Over the last few weeks, I have created a series of images dealing with Ursa Major and Minor.
Ursa Major or the “Great She Bear” is a constellation that has been recognized as a bear across cultures and time. In Roman mythology, Jupiter hides his infidelity from his wife Juno by transforming his lover Callisto into a bear. Their son is Ursa Minor. My work has focused on the she-bear and cub relationship. Many North American tribes saw a Bear in the same grouping of stars. In Iroquois folklore, the Great Bear is chased by three hunters across the night sky. The Finish also saw a bear while many Asian cultures grouped the same set of stars but saw lost mariners.
A component of the constellation is one of the first star groupings most of us learn as children the Big Dipper.
If you can find the big dipper you can always find North via Polaris or the North Star. Although the Big Dipper travels across the sky the top corner of the ladle always aligns to Polaris. Polaris makes the end of the handle for the Little Dipper also known as Ursa Minor.
If you would like to learn more about Polaris, Ursa Major, and Minor. Check out the site Earth Sky News.
Happy Art Journey,