In an event that hasn’t occurred since 2005, all five planets that can be seen with the naked eye will be visible together in the early morning sky. This will last for about a month, from January 20 until February 20, 2016.
This amazing show is equally visible to both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
The five planets that can be seen are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.
Actually, all of them except Mercury have already been visible for most of January in the pre-dawn sky. Mercury will make its appearance for the first time on January 20, completing the five-planet show.
From January 27 through February 6, the moon will join the five planets.
To see the planets, look to the South beginning 30 to 60 minutes before sunrise. They will form an arc across the sky, from Venus and Saturn low in the Southeast to Jupiter high in the Southwest. (This article provides a great diagram that will help you to locate them in the sky.) You can continue watching them as the sun rises, until the sun’s brightness blots out their light. It’s certain to be an inspiring way to begin your morning!
Alternatively, try out the free SkyView app which allows you to point your mobile phone at the sky and it will identify stars, constellations, and planets in your field of view!
Finding Meaning Among the Stars and Planets
Since ancient times, human beings have stared up, awe-struck, at the stars and planets circling overhead in the nighttime sky. It is humbling to realize that our Earth is only a tiny speck compared to the magnitude of the sun, our solar system, and the universe. But at the same time, these reflections emphasize the preciousness of our planet, the only place in existence (to our knowledge) that supports the conditions that we, and our plant and animal companions, need to survive.
With this in mind, we invite you to reflect on the following meditation:
We Are All One by Jocelyn Mercado
We are each a miracle.
We are boundless, eternal energy.
We are made of particles from exploded stars
That recombined by chance here on Earth
In fantastic, miraculously complex life-forms.
We do not ever die.
We shift from one energy state to the next, each incarnation a new door
Opening us up to infinite possibilities.
“But how can you prove it?” Some will ask.
Have you ever held a newborn baby?
A child who grew from 2 microscopic cells, into a complete human being?
Do you realize the miracle that occurs within a mother’s body
As the child is forming?
It is beyond anything that science can truly understand or comprehend.
Dark matter and dark energy
Are mysteries that the most esteemed scientists have yet to explain.
Intuition, deja vu, and dreams are all largely unexplained phenomena, by scientific standards
And yet …
How do the shamans, those few still remaining in today’s world, know exactly which plants should be combined to heal an illness that modern science has yet to cure?
How did the ancient Egyptians and Mayans and Celts know the precise alignment of the stars, predict equinoxes and eclipses, create sacred geometry, and build pyramids and powerful temples far more advanced than the technology of their time?
No one knows for sure how they did it.
The truth is, there is far more to our existence than what we can see and measure.
And the ancient people of long ago, as well as the indigenous people of today, understand and honor the unseen, mystical, undocumented life of all beings, living and non-living.
Have you ever looked at the branches of a tree, bare in the winter cold, and considered that their branching pattern exactly mirrors your own lungs and veins and arteries?
Have you ever wondered how the eyes of dogs, elephants, and rabbits are just like our own eyes … And yet many still consider these creatures inferior to humans?
Who is to say that the rippling river is not a living being? Rivers rise and fall as do our own heartbeats and breathing; they whisper and chortle just as we talk and laugh; they undulate just as we dance and they wrap their curves around the Earth just as we bend to embrace a loved one.
Those who live close to nature know that everything has a personality and a unique, pulsating life force: Lightning, rain, insects, trees, wind, the sun and moon, animals, babies, elders.
We are all mirrors of one another.
We are breath and water and thoughts and dreams.
We are whispering leaves, splashing waterfalls, and soft clouds floating across the sky.
We send out signals into the universe: words, hopes, fears, love, passion.
We receive and interpret the messages from other beings, living and non-living.
We are not separate from one another;
It’s just that our minds in this form are too small and too attached to this short breath of a life, this physical form of energy
To comprehend the vast, infinite, and unimaginably beautiful
That are available to us,
At every moment.
Believe in magic
Believe in your own infiniteness
Trust that you are both
A being so unique and special that no one just like you ever has or ever will exist again
One with and the same as all other forms of energy that inhabit this planet, this universe, this drop of beautiful life that we call existence.
Believe in your own greatness.
Believe in the power and importance
Of every ant,
Every swaying tree,
Every blooming flower,
Every mother, all species included, giving birth to our future,
Every father-warrior defending his family with his life,
Every newborn and unborn baby, yes, all species included,
Every planet, star, and comet flying through outer space.
For they are all us.
And we are them.
We are all one.
We are never alone.
Give Generously to Protect Our Future
Pachamama Alliance works with the indigenous peoples of the Amazon rainforest to protect their territory, the expansive forests that produce about 20% of the Earth’s oxygen. Using the insights and knowledge gained from this work, we educate and inspire individuals everywhere to bring forth a more thriving, just and sustainable world.
Partner with us and make a donation today. Help us to create a New Dream for humanity and a sustainable future for all generations to come.
Featured image by Nicholas Raymond