I’m pleased to report that the Poems for the Behenian Stars poetry book is now available on Etsy as a downloadable PDF (US $10.00) file, and on Amazon.com as a Kindle file (US 9.99). So you now have a choice of formats. I earn somewhat more from the Etsy download than from Amazon, which I hope factors into your choice; but either way it should work to your advantage.
What do you get in this collection?
The Behenian Stars are found in the writings of H.C. Agrippa in Book II, Part 4, chapter 47 and in other sources on medieval and Renaissance astrology and astronomy. No wonder, really: most of them are first-magnitude stars in the northern celestial hemisphere:
- Algol in Perseus
- the Pleiades in Taurus
- Aldebaran in Taurus
- Sirius in Canis Major
- Procyon in Canis Minor
- Regulus in Leo
- Arcturus in Bootes
- Algorab in Corvus
- Spica in Virgo
- Polaris in Ursa Minor
- Capella in Auriga
- Alphecca or Gemma in Corona Borealis
- Antares in Scorpio
- Vega in Lyra
- Deneb Algedi in Capricorn
And to this list I’ve added three other poems, honoring Fomalhaut, the only one of the four royal stars not in the list; Altair in Aquila the eagle, one of the other first-magnitude stars in the northern sky; and Alkaid in Ursa Major, a star whose spectrum helps to classify other stars and which sits somewhere between 1st and 2nd magnitude on that 6-point scale.
The poems are in the traditional formal style called an ode: three stanzas of ten lines each, organized metrically and with a rhyme scheme of ABABCDECDE. Each poem draws on the traditional lore of both astronomy and astrology, and ends with a call to bring the influence of the star into our lives. For magic, for poetry, for learning the northern stars, for the purpose of studying the night sky — these poems help get you to the behen (from the Arabic word for ‘root’) of naked-eye astronomy. Reading the poems while under the night sky will help connect you to your ancestors, and to the timeless mythology that constantly rolls by overhead.
[…] I like to stare up through the leaves on the trees this time of year, and catch sight of the Behenian Stars — some of the brightest in the northern hemisphere’s sky — or the Moon in one of her […]