For the longest time I couldn’t see much in the night sky beyond the Big/Little Dippers and the Orion’s Belt asterisms. I’ve always liked to stargaze, but most patterns escaped me.
A few years ago I started getting up early and going outside and looking. I often go through my morning prayer cycle while staring up at the stars. It makes me feel big and small at the same time. It’s also a tad hard on the neck. I don’t care, though, especially now that I can see more constellations.
Eventually I learned how to look. I needed to take the bigger view so I could see beyond the belt to the whole hunter.
The Pleiades are close by, but very hard to see if you look right at them. Use your side vision to see the Seven Sisters and they’ll show nicely.
I’d read that the Bull was somewhere near the Hunter and the Seven Sisters, but I could never get a bead on it.
Eventually I found the main red star, Aldebaran, but couldn’t out together the V shape of the Hyades.
Then one day I did. And then I saw what appeared to be a calf in the sky with the V as its head.
The Hunter uses his shield to ward off Taurus while his dog Sirius is at his heel. Finally, I got it.
These patterns are easy to spot this time of year. Orion and the Pleiades are high in south-southeast and the Bull’s head is right between them. The V and Aldebaran draw the gaze in.
I couldn’t see them for the longest time because I was trying too hard. Looking too intently. Then one morning a few years ago I stepped outside thinking of something else and the V was obvious.
Now, each September I look skyward in the early hours and find them and am reminded: stop trying so hard.