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The Outward Shining of an Inward Light: This week on The Storyteller's Night Sky

Venus rides across the dawn in a chariot fo the Moon on Thursday morning, a spectacular sight. (Image: Sky&Telescope.)

The planet Venus rides across the dawn in a chariot of the Moon later this week, a spectacular sight that lends itself to easily finding the goddess of love and beauty lingering in the East even after the Sun rises.

In addition to Venus and the Moon at dawn on Thursday, there’s meteor shower activity all week, radiating from the constellation Taurus, a region of stars over which Venus was said to have dominion, in those days when a striving to know the stars was regarded as a high art ~ for to know the working of the stars in human life was to emulate the cosmic harmony of the gods.

In the ninth canto of the Paradise from Dante’s “Divine Comedy” we learn that the shadow cast into heaven by Earth comes to a point in the sphere of Venus, described as the third heaven in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. Venus plays a significant role from the very beginning of Dante’s epic, where he describes that, though he woke in a dark wood to find he was lost, the morning rays of light sent from the planet reassured him that he would find his way.

The Moon comes to its Thursday morning meeting with Venus fresh from eclipse season, as though, in the aftermath of the shadow, it slips past Venus for the goddess of love to read the promises written in hearts that can never be eclipsed.

May you wake with a smile in your heart this week, for as Dante wrote:

What is a smile but the coruscation of the joy of the soul, like the outward shining of an inward light.