Rune Star Map and Viking Astronomy

an excerpt from my runespace cosmogony and viking rune star map in the making.
Norse made contact with Greece in the 11th Century (1010) when Vikings from Stockholm, known as Varangians, came into the Byzantine emperor and surpassed the bodygaurds.The scholars of the mid-11th century note their presence in the literature. The rune carvings on an the Peiraieus lion statue prove that the Norse did enter, the names  Ulf, Asmund, Örn, Asgeir, Thorleif, Thord, Ragnar, Egil and Dalk are inscribed there. Whether their short time around the Greeks had any cultural impacf on them is speculative. But the Norsemen also had access to European culture through travel, trade and tribal ties and influence from Shamanic culture, and must have preserved some oral history of the star knowledge themselves from earlier Aryan or Frankish populations .

554983_388366794600197_624085491_nThe constellation names, and organization of the celestial vault into symbolic thought and myth far outdates the Greek representation, that is only the most popular. Archaeology has studied strange discorrelated markings in a cave at Lascaux, France resembling the Pleiades which lies near the Hyades. It seems probable that as with the animals they hunted, our ancient ancestors could have recorded their views of those mysterious shining dots beyond the planet they lived on. The walls paintings of their cave are dated from 17 300 years. (Coiicidentally the star cluster I recognized to be pictographic of Thor’s hammer, one of the Norse favorite gods, and Pleiades a certain popularity amongst amateurs stargazers). Vikings were latitude sailors. Both Iceland and Greenland were due west from Norway, meaning they could set out from a part at the same lattitude and arrive at the land. They noted the star constellations, which ones passed close to the horizon and which crossed the zenith, using it to judge their bearings. So the stars, while moving had a subtle stasis to them, at least enough to look at them time and again without any radical changes while sailing and travelling. The navigation skill probably meant they had some loose form of celestial map of stars and stellar objects.

photo: (View of the night sky with the program I am using for my Rune Star map. Reyjavik, Iceland c.1100 A.D. It is coming on well, I have a lot of mythos reference compiled together with some of my own inventive cartography.)

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