The Star is here. Again. Everybody can see.
(This essay by Charles Strohmer was originally published in Religion Unplugged, December 14, 2020)
Stargazing into the western sky this December has captured the interest of millions, as news stories of every kind highlight the appearance of a rare conjunction appearance together of our two largest planets, Jupiter and Saturn. Amateur astronomers are manning their expensive telescopes taking once-in-a-lifetime photos. Astrologers are counseling clients to use to their advantage the energies of what they call “the great conjunction.” Social media outlets have millions imagining that this is the return of the Star of Bethlehem in the story of the Magi. But is it?
Most of the buzz has arisen from the fact that this is an exceptionally rare extra-close conjunction of the two giants, pulsing in the night sky with enough combined light to impress even the most uninterested. That the two planets will be at their closest and…
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