The Sun, the Moon, and the Truth: this week on the Storyteller's Night Sky

May 4, 2020

Vesak is celebrated each year at the May Full Moon in Buddhist tradition, honoring the birth, enlightenment, and transfiguration of the Buddha. Late afternoon Sun over Lake Michigan by msa.

Mercury meets the Sun at superior conjunction on Monday, on the other side of the Sun from Earth, then the Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower peaks toward dawn on Tuesday, followed by Full Moon on Thursday morning. What are your plans for the week?

When Mercury has this meeting with the stars beyond the Sun, it’s as though the ancient communicator god is gathering divine messages for bearing earthward at its next inferior conjunction, which will come ‘round on June 30th. So think of May 4th as a placeholder where there may be a clue for messages you’ll receive later next month.

But what makes this meeting of Mercury with the Sun and stars so intriguing this week is that it occurs just as the Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower kicks up. Even though this shower is best seen from the southern hemisphere, its still possible to catch some of its falling stars in the early hours of Tuesday morning, May 5th. The star names in Aquarius all have to do with fortune and good luck, so these are truly the wishing stars! Not only that, it was near the radiant of this shower that William Herschel discovered Uranus in 1781. In esoteric star wisdom, Uranus is considered the gateway to the occult, connected with initiation and the Mysteries.

Then on Wednesday evening, at the eve of this month’s Full Moon, there’s a fun viewing opportunity, if you can get yourself to a spot where both the eastern and western horizons are visible. The nearly Full Moon will rise around 8 pm in the East, while the Sun will set in the West a little less than an hour later, just before 9 pm.

In Buddhist tradition, the Buddha is born, achieves enlightenment and is transfigured all on the May Full Moon. So we’ll let this mighty being speak the message for this week: Three things cannot be long hidden, the Sun, the Moon, and the Truth.