The Message of the Miracle Star: this week on The Storyteller's Night Sky

Dec 3, 2018

Mira, the "miracle star" actually reveals a tail in this ultraviolet image from NASA. Mira is at its peak in brightness this December, 2018.

The “culmination” of a star is when it is highest above the horizon of the viewer, and it can be imagined like a sacred sign that can be read, like an accent mark on a syllable. So, what accents are happening in starry worlds now?

High above the horizon in the south the constellation Cetus, the whale, is coming to its highest place in the sky. The most interesting star in this region is Mira, the miracle star; it marks the throat of the whale. Mira is a naked-eye variable, waxing and waning in brightness over a period of 11 months, and it just so happens that it’s reaching its peak brightness right now. 

This peak, which varies, is occurring simultaneous to Mira’s culmination, which doesn’t vary ~ so this like a celestial accent mark, or a “sacred sign” that we can read.

And just like it’s easier to understand a word when it is used in a sentence, we have to give this sign its celestial context: Two weeks ago the star that marks the tail of Cetus came to its highest place in our sky; and two weeks from now, the star that marks its head will be at its highest point; and in between, the miracle star culminates.  So every year at this time, it’s like we “move through the body of the whale” for a whole month, from its tail to its head ~ and midway through, during this first week of December, we encounter the miracle star, which is peaking in brightness at the same time.

One way to imagine what this means is through the story of Jonah being swallowed by the whale, which has to do with him no longer avoiding his greater task in life, so we can imagine that our being “swallowed by the whale” every year at this time is like all of us being given the opportunity to awaken to our own greater tasks, especially now as the daylight fades to darkness and the miracle star peaks in brightness.