Ethnoastronomy is project aimed to explore the folk beliefs associated with the Genesis of the world, the heavenly bodies and the sky in general, and how they were percepted among the people. The ethnoastronomy is a young scientific discipline on wich it is not worked on very often.
Things have changed after 2004 when United Nations declared the Sky as a world heritage. In that context, understanding beliefs associated with the sky as our cultural heritage, which should be saved from oblivion, is one of the primary goals of our members. They started in this filed years ago, through various forms of organization, and now organized in MRS – Macedonian Research Society, are continuously working on collecting these information and presenting them before the experts and general public, at home and abroad.
Since 1982, on the territory of Republic of Macedonia systematic collection of folk perceptions of the sky and celestial objects, earth, time and climatic changes was undertaken. With other words, ethnoastronomical and ethnometeorological researches among Macedonian people were conducted. In 2004 the book “Sky over Macedonia” by the autor Gjore Cenev was published representing the only book of this kind at the moment. If we take into consideration the fact that this is the first attempt of recording in written the cosmogony, myths and rituals of Macedonian folk people, myths and rituals that were past only orally from generation to generation , then it is really amazing how they have survived so long.
Myths about the creation of the World, about Earth as the Mother Goddess, God the Sun and sunny mountain, moon coming down on the Earth and transforming into cow, images of the months as Gods, original division of the sky on various star constellations etc., have nothing in common to the existing Christian religion of the people. These myths have much deeper roots going back to the beginning of the times. The fact that they survived among the people beside all those various and numerous conquers such as ancient Romans and Turks that stayed over centuries in these areas, or along with the influences of different religions such as Romans, Islamic and Christian is obvious evidence of the vitality and deep bounds with the collective conscience of the people.
Sources of information used for this book, as well as sources of all other information can be used for further anthropological analyses of Macedonian people but also as a base for development of a comparative analysis of Macedonians with other nations of the world.
Macedonian ancient constellations on Stellarium
MRS – Macedonian Research Society, supported by the Ministry of Culture and the Government prepared an update to the free software Stellarium. Now, with this program, you can acquaint yourself with the Macedonian ancient constellations and their position in the sky. Upgrading is sent to the authors of the software to upgrade it in their subsequent release, but until then, you by yourself, will be able to install and very simply upgrade your installation.
- Go to the website stellarium.organd download the latest version of Stellarium for your operating system.
- Install the Stellarium on your computer. The software is free to download and use.
- Download HERE Macedonian constellations package and unzip it.
- Copy folder “macedonian” of this package and insert it in the program Stellarium, in the folder SkyCultures. All the data can be found in this folder:
- For Windows: Go to Program Files >> Stellarium >> SkyCultures
- For Linux: usr>>share>>Stellarium>>skycultures
You need to have administrative rights to do this step. Then just run the program and in Sky and View options select Starlore. On that point you will have the choice to choose Macedonian ancient constellations. Bottom right fieldsConstellation Lines, Labeles and Art need to be activated.
If you are impatient, here its how it looks 🙂