By Nicholas Campion
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Additional info for Astrology and Cosmology in the World's Religions
On the other hand, just as there are local variations in aboriginal cosmology, so we should be alive to the possibility of evolution and adaptation through time. Australian cosmology, like that of many ancient peoples, is “chaotic” in the sense that it postulates that the world emerged through a sequence of steps, not as an orderly creation but as a gradual emergence of living things. Its overwhelming characteristic is relational: People are related to stars, stars 24 | are related to animals, animals are related to the land, and all are related to the invisible beings who are everywhere and who “sang” creation into existence.
It seems, then, that the Hawaiian temple builders might have prioritized any feature of the terrestrial or celestial cosmos, with one part being inherently more important than any other. 19 As soon as the celestial bodies functioned as superintending deities, as they did across the region, a relationship developed that has to be described as astrological. Of this we have simple examples. In parts of Fiji, the god of hell, a one-toothed man who devours the dead, flies through the sky as a meteor—so both here and in other places, such as the Torres Straits Islands, meteors were often evil omens.
Bruce Masse, Rubellite Kawena Johnson, and H. 9 Similarly, across the region, ideas and traditions that were passed down orally, from one generation to the next, have been forgotten or, if they were written down, were recorded by indigenous scholars who had benefited from a Western schooling. For all its virtues, such an education encouraged them to see local religion through a framework in which all beliefs were judged against the “truth” of Christianity and found wanting. The texts with which the 21st-century scholar has to work therefore consist of information that can be extracted from colonial-era records going back through the 19th century, together with recent archeoastronomical investigations of shrines and stone monuments.
Astrology and Cosmology in the World's Religions by Nicholas Campion