The Moon, the Lion, and Kindness: This week on the Storyteller's Night Sky

May 21, 2018

This image of the Moon near the star Regulus at the heart of the Lion on Monday, May 21, 2018 from Abrams Planetarium Sky Calendar.

Nine moths ago, on August 21st in 2017, the Moon eclipsed the Sun and its shadow entirely bisected the United States, from sea to shining sea. Since nine months is the amount of time it takes for a normal human gestation, it’s fitting to consider that phenomenon then, and see what’s going on now.

 

 

 

Tonight, May 21st, the Moon will arrive at first quarter, right near the star Regulus, which is the bright star that marks the heart of the constellation Leo, the Lion. This is nearly the exact same spot where nine months ago the Moon, then at new phase, totally eclipsed the Sun.

 

In most ancient traditions, the star Regulus is connected to the heart and is regarded as a king among stars. Given its position in the sky at birth, this star could portend wisdom in leadership, or its opposite!

 

And this week, rather than blocking the Sun from view in the region of this star, the Moon actually sweeps by Regulus bearing the light of the Sun on its surface, which suggests a lovely little fable from Aesop called: “The Mouse and the Lion”. 

 

In the fable, a reckless mouse unintentionally runs across the nose of a sleeping lion. Roused from his nap, the lion lays his huge paw angrily on the mouse to kill it, but the mouse pleaded with the lion to be spared, promising to one day repay the mighty king of the jungle. “The lion was much amused to think that a mouse could ever help him. But he was generous and finally let the mouse go.”

 

As often happens in fables and fairy tales, the lion finds himself in a fix just a few days later, and it’s the mouse that comes to the rescue, demonstrating the wonderful moral that A kindness is never wasted.

 

Tonight you can imagine the Moon near Regulus is the mouse, getting straight to the heart of things, and granting us all the opportunity to exhibit, and receive, kindness, as we reflect on what we’ve been up to for the last nine months.

 

Find the Aesop fable The Mouse and the Lion at this link.