TL;DRWhile falling stars are nothing more than meteors that have entered earth’s atmosphere on their travels, spiritually, the meaning of falling stars has fascinated us for centuries. Seen by some as evidence of activities of the gods, or celestial messages about royalty, ancient people attached much sacred significance to them. While we may know these are chunks of rock flying through our sky, people today still believe falling stars are special. We feel lucky to get to see them, and gratefully receive the messages being sent from beyond.
What Are Falling Stars?
Comets, asteroids, and meteoroids are all differing sizes of outer space rocks, the largest being an asteroid, which is actually a small planet, believe it or not! Meteoroids range in sizes from tiny specks to larger chunks up to a meter wide with the smallest pieces of them being called space dust. Comets are different, as they have a central body that is made up of icy matter, and they have a “tail” , or, particles of dust and gas that form when the sun heats the particles. Meteoroids mostly form from broken off bits of asteroids and comets. When these meteoroids enter our atmosphere, we can see a flash of light, and this it appears a star is ”falling” or “shooting” through the sky. Thus, we call them falling stars and shooting stars.
While this information may seem to take the magic and mystery out of shooting stars, it really shouldn’t. Magical and spiritual people have always understood that things seen in nature have far greater meaning sometimes than just the fact they exist as they are. They are seen as ways the gods, ancestors, spirits, and other powers communicate things they want us to know. Sometimes they are sending good news, and others, giving us a heads up to watch out for ourselves. Some call our belief in this silly , and say believing this way is bad, but many know being this way, also known as being superstitious, helps those who listen know what messages they are being sent. More has been written by Mysticsense about Superstitions in general, and you can read about that here:
What Does Seeing a Falling Star Mean?
Falling stars meanings vary depending on culture. Read on to see how different people have viewed them.
Shooting stars portended important events to the Romans. For example, in August of 30 B.C., Cassius Dio, a historian of Rome wrote about “ comet stars”, which are interpreted to mean shooting stars, and he took them to be a response to the demise and death of the prolific Egyptian pharaoh Cleopatra. A comet following the death of Julius Caesar was taken to give sign he was to be deified as a god.
The Greeks named annual meteor showers The Perseids after sons of the Greek hero Perseus. Every August, the earth’s orbit passes through particles of dust and rocks from the comet called Swift- Tuttle. The Greeks believed this event was triggered by the constellation named after Perseus, and thus named it such. Perseus was a great hero of theirs, who defeated a horrifying monster who threatened his people’s very safety and saved the beautiful Andromeda in the process. No average mortal, he was the son of the Father of the Gods, Zeus. He founded Mycenae and his own royal dynasty!
This legendary hero is believed by the people of Greece to have been a real king, not just a folk story character. The Perseids, which bear his, name are visible from mid-July through late August, peaking August 9-14. So, keep your eyes peeled for them!
In the 3rd century A.D. , a well loved Deacon , named Lawrence was the seventh deacon to be executed by the Emperor Valerian. He was later canonized , and became the patron saint of comedians, cooks, tanners, librarians, and archivists. The Perseid meteor shower was visible when he was put to death and was thus named “The Tears of St. Lawrence” by devotees. They remember his life as a teacher, and his wonderful sense of humor on his feast day which falls on August 10, which is regarded as the day of his death- right during the Perseid showers!
Halley’s Comet was passing by when the beginning of the Jewish Roman revolt began. These events led to the 2,000 year long Jewish diaspora, which saw the Jewish people begin to move out of their ancestral homelands. They spread to every continent, taking their rich culture, mouthwatering foods, and sacred religion with them. The Romans believed the comet to portend they would be victorious over the Jewish people. While the Romans destroyed the Temple, and the Jews consider themselves to be in an exile they call Edom. They believe this is their fourth, and FINAL exile, and when they return home, they will never ever be exiled again. So, who’s to say the Romans won?
Individual Superstitions about Falling Stars
Beyond culture, there are certain specific beliefs about what a falling star specifically means, some of which you may have already heard of, and some of which will surprise you.
Make A Wish
“When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are. Anything your heart desires will come to you,” begins a famous song used by Disney. More than just a children’s song for a cartoon, this is a belief that is very old. Ptolemy wrote about it in the 2nd century A.D. Belief was that the gods would look through gaps in the sky to view Earth. Well, sometimes, a star would fall through these gaps so, it was a great opportunity to gain their attention to ask the gods to fulfill a wish. There was a better chance of them answering said wish since they were already watching.
In Chile, the moment you see a shooting star, pick up a stone and make a wish! In the Philippines, no stones are needed, you just need to tie knots in a handkerchief. The belief that it’s the perfect time to make a wish when you see a shooting star is held in many parts of the world. All those people can’t be wrong, so when you see a shooting star, make that wish!
Spirits Are Among Us
Some would say falling stars are the spirits of departed loved ones letting you know they are still near you, and they are letting you know you still have a connection with them. Others would say a shooting star is a soul going to heaven. In the Testament of Solomon, an esoteric book said to be written by the Hebrew King Solomon, shooting stars are believed to be a demons who fell from above while watching earth. In it, a passage states:
“I therefore, having heard this, glorified the Lord God, and again I questioned the demon, saying: “Tell me how ye can ascend into heaven, being demons, and amidst the stars and holy angels intermingle.” And he answered: “Just as things are fulfilled in heaven, so also on earth (are fulfilled) the types1 of all of them. For there are principalities, authorities, world-rulers2, and we demons fly about in the air; and we hear the voices of the heavenly beings, and survey all the powers. And as having no ground (basis) on which to alight and rest, we lose strength and fall off like leaves from trees. And men seeing us imagine that the stars are falling from heaven. But it is not really so, O king; but we fall because of our weakness, and because we have nowhere anything to lay hold of; and so we fall down like lightnings3 in the depth of night and suddenly. And we set cities in flames and fire the fields. For the stars have firm foundations in the heavens like the sun and the moon.”
A full copy online of The Testament of Solomon can be found at this link:
A Good Omen
Some ancient Celtic tribal people thought shooting stars to be the breath of a dragon, and that was a very good thing. Some claim seeing a shooting star is telling you that you will achieve your destiny! So take heart that your greatest potential is ready to be yours before you know it! Some simply say seeing a shooting star is good luck in general, and there is no other meaning behind it. We could all use some good luck!
Some indigenous North American Indian people believed shooting stars to be fire falling from the heavens or signs that bad things were to come. An Ojibway story states a comet has been to earth already and will someday return to completely destroy it. Some tribes say a comet once destroyed everything save some tribes. At that time all some people could do was dive into bodies of water, trying to submerge themselves to keep from being destroyed. Some tribal people believed shooting stars to be an omen that sickness or death was coming to the family soon. Not good at all.
Endings and Beginnings
Some say a shooting star signals something is ending, like the deaths of St. Lawrence and Cleopatra were said to be what the shooting stars were responding to. Others state shooting stars signify major change and new beginnings are coming your way. So be ready! It has also been said that a shooting star acts as a green light, telling you the powers that be are saying to go ahead with whatever it is you have wanted to. Nothing can hold you back now, it’s time to begin!
Most people see shooting stars as good messages from beyond, and enjoy the beauty of their trips through the sky. Make your wish on a shooting star, just make sure to make that wish WHILE it’s falling. Pick up a stone if you can, and if you have one, tie a knot in your handkerchief. May all your wishes come true!