Sept. 4, 2012: I was in San Francisco at the end of August to attend BATS – the Bay Area Tarot Symposium. On one evening, I went across to Oakland for an author event at The Sacred Well. A nice chance to sit and talk with folks about A Magical Tour of the Night Sky. As the guests and I discussed the stars and planets, the first-quarter Moon sailed across the sky. Visible! Other visits to the Bay area have taught me not to count on seeing stars there. The air is far more humid and likely to hold foggy sea breezes than this high and dry Colorado air that I’m accustomed to. But the Moon obliged – Thanks, Moon!
A couples of nights later, BATS had finished for another year, and I was back near my lodging, supping at Honey Honey and reading while twilight changed to night-darkness. Walking back up Post Street, craning around trying to spot the widening Moon between the buildings and along the cross-streets, I suddenly instead saw a bright light in front of me to the west.
Not a plane! A star! I looked carefully off to the star’s right, and sure, enough, faint but visible, I could make out the Big Dipper’s handle stars, it’s pan and the pointers and – big surprise – even Polaris. None of these were bright except for the first one, gleaming in the west straight up Post Street: Arcturus.
It was like walking around in a city in which you’re a stranger and suddenly running into an old friend. A beautiful addition to new friends, new experiences, new information, flavors, sights and sounds.
A sweet surprise, against all expectations: Familiar.