Venus and Mars are all right tonight: This week on the Storyteller's Night Sky

Jan 30, 2017

This image from Guy Ottewell shows Mars crossing celestial equator into the "upper world"

We’re nearly halfway through the season of winter this week, and the Moon is lifting the veil on a significant moment in the romantic narrative that’s been playing out over the western horizon for several months now…

On Sunday Mars crossed the celestial equator, which is the spot that marks the point of Vernal Equinox. This means we can imagine that Mars has emerged into the upper world.

Venus, the beloved of Mars, has been trailing after him since October, and this week she will draw as close to him as she possibly can, with the crescent Moon as witness.

And here’s where we enter the mythological narrative. As the divine masculine, Mars is Orpheus, son of Apollo who bears the gift of music through the world. He falls in love with Eurydice, whom we will imagine as the divine feminine, Venus.

In the myth, Orpheus and Eurydice marry, but before they can consummate their union, Eurydice is bitten by a snake and falls into the underworld. Orpheus uses his musical talent to gain entry there, and convinces the god and goddess to release Eurydice, arguing that she died too soon. They grant him his wish, won by his song, on condition that as he leads Eurydice back to the upper world, he is not to look back at her.

This week, with the Moon standing by, Orpehus/Mars moves into the upper world, while Venus/Eurydice trails behind, still below. In the myth, Orpheus turns to look for her too soon, and she tragically falls back into the underworld, but just for this moment, this week, we can imagine the two of them still wrapped in the anticipation of their togetherness.

John Keats described just such a moment in his classic poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn”:

Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though drawing near thy goal yet, do not grieve,
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!…

Watch crescent Moon all week as it moves past Venus and Mars, who are almost in one another’s arms.

 This image from Guy Ottewell shows Mars crossing celestial equator into the "upper world"