The starry test of whether things are as they seem: This week on the Storyteller's Night Sky

Jul 10, 2017

Venus tests us to see beyond appearances when it approaches the Bull's Eye on Friday, July 14, as seen in this image from Sky & Telescope.

If you only know the story of “Beauty and the Beast” by the movies, then you may want to revisit the tale in its original form this week, when the morning sky challenges us to see whether we’re judging things based solely on appearances.


An hour before sunrise this week, Venus can be seen brilliantly gracing the region of Taurus stars. Then on Friday, July 14, Venus will appear very close to the star Aldebaran, the Bull’s Eye. This star was always known as a star of good fortune and was thought to portend riches and honor.

Venus is goddess of love and beauty, but when she draws near to this star, then even love and beauty get tested, to determine whether it can see beyond appearances, and gain the good fortune that is its due!

In the tale, there is a wealthy merchant with six sons and six daughters, but as fate would have it, he loses all his riches, forcing them to live in poverty. All of them lamented this fate except for the youngest daughter, and the most beautiful, who thought it would be best to make the most of their new circumstances. 

Eventually news reached the father that one of his lost merchant ships was recovered, and as he went off to reclaim his riches, all of his children asked for precious and expensive gifts. All, that is, except for the youngest; she feared for her father, and asked only that he bring her a simple rose ~ and this is what caused all the trouble! 

During an eight year cycle, the planet Venus appears to make a five-pointed star about the sky, and because a rose is a five-petalled flower, it’s always associated with love, with beauty, and with Venus.

Find Venus in the rosey-gold of dawn this week, an hour before sunrise at 6 am, where it comes close to the Bull’s Eye star Aldebaran, and whispers like the stately woman of the fairy tale who says: “Dear Beauty, try not to regret all you have left behind you, for you are destined to a better fate. Only do not let yourself be deceived by appearances.”

Find the original fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast" here