Mercury, Venus & Mars: Up Close and Personal with Andrew Morton


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“Mercury in the morning, Venus in the evening, Mars at suppertime…” So why is Mercury so darned elusive at being spotted in our twilight skies? Just when you thought you should be able to get a clear sighting of him you don’t, but then another time almost unexpectedly there he is. But is it really him? Because he never quite looks the same as he did last time around. Why is that? The trickiest of planets to be pinned down: now you see him, now you don’t. Venus though has no such stage nerves as she dazzles and bewitches us for much of the year as that most brilliant of morning and evening stars, slipping gracefully from view only briefly before reappearing on the opposite horizon. No wonder that for some long time our ancestors thought this was two different stars. Mars meanwhile, in all his orangey-reddish glory, comes sabre-rattling in our night skies roughly every two years, growing bigger and bolder and holding station over a period of some months and then slowly fades away from whence he came. We explore the cycles of these most personal and individual of celestial bodies in their orbits around the Sun and look at how the natures of their differing rhythms and varying visibilities as viewed from planet Earth has shaped the characteristics we attribute to them and what can then be further drawn out from a chart to enliven and enrich our astrological interpretations.