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Reply To: The Fault Lies in the Stars?



Thanks for pointing out those images in The Hero with a Thousand Faces illustrating the dome of the sky, drawn from different periods and cultures. Certainly that reflects the perspective experienced by most people on the planet over time.

Though the final image, that of the Earth from the surface of the Moon, certainly counters that image from a factual perspective, I’d venture to say that doesn’t necessarily alter the individual experience. That’s an image I see on TV, or in a book, or on my PC, but it’s not anything I have ever directly experienced in my day-today-reality. When I step outside I see the Sun, and the Moon, rise in the East and set in the West – an experience no different from those who assumed the sky a dome – and even the language I use to describe that experience reflects that perspective (considering neither the Sun nor Moon are rising or setting; we revolve around the Sun, the Moon revolves around us, but I experience them – and the constellations – as moving through the heavens, rising and setting).

I’d suggest that image, of Earth as a globe suspended in space, hasn’t disrupted our experience of the sky dome above us; rather, it’s technology that has taken our eyes away from such a sight. Over a few decades in the classroom, I notice the neon lights, at least in the city,  along with the TV in the living room and the device in one’s hand, tend to drown out the night sky; though I regularly asked, it was very rare that a student could tell if the moon the night before was a crescent, or full, or new, or whether it was waxing or waning, which is something that my parents, tenant farmers on the midwestern plains in the 1930s and 1940s, always knew. Similarly, my students were far more aware of the golden arches than a rainbow after a storm.

I suspect that lack of attention to the night sky is as much or more responsible for the relegation of astrology to the comics and puzzle page of the local paper.

On a different topic, I am intrigued that your dream life is super-charged on the nights of the 20th – 22nd. I’m curious what might be at work there. Any ideas?