Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Cats, Galaxies and Kate Bush

My kitten Lyra inspired me to name her after a constellation because she boasts symmetrical bright white spots on her ears chest and belly. This post is about all the wonderful things I discovered about the constellation Lyra so read on! (This is a taste of what sparks the interest for my paintings, what could be a story behind the mysterious stars? .)

In Greek mythology, Lyra was associated with the myth of Orpheus, the musician who was killed by the Bacchantes. After his death, his lyre was thrown into the river; Zeus sent an eagle to retrieve the lyre, and ordered both of them to be placed in the sky. There are actually a zillion different versions of the Orpheus story, most seeming to point towards one god being jealous of another's gift.  I appreciate only the symbolism of the instrument, and how the contemplation of music and the constellations can transform the spirit.

The brightest star in this small constellation is Vega, which is also the fifth brightest star in the night sky. It is a beautiful blue/white star, look for this star in the very early evening in June – high overhead on autumn evenings – in the northwestern quadrant of the sky on December evenings. Vega is a huge star 2 1/2 times the size of our sun, and is millions of years older. There are stars, nebulae and galaxies within the constellation captured by Hubble.

Ahh, the beautiful things we find looking into the eyes of a cat.

...And! Kate Bush wrote a beautiful song inspired by the character Lyra from the book the Golden Compass.  Wowness kitty, we picked one magical name!