From 56 to 32 Degrees

Things just went South. Do not worry, no misfortunes or bad luck has happened, it’s about swapping hemispheres going from 56 degrees North to 32 degrees South. We are exchanging the Scandinavian cool with the African wilderness in the pursuit of adventures. It’s a search for new horizons and a hunt for the perfect location for the Bliss & Stars retreat – an oasis for curious minds offering transformative experiences based on astronomy, nature, and mindfulness.

What drew us to the African skies is the feeling of adventure and the power of nature. In the African bush far from city lights, the night sky becomes alive inevitably turning our minds into a primal mode fully present, fully aware. When a bush trail and starlit skies replace the paved urban life, we turn off our hedonic adaptation and let us fully absorb life and embrace the moment.

Being a long time amateur astronomer, I have spent countless nights exploring the northern sky feeling at home easily recognizing the familiar stars circling the ever-present Polaris.

As a northerner seeing the constellations of the southern hemisphere is like a celestial reflection of the more earthly experiences of relocating to a new country.

It’s a show of new vistas, experiences, new cultures, different customs, wild nature. Still, many things remain the same: exciting adventures ahead, good infrastructure and kind people returning smiles.

It’s the same with the sky. Most of the southern night sky is new to my eyes with constellations never rising in the cold north, yet patches of the sky near the celestial equator is seen from the whole globe, making at least part of the night feel like home…except everything is upside down.

But which way is truly up or down?

Our mind confines how we perceive the world through the concepts imprinted through life, but the truth is in the universe there is no up or down. The earth is not flat after all.

The Pleiades is one of the star clusters seen from both the northern and southern hemisphere.

 The Pleiades or Seven Sisters is part of most cultures mythology, astrophotography by Heine Wieben Rasmussen, Bliss and Stars

To the Vikings in Scandinavia, the cluster of stars was seen as Freya’s hens.

The African Namaquas people saw the little group of stars as the daughters of the star god.

You decide which way is up.

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