CONFIRMING THE LOSS OF SHAKESPEARE’S SKULL
Unlike a lot that swirls around the Bard, the latest Shakespeare news is true and I can confirm the theory of a Shakespeare skull theft including that a certain Frank Chambers did offer bounty to grave robbers in 1794 to do the deed.
A programme broadcast in UK on Channel 4 on 26th March (but only recently played here on Australia’s SBS), prompted me to check out the mystery and I find it all astonishingly fits. Radar has discovered disturbance near the head area of the remains of Shakespeare and at a level of three feet, the depth reported in a long dismissed seemingly gothic tale in Argosy magazine of 1879 concerning a tomb raid on the head.
I have long claimed that the Stratford Shakespeare was the true Shakespeare and that I had the true working birth chart of the Bard (11.20 am on April 23rd 1564 with 19 degrees of theatrical Leo rising). I did so long before using techniques of the new astrology that embraces such as name asteroids. These bespeak an intelligent universe for the accuracy of data they provide and which in this case includes the name Chambers.
But let’s start conventionally with planets and houses. It was one of several signs that originally assured me I was on the right track of the birth that Uranus of the odd, eccentric and surprising would be in religions sign Sagittarius in the fourth house of the last resting place. This looked to cover the notorious oddness of the blessing and curse Shakespeare placed on his grave with regard to the moving of his bones. I didn’t bother to go into the matter more than that. However….
The sign on the 4th house cusp of the grave place is not Sagittarius but Scorpio of the mysteries. Scorpio’s ruler is Pluto and it falls in the Bard’s eighth house – the death and secrets sector ( an eclipse had fallen in that sector conjunct its Pluto prior to the March broadcast, a promise of secrets to be unlocked). In that sector Pluto is in Pisces whose own ruler is Neptune…..a Neptune which for Shakespeare is degree exact opposite that eccentric grave-indicating Uranus in Sagittarius. And Neptune rules any disappearances. So would something disappear from that grave? Obviously with Scorpio, Pluto and the eighth involved the matter would be well shrouded in the very thick of mystery, but the chances for theft and disappearance would be distinctly increased.
SHAKESPEARE DATA FROM THE INTELLIGENT UNIVERSE
When dealing with asteroids you have to assume the universe is intelligent and that at some level all languages are one and that God is not an Englishman. There is no asteroid for head but there is one for Kopf or Kopff (German for head). Kopf is at 17 Virgo in the Bard’s house of money and possessions The long dismissed story about Chambers is that through the encouragement of bounty he was able to encourage grave robbers to enter the grave in Stratford’s Holy Trinity church and himself later tried to sell the head for the equivalent of 300 pounds though it seems there were problems and an attempt to return the head. Whatever, Kopf in the possessions sector and opposite the natal Pluto at 15 helps with cover-up if not with finances.
That Chambers is the natural culprit is shown by the way that at almost 3 degrees of Cancer his name is making easy fortunate trine to Shakespeare’s grave place cusp which is at 3 of Scorpio. Chambers can get away with it. The sheer improbability of the precise connection I turn up has to be relevant. Chambers himself does not conjunct a truth asteroid, he was obviously a cheat, but he does aspect one – the truth about him can be known.
The theft occurred in 1794. Suitably this was the year that slow Neptune which rules any disappearances was transiting in the early degrees of Scorpio which means affecting the sensitive 3 degree cusp of the grave place. There is no need to imagine the skull was detached at the time of burial as some would have it, the grave was disturbed in 1794.
A BROADCAST WELL TIMED FOR THE TRUTH
The timing of the broadcast on the new discoveries (26th March this year at 8 pm in London) in itself points to something of real significance being finally revealed.
The timer of events, the moon, at 12 degrees of Scorpio (i.e. passing within the chart’s grave zone) was challengingly opposite the bard’s sun at 12 Taurus. Viewers are faced with secrets and mysteries about him and death.
Highlighting the subject, transiting Mars was exact to the degree on Shakespeare’s odd Uranus in Sagittarius that defines his burial place and which had been acted upon (Mars) probed, half entered if only by radar.
Transiting Jupiter….the register of truth in any issue….was at 16 Virgo conjunct Kopff and thus opposite the natal Pluto in the death house, while opener of secrets Pluto was itself at 17 Capricorn perfectly trine the 17 degree natal Kopff. Don’t doubt the truth was given.
In stress square aspect to Jupiter but in perfect trine to Shakespeare’s Mercury (itself in Aries, sign of the head) Saturn was in Sagittarius at 16 degrees. This has implications for the solving of a long-term (Saturnian) mystery but probably also that the trail and the truth of the matter cannot proceed much further than this. Saturn so often ends things and though we can always hope, I suspect we won’t get beyond Chambers to what happened next and where. Or not for another long time.
The desideratum in this case would now be an asteroid aspecting Kopf and with the name of a town or region. I can at least affirm that won’t be London. It falls in Shakespeare’s sixth of work, appropriately so since it’s where he would labour and make his name. And actually his Shakespeare name, rather unusually for a notable person, is in the same work sector from where, especially since it ‘afflicts” his Midheaven angle covering reputation, strongly suggests he really didn’t want or greatly like his association with theatre. He simply used his work to become the major Stratford landowner he successfully aspired to become.
Shakespeare lies buried in a Protestant church. Was he a Catholic? In sympathy I should say yes, including because Vaticana is in direct aspect to his Jupiter (any religious beliefs). However asteroid Roman, if that can cover Roman Catholic, like the Shakespeare name it conjuncts (Shakespeare 4, and Roman 3 of Aquarius), oddly afflicts his career/reputation Midheaven (as well as his family and endings house, the 3 Taurus, 3 Scorpio axis). This suggests he could find the Catholic association inconvenient to his career so that pragmatically he changed it at some point. Uranus in Sagittarius would itself assist any breaks and ruptures in the sphere of religion and beliefs during he course of a life.
Had Shakespeare ever been abroad especially to Catholic Italy, the land in which so many of his plays are set? Italia is in his career house in close aspect to his writer’s Mercury which, as the latter is in the house of anything foreign and distant,the ninth, major travel is quite likely, though it might be only that he met a lot of Italians in London and read a lot of foreign material, but all things considered I think it’s likely he travelled at some point.
Reverting to the mystery of the skull theft, we can only finish by saying that Mercury is the planetary symbol not just of communications and communicators but of any thieves. The fact that Shakespeare’s rapid, no blots writing which owes something to Mercury in Aries is in precisely Aries, sign of the head, always made it rather more likely that not just his pen but his head would prove commercial to some people. And of course he had written hauntingly of skulls “poor Yorick etc.
GREATER MYSTERIES AND INCONVENIENT TRUTHS….
I am not a Shakespeare scholar but the data and insights I have on the world’s greatest dramatist are minor against the spectacular range of information I have about Christ whose birth data I have long possessed in radical development of one particular line of expert inquiry launched a few decades ago by two noted astronomers.
I am permitted to be bemused if not irritated that the discoveries about Shakespeare, important though they undeniably are, manage to get past Channel 4 when the much more detailed and exciting information I have so long held about Christ could never get through the door there despite my qualifications as writer, doctor of religious studies and astrologer. (True there are plenty of others to blame like the Church Times who unforgettably waived me away with “We know all there is to know about Jesus, we don’t need to know about the Magi”). Years ago a documentary film company advised me to speed things by going first through the head of religion at Channel 4. Despite the recommendation I was never able to get so much as an email or one moment of phone time out of the person concerned despite promises his secretary made to me. So often one is up against the merely busy dismissiveness of too many people in media. I suffered it recently from someone organizing religion for the ABC here in Australia. “I’m sorry, I’m too busy to discuss this”. Period. In short “no room at the inn” and don’t come back either.
Next month I reckon to launch an updated version to Amazon of my book on these findings which controversially has never been published despite an editor of a leading house describing the material as “groundbreaking, fascinating and publishable” So why wasn’t it published? Answers please, although in this case I believe I know why.
A FAITH LOSING POPULARITY
There are reasons for the current decline in the popular standing of Christianity. Some of them, like the shocking modern record of priestly paedophilia are reasonable, others less so; for if the church is not innocent neither is the world. But amid the pattern of shifting sympathies we have to recognize a growing impatience with Christian intransigence on some issues that have become more vital today than previously.
Why, people wonder, and especially when America’s churches have long supported separation of church and state, should recent years have shown quite the level of outraged, conservative legal opposition to gay rights and abortion that has been evinced? If churches had been generous to the welfare of an often bullied, discrimination-ridden gay minority, would LGBT rights ever have become the self-righteously protested demand they now are? If churches had been less ready to criminalize or excommunicate traumatized, raped women or those whose lives were in danger, would “a woman’s right to choose” have become quite the secular feminist issue it now is? And whatever one’s convictions, shouldn’t there have been more latitude towards especially those not church affiliated? So what too often looks like an inflexible, political boss church (now sometimes protesting it is martyred because its beliefs are no longer protected) has itself partly to blame for a worsening PR situation.
But….. today a new kind of intransigence looks set to spark further alienation and confusion. And this time the quarrel is more fundamentally around faith and its rights and with unavoidable implications for personal rights and free speech in society more generally. This time the subject, even if a materialistic world ignores it, is “salvation” – who has or will have it.
TALK OF SALVATION CENSORED
We shall be hearing increasingly about this subject because, even if and when the theme is ignored by secular society, the related question of free speech can’t be so but rather affects everything. So we can’t afford to get this wrong. There is increasing pressure in the once Christian West from Russia especially but even England, to prevent Christians from witnessing to their faith – in almost any way. Don’t wear a cross, don’t offer to pray for patients, don’t invite people to church (short of government permission in Russia), don’t hand out literature lest anything from people’s multicultural to their Muslim to their gay or their feminist feelings be offended. And so on. In America a sheriff has recently had to hand over 41K to atheists for the misdemeanour of promoting Christianity on a department Facebook page though apparently some of the posts were as innocent as “living today is best done with a lot of prayer”. Recently an American duty marine was court marshalled for not removing from a work cubicle a verse from the bible that didn’t even mention God or Christ! There’s a relentless slide towards silencing. (Some months ago it prompted a poem from me
This is a controversial situation of some real gravity. Democracy and liberal society ultimately depend upon free speech. This is why for the greater good it may be preferable that a few sensitivities be hurt than that society and the laws indulge the merely offended through whose actions freedom of speech can be gradually eroded in favour of thought police and rigid PC values.
The rights of faith or belief must be respected. To the extent they reach into matters of conscience that everywhere feeds the most basic sentiments of freedom and independence, they should enjoy some special, careful protection if need be before what is closer to what’s inconvenient or hurtful to the feelings of minorities (which is not to say the latter are unimportant). It’s not good enough, it’s even shocking, that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has advised Christians not to speak about their faith now unless asked. Nothing could be further from NT counsels to preach the gospel to the whole world (it’s Christ’s own last commission Matt 28:19) and even to “proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favourable or not” (2 Tim 4:2) and right now is not any favourable time.
PERSONS AND IDEAS DIFFICULT TO DEFEND
That said, plainly there are believers who would defend a right to something like “insistence” from attitudes and belief positions so extreme it helps bring the entire matter into disrepute. Although a distinct minority, there is a kind of uncompromising, aggressive evangelist, professional or lay, who on supposedly biblical grounds more or less sends to perdition anyone who resists their message. Just as free speech would not be best defended by appealing the rights of flat earthers to be heard in prime time, it would be better if protection of religious rights not have to expend too much energy defending the most absolute expressions of doom, gloom and damnation. But just what is the argument around “salvation”, one that threatens to increase as multiculturalism and the global village expand?
It is now trendy, liberal and many would maintain only good-neighbourly “inclusive”, to maintain universalist views with regard to belief. All religions are deemed essentially equal and the same: we all worship the same all-loving God (even if the Buddha denied the existence of any God/Creator and nowhere does the Koran assert that God is love) and everyone, unless the very worst, are heaven bound by default (although all religions have always had some version of Hell/Hades). We may call this (or at least its new pop version) the Rob Bell view of religion – its case is argued for by that ex-evangelical in his bestselling Love Wins favoured by the New Ager Oprah Winfrey. The doctrine can sound generous and intend well except that it now threatens to make an excluded enemy of dissenting voices.
Against this and as its polar opposite is pitched a conservative and would-be biblical position to the effect that only those who believe in Jesus can make it to heaven and escape the hell fires and this because Jesus died not as early Christians maintained principally to ransom us from Satan and the powers of evil, but primarily to satisfy the wrath of his Father’s offended honour (an emphasis deriving from the twelfth century St Anselm).
This would seem like bad news for vast populations of humankind who have never even heard of Jesus and plain distressing to converts who are invited to believe they will never see or know their forebears again unless perhaps glimpsed through the flames of hell. We can call this the Choo Thomas view of salvation after a Korean-American woman visionary’s claims in her bestselling Heaven is so Real. Her love of Jesus was so intense and her heaven so real and experienced over a series of improbably frequent trips there with Jesus, that she was somehow able to come to terms with being shown her mother, a good woman who didn’t know about Jesus, screaming in torment……
DOES CHRISTIANITY HAVE ANY MIDDLE PATH ON “SALVATION”?
…….Something has to be wrong here, wrong with both parties in almost any way academically, theologically, spiritually, humanly. Putting my theologian’s cap on for a moment, what would I say?
Undeniably the second, conservative position has some scriptural basis as in the above quote from Acts, and certainly Jesus took perdition seriously – there are more references by him to hell than to heaven. The gospel is supposed to be preached in order to help save people from death and the damnation which in Jesus’ times, in the form of a dark and hopeless Hades, was more or less the default post-mortem destination even among pagans. (Elysian fields were reserved for the favoured few). Just because Jesus taught radical love and forgiveness it is absurd of the present Pope to maintain as in his recentThe Joy of Love (understandably being criticized by leading Catholics), that damnation is not even in “the logic” of the Gospel. It surely is and backed up by all sorts of dire warnings like the famous “what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world but lose his own soul?”.
Even so, no reasonable or feeling person will readily accept the alternative to universalism, namely that almost everyone is doomed and damned and even like Choo’s mother in and for their ignorance amid the accidents of their birth in historical and cultural terms.
The astonishing thing is that even those most fundamentalistically attached to what “God’s Word” has to say, don’t really absorb what it does say, seemingly incapable of taking any hint and making even and especially any common sense deductions from the text. At least three New Testament statements invite us to understand there is something like a middle path between the two mutually exclusive options. The three I would cite (I could cite more) all derive from Christianity’s St Paul, himself the first and most fervent missionary of the faith who insisted he would do anything and go anywhere to save souls even exclaiming “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel” (1 Cor 9:16).
DAMNATION NOT SO ABSOLUTE
First and in the sermon at Athens the apostle declares:
While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he calls all people everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30).
With this statement alone (which follows upon a quote from a pagan poet to the effect we are all God’s offspring and live and move and have our being in God), we are given some hint that up to a point ignorance does excuse. The drama of salvation begins once Christ and redemption are actually proclaimed. This moreover seems consistent with the fact Jesus’ strongest warnings as in John’s gospel about unbelief and dying in one’s sins etc are addressed in the first instance to those with whom he had direct dealings like hostile religious leaders.
Second, although Christ may not be known, conscience always is.
When Gentiles who do not possess the law, do instinctively what the law requires, these though not having the law, are a low to themselves. They show that the law is written on their hearts, to which their own conscience bears witness and their conflicting thoughts will accuse or perhaps excuse them on the day when according to my gospel, God through Jesus Christ will judge the secret thoughts of all.
At least some people are thus self-excused before God and in some fashion via Law/Conscience. (By “Law” the apostle must mean the Ten Commandments or the general sense of the Law since pagans couldn’t be expected to intuit things like why not to ingest shell fish and many regulations that Jesus himself had already discarded for the new message and era!). The nearest gospel parallel to this position would be in the parable of the sheep and the goats in Matt 25 where the sheep (often interpreted as being nations rather than individuals) discover they have been serving Christ without knowing it through what is effectively conscience. Obviously however individuals would be less likely and would find it harder to follow true conscience where the gospel had not been preached as intended. (Supposing you had been born into a tribe of spirit worshipping head hunters!)
Third, there was the early Christian custom of baptism for the dead. (1Cor 15:29) mentioned in the course of Paul’s disquisition on the resurrection and the necessity of belief in it.
If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf?
This is a verse either much ignored or disputed though it should be obvious enough what it is about. New converts didn’t want to think their forebears were automatically lost to them and to God; so they claimed them, baptizing by proxy and St Paul doesn’t object to the custom. This is very different to the situation where, as often happened in missionary zones in the great Victorian era of expansion, converts were made to reject, or feel they had abandoned, everything and everyone that had gone before them. Instead, early Christians’ allegiance didn’t damn their entire past but could even hope instead to redeem it. (I suggest that Choo Thomas for her understanding about her mother and much else was deluded, even a species of false prophet).
While we can’t now know exactly what was practiced and understood as regards the Corinthian baptism, it surely belongs with the spirit of one of the stranger and often ill translated of Jesus’ statements, one which seems to imply that up to a point it would be possible to “claim” persons for heaven itself (assuming they weren’t rank unrepentant sinners). The point is made in Luk 16:9 cited here in the NLT translation which seems to have the right sense.
“Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly money to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your earthly possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home”.
No reference here to the merit, faith, repentance, being born from above or born again etc that the gospels would have us believe Jesus taught as vital items of truth and salvation.
TRUTH IN PARADOX
As in much else in the New Testament and writings of St Paul, the truth about “salvation” resides somewhere in a paradox. In this instance the paradox is that even though true redemption is from Christ alone and that at death many are at real risk of separation from God (the real meaning of the “wrath| of God) due to sin or unbelief, this does not mean that divine judgement is so completely arbitrary or formula bound that it cannot make independent decision, especially in the case of genuine ignorance of what should be believed and done in life.
To deny this possibility is to deny that God can read the heart as St Paul affirms or to dismiss Abraham’s rhetorical question “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”. God must be free to make decisions even though in turn mortals would be unwise to presume on divine mercy. (Attitudes like “if I’m good enough it’ll be OK” or “to err is human, to forgive is divine” aren’t truly spiritual where judgement of a whole life and souls are concerned!).
A BOTH/AND READING OF AN IGNORED GOSPEL
All this and more should be clear enough, but the Bible is insufficiently studied today; or rather is so academically studied it is almost high jacked over issues like the dating and authorship of its various parts while it is inadequately appreciated on a more readerly level as Wisdom literature. The latter approach would absorb the many paradoxes which shouldn’t be lightly dismissed rationalist style as “contradictions” on an either/or basis but rather as information often given on a both/and basis.
But if the bible is insufficiently or improperly read today, likewise the gospel, originally described as “the power of God to salvation ( Rom 1:16) is rarely preached. Increasingly it is said even by Popes to be about “compassion”, social justice and “mercy” (which of course it is), but any honest reading must conclude it is primarily about repentance and right belief addressed to what Jesus would call (and would certainly today call) “an evil and adulterous generation”.
Belief as the driver of attitudes and actions always matters, always has concrete effects. The average universalist doesn’t understand this, not even today as regards, for example, the effects of Islam’s promise of certain paradise solely for those who are martyrs in jihad, (a strong motivation for some to be radicalized and reckless!).
All faiths make entry to their heaven dependent upon merit earned except Christianity which makes it free to the believer with only the degree of reward dependent upon merit. Yet today it could finish an offence if not crime against PC multiculturalism for Christians to point out to non believers that their faith is based on “amazing grace” and not effects of karma, yoga practices, devotion to jihad etc. But such is now virtually the situation. Statements of even true and obvious fact must hide themselves. In the global village that long ago the Roman Empire also appeared to be, its own version of multiculturalism was seen by early Christians as a providential opportunity to proclaim. Today’s global village is seen as mandating, when not outright silence, at most the easy option of “dialogue”, as opposed to proclamation lest anyone be hurt in the exercise of compare and contrast.
I am not a Catholic, but those Catholics who declare Pope Francis a heretic are essentially correct when he declares proselytization “the worst thing of all”. Really? Practically, not just religiously, this is nonsense because where free speech disfavours the frank declaration it is short sighted to imagine society will allow even “dialogue” for long. Dialogue doesn’t even exist in Muslim majority nations today from Afghanistan to Turkey and it has never really been tolerated. In Pakistan Christian woman Asia Bibi has been imprisoned on death row for years now for the “blasphemy” of defending her faith against the abuse of Muslim women who refused her water at a well. Re the notorious Bibi case see https://goo.gl/Xsf3cc
Pope Benedict properly appealed for Bibi’s release….as our politicians should be doing, as the people of London who voted in a Pakistani supposedly a defender of human rights should be doing. But Pope Francis is is not known to have intervened or protested, simply looking on in appalled silence at the testimony of Bibi’s relatives to their anguish. Beyond periodic lament for martyred Christians, the Pope’s vision cannot reach to the challenge of dealing with a widespread Islamic intransigence in persecution that the secular West as a whole prefers to ignore …..at the same time as it bends over backwards to accommodate Muslim rights and sensitivities otherwise and to accuse any critics of Islam of “Islamophobia”. (Currently there is even talk in California of introducing a Muslim appreciation month). The Pope persists in speaking of “our Muslim brethren” and their religion of peace as though no fundamental problem existed or as though Muslims of the Ahmadiyya branch of Islam were the only true kind. (This often persecuted Islamic minority deemed heretical refuses violence and doesn’t believe Mohammed was their faith’s final prophet) .
Last year the complaint of a British Muslim women had a colleague dismissed from the workplace for the “bullying” crime of describing her faith and inviting someone she supposed to be her friend to a church. To undermine a Christian right to declare beliefs is a fundamental and disturbing new denial of all personal rights and freedom of speech, one which will eventually hurt even those secularists who for the meantime might be pleased to silence a few nuisance believers. (Actually secular humanists are becoming concerned they may not be free to criticize Islam as they would wish).
BELIEF WILL ALWAYS MATTER
And so the trendy heaven-for-all universalism threatens to become servant of a new and uncontrolled PC censorship. As a doctrine it has no basis in any known faith but is a development of Enlightenment Deism and optimistic, mainly free church generalizations upon Christian notions of love and mercy that New Ageism has made its own. It creates as many problems as it solves because it begs the question should such as of the serial killer, the child abuser or a Hitler go unpunished, and can and would God permit sin, especially unrepented, into where it could only corrupt? (According to popular Conversations with God author, Neale Donald Walsh, Hitler is in heaven because there’s nowhere else to go!). Can we really imagine Hitler rejoicing in heaven and would we really want it? And if sin and its effects cannot be self-cured, change must depend upon grace, which means it also depends upon faith which means it requires some measure of right belief.
And right belief according to Jesus is not the cop out or irrelevance some imagine, but rather the work we should do (Joh 6:29), something we grow into. Believing is itself something people do. This is why there is no automatic or total, faith versus works contradiction between the gospel declarations about the importance of faith and the fact that at the Last Judgement (which applies to all peoples of all ages and backgrounds) they are judged by what they have done. (Rev 20:13).
Even if we take this more “middle path” position regarding salvation, for the modern reader of the biblical texts other questions of a purely theological nature still impinge . It can be questioned why if hell exists as the alternative to heaven should it be eternal, forever punishing “merely” finite transgressions? One answer and a short one could be that hell exists like heaven outside time in an eternal present. But such questions are beyond present scope and even relevance – ( I broach difficult themes of the kind in some of my writings like The Great Circle: Asia, David and God Consciousness.( https://goo.gl/oI543k) but most would agree those laying stress on what used to be called “the last things” and wanting an assured public hearing should give more a bit more thought to the underlying rationale of the claims they make.
But wherever you believe souls are bound, if you believe souls exist….. one certainty is that the largely post-Christian materialistic West is in terrible trouble. It believes so little on the spiritual plane that it risks accepting almost anything or being imposed upon by almost anyone. Ironically, what to some may seem an irrelevant concern with an outdated concept – “salvation” – is set to be crucial to how society will manage freedom more generally. Salvation entails a promise of freedom. Correctly and sanely guarding the concept is an important guarantee of ongoing freedom at more than one level.
THE BIG JESUS AND JUPITER WEEKEND
I admit to have felt stumped as regards predictions, or even just seeing sufficient synchronicities in the face of what is going on around Jupiter, the “fireworks” currently issuing from it and the arrival of the Juno probe giving unprecedented new insights into the nature of the planet.
Last blog I listed nine reasons why even the well known Billy Graham is wrong, as most believers from evangelicals to Catholics usually are, about “horoscopes” (i.e. astrology). It is in any case also the fact that I have long claimed not only to know when Jesus was born but to have data so accurate that it still works to this day as regards Jesus issues.
Even so I admit I had no idea what might be forecast this time, or even in this instance if anyone should be looking for a relevant Jesus event that corresponded to unusual visible as opposed to just transit activity around Jupiter at this time.
Jupiter is the planet of religion, faith, belief, hope and grace and like many, but for rather more reasons, I have long claimed Jupiter is the star of Bethlehem itself. And as I write (July 16th here in Australia) Jupiter by transit is within a degree to exact conjunction with the birth sun of Jesus –it’s exact next week. With or without things to see, by rights something very Jupiterian should occur around Jesus. But what?
I hadn’t been aware until today what that might be when I derived some information from the same Christian Post that carried the Graham article earlier this month, namely that during this last week, over this weekend especially and next week there is the Together 2016 event or Just Jesus rallies.
The major weekend event aims to draw around a million to the Washington DC region – the hope is that this will be the single largest gathering in American history in service of “revival”. The idea is a general exaltation of Jesus with worship and prayers for revival everywhere but especially in America. Washington would seem like the fated global site for such an event since the Washington asteroid (Washingtonia) is within a degree of conjunction with Jesus’ natal sun!
Jupiter is inclusive so most denominations are joining in and represented – even the Pope has been engaged to pray. The plan has been in preparation for the last ten years and more seriously for the last four. The emphasis hardly seems very Trinitarian and arguably the world and “revival|” might need more emphasis upon creation and the almost forgotten or ignored Creator/Father. Still, the Jesus emphasis is harmonious with specifically a Jupiter event. Jupiter is involved very much with Jesus as Messiah
With restrictive Saturn currently transiting in Sagittarius, (the sign of all and any organized religion), contrary anti-revival news is not surprising and it challenges all the Jupiter linked event aims at. One thinks for example of the draconian laws signed in by Putin of Russia this last week which forbid any talk of religion without state permission and even private home worship rendered dangerous for all except Russian Orthodox. Then there is nowadays the endless tale of horrors in the persecution of Christians everywhere from Pakistan to North Korea which the secular post-Christian West, more concerned with subjects like transgender rights, cruelly and inexcusably ignores.
So…songs and prayers for “revival” in the secular world are not meaningless though perhaps against persecution might be still more meaningful at the present moment!
One day, (even I hesitate to say when, though I do have my ideas), what I have to say about the Bethlehem Star will be known and heard as it needs and deserves to be for the general good. Last Christmas season critics were almost falling over themselves about the publication of James Nicholl’s The Great Christ Comet: Revealing the Bethlehem Star. As an evangelical automatically opposed to astrology, one influential religion writer was even “in awe” of the thesis, which however doesn’t arrive at the truth or only a small portion of a vastly more awesome and clearly demonstrable range of facts. But like love the path of real Truth ne’er ran smooth and “no room at the inn” from those who should be concerned and promoting is perhaps only to be expected.
For interest I will paste in conclusion from a note I am placing at the end of the pages of planet, asteroid and Parts lists in my study a new edition of which will be released later this year.
NOTE: THE GREAT CHRIST COMET
Though I do not believe that by itself any comet was or can be a guide to the exact day or time of Jesus’ birth, I have included in the above list the positions according to Astrodienst for biblical scholar Colin Nicholl’s theorized “Great Christ Comet”. (Colin R Nicholl, The Great Christ Comet: Revealing the True Star of Bethlehem, Wheaton: Crossway, 2015). Though there’s no written record of it apparently the comet existed and the fact that at the birth this celestial phenomenon was conjunct Christ’s destiny Midheaven (and even at his Leavetaking conjunct the degree of the Bethlehem Star), confirms my immediate initial suspicion that what is described had something broadly to do with the messianic times and seasons surrounding the nativity, but not more. Accordingly I do not at all accept that any signs related to Christ’s birth date would be, as Nicholl speculates but cannot prove, involved with the celestial pattern – surely intended to be prophetic rather than historic! – of the woman clothed with the sun in Revelation 12. It is worth noting that the hype attaching to publication of the book and its theory was almost wholly due to its theological and scientific face-saving reliance on astronomy as opposed to astrology, objections to which repeatedly prevent the truth from being known and declared.
9 REASONS BILLY GRAHAM IS WRONG ABOUT “HOROSCOPES”
A recent article in The Christian Post (June 8th) had the now elderly Billy Graham (or perhaps it was his staff or his son Franklin) declaring God to be opposed to “horoscopes” (i.e. astrology). Here are 9 reasons why the Bible, still less God, is not opposed to the subject.
1) According to Billy Graham who regards “horoscopes” as a mystical/magical proceedure belonging with the forbidden “divination” of Deut 18:10, for Christians to seek guidance from astrologers is akin to King Saul visiting the witch of Endor. However, if that understanding of the matter were valid, astrology would never feature so strongly in the Jewish Talmud, nor would the highly observant Essenes have sought signs of the Messiah in the heavens.
2) Astrology as we know it from especially the Greeks is not “divination”. It did not even exist in the times of the Old Testament and its prophets who do condemn forecasting from new moons. The latter however refers to what is called “omen astrology” which involved gazing at the sky and uttering oracles. “Divination” is precisely what depends upon chance (as in reading tea leaves of shuffling cards), and/or just intuition with perhaps assistance from familiar spirits.
3) Standard astrology is about as occult as reading a train timetable. It is empirical, mathematical and depends chiefly upon a study of cycles of the planets and general symbolism. The kind of events and issues observed to feature under one set of positions are assumed to occur under similar or same positions – it is the principle indicated biblically by Eccl 1:9 that declares what has been will be so that there is nothing (fully) new under the sun but only “a time to be born and die” etc.as in the famous poem of time in Chapter 3..
4) The fact that magi (astrologers) came to Christ’s birth should give Christians pause to consider that astrology might have something to teach and contribute to belief..
5) Billy Graham assumes the stars exist simply to the glory of God. They exist for more. The Bible declares they exist for signs (Gen 14 :1) and Ps 19 maintains that the night skies utter knowledge (Ps 19:2). What speech, what knowledge? Do Christians even bother to ask?
6) The Psalms also maintain that God both names the stars (Ps 147:4) and knows in advance every day of our lives (Ps 139: 16). While the latter statement can be taken by faith, the closest to any objective proof for the idea lies in astrological patterns like diurnals and the various transits of planets across the natal chart which can indicate active and stay-at-home days, excitement and nothing much happening, sometimes a turning point.
7) The previous point bespeaks fate. Evangelicals stubbornly maintain like Graham that if astrology were true there would be no free will. This is misleading and false. There is fate and fate. There are birth patterns which indicate active and prominent lives, others lives more hidden and withdrawn; but within the basic natal outline there are always choices. Attitudes and actions under certain patterns can affect the immediate situation and even the positive or negative experience of subsequent situations. People do not so much go to (or at least don’t obtain from) astrologers the “guidance” such as Graham wants believers go to bible and God for, as simple insight into their character and the nature of events they encounter.
8) Astrology is a symbol system that helps us to read and understand the hidden order of reality – the sort of order that scripture points to. Any doubt that the main impulses and lines of history follow celestial cycles should be dispelled by the work of an academic like Richard Tarnas in Cosmos and Psyche (2006). It is lamentable that there are Christians, (like Billy Graham’s daughter Ann Lotz) who presume to speak about “the end times” without even knowing or including such perspectives as the fact we are living at the end of the age (aion) of Pisces, the fishes, to whose beginning the birth of Christ approximately corresponded. Everything from flood and tsunami to fish everywhere dying along coastlines bespeaks the extremes, mostly negative, of the water and seas sign of Pisces arrived in era terms at the equivalent of the last degree of its sign. (The last degrees of any sign are notably extreme and 29 Pisces is traditionally very unfortunate, associated with violence, drowning, suicides and addiction, all the sort of issues presently concerning us).
9) Just as magi came to the birth of the messiah that prophets had foretold, so astrology can and should complement religion, at any rate its more prophetic/charismatic side. Astrology can predict or at least project various situations. The wilder claims of some would-be prophets could be questioned or modified as regards timing and likelihood if astrology were considered and in conclusion I will mention a couple of instances.
Claiming as I exceptionally do to know when Christ was born, I have been able to forecast when Jesus would likely be notably in the news as for example when in 2002 news came from Jerusalem that the so-called James ossuary box with the inscription, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus had been discovered. This if authentic (which it has belatedly been declared to be) would be the only artefact as opposed to text witnessing to Jesus.
I write this on the verge of Britan’s Brexit referendum. Astrologers have been unusually and extremely divided about the final result for reasons I needn’t detail but which suggest a rather neck and neck issue. But apart from the fact astrology can always describe a situation even if and when it cannot precisely predict its outcome, this much is plain. On the standard chart for Britain, among other things a full moon has fallen ahead of the vote conjunct a natal Uranus (rebellion, revolution, separation) opposite the natal Europa asteroid. Just by itself this marks an opposition reflective of Britain’s perennially awkward relation to the continent and even a promise as early as 1066 that there would be a Europe-separative Reformation in religion since the Uranus is in the ninth house not only of the foreign but of any religious issues. The asteroids, not even known or seen back in 1066 or at the birth of Christ, nonetheless prove eloquent today of many things. In some sense all time and language between the stars are one.
Faced with this are we to say as would Evangelicals (or the Catholic catechism which also opposes astrology) that none of what we read in the heavens reflects a divine mind or purpose, is not a case of the night skies uttering knowledge? Evangelicals especially have made a paper Pope of their bible (often the faulty KJV). Frequently read without attention to historical and cultural factors they have used scripture to make knockdown arguments where a range of sensitive issues are concerned, arguments of the kind Franklin Graham (whom many regard as undoing his father’s heritage) increasingly specializes in.
Typically, Graham cites the condemnation of Is. 47:13 as saying “ Let their astrologers stand forth….” A modern translation like the NRSV places a note to indicate it is not certain what the word is, which of course it isn’t certain because astrologers as we know them did not exist for Isaiah to condemn. But the same translation does include, as Graham doesn’t, the vital point that whoever is involved makes forecasts at new moons, which tells us this is not regular astrology which is far from reserving its kind of forecasts to such times.
It would be little short of a needed revolution of spiritual consciousness if the churches could admit elements of astrology to its understanding of existence, its theologies and the character of its leaders – even within the limited realm of sun signism it actually means something for their theology, politics and attitudes to money that Luther was born under Scorpio and Calvin under Cancer (as are Billy and Franklin Graham respectively). However I am not exactly optimistic that notable revolution is going to occur. I have not written to the Billy Graham org to express my radical divergence of view as regards astrology. I know I wouldn’t get an answer. Like American businesses and self-help theories negative responses stand to be ignored, and won’t get past the minders. In fact I know of an astrologer who years ago tried to plead the case of astrology, but never received an acknowledgement from the Graham org. So….that is the point of putting the above thoughts within the humble format of a blog.