fair is over and I actually LOOKED at my quilt yesterday haha lots of handstitching to be done...welll..I have 12 mo eh?

sufidreamer you lucky thing living in and on and through history!!!

dj you silly thing of COURSE you can do better so do it !!!!!!

my love to you all....bb


cheryll ann 6 years ago

hhhhm anu ni sa man knu diin ni nga story


annilyn 6 years ago

the story is all about the seven sisters ryt?


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

cheryll ann and annilyn thank you for your comments yes, it is my researched story around the myth about the seven sisters constellation in our solar system...love to you both bb


th1981 profile image

th1981 6 years ago from North Carolina

Good read.....Thanks


DavidLivingston 6 years ago

Stars always interests me. Thanks.


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

so sorry I missed your comment th 1981 that's weird...my email does things sometimes with my hubpages but I thank you so much for your comment/this was a fun article I was in the throes of quilting a seven stars quilt top at the time :)

and thank you David Livingston for your comment...you know the funny thing is they have always fasciated me but what I know comes out of a book...glasses on my face since I was 11...never really even could SEE the stars until I moved out to the desert at 27 yrs of age!!

man that sentence was just poorly constructed haha

and the mythology around them has just been a plus!!!

love to you both!!

barbara b


tanner 5 years ago

hello gr8 website


tanner 5 years ago

hello i take that last cmment back thanks


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

why?


Tania 5 years ago

Thank you very much for this informative page! Nosy me though.........where can I view a photo of your 7 sisters quilt? (my next block on my sampler quilt!)


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

here you go Tania :) thanks for asking!

http://hubpages.com/art/How-to-Piece-the-Seven-Sis...


Imma : ) 5 years ago

Short + Informative + Enjoyable= Great!!! ... thanks to comment from tania found out something new never knew this patterns name. Love & Light to U : )


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Good Morning Imma! and thanks again to Tania! yes, I love the quilt too...it works up well and isn't as difficult as it seems :)glad you enjoyed the hub!


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

This is a fascinating love this hub...I am so glad I found you...I really enjoyed reading it..I voted up way up...debbie


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

thank you so much Debbie!!


kay.dixon@ntschools.net 4 years ago

hi that is raelly good


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

thank you for reading Kay! Glad you enjoyed it


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

thank you cablemanagements! yes this constellation,its so close to us...and one of the stars used to be our true north star in the ice ages...I love this constellation because of all the stories around it :) in Greek myth its at the tail end of orpheus...and they call it the little bear (ursa minor) of course or the little dipper but seven sisters or seven saints is so much better! Id love to read a hub from you on the seven sisters (hint hint) :)!!


Alex 4 years ago

I have six sisters and we all plan to get this constellation tattooed on us. Its really cool to learn moreabout it.


mejohnson profile image

mejohnson 4 years ago

I see the Pleiades all the time but never knew the myth behind it. Thanks for enlightening me.


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

I didn't know it either until I started my seven sisters quilt!


LOVE BUG 4 years ago

i just saw the seven sisters today and today is November 15 2012


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

and I bet it was clear as a bell :) I'm looking forward to a meteor shower tomorrow night.that will be the 17th!


chocolate lady 4 years ago

SHOW YOUR QUILT! or ARE YOU COVERED IN IT AS YOU LOOK INTO THE NIGHT SKY?????


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

you know thats a good idea choc lady but I have to say it is still not finished...but I will put up what I have so far!


Robin 15 months ago

I had no idea what happend but now I do

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