A PAN AMERICAN HEAVEN OF STARS
In this year of 1988, there is a new constellation shining above Ft. Worth, Texas. If we look very hard, we will see new comets and planets forming newer constellations. Even the Planet Earth, where we are so fortunate to live, is constantly changing. Rivers are shifting courses; the weather is making new patterns, causing deserts where once grass grew abundantly. Strange new giant holes are being created in land where too much water has been drained from beneath. We inhabitants of this beautiful earth are changing as our environment changes. Is it possible that we might have caused some of these changes? Or is there a bigger pattern emerging of which we are unaware?
We in the Pan American Round Tables are dedicated to furthering friend ship, understanding and knowledge among the women of the Americas. In our world, we are also changing patterns, some of which have existed for years and years. As we extend our own horizons, as we continue our quest for knowledge, we also create a New World, a new environment for those who continue after us, and we are creating new stars and planets all the time.
Every astronomer, every mariner, every explorer and every dreamer sets his course by the Pole Star, POLARIS. Polaris is important because of its unique position. It is almost exactly at the pole of the sky; the point around which the whole sky appears to be moving, and the Pole Star therefore remains, practically, always at the same place in the sky: almost exactly north, hence it is also called the North Star. In other words, we see the whole sky appear to rotate slowly around the Pole Star or Polaris.
Mary Sampson, as Director of Fort Worth Table I, your position is to be the Pole Star. You are named Polaris. Wherever you lead, the other stars will rotate around you. Therefore, be diligent in your efforts of leadership and cognizant of the responsibility you have to the members of your Table and to the entire Pan American movement. You are one of the brightest stars in the heavens and you will shine brightly.
We know, of course, that the sky does not really turn, but that it is the earth that rotates. The effect, however, is the same. The Pointers always point to the Pole Star. Cassiopeia is always opposite the Dipper and so on. Therefore, the stars are called Fixed Stars. The constellations arranged around the Pole Star are not far from it and are called Circumpolar Constellations. They never rise or set and can be seen any time of the year.
Madonna Wilkie, as Associate Director, you shall be named Cassiopeia. Cassiopeia is not very large, but it is important, very bright and is one of the main stars of the Milky Way. This constellation is shaped like a W and always points straight to Polaris. According to myth, Cassiopeia was an Ethiopian queen. This constellation represents the queen...as you will represent the Director of your Table. Your duties will be not only to her, but to all the other stars in the Milky Way, the members of your Table, and you will represent them to the best of your ability, twinkling and constant.
One of the most beautiful and famous constellations in the skies is the Gemini Twins, The brilliant stars forming their heads are named Castor and Pollux. The Twins are in the Zodiac where the moon and planets travel. Castor is on the right, Pollux on the left.
Kathy Clardy, you are represented by Pollux, golden and bright, in your new heavenly position as Corresponding Secretary. Every message you send is representing your Table, all its members, its integrity, its personality, and its relationship to the whole constellation, meaning your Table, the State organization and the Alliance.
Dolores Quiroz, as Recording Secretary, you are represented by the other Twin, Castor, a very white star. You are holding hands with Pollux and at your left foot there is a trail of three brilliant stars which look like footsteps. The records you keep and leave behind you for the archives will remain as your footsteps in the Pan American skies.
There is a beautiful constellation named the Northern Crown or Corona Borealis, small and graceful. It contains six stars looking rather like a tiara. Gemma, the Crown Jewel, is in the middle of the bow.
Vera Johnson, as Treasurer, you are Gemma, the Crown Jewel, for you have in your keeping the Crown Jewels of the Table. You shall guard your Table's treasures, and keep records with clarity and honesty, dispensing them with charity and the approval of your Table members. What a lovely star to have as your namesake!
The Lion is a large constellation with 3 bright stars, the brightest being Regulus. Bluish-white Regulus is the faintest of our lst magnitude stars, but even so, it shines about twice as bright as Polaris. It is about 80 light miles away and over 100 times as bright as the sun. The Lion's bright taillight is the star Denebola, interesting because it is part of the constellation called the Virgin's Diamond.
Mary Edwards, as Custodian of this Table, your name is Regulus. As part of the Lion constellation of the Zodiac, known as Leo to astrologers, you are the guardian of the Table's flags and other riches. Because the Lion is known for his loyalty, you too represent this quality. You are an important part of the Table's personal constellation and you act as custodian for the Virgin's Diamonds.
If you find a brilliant star in the sky not on the charts, it is probably a planet. They have no fixed residence and wander around among the constellations. Of the sun's nine planets, (including the Earth), five can be seen in the sky with the naked eye. Mercury is so close to the sun that you will hardly ever see it. Mercury resides between the sun and the earth and has a diameter of 3000 miles, being larger than the moon. Mercury is quicksilvered thinking and is the master of communication.
Ann Ekstrom, as Historian of this Table, you are the winged Mercury, fleet of thought, adept at writing and communicating. You spin among the heavens collecting information and holding it for the future. You are the whirlwind watchman of the past history of your Table and the one who writes the future events. You reflect the sun's brilliance in every duty you perform. You are the teller of tales and the caretaker of legends.
ORION is probably the most superb and best known constellation. When he is up, he dominates the southern sky. His most striking part is the BELT, 3 bright stars in a row. Known as The Hunter, Orion is heavily armed with a club (or gavel), a shield and a sword hanging from his belt. No other constellation has so many bright stars. Reddish Betelgeuse is the left shoulder, bluish-white Rigel is the right foot. Betelgeuse is a super giant, 400 times the sun's diameter, and 3600 times as luminous. What you see in the skies these nights is light, which left the star before Columbus was born.
Verlene Harvey, as Parliamentarian, you are the magnificent Hunter, Orion. With your raised club, you keep order over this Table's business, upholding the constitution with justice. With your shield of stars, you protect the rights of each person. Your famous belt is composed of the written words of your Table's constitution. Without these words of luminosity, it is possible that there would be no freedom in this land of ours on the great planet Earth or in these celestial heavens.
Venus is the planet closest to the sun except Mercury. Often we see Venus as the brightest light in the heavens and hanging low close to the Moon. Venus is also called the Evening Star. Astrologically, Venus means beauty and it attracts good things to you. In mythology, Venus is the pinnacle of beauty and named after the planet.
Jan Giles, as Member-At-Large, you are Venus, light and beauty. You represent all the members of your Table and their collective light, the illuminative intelligence of your membership.
There are 88 groups of stars that are officially recognized as constellations. I have chosen some of my favorites to represent you, the luminaries of this Table, also one of my favorite Tables. As the constellations revolve together in the heavens, so will all of the officers of this Table revolve, working together with precision and harmony, creating an orderly universe above us. You are now officially installed as the newly elected officers of this Table. May you continue to shine as beacons of light showing the right direction to all travelers of the Great Pan American Way!
Written by Dee Cole
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