by Shell Selvans
Blessed New Moon! In the coming week or two, I welcome you to go outside with your family at 9:00PM or so and enjoy the Fall Equinox stars. With the nights rapidly lengthening, you can go out earlier and earlier to stargaze!
This time of year for me is a time of comfort and familiarity in my stargazing. Shortly after sunset, Cygnus, Lyra, and Aquila (the Summer Triangle constellations) are still overhead, Cassiopeia is along the Milky Way to the northeast, and Sagittarius is along the Milky Way to the southwest. And of course Polaris (of the Little Bear) is steadfastly to the north.
There is of course so much more to learn of the stars, more constellations and stories. But the brightest stars are familiar, and I enjoy sitting under them and basking in the starlight from hundreds and thousands of light-years away. (Stargazing without a telescope, we can see light from stars up to ~16,000 light years away - a faint star in Cassiopeia! This is just a little bit of the Milky Way galaxy, which is ~100,000 light years across, with the nearest edge being ~23,000 light years from us. I like to think of this limited naked eye vision of our own galaxy as a Hekate situation, seeing just far enough out to know our place but not so far that we are overwhelmed by the landscape.)
I challenge you at this point in the year to revel in the stars you know, but to also look at them with a creative eye: find a new constellation on the star chart that you want to learn, or make one of your own! Put your own story to it, and share it with your family, or the next person you stand under the stars with. :)
The following star chart can help you find your way:
Make sure to line the direction printed on the edge of it up with the direction you're facing. After 9:00PM, the stars will have rotated a bit from where they're shown. Also, you might want to find your own chart if you are on our Mother Earth somewhere other than the contiguous 48 states of the U.S., or a similar latitude.
Blessed be your stargazing, with the New Moon and at the time of the Equinox!
If you enjoyed this and would like to connect more deeply with the stars, our magical community and the children of the world, please join CAYA Sprouts in our monthly “Children of Promise” New Moon working!