Finding Your North Star

Your North Star is what keeps you grounded. It is the stable point by which you navigate. It guides you on your journey.

Polaris is the North Star in this age, for our planet. It is also the Pole Star, in that it lines up with the polar points of the Earth. The other stars appear to rotate around it. The North Star is actually a triple-star system with companion stars A and B, a collective. The star has historically been used for all astronomical measurements. It has been vital as a stable point of navigation for hundreds of years.

Your north star is that thing, or things, or people, or places that locate you. It is the place in your universe that is stable, by which you navigate. It is the unmovable centre. It might be philosophical, theological, video games, your values, your beliefs, the music you make, your vision, transcendence, your family, or even your own self. It is standing still while everything else is moving. Because it is stable and motionless it becomes your guide.

Hariri, the architect of the Tom Patterson Theatre in Stratford has developed an amazing vision of architectural motion, internally and externally to the theatre, capturing the flow of the river outside, from the inside. All of the motion is anchored on a large floor-to-ceiling, austere, motionless brick wall. Hariri says, “if everything is moving then nothing is moving.” The wall, like your North Star, is the stable point by which you navigate your personal journey.

What is your personal North Star? In the present, you might not have an easy answer to this question. It might come to you over time. Or it might be very clear to you what it is. To answer this, think about what grounds you and locates you. It is not necessary to share your deepest secret. Just think about something that you feel is stable and unmovable, a centre, around which everything moves and is navigated from. You may not yet want to map a journey - it could be what you need is rest. We just want to be road signs and helpers for each other in your unique process.

Rae Spoon is a Canadian musical icon. The popular Sundance Film Festival documentary on the NFB site HERE, called My Prairie Home is the story of their growing up in Calgary. The story is also told in Rae’s book First Spring Grass Fire. It is a poignant, but uncomfortable story about a search for a home ground. One might say that the nomadic journey of Rae Spoon is grounded in their story about their vision of the Ice Blue Light of the Athabasca Glacier, their North Star. A point of stability and clarity amidst uncertainty.