S E A S O N S O F S T A R S
Map of the summer constellations
One of our favorite summer vacation activities? Star gazing. So much so that many of the designs for our pieces are inspired by the mythology and structures of the stars. As with our linked rings, earrings, and bracelets, constellations are comprised of stellar points, which are linked—visually, and symbolically.
There are seventeen Summer Constellations, defined as such because they fall between 18 and zero hours Right Ascension. These hot-weather constellations include Aquarius, Corona (Australius and Borealis), Delphinus, and Pegasus—all of which also happen to be the names of a few Spinelli Kilcollin pieces.
Here, the histories and mythologies of some of our favorite summertime star clusters—stargaze with SK!
If you're especially into the amorous, dramatic, fantastical, and often tumultuous tales and accounts of ancient mythology, be sure to experience the ceremony rings in our Wedding Collection—each of which is named for a figure in mythology.
A Q U I L L A
Aquila, or Αετός Δίας (Aetos Dios), is thought to be a depiction of the eagle that carried the thunderbolts of Zeus— though some believe that it's the eagle that guarded the arrow of Eros—which eventually hit Zeus and caused him to fall in love.
In Hinduism, Aquila was thought to be a representation of the Hindu god Garuda, who is half eagle and half human.
The Ancient Egyptians believed that it symbolized the falcon of Horus.
C A P R I C O R N U S
Capricnous is The Sea-Goat or Goat-Fish, a creature with the head and body of a goat and the tail of a fish. In Greek mythology, Capricornus is a symbol from the moment at which the Olympian gods sought refuge in Egypt and a monster named Typhon, a fire-breathing creature taller than the mountains with dragons heads in place of fingers, sought revenge.
The Olympian gods sought to escape by adopting various disguises: Zeus, a ram, Hera, a white cow, and Bacchus, a goat. To escape the wrath of Typhon as he approached, the goat threw himself into the Nile but only part of his body changed—he was left with a fishtail.
Pan let out an extremely loud yell, which distracted the monster for long enough that Zeus was able to save him.
A Q U A R I U S
As you may know, the Aquarius was the first Spinelli Kilcollin ring—and Yves, who is an Aquarius, wears his (custom) 18k gold Aquarius ring every single day.
Aquarius—The Waterman or water barer, has long been represented as a man pouring water from a bucket and holding a towel. The Arabians once depicted the constellation as a mule carrying two water barrels.
In Ancient Rome, the zodiac Aquarius was a depection of a Peacock, and at times it has been shown as a Goose.
A Grecian lyric poet named Pindar claimed that it symbolized the fountains of the Nile River—some of the most important waters of the universe. The ancient Egyptians, similarly, imagined that the setting of Aquarius caused the rising of the Nile.
In early Chinese astrology it was thought of as a serpent, Dark Warrior, or Darkly Flourishing One.
The Aquarius constellation is not easy to sight—but look closely and it's said that you'll see a figure holding a cup, and that water is always pouring out of it—enough water to run through the entire globe.
C O R O N A B O R E A L I S
Inquire about our Corona earrings here
Corona Borealis translates to “the northern crown” in Latin. It's a small constellation, with few bright stars—but in all mythologies, Corona Borealis represents, in some form, royalty.
The Ancient Greeks saw the constellation to be the southern crown—a wreath in the sky. It represents the crown of King Minos' daughter, Ariadne, who helped the hero Theseus kill the Minotaur and eventually find his way out of the Minotaur's labyrinth.
In other mythologies, it's known to be a castle—the Castle of Arianrhod, where the mythical Lady Arianrhod lived.
D E L P H I N U S
Delphinus, one of the smallest constellations, translates to “the dolphin” in Latin. It represents the dolphin that Poseidon sent to find Amphitrite—the one he loved and wanted to marry. Amphitrite wanted to protect her virginity, so she hid in the Atlas Mountains. Poseidon sent several figures to find her, among them Delphinus. He found her, and was able to convince her to marry Poseidon. As a thank you gift to Delphinus, Poseidon placed the dolphin in the sky.
In Celtic mythology, Delphinus was the name of the vessel that Roman Red-stubble, a mythical pirate, and his comrades explored the waters in.
L Y R A
In Greek Mythology, Lyra symbolizes Orpheus' lyre—the first lyre ever to exist, which was a tortoise shell that Hermes made and gave to Apollo. Orpheus was such a talented musician, it's said that he could charm rocks, trees, and other natural elements, and quell the dangerous screams and voices of the sirens who longed to tempt the sailors.
When Orpheus married Eurydice, she once came under attack. Orpheus entered hell and was able to rescue her with his music by charming Hades, who allowed Orpheus bring Eurydice back, so long as he never looked back. On their way out, he very unfortunately glanced back—and was forced to stay in hell alone forever.
When Orpheus died, the muses placed the lyre in the sky in his honor.
P E G A S U S
Pegasus was a winged horse with magical powers in Greek Mythology. Using his hooves, he dug into the ground and formed a spring. When people and gods drank water from the spring, they were blessed and given the ability to write poetry. When the evil Medusa was beheaded, it was Pegasus who delivered her head as an offering. He was the bearer of Zeus' thunder and lightning until Zeus eventually threw a thunder bolt at him, causing him to buck.
In Hindu mythology, Pegasus was representative of a resting place for the moon itself.
S A G I T T A R I U S
Sagittarius is the The Archer. The constellation looks like and symbolizes a centaur. The centaur came to form when Ixion, who loved Zeus' wife Hera, bred with a horse.
Zeus sent a cloud that was disguised as Hera towards Ixion—and their offspring was a cursed person by the name of Kentauros. Because he so had terribly betrayed Zeus, Kentauros was very understandably hated by all. He fled, and bred with the mares—becoming the grandfather of centaurs. Many of these animals were vicious and hated, but some, including Sagittarius, were friendly to mankind and well liked.
Sagittarius kept his bow and arrow pointed, at all times, towards Scorpius.
H E R C U L E S
You've probably heard of Hercules, the perhaps most famous of heroes in Ancient Greek mythology, who performed the twelve labors and fought a host of beasts. The constellation represents one of his final tasks—which was his mission to kill Ladon, the dragon guard of Hesperides' garden.
Hercules was, eventually poisoned, and despite the fact that he was half mortal, Zeus sent him to Olympus.
H A P P Y S T A R G A Z I N G