The Tragedy of King Arthur at Full Moon: This week on the Storyteller's Night Sky

Apr 10, 2017

Image from the cover of Children's Stories from Tennyson by Nora Chesson

There’s a terrific tale of King Arthur unfolding among the stars this week.

So here’s the set up: It’s Spring, and the two inner planets Mercury and Venus are both at retrograde, and the Moon is about to make its first opposition to the Sun for the season.

Mercury, as messenger, is moving backward out of the evening sky, so it’s like the post office is closed, and we can all expect communications to be mixed up or delayed.

Venus, goddess of love and beauty, is in the morning sky, holding her retrograde until Saturday, as though still waiting for her one true love.

Then there’s the Moon, which comes to its first Full Phase of the Spring on Tuesday morning at 2 am. Once each year the Moon makes its final challenge to the Sun to determine which of them will dominate in the northern celestial hemisphere. This is the same Moon that inaugurates the sacred festivals of Easter and Passover, and when it rises just before sunset Monday night, while the messenger Mercury is “out of town” and the goddess Venus awaits her true love, a tragic mystery unfolds that’s a bit like Alfred Tennyson’s “Idylls of the King”:

Long ago, Arthur happened upon the skeletons of two warring brothers, one wearing a crown of nine diamonds. Arthur retrieved the crown and removed the diamonds. At eight annual tourneys (which are like the 8 days of the Passover or the 8 days from Palm Sunday to Easter), he awarded a diamond to the tournament winner, who was always Lancelot. Lancelot planned to win once more and give all nine diamonds to his secret love Queen Guinevere, but she chose to stay back from the ninth tournament (like Venus retrograde). Because of this, Lancelot told Arthur he also would not attend, but once the lovers were alone, Guinevere berated Lancelot for giving grounds for slander (like Mercury retrograde) and further exacerbating the impossibility of their situation because the Queen stood between Knight and King, and loved them both~like Sun and Moon at opposition.

Link Alfred Tennsyon's "Idylls of the King":: http://d.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/text/tennyson-lancelot-and-elaine