Serpent of the North: The Overlook Mountain/Draco Correlation (cont.)
By Glenn M. Kreisberg, New England Antiquities Research Association (NEARA)
Further, we find specific examples of Native American petroform matching the constellations exist as well. In his paper Star-Beings and Stones: Origins and Legends, researcher Herman Bender argues convincingly for a petroform in Wisconsin, known as the Kolterman Petroform Effigy, consisting of stone ‘stickman’ formations constructed on the ground which create human figures known as ‘star beings’. The effigy figures are said to be associated with and the Native American Thunderbird tradition and mirror on the ground the constellations Libra and Scorpio as they appear in the night sky.
In the case of the Overlook Mountain petroform, the comparison to the star group known as Draco, cannot help but be made. I have consulted with Astronomer Kenneth Leonard, who published Calendric Keystone (?) The Skidi Pawnee Chart of the Heavens: A New Interpretation and have confirmed the constellation Draco would be visible rising above the summit of Overlook Mountain directly to the north before it reached its’ zenith overhead during daylight hours. And further confirming the assertion, using Starry Night Pro computer modeling astronomy software demonstrates that Draco rose above the mountain on Feb. 1st 2700 BCE, (when Thuban was pole star) just before sunrise. And, the serpent constellation has continued to rise over Overlook Mountain, throughout the night for thousands of years since, occupying a permanent position perpetually spinning around the fixed Celestial North Pole.
This is significant because to early sky watchers living in the Hudson Valley, occupying lands stretching for miles to the south, east and west, Overlook Mountain would have been the place to look towards to see the Serpent of the North rising, night after night, to fulfill its duties protecting and making “precession proof” the heavens. This is important because, by “precession proof” I mean no matter where the celestial pole drifted over time (due to precession), the dutiful dragon would always appear wrapped around that point diligently spinning about the celestial pole, marking its location for those watching. We must remember that no star ever marks the exact celestial pole, which is the point in space where the Earth’s Axis points and which also draws a slow circle in the heavens, (24,000+ years) due to the apparent wobble of precession. What we consider the “North Star” now, Polaris, is merely the star that closest marks the exact, true Celestial Pole. This star changes over time due to precession: More on this and Thuban, the past Pole Star, later.
Besides the connection to the sky, the connection of this mountain to the serpent or snake is also undeniable and I don't see this likely a coincidence since Overlook Mountain has the highest population of Eastern Rattlesnake in New York State according to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). It is estimated, based on the wear marks on the bedrock at the den entrances, some of the rattler habitats have existed for centuries, at least. I think this is significant given the reverence the snake was accorded by the indigenous people and helps complete the picture of the sacred nature of the mountain in the culture of the Native population.