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The year opens with a love story: this week on the Storyteller's Night Sky

Venus and Mars.jpg
Botticelli's image of Venus and Mars can be seen unfolding across the morning sky all season, heralding epic love from their place among the stars.

What’s better at the dawn of a new year than an epic love story, etched across the sky in starlight? Think Aurora and Tithonus, or Sleeping Beauty and her prince, or Venus and Mars ~ each of them unfolding a dynamic tale of the trials we’re willing to endure to unite with the higher, greater self, always represented in “once upon a time” as the feminine, which needs our heroic deeds in order to be rescued.

On Tuesday morning, Mars will be low in the Southeast, casting his fiery light into the morning sky to the left of the sparkly star Antares, at the heart of the Scorpion, so-named to indicate its role as the rival of Mars.

Venus will join Mars and Antares in the morning sky this weekend, about 40 minutes before sunrise, appearing closer to the horizon than Mars, but unmistakably beautiful and brilliant. Since Venus is still in her retrograde motion, it gives the appearance of her bold lover Mars gaining on her through the tender twilight, all the way until mid-February, when the two planets come conjunct among the stars of Sagittarius, having escaped the underworld clutches of the scorpion and traversed the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.

In early March, Venus and Mars will meet Pluto, named for the dread god of the underworld, known astrologically for deep transformation and total regeneration ~ and that’s the season to start looking for clues about how we’ll get to this year’s happily ever after. Until then, here’s ee cummings, to carry us through the morning of the year:

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Mary Stewart Adams is a Star Lore Historian and host of “The Storyteller’s Night Sky.” As a global advocate for starry skies, Mary led the team that established the 9th International Dark Sky Park in the world in 2011, which later led to her home state of Michigan protecting 35,000 acres of state land for its natural darkness.