Finding solace in the sky

by Tauri Kerr

An artist’s impression of GG Tauri

‘Only in the darkness can you see the stars’ – Martin Luther King Jr.


This quote has stuck with me for many years. It retains a much deeper meaning than the literal rotation of Earth to create light and dark. This quote has a lot of truth and meaning to it because we must go through the darkness in order to see the beauty in life, just like the stars in the night sky.


Human beings have always had a fascination with the sky above them. We have invented equipment to enable us to see the planets, we have built space stations to explore the great expanse of the galaxy and we have studied the stars – searching for answers to all our burning questions. Out of all the enthralling discoveries and interpretations of the sky above us – I find astrology to be the most intriguing.


Astrology is the belief that the stars and the movement of planets affects every individual’s mood, personality and environment, depending on when and where the individual was born. Astrology has been around for 2400 years and it originated in Babylon.


What interests me is that even though it has been rejected by the scientific community, people have maintained their belief. Most believers check their horoscopes religiously, either on a daily or monthly basis – searching for confirmation, affirmation, or direction. I know several people who rely solely on astrology and their star sign to guide them through their journey of life and it has become a habitual practice in their lives.


Other people are simply drawn to the stars in general – no horoscopes, no predictions… just the calming effect of the vast darkness that we look out into at night. The thought that I can glance at the stars and spot a constellation in Johannesburg, whilst someone in an entirely different location can spot the same constellation at the same time, has always been a comforting thought for me.


The stars have been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I experience a humbling feeling when glancing into the darkness. Our planet seems huge to us, but it is only a small rock moving around a ball of gas in one of the infinite galaxies in our universe.


Whenever I feel like life is getting overwhelming – I remind myself that our little lives are only a small part of life’s bigger design. I have found solace in the stars. I feel comforted by the idea that it isn’t the end of the world if I have a bad day – the planets will still rotate around the sun, the stars will still shine just as bright and tomorrow is a new day.


The Pleiades constellation has held a special place in my heart since the day I was born. My mother used to search for this constellation with her father before I was even a twinkle in her eye. That was something that brought them together.


When I was born, my mother wanted my name to be something unique and sentimental. After doing her research, she noticed that many of the clusters of stars within the Pleiades constellation were named according to their size; 19 Tauri, 21 Tauri, 22 Tauri and so on. This is how I got my name, Tauri, which I love.


I have grown up with a fixation on the stars and their meanings to other people. My mother realised this love for the stars and, for my 19th birthday, named a star after me. There is a website where you can ‘buy’ a star and name it. My star is a part of the Aries Constellation (which is my star sign) and its name is Tauri.


When I realised how much this meant to me, it made me think about how many other people have this kind of connection with the constellations. People look up to the sky for different reasons – some are looking for inspiration, some are looking for consolation and others are simply admiring its spectacular vastness.


Cynics often question people’s beliefs in stars and deem these beliefs naïve. I feel the stars give people a sense of belonging and purpose. Everyone has their own stories when it comes to the sky – if you catch someone looking up and you are willing to listen, ask them why.


“If you are craving a reminder of your connection to everything, look at your reflection in the night sky. You are home.” — Jennifer Williamson

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Rhodes University (UCKAR), Makhanda (Grahastown), Eastern Cape

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