The Conjunction Junction

Did y’all look up at the sky on the Solstice? The experience of a once-in-every-400-years occurrence happening on the Longest Night of the Year 2020 should have Meaning, shouldn’t it? Two Stars appearing as One sharing a point in Time and Space should send a ripple of power down to our struggling little planet, shoudn’t it? Well, maybe changes are more incremental than spectacular, but these two stars, which are really planets, are Always dancing together in our Night-Time Sky.

Ancients saw the sky as the home of the gods; even Christianity has God living in a heaven above. All of the myths grew out of the stories that were derived by watching the skies turn; certainly farming and husbandry relied on the skies to guide them through the seasons of planting and harvest, mating and birthing. With no competing light, the canopy of stars must have been so bright and their movement so clear; I wonder when I try to imagine it. Every constellation spoke to the star-gazer; every phase of the moon held meaning.

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest in the Solar System. It is a gas giant with a mass one-thousandth that of the Sun, but two-and-a-half times that of all the other planets in the Solar System combined. Jupiter is one of the brightest objects visible to the naked eye in the night sky and has been known to ancient civilizations since before recorded history. When viewed from Earth, Jupiter can be bright enough for its reflected light to cast visible shadows, and is on average the third-brightest natural object in the night sky after the Moon and Venus.

Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second-largest in the Solar System, after Jupiter. It is a gas giant with an average radius of about nine times that of Earth. It only has one-eighth the average density of Earth; however, with its larger volume, Saturn is over 95 times more massive.

Emily Segal, writing in The Guardian, predicts that we are entering a new astrological epoch as the every-20-year conjunctions of these two planets moves from an Earth sign, which focuses on materialism, hierarchies, resource acquisition, and territory control, to an Air sign, which favors the renovation of hierarchies, decentralization, shifting orders, rapid translation, and rampant spiritually…

When I began to read about the “Christmas Star” I earlier this month, I checked out the night-skies to find the planets; they were clearly visible from my yard, looking SW, though they sank below the trees about 40 minutes after dark.

Thinking we’d get more darkness outside of the city, we took Goldie up to New Harmony the afternoon before the Big Event to scout out some locations. We found a spot under the old bridge, shooting SW down the Wabash River. We got some okay sunset pictures, but…

we didn’t stay until it was Really Dark because we’d forgotten the tripod… It was clearly two stars, though very close together.

On the Solstice, we turned out our lights and stood out in the yard, looking up at a very bright star that was really two giant planets, appearing in the same spot in time and space.. We didn’t try to take any pictures, we only gazed up into the Sky…

I think we need to do that more often…


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