The LITTLE BEAR
The other night I got a clear view of the Little Bear—the Little Dipper as I used to call it. I remember picking it out as a child, but now I see it only rarely—partly because I live in the rainy northwest, and partly because of light pollution.The Little Bear (Ursa minor) is easy to find, if conditions allow, once you find the North Star (Polaris), because that star is at the tip of the little bear’s tail. Of course, bears do not have tails, which gives us one clue that there is a mix-up in the representation of this constellation.
If we look at the meanings of the ancient names of the Little Bear’s stars—Pherkad and Kochab, which are still in use, and Alcaid, Algedi and Arcas, which are no longer used—we find domestic animals, goats, kids, and calves. We find that they are assembled, and awaiting him who comes. Names with similar meanings are found in the Big Bear (Ursa major).
What the Bears represent is God’s people waiting for Him.Between the two Bears and partially surrounding the Little Bear is Draco, the Dragon. He is always present, isn’t he, to turn God’s people aside, to cause them to fear, or to stir up dissension.
But the Little Bear is held fast to Polaris.This star’s ancient name is Alruccaba, from the root meaning to ride. All through the night, the Little Bear rides around the pole, firmly attached to Alruccaba. God’s people are safely held by the One who is the center, the One who holds all things together by the word of his power (Hebrews 1:3).
This devotional was written by
Jane S Poole
Writer of Adam's Astronomy: The Original Zodiac •