Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Uktena Day: Look for A Comet

Osiyo, nigada! Hello, everyone!

Last week, I told you that today (Tuesday) would be an unusual day on the Cherokee Calendar.This evening begins the new moon, the start of the Cherokee month. For many observant Cherokees, this still means one to four days of fasting, starting Wednesday.

Wednesday, coincidentally, is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, and a fast day for Roman Catholics and many other Christians.

Tuesday also is a Day of the Uktena, the legendary Cherokee dragon or horned/crested/feathered snake. The Uktena is associated with lethal events, such as disaters and war. Last week, I mentioned on possible scenario.

The Uktena is also one of the emblems for comets and meteors, the other sign being the Panther. As it happens, Tuesday is the day that a newly-discovered comet, Lulin, is expected to become its brightest.

Lulin is easier to see in the morning just after dawn, if you look to the west-southwest. The comet is greenish, and should have begun to elongate.

Here's a little vocabulary for you:

galvlohi (gah-luhn-LO-hee) Sky
noquisi (NOCK-wih-see or NOX-ee) Star
noquisi ganahida (NOX-ee gah-nuh-HEE-dah) Long Star, or Comet.
svnoyi (suh-NO-yee) Night

And when you're walking around in the dark, Tsag'sesdesdi! Watch out for yourself

More next time!

Brian Wilkes