Is This the Oldest Story in the World?

Wes O'Donnell
4 min readFeb 14, 2024
The Pleiades. Courtesy NASA — Public domain

When I was growing up on the vast, open prairies of North Texas, I would sometimes sneak out of my house at night after watching Cosmos with Carl Sagan on PBS.

I would climb onto the roof, which was often still warm from the day’s heat, and lie down to look at the stars.

In Spring every year, I would say goodbye to two of my favorite companions — the constellations Orion the Hunter and the Pleiades, also known as the Seven Sisters.

I wouldn’t see them again until early Winter in Texas.

As the late Carl Sagan described them, the Pleiades are actually a stellar nursery, where new stars are born and slowly wander out of their home into the cosmos. The star cluster is in the constellation of Taurus and is made up of over 1,000 stars, but the brightest of the stars are hot blue luminous stars that formed around 100 million years ago.

Like the Pleiades, Sagan was fond of describing humans as ‘wanders’ who were never content to stay in one place for too long.

But in the myth and legends of ancient Greece, these celestial sisters are the offspring of the titan Atlas and the nymph Pleione.

Legend recounts how Atlas, condemned to forever bear the heavens upon his shoulders, found himself helpless to shield his daughters from being…

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Wes O'Donnell

Army & Air Force Veteran | Global Security guy at War is Boring, GEN, OneZero | Intel Forecaster | Law Student | TEDx Speaker | Pro-Democracy | Pro-Human Rights