|By Anne Ortelee
When I was young, the “pictures” which people “saw” in the constellations in the sky completely escaped me. It looked like a bunch of really bad connect-the-dots pictures that I didn’t get. My Virgo Sun perceived no order, just chaos. Not enough lines, lots of dots and very, very large leaps of imagination about people or animals doing things. I could spot the Big and Little Dippers because they WERE right up there but the rest were confusing.
In September of 1986, I was at the edge of the Great Rift in Tanzania Africa. I spent hours in a transcendent quasi-religious experience gazing at the night sky and marveling. I felt the raw primal nature of the night sky and understood how humans thousands of years ago had watched it with awe and amazement. It was an unforgettable night. I realized how our electric lighted world diminished our sense of connection with the universe and earth. After a few weeks back in electric New York City, I thought no more about it.
Then, in the summer of 1998, I spent a wonderful weekend in Maine at Wendy Ashley’s stargazing extravaganza. We went out on a houseboat, stretched on our backs and watched the constellations rise in the east while Wendy relayed their myths. It was another transcendent quasi-religious experience with the universe (note the 12-year gap – yes, transiting Jupiter in Pisces was again in aspect to my natal chart!). This time my star conversion took.
From time past remembering, we used to lie on our backs, look at the sky and listen to our elders tell stories. No wonder people saw pictures in the sky. It is nature’s version of movies and television. Look at the sky; watch star rise after star rise and observe the constellations as their story unfolds. The stars rise quite slowly, creeping up over the horizon and resolving gradually from blurs into sharpness as they move backward, leaving plenty of time for lines to connect dots.
Here are my favorite techniques to have your own transcendent quasi-religious experience with the stars.
1. Look Up. When you are out and it is dark, look up. Try and figure out what you are looking at. Look for clumps of stars near the Moon or something bright. Look at your watch. Run into the house, turn on your computer and cast the chart. Look at the chart using the planetarium part of your software. Click on the stars and read their myths.
There is a whole sky full of stars aching to tell you secrets. You just have to look up.
Copyright © 2006 Anne C. Ortelee