The Big W Promotes Understanding of the Night Sky

I have succumbed to the lure of mythology again.

After waiting four months I bought the Olympus Tarot, and then someone mentioned to me that they’d bought the Celestial Tarot on sale and had consulted the Robert Graves book The Greek Myths with it. Mentioning a book to me is like an auto suggestion, I have to go and look! I had considered buying this a couple of years ago as I thought Graves’s take on mythology might be nice to compare with more conventional texts, but I stuck to my budget and didn’t buy it then.

I have ordered it now though along with the Celestial Tarot; the Ace of Wands in the Celestial Tarot is Cassiopeia and I had to have her. I find astronomy interesting because I have trouble finding things in the night sky. However, in November 2004 the aurora borealis was streaming from the back woods and over my house and just above the tree line was the constellation Cassiopeia, or The Big W as I call it. I’ve never forgotten the streaming coloured light enveloping my house, and I always look for Cassiopeia now when I take the dogs outside at night.

I bought a book to help me identify stars called Find the Constellations, written and illustrated by H.A. Rey, the fellow who wrote the Curious George books. Apart from the Big and Little Dipper and The Big W, I am completely lost. I’m like that with regular geography, it’s only been 12 years or so since I finally got the countries of Europe straight. My husband makes fun of me and calls me geographically challenged, and I am the same way when out in a car, I lose my bearings. You would think that being an artist, a spatial subject like geography and relating distance, direction and location would naturally come to me, but it doesn’t. I switched to urban geography in high school because regular geography baffled me. The night sky and the relationship of stars baffles me in the same way.

It’s a great book though, perhaps a concentrated effort on my part will yield greater understanding some night when I’m up late?

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