Orion's Belt - References in History and Culture

References in History and Culture

The same three stars are known in Spain, Portugal and South America as "The Three Marys". They also mark the northern night sky when the sun is at its lowest point, and were a clear marker for ancient timekeeping. In the Philippines and Puerto Rico they are called the Three Kings. The stars start appearing around the holiday of Epiphany, when the Biblical Magi visited the baby Jesus, which falls on January 6.

Richard Hinckley Allen lists many folk names for the Belt of Orion. The English ones include: Jacob's Rod or Staff; Peter's Staff; the Golden Yard-arm; the L, or Ell; the Ell and Yard; the Yard-stick, and the Yard-wand; the Ellwand; Our Lady's Wand; the Magi; the Three Kings; the Three Marys; or simply the Three Stars.

The passage "Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?" is found in the Bible's Book of Job.

In the Star Trek episode "The City on the Edge of Forever", Capt. James T. Kirk tells Edith Keeler that "a hundred years or so from now", a famous novelist will write a classic using the theme "Let me help" and indicates that he will come from "a planet circling that far left star in Orion's belt," Altinak.

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