Ishpiming Zaagi'idiwin (A Celestial Love Affair)Early risers this moon have been treated to an incredible and rare spectacle – an ishpiming zaagi'idiwin or "celestial union": the almost perfect alignment of four akiwag (planets) in the night sky. But it's not over yet! In the early hours of the 30th sunrise of the Sugarbushing Moon (April) we'll have the chance to see Waaseyasiged Azhebaashkaabizod Aki (Venus)* and Gichi Ogimaa Waasamod Aki (Jupiter)* become one - as they appear to move incredibly close together from our vantage point. The intermingling of Gichi Ogimaa Waasamod Aki and Waaseyasiged Azhebaashkaabizod Aki, which will last only two days, will make the akiwag appear to 'almost collide.' The two celestial bodies are among the brightest objects currently present in the night sky. In fact, the two akiwag will get so close in the night sky that they'll seem to merge into one giant, glowing mass to the naked eye.
Position of Gichi Ogimaa Waasamod Aki and Waaseyasiged Azhebaashkaabizod Aki on 30 AprilThose with zhiibaa'aabanjiganan (binoculars or a telescope) will be able to make out the two akiwag more distinctly. The akiwag will be 0.2 degrees apart at their closest approach – a little less than the angular distance of waawiyezi-dibik-giizis (a full moon).
How to see the conjunctionJust like the planetary alignment of Waaseyasiged Azhebaashkaabizod Aki (Venus), Gichi Ogimaa Waasamod Aki (Jupiter), Akwaabikizid Aki (Mars),* and Ditibininjiibizon Gitigaanii Aki (Saturn)* we saw this past week, to view the conjunction between Waaseyasiged Azhebaashkaabizod Aki and Gichi Ogimaa Waasamod Aki, you'll need to wake up early. The two akiwag will be most visible in the hour before dawn, looking toward waabanong (the east). "Venus" will be at magnitude -4, and "Jupiter" will be shining at magnitude -2.1. The full moon, by comparison, shines at -12.7. (But the event coincides with a new moon, so it will hardly be visible.) Major planetary alignments like this one, visible to the human eye, are extremely rare, and have only occurred three times since 2005, so you don't want to miss it... ______________________________________________________________ *Gichi Ogimaa Waasamod Aki ("Great Chief Lightning Planet") = Jupiter *Waaseyasiged Azhebaashkaabizod Aki ("the Bright Planet That Spins Backwards") = Venus *Akwaabikizid Aki ("It-Is-a-Certain-Length-Planet") = Mars *Ditibininjiibizon Gitigaanii Aki ("Ring Around the Garden Planet") = Saturn *Oshkaabewis ("The Sun's Ceremonial Helper") = Mercury ______________________________________________________________ Click here to read more about Jupiter Click here to read more about Venus Click here to read more about Mars Click here to read more about Saturn Click here to read more about Mercury
My name is Zhaawano Giizhik. My clan is waabizheshi, the marten.
As an American artist and jewelry designer currently living in the Netherlands, I like to draw on the oral and pictorial traditions of my Ojibwe Anishinaabe ancestors from the American Great Lakes area. For this I call on my manidoo-minjimandamowin, or "Spirit Memory"; which means I try to remember the knowledge and the lessons of my ancestors.
The mazinaajimowinan or ‘‘pictorial spirit writings’’ - which are rich with symbolism and have been painted throughout history on rocks and etched on other sacred items such as copper and slate, birch bark and animal hide - were a form of spiritual as well as educational communication that gave structure and meaning to the cosmos.
Many of these sacred pictographs or petroforms – some of which are many, many generations old - hide in sacred locations where the manidoog (spirits) reside, particularly in those mystic places near the coastline where the sky, the earth, the water, the underground and the underwater meet. It is these age-old expressions that provide an endless supply of story elements to my work; be it graphically, through my written stories, as well as in the context of my jewelry making.__________________________________________________________