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 Desert and stars
 Text & photos: Paula Müller
For centuries, Egypt has been a country full of mystical energies that can offer varied experiences that drive everyone into the depths of their inner emotions, enriching every life. One of these experiences is a night in the desert contemplating the stars…

Forget space and time, leave at home noise and haste.Immerse yourself in another
dimension, which reflects our inner rhythm. This is how you can describe an introduction to a stars’ night in the desert.

While our guide is preparing for the bivouac and cooking for us on a campfire an excellent Bedouin meal like a magic potion, we are confronted with the “weird” quietness of the desert. At the same time of the coloured goodbye of the sun, the first nightly God’s messenger becomes visible. The first luminaries start in the firmament. Just as if a magic hand switches them on, the stars shine one after another and greet us majestically.

They have all clinking names such as Antares, Sirius, Atair, Spica, Riegel and others. They order the time and the seasons of the year, which we can contemplate. It takes just a short time and the coming darkness brings us the first solitaire constellation in all its magnificence to shine. In the initial forthcoming chaos, soon we find our orientation and the famous constellation appears in all its glory.
According to the season, we are allowed to admire the prominent Orion, the unique Cassiopeia, the sublime Scorpion - in Egypt in its complete beauty.

Considering space and time, many stars are light years faraway and they have umpteen fold in our Sun’s breadth, so this gives us the occasion to question our own reality. Besides the brilliant fixed stars, we meet as well the planets – called as well “wandering around” or “warming” stars. Each one wanders following its time lapse in its orbit around the sun: the quicksilver Mercury in only 88 days; still visible to the naked eye, Saturn needs almost 30 years. They line up in the spectacle of the constellation and distribute a revitalizing brilliance. The oriental tinkling names of the stars and constellations find their first citation in the antique high culture and some have Arabic names with several meanings.

The night has already moved forward – we
can almost see a hand passing to draw the starry sky. With a classic Bedouin tea made on the campfire, with an eye to the nightly universe, we dive into the mythology of the stars’subjects. Listening to the stories of the liberation of Andromeda made by Perseus, the heroic deeds of Hercules, the hunter Orion, or the two brothers in Gemini, the sky shines in a turbulent spectacle. The insight to Egyptian mythology lends the theme other interesting aspects.

Besides the fascinating views, the stars reveal themselves also as an essential travel guide for the caravans in the desert. The climatic conditions and the knowledge of the stars were a guarantee to reach the next oasis for the Bedouins’ many wandering nights.

Not only in the past, but also today the stars still represent a good guide that means you can find your way through the desert without modern GPS. Stars and planets can be considered as a travel guide across the pages of the life. Over the rebirth of the rhythm of the Moon and its influence everyone can form his own opinion. Nobody can escape from the view and the effects of the constellation’s eclipses.

Philosophizing over the different themes of constellations, face to face with the constellations, a night in the desert becomes a uniquely extraordinary experience.

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