The Lion, the King and a Goddess: This week on the Storyteller's Night Sky

Feb 13, 2017

The star Cor Caroli in the constellation Canes Venatici, the hunting dogs, is usually depicted as a heart bearing a royal crown

There’s a cosmic conspiracy setting up for all Valentines this week, and it includes the star that marks the heart of the lion, the star of a king, and the goddess of love and beauty.

First there’s Regulus, the star at the heart of Leo, the Lion, once considered the King of Heaven and lately cast into shadow by the penumbral eclipse.

Then there’s the planet Venus, goddess of Love and Beauty, gracing the western horizon two hours after sunset and growing toward her greatest brilliance by the end of this week ~ as though she would cast off the shadow that fell over the heart star Regulus with her own fiery presence! 

Then there’s the star Cor Caroli, the brightest star in the constellation Canes Venatici, the hunting dogs.  This star name means “the heart of Charles” and was named for  Charles II, who was King of England and Scotland and even Ireland for a time at the end of the 17th century.  Charles is important in the world of astronomy because he established the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, which ultimately became best known as the location of the prime meridian, the meridian line by which longitude is determined around the world.

Now to find this star, locate the Big Dipper in the northeast, then imagine a line travelling perpendicular to the Dipper’s handle going south. Just there you’ll find a pair of stars extending parallel to the Dipper’s handle ~ the brighter one is Cor Caroli.

Now with the star at the heart of the Lion rising up in the East, the Goddess of Love and Beauty, Venus, adorning the horizon in the west, and the star honoring heart of the king just east of north, there’s a nice cosmic set up for an entire week of Valentine’s love, which I’ll close with the words of 14th century mystic poet Hafez, who wrote: All the hemispheres in heaven are sitting around a fire chatting, while stitching themselves together into the Great Circle inside of you…