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Every Monday morning at 6:31 and 8:31, 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.

Moon and Mars Between the Bull's Horns: this week on the Storyteller's Night Sky

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The cow jumps over the Moon this week when the waxing crescent sweeps up through the stars of Taurus the bull, looking west an hour after sunset on Thursday.

After passing the bull’s eye star on Thursday evening, the Moon encounters Mars between the bull’s horns on Friday. This is a very interesting place, between the bull’s horns, so what might it mean for Moon and Mars to be there together?

The star at tip of the bull’s northern horn has the name El Nath and it means “the butting one.” This position marks the point of attack. Ancient tradition described those under the influence of this star as having a confronting attitude.

The tip of the southern horn has the name Tiānguān from Chinese culture, which means “the heavenly gate.”

So here we have Mars and Moon between the confronting force of the bull and the heavenly gate, which seems like a pretty dynamic set up. What’s more, Mars is considered masculine in its energy and is associated with the active principle, whereas the Moon is feminine in its aspect and has a more nurturing, or even passive quality.

To borrow from Ernest Hemingway’s first novel “The Sun Also Rises,” published 95 years ago this year, this region between the bull’s horns may very well be what he called “the terrain of the bull.” This is a potentially dangerous place in bull fighting, where only the most skilled toreador engages.

So it seems that this week we are presented with a lively opportunity, to take decisive action on the one hand, to be receptive on the other, and to watch for the moment when we can use potential confrontation as a catalyst for entering through the heavenly gate, which could be analogous to living fully, as Hemingway put it: “Nobody ever lives their life all the way up, except the bullfighters.”

Find more about the sky&telescope image at this link.