by Boots Hart, CAP

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Lyrid Meteor Shower 2013

Image based on a map of constellations Lacerta, Cygnus, Lyra,
Vulpecula and Anser as pictured in 1825
(courtesy of the Library of Congress, retouching by Sidney Hall)

The 2013 edition of the sky show known as Lyrid Meteor Shower begins on April 16th and continues on through April 25, peaking on April 20th. Admission is free, all you have to do is go outside at night somewhere where’s its dark enough to actually see the depth of the sky. (Which means everyone who lives in a city probably does have to pay some price – that involved in getting to a place where the sky is dark enough to show up this glimmering rain!)
The Lyrids, like other meteor showers, are named for the direction the comet which produces them ‘appears’ to come from in the sky. In the case of the Lyrids, the comet’s name is Thatcher (also known as ‘C1861 G1’ in astronomy-speak) and the constellation is Lyra.

Maybe that rings a bell? We were discussing Lyra just a few weeks ago in a post on the long-term conjunction by Pluto of Lyra’s most famous star, Vega.

Mind you, Thatcher evidently doesn’t actually originate inside the boundaries of Lyra. It’s ‘radiant’ point (i.e., the point from which the comet seems to radiate) is just beside Lyra. So if we think of Lyra as the lyre of Orpheus (which in Greek thinking is what it’s supposed to be), then maybe Thatcher is the ‘hand’ which holds the lyre.

I have nothing to prove that…it’s just a thought. But if so, then the Lyrids may be those ‘sparks from heaven,’ those little dapples of input from ‘beyond’ which tell us to ‘look what we have,’ be that in material, human or spiritual terms.

Orpheus had enormous gifts. He was a musician capable of charming the beasts of the field and even that implacable god of the dead – Hades (who give or take a Disney movie or two is generally known by modernists and in most walks of astrology as Pluto).

There are various stories about Orpheus’ parentage, so we don’t know whether he was a god immortal or a full-blooded mortal or one of those many mythic Greek half-and-half types. What we do know is that when it comes down to it, the Orpheus story (specifically his inability not to look back when rescuing his lady love Eurydike) makes it very plain that Orpheus had his flaws and insecurities, just like the rest of us.

(Greek gods had their flaws too, which is why this is hard to sort out.)

Should we combine that ‘don’t look back’ with the idea of investing ourselves in our talents? Are the Lyrid meteors some metaphysical twinkle about the need to move forward? Or are they a ‘shot in the dark’ which points out how off-key we really can be?

Just to toss in a quirky little note here, during last year’s Lyrid shower, a few of those meteors made their impacts literally felt down here on Mama Earth. It was not the huge ‘bang’ we all heard about early in 2012 when a big meteor exploded in the skies above Russia, no. But there were two little Lyrid chunks large enough to earn notice. One came to rest in a California parking lot near Sutter’s Mill – which if you’re up on your California history is a place famous from the gold rush days.

Fragments of what is now being called 'the Sutter's Mill meteorite' one of
thousands of meteors which fell as part of the 2012 Lyrid shower.
(photo credit: astronomer Peter Jenniskens and Eric James NASA-Ames Laboratory)
And the other came to rest in northern Guatemala.

I've highlighted the location of Tikal, the 'Queen of the Mayan Cities'
- one of many fascinating places to be explored in northern Guatemala. 
I found this out while doing research for this blog. And yes – I was surprised. After all, about the time those two meteors fell with a ‘klunk’ (one supposes) onto planet Earth, I was a person living in California working on shaping up their first eBook. That book is all about my very personal and spiritual experiences which began in Mexico, but which led me to Tikal in northern Guatemala, a place which left an endemic imprint on my soul, a place which touched me like no other place on this planet ever has.

Yes, there are a few non-spiritual moments too. More than a few, actually. But that's one of the things about human life and experience, isn't it? Sometimes its the mix, the combination, the dichotomy, the combination of ethereal and flesh-bound which makes our lives so rich.

I released that book during 2012 even though I wrote it during the 1990s for the very reason you might suspect – 2012 was the end of one of the (many) Mayan calendar counts. In launching ‘Travel Gossip,’ I took to the waves as a book author. And while that was a landmark for me, just as important – if not more important – was my wanting to make a contribution to the human pool of metaphysical and mortal thought at a time when according to Maya lore, people would be entering a new phase of awareness and growth.

And, of course, all the challenges which go with new ways and the need to grow.

Here’s the link to the page where you can get a copy of ‘Travel Gossip’ if you’d like to read it.

(For those not in the US, there are pages for ‘Travel Gossip’ on all the Amazon book sites world-wide.)

The real reason I bring this up (besides telling you how surprised I was to learn about those two meteors) is because this sort of ‘reminder’ is, I think, typical of meteor showers. They’re twinkles and glimmers – and yes, occasionally the big boom or the klonk on the head (hopefully not in real time) when life wants us to realize that we really are part of the All, the greater thing we call the world and the whole of life.

If we get that far, then maybe the eyes of our mind and soul become better attuned to the vision of our place in the vastness of the universe and our value to the time in which we live.

And thus the values of our talents.

And the need to accept life and not doubt what we can do for the good of all – and how that comes back to us as opportunities for growth and on occasion, the need and opportunity to work towards self-redemption.

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