Lions and maidens and comets, oh my: this week on The Storyteller's Night Sky

Nov 19, 2018

The Maiden Scattering Stars by Edwin Blashfield, 1927

There is a dynamic story unfolding across the sky in this season, more than can be fully explained in this brief episode of The Storyteller’s Night Sky, so here’s just some of it, first from the imagination, and then the intellect: 

The celestial Lion shook, and so loosed the royal stars from his ancient mane, signaling the sacred entrance of the Sun into the domain of the mighty healer where he is hidden there, hovering above the scorpion’s underworld. Before entering, Lord Helios summoned his messenger, drawing him near to bear witness to the encounter, while Beauty, steeping in the baths of abundance in order to amplify her amorous radiance, beckoned to her own messengers, sweet envoys of ethereal light; one from among the seven sisters; the other from the Dame Divine, that first woman Virgo, where she on celestial centuries reclined, waiting on noble deeds among men.

In other words: The Leonid Meteor Shower recently peaked in the midnight sky, while the Sun moved from the region of Scorpio into the region of the constellation Ophiucus. At the same time, the planet Mercury turned retrograde, toward the Sun, while Venus turned direct. Venus is near Spica in the morning sky, the star of abundance in the constellation Virgo. 

To top off this scene, there are two comets hurtling toward earth, heralds of other worlds, one that was just discovered a week ago, in the region of Virgo, and the other making the closest approach to earth of any comet in recent history, coming visible to the naked eye near the star cluster of the Pleiades, the seven sisters, in mid-December.

What story are your stars telling?