Each year in this season, the Sun moves through the region of Libra stars, and the constellation of the starry crown sets in the west, settling all the mysteries of destiny for the year.
The constellation Libra is known as the scales, which are used for weighing and measuring. When the Sun moves in front of Libra stars, they’re no longer visible to us, and this is when we observe the balance of the year, when day and night are of equal length, and then the darkness takes over.
Around this same time, the constellation of the starry crown, Corona Borealis, also begins to set. This is the set up for one of my favorite fairy tales: “Catherine and Her Destiny”, at the end of which an old woman proclaims to Catherine: “I know by the weighing of the scales through the crown that you shall die a queen.” This statement only comes after a long time of hardship for Catherine, who was born to a wealthy merchant many years earlier.
One day Destiny appeared in Catherine’s room, a beautiful woman demanding whether she would rather have a happy youth, or a happy old age. Once she overcame her shock, Catherine chose a happy old age, and then her trials began.
There are many elements of this tale that are rooted in the stars, including the riches of Catherine’s father, like the three chairs in his great hall, which can be imagined as the three stars in the belt of Orion. And later, when Catherine must beg her Destiny for relief from her suffering, she’s told that her Destiny lies asleep under seven coverlids, also connected to the seven brightest stars of Orion. Orion marches through the night in this season, to witness what we have laid into the Libra scales, for determining whether we have won the starry crown in our own destiny work during his many months of absence from the sky.
Follow this link for the tale Catherine and Her Destiny, from Andrew Lang's Pink Fairy Book.