The universe, as recorded in myth, generally consists of the sky and earth and often an underworld. All these peoples are keenly aware of the objects that populate the sky, and of their motions. As we stand on this earth and look at our world, we still see the same things the ancients did.
The sky is populated with objects, the sun, the moon, the planets and the stars, and the occasional comet and meteor. By far, most of the objects that populate the sky are fixed stars, meaning they stay in the same location relative to each other. These fixed stars come in patterns, and the two fundamental patterns we see are constellations (apparent groupings of stars which change from culture to culture, commonly thought of as animals (think of the Zodiac) and the Milky Way, a great band or river of stars that crosses the celestial sphere.
Other objects can move relative to the fixed stars. Logically, because they have this greater freedom of motion, they are thought of being more powerful, and are seen as gods in most mythic systems. They include the two largest celestial objects, the sun and the moon, as well as five "stars" which move along the same path as the sun and the moon. They are the five wandering stars (in Greek wanderer is planetos, hence the name planet) Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, a total of seven objects. From this we get the seven days of the week and the magical importance of the number seven.
One additional fact that is quite clear to the ancients, or to anyone
that looks at the sky for any length of time, is that not only do individual
objects move against the background of the celestial sphere, but the entire
celestial sphere moves. Thus the motions that we see fall into two