Yeats2YEATSASTRO    (click to enlarge)


In the extravagantly magical/mystical life of Yeats, astrology was major and arguably this strangely secret public figure is insufficiently understood without factoring in this aspect of the esoteric. The poet frequently cast horoscopes or, because he hated the maths, got his maternal uncle George Pollexfen to do it for him, and he was always noting transits to his pattern (terrible argument tonight under Mars square moon; Venus to Mars, meeting Maud Gonne today etc). Yeats’ affinity for astrology is obvious – he even had the planet of astrology, Uranus conjunct his sun if widely but this same Uranus exactly trined the also astrology associated asteroid Urania. Even so, it was mainly for practicalities of life and some basic decision making that Yeats had recourse to horoscopes.

Had Yeats accepted that the natus also and even especially speaks for the unconscious, inspiration and thus art, he might have been less confused and confusing in his curious understanding and core doctrines of the self and much more. However, in fairness it’s also true that on the best reading for his times, what Yeats most needed to know, similarly to critics and biographers subsequently, would remain largely hidden. That includes even as regards his relation to the modern Ireland he helped define. Possibly the only meaningful item of information he obtained from the disillusioning séances he attended was to be told his horoscope was “incomplete”.

It was. For purposes of understanding the mind of a notable literary/historical figure, perhaps few horoscopes will seem more “incomplete”! Today more information is available, not least because such factors as Pluto, Chiron and the name, place and concept asteroids can all be added to the picture and they prove remarkably descriptive and informative. It is for example impossibly correct that for the man who so long desired marriage and family yet who married past fifty only to come within days to the painful realization he’d made a serious mistake, should have his Part of Marriage conjunct the wounded healer factor, Chiron. The marriage only worked, survived and was “healed” one might say, after the pair managed to collaborate on their mediumistic project of The Vision. But there is much more to say.

I have long admired Yeats’ work, not just for some very fine specimens of poetry and drama  – even if some of the early and late material is a bit dated or just weak - but his invaluable critical capacity to summarize across the too long fragmented Irish/Celtic tradition which he helped save, revive and popularize. Yeats was not just a poet and dramatist but an important prose writer of many ideas. Nevertheless what appears to be the truth about Ireland’s unofficial poet laureate is not as reassuring as one might wish. It raises questions, and I mean more seriously so than, at the gossip level, how much his otherworldly visions may have owed to hashish and mescalin imported from Paris rather than the collective Celtic unconscious most of us, even including co-workers like Lady Gregory, may have supposed. Yeats, the poet and theorist of the mask, tended to show people the face he knew they wanted to see!

What concerns me is more radical. And the personal interest I bring to it and whose reasons will become clear by the conclusion where I ask what is poetry today, is linked to my own poetic and dramatic work published this month, New Poems and Two Celtic Dramas This is material closer to at least elements of Yeatsian tradition than majority literary trends current within Ireland today. (Perhaps it helps to be outside Ireland in this generation to cultivate a certain type of vision!).  First however I will briefly describe main features of Yeats’ natus as it would be known to the poet and then describe the  more acute and disconcerting truth, secrets in effect, that a modern reading can supply.


Yeats was born in Sandymount Dublin on June 13th 1865 at 10.40 pm. This means he was a divided, intellectually curious, multi-tasking Gemini with eccentric, independent, often rebellious Aquarius rising at 0 degrees. There is more than one type of Gemini and ascendant signs physically modify any sun sign, but Yeats still strongly corresponded to the textbook typical Edward Snowden image of the Gemini, tall, slim and intellectual looking. The poet’s birth time seems more or less correct. His career/destiny Midheaven at 4 of philosophical Sagittarius is on what is called a strong, “critical” degree. And the fact that at birth the Part of Fortune falls exactly on Gemini’s “ruler”, Mercury, the planet of writing and writers, itself in Gemini its sign of rulership and in its natural house the third too, all augurs well for the data of a celebrated writer and indefatigable conversationalist. For that matter so too does the Part of Soul conjuncting the rising. Yeats is about nothing if not the colours and intuitions of “soul” as against the para-intellectual directions of spirit. So the birth time appears correct.

Since the moon was rising for Yeats in Aquarius at 19 degrees (a reason he always regarded himself as “lunar” not “solar”) this strengthens any Aquarian input, and personal style as well as inclining him to be either dominated by or associated with women as we know he was. Not only could Yeats prove astonishingly, ultra-Aquarian eccentric on occasions such as cutting up a fur coat in order not to disturb the magic sleep of a cat lying on it, but he was oddly accident prone in Aquarian style like scoffing a box of cough drops mistaking them for regular sweets and sending himself to sleep for 30 hours as a result. His spelling and punctuation could be amazingly idiosyncratic for a writer, and it’s odd he could never master French despite often visiting France and even dying there.

The fact that the ruler of this Aquarian rising, Uranus, falls in writerly Gemini widely conjunct Yeats’ natal Sun (the core self) further entrenches the eccentricity of style at the same time as it promises great originality of personality and/or creativity (his love of the avant-garde in theatre and design was notable) especially from within the creative fifth house. (Shelley, Yeats’ early model, likewise had Sun conjunct Uranus in the fifth house so he would naturally stir Yeats, especially as Shelley’s Sun/Uranus conjuncts Yeats’ own Mars in Leo).

Yeats’ Gemini Sun trine Saturn in the arts and genteel society sign of Libra shows Yeats can get somewhere through great effort, but also good patronage like that of Lady Gregory and the tea heiress Annie Horniman; also that he can live long enough to do so unlike one of his siblings who died young. Jupiter in Sagittarius inclines to religion, philosophy, the kind of big generalizations Yeats directed upon Ireland – unlike his father who was intended for the church Yeats admitted to be unable to live without some kind of religion.

Mars in spectacular, dramatic Leo in Yeats’ unions house promises plenty of argument and problems with associates, spouses or long term lovers and very much so as Mars stands in affliction square to a close, obsessive, Venus/Pluto conjunction in fixed, immovable Taurus. Though Yeats wouldn’t have known of Pluto unless in his latter years, the combination describes especially the lifelong obsession and frustration with the fiery, theatrical Maud Gonne, an image of Ireland itself/herself – Ireland, by tradition at least, has always been under Taurus though Gonne herself wasn’t. (Gonne was a Sagittarian which means she could dominate, as she certainly did, in the sector of Yeats’ career and destiny. But as the tormented Venus/Pluto falls in the 3rd of writing, Gonne and love’s frustrations can be much written about personally and also nationalistically as a Cathleen ni Houlihan image).  I should perhaps mention that we arguably only  know Yeats’ poetry because of the (seventh house) agency and original support, including financial, for the poetry and its publication by the retired Fenian John O’Leary (b 23 July 1830). O’Leary’s sun at 0 Leo falls exactly on Yeats’ seventh house cusp of  agency. Moreover O’Leary’s 23 degree Venus in Gemini falls conjunct Yeats’ sun so that he really liked and favoured the poet who would later suitably write  of him, “Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone, it’s with O’Leary in the grave”.

To be mystical, one normally needs something in the 4th, 8th or 12th houses which will reflect the types of mysticism. Yeats only, but importantly, had Saturn (and itself exalted in Libra) in his eighth of sex and mysteries, (i.e. the occult). Yeats’ mysticism does in fact incline to the occult or sexual/tantric. Saturn here can make for a lot of structuring or ritual in the realms of the erotic. Saturn could nonetheless also indicate some sexual frustration which Yeats had an admitted fair share of despite his many affairs, and/or Saturn could reflect the sheer effort of attempting union with especially the elusive Gonne via astral means (which apparently Yeats was able to do in the form of a serpent!). We also know that in old age (Saturn) Yeats underwent the Steinach operation (apparently a partial vasectomy) to release more libido. But it worked (Saturn helpfully trine Sun) even if it proved a bit embarrassing. Such are the main, visible features of a horoscope Yeats would recognize. But what of the rest of the data that the poet didn’t know and which almost better describes but also rather betrays him?


At first glance the new information is satisfying, especially if we pose it a question the traditional data can’t quite answer like: was Yeats fated to be the poet, voice and revealer of specifically modern Ireland to itself?….The answer is yes and the efficiency of the supplementary data to demonstrate just that should be proof to the uninitiated that it reliably works. The asteroid Yeates (interpretation of asteroids follows sound not spelling) conjuncts the asteroid Ireland and The Part of Revelation. These three factors then fortunately trine asteroid Poesia (Yeates at 22. Pisces conjuncts The Part of Revelation at 21 Pisces and Ireland at 20 Pisces, which trines Poesia at 19 Cancer). Then too, Erato (traditional muse of specifically lyric poetry) rises at 15 Aquarius (a world point, helpful for fame) loosely conjunct the poet’s rising moon – asteroid aspects don’t exceed 2 degrees unless as here to sun or moon.

Erato itself is closely and surely significantly conjunct at 16 degrees to Lugh, traditionally the versatile Celtic Mercury who the gods of Ireland made the chief ollamh (poet) of the land. This tells us what seems true: Yeats’ Ireland lyric poetry is more notable than the dramatic. And much of the lyric output is linked to an atavistic, ultimately pagan worldview (Yeats the descendant of clergymen would write of “my unchristened heart”) which reckons to speak, and is mostly accepted as speaking, for all Ireland. But since the 19 degree moon is favourably exact to Prometheus at 19 Aries, we can also appreciate why for Yeats, Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound provided his virtual call to the bardic role and why he rated it not just good poetry but truth-in-itself, something to rank with world scriptures, a strange and significant point to which we can return.

In view of things said later, I should stress that the muse Erato can be taken as the equivalent of Yeats’ all-powerful “daimon” without which he believed no true poetry could be written. The “daimon” could however only possess and inspire if one had assumed the “anti-self” or “mask”. Yeats’ concept of “mask” is interesting because the first house in which Erato is found is always the house of at any rate the persona, the filter or mask for the core will and personality of an individual’s sun sign. However, Yeats’  poetic “anti-self” is an awkward, misleading word (much Yeatsian jargon is confused not least because he was bound not to reveal secret society principles). Essentially it designates the unconscious as opposed to everyday consciousness. But ‘anti-self’ can get combined with theories of the (astral) mask because in the rituals of the Golden Dawn and its Isis-Urania temple, Yeats learned to reach unconscious planes invoking spirits while wearing the appropriate god mask which obviously would seem the antithesis of the human. With the “anti-self” concept (which might also be involved with orgasm and the sex magic Yeats didn’t discuss) we can see how Yeats is going to trap readers and even confuse himself because modern psychological astrology would not allow that the unconscious has anything to do with the first house energies in which the nearest thing to Yeats’ daimon resides.

It seems no accident that many of Yeats greatest poems as in The Tower are about simply himself and his various roles and masks rather than unconscious deeps! We can also see that asteroid Memoria (i.e. memory but also the ancient world equivalent of the unconscious or Yeats’ “Great Memory” or “Great Mind”) is not in aspect to Erato. Instead it afflicts the writer’s Mercury and his IC angle (base of chart).Small wonder Yeats is going to make poetry amid conflict, misdirecting himself as regards inspiration and arriving at any “anti-self” closer less to the unconscious than to precisely an opposite of the self in terms of roles, an opposite with which he struggles like Jacob with the angel.

If you enter the unconscious to mine inspiration, you do so via your 4th, 8th or 12th houses. These are untenanted by any planets for Yeats – except for Saturn which, though planets as opposed to asteroids are symbolically multivalent, by tradition has been the devil symbol.  And Saturn is at very least the archetype for any fear. Yeats, whose name in magic is devil associated, reaches the “anti-self” through precisely fear. Admittedly at the planetary level (as opposed to the mentioned levels of houses) the moon just by itself enjoys some traditional associations with the unconscious as opposed to the consciousness of sun. This is one reason that Yeats’ own “masks” tend to be golden and glittering or yellow reflecting things solar, or complete silvery lunar to rouse unconscious energies. Even so, Yeats’ moon by being in the non-mystical first house and in a masculine (i.e. extravert) sign, is poorly placed to assist him in strivings towards sublime oppositions or magical unions of conscious with unconscious. This may also be the reason Yeats was so reliant upon women – he wanted or needed them to do his mental and symbolic work for him!

I at first wondered why Yeats’ crucial Poesia should be in his 6th house (even though I maintain it’s in the same house for Shakespeare) as opposed to somewhere obvious like near his destiny/reputation Midheaven as for the career poet Rilke. However the 6th house is not just work (and Shakespeare apparently regarded his labours in dramatic poetry as a bit beneath him, a kind of money spinning venture allowing him to become a big property owner) but the house of any “practical magic” i.e. magical operations. Magic was Yeats’ mysticism, but magic is very much what a lot of Yeats’ poetry aimed to be, whether readers realize it or not. Many poems like Wandering Angus are evocations, symbolizations, active dreamings along occult society lines. And note too that the Shakespeare of at least The Tempest, seems to identify his poetic labours with a species of magic, “but this rough magic I here abjure” etc.

Yeats however never abjured any magic. Magic was his religion. The Part of Occultism exactly conjuncts the cusp of his ninth house of religion/philosophy. Suitably for this, if possible Yeats would have founded full blown Celtic rites at Key Lodge, Galway and he certainly put much work towards that. Like many readers, aware how haunting and beautiful the long slow twilights of Yeats’ western Ireland could be, I managed to overlook how Yeats’ obsession with “The Celtic Twilight” was less poetic than a reflection of the principle that druid rituals to raise power were performed in hour before sunrise. Yeats is all about bringing back the light of the god Lugh! Significantly Yeats’ Part of Race Consciousness at 24 Aries conjuncts the Part of Religion at 24 Aries. Accordingly he even maintained it was essential to experience Ireland rather than Judaea as a, or the, holy land, an idea which has a touch of pagan Nazi love of die Heimat and unsurprisingly Yeats had a brief flirtation with the Nazis. That his aim for a new Celtic religion did not fully succeed is involved with the fact that Saturn opposes these factors from 23 Libra. In this case forces of tradition (Saturn) oppose it.


To the extent that Credo at 20 Gemini (near to Yeats’ sun at 22) trines his lyrics-associated moon at 19 Aquarius we might say women and poetry constitutes Yeats’ “truth”; but real poetic truth for Yeats began with Shelley and not least because Shelley was Promethean. Shelley’s Prometheus and The Witch of Atlas also seemed after a fashion so magical they were the inspiration for even Yeats’ fellow Society of the Golden Dawn member, Alistair Crowley, the Satanist who (though no great truth teller) accused Yeats of being a demonologist who used black magic against him. In turn Yeats accused Crowley himself of being a disgusting person who used black magic.

But why did both Yeats and Crowley find such inspiration in Shelley? Shelley was self-described and often thought of as an atheist, but he admitted to belief in an immanent Spirit of Nature and he was chiefly against the Christian God. He had invoked the Devil while still at Eton. Prometheus Unbound is effectively Shelley’s response to Milton’s Paradise Lost with Prometheus as a kind of do-good devil, a Lucifer light challenging God. Seeing that Yeats called Prometheus Unbound a scripture, we notice that at Yeats’ birth asteroid Shelley at just 1 Scorpio opposes Isa (Ar Jesus) at nearly 1 Taurus, while in parallel to this the Christ asteroid at 19 Taurus is square Yeats’ lyrical moon. This is not a person who much likes Christ and Christianity and he indicates as much in many places like the conclusion to The Magi who are left “unsatisfied with the mystery of the bestial floor” and in the dance drama Calvary which assures us God has not died for the white heron (meaning Yeats himself who in one of his last poems insists he wants no conventional sign, i.e. the cross, on his gravestone at Drumcliffe where his ancestors were buried). We should take this more seriously than many critics do. Susan Johnston-Graf’s important study (W.B.Yeats: A Twentieth Century Magus, 2000) seems correct to maintain the occult side of Yeats is insufficiently known or understood by scholars of Christian or Jewish background who finish up giving Yeats’ occultism a secular humanist reading it shouldn’t have.

If Yeats really had any feeling for Christ and Christianity as some Christian critics imagine, it is unlikely he would have taken as his first lover the strange and some said decadent Olivia Shakespear whom Ezra Pound declared “hated Christ like the devil” or let Nietzsche, the author of Der Antichrist and radical critic of leading Christian values become a major influence. We know Yeats declined to attend church with the fairly devout Irish Anglican Lady Gregory during his extended residences with her at Gort. More to the point, he surely would not have associated with Maud Gonne, a woman who admitted to having sold her soul to the devil (though she did feel some remorse about it when her father died shortly after the event!). Later after a pragmatic conversion to Catholicism to marry someone from whom she soon separated, Gonne reckoned to work with Yeats to unify Christianity with paganism having decided the devil was simply England.

Gonne is the model for Yeats’ drama The Countess Cathleen who, surrounded by predatory demons, sells her soul on the behalf of the Irish peasantry, a Shelleyean sort of good diabolism. This odd, Faustian style drama was the first offering of the Irish Literary Theatre aiming to change the face of Irish national culture. It would be hard to describe just how mad the real life, but by all accounts stunningly beautiful Gonne was, and how much she drew Yeats into her madness which in a lucid moment he confessed to Lady Gregory would be sufficient to have her locked up. Despite despising marriage and apparently sex too, unbeknown to the besotted Yeats she had an illegitimate child by a French lover, a child which died and which she then tried to get reincarnated by having occult sex with the father in front of the child’s tomb. (Regrettably there are no asteroids for either Maud or Gonne). Even Yeats’ attitude towards Christ is however only an aspect of a wider negative feeling about God and religion about which I feel the chart is fairly graphic in line with the fact that at the Golden Dawn Yeats assumed the remarkable name DEDI or Demon est Deus Inversus (the Demon/Devil is God inverted). The initiate name seems involved with Yeats belief in Blakean, Gnostic notions of Good needing Evil. What does the horoscope show?


There are two deity asteroids Theotes (Godhead) which is more like Trinity and there is Bhagwat which is in effect Lord as in Bhagwat Gita (Song of the Lord). Both of these are notably afflicted for Yeats’. Bhagwat at 25 Virgo is in affliction square both to Jupiter, the planet of religion (and some of us would say the Bethlehem Star) at 24 Sagittarius and Yeats’ natal sun at 22 Gemini while Theotes at 28 is in square to Uranus at 29 Gemini. This suggests more than enough tension and oddity in the outlook. If there is a planet of God as biblically understood it is unquestionably Pluto. Since this planet can symbolize both creation and destruction, and on the human plane obsession and hatred, its inharmonious conjunction with Yeats’ Venus belongs with lines like, “Hatred of the soul can bring the soul to God”. Except that it never especially did so for Yeats himself for whom God is at best a symbol of the All that embraces Good and Evil (hence Yeats’ name in magic circles). God is not any creator or end for Yeats, who in typical Gemini fashion prefers journey to arrival, and who can thus feel free to describe God in many ways, none definitive, unless possibly as “The Great Mind”, but including if need be as demonic energy. At this point we come across the real problem, the real question regarding Yeats’ beliefs and identity. Was he, as Crowley would have it, a Satanist? Was Yeats himself merely bragging when he told the artist Beardsley that he had been much taken up with and studied what he called “diabolism” in certain occult circles in Paris? (R.M.Foster. W B Yeats, A Life, p, 158).


The evidence for at least some degree of attachment to “diabolism” or Satanism seems clear enough since we find Lucifer at 20.16 Pisces is conjunct both Yeates and Ireland. Granted that on a matter so controversial one needs what any astrologer would look for in such a case which is some back up (after all, there are many asteroids and all must be somewhere so they are not automatically significant for everyone!) but we do have the back up. There are two devil asteroids as there are two deity asteroids. They are Lucifer which seems to represent Satan as St Paul’s deceptive “angel of light” and Satan as darkness which is Malin (Fr. Devil) of which presently. There is however a possible, “sort of” third devil asteroid and it is Sethos, Greek for the Egyptian devil god Set or Seth. Sethos. at 19 Pisces is conjuncting Yeats’ Lucifer at 20 Pisces. This obtains more significance in light of something else. Yeats (like the Golden Dawn) was quite taken up with Egyptian symbol and ritual – in the famous and rather sublime Second Coming poem Yeats pretty well identifies his second Christ/Antichrist with Egypt through a sort of Sphinx or Sekhmet solar figure. Suitably, therefore, Aigyptios (Egypt) at 23 Aquarius fortunately trines Yeats’ Saturn at 23 Libra in his mysteries-linked eighth house, while in the other direction his Aigyptios is favourably placed towards his beliefs-signifying and determining Jupiter at 24 Sagittarius.

Beyond Ireland Yeats believed in some kind of light from Egypt (“Swear by what the sages spoke/Round the Mareotic lake”) as did Crowley who received his essentially Satanic Book of the Law for the coming (Aquarian) era while in Egypt. And though she represented no secret occult orders, for what it’s worth the late Catholic seeress, Jeane Dixon, who notoriously claimed the Antichrist was born under Aquarius in 1962, maintained much of that individual’s youth was passed in Egypt. So if we follow the astrologer’s law of sensitive degrees, we could ask in heaven’s name what vibe might Yeats have been in touch with in this vision poem of an avatar seeing that the alleged birth time of Dixon’s false prophet shows that person’s moon at the same fated 23 Aquarius? Moreover if this person actually exists, Yeats’ relation to him is between astonishing and sinister. On the Pied Piper’s birth chart Yeates falls at 18 Sagittarius i.e. in favourable aspect to in one direction the prophet’s Venus at 18 Aquarius (he can love this person) while in the other it makes favourable trine to the nodes at 18 Leo (planets in the degree of the nodes have something fated in terms of connection). Before we dismiss this as purest coincidence, let’s note that Nietzsche, himself author of Der Antichrist, has an exact Nietzsche asteroid in agreement to the 9 degrees of the avatar’s power and authority Pluto. There may even be, given Yeats’ visionary anticipations of an avatar, a further subtle message in the fact that the poet’s Sethos falls at 19 Pisces. I believe as per my Testament of the Magi ) this degree is very provably that of the Bethlehem Star. Thus Yeats unconsciously (prophetically?) places Egypt, the new era and Antichrist against Christ and Sethos on what is in effect the chief degree of the Christian revelation and era.


Yet with even this I digress because what is more immediately relevant here is that having determined there seems to be some kind of identification of Yeats with the demonic, we find that his Lucifer at 20.16 is to the minute of a degree exactly conjunct Ireland at 20.16. I believe this could be linked to a certain ideological identification of Yeats with Mme Blavatsky and her theosophy that influenced the Golden Dawn. (Yeats even described the Russian Blavatsky as like a wise old Irish peasant woman which I imagine recommended her to him!). Blavatsky taught (shades of Shelley’s Prometheus again) that the true ruler of the world is the light-bearing, heroic Lucifer. This could well mean that Yeats would assume Lucifer, perhaps identified with god of light, Lugh, was the true hidden ruler of Ireland for any invocation purposes. In a roundabout, unintended way Blavatsky was of course correct. The NT acknowledges that the devil is currently “the prince of this world” (Joh 14:30) and declares, (as most Christians never do lest it seem to compromise divine omnipotence), that the world has been given over to the forces of evil. Christ’s incarnation is a major stage in combating that – the devil offers Christ the world as the final temptation. The difference is that Blavatsky, like Shelley and almost certainly Yeats, regarded Lucifer’s rule as beneficent. DEDI Yeats probably believed that Lucifer is just God/”The Great Mind”/”The Condition of Fire” seen through another lens amid the endless perning of gyres, turning of ages and incarnations.

The destructive, often hate-bearing, sold soul Maud Gonne who for years was willing to birth Ireland in violence, took Yeats in directions he wouldn’t otherwise have chosen. Gonne, though she managed to mellow somewhat, was in many respects Yeats’ own Lucifer Light and Devil Dark together. Provided Lucifer was, so to speak, politically supreme, there was room of sorts for Christ and Christian mysticism more spiritually – the later Yeats could even allow for the notion of a future Irish druidic Christ, and when he talks about nations needing prophet, priest and king he can even sound like a kind of Christian; but this merely reflects the way he always lets good and evil merge. Nevertheless the 0.59, i.e virtually 1 degree Isa (Jesus) asteroid in Ireland-associated Taurus makes opportunity aspect to Malin at 2 Cancer, the sign, if any, of paganism and polytheism. I should say that Yeats just never bothered about any form of truth that didn’t seem “visionary” or symbolic. Not only can his sign of the Twins be notoriously dark/light, a Dr Jeckell and Mr Hyde because its intellectualism dissociates easily, but we do find asteroid Lie, at 9 Pisces conjunct the poet’s Part of Boredom and Indifference. To discover the truth in the ordinary sense whether practical, philosophical or theological was almost too much trouble to a person like Yeats who found common reality a bore. Sometimes just superficial in a way most common under the air signs he was usually unburdened by what he was teaching and the energies he was possibly releasing….Except in one major case. A séance could unnerve him and attendance at one in January 1895 seems to have been definitive for much subsequently and it was years before he would consult mediums regularly for mundane guidance.


It was at a séance that Yeats was suddenly jerking and shuddering uncontrollably in ways that frightened those in attendance like Kathryn Tynan and are suggestive of something akin to kundalini experience or possession by a spirit. We have echoes of the kind of experience, but in a more positive light in the poem The Cold Heaven, where the poet describes himself as “rocking to and fro riddled with light”. I don’t have a chart for this but plainly it would have something to do that month with transiting Jupiter in Gemini conjuncting and setting off the “electrical” natal Uranus. Jupiter trine Uranus in specifically fire was in evidence in Pentecost AD 30 when the Spirit fell on the disciples. But if Yeats was, let’s say, mildly rather than madly possessed by a spirit (his Discoveries portray him as already hearing voices and under certain “influences” from an early age), that would only be consistent with his early established belief that a poet was essentially someone possessed, a go-between earth and heaven and revealing messages accordingly. The Yeatsian experiential reality (as opposed to the convoluted theory!) was that daimonic/poetry experiences were, at best, of lightning and hence Uranus. The reason that in later life Yeats bought and assumed residence in the Tower of Thoor-Ballylee was because, practically, he associated true sudden inspiration as akin to the lightning of the lightning struck Tower of the Tarot card archetype. He also knew from the Cabbala of the Golden Dawn, loosely based on elements of Jewish mysticism, that lightning descended from the height of the God/Mind/Higher Self dominated Tree of Life for those who knew the right keys, symbols, deity names and vibrations, these being much associated at the Golden Dawn with Isis-Urania.

It is beyond present scope, but I would insist as per certain statements in my Puer Poems one of whose offerings is itself based on the structure of the “Tree” which links the names of God in a pattern, that the three highest nodes from which any lightning descends in fact correspond to the Trinity. Astrologically the Trinity can be symbolized by Pluto (the Creator), Uranus (the Holy Spirit) and Neptune (Christ). Yeats and Golden Dawn magicians who made alternative, less convincing astrological correspondences with the Hebrew divine names were not receiving from the Spirit but at the Isis-Urania temple spiritist energies related to the Urania representing whatever, which exactly trines Yeats’ Uranus, or perhaps in Yeats’ case the light energies the ancient Celts associated with Lugh. Any Uranian lightning for members of The Golden Dawn was also the “astral light”. Through Eliphas Levi and the French Occultism that also influenced him, Yeats obtained the notion that the astral Light is the vehicle of magic and inspiration. It can be variously God’s power, the awaited Holy Spirit of the coming age and the Edenic Serpent’s power all in one field.


But if Yeats (most of the time) didn’t care what he was doing and remained largely agnostic about who or what the spirits he invoked truly were, there are reasons why we, and I, might have some reason to care. The first point concerns the nature of Ireland and the second the perennial nature and meaning of poetry. Like it or not, modern Ireland inherits something from Yeats. I am certainly not suggesting modern Ireland should not have come into being, but the when and how of its doing so seems a little dubious and national self-understanding of the process to some extent the product of the Yeats/Gonne (mis)alliance, their symbol formation and policies. And we may recall that the English originally dismissed the Easter Rising as “a poet’s revolution”, just more Irish theatre and show. Granted that Yeats himself, who was more implicitly than overtly political, did not take part in the uprising whose immediate leader was the poetic and mystical Padraic Pearse with his loosely Christian theories of sacrifice. However, Gonne, though she hated Socialists along with Jews, had some history of stirring Pearse’s co-revolutionary, the socialist James Connolloy into action. Overall, what took place on April 24th 1916 was in many respects the effects of a Yeats/Gonne cultural revolution that was building for years. Stephen Gywnn famously observed after a performance of Cathleen-ni-Houlihan he wondered “if such plays should be produced unless one was prepared for people to go out to shoot and be shot”. Yeats if not Gonne did have a few twinges of conscience as in The Man and the Echo where he asks, “Did that play of mine send out/Certain men the English shot?”.

Revolutions are of Uranus……Yeats’ poetic birth moon at 19 Aquarius was exactly conjuncted by Uranus in Aquarius that Easter of 1916. The Venus of the day was fortunately trining it. Neptune was degree exact semi-sextile (any meetings of mind) to Yeats’ Uranus so he can glamourize the revolution – which he did. Mercury had just passed conjunction to his Venus/Pluto (it’s the basis of his famous poetic reaction “a terrible beauty is born” Venus being beauty and Pluto being the terrible!). And though Mars representing conflict at the time was at 16 Leo (rather than Yeats own 12, itself one of the reasons he did not actively engage in the revolution), what was happening was nonetheless very much in his spirit. And his spirit and values would endure.

If we look at the absolute foundation of modern Ireland, i.e. its complete, final republican rupture with England (April 18th 1949 at 12 am), a decade after Yeats death, we find Jupiter (religion/beliefs) at 0 Aquarius, the degree of Yeats’ rising. The novelty and eccentricity of this position, especially as it trines Saturn in Eire’s religion house gives, I believe, long term (Saturn) promise that despite the nation’s conservative, enduring, sad and bachelor signifying moon in Capricorn, entrenched traditional values and Catholicism would not be so secure. Instead, as has happened, they would considerably succumb to disillusion, scepticism and revolt. There would be a quiet revolution in many cases prompting return to a sort of Yeatsian style paganism. Uranus at foundation time at 27+ Gemini was conjunct Yeats’ 29 degree Uranus and asteroid Yeates was conjunct Eire’s Mercury (its writing, its thought patterns).

However, more significantly for permanently linking the poet to the life and arts of the nation, Eire’s sun and Venus in Aries exactly conjuncts Yeats’ 27 Libra/Aries nodal axis. But as one might suspect, the contact is not altogether fortunate or inspiring in the right way – one thinks for example how much the design and feeling of Samuel Beckett’s depressing nihilistic dramas owes to such as Yeats’ drama Purgatory. It is always the North Nodes which point the way forward and to what is best for person or entity, Eire’s 27 Aries falls on Yeats’ backward looking South Nodes. A little more positively, the one time “Isle of the Saints’ rising sign is 5 degrees of (religious) Sagittarius itself conjunct Yeats’ destiny and reputation Midheaven which was 4 Sagittarius. Ireland will always be thought of as religious even if it isn’t very notably so and it will always be somewhat Yeats country as to tourists it very much is. Taken all in all, I can imagine that those of charismatic persuasion or Catholics re-instating exorcism might think that the almost perpetually unfortunate, economically vulnerable, population haemorrhaging Ireland, could use a few banishing rituals at sacred sites where Yeats tried either to call down the gods or to confirm their fairy rule - even the unusually down-to-earth Seamus Heaney could say of Yeats “Reading Yeats, I can feel at times a transmission of dangerous force”. With that thought in mind what I will explore in conclusion is the question of what poetry is and does because for me that becomes a personal and oddly Yeatsian question.


This month I have published New Poems and Two Celtic Dramas. The sometimes polemical poems have sundry themes but the dramas are based on the Welsh Mabinogion legend of Branwyn and various Irish legends of Oengus the love god and also Graine and the Fenian men. I think it can honestly be claimed and claimed as simple fact, not boast, and as something anyone reading the material could be hard put to dispute, that though I belong to no occult societies, since 1949 (or even 1916) no poet or Protestant claiming Irish nationality will have been closer to the spirit of Yeats and many (though by no means all) of his interests. In the interim as in Seamus Heaney’s to my mind ghastly The Vision (it leaves me feeling claustrophic and a bit queasy!) “imagination” has been downplayed in favour of an overwhelming, sometimes vulgar earthiness. And even the quasi-Yeatsian 1916 revolution, which was a revolution of consciousness as much as politics, is just a little bit mine to do something literary with because Ireland at my birth was conjunct the fatal Easter’s 16 degree Leo Mars, itself conjunct my almost 16 degrees Mars. When at the beginning of my writing career I wrote rather combatively on The Irish Nation, I was as unaware of this celestial tie-in as Yeats was of so much else in his chart. Whatever revolution of consciousness Yeats aimed at, I, spontaneously and broadly somewhat take up again, and even when not in specifically poetry have done so in prose as in works like Temple Mysteries and Spiritual Efficiency  ( ) which effectively assume a hidden occult order of reality and which in their way are expressive of a Yeatsian ideal - “love for the Unseen”.

I could perhaps hardly help going in the direction taken. Mercury and Venus again in the house of writing, Uranus again in late Gemini, Jupiter again in Sagittarius (which with the Leo Mars makes for a somewhat similar emphasis upon the hieratic, the priestly, prophetic role etc), the Neptunes of both on an axis and unsurprisingly too I find, even Catullus. So… here we go again, except that now it’s poetry in itself, not specifically Irish poetry,that chiefly concerns me . After all, I don’t live in Ireland and for perhaps that reason have not been generously treated by anyone in literary Ireland for whom it seems I am merely someone outside and beyond, perhaps even a kind of inconvenient truth safely dismissed in the way I properly mock in my satirical Catullus Redux ( ).


New Poems and Two Celtic Dramas marks a new departure for me after nearly a quarter century’s poetic silence. I had abandoned poetry with the offerings of Puer Poems ( )because of the endless, sometimes quite hostile rejections which not even broadcast of a poetic drama on the ABC could overcome. But while, as I thought, I had abandoned poetry for good in disgust, there was a touch of relief that accompanied it too. Poetry and its effects had also begun to puzzle me in certain areas, especially in the way described in the introduction to Puer Poems. There, and citing a peculiar experience surrounding one of my poems, I perceive possible justification for the most traditional bardic/druidic notions that Yeats picked up and ran with, namely poetry as magic and spell à la Prospero or even as the Bible has it, “Death and Life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov 18:21). Poet and poetry as the druids assumed can bless or curse. In modern times and outside Ireland both Ted Hughes and Robert Graves would have at any rate the curse associated with their work.

A lot of modern poetry is “ekphrastic”. It describes objects to offer possible epiphanies - even if these  are often told in flat, bald tones which depart from almost all previous poetic tradition stretching back into the night of time. It’s poetry for the agnostic, materialistic society Yeats abhorred, as I do myself. Traditional/classic poetry, even if it’s blank verse, has rhythm and aims to memorably compress certain ideas. The combination of rhythm and compression and then its repetition seems capable of assisting trance or creating something like thought forms or situations. (Modern exorcists for example find that many possessions can be traced back in the first instance to the psychic wound opened up by parents or associates just repeating to a child that they are ugly, worthless and so on). If Shakespeare was a Prospero, it is notorious that many actors are highly superstitious about “a certain play” (Macbeth) because of the amount of bad energy or ghosts its incantatory verse seems to generate in performance.

As recounted in Puer Poems, I presented what would become the first poem of that collection to a fairly celebrated Australian stage and TV actor as a present. Included were references to typical features of the Puer archetype with which I associated the actor in question so that I wrote “and if he fell he’d bleed and bleed”. Within days of presenting the poem the actor happened to switch to a leading role in the play Blood Brothers and not long after that was hospitalized because there was blood all over the place either in some dressing room fight with another actor (now internationally famous star of screen Russell Crowe), or something that occurred on stage where the future star was reckless – it has never been clear to me which since I have heard and read different stories. I don’t say I “caused” the fiasco, and it’s possible my timing was purest coincidence, but at very least it looks like there was what Jung would call a significant “synchronicity”. It was as though I had timed, declared or released effects of the Puer archetype. Moreover it wasn’t as though there hadn’t been people to have experienced my poetry of  entities that I didn’t believe in, as though I believed in them and that they were somehow real. The thought leaves one feeling a bit more cautious or responsible about literature and its potential to influence. A lot of art, I don’t say all, seems occult either in its generation or effects, or both. The world of Yeatsian poetic stands somewhere between celebration of things Celtic and (magical) imposition upon the culture with any distancing being purely aesthetic as in the admirable experiments with Noh drama. My own effort to achieve a needed distancing for especially the Celtic material of the dramas is through letting the characters establish certain understandings about the culture, history and psychology within which they exist. They are not all Yeatsian heart and emotion but intellect.


So what do I think poetry is? Of course it’s not one thing and some it will always be just entertainment like nursery rhymes or more seriously devoted to the history and myth of the people as in ballads. There is a variety of forms and functions. However, “serious” or “classic” poetry I do believe is “magic” or “mysticism” to the extent it is transcendent of the everyday. Its words, its rhythms, its different organization of language defamiliarizes us with common existence, encourages us to imagine different things, ideas, situations, perhaps begin to do so through a degree of participation in the different reality itself. The movement into the other plane can be either through a hearing or a seeing. Some classic poetry like Shakespeare’s is highly auditory, others as in much Latin verse and Ovid is highly visual; either way one goes beyond in a way that prose which belongs with the ordinary movements, observation and memories of life doesn’t.

In some respects poetry is, or borders, philosophy as witness Lucretius, Dante and in his way Yeats; but if poets have offered philosophy it is more like the work of the pre-Socratics who open minds towards the more developed schemes of the philosophers working with reason in prose rather than imagination and creative imagery. Poetry’s “magic” can be prophetic – much biblical prophecy is delivered in poetry rather than prose – but its messages can also be perennial, drawing us back into the essential and eternal underlying or overseeing our existence. At this point in time I should say that Auden was correct in looking forward to a return of “high style” which is to say a more transcendent poetry. It is time to say goodbye to modern or even post modern experiments in poetry and return to the art as the wisdom and vision which, no matter how much we may criticize and reject his particular beliefs, the legacy of Yeats represents and which no contemporary poet should disdain to follow.

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Posted by on April 16, 2014 in Uncategorized


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[March 21st is the new World Poetry Day so I am posting the following poem which is included as the last poem of those to be published next month in my New Poems and Two Celtic Dramas]



Even if from the end of the woods and the edges
Of forested mountains wonder horns echo [1] and
Sweetest chords summon, there is no call to roam there,
I carry their music within. Here too existence
Deeply resounds as bells toll to the breezes and soul.
Give me my wand! Through village and town I conjure coaches
And elves. There’s more magic than whispers in fir trees
And murmurs at river banks joins me. Mine readily plays
Beneath turret and spire, meanders past fountain and
Steep gabled houses, along winding streets where
Openly dreaming I’ve wandered. In regions like these,
What spell, what enchantment doesn’t journey the same ways
I’ve gone, even entered within each closed door?
Like wishes, no fairies of mine dance only on hilltops in rings.
Here sun need but glint on an alchemist’s pewter for
Whole worlds to be joined. [2] Sculpted satyrs and cherubs
Both smile. So much is enabled, diffused and collected,
Clouds carrying word of bright pasts and charmed futures,
Tell me, what could I lack? With a myriad flowers
I seize the many buds of potential.

Yet for love of particular things, descending
From castles and hill tops and not to snare dragons
I used gladly to linger below in the shadow
Of cavern and rock face, beside lake shores under
Star-heavy skies.[3] They resounded to high tumbling waters
Rushed to valleys that drew and detained me as though
There was a home. And consider that in such places
Souls would take refuge, including it seems to make
And unmake their own gods, [4] even if, as in arts
Of unconscious formation and enlarging mandalas,
The good of those prophets would slide into evil,
Combine, emerge, be revived as the serpent sheds skin.
Is that why they always return to your house and they
Haunt it, those shades, those unsatisfied spirits moaning
They attained to no rest at Jerusalem’s walls? [5]
Could it be that motion is all that they learned? Below
In earth’s darkness it’s said the circle of Mothers
Spin world turning change. But can they transform things, and
By using those steps in our treadmills (called by you
Recreation) whose labours recycle what you chose
To assume were so long left behind? [6] Behold then
A womb scarce more than a tomb and for even
The beauties of Helen not to be rescued.[7] I thought
To absorb the power of forests standing
Noble amid cloud drift. But let no evergreens grow
To enclose me forever. Where canopies rise let
The wishing trees shake out their gold. I will to depart.


Beneath these granite, barer mountains
Of the south it’s morning by a tideless lake.
On this, like sighs, the slightest motion
Falls against the unhindered rising of
The day, its atmosphere both still and
Brilliant as marbled columns to the sun.
Compressed infinities reside within
Quiet choruses of air which zephyr-light
Through and beyond the ripening citrus groves
Breathe out of “now” but also, and
Half mournfully before what might seem
Promise, murmur “wait”. Between
Ranged blue below and blue above,
Does body now go swim or row, or soul
Rise up to flow into the higher element?

The glance of Venus is behind, it looks away
Even when widest vistas are displayed and
It’s behind me Venus reigns: fashion dressed
To persons as to time, and shortening it with
Passing loves amid a careless opulence,
Still thrives.[8] But see ahead the flower-topped
Balconade adjoins the shallow steps down
To the lapping waters’ edge beyond which now
You can, but may not wish to go. Give me
The horn! Make noise and bring, clothed like the soul
In only dawn, tritons to race across
The waters into greater light and sky
Bearing upon their backs the time not
Personal but far directed and historical,
An energy that expands, builds, teaches and
Subdues in nature’s course beneath the eagle’s path
Found out by eyes directly fixed upon the sun.[9]
With this you could reach Athens and Jerusalem
And not return. And here from earth accepted in
Its myriad forms, with clarity you can rise high,
Seize infinity and the heavens themselves
Provided you would know to refuse
Those powers some craved on Mediolanum’s way
Seduced by love of emperors and of virgins’ lives [10]
Your talk become like baskets all too full
With blossoms over-ripe, weighed down with
Questions and the many answers not quite given. [11]

No lovers of the infinite and divine
Need dwell on petty joys and small regrets
And celebrate the in-turned mind through record
Of those thoughts, sometimes too humble then
Too proud, that monastery gardens best enclose. [12]
Tolle, Lege : words no angel but a child declared,
No doubt a sweet deceit played on the mind
Too mystical and unprophetic. [13] What faith
Is not far journey and a pilgrimage?
Who but he of alienated mind would seek
Divine felicity through intellect internally
As though to render earth with sea and sky
With body and each material thing all
Valueless besides the soul and God? [14]
What was that fallen temple of the Jews,
If not a heaven reflected and an Eden
Symbolized that mere abstraction never knew
Or else, like prophecy at the core, ignored
With all the mare nostrum world beyond
The cradle of new vision too despised. [15]
Truth here was lost and must again be found.

The shimmering light of day would consecrate
Life’s inner verities, and soul calls out
To banish time’s past monstrous interval,
Its centuries of night and misdirected
Prayer with contemplation pitched, in seeming
Innocence, between oppression and the
Foulest strife. [16] Accept again the sun
And wide created world which are your
Heritage toward the higher life,
By this take flight, reach even further south.

Though time and cycles will repeat they also
Form and never bring what’s quite the same again.
So now upon the age’s cusp, even though it be
An era’s end, go far upon the opened way
Receiving beams from an increasing light;
And while seas roar and skies unfold
Await of Salem’s city all surprise -
It is decreed again its temple rise
And seers with fiery prophecy outshine 
Closed revelations of the mystic’s mind.

Still waters of the lake and so bright atmosphere
Of risen day, you are that mirror jewel of
My mind, its inner being and my future life. [17]



[1] Des Knabes Wunderhorn (1805) was a collection of poetry by Arnim and Brentano important for German literary Romanticism and music, both generally evoked by the poem.
[2]  The initial visions of the German Theosophist Jakob Böhme (15750-1624) involved sunlight on a pewter dish.
[3] Loose references both to Nietzsche’s Lake Silvaplana and personal experiences of a time spent in a Swiss college.
[4] Various German speaking sages like Nietzsche, Rilke and Jung have “remade” religion or the gods – Nietzsche believed Zarathustra was revealed to him on the shores of Silvaplana.
[5] In Jung’s Seven Sermons to the Dead, the spirits return from Jerusalem complaining they find no salvation there. Jung experienced the spirits as actually entering his house. German magical vision is not just rural like most magic but urban.
[6]  Evoking celebrated words of Goethe’s Faust  important for Jung, “Formation, Transformation, Eternal Mind’s Eternal Recreation”. They are not however specific to the Mothers who represent the Unconscious and the Feminine with which for Goethe as for Jung  mind must be reconciled.  However there seems nothing particularly liberating about the Mothers in their darkness and even if they inspire, the only salvation is in a certain repetition.
[7]  Homer’s Helen is effectively trapped in the Underworld from which Faust does not deliver her.
[8] Many properties bordering the Italian lakes are home to the rich and famous, fashion designers,  models and stars, the people of Venus, whose devotion to fashion highlights the ephemeral and  passing time.
[9]  The triton’s more masculine energies and nudity as against the well draped Venusian world (Luther taught the soul was naked before God and  a certain spiritual and aesthetic nudity may be said to join North and South) direct east and south toward Rome and beyond which marched under the sign of the eagle. The eagle looks directly at the sun which in the kind of medieval mysticism inaugurated by Augustine is almost rejected: “The good which  I now sought was not outside myself, I did not look for it in things which are seen  with the eye of the flesh by the light of the sun”. Augustine’s views were many and subject to change and his City of God even concedes Rome may be an imperfect symbol of heaven, but the poem suggests that (at its best) Rome represented a general impulse to civilisation of a kind in everything from language to roads.
[10] Mediolanum was the ancient name for Milan. It lies to the west of Garda rather than east like Athens and Jerusalem. Augustine greatly idealized Bishop Ambrose as “saintly” though he represented a lot of the too typical fourth century church politicking and chicanery. He was ordained bishop without having been a priest, wasted vast amounts of money on frantic church building  projects, dubiously courted and supported the emperor Theodosius and developed an obsession with virginity which he seemed to think the only true role for a women. Augustine’s cult of Ambrose is about as edifying as would be to hear he had followed money obsessed tele-evangelist Kenneth Copeland today.
[11] Augustine had been a rhetorician and his Confessions can be extremely florid, even its opening is half obscured by speculations and questions partially answered.
[12] Augustine’s florid conversation with himself and God anticipates the small universe of the enclosed monastery, with its controversial mixture of humility and presumption which has lost a grip upon normal life which is getting exchanged for an extended, minute self- analysis which inevitably shocked his contemporaries for sheer novelty. (It’s generally accepted that Augustine, who said as many good things as bad, is foundational for Roman Catholicism and the western medieval mind).
[13]  Tolle, Lege (Lat: Pick up and read). A child’s voice instructs Augustine. Since spiritualists and witches like Sybil Leek report children’s voices delivering messages, it is possible Augustine’s conversion represents self or spiritual deception, quite possible in view of the fact his theories would leave a  legacy of false beliefs from the damnation of unbaptized infants to theories later justifying the Inquisition.
[14] Augustine is always dismissing the earthly as example of anything heavenly and thus “no bodily pleasure….and whatever earthly light might shed upon it, was worthy of comparison, or even mention (italics mine) besides the happiness of the life of the saints.(Confessions X1 : 10). The corollary of this extreme idealism is a hidden contempt for the Jewish legacy and the temple which not only was intended as symbol or reflection of things heavenly but whose doctrine ironically may even have been the remote basis for the Platonic theory of the archetypes according to Margaret Barker.
[15]  Linked to the last statement, Mare Nostrum (the Mediterranean) and its culture should be seen as part of the flow of divine history as historical/prophetic revelation centred round Israel which Augustine virtually denies, famously dismissing all biblical prophecy as  transferred symbolically from Israel to a Catholic Church Triumphant.
[16]  Augustine’s turn to mysticism favoured a purely inactive contemplation, a gazing upon God in a static heaven that became standard for medieval religion and which ignored the ills of the world around it.
[17]  An  implicit affirmation of the believing soul’s possibility to reflect and reach to the good without seeing or being only Augustine’s original sin.

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Posted by on March 21, 2014 in Uncategorized



[In the wake of the Sochi Winter Olympics' gay controversies and a week before Sydney's Gay Mardi Gras parade and with renewed expectation of draconian anti-gay legislation being imposed in Uganda this seems an  appropriate time to air the following thoughts]


No matter what Matthew Vines says in his much anticipated God and the Gay Christian, (due out April 26th) and no matter how well argued to the satisfaction of gay Christians and their supporters, it won’t get much beyond arguments favouring acceptance. Gay theological biblical exegesis does not normally, if at all, answer certain charges that conservative Christian critics and homophobes continue to level at gays like the Spanish Cardinal who recently insisted that being gay is like having blood pressure, a curable “defect”. Uganda’s president has now signed in the most extremely oppressive homophobic laws happily convinced that since homosexuality is purely behavioural it is curable and therefore apparently  uncured persons are culpable.


As long as there is only just a handful of individuals who feel able to describe themselves as “cured” of homosexuality (or at least able to bear offspring and manage the heterosexual family life) it will continue to be said that having chosen a ‘lifestyle’ gays can choose to get out of it. And, then, like some devil’s curse shadowing gays and undermining their theology, there is the postmodern, amoral or morally indifferent queer theology which looks to the queer theory inaugurated among bisexuals and that emphasizes precisely choice.

One doesn’t need to be religious to point to the negative effects of queer thought for gays and their situation globally – Gilles Herrada’s The Missing Myth (2013) written from a humanistic standpoint regards it as “crippling“, and a disastrous denial of authentic gay consciousness. The related theology, as in the case of the late bisexual shock-jock theologian Marcella Althaus-Reid’s Indecent Theology or The Queer God, can produce statements so recklessly, blatantly profane, (chapter and section headings like “Leading God by a Dog Collar” and “God the Sodomite”) that Christian conservatives are inevitably confirmed in their worst fears and prejudices. And if sex imagery isn’t the problem, then the theological one is that a limitless queer inclusiveness leaves you with a Jesus who either is, or is best friends with, Krishna, Kwan Yin, Buddha etc. (Althaus-Reid privately revered the Egyptian cat goddess Bast).

I even find it a trifle intellectually dubious, (though it’s PC enough), that Vines titles his forthcoming book God and the Gay Christian at the same time as he claims to be representing and helping to improve life amid intolerance for LBGTI people. Though gay is by far the largest constituency of the sexually marginalized to consider, it will never be possible fully to accommodate the claims, needs, worldviews, spiritualities etc of those not gay to any gay theology. The others will need to establish their own theologies and some have, and in this connection and before proceeding I will add another non PC statement that should be mentioned and got out of the way.

Whether or not the famous and notorious statements of St Paul in Romans 1 about same sex engagements (of whatever sort) owe more to pre-scientific notions of sex or refer to the recreational bisexuality of the Roman imperial decadence - Paul speaks of persons “exchanging” the natural way – there is no question that bisexuality will always present the biggest problem theologically. It does so not simply because its claims could entail effective right to adultery by any other name, but because it’s just possible that a misread bible anyway always had its main sights everywhere from Sodom to Rome on a distinct type of bisexual. One cannot entirely ignore for example how one theologian who passes for gay but admits to bedding various women, has written at some length of having the hots for various saints and angels (he’s always been especially keen on the Archangel Michael) which even if he’s only half serious about it, is nonetheless the sort of thing according to Jude 1:7 the men of Sodom were said to be guilty of in lusting after “strange flesh”. (I only know this because one sickened gay Catholic gave me a relevant book thinking I might be interested for at least reference purposes. The frequent disconnect between gays and bisexuals is a non PC subject, but it’s real enough).

So, the core questions are:

  • Who or what is a homosexual – someone born or made?
  • If born, what is a homosexual for? Which invites the question
  • If the bible is said to defend, or at least not single out “homosexuality”, why does it not provide (or does it?) what’s most needed. This, as Gilles Herrada’s The Missing Myth demonstrates, is the equivalent of a necessary “myth” which cultures always require if they are to be gay tolerant. (For Herrada a myth is supplied, but only negatively, by the Sodom Story).
  • And what about Jesus? Did he really teach and believe there was only Adam and Eve, not any Adams and Steves to be married? What about gays and ethics?

These are not easy questions, but I will briefly supply some meaningful clues of a kind which deserve consideration yet which despite my qualifications don’t have it due largely to an almost jealous, exclusivist American domination of the gay spirituality field. As half America knows, a conflicted Matthew Vines left Harvard degree studies to explore the bible on gay issues for himself (for two years!) and has set up The Reformation Project to help render churches gay affirming. Over a decade ago I obtained a world first doctorate in gay spiritualties from any religious studies dept anywhere, subsequently described on publication (as A Special Illumination, see  by Professor Martyn Percy of Cambridge as including perhaps the best work on gay theologies to date. But from the assumed backwater of Australia I have remained as unheard and unanswered by Christian theologians and gay Christians, Vines included, as is on the other side of the fence America’s leading anti-gay theologian, Robert Gagnon. He likewise complains of being unanswered. (In my own case, only three or four publically committed gay Christians have ever contacted me!).

“Blow blow thou winter wind… ” as Shakespeare has it. But I have long ago got over the personal feelings of exasperation and resentment about this to the point today I rarely even concern myself with gays and their issues, but I still regret the situation relative to the kind of abuses that need to be known and protested. Today we are faced with the prejudices and campaigns that are rampant from Africa to Russia (where neo-Nazi vigilantes seize gays or even those who look like gays to torture, film and abuse them as paedophiles) and now in China (where electroshock and porn  are being used on gays to cure them) and all to an astonishing degree influenced by beliefs or campaigns of originally American evangelical inspiration (   one of whose false teachings is the identity of paedophilia and homosexuality.

While American gay Christians, (like American gays and American Christians more generally) expect to take centre stage, they can be parochially minded when it comes to the real needs and situations to be addressed internationally. The Family Research Centre is even defending Ugandan policies on the hysterical basis homosexuality is worse than murder (one of their justifications for this deriving from  ideas of the fourth century Bishop St John Chrysostom, the almost-single handed inventor of Christian anti-Semitism and the secret engine behind much of the tyrannies and pogroms of the Russian Orthodox churches over the centuries). If secularists reined in the FRC people, doubtless they would scream persecution, the kind of thing which, as stressed in my recent article Christo-Fascism or Christo-Humanism? ( ) doesn’t help the internationally, genuinely persecuted churches one bit.

What is crucially needed today is really powerful theology, not gestures like a Cambridge University flash mob same sex kissing to protest Russian attitudes and Sochi, the sort of action that variously inflames or trivializes major issues. So to repeat..the questions are:

1. What is a homosexual? The question is theologically vital if, as might seem according to some Bible translations, St Paul declares no “homosexuals” will enter the kingdom of heaven (1 Cor 6:9). It’s a debated, technical question just who and what Paul referred to (male prostitute may well be implied since beyond all questions of etymology he may well have had in mind the Leviticus ban whose primary reference was to sacred prostitution); but not only did the ancient world have no catch-all expression like “homosexual”, but even today there can be misunderstandings around the word. So the verse as popularly cited is not as meaningful as some imagine. And even if improbably it were, one would need to ask why conservative Christians aren’t pursuing, or as in Russia letting violent vigilantes  pursue, others Paul mentions in his list echoing the vice lists of pagan moralists, like thieves, idolaters, drunkards etc.

If Christian conservatives and modern homophobes insist gay/homosexual equals “sodomite” and hence only chosen acts and “lifestyles” rather than psychology, then they have to answer persons like entertainer Stephen Fry who, as in his TV inquiry into homophobia Out There, insists that gay is about same sex love and that he and many gays never even practiced sodomy and by and large even ancient Greece didn’t. (It is however a staple of porn, something Fry conveniently ignored but shouldn’t have since unfortunately Ugandan churches and politicians have been showing and judge “homosexuality” almost wholly by precisely porn).

So let’s say “homosexual” means a person mainly or exclusively same sex attracted both as regards feelings and spontaneous eros. This obviously is not the same thing as being a male prostitute and if, as gay theologians claim with some reason, Jesus was confronting a same sex relation in the case of the centurion and his “servant ” or “boy” (doulos, pais) then their kind of homosexuality wasn’t like prostitution. Accordingly no one need find a contradiction in the fact that Jesus could be accepting and Paul not since they were not dealing with the same persons or issues in the first place.

2. Is homosexuality innate? For conservative Christians there is no justification for homosexuality because it’s not innate but only a choice. Of course there has been a choice of sorts, namely to accept as fundamental for the self what is known or suspected, and most gays vaguely sense their orientation from their earliest years. Pro and con on the born gay issue has however become largely reduced to finding an elusive gay gene or tracing the effects of certain patterns of rearing. As regards genetics, things are not conclusive (though just this month report from Illinois’ North Western University is that scientists have found two stretches of DNA they think are linked to homosexuality and suggestive for a gay gene). Studies on rearing are not conclusive either, but even without looking at too many statistics, one must absorb how eccentric mothers dressing their sons as a girl during infancy as happened for Oscar Wilde and the Austrian poet Rilke, only had contrary effects if one assumes nurture should have effect, since one turned out a homosexual and the other a Don Juan. Vines like most gay Christians has emphasized there was no abuse or anything wrong with his upbringing. But for conservatives, if homosexuality can’t be explained by known science, or defective rearing it must be an illusion if not a devil’s lie itself. But should bible believing Christians be so demanding of proof in this way?

If they bothered to listen to what Jesus actually said, they would know he assumed some persons were “born” different, such as eunuchs from their mother’s womb (Matt 19:12). What did he mean and how should he or we be allowed to know what he meant without evidence of a “scientific” kind? It happens that by Jesus’ times among Jew and Gentile alike, the eunuch word was the nearest expression to being born different, out of the family way and hence the nearest thing to our gay word. It was an ambiguous, fluid term used in many writers but apparently rather as “confirmed bachelor” once indicated unmarried while also being widely used as a polite circumlocution for gay. Eunuch could include celibate, but it didn’t automatically mean either that or castrate (and would one be castrate from the mother’s womb?). And why would Jesus emulate the eunuch status? If one allows the psychological dimension, then one good reason would be for the outsider consciousness that attaches so strongly to gay people. The disciple is meant to be an outsider to “this world”. Ideally believers should all be slightly gay! And this is meaningful since I would maintain the innately gay person is so for primarily spiritual rather than physical reasons anyway.

But if people are born gay because the condition is primarily spiritual, then “proof” for that difference might be expected to belong more to the spiritual/esoteric order that few know or care to examine, a point I can return to. In passing however I must concede that even accepting a born gay principle, one might have to allow it is still possible the trauma of especially child abuse could function as a gay imprint. Drug and alcohol addictions by dissolving normal boundaries may also drive people in gay or bisexual directions not necessarily desired by them. I have noted that persons extremely claiming gay cures seem to be people with a traumatic past or serious addiction problems. Some ex-gays may be bisexuals opting for one side. Also lesbians appear a little more open to cure than gay men if only because women have always been more sexually adaptive than men. Whatever….”cure” is rare and attempts at it can prove quite harmful; but something like cure may apply in special cases–well conducted therapy may be little different from assistance with sex addiction and addictions of any kind. But none of this argues against the innateness of “average” homosexuality.

3. Assuming the condition is spiritual, where is the myth/symbolism/story that would justify it biblically? Where is there even any given purpose to being gay anywhere in the bible? Vines maintains authentic gay relations though not forbidden are not addressed either. What for Herrara is the crucial biblical myth, but negatively, is the Genesis Sodom story which, however, only assumed its popular negative status under the influence of the Alexandrian philosopher Philo in the first century just in time to distort many Christian attitudes with its poison. Philo reinterpreted Sodom against Roman and Egyptian society in which gays were (somewhat, sometimes) accepted – albeit study will show that pagan moralists could be dead set against such as “effeminates”, one even sure they deserved to be bashed in the streets which sounds like a familiar problem. Formerly the Genesis story was not read in Philo’s bad almost paranoid gay way (he even believed the infection of sodomitical desire would depopulate cities!) and it can never be read his way with any integrity. The men of Sodom lusted after “strange flesh” (angels) according to Jude and were plainly rapists of bisexual potential if Lot reckoned to offer them his daughters. Ezekiel doesn’t even mention the gay theme.

It is often felt the story of David and Jonathan who made a covenant berith (word interchangeable with marriage) represents biblical gay interest, though it is almost more by way of a bisexual idyll. As I suggested in Cosmic Father: Spirituality as Relationship ( which includes examination of the oddness of the leading prophets, the true if hidden biblical gay story belongs rather to Jeremiah.


Against all social expectation this prophet is forbidden to marry (and doubtless as well for him and women since he can hardly be said to celebrate women anywhere!). He lives with his secretary Baruch and is delivered from his prison by a palace eunuch favourable to him. Like many gays his psychology is evidently dominated by the Puer archetype - he originally tries to avoid the divine vocation by declaring  “I am only a boy” (Jer 1:7), a youthful self-image out of harmony with the world of tradition bound rabbinical grey beards. The prophetic sign and image of the undergarment representing Israel which should cling to God as the garment does to the loins (Jer 13:11) can only be considered, daring, controversial and homoerotic from a prophet who relates to God rather homoerotically, even at one point accusing God of as good as raping him (Jer 20:7).

Jeremiah is classically gay in being radically futuristic – he alone teaches the advent of a new covenant (Jer 31:31). About the only thing that’s ungay about Jeremiah is that he isn’t given to celebration but to lamentation, but then in the ancient Middle East ritual lamentation was itself a gay/eunuch function. Jeremiah is a depressive, a depressed figure from an age of widespread major tragedy. His life nonetheless exemplifies what gays are for. Precisely to be outsiders, protesters, witnesses to what occurs and prophetic in relation to what will happen. Gays are well known to be trend setters in many fields. The trouble with America’s gay Christians is they are too often outsiders craving to be insiders. The drive to marriage somewhat belongs to this. (The refusal to consider any “esoteric” perspectives on homosexuality such as I sometimes propose, may itself belong with the same respectability urges directed upon realms of academe!). The fact however that homosexuality is innate and a purposed destiny for society is even suggested in the case of Jeremiah that God had consecrated the prophet before birth (Jer 1:5), suitably a eunuch from the womb theme again.


What about Jesus (who was compared to Jeremiah by his contemporaries)? What were his opinions about homosexuality? It is often said that he never  mentioned the subject, but quite apart from the likely encounter with the gay centurion who wants his lover healed (Matt 5: 8-13), there is the Sermon on the Mount which arguably confronts homophobia. In the section on anger as this leads to violence and murder, Jesus says that those who say “Racah, You Fool” are in risk of the hell fires (Matt 5:22). Why so - doesn’t everyone call someone fool sometimes?! Fool is however the Aramaic Racah, something like slang for “effeminate pervert”. In short, it looks like the gay person is Jesus’ representative symbol of all the racisms against all the outsiders hatred of whom can lead to murder itself. And the fact that the potential anger/murder engendered by the attitude is deemed unacceptable by Jesus, tacitly cancels out, or at least undermines, any traditions and Levitical laws which would support precisely anger, prejudice and even judicial murder for those involved. Capturing the sense without referring to Matthew’s text, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin reflecting a growing split in the Catholic hierarchy towards African style policies to gays has recently stated “anybody who doesn’t show love towards gay and lesbian people is insulting God” and that they are in fact “Godphobic”..

My recourse to this perspective marks a revisionism some would not even consider because they believe Jesus declared for marriage as being for one man and one woman according to the Edenic model (Matt 19:3-9). Such an interpretation of the text nevertheless amounts to little more than proposing no variation upon any main theme should ever be divinely or humanly permitted (something a species of American conformism does tend to  assume and which if universally accepted could destroy the life of the arts everywhere!). But although American evangelicals like Africans seem to work on some “Me Tarzan, You Jane” notion of sex and gender not countenancing what the French call a “third sex”,  plainly some kind of variation is possible and was manifest in even Jesus’ ancestor, David, who was (perhaps for political reasons) a polygamist and bisexual too. Plainly the bible does not limit everyone to single partnership in every possible instance. What it disapproves is swapping those same partners around (i.e David’s concubines wouldn’t have affairs on the side with his friends) or divorcing someone specifically to take up immediately with the latest attraction.

Jesus himself is surrounded by images of marriage to the Church, yet that same “marriage” will be to both sexes, while he himself is identified with both Logos (Word, masculine) and Sophia, (Wisdom, feminine). Then too, the classic relation of master and disciple/believer as traced in John’s gospel is, to be frank about it, like a Christian variation upon the classic Greek/Platonic outline of the relation and ascent to truth of the younger to the older lover into whose being the disciple is incorporated. And need I state that certain Jewish Christians like Bishop Hugh Montefiore and Canon Paul Oestereicher have proposed that by some definitions and obviously primarily psychological ones, humanly Jesus himself might today be thought gay. Centuries ago St Aelred of Riveaulx, bolder than many modern theologians who won’t touch the subject as I well know – I should perhaps start to out all the theologians too  inconsiderate even to acknowledge any comments, theories and inquiries in this vital area! - maintained that Jesus lived with John as though in a state of marriage.

Aelred was of course thinking in highly spiritual terms and we do have some grounds to question whether the Jesus of even John’s love gospel would think the “marriage” word entirely suitable for same sex relations whether referred to himself or others. Wouldn’t fellowship or union do? (It is debated quite what certain medieval marriage of brethren ceremonies meant and whether, and to what extent, they covered for homosexuality; but evidently some churches were once more flexible around marriage and unions than they would become in more recent centuries). “Marriage equality”, currently the mantra and driving force for change, is a secular concept, its claims furthered in the context of the operation of contemporary laws it wants to change and benefit from, but which don’t necessarily take the gay difference seriously enough. The centurion and his boy, like Jeremiah and Baruch, are simply persons who live together and perhaps across a major age divide not akin to that of most heterosexual marriages and less likely to last a lifetime.

On the other hand, within the Hebrew bible, but influencing all Judaeo-Christian ethical perspectives even down to Paul on prostitution, a person can be deemed “married” to another if they have had sex with them regardless of any formal celebrations of union and regardless of whether they even think of themselves as married or not. By that standard one might need to assess and define the ethical and marital status of gays according to the kind of sex they engaged, (like was it fully penetrative?), and whether, whatever was done, it could have the same esoteric/spiritual effects as heterosexual contacts anyway. (Esoterically and as far as especially Asian mystical traditions are concerned, promiscuity leaves traces that muddy the aura or soul body which is what blends with the other and “becomes one”, and it’s just possible Jewish purity laws and attitudes to marriage imply assumptions of this kind).


Matthew Vines wants lifelong committed relations for gay (Christians) and essentially discounts any other contact or relation. Many heterosexuals, Christian and other, would think he was asking for the moon especially as they regard gays as merely promiscuous and recklessly so. And there is sometimes truth in that even while, to their discredit, American Christians ignore how much their historic and ongoing marginalization of gays has helped promote a situation in which common standards and social rituals are easily ignored.

If the reader of this article, who probably doesn’t follow porn, cares to go to such as, which has been in the news because an 18 year old college boy, Robert Marucci, was suspended, and then over protests reinstated because he had appeared on that site and in a porn film to pay family bills, they can have an education in gay porn in a nutshell from just still shots.[Since I wrote this the site appears to have been closed down in the wake of the scandal]. Sometimes there are just college boys smiling but also pix of orgies, threesomes, easy sodomy (with controversially some barebacking which is hardly a good example to the young come out!). It will seem to many, especially straights, the effect is merely loud and crass, lewd and crude, even if according to Marucci and his supporters, his own contribution was “nothing but a job” (something sex can never quite be short of degenerating into prostitution).

I am not against ideals of fidelity, and unlike some more radical gay and queer theologians I am not about to speak for promiscuity and porn as such, but I do aim here to draw one or two possible conclusions from and about them that are outside the range of common (heteronormative) assessments.

Especially if they are Christians the (heterosexual) response to images of gay abandon  - some even find just gays embracing abandoned! – is that in the same way as straights should restrain their impulses and avoid adultery, so should gays. Since however straights are not gay this can amount to an imposition of values based on sex relations almost universally and spontaneously experienced as a proverbial “war of the sexes” with men being from Mars and women from Venus. And this “war” leads to certain agreements with a sense of mutual possession with which infidelity cannot easily cope.  Much hetero sex is moreover necessarily about achieving or avoiding procreation. Gays are at least potentially and, beyond love, about sex as just pleasure.

Gay sex generally is confronted with objections akin in spirit to those that impose genital mutilation upon women in homophobic Africa and because the clitoris has no function except pleasure. (The fact of the clitoris, like the fact that foetuses in the womb have been observed to masturbate, is an indication that sex need not and cannot be defined solely in terms of procreation). But the heteronormative attitude is that because straights wouldn’t and shouldn’t do certain things, absolutely gays musn’t. Yet if gays are genuinely different, differently wired (and often operate in different social situations) should not ethics be centred on who they are and what they can be? On the basis that most gays will not be enjoying benefits and pleasures of family life and offspring, should not straights be willing to concede something to any alternative gay pleasures or arrangements?

Though gays would be wiser to reject a merely pornographic abandon (even safe sex is not wholly safe and there can be long term psychological consequences to just using people and sex) if they are not strongly feeling types the reality is that gays more than others will be able to celebrate sex as just pleasure and usually be less possessive about it. I believe moreover that if gays play on the boundaries and in often exhibitionist ways, paradoxically that could be because gay is primarily a spiritual condition. As such it will often be compensated by an emphasis upon the originally half-doubted body plus, because it seems so many gays will have been adverse to sports in childhood, there may be some adult compensation in terms of physical play. Even at that, I still believe it would be advisable, whether for Christians or others, to contain and perhaps almost ritualize what depends on a gay difference and like even ancient Greece accept that not just anything goes. But I still think we must question the kind of judgements heteronormativity so easily directs upon the spectacle of homosexual activity and relating.


Matthew Vines was inspired to study gay theology because he sought to justify gay relations and marriage. The inspiration of my own studies was to understand gay spirituality the better to understand what it would mean if, as I already suspected was the case, Jesus himself was actually by at any rate some definitions, gay, indeed even needed humanly to be so to be more incarnationally, humanly representative for both sexes, Logos and Sophia together, a female soul in a male body. (I have of course never suggested nor ever would, as one vulgar Australian newspaper years ago had it, that Jesus incarnated to have sex with his disciples!).  The “homosexuality”  of the historical Jesus would obviously substitute for any missing but toleration necessary myths!

Although I believe the question of Jesus’ orientation humanly could be certified from just the bible itself properly read, I have compelling reasons more esoteric to support that. I have not  so far emphasized  this point which I only add by way of conclusion because of the hostility surrounding the evidence just as it stands, let alone anything it might tell us about Jesus’ orientation. The data involved nevertheless combine in a way so millions to one against chance improbably to support a gay Jesus thesis that the evidence cannot and should not be too lightly dismissed.

In the earliest days of gay rights in nineteenth century Germany, gays were called Uranians after the newly discovered planet Uranus that astrologers observed to be variously emphasized in the birth patterns of gays as of anyone seriously different and unusual (consider “crazy” solo-ascent rock climber Alex Honnold. b.17.8.1985 with Uranus fortunately trine his Mars) and paradoxically notable homophobes – the mentioned theologian Robert Gagnon (b.31.7.1958) has Uranus conjunct his sun, so that gays or opposing them belong with his identity! Gays are not heterosexuals from Venus and Mars as per some bestselling pop psychological writings on sex. The nature of Uranus just by itself will help explain many facets of gay  behaviour and attitudes, and since the affinity of Uranus is with Aquarius, the era on which we border, homosexuality and its rights have naturally become a subject and will increasingly be accepted no matter what conservative Christians think, say or do about it.

It’s true we stand at the end of the age of Pisces that  Christ’s birth introduced, but the new more “out” gay/Aquarian trend is not, or certainly not negatively, the “apocalyptic symptom” that the overbearing head of the Russian Orthodox Church, (who should instead be condemning neo-Nazi gay bashers), has recently called it. And though I don’t really go along with ideas of a so-called Lukan “gay apocalypse” (which as at Luk 17:34″  appears to speak of two men being in one bed, not an unknown situation in traditional societies), I suppose one could - just - argue against the likes of Patriarch Kirill and conservative Christians that Jesus assumed the aion‘s (era’s) end would be one in which it was accepted men would be in bed together. If so, one would note Jesus doesn’t object to that, only to spiritual unpreparedness – after all, if one partner is not taken by the Rapture, the other is not so innately gay sinful he can’t be taken!

Whatever…one of the more “esoteric” ways that help define the gay fate and soul is the astrological. My blog of last December explains and justifies what I am saying and doing as regards that subject (….or it will to those who can actually permit the study any place in theological discussion, which despite Magi associated with Jesus’ birth many can’t do. It’s liable to get placed along with homosexuality as another abomination! Anyway, if you haven’t read and considered that material, for the moment suspend disbelief about the idea that Jesus’ true birth data, and still working for Jesus events to this day, are discoverable and ponder only a few things which, at least cumulatively, the data points to. Consider too that outside some kind of strong argument for the alternative nature of Jesus himself, the experience of years would suggest conservative religious prejudice can scarcely be broken or even addressed……


1)      Mercury (“ruler” of Jesus’ birth pattern) conjunct Saris (Eunuch) and Born. Yes, Jesus was himself born a eunuch from his mother’s womb – he tried to tell his disciples that, but like most Christians they weren’t listening (except perhaps Peter who saw Jesus looked on a  young man and loved him Mk 10:21).

2)     San Juan (St  John) in the house of relationships. Yes, St Aelred wasn’t far wrong.

3)     The Part of Homosexuality conjunct the Part of Spirit and the asteroid Boda (Sp. wedding). Again St Aelred was more or less right and it’s unlikely Jesus would be too hostile to gay marriage even if he were to define a different rite and values for it.

4)      Isa (Jesus) trine The Part of Homosexuality.  Yes, Jesus was likely gay in some fashion.

5)      The asteroid Raca in affliction (adjustments to be made) aspect to The Part of Homosexuality. Yes, Jesus was offended at the kind  of homophobic abuse so often dealt out to people including and especially by religious people.

6)      The asteroid Centurion conjunct the gay asteroid Gaily.  Yes, the centurion and his boy was  a gay relation.

I could go on, but instead I will add just one crucial fact from my Pentecost chart for the birth of Christianity in AD 30. Again it’s something millions to one against chance, but it constitutes a datum that in its awkward, peculiar presence seems to carry both a message and a warning.

7)      Asteroid Uganda opposed by of all things Kato. David Kato, a Christian advocate of gay rights was murdered in his home after he threatened to sue a paper for issuing personal details in a way liable to invite violence upon him in the wake of church inspired vigilante attacks upon gays in his fanatically homophobic country. (Its president in the very week scientists think they are on the track of the gay gene vows finally to sign for draconian laws against gays that he said he wouldn’t do if scientists could prove homosexuality was innate – like many African Christians he also wants to please and appease a gay intolerant Muslim lobby who want sharia directed upon gays. The most recent news this weekend is he is still waiting for more scientific evidence) .

But the heavens are pointing an accusing finger long term and anyway the Sermon on the Mount gave due warning about the kind of hate-filled and violent behaviour American Christians have been giving Africa and Russia excuses to pursue. (Ironically - and the criminally silent and now neo-Nazi tolerating Russian Orthodox Church hypocritically ignores it - it was precisely the Russian church which for centuries was almost notorious in Europe for the extent of  its toleration of gay relations among priests and laity, while the African churches peddle the rank lie any anthropologist can explode that homosexuality has never had a part in traditional African life).

I am not suggesting all gays are martyr-victims or saints or always right in what they say and do, (and I could  wish the kind of San Francisco gays who engage the likes of profane Hunky Jesus contests at Easter could be made to see how much they sin against thousands by increasing and justifying religious fear and prejudice  worldwide with their completely  unnecessary behaviour). But instead of automatically sending all gays to hell, let the fanatics consider there could be more risk to themselves. It is they who are fast becoming the “abomination”. Their attitudes are displeasing to God and badly need revision. Many feel that the Church of England says too little and gets much wrong, but its new Archbishop is surely not incorrect, biblically and just humanly, to declare that Christians must repent homophobia.


I feel bound to comment on a couple of quotations from Robert Gagnon getting cited on Twitter this week of  writing my article when  I chance  to have been troubled by information sent me regarding a gay African in a violently homophobic society. He is now frightened even to attend church because of the ridicule and accusations directed at him and  – obviously in bad need of counselling – declares he feels utterly confused and like garbage God should have destroyed rather than have permitted to be born. He wishes he could meet Jesus to ask why people are born gay.

In his reasonable and academic enough Introduction to The Bible and Homosexual Practice (2009) Robert Gagnon declares he deplores attempts to demean the humanity of gays and opposes any kind of violence against them (even though in fidelity to his faith as he sees it he also maintains homosexual behaviour as an “inexcusable rebellion” against God’s created order). However, quotes of Gagnon  available on the Net for everyone  include: “Jesus would be the person you would not want to gravitate to for an argument about  ‘I was born that way’. He really does not care whether you are that way because he’s asking you  to die to yourself, to crucify yourself and lose your life”.  He also says “Human passions are notoriously unreliable indications of God’s will”.  Undeniably the African gay has been so well crucified with Christ and Christian theology of Gagnon’s kind he can’t think why  he’s alive. Is that what Gagnon wants and Jesus intended?

Jesus’ statements  about being crucified are couched in the absolute and very  physical terms typical of his native Aramaic which had expressions like “cut off my nose if I lie”. I accept believers cannot merely avoid the message of Jesus’ severer words which most essentially is that the Old Adam, the merely selfish self is to be denied. However Jesus also talks about giving the life abundant and there is no abundance where the self cannot begin to flourish because it lacks meaning, centre and  direction. For mental and spiritual health there must be some self-esteem and even self-love (does not Jesus himself also state, “love your neighbour as yourself”?).

More vital than even social acceptance such as gay theology à la Vines desires, is gay self-acceptance. Our passions can indeed be unreliable, but not wholly. What and who we love will, like the aesthetic sense, always be some indicator of our nature and so it is dangerous to just pluck up and dismiss the root of the gay self which can entail  a “Uranian” gift of perception affecting many aspects of life, a vocation in itself to be understood and even cultivated. If there is a wound in being gay, there is or can be also a joy. (Perhaps we should speak of “the agony and the ecstasy” of being gay?!). Unless and until the churches can realize this beyond mere toleration and acceptance,  no matter what some may say and  how much they try to wash their hands of certain responsibilities, the bullying, the violence, the draconian laws and the intolerance which we see sweeping across parts of the world will continue unabated as will also a certain contempt in the West for a religious faith that can’t manage basic issues in any positive and charitable way. A profound revolution of consciousness and theology is required.

[For a lighter, satirical treatment of the gays and religion theme in especially the American context but with a meaningful gay theological conclusion, see my poem a Songs of Puritania on a Gay Theme at:]


Posted by on February 23, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Burpo    Akiane


It’s anticipated that more atheist-Christian culture wars will break out this Easter with the release of the film of Heaven is For Real. The film is based on the book of the alleged celestial experiences of the child Colton Burpo as recorded by his Wesleyan pastor father, Todd. Since however I believe there might be other issues to be writing about in April/May I shall get in ahead of a debate already partly begun. And with the film Son of God soon to be premiered (Feb 28th) I shall also cover regarding cinematic and other images of Christ: how fitting they are, who gets to play them and why – there are some rules here…

Atheists are displeased with what they think the Burpo film can do to beliefs and to children’s beliefs (a children’s version of the book now exists to persuade young minds). Many Christians are delighted at a new and perhaps today needed affirmation of a life beyond  - Heaven is for Real  has already proved a massive bestseller since publication in 2010. But I am going to suggest Christians shouldn’t be so delighted and recommending either book or film. The book offers some of the most misleading popular religious material since the novel The Shack (itself now due to become a film) misrepresented the Trinity which among other things the Burpo book does in another way.


These new misrepresentations are something perhaps especially conservative Christians stand to be sucked into because Colton’s statements contain just enough evangelical flavour (like creating a sudden flap about a deceased person needing to have had Jesus in his heart to get into heaven) to persuade them all the rest must be true, even if obviously it can’t be so.

Believers are supposed to love and pursue truth and there are disturbing aspects to the Burpo phenomenon. Christian critiques have already been written and I endorse some of them. But as author of  Where From, Why Us and Where To?:Visiting Tahiti and Life Itself  which includes about art, Gauguin and that artist’s various odd self-portraits as Christ ( I bring to the Burpo story a special objection. It’s one related to artistic portrayals of Christ because Colton has shown a clear preference in this area which I believe betrays the error of his claims. Dealing with this question is a pretext for me to present below some rather special illustrations helping to bring us closer to the right way of imagining and artistically imaging Jesus.


Colton (b. 1999) is now an adolescent, but when he was nearly four he suffered a burst appendix in the wake of a desperate run of bad health events affecting both father and son that landed them both in hospital clocking up huge bills and concomitant worries American style. (I belong to the world of what America despises as the Nanny states where health services are concerned!). Things went from bad to worse, and though there is no record Colton clinically died, for a few minutes while in hospital his life was endangered and he underwent an NDE. What happened during that time only emerged spontaneously months later starting one day when out driving with his father Colton let odd things slip like saying the angels had sung to him and he’d sat on Jesus’ lap. He later casually mentioned John the Baptist is a real nice guy.

Gradually his parents found they could piece together a whole story of events and revelations in the Beyond where Colton met his deceased great grandfather and learned things including how he had a sister in heaven due to his mother’s miscarriage – something it was virtually impossible he could know. (Some Christian critics have objected to Colton’s claiming to meet any souls in the Beyond on the basis believers “sleep” till the resurrection according to St Paul; but I think what is meant is that bodies sleep till the resurrection. Souls meanwhile live – Jesus tells the thief he will be with him in paradise not that he will just sleep in the ground. So that objection at least seems invalid).

Todd Burpo was finally convinced of the truth of his son’s story when Colton said he’d seen him in an adjoining hospital room railing against God and also when he childishly referred to Jesus as having red “markers” in his hands and feet. These turned out to mean nail prints.

It can be argued either way that what Colton claimed to experience owes more to a genuine OBE (Out of Body Experience) as when he saw the hospital room with the doctors below him and his father in the next room, or more to details he would naturally absorb as a pastor’s son like saying God was so big he had the world in his hands. (This sounds like memories of “He’s got the whole wide world in his hands” which Colton likely heard at home).There could be six of one and half a dozen of the other.

What’s certain is that whether father and son purvey an unconsciously invented tale or a genuine dream/revelation of something, either way there look to be errors from any strictly biblical standpoint - which is the one the family wants to represent and imagines it is doing.  Yet these same errors, to the extent the biblically literate but mesmerized father records them without suitable explanation or comment (he has been criticized for never consulting religious persons or groups for assessment of the information) are themselves witness to the fact something authentic is  being told. It’s genuine, even if it’s a true record of the sort of thing the bible would call “a lying vision” (Jer 14:13, Ez 13:7) permitted for our testing. And perhaps especially the testing of precisely conservative Christians. They regularly deceive themselves that they don’t read their bibles selectively. Some selective reading has to be going on to make Colton’s witness sound possible!


Here are some of the glaring errors.

  • Biblically the angel Gabriel (an archangel) declares to the priest Zacharias that he stands in God’s presence (Luk 1:19). Colton has it this angel sits on the other side of God from Jesus as though he were not a member of the order of archangels but of the Trinity itself. The Bible may or may not  intend us to understand literally its claim that Jesus is seated “at God’s right hand” (it could be an expression indicating the sharing of power, especially as Revelation has Jesus “in the midst” of the divine throne), but if Christ was thus seated it would have to be that on the other side would be the Holy Spirit.
  • Colton is somewhat taken up with the subject of  impending apocalypse – he even tells his father (in imagery that could owe something to reading or hearing C.S. Lewis’s Narnia fiction) he will be fighting the forces of evil with a sword (i.e. at the post Rapture end of the Tribulation period when Jesus returns to establish the Millennium on earth). However Colton sees Jesus’  horse, only ever biblically referred to in the context of apocalypse, as rainbow coloured. Revelation portrays the returned,  openly revealed apocalyptic Jesus as riding a white horse (Rev 19:11).
  • The Holy Spirit, though bibically sometimes seen as a dove or a fire, is not traditionally portrayed as a person, albeit Jesus’ personalising “he” suggests that theoretically he could be so portrayed despite many today favouring ideas that the Spirit as feminine. “He” would certainly seem more appropriate if the Spirit impregnates Mary. Anyway I have read at least one plausible description of the Spirit as a kind of almost “electrical” Jesus twin ( But Colton reduces the Spirit (rather as in Mormon theology) to pure substance which he sees as blue and which sends down energies from this blueness (itself surely the opposite of anything fire associated).
  • The Bible has it that “no one shall see God and live” (Ex 33:20). Biblically no one ever sees God the Father/Creator unless it’s his shadow representative, the Hebrew Bible’s “Angel of the Lord” that early Christians identified with the pre-incarnate Christ. Seeing God is a post-resurrection, Last Judgement possibility. The single exception is perhaps the author of Revelation seeing the God of Last Judgement - not directly but in prophetic vision only. One might still argue Colton could see God because (like Crystal McVey, author of Waking Up in Heaven who sort of saw the Trinity as blinding light) he died and was therefore free to behold God; but there’s no record Colton actually died. Moreover his description in a TV interview of the Creator as just a bigger Gabriel with golden hair and wings is problematic for a number of reasons. So despite Colton’s repeated insistence Jesus declares he loves children, there is no likelihood Colton would sit on a stool before the throne or on Jesus’ lap and talk to a Trinity manifested directly in front of him.
  • Colton affirms  everyone in heaven has wings except Jesus who just goes up and down like a lift when he wants to move. There is no support whether biblically or in other reported visions of the Christian heaven of a universally winged heavenly society; but the idea that the angels set Colton something like homework and sing to him belongs less with Christian notions of the afterlife than Spiritualist accounts of Summerlands where people are put in classes and set to learn things.

I won’t continue because it’s something concerning Jesus’ image which should interest us regardless of anyone’s precise view of the Burpo phenomenon. Having been shown numerous images of Jesus and asked which if any corresponded to the Jesus he knew, young Colton had no hesitation about one picture and one only: a portrait of Jesus called The Prince of Peace: Resurrection from the American child prodigy of painting, Akiane Kramarik (b.1994).

This “portrait” is based on Akiane’s reported encounters with Jesus (she repeatedly kept seeing his face in vision when she was four), whose features she felt were closely reflected in a seven foot local carpenter who reluctantly consented to sit for her. According to the July 2011 edition of Share International, the magazine of the Maitreya cult which awaits the manifestation of Maitreya/Christ (a theosophical figure  associated with the expected Muslim Mahdi and other figures of the world faiths all in one) this is a true portrait. Through his personal Master, cult leader Benjamin Creme confirmed Akiane has been visited by “The Master Jesus”, the companion of Christ/Maitreya. (“The Master Jesus” regularly manifests in various roles and guises to devotees round the world). This kind of recommendation should in itself send a few warning signals to uncritically enthusiastic Christians.


It cannot be said, even if one likes the portrait (and the Burpo phenomenon is making it popular), that it conveys any notable sense of peace. It shows rather nerviosity and tension while the association with resurrection is hard to understand because the resurrection body of Jesus is necessarily perfect, more obviously divine than the human historical Jesus. And this is no perfect image. People praise the searching compassionate eyes, but overall the figure is  human, all too human, almost untidy, needing a trim of both hair and the too bushy eyebrows. And Jesus’ eyes should be knowing, not merely searching, however generously.

Akiane was the born to atheist parents who converted to Christianity after their daughter started reporting strange heavenly visits from the age of four onwards. Akiane reports meeting Jesus and she is clearly a very spiritual person, but today her approach to Christianity seems cloudy. Members of Akiane’s family have been involved in various spiritual exercises and traditions including Buddhism and. Akiane herself nowadays maintains she belongs to no religion or denomination but just God. The claim makes little sense in that God is a Judaeo-Christian belief - some religions like Buddhism have no belief in any Creator God so that  a would-be universalism through God belief is not strictly possible. Akiane’s faith raises questions in the way they are perennially raised around the poetry and art of such as the extremely visionary William Blake under the influence of such as Swedenborgianism and Gnosticism.

If popular Christianity is going to be drawn, as I believe it shouldn’t be, towards Prince of Peace as the new classic Jesus image, it will need to take stock of the fact that also reported to be based on vision vouchsafed to someone more conventionally Christian, is the famous Warner Sallman Head of Christ which isn’t at all like

Colton’s favourite image.Sallman It is nonetheless true that the Akiane image is taking over in public estimation at a time when Americans are going off Sallman’s picture as being everything from too pretty and effeminate (though ironically Sallman and his admirers originally thought he was portraying a new “muscular Christianity” image!) to being too perfect or too “white” in the style of its recorder’s Swedish background. In the era of equality, popular opinion is shifting to the idea Jesus should be more ordinary and more obviously Semitic. Akiane’s image can speak to that. But if so, that opens to the possibility that what differing painters call “vision” of Jesus might be no more than clear-sighted awareness of cultural and archetypal shifts in the mind of the collective.

Proponents of the “ordinary” Jesus of Akiane’s rendering find support in the prophecy of the Messiah in Isaiah’s declaration which has it that there would be “nothing in his appearance that we should desire him” (Is 53:2), words immediately preceded by “he had no form or majesty that we should look at him”. The previous chapter of Isaiah even speaks of the suffering Servant as being “marred….beyond human semblance (Is 52:14), though this is traditionally understood to refer prophetically to the ruin of Jesus’ appearance through crucifixion. It is of course possible to take these negatives further as did the Gnostics and simply suggest Jesus was short and ugly if not deformed. On what do traditional notions of a beautiful, handsome or perfect Jesus rest beyond the expectation a divine figure should be somehow outstanding?

We know that Jesus could not have been the stunted, physically imperfect figure of the Gnostics or this would have run against requirements that priests, let alone the priestly figure of a Messiah, be without physical blemish. If we retain this thought and recall anything like Christian doctrines of original sin, Jesus the Second Adam free of sin, must be somehow physically perfect, hence he should be in some fashion desirable, as attractive let’s say as people imagine a first Adam to have been.

I think Isaiah’s “undesirable” figure is linked to what he means when writing within the context of an aniconic society he says: “he had no form or majesty that we should look at him: (Is 53: 2). Even if Jesus looked “perfect” as a specimen of humanity, if as Messiah he could not suggest to his Jewish contemporaries an all-conquering kingship, or if his face didn’t  shine like Moses descended from the Mount, then he could not be “desirable” to an Israel which expected a world political Deliverer. Rabbinic thought was diverse, but various strains of Jewish thought had come to expect two Messiahs, one ben Joseph, a suffering figure along the lines Isaiah represents, and a Messiah ben David, a political conquering one. They did not reckon any Messiah would combine the roles or, as Jesus did, envisage a  division of the dispensations for their realization, with his apocalyptic self fulfilling the conquering ben David.


While obviously I nor anyone can answer that precisely, I can give grounds both to dismiss the Akiane/Coltron image and supply a meaningful guide – almost an identikit mock up – for the curious, the devout and artists. I also think that in doing so I can explain why the Warner Sallman image, however imperfect and limited, has been powerful for many and even actually has some truth to it.

The same Isaiah that I have cited about the undesirable Messiah of marred feature also describes  God’s “Servant” as growing up before him “like a young plant, like a root out of dry ground”. Supposing we look first not for any regal or commanding beauty (which Jesus arguably dismisses when he prefers the lily of the valley to his ancestor Solomon in all his glory), but a plant-like and natural beauty with some connection to service and servants.

Given what I claim to  know and even prove (see December blog ) the chief quality of Jesus’ appearance would need to be referred to a combination of his sun sign of birth, Virgo  (itself traditionally denominated  a servant sign) and his rising sign at birth which is Gemini (the urbane, communicating sign). These are both signs mythically associated with and astrologically “ruled” by Mercury, the go-between god and Jesus is the mediator – the theosophist Mme Blavatsky simply observed “Jesus is Mercury”. I won’t get technical and consider all rules and exceptions, but sufficient to say that features of the sun sign, unless the person was born around dawn which Jesus wasn’t, stand to be  modified by qualities of the sign rising over the horizon at birth and sometimes to the extent the person may be thought to belong to that sign rather than their sun sign.  PaulWalker)Walker2

We have assumed that Jesus was ideal of his kind. Here are two pictures of a good looking Virgo male (birth time unknown), the late screen actor Paul Walker, a model since youth.

The appearance is somehow neat, the features in the usual Virgoan way are not particularly large, the charm is rural, plant-like (Virgo is an earth sign!) and we remember Jesus even says things like he is the vine and his father is the gardener. The appearance here is attractive without being dramatic, super-erotic or regally imposing. It’s  just agreeable, in some respects this is just the ideal of a healthy, good looking country boy. The similarity to at least one portrait of Christ, artist Richard Hook’s, is fairly apparent. Hook

Next we have  the picture of an adolescent Virgo male, a Monaco prince, Pierre Casiraghi (b.1987). This image

Pierre Casiraghi  Ephebe

is almost the complete text book epitome of Virgo. Again a sort of plant-like, understated, modest charm, elegant but not flamboyantly aristocratic with it. There is an almost hesitant expression in line with the  Virgoan will to  stand back, observe and analyse everything rather than to impose the self, yet not unwilling to assist in harmony with the service theme of the sign. The eyes are intelligent and gentle. This might do for an attractive adolescent Jesus absorbing everything and “increasing in favour” with God and man ( Luk 2:53 ) but  not looking ready to conquer the world…This type may, as in the accompanying image and a bit older, assume something of classic art’s ephebe look, but even the ephebe was supposed to be if not the servant, the learner.

It may be immediately protested, why use as any kind of example  a person with fairish hair and blue eyes? Answer: because it’s quite possible it suits. We know Jesus’ ancestor David was fair and the Davidic line is known to this day for a genetic tendency to fair hair and blue eyes. For that matter, to Israel’s north in Syria one finds people of almost more European, i.e.Latin, than Arabic/Semitic appearance.  The objection to Sallman’s “too white” Jesus, though  understandable, could be exaggerated in terms of the historic reality. It was nonetheless held against Jeffrey Hunter’s Christ in King of Kings precisely that his eyes were blue. (Hunter was not born under Virgo, I mention regarding him later)



We can turn next to two pictures of Pierre’s brother Andrea (b.1984) who is a good example of a type of Gemini male.   Gemini, like all the air signs somewhat, is the epitome of things human – it’s the sign of democracy, not royalty – of the social, even the worldly though I find significance in the Jesus of the “two natures” having  Gemini the twins and division sign rising. As with  the other Mercurial sign Virgo and as in this instance, there is often something androgynous or ambiguous. But the expression  is thoughtful and more set with it than Virgo. Geminis cheerfully argue for their ideas where Virgo is more prone to withdraw; so the Geminian look is more determined,  the face overseen by a full almost domed forehead frequently found in the sign and like a symbol of the sign’s connection to things intellectual and cerebral. A prominent forehead is found in the self portrait of the Gemini artist Dürer – in fact a portrait of the artist as Christ. The face is longer than would be typical for Virgo.

. Durer

Again I don’t think, and I’m sure Dürer didn’t think, he looked exactly like Jesus, but I believe he worked from an intuition of some similarity and that we are given a further clue by it. I have pointed out (, and as further proof that I have the true data for Christ, that people who write about Jesus must have natal patterns closely linked to his and the same applies to artists keen to do portraits. In my mentioned Tahiti book I point out how features of Dürer’s chart and their very exact relation to Jesus’  pattern would draw him to make the kind of close identification he did and likewise certain patterns show why the Gemini Gauguin would be drawn in a much more perverse way to Christ portraiture.

One Gemini actor who corresponds to widespread popular images of Jesus is Robert Powell (b. 1. 6. 1944) and see the images below. Ordinarily Powell doesn’t look Christ-like at all. He was even originally chosen to act Judas in the Zeffirelli Jesus of  Nazareth film! But given long hair and the right costumes he was somehow able to enter the image. Astrology alone can make sense of it. Powell was born with Uranus and Sun conjunct on 9 and 10 degrees respectively of the Gemini that affects Jesus’ appearance. In other words especially Powell’s surprising Uranus at 9.1 was conjunct Jesus’ 8.50 degrees of Gemini rising thus marking the sheer surprise of how the person is suddenly made to appear like Jesus. And then too the actor’s Jupiter (Jupiter is crucial for actors) at 20 Leo conjuncts Jesus’ Nadir angle. It’s an important contact on an axis with Jesus’ 20 Aquarius destiny/reputation Midheaven. Jeffrey Hunter whom many regarded as a matinee idol Jesus but still appreciated (except for the blue eyes!) for his role in King of Kings was a Sagittarian (b. 25.11.1926) but with his Jupiter connectively on Jesus’ 20 Aquarius Midheaven.

Compare this with the way James Caviezel (b.26.9.1968) who made a quite effective Jesus in The Passion of the Christ  – also see below - has his own Jupiter degree exact Jesus’ sun in Virgo – there must be such contacts for strong involvement and major effects. Then more recently in Son of God, Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado (b. 17.1.1981) – also image below – has his Jupiter fortunately trine Jesus’ appearance-defining ascendant while his transformative and God-associated Pluto is conjunct Jesus’ natal Isa (if he was born in 1981, I find both 1980 and 1980 given as birth dates. If he was born in 1980 then his Jupiter conjuncts the God associated Pluto of the Christ’s birth, a “Son of God” connection for acting if not for features). And in connection with Isa I note how Powell’s Saturn near to conjunction with Jesus’ natal Isa (Jesus) reflects how uncomfortable the actor was and remains about ever assuming the role.




When we come to the Cancerian Akiane we find no such close chart contacts. She has nothing natally in Virgo and her own late Gemini ascendant is not near to contacting Jesus’ earlier Gemini ascendant. Anything absent in a chart can suffer over-compensations at some point and it looks like her Prince of Peace Jesus is a sort of strained, exaggerated vision of something Virgo – to be frank, negatively so; it looks like Virgo become nervy on a bad hair or poor health day! Though Jesus the healer may be assumed to have been healthy, the sign generally inclines to many ailments and down days.  Here is an older Pierre on what looks a Virgoan off day if not flu day! Badday

In fact it is interesting in view of the “mutable” categorization which attaches to the Mercurial signs of Virgo and Gemini, just how varied and unlike themselves both Pierre and Andrea can manage to appear across a whole range of shots. Is something of the historic difficulty artists have had in capturing Jesus linked to the fact that at the best of times his Mercurial image would always have been hard to capture? Even the disciples on more than one occasion fail to recognize him. And perhaps he always will be elusive in this way.

One afterlife experience I find more convincing than Colton’s (Dean Braxton’s In Heaven) describes meeting a sublime Jesus from whose form colours constantly radiate and whose visage is always slightly changing as you look at it – a total, cosmic mutability?!) But let’s return to the Sallman picture. Though I can understand the criticism of it, I also recognize this. I think the unparalleled popular response it has obtained right from first publication (until Coltron’s and Akiane’s intervention has caused a re-think), is simply this. Jesus really was born under Virgo and when Gemini rose. And together these two signs went to make up what Jesus looked like. Sallman’s face has caught the something of Gemini it necessarily had, the well cut features, the sharp outline (even if the lips seem too ungenerously thin in this rendering), the longer face and full forehead, at the same time as especially the expression captures a certain underlying, Virgoan mildness and modesty in the ‘servant” Messiah as this was directed towards God. Jesus’ character was most essentially Virgoan; his outer appearance, though it too inevitably had something of Virgo, had as much and more of Gemini, not least in its extreme changefulness.

AndreaB  Christportrait

As just another of Andrea’s Geminian many styles and images and its odd link to the less well known and successful Sallman, Portrait of Christ, consider these two images.

There’s no lie so strong as a half truth and I fear that is what the Burpo phenomenon presents us with. I accept that father and son give every indication of being sincere.  The account is likely true, but it’s the experience of a deception. How and why is hard to determine and one obviously hesitates to propose that there is something demonic here; yet as only one indication there might just be so, Colton goes silent and gets fearful when Satan (whom he claims to have seen) is mentioned. If Colton had really been in the presence of the Trinity he would necessarily be bolder and unafraid of Satan and the forces of evil.

Obviously Colton’s story could be a fantasy born of a father’s eager embroidery upon or sincere misunderstanding of a child’s piecemeal report. But it could be something more spiritual. Colton is nearly four when he goes to heaven, and it’s at four that Akiane, (whose heavenly scenes Todd Burpo says are very similar to Colton’s), started seeing other worlds. If one accepts at all that spiritual realms exist, then one must allow their inhabitants a capacity for deception (the devil is even called “father of lies”). Of those who report NDEs which include hell, one can even read – it’s like the myth of Tantalus – of corners of the inferno where a soul witnesses radiant visions tempting them with oases only to disappoint them. Some even report a Jesus-like figure in hell who it seems might be St Paul’s devil as an angel of light. Anything seems possible.

I have written elsewhere concerning people who write and talk about Jesus and why (  The evidence does not  differ here. The  same kind of exact aspects and tie-ins we might expect are present and I shall make brief summary of main points. Colton was born on 19th May 1999 in Imperial, Nebraska USA, birth time unknown. Though one might allow one or two, these features, at least cumulatively, are eloquent for misrepresentation or distortion however unintended.

    • Sun 28 Taurus square asteroid Isa (Jesus) at 27 Leo
    • Saturn the devil planet, strong on a critical degree at 9 Taurus conjunct Lucifer at 10 Taurus (reflecting Colton’s mentioned fear of the devil)
    • Asteroid Lie at 16 Gemini (sign of reading and writing) exact easy trine to Uranus (symbol of the Spirit in any religious context) strong in its own sign of Aquarius (i.e. it is easy to distort regarding the Spirit). (And 16 Aquarius is the solar degree of the Antichrist if the seeress Jeane Dixon happened to be right about his  birthdate).
    • Mars at 27 Libra conjuncts Isa (Jesus) and the super-conjunction of Jesus’ names and titles at Jesus’ birth which I am dogmatic can now be verifiably known (see This is a potentially hostile position – I recall Mars was here when Pakistan resolved to list the Jesus name with forbidden names and words for text messages.In some cases it can however make for aggressive advocacy, and in some respects Colton is into that via his family – the organization promoting Colton’s vision bears the only-in-America name of Shout It.
    • Mercury at 19+ Taurus in stress square to Jesus’ 20 degree Aquarius Midheaven. This is not helpful to right description of Jesus and I have found critics of Jesus frequently having this square to this point.
    • Natal Neptune at 4 Aquarius is square (affliction aspect) to Jesus’s natal 3 Scorpio Neptune. Afflicted Neptune inclines to confusion, which would agree with not seeing Jesus clearly, especially as for  many astrologers Neptune is the Jesus symbol. Significantly too…….Akiane’s Neptune is at 4 Scorpio which could be thought a really strong contact to Jesus’ pattern the artist otherwise lacks, but the fact her Neptune is degree exact opposite Black Moon Lilith, exquisitely fits her half darkened image of Jesus and  its ultimately misleading nature.

. (BML is a point taken very seriously by continental astrologers for its negative indications and I was not surprised to find it prominent at Jesus’ crucifixion).

I have no idea what purpose a possible spiritual deception Burpo style could serve and mean, but I do feel if it persuades people towards odd notions of the Trinity and New Age images of Jesus like Akiane’s where the half concealed face of Jesus is like the half truth of what’s being attested to, it cannot have been helpful.

[ Issues around the birth and astrology of Christ are explored in detail in my Testament of the Magi: Mysteries of the Birth and Life of Christ at ]


Posted by on February 8, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Hadrian   Hospital

[I am issuing this poem on the Emperor Hadrian's birthday, b.Jan 24th, 76 AD. The above picture is of the Royal Melbourne Hospital which due to an emergency stay there over a decade ago contributes something to my thoughts. Hadrian reflected in verse upon his death on his deathbed, adding some rhyme to the unrhymed traditions of Latin verse]


Carbolic freshness has the strength of spring
The polished gleam recalls returning light
But nothing’s vernal here. The senses
Shrink upon this path and seek escape
Before the implicit sentence of the wards.

Past swing doors, corridors and the beds
In public row and private room where lie
The many of expectant or exhausted face
The cheer of callers from the outside world
Sounds hollowly against these plain white walls,
And much is forced. There’s more relief on
Floors below where birth lets life partake
Of festival, or else a limb repaired
Or growth excised provides excuse for
Convalescent holiday. It’s then that
Propped on pillows patients reign
As monarch for a day, brief object of
The kind concern and offerings of friends
Who sense a permitted respite on
The one way street this place adjoins.
The laughter and the chat of visitors
The bustle of the passing staff
Does not exclude, it may increase, what
As regards the floors above, at intervals
Haunts consciousness: the silence of extended
Sleep, the menace of approaching ends
Disguised, resisted, little named.

If fate’s decree is not for murder
Battlefield or quake, it’s here that death
Now chemical and sanitized  holds court.
Here life declines attached to drips and heart
Machines beside bare walls and screens
With scarce one image or a word
Of anything that went before or is beyond
(Unless by signed agreement that
The counsellor or priest may come).
The open, democratic world prefers
World partings left unspiritual, no
Mention of a final moment near
Life clung to by the fingernails seems best.
And thus in intervals of consciousness
Eyes fixed securely on her TV screen
The croaking nonagenarian gasps
And seeks assurance it is true
That Collingwood has won the cup.
Such knowledge feels more crucial than
The time that soul must sever from
The earthly form and glimpse, bewildered,
The vacated room, this space which
Careless of all love and hate, holds
Summary of what’s been lost and won
That’s striven and been struggled for
Along the highway of a human life.
The room remains indifferently but
Totally itself as does the street below
The pedestrians, the racing traffic
Culture, Science, centuries, the history
Of precisely what if just one exit
Towards but shadows of pure void could
Negate each breath of being and of sense?

And so…”Where goes my little wandering soul?”
The fading, failing emperor asks
“It was my body’s guest and friend.
To what sites dark and harsh and bare
Without my usual jokes might be my way?”

Imperial privilege itself stood nothing proof
Against cold winds of Hades and its shades,
Once deemed the universal fate unless great
Merit raised above the stars. There
Hadrian posted Antinous without a thought
That he himself might join him there.
It’s Hades dark, oh soul, is where your
Most affinity still lies, it draws you there.
What journey did you think to make  –
To endless sleep or else eternal bliss
For which you lived all unprepared,
Tuning no instrument at the door?

From off your bed of sickness soul
Ascends like incense up and to the rite,
That judges self and all its covenants.
What way was yours, what truth, what life?
There’s no existence that’s not God.
Hence what’s the need to fear decease except?..
Don’t leave without the destination
Known already and possessed within.


Posted by on January 24, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Posted by on January 1, 2014 in Uncategorized


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THE MAGI AT ERA’S END: A POEM  (followed by a feature indicating how its information is true and still works vividly today)

Tzedek, great lord of liberty and righteousness
With Shabtai symbol of the Sabbath rest
Serene across the desert plains you once rose
Not as prodigy yet bearer of high mysteries, [1]
Even limitless, with secrets to unsettle kings
And mark beginnings of an age
Now entered on its anguished end.

Magi who fled into the night, of all
You witnessed and declared you left no trace
Except what was enshrined in precious gifts.
Gold was a royal sun and bright divinity,
Myrrh was your Shabtai, Saturn of burial,
Endings and the God of Law, while Frankincense
Was Jupiter for the priestly chosen one. [2]

Inside degrees stargazers of the Gentile
Lands attributed to Israel, two stars
Conjoined as sign the One of Ancient Days
Had sent and blessed the filial messenger.
Together these blended as one light
Themselves in opposition to a set,
Long hidden sun of night within the
Maiden sign of dedication [3] This was
The centre of a horoscope, this was
The vital core of what you knew,
A life of  kingship, service, prophecy
But then of conflict too with persons
Of authority and faith all promising
One cruel end – judicial execution. [4]

Yet even you who wondered, sought and
Who adored, even you with whom an era
Was begun could not see all, were not disclosed
The further secrets time unfolds. No tables
And no instruments of yours could tell
The same night of nativity inscribed
The names and titles in the skies, would
Place the forebears in their proper house, [5]
Would as one pattern signify and far beyond
The time of death, would work throughout an age’s
Span, so much there is no question you were right.
Those mysteries you first divined for which you
Left far Persian homes are something we may
Certify; yours was the truth we can enlarge.

Between long centuries if much has changed
Among those things which stay the same, include
There lacks the room within the inn for either whom
You came to find or else the wisdom you reveal.
Most wish to know the authentic Christ, or if
The messiah lived and died. For some it’s
Curiosity, for others it’s their means
Of gain; even so, contempt, indifference
Or hate is all there is to greet suggestion
That they trace your way resolving most
They want to know. “It would not fit our list”
The godless publisher opines, the same who’ll milk
Religion for the Magdalene. “I don’t do myth” another
Says (who deals in lies). Of enemies the worst
And almost furthest from the truth, the followers
Of Christ know best: there is nor can be fate
Or astral truth, it’s devil’s work, forbidden
Divination, no magi were astrologers -
Even though Talmudists and the Essenes
Were, as they aggressively ignore.

And thus for arrogance religion joins
The scientist who quite denies the heavens
Speak knowledge as the Psalm would say. [6]
So now the ship of fools sails on faced to
Those storms – expression of an age’s end
Unrecognized –  confused around the ways of God
Through scriptures of the Hebrew and the Greek
Which seem to clash and cancel each their vision out
Because how God’s face and the symbols change
With eras’ turn, believers neither see
Nor do they even wish to know. [7]

Not even the apostle gladly suffered fools.
O cross beneath the Southern Cross to endure
The leaders, blind, who block and hinder
On the path, to realize near to cycle’s end
There’s scarcely more of wisdom now than
Greeted Magi at the first! What light
May hope to penetrate the obscuring mists,
The enveloping gloom? It may be none.
What can be justified and known awaits
The next, the coming time whose lightning
Sign divides the sky. Let this awake
The dead and open eyes, the mystery
No more a Bethlehem child, more like
A midnight bridegroom’s wild surprise.[3]


[1] Acronychal risings as of Jupiter (rising opposite the sun’s setting) were not miraculous or prodigies like shooting stars, but they were deemed significant, watched for in ancient political astrology and associated with special births. “We have seen his star in the East” should read “we have observed the ascension of his star”, his star being the messianic Jupiter.
[2] Frankincense was the incense of the Temple and had priestly associations. Jesus will be imaged among other things as a high priest [Heb 8:1]  though Jupiter depending also enjoyed royal (princely) associations and in Jesus priestly and princely images merge.
[3] Ancient astrology inclined to more literalistic, fatalistic readings than would apply today. Especially for a presumed ruler, Sun opposite Saturn in a heavy sign for it like Pisces could be seen as a tragic end or execution (perhaps through religious forces given the Jupiter contact) rather than just a  difficult life. Sun opposite Saturn plus potential conjunction conflict with Jupiter corresponds to suffering and the burial incense myrrh in a way theories of “biblical astronomy” don’t with their Jupiter/Venus patterns more akin to lives of the rich and famous (or even lucky devils) than Messiahs!
[4] i.e. this was a night birth with sun in Virgo. The new era was Pisces or rather the Pisces-Virgo era. It is the sign opposite Pisces defines the collective ideal and under Virgo Jesus will represent that to Pisces.
[5] i.e. then unseen, unnamed factors like asteroids have filled in the gaps.
[6] Ps 19:2. The claim that every night the skies are giving knowledge would only be true if as in the astrology Christians deny, heavenly signs were continuous and not exceptional
[7] Confusion over the such differences in imagery and values as the God of the OT being “Lord God of Armies” and N.T. “Prince of Peace” are more explicable in terms of era change, -the militaristic associations of Aries and the more forgiving ones of Pisces, the fires of Aries and the seas of Pisces etc. Christians avoid these obvious facts of traditional astrology while some pursue the often arbitrary and confused “biblical astronomy”.
[8] In one of the apocalyptic parables Christ is the unexpected midnight bridegroom (Matt 25:5). Shocks and lightning are of Aquarius.


[The following is one of many pieces, but an important one, in the puzzle offering unexpected evidence for the above claims from an unexpected quarter.......The much disputed James Ossuary Box, claimed to be the only artefact that can be associated with Jesus' family, after having been declared free of forgery charges last year is now the centre of a criminal investigation. It is so because IAA investigators and Israeli police have controversially applied a silicon substance they might have known could harm the chances of ever perfectly certifying further issues around the age and authenticity of the box's vital inscription. My article from last year for a now abandoned site is re-issued, slightly altered here in light of journalist Matthew Kalman's Nov 10th Blog feature at which raises the question: can we now ever hope to know the truth? Sadly it looks like we can't.....unless via the contested route I describe here which offers its own proof, many agreements and coincidences can one have and then just ignore them? I put the point to Kalman, a Guardian and Jerusalem Report journalist who has not acknowledged or replied]


Over a decade ago in early ‘02 when asked to suggest a good time to launch a Jesus related book of mine in New Zealand, I proposed (what proved impossible to fulfil) the weekend of 19/20 October. I believed Jesus might well be in the news around then, though I wasn’t sure quite how he would be so.

On the 21st Oct news from Israel was announced of a potentially momentous discovery of maybe the world’s only Jesus related artefact. This was an ossuary box inscribed as belonging to James, “the son of Joseph and brother of Jesus”. James died (martyred) in 62 and Israel only produced ossuary boxes between 20 BC and the 70 AD fall of Jerusalem. The three names were common at the time, but the relationship between them in one inscription was obviously suggestive. The limestone is from the right period, but since ‘02 there has been inevitable controversy over whether the inscription could be genuine. The box’s owner Oded Golan was accused of forgery, but after a frustrating decade of legal proceedings was judged innocent of the charges as of 14.3.12.

I suspected Jesus would be in the news in late October ‘02 because in a radical extension of respected researches of astronomers Ferrari D’Occhieppo and David Hughes I claim to know and prove exactly when Christ was born as per my Testament of the Magi (2009). Before saying more on that scepticism and dismissal-inviting and mostly just ignored claim I shall mention the following. In the heavens at the time of the ’02 announcement, what is called the fated nodal axis lay across 10 Gemini/Sagittarius. A decade later on March 14th ’12 with the ossuary (whether related to Jesus’ family or not), declared no forgery, that same axis stood at its almost perfect exact reversal at 9 Sagittarius/Gemini.


This coincidence might seem to be no more than that except for another rather crucial one. In my data for Christ’s birth (which I happened to discover on March 14th twenty five years ago) the asteroid JAMES falls at 9 Gemini (itself sign of any twins or brothers) and conjuncts besides astrology’s Part of Brothers on the same degree. JAMES in turn is very close to Jesus’ so called ascendant angle (the degree on the horizon when Christ was born). Since angles are affected by major events concerning a person during and even beyond their earthly lives, given factors like the nodes conjuncting this angle and then Neptune (for many modern astrologers the Christ planet) fortunately trine it in late Oct ’02, plus these factors following an eclipse which that year had positively trined Jesus’ destiny/reputation Midheaven angle to within minutes of a degree of accuracy, I could guess Jesus would be in the news in some notable way. (The chart can claim extreme accuracy. As early as 1988 the late Gwen Stoney, an Australian specializing in little used German timing techniques was satisfied the  birth time fell with 30 seconds of accuracy for a painful death for the given date and time of crucifixion in AD 30).

But I had not taken into account something in effect unknowable but relevant. If, as I obviously wasn’t expecting in the twenty first century, anything material such as any artefact could belatedly be linked to Jesus and his family, then that should relate to the most bodily/physically associated sector of his birth chart, namely the ascendant angle. So… if there were any artefact found, factors affecting this ascendant and with links to James and brothers, could well bring out something to do with them too.


Actually, for many people discovery of the ossuary box brings out something else: a major question around the mother. The Catholic church is sceptical of and opposed to the ossuary not least because Mary is deemed “ever virgin”. Arguments for ossuary authenticity could help undermine belief in perpetual virginity if James could be certified as Joseph’s son by Mary rather than only a cousin or perhaps half brother by some previous marriage of Joseph as per traditions since especially St Jerome.

It happens that the reason that originally I had myself entertained a few doubts the find was genuine was because with Neptune the mystery planet highlighting Jesus’ ascendant there could just be confusion and delusion. However…. Neptune is liable to herald confusion as opposed to illumination when what astrologers call “affliction” (bad aspect) is involved. Neptune in ‘02 was not afflicting the ascendant in that way suggesting deceit. It was if anything registering fortunate shock towards the materially relevant ascendant angle from the surprises sign Aquarius. Moreover, as said, astrologers today regard Neptune, if and when working positively in this way, as the Christ planet itself in religious contexts. So if the Christ planet fortunately trines the ascendant….the artefact would be authentic and could relate to Jesus?

But what might acceptance of the ossuary do to the rather crucial question of the mother and family relationships? We can well ask because the birth pattern shows Jesus’ mother as very much involved with James too.

In astrology the moon is universally the mother symbol. The moon at Christ’s birth fell at 8 Gemini where it conjuncts the Part of Children at 9 Gemini. So James at 9 Gemini ought to be Mary’s child at the same time as being Jesus’ brother. Which means the Virgin wasn’t a virgin? The celestial answer would seem to be….at any rate not perpetually so!

The heavens seem determined only to affirm what the first believers held, namely that Mary was a virgin when she bore Jesus. All said and done, and against every statistical probability, we find Jesus’ maternal moon was conjuncted either side by the only two virgin asteroids in the heavens in any language, namely JUNGFRUN and BETULAH (God’s virgin). And this Gemini moon was not in any fixed sign that would better signal anything as permanent as “perpetual” within the temporal and material realm. The moon was nonetheless challengingly opposed by a conjunction of AETERNITAS (Eternity) and GABOR (The Hebrew word for the strength of God) with the Part of the Father, with its obvious affinity for “the Power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Luk 1:35).

But recall that belief in Mary’s perpetual virginity is first suggested by the probably late second century Protoevangelion of James which an early church father Origen mentions as containing this belief he considered dubious. The gospel is pseudepigraphical, i.e. not authored by the apostle, but still the name and identity of James would now be forever indissociable from mysteries of Mary. So the skies reflect the connection even while they challenge the derivative belief.


I doubt these and other coincidences would hang together if the discovery of the ossuary was not somehow significant as the sole artefact linked to Jesus’ name we may possess and are likely now ever to possess. Why else would Christ’s birth data which register to this day for such as Dan Brown and the onslaughts of sceptics as they affect the reputation and understanding of Christ, be registering the case of the James ossuary so closely?

I have a further consideration. In astrology Jupiter is deemed the register of truth in any question. It is also central to the line of inquiry I have long pursued that Jupiter was “his star”, the Star of Bethlehem itself. 9 degrees Taurus is traditionally a critical degree meaning it’s strong and carries special significance. I therefore ask myself why Jupiter, “his star” and register of truth in astrology for any legal affairs, would be on this same critical 9 degrees when judgement gets passed that the ossuary is not a fake? For Jesus’ birth 9 Taurus is significant as a site of recognition. It is his degree of the asteroids ANNA and SPIRIT and even the Part of Spirit – Anna the prophetess in the Temple is said to recognize the child as the Messiah by the Spirit.

It must be conceded in all this that astrologers would raise questions about any supposedly final decision on anything made as the court’s decision was with Mercury in its apparent retrograde motion. By tradition a declaration under that influence could only be subject to revision. But no doubt the argument will go on! We may reasonably suspect in this instance that this Mercury signifies as much and more a call to a more general revision of people’s opinions, everything from the nature of Jesus’ family to the truth of celestial signs in relation to Jesus and life at large.

I am once again compelled to affirm the data for Christ’s birth have been found beyond all reasonable doubt if everyone from secularists to fundamentalists could somehow overcome their various prejudices sufficiently to look at the evidence which always works and rings true down to minor details. (The leading theologian to have argued for and  written on the veracity of the find has never replied to me. For theologians as for scientists astrologers don’t or shouldn’t exist even if they’re doctors of religious studies!). It’s astro-archaeology not archaeology, but significant in its way and more revelatory and wide-ranging than any archaeology for Christ if fragments for such could ever be found. For those who would insist against the surprising claims of the above that Jesus’ brother was anyway really Jacob rather than James, a JACOB asteroid also exists….it’s found at his birth in Jesus’ house of origins and in the same sign, but suitably not conjunct, his disfavoured alienated wife Leah (asteroid LIIA), along with names of his ancestors, rather than his brothers.

In other words the skies are precise, and as one of Jesus’ forebears insisted, they “utter knowledge” (Ps 19). They do so even though as the Church Times would tell us (as they told me in refusing a feature years ago on the subject of Jesus’ natus ), “we know all there is to know about Jesus, we don’t need to know about the Magi”, or as the Archbishop of Canterbury would propose for Christmas 07, the Magi were probably just myth anyway.

Further details emerging:


Back in ’82 the news regarding the James Ossuary was released through – and all the main debates engaged about it have centred in – Toronto. It was also the site of the emergency problem that nearly cancelled the unique public display of the box when it was discovered that transportation had produced unexpected cracks. Where is asteroid TORONTO in Jesus’ birth?

James 9.27 Gemini
Toronto 9.25 Pisces in 10th house of destiny/reputation…..

in other words, Toronto is almost to the minute of a degree in astrology’s classic square affliction aspect of 90 degrees to indicate difficulty, problems, arguments and linked to Jesus’ own reputation and identity too in some way.


I was surprised and wondered if it meant anything that declaration against fakery occurred on March 14th. . It was the same day that a quarter of a century earlier I believed I had discovered the birth data for Jesus. Just coincidence? Maybe, but for both dates it highlights sun at 23 degrees Pisces which had always struck me as an odd degree for the discovery. But what does it mark in Jesus’ birth? It is the position of asteroid POOR on an axis (i.e. directly opposite) QUMRAN. The Essenes were alternatively often referred to as “the poor”.

23 Pisces/Virgo has to be the Essene axis of Jesus’ natus. Scholars have often suspected connections of Jesus and/or James with the Essenes – the scholar Eisenman in a massive tome on James, to the eccentric extreme most of us disagree with, and his interventions at Toronto demanding to be heard for his theories weren’t well received. But it was nonetheless the Essenes who searched for the Messiah in the stars. In effect, my discoveries are bringing back the Essenes and an aspect of their teachings which Christianity has rejected and overlooked. Which means that under the rules my own personal astrology should be connected to James and or the Essenes? I hadn’t bothered to look before today.


In my own natus I found that James stood at 28.21 Libra. On the 14th March when the decision from Jerusalem sent me off into a flurry of messages, Saturn (anything to do with career, reputation and long term aims), was on 28.26 Libra, i.e minutes off exact. When I posted a version of this blog on Friday morning it was exact. But where is QUMRAN? It’s natally conjunct my JAMES asteroid at 27.07 Libra. Which means it is in positive trine aspect to my natal Uranus this being the planet of any astrology and astrologers. Essentially one could say I am bringing back some Essenean astrology or astrologizing theology and James is a, or one, of the triggers for this……Necessarily so…. I now see that even at the time I discovered Jesus’ data back in ‘87, James was fortunately trining a world point Midheaven angle making him, as I hadn’t realized till now, vital to the picture. The terrestrial artefact that solely testifies to Jesus is complemented by the more extensive celestial information regarding him.



Posted by on December 6, 2013 in Uncategorized


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