This week brings the first New Moon of the year, on Tuesday, and right along with it the coldest ~ and darkest ~ nights of the year.
If you get all bundled up to go out and look at the evening sky, you’ll find Orion, the winter maker, striding on through the stars in the south. In the morning sky, you’ll find the planets Jupiter and Mars in the east. Mars is getting ready to make its closest approach to Earth since 2003 later this year.
But if you decide you’d rather stay curled up with a good book, under a reading lamp beside a fire, here are some author recommendations specifically for his week:
First there’s Benjamin Franklin, who was born this week in 1706, the only founding father to sign all three documents that stand at the foundation of the United States. Franklin was known to read the stars to support his observations of the world, and even used astrology to predict the death of a publishing rival! Find his "Poor Richard's Almanack" at this link.
Also born this week is AA Milne, the creator of the delightful world of Christopher Robin and his best friend, Winnie The Pooh. Milne was born in 1882.
If you want to dive more deeply, then there’s Edgar Allen Poe, also born this week, in 1809. Poe’s lengthy non-fiction work Eureka~subtitled a prose poem, or “an essay on the Material and Spiritual Universe” describes how he saw the universe as infinitely expanding and collapsing like a divine heartbeat, continually rejuvenating itself. Though it’s mostly thought of as a literary work, Poe's ideas here anticipated some interesting 20th-century scientific discoveries and theories.
Poe wrote in the preface: To the few who love me and whom I love – to those who feel rather than to those who think – to the dreamers and those who put faith in dreams as in the only realities – I offer this Book of Truths, not in its character of Truth-Teller, but for the Beauty that abounds in its Truth; constituting it true. To these I present the composition as an Art-Product alone: let us say as a Romance; or, if I be not urging too lofty a claim, as a Poem.
Find Poe's Eureka at this link.
Any one of these authors is a great companion in this cold season, when the star shine is brilliant and the Moon is nowhere to be found.