His golden throne, bent warm on amorous theft:
From high Olympus he had stolen light,
On this side of Jove’s clouds, to escape the sight
Of his great summoner, and made retreat
Into a forest on the shores of Crete.
These few lines are from John Keats’ poetic narrative “Lamia”, and they describe how the trickster god, Hermes, the bringer of dreams and escort of souls, who also serves as the messenger divine, escaped the heaven world for Earth, in search of the beloved.
Keats’ poem is appropriate now because this week brings Valentine’s Day, and the poem is full of images of nobility and majesty in love. Given the news of the day, it seems important to give a higher expression to love than just the base exposé of body parts that’s substituting for how it gets communincated now.
Also, this week we are nine months ahead of the rare Mercury Transit that will happen on November 11th, when the planet Mercury, identified with the Greek god Hermes, will “steal light” from the Sun by moving directly in front of it. This only happens 13 times a century, and when it does, it’s like the trickster god gets in front of the Sun to hold the door open for us, so we can realize that we’re part of the celestial narrative, and it’s time to pay attention to what we’re doing about it.
The transit is nine months from now, and since nine months is the normal rhythm of a human gestation, we can imagine that what we communicate now is like the beginning of a love narrative that Mercury-Hermes will grow with through the seasons and amplify when the planet transits the Sun in November.
Mercury is lost in the sunlight right now, and won’t be visible to us for another couple months, but if this messenegr of the gods is seeking for love in you, what will he find?
Hear The Storyteller’s Night Sky on Interlochen Public Radio at this link.