The Black Moon, Three Meteor Showers, and the Summer Cross Quarter

This week there are three active meteor showers, a Black Moon, and the Summer Cross Quarter Day, which makes it really exciting for stargazing and story telling.

The set up:

This month’s first New Moon on July 2 totally eclipsed the Sun~that’s the first queen from our tale

The second New Moon on July 31 is the second queen~who turns out to be a wicked stepmother

There are three meteor showers active now: the Capricornids, Delta Aquariids, and the Perseids~these are the three princes of the tale

The constellation Pegasus is galloping into the night, like a diamond in the eastern sky after sunset~ he is the wild steed of bells in the tale

Then there’s the Summer Cross Quarter Day August 1, when we turn from being closer to the season’s beginning to its end~this is the cleverness of the Black Thief from the tale, who is able to turn the fate imposed upon the three princes and secure their happily ever after!

Find it all on this week’s radio segment from The Storyteller’s Night Sky, then get to your stargazing spot, light a candle, break bread, and tell the tale!

The tale of “The Black Thief and the Knight of the Glen” is from the Hibernian tradition, and it’s a perfect fit for this week: Starring the three brothers, who are like the three meteor showers that are active right now; their wicked step-mother, who is like the Black Moon; and the Black Thief, who cleverly leads the brothers through an impossible turn of fate, just as we turn this week at the cross quarter day, from being closer to the beginning of summer to now being closer to its end. Such a turn should never pass by without ceremony, so take heed!

Once upon a time there was a King and a Queen who had three sons, but before the boys came of age, the Queen died. Before she died, she made her husband promise to protect their sons from the jealous designs of another queen by having them locked up in a tower where they would nonetheless receive all the training that was fitting their royal birth.

Eventually the King remarried, and this stepmother Queen was made very jealous of the three princes and persuaded the King to release them from the tower so she could get to know them. Her real intent was to send them on an impossible task, to be rid of them forever.

This Queen demanded that the princes bring her the wild steed of bells from the Knight of the Glen. The steed was draped in a silk covering that had 60 bells fixed to it so that whenever anyone approached he just shook himself to alert the knight, his guards and the whole country round!

We’ll imagine this wild steed as the constellation Pegasus, which, together with the meteor showers and the Black Moon, is rising up in the sky this week.

Find the whole the story of “The Black Thief and the Knight of the Glen” here.

Also, for the radio segment of this episode, go to The Storyteller’s Night Sky on Interlochen Public Radio.

Happy turning with the stars!