Astronomy | Gaze up at the nighttime sky throughout August and September and you’ll see Cygnus, the celestial swan, gracefully gliding across the inner arm of our galaxy. We’ve already identified the brightest star of the constellation, Deneb, in an earlier column (as part of the Summer Triangle asterism, described in the August 2019 issue of Moonshine Ink). Deneb is the tail of the swan. To find Deneb, look to the Big Dipper and locate the two stars of the “bowl” closest to the “handle.” Track a straight line through the top or “open” side of the dipper until you reach the bright bluish star, Deneb. The main body of Cygnus lies within the Milky Way, like a swan atop a river of stars. From Deneb, a line of stars extends southward to form the body, neck, and head of Cygnus, intersected by a wavy line of stars forming its outstretched wings. This perpendicular pattern reveals a smaller asterism within the larger Cygnus constellation, the Northern Cross. Although not as famous as the Southern Cross seen below the equator, it is still a prominent celestial marker.
Astrology | There is regal energy this month, as the sun, moon, and Mercury transit through Leo, the sign of royalty. The sun itself is the ruler of Leo, and in this season, we are encouraged to take center stage, celebrating our own sovereignty and self-expression with creativity and confidence. The sun and Leo rule the spine and heart in the body, representing the strength of integrity and the power of generosity. These qualities will be amplified on Aug. 20, at the tail end of Leo, the season when the sun opposes Jupiter. The mythological King of the Sky, Jupiter is the expansive planet that almost swelled to become a sun itself. With energy abounding, the danger here is one of excess. We do well to acknowledge that with the riches of royalty comes great responsibility to others. The trick to staying in balance is to remember to be generous, like the sun who shares its light and warmth with the surrounding planets. When the sun opposes Jupiter, it will be in conjunction with Regulus, the Royal Star that forms the heart of the Leo constellation. Lead by example. Share selflessly. Shine a light in the darkness so others may see the path. And if you find yourself hungover from overindulgence, rest easy. The sun continues along the self-correcting course of the zodiac, entering humble and health-minded Virgo on Aug. 22.
~ Dawn Andreoni is a yoga teacher and astrologer living on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. You can find more about her offerings at celestialdawnastrology.com or follow her at facebook.com/astronotions.