Staring up at the stars on a clear and crispy night, one can only feel a sense of awe and amazement. And man has stared up at many of the same stars for centuries and felt much of the same awe-inspiring wonder. But why, as a species, are we so obsessed with the stars?
Right from the beginning of time mankind has been obsessed with the stars: take the shape of cakes, for example. Did you know that they are round because this represents the sun – a star- and hence the cyclical nature of life. Take the Christian faith – whether you believe it to be true or not – the telling of the coming of Jesus is based around a star – and its shining over the stable where Jesus lay. The ancient Greek God of innocence and purity was known as Astraea or ‘star- maiden’ – showing that from early on stars were linked to perfection and chastity.
And today, you can find cake moulds in the shape of stars, clothing has stars on it, scientists continue to try to solve and create more perplexing issues surrounding stars and nursery rhymes are even sung to little children about ‘twinkle twinkle little star.’ Stars are, and have been, mingled with our every day lives in an almost unbeknown and unconscious way. But why?
]We love stars because they show us something greater. The recent rise in people enjoying watching ‘vlogs’ is down to a variety of reasons. However, one person that I spoke to mentioned how they loved vlogs because they ‘gave them a few minutes away from their reality.’ In the same way stars, as we look up at them, give us time to focus on something bigger and better than our reality and even our world. When looking up at the stars we can ponder and think about something greater, more spectacular and more beautiful than the pressured meeting we have just come from, the bills that need to be paid and if our kids are happy or not. And as we focus on something so far removed from our every day lives, but something so easy to look at, our reality and the problems in it become smaller and are put into perspective.
Stars, in a sense, do what many religions claim to do – give us respite from the business of life and an opportunity to calm and regain a sense of logical thinking. Its no wonder that they have become symbolic with fate and destiny . Like destiny, they represent something that we can’t touch, that we can’t control and that we don’t even know everything about. And while destiny provide a comfort in the fact that it helps us to believe that some force other than our imperfect selves our guiding our lives, stars provide a comfort in the fact that they remind us that the mistakes our imperfect selves make are insignificant compared to the universe we are a part of.
On the whole, stars take us outside of the very world that we live in – to a place where everything is possible and there are no restrictions. Its not hard to see, therefore, how they have slowly but surely come to saturate society in every form possible – from being present on the wrapping paper we buy to how we rate movies and books.