News & Classical Music from Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

The Black Moon: this week on the Storyteller's Night Sky


This week there are three active meteor showers, a Black Moon, and the Summer Cross Quarter Day, which makes it really exciting for stargazing and story telling.

The tale of “The Black Thief and the Knight of the Glen” from the Hibernian tradition is a perfect fit for this week: It involves three brothers, who are like the three meteor showers that are active right now; their wicked step-mother, who is like the Black Moon; and the Black Thief, who cleverly leads the brothers through an impossible turn of fate, just as we turn this week at the cross quarter day, from being closer to the beginning of summer to now being closer to its end. Such a turn should never pass by without ceremony, so take heed!

Once upon a time there was a King and a Queen who had three sons, but before the boys came of age, the Queen died. Before she died, she made her husband promise to protect their sons from the jealous designs of another queen by having them locked up in a tower where they would nonetheless receive all the training that was fitting their royal birth.

Eventually the King remarried, and this stepmother Queen was made very jealous of the three princes and persuaded the King to release them from the tower so she could get to know them. Her real intent was to send them on an impossible task, to be rid of them forever.

Pegasus is the wild steed of bells from this week's tale, and can be seen rising in the east after sunset at this time.

This Queen demanded that the princes bring her the wild steed of bells from the Knight of the Glen. The steed was draped in a silk covering that had 60 bells fixed to it so that whenever anyone approached he just shook himself to alert the knight, his guards and the whole country round!

We’ll imagine this wild steed as the constellation Pegasus, which, together with the meteor showers and the Black Moon, is rising up in the sky this week.

Find the whole the story of “The Black Thief and the Knight of the Glen” here.