Southern Cross returned to traditional owners

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While white Australia holds on tightly to its supremacy and debates wether January 26th is a day to be celebrated, or a time to acknowledge the continued violence and genocide suffered by Aboriginal peoples, the astronomical community is taking a step toward decolonizing the sky. Huzzah!
I’m so pleased to see this happening. The Southern Cross was one of the first constellations I learnt to recognize as a kid, and my first introduction to navigating life on earth by looking up at the sky.
The neat thing about this constellation (that is depicted on the national flags of Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Brazil) is that there are two “pointer stars” that align with the Cross, so you can always find it. The Cross points directly toward the South Celestial Pole which is the point that all the stars pivot around in the Southern Hemisphere – so a welcome friend when navigating the Australian bush or wide open seas. Obvs, it’s been used by navigators of all kinds throughout history…pre Google maps.
In my travels, this constellation has been a friend who has popped up, sometimes unexpectedly, and offered comfort as a sign post and a reminder of connection. The sky holds so many stories that were singing us into existence for eons. This is one area of astrology that I find quite controversial as it’s so important that we honour those stories and not place our appropriated versions onto them.



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