Aquila -The Eagle


Aquila is located just above and between the constellations of Capricorn and Aquarius.

Fixed Stars

Altair: A 1st magnitude star positioned 16.6 light years away from earth. It can be seen with the naked eye when visibility is favorable. The star is located within the neck of the figure. Altair rises on the horizon in June, therefore its likely due to daylight being prolonged during the summer months, directly after sunset, the constellation becomes visible on the horizon once the night vault of stars began to appear. When considering the ritual festivals, the star significance could be intertwined with the Sun. Specifically when reaches it highest declination and standstill point. Metaphoric associations with the Eagle is probable.

Western Mythologies


The Babylonian myth of Zu in the form of the eagle was placed with in this constellation of aquila. Zu is credited with stealing the tablets of destiny. This was undertaken when Zu sought obtain the power of the great gods.




Aquila is the eagle in Geek myth related to the seer King Merops who ruled over the island of Cos. Merpos married the nymph Clymene, the mother of Phaethon, credited with creating the world, he too was the son of Helios (the Sun). In turn Merpos is transforms into an eagle and placed in the night vault as a constellation.

Aquila in another Greek myth from Crate, is the eagle in the form Zeus who carried off Ganymede when in search of the nectar. Indeed Zeus had appointed Ganymede to be the cupbearer after giving his father the immortal horses.


The name derives from Roman mythology and refers to the bird of Jupiter. The constellation is known as a flying eagle, which humanity has projected into the night vault. In Rome Zeus became Jupiter the high god.


Fred Getting derives an Arabian influence from which the star takes it name from Al Tair, which translates to the same bird.


In Chinese mythology, Aquila is related to the cow herder Niu Lang, who fell in love with Chih Nü when she was granted leave from heaven by her father Yu Ti, the Jade emperor. The love was so intense she refused to return at the same time they married. Subsequently the Jade Emperor placed them on opposite sides of the milky way, one in the constelation of aquila and Chih Nü in Lyra.

European Indigenous Mythologies

"Q" Celts


"P" Celts



A recent interpretations suggests Aquila, when in the form of the eagle becomes Llue Llaw Gyffes whom was found by Gwydion at Nantlle. It to is further speculated that once Llue had turned his back to human form, he then became known as Gwalchmei, the Hawk of May.

Astrocelt 1998

Last updated July 25, 2005