by Maya del Mar
The Crystal in the Sky
The long clear nights of winter make wonderful sky viewing in the northern hemisphere. Many of the brightest stars now shine out in all their glory. Most spectacular are the stars in and around Orion, which include orange Aldeberan in Taurus, greenish Sirius the Dog Star, nearby Procyon, Castor and Pollux--the Gemini Twins, and big yellow Capella in Auriga.
Why am I mentioning all these stars? Together they make a remarkable formation, a huge hexagon in the sky. January is Saturns month. Saturn rules crystals, and every night we can look up and see a giant crystal in the sky. The hexagonal crystal is the natural earth form! Snowflakes, for instance, are hexagonal.
We can see these constellations rising in the east after sunset. The hexagon is clear later at night, when this bright group is spread out before us. Just follow the outline of the bright stars. I start with dull yellow Capella, at the "top," and furthest north. I move down the right to orange Aldebaran, the eye of the bull, and continue down to Rigel, the blue star below Orions belt. Then I turn left and downward to the brilliant foundation star, greenish Sirius.
Now I turn up and to the left to pause at Procyon, a bright clear yellowish-white star, and then up again to whitish Castor. Up and right to Capella again brings us back where we started. We have now traversed our wondrous crystal in the sky, and made the acquaintance of some of the nights best known stars in the process. Picture yourself an ancient navigator, with the comfort of these bright sky markers.
Jupiter and Saturn hang out in the crystal
You may notice a couple of wanderers parked in the big crystal. Jupiter and Saturn have been lingering there for months. We can see them both above the eastern horizon just after sunset. However, around midnight is the perfect time to spot them bright and clear.
Yellowish Saturn appears about the same brightness as Aldebaran, and sits just to its south. Saturns ring system is good for viewing now, and its gorgeous. You may get a chance to see it through a telescope this month.
Jupiter is so bright that you might mistake it for a plane. It lies to the right of Pollux, in the center of Gemini.
Mars and Mercury are evening "stars"
Mercury, of the winged helmet, is elusive and difficult to see. But we can see it this month! About 45 min. after sunset, look where the sun was when it set. We may need binoculars at first, but by the second week of January we can see it with the naked eye. And by the third week, elusive Mercury is gone from sight.
Watch for the crescent Moon (new) hovering below Mercury on January 14, and see the Moon above it on January 15.
Observers in northern Europe can see the Moon occult Jupiter on January 26, around twilight time. Time varies; in Scotland the time is before 6 p.m. local time.
Mars looks like a lonely red-orange globe hanging in the western sky after twilight. We can see it just north of the new crescent Moon on January 18.
Sirius is a major sky beacon
Sparkling green-blue Sirius is the brightest star in the northern hemisphere. It lies close to the equator, and can be seen from earth everywhere except the poles.
Orion, the Hunter, had two dogsCanis Major, the big dog, with its bright star Sirius, and Canis Minor, the little dog, with its bright star, Procyon.
The Egyptians revered Sirius because it heralded the rise of the Nile River. It rose in the east just before dawn around the Summer Solstice.
The Dogon, a tribe in Africa, built their whole mythology around Siriusand Sirius as a double and triple star. This was puzzling, because Sirius was thought by astronomers to be a single star until well into the twentieth century. It turned out that Dogon drawings reflected the movements of the twin stars with astronomical accuracy. As far as I know, the third Sirius star of the Dogons has yet to be discovered.
Sirius is the beacon star of the United States, for it conjoins its Sunand George W. Bushs Sun as well. Sirius also conjoins the U.S.-Bush composite Sun, their composite North Node, and their composite midheaven. This is a super-powerful placement, and shows that the whole purpose of their relationship is connected to Sirian energy.
Ebertin-Hoffman says about Sirius,
"In its nature are Mars and Jupiter traits. From time immemorial, it was the 'Royal One,' but it is also known as violent. Well-connected, it promises fame, honors, riches. On the Ascendant Sirius can be quite dangerous. Pushing ahead with too much ambition is then seen, resulting in dangers by injuries or attempts on the natives life."
On the midheaven it is good for wealth, commerce, and government.
There is much magical lore connected with Sirius throughout the centuriesand with Sirius and the United States.
In the sky, brilliant Sirius is the base of the giant crystal.