“Pairadise” and the Pleiades

Pairadise, Mark Ellis

If you’re like me and have been watching Venus and Jupiter dance in the night sky these past weeks, then this stunning photograph by Mark Ellis will certainly delight. It was taken on a beach in Maui, and the juxtaposition of that indigo sky with the almost otherworldly clouds and terrain makes this a truly incredible image. And look at how beautifully bright Venus is! Jupiter is slowly pulling away from Venus now, but the pair can still be seen in the night sky for a little while longer.

Despite how bright Venus is, I can’t stop looking at the Pleiades peeking out from behind the clouds. Since I was old enough to recognize that particular group of stars, I’ve always loved looking for them in the night sky. As a child of maybe eight or so, while at my family’s little horse ranch, I would spend hours laying on the grass looking up the stars, often focusing on just the “Seven Sisters,” imagining myriad stories of who these mysterious sisters were (I only knew then what the constellation was called, not the mythology behind it), and why they were shining so brightly in my sky.  Many years ago in my early twenties, I had the pleasure of spending some time with a Lakota medicine woman, Barrett Eagle Bear, and I remember being enraptured by her telling of the Lakota story of this particular constellation. The story of seven young girls who, over seven days, were taken up to the sky by an eagle. The eagle was defeated and the girls were returned to earth, but their spirits remained in the sky.

I often write about the sky in this blog, and it’s because it has a similar effect on me as do great books and beautiful art… it stirs both my emotions and my intellect. So I’ll keep looking up, as should all of you. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.. our universe is a pretty amazing place.

16 thoughts on ““Pairadise” and the Pleiades

  1. I have a very specific memory of the Pleiades from when I was ten, which I’ll write about when the song comes up on my iPod LOL I actually thought it was Delphinus at first and thought, wow, that constellation’s tiny 😛

    When I was writing freelance for Astronomy magazine I wrote a piece about the Pleiades but it got rejected. It was too… ethereal LOL When I write my own Pleaides post, I’ll have to remember to put the link in.

    In the meantime, if you’d like to read it, feel free to email me and I’ll see if I can dig it up.

    BTW, Hawaii is an amazing place. There’s a deep, intense spirituality there that goes back thousands of years and speaks of a time long, long lost to antiquity. Loved it.

  2. Stunning picture and post! Maybe there are some wise men somewhere who have seen this, thinking they’ve witnessed the rising of ‘his’ star…. I jest.

  3. I will completely agree with you that our universe is an amazing place. You just keep looking up and give us wonderful posts like this one to read. 🙂 Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Kris, your posts are missed!

    I have drawn you into the circle of the Sunshine Award – I have greatly enjoyed your take on books, stars and all else! Hoping to hear more from you soon….

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