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Every Monday morning at 6:49 and 8:49, IPR News Radio looks into the night sky with Mary Stewart Adams, former Program Director and founder of the International Dark Sky Park at the Headlands, who has been telling stories of the night sky on IPR since 2013.

Mars Comes Close Bearing a Genius and a Demon: this week on the Storyteller's Night Sky

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On Tuesday the planet Mars will be closer to us than it will be for another 15 years, so the question is: will we be inspired by the red planet’s genius or its demon?

Esoterically, Mars is understood as the planet that inspires speech in the human being. This can be considered its “genius.” But in its fallen or “demon” nature, Mars is also connected to speech that is misused in various ways. And when the planet comes closest, it’s as though these qualities are amplified.

Mars rises just after sunset Tuesday, joining Saturn and Jupiter in the night. Then, in the midnight hour, the gas giants set, leaving Mars alone in the moonlight to stake his claim among the stars. For four hours Mars wanders through the vault of heaven, and then, Venus rises in the East. These two are ancient lovers, and now they find themselves alone together in the sacred dark that blankets the sleeping world below.

So attached is Mars to his beloved Venus that he overstays the dawn, only setting 45 minutes after the Sun rises, paying no heed to the fact that it will be the Sun himself, as the god Apollo, that will expose Mars’ romance with the goddess, but this only happens later, when Venus and Mars are much closer together in the sky. That won’t happen until next summer.

For now, Mars is keeping his distance from Venus while leaning close in on Earth. It’s as though he’s come to light the flame of enthusiasm for a higher, greater expression of love, which he can then make use of nine months from now when he and Venus will appear in the exact same region of sky. Let’s hope that the weeks and months ahead find all of us inspired by Mars’ genius to a higher, greater truth.