RSS

1793: THOUGHTS BEFORE THE GUILLOTINE, A POEM

[Of all the poems issued on this blog and elsewhere I have the least understanding of its original impulse.. It has something to do with impressions of places and people experienced while living in France years ago. In that sense it was always around; but I finally put things together because an overseas radio programme which invites poetry but accepts nothing already published, even on the Net, wanted complete novelty. So I made an effort to oblige. But from long experience I know that sadly media can’t be trusted to be reliable or helpful. After hearing nothing from the given address I was improbably told nothing had been received but I could apply again to a certain person but it might take up to six months for a decision. Which seems about right as I re-applied and have never heard again, not so much as a line of acknowledgment. So I shall “publish” to the net which disqualifies me from being broadcast. The literary scene or those who manage it remain as objectionable and tortoise slow as they ever were across the centuries. …..Perhaps.I should write a poem in the style of Juvenal warning against the folly of writing poetry for anyone or anything today].

1793: THOUGHTS BEFORE THE GUILLOTINE

Crisp as fresh bread day dawned
The air was still as marble steps, the sky
Serene as female faces calmed –
Such mild and quiet harbingers of good you’d say.

But now past noon there’s just this noise
The crowds, the faces I refuse to see,
The narrow streets, the high and dusty
Tenements, their shadows pressing down
Towards our destination in a wider space
Beneath a harsher light where all is seen.
Till then across worn cobbles
On and on wheels grate and tumbrils lurch
Behind slow beasts born strangers to
The grace and speed of race and hunt.

Shut quickly as a fan our hunting parties
Like the dance were gone with all
Our private pleasures and affairs.
I’m all that I have been and done
This self which half evaporates amid
What’s so immediate, so material.

Yet what’s mundane may still conceal
Some mystery a shade sublime
When like a ritual it repeats. How strange
The cock crows all days good and ill,
And sun shines down on war and peace!
Small doubt it’s Nature is supreme
Although it posts no messages of hope
Nor tells of life beyond our end.
But who’s to say, who even could,
What is our purpose and the Truth?
Philosophies of God or gods or none
Are quests in vain unless perhaps
The atoms re-engage in much the way
Lucretius thought they formed at first.

Yes, Nature is the Absolute and beneath
Its sway there’s always inequality and rank
Such as with pride I rightly show
And such as some will always own.
There’s continuity of sorts in that
As in the dialogue of selves. The mind runs on
To insist “I am”, the reason why perhaps
Mad legend tells how on the stream
A poet’s severed head still spoke and sang.
For when it seems there is no more to say
There always is; there’s always will.

Show well I must, defy all Hades that is dark…
Towards the fated square wheels grate
And tumbrils lurch. Breathe deep, dream
Summer skies, be calm. Release.

Readers can find other poems of mine on this site and in the books  Puer Poems, New Poems and Two Celtic Dramas and Raphael and Lucifer and other Visionary Poems all available from Amazon and the Book Depository. Still other poems if more occasional can be found at the less used, McCleary’s Additions, blog     https://mcclearysadditions.wordpress.com/
This blog currently contains some different perspectives on Australia’s marriage equality debate

 

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 13, 2017 in Poetry

 

DOUGLAS MURRAY’S DYING EUROPE

   

SUICIDE OF A CONTINENT AND REFUSAL OF A PACT

The Strange Death of Europe has been an instant bestseller. Many have realized how timely it is and also courageous in the face of the abuse and sometimes censorship that declaration of even the most obvious well-attested but politically incorrect facts can engender. While the book can of course be summarized or excerpted, it is best if it isn’t because it needs to be read right through from its initial claim Europe or its leaders are committing suicide, and experienced almost like opera and at that for the kind of literary Gotterdammerung it is.

Actually it does hold out some, but just not much, hope for Europe and ultimately the author feels uncertain about the precise future given the state of society, mood and trends he describes. I am a bit more willing and perhaps able to predict using the signposts he gives and others I would apply; but I can come to that later.

Strange Death records the stories, sets out the facts and expresses its quasi lament for the most part quietly in especially the earliest chapters; but there is a crescendo in later chapters which also widen the perspectives into art, philosophy and religion beyond the political and sociological starting points. In these regions Murray perceives a special “tiredness”, a sense that a society’s story has been told and that its vision having run out it is disconcertingly ready for almost any other theme no matter how much it ignores human rights and fails to appreciate its own past to which it does injustice, projecting onto both past and present unnatural, unparalleled levels of guilt.

Murray agrees with Edmund Burke that the present has a pact with both past and future generations. One cannot act purely in and for the immediate concern. Nor should one start like absurd former Swedish Prime Minister, Fredrick Reinfeldt, who has contemptuously declared Swedes are “uninteresting” and that “only barbarism is genuinely Swedish”,  importing just anyone or anything from outside. Rather as there is a so-called inverted pride we seem to be looking at a kind of inverted racism among liberals. Murray would say Europe seems unable to balance and discriminate between the twin virtues of mercy and justice. It is all for mercy (though there is plenty of hypocrisy around it among those who stress it – not one pop star supposedly willing to house refugees has done so) but weak on justice. And that includes for the rights of people to have and define their own homes and values as they see fit. Some immigration is only right, but where are the wealthy societies from Saudi to Japan who welcome all or even any refugees? They reckon to keep their societies as they are and Europe doesn’t even criticize them for it.

MARKS OF AN EFFETE SOCIETY

There are passages of the book which are almost but not quite amusing like the telling account (I recognize it all too well) of the Heidelberg University conference which (I would say if Murray doesn’t precisely) reflects the effete nature of a contemporary Europe in advanced decadence. The subject of the conference is Europe’s relations with the Middle East and North Africa which then gets highjacked by the academically trendy deconstruction that prevents any conclusion being arrived at. “No generality could be attempted and no specific could be uttered… philosophy, ideas and language itself had been cordoned off as though around the scene of a crime…The aim of this game – for game it was – was to maintain the pretence of academic inquiry while making fruitful discussion impossible”.

Some of the book however, perhaps more especially in its later chapters, is beyond wit and irony to treat. It can be rather tragic or even stomach churning for the kind of disgust the facts may engender as when it describes attitudes and cover-up of situations like Sweden’s which included that by  2015 it had the worst record for rape in the world apart from Lesotho…but whatever the subject or place it’s mostly a case of don’t admit it, avoid the victims, don’t blame anyone, don’t punish anyone it might cause trouble; better just misreport and lie about it.

Most essentially, or at least when dealing with the politics, this is a book about alarming double-standards and dismissive arrogance on the part of a bumbling, often ignorant political elite at least partly influenced by dogmatic cultural Marxism. Rather than admit its obvious mistakes and make proper adjustments this elite prefers to ride roughshod over the will of those it governs,  turning a blind eye to the behaviour and statements of those who may bully the weak, incite hatred and make mockery of the laws. Any critics or anyone in the way of the political and media elites are automatically dubbed “racist”, “fascist” or persons lacking “compassion”, words which stretch vocabulary beyond anything meaningful or true.

INEPT, ECCENTRIC LEADERSHIP

        

Murray doesn’t notably examine how and why the West and its democracy has produced quite such an inept, unattractive set of leaders in the first place. Perhaps it’s as well for reception of his book that someone educated at Eton and Cambridge doesn’t get into saying, as he could well, that modern leaders are too often neo-barbarians, vulgarians who neither know or appreciate history and European culture sufficiently to be able to define and defend it and that whole world of Shakespeare, St Paul, Dante, Goethe, Voltaire, Bach, Rembrandt, etc with which Murray would associate the West. This situation could be, I suspect, one aspect of a complex problem in its own right.

An extreme specialization in learning at a time of emphasis upon both scientific knowledge and social equality has led to policies which can render centres of higher education stamping grounds for everyone from sportsmen to engineers as much as centres of the humanities and learned debate that universities were by tradition. This has helped create not no elites – no  policies favouring equality will abolish such – but blinkered, half ignorant, purely materialistic ones. It does so in those areas of what are, or should be, “shared values”. But what are these? They are now democratically allowed to be little more than those on offer from popular culture which Murray rightly considers to be of “almost impossible shallowness” and thus to live only in and for the moment. This does not foster vision or prepare minds for real leadership.

Previously statesmen like Churchill were known to feed their minds and spend spare time on everything from  Shakespeare and Jane Austen to Edward Gibbons. But apart from the nullities of popular culture (Prime Ministers almost need to name their favourite pop groups!) there is ever less impulse to know anything beyond one’s particular field of specialization. And almost no field imposes any kind of social and leadership style either. Anything goes fit for a Glastonbury festival. If  TV star Joan Collins and the Italians are right that a person is how they dress, then what to make of the likes of the extraordinarily styleless Chancellor Merkel, ambling to every conference like a washerwoman to the laundry with her plain Jane hairdo and in her eternal trousers in which she possibly seeks to make herself one of the men? Merkel gradually becomes one of the villains of Murray’s narrative of catastrophe; but if looks counted for anything, would a person of her style and appearance have been entrusted with power in the first place? Arguably it’s a last gasps culture doesn’t question this and has even cheerfully dubbed this childless, iron fist and anything but maternal woman as Mutti (Mummy).

Murray makes a vital slip over one point as regards modern Christianity. Commenting upon conversions to Islam sometimes born from despair of finding any meaning beyond pleasure in current society, he observes that not only has Christianity become less a religion than an aspect of social services and a mouthpiece of socialist politics, but it is a faith that has ceased to proselytize. This is and isn’t true. It touches on something very important Murray doesn’t explore and I briefly will.

CHRISTIANS IN THE CROSS HAIRS

It is just one more injustice and cover-up of the existing situations that the elites will defend or at least excuse in the name of “multiculturalism” and “diversity” almost any propaganda and values however dubious while they may vigorously oppose anything like propaganda from Christians. It is true enough that Christianity is not getting promoted by any of its leaders who might enjoy some media coverage to do so; but they anyway scarcely protest (or are not reported by media for protesting), often horrendous persecution of Christians today around the world  And the persecution is something not uniquely but considerably a feature of Muslim majority societies from Sudan to Afghanistan though the new liberal politics won’t acknowledge it and won’t speak the word “genocide”.

However….although among an appeasing state religion clergy there is no active proselytizing  there is some will to promote the faith among the laity. But  every day and on the ground, the reality is that proselytizing is virtually illegal now in Britain. It is so in such a way as to make nonsense of former PM David Cameron reference to England as a Christian society. A proper loyalty to the Christian legacy is simply absent.

Forget all the ridiculous cases around even wearing small crosses in the workplace, witness the  case of a Christian therapist, Victoria Wasteney. She has been suspended from her position with the NHS and recently lost a second appeal all because a Muslim woman whom she thought was a friend and with whom she imagined she was discussing her faith as requested and so offered her a book to read – decided the connection amounted to “harassment”. (In fairness, according to report on the case by The Telegraph goo.gl/rabuBW  the woman may have been somewhat pressured to take the line she did by those of anti Christian prejudice within the NHS system. “Multiculturalism” is increasingly  a pretext to sideline the inherited faith or even attack Christians).

A situation like this needs to be compared for the purposes of warning with a couple of recent cases in Pakistan where even Christian teenagers have been arrested for “blasphemy” because they merely answered supposed school friends’ questions about their religious difference. It would seem one is not advised to discuss anything religious or political with Muslims less they suddenly cry foul and perhaps because friendship can never quite be assumed to the extent the Koran commands infidels never be taken as friends (Q 3:28). But then if Christians ignored Muslim would they not  be accused of “racism”, and “prejudice” and “apartheid” mentality?

This situation presents an impasse that Christians and Westerners of any belief or none need to absorb fast. You can’t be safely ideological or theological in some circles today unless like Ayaan Hirsi Ali you want to have twenty four hour police protection. Muslims are liable to claim all the rights to freedom of expression for themselves alone and blinkered liberals and cultural Marxists will support them. And as Murray so ominously points out in a different connection, fundamentalists always win within Islam – there have always been Muslim reformers but in over a thousand years they have never won. That point is recently certified even since the publication of Strange Death by the way that Berlin’s first liberal mosque open to women and gays has received three thousand death threats to its female imam within a short period of opening. Yet multiculturalists, multifaithers and such like today still stake everything on the questionable hope that somehow the West and modern values will charm, persuade and prevail.

Despite all the media and social media influences, to date there is no evidence of western values percolating unless perhaps in Iran where there is a major quiet revolt against the status quo by under thirties along with, some claim, a substantial growth in underground Christianity. More typically, a Pakistani Christian like Asia Bibi languishes for years in jail on death row for the crime of having as a filthy infidel drunk from a Muslim’s water bowl on a hot day (in Pakistan Christians and minorities are seen fit only to be servants and sewage workers) and, when provoked about her rotten faith, committed the “blasphemy” of asking did Mohammed die for sins like Jesus. Thousands of fanatical Muslims periodically march in the streets calling for the unfortunate woman’s death and that of other “blasphemers” and in fear of them courts and politicians constantly delay appeal going through. Western countries barely protest such unacceptable situations and still pour out aid into Pakistan helping it to feel justified in its attitudes. And the Dalai Lama absurdly disinforms a reverent Joanna Lumley for British TV that Islam is about love and forgiveness just like all the other religions.

ONE-SIDED HUMAN RIGHTS AND TWO LAYERED REALITY

It is fundamental to democracy and human rights that beliefs and ideas be discussed. It even happens to be a Christian duty for promote the faith – it is Christ’s last counsel to his disciples. This human right and religious duty, both, are nearly everywhere and always denied and penalized in Muslim societies where all minorities if tolerated are treated as inferiors. But instead of encouraging different views, or protesting manifest wrongs, everyone from cultural Marxists to, do-gooder liberals, atheistic humanists, double standard feminists (who prefer to see the positive in sharia cover up over the oppression of their overseas sisters [ 1] ) and weak Loadicean Christians, nothing vital is protested, defended or done.

One merely offended woman’s feelings must be protected in once Christian Britain more strongly than the entire western tradition of the freedom of speech and ideas. Small wonder leaders of the Middle Eastern churches have spoken of their horror at the non-supportive position of the “Christian” West which has hardly reported the tortures and executions of thousands of Christians with the destruction of their homes and history. They would not have been altogether wrong if against the West  and its churches they had quoted the Christ of Revelation to the lukewarm of Laodicea: “I will vomit you forth” (Rev 3:16).

The current cultural situation so rife with lies and appeasement makes it a little easier to predict the future than even Murray allows. He is of course correct when he observes that religions like societies abhor a vacuum. Something will come to replace what is not doing its job, not least Christianity and a convenient secularism that doesn’t answer to many needs. Sometimes I feel one could almost rewrite the words of the biblical prophets or the Lamentations of Jeremiah for today’s society. They warned of how rejection of the divine and most standards necessarily brings in its wake the “judgement” of an imposition upon the faithless society from an alien outside as divine protection and favour are withdrawn. The opportunity won for the development and exercise of western ideas, Christian and other, by the victory of Charles Martel at Tours in 732 could be seen as providential; but modern secularist rejection of God and reasonable standards withdraws opportunity and divine favour. God ordains and respects freewill even if humanity doesn’t and  free choices can be made which will entail loss of liberty.

This of course is to assume there are not just physical but metaphysical laws which deliver as surely as the physical ones.  The Christian creed declares “I believe in all things visible and invisible”. “Our war is not with flesh and blood….” as St Paul had it. Modern Christianity, most of the West and Murray himself under the influence of science and “reason” believe as never before in the visible; but not in the invisible world that so often for good and ill calls the tune.

Although invisible worlds and laws are often dismissed to the regions of blind faith, we can glimpse traces of them and also that uttering of knowledge by the night skies to which the Psalms refer, in the esoteric discipline of astrology with which Christianity – which despises or rejects the system – virtually began. We see it for example when we note strange coincidences like the fact that at Murray’s birth (16th July 1979 in London) asteroid Europa was in traditional death sign Scorpio and on the day that his book was released (May 4th) fortunate Venus was conjunct his natal Fama (fame).

I will say a bit more about and conclude with Murray’s pattern but what the celestial signs more broadly indicate for everyone is that the story has indeed been told, things have run out. There really is what Murray calls a “tiredness” and there is a major threat to freedom that poor leadership cannot address. But at the end of the age of Pisces to whose onset the birth of Christ approximately corresponded, there is only one scenario remains namely apocalypse, the great apostasy and more than apostasy under an Antichrist and then the completely new and divine order of the Millennium. But for the immediate future, apocalypse and Antichrist belong to the Great Lie, the deception which is permitted to manifest because the peoples will not love truth (2 Thess 2:11). Which it is painfully clear today they or their leaders don’t. People hear what they want to hear and believe about events only what is convenient, censoring out half of reality itself.

A BOOK VISIONARY AND FATED

    

A few more words about Murray’s data. Personally I believe The Strange Death of Europe, was the book Murray had to write, was fated to write and which functions somewhat prophetically. I have already mentioned the Europa/Scorpio connection. Also very relevant to writing so contentiously about Europe and also religion and being divided in his mind about the latter (he passes as a Christian atheist) is that he has aggressive, crusading Mars in Gemini. This is the sign not just of duality and languages but of both Europe and also the Christianity which was born under Gemini amid a speaking in tongues and whose heartland, despite its intended international outreach, has long been Europe.

Fame, influence and bestseller status is all but guaranteed by the conjunction of fortunate and publishing relevant Jupiter to Mercury (any writing and communication) in dramatic Leo which expects to be noticed and have an audience. Both the fortune in writing and the difficulty of the subjects broached is shown by the fact that Mercury at 14+ Leo is not only conjunct one of the six world points but conjunct what is deemed the most difficult and unfortunate of those world points, namely 15 Leo.

A certain near reckless courage in Murray such as most politicos and churchman notably lack, has been necessary to pursue the views and express the opinions that he has done. This is mapped by especially his moon in bellicose Aries and in strife (square aspect) to his sun. this goading him into action from a degree of irritation. The moon is however in agreeable trine aspect to Neptune and this quietens the expression of his anger while it makes for a certain poetizing – one reviewer has seen the book as almost a threnody for Europe.

On the whole however he is not a poet but all of a practical busy bee in harmony with his Saturn in Virgo and one who loves and defends the home turf – no sun sign is more home loving and patriotic than Cancer or else more careless of such values. This is why Cancerian Merkel is almost Murray’s fated shadow figure in Jungian terms, the bad mother of the Great Mother sign.

Altogether Murray is a one of a kind, original. The planet of all originality, eccentricity and genius at 16 Scorpio conjuncts his Murray name at 17. Uranus is also the chief signifactor in natal patterns for gayness. Murray who is gay (and with some of the “in your face” attitudes of the gay psyche), is ultimately one of Jung and Liz Greene’s aspiring gay Puers psychologically – necessarily so. Even as a teenager he was writing a highly sophisticated, pioneering biography of Lord Alfred Douglas (no relative though the Scots influence is strong for both), Oscar Wilde’s lover.

I don’t know Murray’s birth time so can only guess, but if as is quite possible it was around 11.45 am with Libra rising, then the pattern would become still more remarkable including that Europa in Scorpio at 28 of the sign would be smack on the cusp of his third house for any writing. The Part of Fortune would be conjunct the career/reputation Midheaven which is always suggestive of fame and success, and Fama (fame) would be strong conjunct the descending angle which gives an audience. Veritas (truth to fact) would be conjunct the ascendant confirming a truth telling prophetic role, but also Alfreda would be conjunct the persona defining ascendant. Asteroids used to be registered in feminine form and Alfreda definitely works in the chart of Wilde for his lover Alfred. It would be fitting if an early obsession with Alfred by Murray was registered by its conjunction on the rising. The present book is dedicated to friend and guide Stanley. Asteroid Stanley in happy trine to asteroid Murray nicely covers for that detail.

Douglas Murray is no ordinary person writing at no ordinary point in history. The times we live in, but then also existence itself if we add the hidden order of reality, are more remarkable than we can ever quite hope to absorb.

(1) Last February despite pleas from Iranian feminists they would not do it, feminist representatives of the Swedish government presented themselves in Iran wearing headscarves.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/02/13/swedens-feminist-government-criticized-for-wearing-headscarves-in-iran/?utm_term=.aa8eaabc3cea

My own and a poetic version of a dying Europe theme can be found here http://wp.me/p2v96G-gY  The poem, Beyond Dover Beach, was composed in 2013 which is to say a couple of years before the major crises and refugee influx of 2015

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on August 6, 2017 in current affairs

 

THE “DIVINE” MACRON AND THE TURNING OF THE AGES

HIDDEN SYMBOLS AND MOTIVES

People and history are influenced far more than is recognized by symbol and archetype and a whole hidden subconscious order of reality. Speaking in Versailles, ancient home of the Sun King, Emmanuel Macron, France’s new and youthful president, declared according to a much cited Reuters report one must presume is true, that he wished to realize “a Jupiterian presidency”. He would be “a remote, dignified figure like the Roman god of gods who weighs his rare pronouncements carefully”. How should we assess this?

First, and quite simply – except to those who completely dismiss astrology – Macron is a Sagittarian born under a sign traditionally “ruled” by precisely Jupiter. So he has affinity for that planet’s feelings and associations but very much so and with some consequence for the astonished world. In Macron’s case Jupiter natally conjuncts a solstice or world point (O Cancer) within less than the requisite one and a half degrees for real effect.

Not only that but the same Jupiter closely and fortunately trines Macron’s Midheaven angle. This angle is associated with reputation, destiny and career. A bit of a fantasist or exaggerator in the style of Sagittarians, Macron wishes to be seen as precisely a Jupiterian, even divine figure.

There is however arguably more to this than the imposition of a personal trait upon affairs. The fact that Macron admits to and expresses his archetypal affinities at all (most would keep such extreme statements private!) is unusual but particularly striking is that he does so at this time. Also notable is the way the issue of Macron’s pretensions more generally have been taken up by the public as in  The Economist magazine. This has offered readers a cover that depicts the new president walking the sea like the Christ of the gospels.  I would suggest there is a  bit more than  just easy satire in this but some real if unconscious archetypal input here.

The fact is that Jupiter, the planet of grace, luck, faith and optimism does not “rule” only Sagittarius. It also “rules” Pisces, water sign of the imagination, compassion and the seas. Until Neptune was discovered and for empirical reasons given co-rulership of Pisces, Jupiter was Pisces’ sole ruler. Pisces and Neptune moreover “rule” the feet. It follows that in symbolic logic walking the waters should be the ultimate Piscean miracle or demonstration of authority. So Macron, whose very name is Emmanuel (one of Jesus’ names and meaning “God with us”) gets linked in this way as a “saviour” figure.

CHRISTIANITY, ASTROLOGY AND THE AGES

It is unfortunate and ironic that through recourse to selective reading that has allowed empirical astrology to be classed with random divination opposed by the Hebrew prophets, Christianity, the religion that is almost introduced through a star and astrologers, has rejected astrology. It does so to the extent it cannot read and grasp even the most basic celestial signs. Otherwise it might have been obvious that the era of Christianity had something to do with Pisces, with the life of Christ as Fisher of men, Lord of the Seas, a kind of Neptune to stride the waves, at the same time as Jesus preaches a Jupiterian gospel of grace, forgiveness and compassion. Many Christians still haven’t worked out or refuse to believe that the Star of Bethlehem was itself Jupiter in a section of Pisces relevant to Israel.

In the years immediately before Jesus’ birth a great revolution in consciousness had begun, one that was also Jupiterian but less generously. Augustus Caesar under whom Jesus was born, had begun to depict himself as Jupiter, Divi Filius, Son of God. This initiated the imperial cult under which the first Christians would suffer because they could not acknowledge the deity of Roman emperors –one of them being the super extravagant Sagittarian, Nero.

An era, measured by the procession of the Equinox, lasts something over two millennia – the precise length cannot be exactly determined – but this means that we now stand at the end of Piscean era. That also means we stand, at the equivalent of the 29th degree of the sign in common chart measurements. 29 degrees of any sign is deemed extreme, unstable and insatiable, it is like the last high flare of a candle.

If and when astrology predicts it only does so  in light of what has occurred in the past under similar celestial factors  (a reason it is not “divination” of the common sort). Accordingly…..what is manifested at the beginning of the era can and will echo and repeat at the end of the era and may even do so strongly…..

THE JUPITER SYMBOLISM  RETURNS

Arguably something of this is happening now. Of and by itself one probably shouldn’t take Macron’s more extravagant declarations too seriously. Although our political leaders do often enough belong to secret societies which teach  values (including globalism) and visions that could shock electorates if they knew of them, there is no need to buy into the kind of extravagant conspiracy theories which would render the new president some kind of servant of the Illuminati or even the Antichrist.

What however we are hearing via Macron is a new trend, a new end-of-era mood, one which will make it easier to accept and follow the kind of leader who does set himself up as a virtual Caesar or even deity. We may suspect Macron’s outlook is akin to that of the late Belgian statesman Paul-Henri Spaak considered a founder of the same EU Macron zealously supports. He once declared:

“What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the alliances of all people and to lift us out of the economic morass into which we are sinking. Send us this man and be he god or devil, we will receive him”.

Here is an invitation to figures of the Antichrist variety who may be more willingly heard at the current end of the Christian era as we know it, the time of Christianity’s confusion, decadence, doubt and decline almost to be expected: “Yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luk 18:8). The rhetorical question would seem to imply the negative.

So will a person of Spaak’s kind appear? All I can say, since I cannot know whether the late Seeress Jeane Dixon saw true or was deluded, is that the Antichrist of her visions (the supposed point of her life according to herself) if he exists, must and will appear soon.. He must do so within around 6 months from the two highly significant August eclipses of this year. For all sorts of reasons his exceptional birth pattern (which of course Christians who don’t even recognize the signs of Christ’s birth can’t and won’t appreciate)  is too strongly affected for this not to be the case. And a troubled confused world could be ready for him and the biblically forecast great deception

.

OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST CONCERNING MACRON’S NATUS

The youngest French president ever. His sun is closely conjuncted by Mercury the planet of youth.

His name is Emmanuel.    Emanuela (traditionally asteroids were registered in the feminine form of a name ) closely trines the reputation Midheaven from the visible first house of persona. This helps insure fame for Emmanuel. Fama (fame) is moreover  in the tenth house of career/reputation and favourably aspected to the precise degree to the connective, fated nodes (plus he has the mentioned  ruling Jupiter on a world point). Cumulatively this adds up to certain fame.

Persistent rumours of a gay reputation.  With Mars closely square Uranus plus Moon opposite Uranus, the gay planet, these are classic gay aspects if of the more conflicted kind. Also the giveaway gay asteroid Gaily is in close aspect to the president’s reputation Midheaven. However I have said from the first Macron is really more bisexual (necessarily so since he has chosen to be married to a much older woman).  This is reflected in Neptune conjunct Venus with Neptune in neurotic inconjunct (quincunx aspect) to the moon. An afflicted Neptune is the basic building block of any bisexual disposition which is a more floating condition than the fixed gay one (the reason fundamentalist Christians and others can report “gay” cures while gays continue to insist, correctly enough, that they are “born that way” ).

Born in Amiens.   The Amiens asteroid is not conjunct or inside Macron’s fourth house of home and origins, but interestingly it does trine his moon, general symbol of home and family which being opposite Uranus could well have been quite a strange one.

Thinking in terms of divinity.   Macron is quite simply vain. With Venus very widely conjunction the sun and asteroid Lucifer closely trine his Mars in royal Leo, he has a high view of himself and this stretches into the religion in which so many Sagittarians locate themselves. Uranus in the ninth of religion is in any case a significator of  unusual religious views or activity while opposite the moon, the energies of belief are opposed to home and family which in Macron’s case was secular/atheistic. Macron as a good Sagittarian liable to argue and dispute over beliefs, chose to attend a Jesuit school though what he absorbed there raises questions.

A president oddly for and against France. Macron refuses to recognize a French culture or art at the same time as he wants to lead the destiny of France and makes declarations like the Sun King from Versailles. Why? Asteroid Franzia (France) is suitably strong and highlighted on an angle but not on the career or origins one but rather the unions one which can be a very conflicted point. It represents both open enemies and close relations in a pattern akin to the Taming of the Shrew.  I should say Macron’s outlook cannot be easily known but is rather opportunistic/pragmatic in the style of so many politicians.

 

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on July 11, 2017 in astrology, gay, Mysteries, religion

 

HOW MUCH SHOULD WE LIKE GAME OF THRONES?

FORTUNES OF A BLOCKBUSTER

One could say that HBO’s big as Ben Hur Game of Thrones series is like the proverbial curate’s egg  “good in parts”. If so, approaching a seventh season touted to be something of a continuous nightmare, viewers may, like Clive James earlier on in the series, ask themselves why they are still watching.. The question is pertinent if like James you don’t relish the by now distinctive violence and aren’t especially interested in the (effectively soft porn) sex either.We may have a clue to the fandom and sometimes addiction Thrones engages from the fact devotees include politicos such as Barack Obama, David Cameron and Julia Gillard. I suspect they and audiences generally appreciate depictions of the unvarnished ruthlessness they increasingly sense politics is about. And as people love to hate a bad character, the series offers plenty of opportunities to do just that. The tradition of the Jacobean revenge drama has returned….with a vengeance.

THE GOOD

     (A picture of Dark Hedges, site of Princess Aryas’ escape. Incredibly I was told this is now N Ireland’s most visited natural site (bar presumably Giant’s Causeway) and certainly the tourist traffic and crowds are all apparent)

What’s good about GOT has always been obvious enough: the sheer spectacle (realized across Ireland and 32 locations from Morocco to Iceland), the twists of plot and the intrigues, the well choreographed battles etc. The production alone is enough to fascinate anyone, especially if like myself you have ever had anything to do with drama or scripts. When in Ireland recently and on a trip that included some of the series’ locations, I was told more people are involved in the production of GOT than the whole civil service of its Northern Ireland home. So I have enjoyed insights into that side of things having moreover watched the series in the best possible way. This is not on TV but via DVDs which include features about precisely the settings, the production, the actors, the script writers, meanings and symbolism viewers might otherwise miss – some expect the series and its books to become the subject of doctorates!

More certain is that there are always going to be less than academic debates about how the epic ought to wind up. The script writers who have already imposed some variations upon the first volumes have now got ahead of the rather displeased author (who supplied only a few clues as to his final intentions) and are preparing for the last and eighth series before the final volume of the epic has been written. One might guess that the stoical, romantic Jon Snow, bastard of House Stark, will discover his true origins and (the author’s original intention of marrying him to Arya being dropped) get to marry the long suffering, reformist Daenerys, mother of dragons and so bring peace to the seven incurably warring kingdoms of Westeros. This would fit with the epic’s at least intermittent sympathy for underdogs and women. The dragons belong, incidentally, to the more magical side of an epic fantasy more realistic than magical or “poetic” in any Arthurian style and located in a para-medieval world that is nonetheless pagan and has existed for millennia.

I don’t know if and how much Irish mythology may have influenced the author, but with or without its influence there are real affinities for a work like Lady Gregory’s Complete Irish Mythology in its sprawling nature and tendency to switch between the big picture and the small item. For that reason I should perhaps not have been so surprised as I was  to come across a copy of an Irish translation of GOT in a Dublin bookshop this June. Not that the author’s writing style notably recalls anything Irish and due to certain bittiness I never found reading  GOT that easy by bestseller or any other standards. I will not try to summarize the plot here, there are plenty of sites on the Net where you can find explanations and summaries including précis of each season and episode on Wikipedia but beginners might use Game of Thrones for Dummies at http://www.thedailybeast.com/game-of-thrones-for-dummies .

AND THE NOT SO GREAT

Ultimately however, and despite some satisfaction at how much GOT has put not just Ireland but even and especially its dourest corner (Northern Ireland) on the emtertainments map, I am not a devoted fan, more an interested observer. The cultural critic in me is fascinated by the fact the series is quite such an unprecedented hit and there are things I want to understand about this. How much is this blockbuster real art and a mirror of the times with a message or just overrated sensation and questionable entertainment? I will concentrate on what’s most controversial and sometimes just bad, because this is where the crux of the popularity question resides. It does seem that so often there’s a widespread liking of the series despite this or that and the doubt list grows.

When two of the lead actors of the series, John Dance and Kit Harington were introduced to the literary source for the series, the former thought the books “frightening” in their thickness (how could one read so much – the first volume alone is over 750 pp?!) and the latter felt the material “the weirdest”. Lengthy Tolstoy himself couldn’t outdo this bestseller – except for literary power. Game of Thrones and its sequels are not classic literature. They can be over-complicated with in places a constant addition of characters making up for strength of narrative – quite a lot of readers and viewers do give up on account of the intricacy, something compounded by even the author’s bizarre use of names. These are often either unnatural, forgettable tongue twisters like Viserys Targaryen or too similar for comfort. For example the leading character (as opposed to the hero) who is the dwarf Tyrion of house Lannister, must hold its own against among others, Tommen, Tywin and the whole house of Tyrell and the house of Tully, and Samwell Tarley and Brienne of Tarth and Theon Greyjoy, Tion Frey… and quite simply the author has a running love affair with the letter T.

Ordinary names, words and titles get altered around like Joffrey for Geoffrey, Jon for John, Eddard for Edward, Maester for Master or Meister, Olyvar for Olivia, while numbers of royal or noble characters like Sir Jamie have inexplicably to be written as Ser. There can also be mythically suggestive names like Cersei which is obviously Homer’s Circe though Cersei isn’t really like that anyway. This queen of intrigues is not a solitary witch but a very socialized woman. House Lannister into which Cersei is married is an echo of Lancaster in the Wars of the Roses which is one source of author George R R Martin’s general mythology. Its chief inspiration is admitted to have been The Lord of the Rings, though perhaps even CS Lewis’s Narnia just a little to the extent winter and snow is a theme – the motto of the northerly House Stark is “winter is coming” .

LANGUAGE AND ACTING

The profusion of often weird names is almost minor against the strangeness of whole sections of the drama being interspersed with quite lengthy orations and conversations in an invented foreign tongue associated with especially the Dothraki people. Subtitles offer no translation. I take it the idea is inherited from certain late experiments of Tolkien with Elvish but it’s hardly either very entertaining or revealing- in fact it’s boring.

Odd too is the crazy patchwork of accents among the actors, posh, cockney, north country, Irish etc which I imagine belongs to an increasing pop culture, post modern will to include and diversify at all costs, even if it doesn’t fit natural expectation for the characters involved. But it also belongs to increasing emphasis on the visual over the auditory, a preference for strong presence over powerful delivery. (Sometimes there is near incomprehensible gabble or whisper instead of clear diction, though again that’s hardly unique nowadays to GOT). A few of the actors, especially among the younger ones, struck me as pretty weak. They delivered their lines in ways that trivialize or infantalize the sense, but then you later realize they were probably chosen because they are otherwise versatile – good acrobats, dancers, horse riders, swordsmen, good lookers or whatever.

Both book and film script are free in their use of the vernacular. Together they convinced me for once and for all that, paradoxically, vulgar talk and four letter words simply don’t automatically lend realism and power to drama at all, they may even reduce it to the atmosphere of a kid’s playground. ( I have just been re-reading that strangely violent Victorian classic Wuthering Heights, and find it loses no power but simply noting someone began to curse).

It’s true there are nowadays journalists to tell us that when things hotted up between Prince Charles and Princess Diana they might scream at one another fit for the gutter. But that’s still not necessarily representative for them or  royal history or anyone. More typical of royals and aristocrats across history has been their inability to unbend and leave the high style or etiquette. Before her execution Marie Antoinette even said “pardon” to her executioner when she tripped on his foot. Occasional verbal outbursts may therefore be the reality for individuals, but fiction and drama offer summary (caricature) only and thus authority figures can’t afford too much characterization via the merely exceptional or they become less credible…..And the atmosphere for actors and audience itself evidently risks infection. It’s almost but not quite amusing that in one of her DVD interviews Cersei actor Lena Headey employs variations of the F word so much, so often she sounds like a case of Tourette’s syndrome!

VIOLENCE

The fantasy is set in violent “medieval” times but some of the violence like that periodically directed upon a blind Arya by the Waif in the black and white house of the heads, is pointless and unexplained. Series Six included skull crushing, eye gouging and burning at the stake  (of a child) so one wonders how and why the seventh season is supposed to be more violent. With DVDs it has been easier to avoid some of the gorier and morbid violence by fast forwarding. Extended scenes of torture are quite simply unnecessary, especially in a show which is ultimately entertainment and fantasy of sorts. The torture and castration of Theon, dubious character though he might be, are objectionable and morbid as is also portrayal of his humiliation – he is to be gradually reduced to the animal or to a contemptible non entity called Reek. (Much later in the series he is deprogrammed back to reality and dignity or sorts and even helps save Princess Sansa from her marriage cum imprisonment. It is one of the oddities of the story and its often disjointed script’s lack of exposition and explanation that we see the pair jump off battlement walls in what seems as though in despairing suicide only to find them hail and free later).

I have only read book one, but the TV series seems true enough to Martin’s violent realism which is persistent, ugly and everywhere. If I open Volume One taking just a sentence or two at random I get (and this is mild) “Blood had gushed from the boy’s mouth as he collapsed, and more was seeping from the slit in his belly, pooling beneath his body. His palms were cut where he’d grabbed at the blade. She backed away slowly. Needle red in her hand….”

We learn the production company use a concoction with blueberries for vivid blood, and they make it all sound very funny, but one gets weary of blood streaming from mouths, eyes, stomachs, and sometimes necks. Series three ends with “The Red Wedding”, a spectacular and breathtaking orgy of bloodletting and decapitations at a wedding banquet. This is overkill (no pun) for what is only fantasy; but if you insist it’s life and  history, then life has enough of it for us to need to get away from it. However, if we aren’t being offered “realistic” blood for the inspection then we have to suffer such as Tyrion vomiting badly. I am not aware how the Belfast production unit composes the vomit.

SEX

I suspect that a recent confession by Dame Maggie Smith that she  probably couldn’t become an actress today because she would lack the now requisite courage to keep removing her clothes, is influenced by the nudity of GOT. There’s plenty of bare flesh and sex in Thrones but a major part of it has to do with Lord Baelish’s (Littlefinger’s) King’s Landing brothel. It is used in plots against enemies and to manipulate people. The dwarf Tyrion through perhaps inferiority complex, gets through many women but almost loses his heart to one whore.

I would agree with Clive James that the sex is basically Hollywoodized (one might say Playboyized) as it directs upon women. An emphasis on women might seem only natural and inevitable except for one vital point. If you are not directing porn as such (and in fact adult film actors were brought in for some of GOT’s sex scenes), stage and TV portrayals of nudity have long been justified provided they were essential to the plot and perhaps reflected also something more like honesty, vulnerability, spontaneity rather than glamour. Not only is some of GOT’s exposure of the glamorous whores and the lesbianism of some of them irrelevant to any plot, but a key element in the story, a princely homosexual intrigue with major consequences, a trigger to the religion/inquisition threat to House Lannister, is almost skated over by comparison. Its psychology is unexplored and its expression little shown. In short, if relevance and realism were any criterion, a series as frankly outré as GOT should have shown more male and less female nudity. That it hasn’t raises question of artistic integrity, sexual equality, etc. (Granted there was intended to be a nude scene for Kit Harington’s popular hetero Jon Snow character, but it didn’t proceed because the actor broke his ankle….life on set in GOT is dangerous!….but if it had gone ahead would it have been relevant save as gratification for Harington’s fans?).

The sole light relief from the controversial slave market erotica of the brothel and the suggestions of primitive sex among the Dothraki is in my opinion the hilarious first night of the jubilating, innocent Tommen with his queen. The young and exquisite Dean-Charles Chapman reports it was extremely demanding to perform. This can be believed and he deserves a medal. However you won’t see more of him clothed or unclothed as he has committed suicide out of the palace window rather than been killed off like his mad brother Joffrey and so many others.

AND THE MEANING IS?

Although a story doesn’t have to have a meaning, with the source text stretched over vastly more than War and Peace, and drawing in huge audiences across years, meaning could be expected. We may have to be satisfied with absorbing a general message or even just feeling about life rather than anything more philosophical or theological though sometimes the story veers in that direction. There is a whole plot line in the conflict of new and old religions, specifically one that holds to seven gods and the other to a new god of fire and light, the latter suggested to the author by Zoroastrianism in its struggle against polytheism. The supporters of the one god are fanatics or hypocrites. Their behaviour appears to look back at the medieval inquisition and thus fictionally seems like a dig by the agnostic author at Christianity especially as it’s followers of the old gods who seem a little more enlightened and generous. It does however get suggested, contemporary style, that perhaps all the religions are the same anyway.

Unless the series’ conclusion will indicate otherwise, I think all that we can derive by way of “message” is that war is always more or less futile, that human existence offers bleak prospects, that just survival is the main game and that amid it any meaning arises from purely random individual acts of wisdom, courage and generosity. The dwarf Tyrion exemplifies the wit to survive but, with a nod towards feminism, it’s if anything the women like Arya and Catelyn Stark and Daenerys who beyond using the mind own some generosity. Jon Snow and his sidekick Samwell Tarley are not a bad second for male consciousness. ….

OR THE MORAL AMID AMBIGUITY IS?

Apart from random acts of sense and kindness there is no real moral principle or centre to this story of “you win or you die” situations. Even the better characters are distinctly flawed. Catelyn Stark has been rotten to bastard Jon Snow though she has the grace eventually to admit it. Her principled husband Eddard, one of the more attractive characters of the saga launches the drama in a cruel way, insisting on the beheading execution of a soldier who having escaped an attack from the supernatural White Walkers and who thus provides useful news, is seen only as having deserted his post. The better characters don’t necessarily have more fortunate endings than the worst. Call this pagan amorality or postmodern moral ambiguity, but in the final analysis how really true to life is it if realism is any kind of aim?

The ultimately amoral quality of the saga is well represented by its treatment of one of its main characters, Ser Jamie, twin brother of Queen Cersei. From the first the pair are in incestuous relationship which they have justified from long standing Egyptian-style tradition. In a fantasy readers may allow them this alibi, but what they cannot or should not allow is that Jamie in covering for this affair throws Eddard’s son, young Bran who espies the pair from the castle window, to what is intended to be the child’s death though in fact it will be life as a cripple. Although this is criminal behaviour and pointless too (since would the child understand the situation or be believed if he reported it), Jamie is still allowed to emerge as something of a kindly, admirable hero. This marks an improbable character development which if it avoids ethical questions seems scarcely true to life either..

SOME CELESTIAL MARKERS

It might take astrology to explain the retiring author of GOT, his tastes and aims, and in fact I mention it because it does supply one or two clues to his influence and  and the virtual  cult he has launched. George RR Martin (born 20th Sept 1948 at 9.25 pm Bayonne, NJ) saw light of day with Sun in Virgo. He also had a Saturn hard on him at 0 degrees of that sign, a feature which belongs with the painstaking labour of his novels but also the over-intricate plot and the narrative theme of a celibacy in contrast less to romantic love than sexual chaos.

The actual concept of a “game of thrones” owes something to natal Venus conjunct Pluto in “royal” Leo, with the Venus then in positive aspect to Neptune (any fantasy and any film). Venus is the lesser benefic i.e. rather fortunate, and GOT was fortunate to get off the ground after its rather shaky pilot experience. The ultimate success and huge outreach of the series is helped by the expansive and fortunate aspect of fortunate Jupiter to Pluto (fame deserved or otherwise often shows this signature) and Pluto itself on a world point besides. Then too Uranus is found on another world point, at 0 Cancer, sign of Martin’s own nation, America. The grit and murk and the whole theme of war is however due to two factors, first a moon in bellicose Aries exaggerated in its effects through its easy trine to Jupiter and then Mars in the sign of Scorpio. The latter also has something to do with the raw sex.

I am struck by what I feel is the significance for the whole GOT phenomenon of the odd, disruptive if sometimes brilliant Uranus positioned extremely on a world point in Cancer. This is the sign of America, home, family and standard domestic values and pragmatism rather than philosophy. Notice GOT is suitably a production of HBO (i.e. Home Box Office)! In certain respects Martin’s fantasy challenges Uranian style, even smashes up, the happy home with its bleak, undomestic worldview which no philosophy supports unless the anti philosophy of a post Christian postmodernism. North Korea with its mad cult of a ruling family (not to say ruthless conduct) was born a few days away from Martin with Uranus in Cancer.

SYNCHRONICITY OR INFLUENCE?

   

With Uranus on a world point the author can with exceptional ease do as art and artists often can, namely anticipate, mirror and/or influence the times. It’s well known that beheading and hanging are frequent in GOT. The series was launched in 2011 (under Aries, sign of war and of the head!) prior to the major development of ISIS so notorious for brutality, vengeance and beheadings. Isis was founded in 2004 but only became strongly active when America withdrew from Iraq in 2011. So here life could be said to follow art… if art didn’t influence it a little too. We can’t know if the organization’s younger western recruits and the likes of Britain’s Jihadi John, active in 2014, would have been encouraged in a lust for heads by the images and action of GOT.

Also during the age of GOT, in 1916 Britain’s ever controversial Channel 4 initiated what critics have called the worst show on TV, namely the dating game Naked Attraction. Individuals select a date from among persons behind glass screens whose faces are blocked out but who are otherwise naked. What is obviously controversial about the show is not the nudity per se, such nowadays can crop up at least briefly in other programmes or on the streets as in events like The World Naked Bike Ride. What’s controversial is the spirit of the thing, the show’s affinity, however sanitized and polite  for slave market and brothel style objectification. Boundaries are broken when bodies and body parts are assessed for attraction like so many items in a shop window. If (cable) TV hadn’t pioneered in erotics via GOT, one wonders if this kind of show would have reached a national broadcaster and the mainstream. The same could be said about rape. If there wasn’t rape in GOT, would it have got itself against protest into the popular Poldark series? (And we know enough about the late author’s attitudes to be certain he wouldn’t have wanted it in any adaptation – he objected to the BBC’s earliest version of Poldark, when the hero’s wife was portrayed as sluttish).

If we look back in time rather than forwards it is at least ironic and as they say “goes with the territory” that of all places in Ireland it is the region of Ulster should play host to (and by now be half colonized by) GOT. Ulster has been famous for violence  and not just in recent centuries but back into the mythic past, which as said may have influenced Martin where the hero of Ulster, Cuchulainn, plays hurley with severed heads. In some respects GOT carries shades of the Roman games but it may carry some of Ireland’s wilder, darker side too.

TOWARDS THE END AND BACK TO THE QUESTION

With all this in mind I return to my original question about the popular culture phenomenon that is GOT. How much should we like it? Given all the barriers to appreciation I have outlined, one can’t offer more than qualified praise. This raises questions about those whose admiration is uncritical. What is it they really value and enjoy? Can precisely the challenge to accepted standards and censorship and with it the charm of belonging to the avant-garde in-group who approves that be suspected? It so, that could be serious. The fact remains that until laws and cultural values imposed greater sensitivity, executions and many forms of punishment were spectator sports. People enjoyed viewing death and torture in the public square or in the Roman amphitheatres. Too many probably still would – even today there apologists for the cruelties of the bullfight as “culture”. Arguments to the effect film and drama somehow sublimate and keep vicious desires within limits are dubious. Rape, torture, and violence generally can always be conveyed by shouts and screams off stage. By contrast images can sow seeds and foster obsessions. And as said, who knows if Jihadi John and his Beatles band or the insufferable Sally Jones weren’t encouraged as children of the West by modern entertainment of the GOT variety?

If you find elements of GOT plain distasteful, why keep watching? There are interest groups and persons from Christians to the Turkish army, from feminists to PETA who have their objections and even acting in the show can leave people with second thoughts (Jack Gleeson who fulfilled a childhood ambition to perform in a blockbuster by playing King Joffrey, is now debating whether he wants to act any more – he’s reverted to philosophy and theology studies at uni!). So the why watch question is meaningful. In my own case the answer (excuse?) is the very human one that I like to finish what I’ve begun and having travelled so far I wish to see what more of Ireland gets onto film, know how the saga ends and have a still clearer picture of what the bizarre phenomenon of the books and its series means, my writer’s purpose in the first place..

If it ends with the dragons as virtual saviours, since symbols and archetypes may be obscure but cannot lie, I might be forced to conclude the whole enerprise was about as bordering devilish as some imagine it to be (with Lucifer in direct aspect to the author’s Venus and Mars, his sex and violence themes, that can’t be entirely ruled out!).  The dragon is a variant of the serpent and in apocalyptic vision is a form of the devil. It is interesting just how many books and films of recent vintage have promoted images of dragons and serpents as friendly, helpful, harmless or unreal really. (Though I haven’t read it and can’t say it belongs to what I have in mind, top of several  fiction lists of 2016 has been a novel, The Essex Serpent.

I suspect that in years to come GOT could be seen as an aspect of the kind of general collapse of values and self-deception memorably described in a recent non-fiction bestseller, Douglas Murray’s The Strange Death of Europe. I wouldn’t be surprised however if once the series comes to an end amid arguments between author and adapters  about how it should end, it will die a natural death and be little remembered unless as a staging post in large and super-expensive TV production. (I could imagine a fate la bit like that of the once incredibly hyped and for its time costly and spectacular Taylor Burton Cleopatra film).  And we who took GOT seriously might then seem as silly as the curate who managed to find his egg good in parts. But time will tell.

 

 

 

u

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 11, 2017 in aesthetics, creativity

 

SENSE AND NONSENSE ABOUT THE SIGNS OF 2017

  

August’s “Great American Eclipse” with its path right across America as though to divide it, is just one of a number of expressive, notable signs that are increasingly intriguing people whether their perspectives are prophetic and/or astrological or not.

Many feel we are living in tumultuous, very special times; but speculation about the possible omens ranges from the genuinely meaningful to the merely silly. Problematic is a now near gone viral line in Christian prophecy cum astronomy which emphasizes especially a rare celestial pattern on Sept 23rd. It’s getting associated with apocalypse and the so-called Rapture. How appropriate is this?

Below is an excerpt from the final chapter of my updated study Christianity’s Destiny which has special reference to this year’s signs and their accurate assessment. I accept the talk about signs (and others less known) are  significant, but they need more careful  evaluation than they are receiving. The excerpt will help clarify and even prove how and where  it can be misleading to embark like some would-be prophets and “biblical astronomy” afficionados upon the interpretation of signs oblivious to well-established principles of symbolism and astrology. It has caused trouble before and it will do so again. Notoriously, the much touted blood moon tetrad across 2014 and 2015 has now been  half forgotten, dismissed as error, exaggeration or another  date setter’s damp squib. Yet it did signal something, and something still relevant – given application of the right methods of interpretation.

It’s unsatisfactory and even presumptuous to dismiss as only “pagan”/unbiblical certain rules of interpretation that should be applied and which can actually be shown to work for history and religious issues. Refuse them and you’ll not only miss what you should know at this time, but you might as well declare with Bishop St John Chrysostom in the fourth century (he who almost single-handedly invented anti-Semitism ) that it would have been better if the Magi had never come to Jesus because astrology was so evil.

Today and sadly it is the myopia of new fangled “biblical astronomy” which has helped produce some fake prophecy and prevent irrefutable key evidence for many things (and I do mean that) concerning the data of Christ’s birth and death and what the Magi knew, from even being considered among Christians and others. Christianity’ Destiny, a book from which I excerpt below and which includes serious consideration of things like signs of Christianity’s ending,  is a sequel to Testament of the Magi. ( https://goo.gl/I28aCm ). That book proves beyond reasonable doubt (try to disprove the mass of evidence, you’ll have a job) that Jesus was born with messianic Jupiter at 19 Pisces, sign of the then incoming and now outgoing era, in a sector of the heavens associated with Israel. He was not born like someone to the lifestyles of the rich and famous with Jupiter/Venus aspects or with the sun in regal Leo. Instead his nativity was under messianic Jupiter conjunct testing Saturn better reflecting his earthly struggles and suffering apart from the fact Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions had  dynastic and cyclic significance . If this basic fact was ever realized there would be less error directed upon the signs like those of September 2017 which, though significant in their own way, aren’t so because of any supposed first Christmas-like association of Jupiter with Venus.

Christianity’s Destiny supplies a striking and unique demonstration of the identity, ideas and main personalities of Christianity from Pentecost AD 30 to today right down to the last relevant name, place and concept asteroid and so-called Part like Part of the Father. These all work so often against chance in such degree of harmony and into modern times they cannot be lightly dismissed. People should not fail to be aware of the astonishing facts and patterns (it’s even an open scandal that they aren’t). The data are intricately accurate to this day and it is from among them that any speculation about seasons of ending are best, most securely made. (But it is because I am persuaded of their accuracy that I am also suitably cautious about the forecasts one can ever make and the application of their symbolism).

To take at random just one example from a chart pattern which is by no means about just Christianity’s leaders and the papacy, at Pentecost (and needless to say long before Mexico was discovered or its asteroid seen and named) asteroid Mexico stood at 21.59 degrees Scorpio. When the first papal visit (John Paul 11’s) to that nation took place beginning on January 26th 1979, novelty-bringing Uranus was by transit at 20.36 Scorpio i.e. beginning to conjunct Mexico at 21 Scorpio. The trip was successful. When Pope Francis first visited Mexico for what by contrast was considered a disappointing if not failed mission beginning Feb 12th 2016, the sun at 22 Aquarius was directly square (a tension aspect) to Mexico which was being conjuncted by a difficult Mars.

Though data like that of Pentecost should in itself be a justification of  the supposedly biblically verboten subject of astrology (a position many rabbis would question), I don’t feel obliged to justify my position to dismissive, censorious religious critics for as long as against biblical rule to which they pay lip service, they still  listen to and broadcast noisy, failed prophets like Glenda Jackson or Jonathan Cahn. The former’s predictions, supposedly under direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit  concerning Obama as last president were breathtakingly wrong, while the latter has been proved sensationally wrong more than just once in prediction of everything from stock market crashes, to the fall of America and the end of the world. Enough! What some will dismiss as unredeemed “pagan” astrology can tell you more and better than these modern voices of confusion, indeed with all due allowance for some inevitable errors it would be hard put to do worse!

 

(From Chapter 14 of Christianity’s Destiny, “Ending Sometime: Between Astrology and Prophecy”

……………ECLIPSES WITHOUT AND WITH ASTROLOGY

The more blatant modern predictions, or virtual predictions, of Second Advent (whether over Arabia, at Jerusalem or anywhere) that conservative Christians normally opposed to specific speculations have allowed through, have their source and inspiration in speculations launched over a decade ago by the Messianic Christian Rabbi, Mark Biltz. Biltz is founder of El Shaddai Ministries devoted to stressing the more Jewish side of Jesus. Findings and variations on a theme by Biltz like John Hagee’s Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change (2013) rapidly became bestseller material.

Though Biltz and the rest haven’t cared to be too precise about the Rapture, some may be said to have hinted that Jesus could return to Mount Olivet in 2015 around the Day of Atonement. Because the gospels forecast signs in the heavens and (whether literally or symbolically), “the moon turned to blood” before whatever event precisely marks “The Day of the Lord” (a time of judgement, the Rapture, the Tribulation, the Second coming to Jerusalem?), it struck Biltz there could be some significance in a certain tetrad (sequence of four) red moon eclipses. These were due to fall on the Jewish festivals of Passover and Tabernacles six months apart in both 2014 and 2015. There had at any rate been significance in such festival tetrads for Jewish history. We shall see what this significance was but, as it happens, if one included a count of the festivals by traditional rather than more modern calculation put in place in the eleventh century, there was something seriously rare to unprecedented – namely a sextet of blood moons which stretched into 2016.

Undeniably rabbinic traditions can refer to blood moons as the moon “turned to blood” and solar eclipses as the sun “turned to darkness” (both these being biblical expressions). They have also regarded blood moons as important for Israel either for war or major change while solar eclipses have been deemed more important for the gentiles. It can however still be argued something stronger than just eclipses are indicated by the gospel prophecies of end times – if taken literally. But how literally are the prophecies meant to be taken? For example, asteroids and meteorites might fall from the heavens, but not stars (it would take too long!) as envisaged by Mk 15:23…..unless perhaps stars appear to be falling because there were to be, say, an axis shift. Which is always a possibility. So there’s an issue here around what and how much is literal or symbolic.

Though worth examining, the idea that the blood moon eclipses are end times “signs”, is nonetheless an assumption made against a background of uncertainty. All said and done, blood moons are not a great rarity, albeit one must grant the lunar tetrads that Biltz had first highlighted are fairly rare and rarer still falling on the Jewish feasts. (62 tetrads since the first century but only 8 on Jewish festivals). It therefore seemed the 2014/15 tetrad could correspond to significant events for Israel and possibly by extension the church.\

For claiming some direct relevance to Christianity of such eclipses, the test case would need to be the year of the crucifixion – or so blood mooners assumed. Yet as will be apparent from the present study and my Testament of the Magi, I would claim along with many theologians the year of crucifixion was AD 30. Jesus’ death was anyway of more global and era than national significance. Accordingly it was suitably reflected by the nearest solar eclipse. Any blood moons in 33/34 are more likely to reflect the division and general turmoil within Israel which Christianity, the conversion of St Paul, the martyrdom of Stephen etc were opening up for it.

Even conceding that point, many find it hard to think of the prophetic details of Peter’s Pentecost sermon with its mention of “the moon turned to blood” and other images drawing upon a prophecy of Joel, as fully realized at Pentecost (whether in AD 30 or 33), at least not literally so. It is not unreasonable to suppose the apostle’s audience may have been intended to understand and did understand the festival was a foretaste of a still greater day of fulfillment towards the end of the age. Regardless…a blood moon didn’t absolutely have to be in the skies for the first Pentecost to be the unique day it was. Nor did those present need to witness to the “drifting smoke” (of volcanos understood) and major signs in the heavens or in the earth beneath to be assured to major significance (though to the extent the Jews and Jerusalem are always deemed specially linked to end-of-era events, any future Pentecost might well be extreme and literally so after Joel’s description).

The relevance of the blood moons for the fate of Jews before modern times was best seen in 1492 when they were famously expelled from Spain. More recently, tetrads were significant in 1949/50 and in 1967/68. Modern Israel came into being in 1948, but it had to fight for its existence in ‘49 and ’50, so the blood moons suitably oversaw war and developments at that time. Then in 1967 there was the Six Day War and (East) Jerusalem retaken and Israel effectively unified after two millennia. This was seen by many as highly prophetic, an end of “the times of the Gentiles”, a first herald of the end of organized Christianity as we know it, a promise of the Second Coming. 1967 was significantly enough also a Hebrew Jubilee year, 50 years on from 1917 when modern Israel suddenly began to seem like a real possibility because Britain’s General Allenby took Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turks after centuries and Britain issued the Balfour Declaration). Jubilees in Judaism mark a season of setting free, of debt release or return of land.

Despite the interesting coincidences presented by blood tetrads, they don’t make too much sense and can hardly be used to predict and declare anything if one doesn’t understand the meaning of even a single, independent eclipse. This is where if there is anything to say here, astrology and the celestial data of Pentecost must be brought in to accompany, supplement and refine any predictions for today. Failing to do so leaves one with the inconclusive or unfulfilled picture left by such as Hagee. The fact is that eclipses, which are frequent enough, are not too significant if they can’t do a bit more than make a spectacle in the heavens every so often. And even if one refuses to consider little more than the time of their appearance, tradition would still have us consider the intensity (total, partial), the time span and track – there seems to be more effect and more that’s prophetic over where the event is most visible.

What any regular eclipse does astrologically is to shine a spotlight on a portion of a person’s, nation’s, or institution’s life as already defined by their birth chart. An eclipse in, say, a person’s ninth house might signal taking a university course or, for a nation, instigating reforms in higher education over the coming year from the solar eclipse. A solar eclipse introduces the new. Lunar eclipses are more by way of a challenge to resolve some already existing situation, expectation or problem and usually during the six months from the time of the eclipse. They at least leave people pondering certain issues more than others. They oversee a mood, a thought trend, even if and when they don’t produce the kind of major action Jewish rabbis are prepared to associate with blood moons for especially Israel.

Eclipse effect is anyway more in evidence if natal planets or progressions to them for persons or nations are hit by the eclipsed sun or moon and likewise the planets transiting at the time of the eclipse (the latter within a small orb of contact only). Without this not too much may occur. The outcome need not be immediate either; it can wait months until, say, a lunation or notable transit hits the degree zone sensitized by the eclipse. A classic example is the horror of 9/11. An eclipse on June 21st had hit a World Point (0 Cancer), itself related to America’s birth chart. When action orientated and bellicose Mars struck opposite that point, the inherent potential for disaster was released.

Although everyone from atheists like Dawkins to Christian fundamentalists may for their own reasons deny astrology and thus eclipse effect, one needs to be willfully blind to ignore their evidence, which is unfailing. I myself unforgettably received some effects negatively in 2003 when an eclipse hit inside my ninth house (universities, religious and overseas affairs and sometimes publishing) and near my Midheaven (reputation/career) at the same time as an aggressive Mars conjuncting my Lie asteroid hit opposite my natal Saturn (restriction, difficulties and some issues of reputation and career). Things proved suitably difficult. I received a doctorate to maximum media attention but as regards the subject matter got misreported in many places round the globe. It was even said I had been government funded to study Jesus’ sexuality – I had not broached that subject or been offered payment to do so. This was disinformation and fake news on a grand scale little of which I was able to correct (Saturn as restriction) because it was too interesting for those purveying it.

As said, traditionally the rabbis have always held that lunar eclipses are more important than solars for the affairs of Israel, the latter being supposedly more relevant to the gentile nations. Though the blood moons can be relevant to Israel, unless we could say Israel seems always to have a lot of proverbially “unfinished business” anyway (lunar eclipse material), the rabbinic assumption about lunar/solar difference can be overemphasized – it likely owes something to traditional fears of solar worship. Israel like any other nation will undergo important solar eclipses when things hot up for it. Significantly, a solar eclipse in May of 1948 in Taurus fell just days before Israel’s foundation (a typically solar “new thing”) under Taurus.

The difference between solar and lunar eclipses that I have described is empirically derived by astrologers and it is worth respecting and working with. This brings me back to my point that those like Biltz and Hagee promoting an interest in blood moons don’t know quite enough; and if they won’t work with the astrology they so readily dismiss or demonize, they stand to miss much and even mislead people about what is most likely to occur as regards the destiny of Israel and of Christianity.

When I first examined the blood moons, though it looked like they could destabilize many things, I doubted the last lunar eclipse could produce something on the scale of the biblical Tribulation whether thought of as more relevant to Jew or Christian. Even if literally believed in and deemed probable for within this decade, it was hard to see that the world-shocking and troubling effects of such as the Rapture (widely believed to immediately procede and herald the onset of the Tribulation) were present in 2015.

There was for example nothing super aerial, Libran and Rapture Ready about the solar and lunar eclipses of September 2015, though of course there had to be something, and there was, either to stir or reflect the kind of Rapture anticipation that talk of the blood moons aroused. The first eclipse of the tetrad had been conjunct the Venus that rules the endings sector of the Church in aerial Libra and so, with Venus conjunct a World Point in mid October 2015 something Rapture-like had to occur…and it did so in the form of a Hollywood Left Behind film about the Rapture. The specifically American premiere had the sun on 10 Libra conjunct Pentecost’s Trombke (Pol.Trumpet). And what is the Rapture if not the Last Trump? It was a prime case of the right idea at the wrong level.

If we dismiss as I am doing here the limitations of interpreting and anticipating events in the style of Hagee’s blood mooners who emphasise the mere fact and number of eclipses, how by contrast would regular astrology proceed in this area? While any astrologer will prefer maximum evidence, a convergence of signs because a single transit or eclipse taken in isolation is rarely sufficient to certify the most momentous claims such as the sheer weight of the tetrad invites to, it’s still always beginnings and firsts are crucial in astrology. The time of birth is always the most crucial datum. It is therefore essential to inquire what the first eclipse of the tetrad showed in order to acquire some notion of what its whole sequence might be about and oversee. Here we almost immediately have a real clue.

Rather sensationally, it happens that the first blood moon of the tetrad was fortunately trine to the minute of a degree to the asteroid Tempel (Ger. Temple) in modern Israel’s natal sector of land and property and it’s primarily affairs of Israel according to the rabbis that the blood moon should stress. Though back in 2011 I was sure something would turn up with regard to the the temple, I wasn’t sure what and how, but I am satisfied that was the most essential theme.

The whole period of 2014 and 2015 (and into 2016 if one admits the mentioned sextet factor) now marks a period of conflicts and protests around the temple and Temple Mount with a sea change in attitudes towards its status. Majority Israel’s near secular indifference to the fate of the Temple Mount and any third temple has radically changed, not least following especially the career of Rabbi Yehuda Glick of the Temple Mount Institute. He would move from dismissed fringe figure to influential politician, especially following the attempt on his life in the wake of the second lunar eclipse. In 2015 the Israeli parliament passed an historic law permitting Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. Although Jews were legally permitted to visit but not pray on the Mount, prior to the 2015 law rabbis had always ruled Jews should not even enter the area lest they inadvertently step upon where the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy of Holies once stood. Palestinian Muslims were meanwhile offended at the idea Jews should claim the Mount as their own or that Solomon’s Temple ever existed there. But in 2016 it was announced fragments had been found that absolutely certified a first temple. In June 2016 Israel’s chief rabbi finally suggested the temple could be rebuilt alongside the Muslim shrines instead of those shrines needing to be demolished first, a belief which had made fulfillment of any restoration aims far off or next to impossible.

Is this principle of the revelatory first moon of a tetrad reliable and validated by previous example? Effectively yes… In 1967 whose Six Day War among other things returned historic East Jerusalem to Israel, the first blood moon fell on 3 Scorpio. It was thus opposite (challenge, conflict) to 3 Taurus, the degree of precisely asteroid Jerusalem in modern Israel’s foundational chart. Although at 22 Libra, the fact that Mercury and Venus at 21 and 22 Aries opposed the eclipse point but in turn made fortunate trine to Israel’s foundation time Israel asteroid at nearly 22 Leo in its destiny and reputation house, bespeaks a successful struggle for land and identity at the time. It’s all tellingly exact, though doubtless St Augustine and various blinkered American evangelicals would say it could only be so because of Satan. Yet the skies are supposed to utter knowledge according to the Psalms (Ps 19:2).

Before proceeding it is appropriate to ask concerning 2014’s first blood moon as it could also relate to the church rather than only the Israel that lunar eclipses supposedly highlight. As mentioned regarding the Rapture theme among the speculations of blood mooners’ and then some fulfillment via a Hollywood treatment, the pattern was striking to the extent the northern autumn eclipse at 25 Libra had affected Pentecost’s endings sector. It hit opposite its Venus  which from its destiny house rules the fourth of endings. Even though across two millennia eclipses have hit the same point before, they have not necessarily joined with other factors like the month’s shocking Pluto/Uranus square in action-geared cardinal signs. And they have not hit around the end of the age of Pisces itself. It was time to air an endings theme though not to end more literally and completely.

This point is an example of how a mature astrology and any prediction must not go astray and run to sensation and need not do so if the principle of level is sufficiently recalled by way of caution. The same seemingly potent endings sign could mean no more than – as was the case and as was already anticipated and known when I was writing on the moons – that the church in at least its Catholic branch was due to beautify (Venus) its properties during 2014. This was simply in harmony with the fact the fourth sector of endings also and alternatively rules a person’s or institution’s home and property. Millions were to be poured into modern Christian art. If however one were to ignore all of the more this-worldly dimensions of interpretation, one could then just as easily decide that the related, theoretically more church relevant solar eclipse of April 2014, by simply conjuncting Pentecost’s Part of Marriage was necessarily pointing to the Marriage of the Lamb, to Rapture itself.

Earlier this decade I must admit the tetrad left me uncertain and undecided as to its real outcome. I suspected not just the violence of the period but the possibility of real war leading to some kind of treaty that would render the practically difficult aspirations towards a third temple possible. This has not occurred, not least because I think that anything to do with the crucial, even apocalyptically significant temple has been and is likely to be part of a larger, longer process. It is one that started before the tetrad at late November 2013’s Hannukah festival when Comet Ison was approaching the sun, and it stretches into 2016 after the tetrad but covered by the sextet and into the signs of 2017 which I will comment upon presently. I should have preferred to work with the late declared perspective of the rarest of rare blood moon sextet. Emphasis upon the tetrad encouraged one to think something very definite ought to be settled within its time framework even if one couldn’t perfectly see it.

Hannukah celebrates the historic re-dedication of the second temple in 164 BC following its desecration by Antiochus Epiphanes. The fact that Comet Ison was conjuncting the sun above Jerualem at the time it did in 2013 was seen by many Jews as a promise of developments around the temple issue. The blood moons tetrad then focused minds and issues around the temple as never before, but hope of concrete change has owed much to the largely unexpected achievement of the presidency by Donald Trump in November 2016 under the sextet. Hardly had Trump won highest office than the Jewish Sanhedrin was appealing to Trump and also Putin to help rebuild the temple. Rabbis had been anticipating a Trump victory as some kind of fulfillment of Torah and prophecy itself. They believed he could prove to be a (not the) Messiah to assist the Jews. Trump was presumed to be a kind of latter day Cyrus i.e. like King Cyrus of Persia who freed the Jews from exile and gave them the go-ahead for the building of the second temple. Some American Christians were of similar persuasion and anticipate many remarkable developments under Trump’s incumbency. Here is a truly a case where astrology can help examine trends and assess the status of forecasts. Is Trump, who does have a Jewish daughter and son in law and is favourable to Israel and its aspirations, truly a potential Cyrus? The perhaps unexpected answer is a resounding affirmative.

Trump’s birth chart reveals the Tempel (sic) asteroid not only in his tenth house of destiny, career and resputation, but conjunct almost to the minute of a degree to the future-orientated, revolutionary, surprising Uranus. But not only this. The suggestive conjunction is then in close fortunate, opportunity-making trine to a conjunction of Jupiter (affairs of belief and religion) itself conjunct of all asteroids, Cyrus. Granted that astrology reveals as much what is thought about persons as what will actually happen and thus the pattern could simply reflect how Trump is seen in some circles; but with the destiny house involved this does appear to be more like real fate, more a call to destiny than just talk around Trump. This time the visionaries could be onto something.

SIGNS TRUE AND FALSE OF 2017

Writing this early in 2017 I feel it is possible and even quite likely, that it is 2017, which anyway presents some notable signs for commentary here, that by its end could have marked the conclusion of a process in minds and events begun with the temple-relevant sun/comet conjunction at Hannukah in 2013. It is even possible that another comet, 67P, which makes significant conjunction with the moon in late September, could be that marker. There is no question that 2017 is rich in significance and signs in this way. However, one of the increasingly emphasized signs anticipated for September 23rd immediately following the Feast of Trumpets seems bogus and once again because “biblical astronomy” is muddying the waters of the astrology it dismisses at its peril. It is important to clarify concerning this alleged sign, but first one must appreciate the wider context supplied by simply 2017 itself and the Feast of Trumpets within it.

It will be clear from Chapter Four and considerations earlier in this chapter that among those who assume a Rapture and end times scenario at all, Israel’s annual Feast of Trumpets marks a high point for expectations. It can be allowed it does so with some reason. It is seriously possible that Jesus, whose earthly career may be said symbolically to have fulfilled the spring feasts but not the autumn ones, projected onto time and the cosmos common images amd idioms of the Jewish wedding as regards the time the bridegroom arrives, the fact that only the father knows the time of this and so on. The day and hour of the marriage/ return within the more than one day Feast of Trumpets would always be unknown, but the festival itself could be suspected as the general time of revelation. And just possibly even its year might be hinted at if the parable of the Fig Tree with its mention of a generation from a forecast rebirth of Israel would apply (Matt 24:32-35). A biblical “generation” can however be 120, 70, 40 or a Jubilee of 50 years.

Accidentally or otherwise, the fact is that 2017 cannot help but stand out as a year of potential convergence in which almost anything apocalyptic from an agreement to rebuild the temple and war in the Middle East to the Rapture itself might be imagined to occur. It is, after all, 120 years since the foundation of Zionism in 1897, 70 years from the UN’s declaration for a nation of Israel in late 1947 and 50 years from the Six Day War of 1967 which, in harmony with the return theme of Jubilees, saw the return to Israel of East Jerusalem, which includes the Temple Mount area, after two millennia.

With this element of expectation as background, it is not entirely suprising that some persons would seize upon sending almost viral what they consider to be a celestial sign attaching to September 23rd, a day following the Feast of Trumpets on the 21st and 22nd. The fact is, however, that this is a sign that no astronomer or astrologer would have invented or imagined to be such, requiring as it does the employment of an entire constellation to function as the crown of another constellation that is already said to be crowned, and even deciding that a rare line-up of transiting planets with the fixed stars of the second constellation somehow make up what the first constellation by tradition and symbolically is meant to be about!

The imagined, assumed sign of Sept 23rd is associated with the account of a great portent in heaven as described in Chapter 12 of Revelation. In this vision a woman clothed with the sun and with the moon at her feet and a crown of twelve stars at her head, is pregnant with child and about to give birth. She is threatened by a red, seven headed dragon who seeks to destroy the child who is nonetheless snatched up to heaven while the woman flees into the wilderness where she is protected by God during the period of Tribulation.

Much could be commented on this section of Revelation and over time has been, but it can be safely claimed that its imagery has something to do with the constellation of Virgo over against Draco (the dragon) which is pointing at Virgo’s feet and Hydra of the many heads (though the constellation only shows one). It can also be safely affirmed that despite the centrality of Virgo the Virgin to the vision, it is most unlikely as some have imagined, that the woman represents the Virgin and that her “man child” is Jesus. This is to ignore that Jesus ascended to heaven in triumph, not snatched there under threat of evil forces, while the Virgin, who by early tradition died in Ephesus, did not flee anywhere to spend extended time in the desert.

By contrast, both Israel and Jerusalem can be biblically referred to as the virgin daughter, and in the Revelator’s lifetime it had been Israel and/or Jerusalem that had given birth to the new and threatened faith. The “man child” seized to heaven like the mythological Ganymede, is an alternative symbol (arguably a sort of Puer archetype), for the believing community otherwise described as “the Bride”. (Symbols by their nature are ever flexible and multivalent). That the company of believers is indicated is betrayed by precisely the idea of the child being snatched away. The snatching (later called Rapture), involves the same harpazo verb that St Paul uses in Thessalonians in his teaching of the mystery of the great and sudden disappearance.

The message of Rev 12 seems to be that the believing prepared will be taken away from earth while the Israel that has not joined with the new faith will still be preserved but on earth and during the time of Tribulation or Jacob’s Trouble. The twelve stars at the woman’s head again help identify her as Israel whose twelve tribes have long been believed to correspond to the twelve zodiac signs/constellations which interrelate with sun and moon as in the dream of Joseph. Symbolic logic would allow the twelve stars could also be the twelve apostles, themselves of Israel and representing the twelve tribes.

It is important to note that the constellation of Virgo has long been considered and in the times of the Revelator certainly so, as already having twelve stars like a crown at her head contained in what is called Coma Berenices, or Berenice’s Comb or lock of hair. It is almost perverse to suggest the constellation of Virgo needs a crown and that such could finally be made up – and very top heavily so! – by the entire separate constellation of Leo above it, regal though Leo is. Leo contains only nine fixed stars but can be made to appear to have the requisite twelve stars of the vision when, very rarely (once in seven thousand years), three transiting planets (Mercury, Venus and Jupiter) will make Leo look as though it had twelve main fixed stars. It is also odd to make out that a pregnancy within and birth from the Virgin’s womb is being shown and timed by the circulation of messianic Jupiter’s transit through Virgo. As some have pointed out, the total transit is more like ten than nine months and due to forward and apparent retrograde movements, Jupiter is not always fully inside what could be thought of as the womb zone…or even the sign of Virgo itself. The sign is being identified as in Hindu astrology sidereally and by what is directly seen rather than tropically defined after the normal measurements of astrology. During 2017 these would instead have Jupiter in Libra – the sign, given Pentecost’s pattern, anyway far more related to anything like endings. There is, besides, nothing exceptional about Jupiter’s position or motion during the year – Jupiter enters Virgo around every twelve years much as the sun and moon traverse Virgo every year in the northern autumn, the sun at the head and the moon across Virgo too, though precisely at her feet more like every nineteen years.

The whole idea of a special “sign” created by three transiting planets is unsatisfactory. Ironically, the best one can say for it is what is not being stated yet very legitimately could be, namely that an exceptional impression is given of the joining together of Virgo and Leo. One could claim this was meaningful to the extent that the earliest zodiacs, certainly in Egypt, begin with Virgo and end with Leo. (So called “biblical astrology” paints the picture of creation and redemption against the background of a zodiacal circle which engages just this sequence of signs. The more usual, widespread Aries-Pisces circle is nevertheless profoundly meaningful for the round of spiritual and religious development as I stress in the course of my The Astrology of Beliefs.[1]

The alleged sign of 23rd September is unnecessary as it could be argued that, just as it is, the constellation of Virgo receiving its annual transits of sun and moon points to the season of Trumpets as forever marked out for something final and apocalyptic. Moreover, during 2017 there are quite enough other signs to engage serious attention and in line with more standard forms of information and assessment. Indeed on the 23rd itself and with the sun on a World Point (0 Libra), the Comet 67P will be conjunct the moon at the Virgin’s feet which itself is of some interest. I have already suggested that this comet might well be seen as the other bookend to the sequence of temple-associated developments started by Comet Ison at Hannukah in 2013. The fact that just before this and on the Feast of Trumpets itself Israel’s progressed sun will be into a new sign at 0.0 of Leo seems significant. For Israel regal Leo is the sign of anything Zionist or Davidic but at 0 Leo a tension square is set up with the commonest used foundational chart of modern Israel which shows 0 Scorpio rising.

The change bespeaks the dawning of a new phase in national affairs, a change in consciousness or status since Leo oversees the nation’s leadership/destiny house. The progression of the sun into a new sign is an around 30 year event and points to new outlooks and situations. There would certainly be a whole new era for Israel if a third temple were to arise, though I don’t say that would have to occur on the dot when the sign changed. September nonetheless contains various transits like Mercury opposite Neptune and Jupiter opposite Uranus which are potent for mystery, surprise and change including in the way they affect the Pentecost chart.

Major events in and for (organized) religion in all its expressions are possible in 2017 simply by virtue of the fact that during it Saturn is back and forth in conjunction with the Galactic Centre (26 Sagittarius) and Uranus in trine to the point. Saturn is constrictive and painful and makes for endings, Uranus can be shocking but revolutionary. Saturn tracking through Sagittarius has been bad enough already as regards especially religious persecution and genocide (and also revelations of clerical abuse and corruption), so one wonders how much any aspect to the GC could hope to top it for crisis and significance. Speculation could run wild here: anything could be imagined up to and including the overthrow of the Vatican promised by ISIS – according to the old St Malachy Prophecy the current Pope is anyway last in the papal line, while the late Catholic seeress, Jeane Dixon believed there would be an overthrow followed by the inauguration of a new global faith through Rome. Undoubtedly a time when Saturn was on the GC would be one of the most favourable for the kind of darker prophetic outlook that envisages the advent of a great deception and/or an Antichrist.

Here is an example where talk of blood moons or constellational signs can tell us nothing too specific but standard astrology might be able to convey us something rather more. According to Jeane Dixon, the Antichrist was born at a time of very unusual aspects in the heavens back in 1962. Obviously I cannot certify that Dixon, who believed the point and purpose of her life and gifts was to receive especially that vision, was right and that the person of her vision actually exists. What I can affirm is that if he exists, factors in his chart, not least the two important eclipses of August, will impel him to appear before the world towards the end of the year or the beginning of 2018. For the length of his life nothing would be so compelling for the assumption of influence and power; and since this figure of prophecy engages war, there would perhaps be no time so favourable to appear as late 2017 ahead of likely effects of the next round of the war-associated Saturn/Pluto cycle. The latter was in evidence for WWs 1 and 11 and doubtless would be for any WW 111 from 2018 onwards.

So much could be said about just the solar and lunar eclipses of August 2017. The solar is already dubbed “The Great American Eclipse” for the way it completely crosses and divides America. It is also important for President Trump whose Ascendant and Mars it conjuncts; and for Christianity whose Pentecost Moon conjunct Church it conjuncts; and for Israel whose destiny house Mars it conjuncts and the Vatican whose Neptune it conjuncts also squaring its Jupiter; and for the alleged Antichrist whose ruling Uranus conjunct Achristou it conjuncts. This is without considering the lunar eclipse which directly conjuncts Pentecost’s seventh house Christ asteroid and Dixon’s Antichrist’s sun (and also North Korea’s Pluto whose Saturn will have been directly hit in the solar eclipse). The sixth months from August 2017 could well prove world-historical for decisions and events.

I don’t doubt that some will imagine by this I have either predicted or implied that the Rapture itself must occur in 2017 if only because it’s widely believed among students of prophecy that the advent of the Antichrist cannot occur unless and until the Rapture has taken place. My response is that I am not so so definite because one cannot be so. I have already demonstrated how failure to take level of manifestation into account in astrological interpretation can lead to over-statement and that overall astrology deals more in trends and possibilities than absolute forecasts, though in some contexts these can be made. But actually, I can even see an objection to 2017 as being a major year of destiny for Christianity. Quite simply, I can’t certify though eclipse or transit as some would require, what bespeaks any massive spiritual movement such as would be needed for any last pre-apocalypse Pentecost.

Admittedly that subject is problematic. Some words of Jesus suggesting lack of belief at the time of the end (Luk 18:8) could shed doubt on whether expectations of a last Pentecost were ever quite justified. If they were, then any last Pentecost could as easily be something to occur during the period of Tribulation as before it. But then again, there are some today who maintain that the last Pentecost is already occurring in parts of the world, especially in those places where belief is persecuted, if largely unreported by secular media. (Nowadays secular media hardly consider spiritual movements and issues of Christianity apart from the supposed interest of certain undermining scandals). Canon Andrew White, the so-called Vicar of Baghdad is one who has reported that though Christianity is virtually done for in Iraq, there are remarkable and unprecedented things happening, miracles, angelic appearances, visions of Jesus, even resurrections, things unimaginable to the secular West but which he is convinced belong to the end times only. Significantly but inevitably, this more dramatically religious aspect of White’s reports have not been widely conveyed by media. But if the idea is valid that the last Pentecost is taking place now, rather than awaits a period of Tribulation, then I should say those eclipses of 2015 and 2016 which fell on Jesus’ sun, then on the Bethlehem Star and then (lunar eclipse) on the Jupiter of the Pentecost chart, could be relevant as heralds of what was due to manifest and is now claimed to be happening. A blog article of mine, The Big Jesus and Jupiter Weekend, is also relevant here.[2]

Because of the possible misunderstandings around the signs for 2017 and the astrological complexity involved, I will not detail all that’s at least potential for the Pentecost chart. The bogus claims about the sign of Sept 23rd have been misleading enough already. All one can really say is that the period around late September either marks a crisis or is the symbolic gateway to a period of crisis and/or consciousness change over the months following. If one envisages extreme events, then the second half of 2017 presents itself as a stronger candidate for such than some other years. Whatever happens, the present time is one in which beliefs and values that have been building for decades now in society, politics and religion, will be put to serious test in a season which could seem like judgement itself.

Some, including Owuor, even believe we are already within the Tribulation and the first seals have been opened. I don’t agree, but one can appreciate why people might think so and how the symbolism can be made to fit to some degree. For Owuor, the white horse rider of the first seal (Rev 6:1,2) is not the advent of the Antichrist of much traditional commentary but rather the all-conquering modern forms of deception – everything from post-modernism with its relativism to the false prophecy of neo-Pentecostals, the prosperity gospels and inter-faith theologies. These invade the world and church so as to make them vulnerable to every untruth and false Messiah and thus sleeping and unready like the bridesmaids of the apocalyptic parable. Revelation’s red horse who brings war and violence is the “wars and rumours of wars” of the gospels and is a feature of our times through especially destabilizing terrorist movements and now radical Islamic terrorism and genocide.The black horse who introduces shortages and famines is the economic woes of the West and chronic shortages of the Third World. The pale (green) horse rider who brings death, plague and destruction on a massive scale (a quarter of the fish in the sea destroyed and so on) has not yet been released (though numerous fish have been dying) and for Owuor is unlikely to be so till after the Rapture and around the time of the seventh seal’s great quake and Day of the Lord which brings earthquaking on a tremendous scale.[3] But Owuor seems to have changed his mind about that one following widespread international interest in the odd image of a green horse rider on TV screens around the world at the time of the Arab Spring’s Egyptian riots. He now thinks the horse has been released and we will live through a period of increasing troubles symbolized by this green horse prior to the Rapture event. His mind change at this point doesn’t inspire confidence. I disagree with his perspectives here not least and obviously for astrological reasons. If there are to be really serious disasters in the world, I think they wait upon the wars, turmoil and agony dangerously possible under Saturn/Pluto cycle effects such as begin in 2018.

In the end it doesn’t come down to prophecy or astrology being perfectly right but ideally each supplementing and illuminating the other. Either you believe that prophecy naturally is or can be linked to astrology, or you don’t; you believe that astrology is a forbidden divination or it isn’t; that it’s a science of an unusual kind rather than superstition or devil’s work. I suggest it’s a resource, an often invaluable one. Again and again I see and hear the most abject nonsense allowed to surround church issues, beliefs and plans for futures that a basic understanding of the astrology of Christianity might help correct but that one cannot begin to use because to do so is to promote what is seen as most fit to ignore, misrepresent or even abominate.

And yet, is it even likely that so many working signs of which I have offered some record in this book, would exist not to be discovered or known? Conservative readings of scripture are more selective than they admit. The fact is that the Psalmist declares all the days of our lives are foreknown (Ps 139:16), a flat contradiction of the kind of argument which holds that Christians must reject astrology because it would align religion with determinism as against free will. By employing the technique of diurnals, astrologers alone come the nearest anyone can to tracing the general framework and possibilities of every day in an individual’s life. They can hope to understand what the psalmist was talking about… or indeed the author of Ecclesiastes who in a set of reflections akin to those astrologers might affirm, perceived the cyclic nature of reality which makes at least some aspects of life predictable.

Uranus is the acknowledged planet of astrology and astrologers. It “rules” Aquarius and hence oversees the coming Aquarian era that is at the doors. At a higher octave and for religion, Uranus is also the planet of the Spirit who is the central subject of Pentecost. To dismiss astrology is to deny a place at the table to prophecy or the divine “plan”, the outline and archetypal organization of things which is of the Spirit and Uranus. It would be better if faith took the plunge and accepted the wisdom offered; but if it doesn’t, it can be safely forecast that the age we are entering will see to it that sooner or later this form of knowledge will be accepted and integrated to religion and life more generally. Meanwhile, all one can do is offer the rather remarkable evidence for the ongoing truth of the celestial signs which single out especially Pentecost as a, or the, day which saw all history.

[1] Rollan McCleary, The Astrology of Beliefs., Createspace 2013

[2] McCleary’s Alternatives blog July 2016, http://wp.me/p2v96G-LL

[3] A self-styled visionary, Ken Peters, who claims to have been shown an extended panorama of the Tribulation as far back as 1980 but who today sees his scenarios as closer to today’s conditions, does place the killer quaking – which he says will also occasion a pole shift altering all climates permanently – inside the Tribulation just post-Rapture. So in a way, Peters, who was not even a Christian at the time of his visions, tends to confirm Owuor’s urgent picture. Whether he’s right or wrong, if you want a few chills and thrills I suggest Peters’ “I saw the Tribulation” (on YouTube) is preferable to wading through the Left Behind fiction series, something I’ve never attempted and won’t recommend.

A related relevant article, An Astronomy/ Astrology of Apocalypse: Could There be Such?  is at http://wp.me/p2v96G-OA

 

 

 

 

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 7, 2017 in astrology, Mysteries, religion

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

THINKING ABOUT DISNEY’S “GAY MOMENT”

CHANGING THE STYLES

When I was young I was never a great fan of Disney films. Donald Duck might be OK but cartoonish versions of classic fairy tales were mostly a turn off, too knockabout  and yankee doodle. Early taken to those fairy tale-like villages and palaces of Mitteleuropa, I always felt I knew, helped by some classic illustrations, just how those stories should be rendered to screen but weren’t.

From what I would gather from clips, Beauty and the Beast which premieres in America on March 17th, promises to be closer to what I always imagined should have been a Disney treatment of fantasy. But just at the moment it becomes in some respects more fantastic real and European it also becomes a little bit gay too, briefly perhaps and almost exclusively towards its end, but evidently enough so to upset a sizeable minority of American citizens and some members of the Russian establishment. The latter regard it as bordering on forbidden “gay propaganda” but the nation has settled for a 16 + rating so that children won’t be influenced.  The chief “moment” – about two seconds of two men dancing together – is nevertheless said to be so subtle it’s likely to go over children’s heads anyway.

I understand that no one is called gay or admits to be so the length of the film, but there are occasional vague hints LeFou, the companion of Gaston, could have something like a man crush on Gaston straight though the latter is. The film’s director does understand LeFou’s character to be gay but many may not. The sudden controversy over what seems not too much could owe something to the fact Beauty’s innovatory “moment” comes to the big screen in the wake of another recent but small screen “moment” in a more typically Disneyesque  cartoon series, Star vs the Force of Evil.  Amid a celebrating crowd, gay couples are briefly seen to kiss and again you might almost miss it. But what has now been labelled the show’s “unbiblical kiss”  has drawn thousands of signatures from the Million Moms group (though given how many men kiss and embrace in the bible, “unbiblical kiss” can itself sound a trifle queer in the original sense of odd). Some Christians are however now debating how best to tell their children why they can’t be allowed to see Beauty and the Beast. 

HOW FAIRIE ARE FAIRY TALES?

Disney’s ostensible aim in this instance is to be, as it has always aimed to be, “inclusive”, a buzz word and almost automatic policy in liberal circles today. Ironically however, one might well ask whether Disney, no matter how accidentally, has not finally arrived closer to the spirit of a lot of fairy tale material not just in setting and atmosphere but in being a bit alternative too.

I don’t seriously suggest that Grimm, Perrault etc were senders of closet gay/queer messages albeit, for what the information is worth, Jacob Grimm never married. Tales like Cinderella can be allowed their romantic/straight vision of things.  Even so, a case can be made that “fairy tales” are a bit of a medium of expression for those persons themselves often called “fairies”. I made this point over a decade ago as a minor thesis within my at the time highly original doctoral thesis on gay spiritualities subsequently published in 2004 as A Special Illumination. goo.gl/qAqukK

From Oscar Wilde to Peter Cashorali (Fairy Tales: Traditional Stories retold for Gay Men), gays are masters of the genre with its observation and often subversion of custom. A Grimm’s tale like The Boy Who Wanted to Know What Fear Was, hints that marriage happy ever after and heterosex might not be so desirable, but rather something to be frightened of. In The Tale of the Two Brothers, who is that man in the woods who wants to adopt and mentor (classic gay roles) the lost sons of the brothers ? Why is he alone in the woods?

Inclusive though it wishes to be, it seems that Disney was somewhat pressured by ideologues of LGBT to include further. It will be clear from various blog articles that I don’t terribly like the direction in which especially American LGBT policy has been going. It’s arriving at something like the bullying of conscience and legal penalization of Christians. There are some tiresomely narrow Christians but all said and done why should they bake cakes for gay weddings if they don’t believe they should and be dragged to court and possibly have their livelihood ruined if they don’t comply? Would Democrats reckon to be forced to employ Republicans in their staff on the grounds of “equality” and “inclusion”? Some inequality and exclusion is a regular even necessary part of life. There’s a point beyond which no gay or straight person should impose themselves on society…..

DEMOCRACY WITHOUT VIOLENCE

However… where the Disney film is concerned, I don’t have democratic sympathies elastic enough to be generous to conservative protest and would-be boycotts and censorships…If you believe in democratic rights and freedom of gays within society at all, and especially if your idealism would wish that same-sex orientated persons interact at some level beyond the merely ghettoed, hidden and/or pornographic, then you must allow them what Disney is allowing them: the right to be seen, mentioned or self-declared. Also to help get beyond America’s unusually rigid  traditional gendering which until quite recently has too often been of the “Me Tarzan, You Jane variety” in a way to hurt many people, not just gays.

if you can’t consent to  this you are somewhere between blinkered or hypocritical. You put yourself in the socially retro position akin to that of Russia where homosexuality is technically legal but so practically unmentionable that any amount of homophobic violence is turned a blind eye to. And let’s face it, American Christians have traditionally allowed the bullying of gays and almost anyone different as a matter of course, accepting it as perhaps merely inevitable and deserved.

That attitude belongs to a whole social history that needs repenting before the spiritual atmosphere can be cleared; but far from any such thing happening the intolerance/aggression connection continues. Ironically I even note that the same evangelist, Franklin Graham, who has commended a cinema that refuses to show Beauty and the Beast and would like a general boycott of the film, is friend to the same pastor Saaed Abedini who has recently been guilty of breaking a restraining order put on him for abuse of his spouse. Abedini is OK in Franklin’s house though the increasingly conservative evangelist  is on record as declaring gays “the enemy” whom one shouldn’t allow into one’s home.

Not to be free to be known for what you are only makes for dangerous repression in the person who is “other” and for mixed, confused signals within straight society like women who don’t know who they are dating and dealing with. And even if you still believe there can be no possible justification for “homosexuality” as you define it, it is still not helpful to the young to have its existence hidden from their eyes and arsenal of general knowledge. So why criticize Disney? Go and enjoy the film…

ALONE TOGETHER: THE FINALLY ADMITTED UNHAPPY GAY PHENOMENON

……With that said I could leave the matter except that I almost need to make a Part Two or Addendum to cover something else that has cropped up at this time. It  has its connection to what I’ve been saying through its challenge to the very idea of being able to enjoy anything gay associated.

The same evangelical Christian Post which has featured re the Disney scandal has given room, yet again, to the inflexibly conservative Michael Brown (for whom homosexuality is just a curable disease or “lifestyle”, not any authentic or inborn orientation), to draw attention to an admittedly  significant recent article by gay writer, Michael Hobbes. The feature is Together Alone: The Epidemic of Gay Loneliness and it actually made it into the liberal Huffington Post (goo.gl/Jq9wsQ).  In light of it Brown cites the notable negatives of gay existence, which doubtless he is not unpleased to stress at a time when it has been claimed that the level of social acceptance implied by legal acceptance of gay marriage has in a short time reduced the chronic gay youth suicide rate in relevant societies by 7% .

Hobbes’ article stresses how despite all the advances in gay freedoms, virtually nothing has changed or improved. It tells how gays, many of whom spend (waste) their lives partying and chasing drugs, have fewer close friends and meaningful social lives than straights, are often (perhaps due to insecurities) unpleasantly mean to one another, and health-wise suffer more from cardiovascular disease, cancer, incontinence, allergies, asthma, erectile dysfunction. And overall there are more deaths from suicide than AIDS. Not just in America but even in Europe and liberal Sweden, places where difference is easier to realize than group conformist America, the facts are still confronting.

One could argue Hobbes’ picture is American extreme – healthy and well-adjusted gays do actually exist, I’ve known them – but I also recognize a lot of truth here too. The picture, by any standards grim, is the kind that the liberal press and tolerant society don’t know or don’t want to acknowledge but help nothing by pretending doesn’t exist. Yet however accidentally, I believe the truth, along with the possibility of a real healing linked to a sense of meaning and purpose, is contained in Hobbes’ conclusion: “We keep waiting for the moment when we feel like we’re not different from other people. But the fact is, we are different. It’s about time we accept that and work with it.”

DELIVERANCE TO AND IN  DIFFERENCE

…..It is indeed high time and past it. Gays are different mentally, even somewhat constitutionally – much like the artists which quite a few notable gays have been. (Earlier eras might have called them constitutionally neurasthenic types). As a neighbour in London’s much artist inhabited Chelsea once asked me: ”Have you ever met a contented, well-adjusted artist?” Almost never and a reading in the biographies of most writers, poets, painters, actors and musicians across history including the religious ones, won’t alter the impression substantially. Such turmoil and often tragedy!  And an honest reading of even various biblical figures like he poetic David who valued the love of men above that of women and the troubled unmarried Jeremiah who lived with Baruch, bespeak sexual marginality and its complexes and I would make a strong case for Jeremiah’s psychology being fundamentally gay (See Three Gay Theological Poems and its Jeremiah’s Loincloth  goo.gl/dOHgGC). Be that as it may….expanded or marginal vision, marked creativity and its accompanying sensitivity all take their toll on the system and impose special responsibilities.

It might seem obvious that gays are different, yet plainly to quite a few it isn’t. The secular mind is as blinkered as the conservative religious one when it comes to the real meanings and uses of sexual orientation. Gays and their straight supporters delight in stressing “equality”, “inclusiveness” and a potential or actual “sameness” (Andrew Sullivan’s “virtually normal”) rather than essential difference needing special management. This year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras made “equality” it’s special theme. It’s all feel good largely irrelevant hooey but due to the American influence upon Gay Lib, LGBT agendas get framed in the light of those American values that long ago the himself Socialist and Liberal Bernard Shaw dismissed as untrue. People are not in many respects born equal and there never can and will be perfect equality. As to the right to the pursuit of happiness that too is a tricky one. Some of the world’s greatest achievements are born of a necessary suffering. Too much striving for happiness can itself create the very opposite as arguably some American lifestyles amply demonstrate.

I have been insisting on essential gay difference and the need to work with it for years. Despite obtaining a world first doctorate in gay spiritualities from any religion studies dept and this research being subsequently published as the mentioned A Special Illumination,  I have been largely dismissed and ignored for it to a degree I now scarcely bother to make the important point further. All the while I have been painfully aware that too many persons, including academic leaders from Michel Foucault to Marcella-Althaus Reid who noisily espoused the basically amoral queer theory that teaches “identity without essence” and which virtually turns life into one long bi or pan sexual experiment, just don’t help gays to justify or manage their existence. Some might even be said to be exploiters of difficulty who lead confused minds to hell in a hand basket rather like Timothy Leary preaching the drug culture to sixties youth.

“Homosexuality is wasted on gay people” is one of the more meaningful statements for today from queer theorist, David Halperin. I’d say it often is; and my position is close to that of Camille Paglia in regarding homosexuality as one of the more crucial, vital elements in cultures (especially the western since the Greeks) and even, for good and ill, within religion.  It is absolutely necessary to recognize and work with what homosexuality is and does in society and to be rid of the mere lies and superstition that it’s all and always bad, something to be feared, suppressed and even unmentioned.  Without yet seeing the film, the controversy around Beauty and the Beast sounds like a storm in an evangelical tea cup amid which it’s just possible that Disney is helping something.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 10, 2017 in creativity, gay, religion

 

PRINCE CHARLES AND THE POETS: A CONUNDRUM

 A CONUNDRUM

charlespoet

Thinking outside the box, being or just seeming eccentric has its uses. It has had the latter In the case of Britain’s Prince Charles in everything from useful experiments in architecture and the environment to the training of unemployed youth. When it comes to literature and despite Charles being a patron of the arts (and known for a highly traditional Shakespeare fan), the picture is more complex, peculiarly so and with what looks like subjectivity to the point of self-contradiction.It does so not least in relation to poetry as the expression of beliefs, an area in which Charles once famously declared he wishes one day to be “defender of faith” rather than “a defender of the faith”.

Yet if Charles’ major predilections when it comes to poets and poetry was anything to go by, it might be more accurate to describe him as defender of unfaith. His personal relations with especially two notable poets presents nothing short of a conundrum, though I have begun to see the conundrum entails a form of understanding that makes his position almost inevitable.

As described later, I have had dealings with at any rate one of the two poets considered here. They were two very different individuals who were rivals for the position of poet laureate – Ted Hughes (1930-1998) narrowly beat Kathleen Raine (1908-2003) to the position in 1984. Hughes, easily Britain’s most controversial poet since Lord Byron, despite all the scandals became almost family to the royals. A great natural storyteller he often read bed time stories to Princes William and Harry and since his death in 1998 Charles has erected a shrine (with stained glass!) to the poet at his Highgrove home and given permission to a hidden memorial on crown land in Dartmoor. Charles used to fish in the wilds and dine at home with the poet and his grandmother was, the poet alleged, almost flirtatious with him.

THE WILDEST POET SINCE BYRON 

by Rollie McKenna, bromide print, 1959

Women tended to find Hughes irresistible and were the problem of his life starting with the brilliant but difficult poet Sylvia Plath whom to this day many feminists choose to regard as virtual murder victim because Hughes’ infidelity drove her to suicide. The claim gained weight because death seemed to cling to Hughes like a leech. Assia Wevill, the married woman for whom Hughes left his wife, duplicated the gas oven suicide taking her daughter by Hughes along with her; another lover, Susan Alliston, died young of cancer, and Hughes’ son by Plath suicided in a fit of depression  – in this some saw genetics, some saw a curse, some said Hughes had been a domestic tyrant in a way to affect his son’s mind.

Bad though his record was, I feel it is possible to overdo the scandal of Hughes with women and similarly his reputation as virtual black magician due to his (rather Jungian) interest in the occult, alchemy, Cabbala, astrology, and shamanism – he deemed poetry a form of magic. If Hughes’s sexuality could, like his poetry, be volcanic and even sadistic, it’s a fact that when he first kissed Plath (who wanted to be a Cathy to this Yorkshireman’s Heathcliff) she drew blood from him like a vampire. But the faithless Hughes did love and respect Plath deeply (his last major work Birthday Letters is testimony enough to that) and arguably lifelong there would have been fewer flings and infidelities if the romantic pair had reconciled as intended and Plath survived. As it was, an irresistible man left rudderless and confused by his fate, followed the line of least resistance. Hughes may never have been the ogre many believed, but in one less obvious sense he was one.

As modern and especially British poets go, Hughes can be considered spiritual but not healthily so. Indeed, especially if poetry has anything like the magical function the poet assumed, then Hughes has purveyed little short of spiritual pollution itself. The early poems which brought fame in such collections as The Hawk in the Rain and Lupercal represent his Tarka the Otter or Kiplingesque line in verse. They project unusually forceful feeling onto the life of fauna and are healthy enough. After Plath’s suicide a new more shamanistic, less coherent, incomplete but highly dramatic and mythic form of verse takes over in the collections Crow and Cave Birds and this colours Hughes’ work across the next two decades.

THE TED HUGHES MASTERPIECE

The genesis of the cryptic Crow – Hughes’ masterpiece in his estimation  and that of at least some critics – arose from more than one impulse, but coming to terms with the death of Plath definitely had something to do with it.It’s a protest against common existence and notions of fate and God, to which it supplies alternative answers of a sort, even if because for Hughes poetry is “magic”, an act, resolution is like a shamanic dismemberment and reconstitution of self.  If the answers are personal they are perhaps perhaps indirectly also for England whose national psychology fascinated Hughes (author of the difficult but important Shakespeare and The Goddess of Complete Wisdom which  addresses this). And Britain for Hughes was symbolized less by its heraldic lion than the enterprising crow, the Celtic god Bran’s totem.

In the beginning was Scream

Who begat Blood…..
Who begat Adam
Who begat Mary
Who begat God
Who begat Nothing
Who begat Never
Never, Never, Never

Who begat Crow…..

hughescrow

It is hard to summarize Crow or even adequately excerpt from it; one can at best supply something of its flavour, relentlessly negative, profane, grotesque with its essential protest against creation.

“A final try’ said God. Now LOVE’
Crow convulsed, gaped, retched….
….And woman’s vulva dropped over man’s neck and tightened

The two struggled together on the grass
God struggled to part them, cursed, wept….”

Adam and Eve along with God regularly diverge from all canonical portrayals.

God ran and told Adam
Who in a drunken rage tried to hang himself in the orchard

The Serpent tried to explain, crying “Stop”….
And Eve started screeching: “Rape, Rape!”
And stamping on his head”

After creation God had been called upon to take it back and he suffers a nightmare which tells him to do better. Crow, a trickster figure, emerges to help correct things in the course of which he invents the chaos of sexuality and goes in quest of his female half.

At this level of story some might take Hughes’ picture to be almost humorous in a Monty Pythonesque fashion. But there’s enough of it and it becomes clear the inversions and negations of the canonical are a launch pad for the development of statements that cannot be taken as other than abusive and profane as Crow becomes some kind of image or shadow imitation of a Christ figure as in The Risen

When he soars his shape
Is a cross, eaten by light
On the Creator’s face…..

…In the wind-fondled crucible of his splendour
The dirt becomes God

And though the particular words aren’t within Crow itself but Cave Birds, one could guess that essentially the poet’s beliefs and attitudes as in A God, amounted to the following insulting grotesquery directed upon crucifixion and notions of salvation.

Pain was pulled down over his eyes like a fool’s hat…
He was helpless as a lamb
Which cannot be born
Whose head hangs down under its mother’s anus….

His patience had meaning only for him
Like the sanguine upside-down grin
Of a hanging half-pig…

He could not understand what had happened
Or what he had become

Though the verse is complicated, I doubt that the attitude that gives rise to them is. It may be almost too easy to make diagnosis of Hughes’ spiritual condition. Around the time of Plath’s funeral, Hughes had said he did not seek to be forgiven and if there was an eternity he would be damned (1). Did Hughes mean he would suffer his own guilt forever in refusal of all grace and redemption, or, since refusal of forgiveness can entail refusal of repentance, at some level there was nothing to repent of anyway? Either way the attitude seems singularly harsh and negative and it duly gives rise to negative effects. Almost everyone would agree there was something for Hughes to be sorry for. An attitude of ongoing self-criticism that tries to learn from failure, is almost fundamental to the Christianity that married and buried Hughes but did little else for him. Whether psychologically or spiritually, the guilt or unrepentance envisaged could automatically cut the individual off from God leaving them in precisely the death-dominated nay saying dark in which Crow operates.

CONSEQUENCES OF A SINGLE CHOICE

If Hughes had reflected more upon even just the symbolism of his beloved occult sources, he might have learned something. The images of alchemy include the mutilation of the screaming lion’s paws, an image of the lion (Hughes was astrologically a Leo) needing to be cured of his defiant pride if the process is to continue. Arguably Hughes represents only the latest among notable Leos engaged upon some theatrical collision course with deity. One thinks of Jack Miles God: A Biography, which aims to cut God down to size. Among poets there is Robert Graves who invented the White Goddess and more famously Shelley who waged a long war against a half believed in deity. Some critics have seen revolt against God in the both the fiction (Pierre) and poetry (Clarel) of Hermann Melville. Leo philosopher, Feuerbach, reduces God to nothing but a reflection of the human mind. Jung’s The Answer to Job does much the same. Leo simply does not readily admit to faults minor or major, is not humble…..like the devil one might say – in my always correct data for Christ, Lucifer (the asteroid) appears in the sign of Leo. (2).

So much of Hughes poetry is insalubrious and gratuitously violent (persons fainting outright at readings was not uncommon), one is inclined to think Prince Charles didn’t absorb too strongly what was written or said beyond the earliest offerings. Or perhaps core messages were passed over as being akin to merely Monty Python entertainments to which, like the Goon show before it, Charles was partial. (Eric Idle’s popular but distinctly godless song, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life from the Python team’s The Life of Brian, was performed for Charles’ sixtieth birthday).

KATHLEEN RAINE, UNEXPECTED ROYAL GURU

reinebook

Though the intrepid Kathleen Raine who died at ninety five after being hit by a car didn’t qualify for a Highgrove shrine, a personally commissioned  bust of her stands in Charles home among others representing a special influence. Some have called the pair soul mates. Exceptionally for royal custom, Charles attended the poet’s anachronistic funeral in Westminster Cathedral (anachronistic because Raine considered her brief conversion to Catholicism a mistake out of harmony with her beliefs and life work), and with the Queen’s permission he arranged a memorial service at the St James’ palace chapel. At that service it was mentioned how Raine regarded her connection with Charles as a fated part of her life mission. So this was a poet who had become another of those almost but not quite family figures. Prince and poet engaged a lively correspondence and Charles used to call in at the writer’s Chelsea home in Paultons Square for tea and cakes and pep talks where he was distinctly encouraged to pursue paths less travelled, was assured his position was the hardest and loneliest in the world but that he must  not surrender one inch “to the riff raff”.

In contrast to the relation with Hughes, Charles had to have been very certain about what Kathleen Raine represented as chief co-founding editor of the magazine Temenos (founded 1984). It began as a review “devoted to the arts of the Imagination” with the understanding that most meaningful  expressions of art are related to the sacred). Suitably impressed, Charles became its patron and later gave room space and lecture time in his new Academy of Architecture to those engaged on Raine’s project. He was so impressed by it the magazine became the Temenos Academy Review, effectively the review of a school Charles sponsored that was devoted to promotion of the Platonic Good, True and Beautiful across cultures. Charles himself contributed an article, A Sense of the Sacred – Building Bridges between Islam and the West. The magazine had been originally inspired by the work of Henry Corbin in France, an Islamic scholar who taught the fundamental unity of the Abrahamic faiths, though I think that emphasis minimally reflected any beliefs or interests of Raine who was drawn more to the faiths of Asia.

IN PARENTHESIS: BELIEFS OF PRINCE CHARLES

charlesmus

Charles’ Temenos contribution is the sort of thing which especially early in the century fostered rumours about a private conversion to or profound affinity for Islam, a point on which I shall briefly digress though I can’t possibly know truth in this matter. Undeniably there were visits to Muslim shrines, a donning of Muslim garb, controversial words uttered about the possible integration of Sharia Law to Britain and at least one Sheik (Mohammed Naim al Haqqani, Mufti of Turkish Cyprus and a Sufi Grand Mufti) would affirm that Charles was unofficially Sufi, a Muslim in his heart as Allah accepted (3). It could however be that HRH’s enthusiasm (he has spoken of “the perfection and beauty of original Islam”) was the expression of an earlier era when few knew the finer or any details of Sharia, when Islamism had not emerged and appreciation of world faiths had a stronger aesthetic emphasis (If Charles is enamoured of Islamic art he fancies Greek icons too in harmony with Raine’s connection of the aesthetic with the sacred).

It belongs with Charles’ “out of the box” treatment of themes that recently he has bemoaned the relative silence of media in the face of the genocide of Middle Eastern Christians. This is not like a convert’s talk. What is known and certain is that Charles has been strongly influenced by the universalist religious ideas of Swiss writer Frithjof Schuon, who regarded at any rate mystical Islam as a potential unifying force in the world and converted to Sufism, though also being associated with Amerindian tribal religion and other systems in his quest for primordial faith and perennial wisdom.. Mark Sedgwick in Against the Modern World probably gives the best description of Charles’ belief and I cite this in note. (4)

RAINE: LINKING THE AESTHETIC AND THE SACRED

As said, Raine founded Temenos to promote precisely   “imagination” and a sense of the sacred. This was to be furthered amid modern deserts of materialism and ultra-rationalism. She considered all true poetry a form of Platonism and genuine poets Platonists at heart, though perhaps like Hughes she believed verse could be “magic” too. At one time and in imitation of Yeats, Golden Dawn ceremonies got performed in her home. At least a couple of poems seem to indicate she saw or was visited by spirits (The Elementals, In Paralda’s Kingdom).

A major, ground breaking  authority on William Blake, and a noted admirer of Yeats, (both figures seen as representing “imagination”), Raine was a distinguished critic and significant advocate of neo-romanticism in especially poetry. She was herself by general consent an accomplished poet if unevenly so as she half admits in her final Collected Poems. This  excised some pieces, the sort of soppy, sentimental, rather confused personal stuff you feel shouldn’t be there – KR’s love life had always been troubled and in the case of gay author Gavin Maxwell, guilt-ridden as she had (some said successfully) cursed him in a fit of rage when he couldn’t reciprocate her desires.

When not about love or urban and rural scenes, the more mystical or philosophical of Raine’s verse tends to oscillate between awareness of being isolated as perhaps a fragment of a larger whole and awareness of somehow being or warmly included in that whole.

Thus:

I am a wave
That will never reach the shore

I am an empty shell
Cast up upon the sand   (The Unloved)

……It is enough now I am old
That everywhere above, beneath
About, within me is the one
Presence…     (In my Seventieth Year)

I am old and alone but boundless
All is everywhere
Once is forever (A Love remembered)

This emphasis early on and continuously supplied KR a kind of spontaneous affinity for Hindu identity mysticism, though she did not realize this till late and the last two decades of her long life. Before that and as the daughter of a rather repressive Methodist preacher, she had been in flight from Christianity, unclear even what the word “God” meant. Earth’s great cry of joy and woe that KR hears and then a consubstantiality with the earth she feels is perhaps…..

….What men called God
Before the word lost meaning. This
That needs no doctrine to make plain,
No cult to offer or withhold
A union more intimate
Than breath of life…….  

Sometimes rejection of or by God (however described), strikes a strange note.

God in me beats my head upon a stone   (Storm)

Stranger still are statements as from Judas Tree to the effect that if it was remarkable Judas was a betrayer, it was almost more remarkable the other disciples, “So stupidly, so tentatively faithful” were stayers. The poet realizes she has more often been a betrayer (of Christ?) than Judas, but sorrowed less for it and isn’t like Judas hanging on a tree.

While Raine could hardly claim to have betrayed anyone to death, it seems plain enough that between her critical and poetic work for much of her life she was a nay saying neo-pagan. It was the combination of a belated discovery of India and then the discovery of herself by Charles, that gave Raine more purpose in life and something approaching specific direction of faith. It then took the form of hymns to Shiva (Prayer to the Lord Shiva, Nataraja, Millennial Hymn to the Lord Shiva) and even addresses to the sun

Sun, great giver of all that is……
How address you greatest of givers,
God, angel, these words served once, but no longer…
But no myth, as before our eyes you are or seem…
Am I in you or you in me….?                          (To the Sun)

In some sense and in a poem dedicated to Charles, she could see how by tradition kings were sun identified. (Legendary Kings).

The Millennial Hymn to Shiva, asks who else can we pray to with the days of praising the Creator over and so much of the world being destroyed, than the Lord of destruction, a destruction that purifies. In the violence of Shiva, Raine seems to find some resolution of the passive and aggressive elements of her divided self.

MEETING KATHLEEN RAINE

raine        rollan-1

                         Kathleen Raine                                               McCleary in 1987

Back in 1987 I knew Ms Raine chiefly for her well informed, insightful critical work, but I knew she had founded Temenos and was generally a promoter of the neo-romantic. I was hopeful she might perceive myself as a neo-romantic, more especially in poetry where I had produced material working towards a loosely tantric, East-West aesthetic. Earlier in the decade I had enjoyed an international critical success (in prose) on East-West cultural and religious issues as a result of living many years in Asia, but poetry was a sudden new arrival in my life. Even today I remain surprised at just how proficient some of the work like the Anuradhapura I offered to Raine, actually was given that it came without any real precedent. The poems now in Puer Poems (the title influenced by Jung’s theory of the Puer archetype I somewhat celebrate) (5), had nonetheless hit a brick wall. There wasn’t a magazine or publisher would give it the time of day for almost any reason. It’s wasn’t the writing itself was bad, it would have been hard to maintain precisely that. It was always something else. You must go through magazines first, magazines objected the poems were too long or exotic. It was quite clear anything neo-romantic,  East-West or “occult” (one of the poems evoked theatre in terms of kabbalistic concepts) was simply not to be considered. You need to be Yeats or Ted Hughes before you can be tolerated for such interests.

Since I lived in Chelsea when I wasn’t overseas, I decided to wander down the Embankment and call at Paultons Square and ask for a poem or excerpts of some to be included in Ms Raine’s esteemed magazine so that I might have the recommendation of it to wave at recalcitrant publishers. As I thought it might appeal to her, I was even bold enough to present myself as having some affinities for the world of Yeats. This was not as foolish or presumptuous as it might sound. Even a department head for my first degree on meeting me years later, remarked he wasn’t surprised at my development as he had always registered me as a type of young Yeats and within a year or two of meeting Ms Raine, a rara avis, a poetic drama based on a Celtic mythic theme, had been accepted by the ABC in Australia. Contemporary Irish verse which has largely followed the British modernism Raine abominated,  contains little or no romantic, mythic or religious content. I can state unequivocally I am closer to Yeats than any of Irish nationality writing today. (I could also claim to have been continuously discriminated against because of it too!).

So…. theoretically there was no special reason for Ms Raine to refuse me the favour of a page or two of print in a sizeable review. I knew I ticked most of the boxes or seemed to.

Having described Ms Raine and meeting her in my memoir, I won’t say much more than this. When she got round to checking me out more particularly CV wise, and I mentioned that my internationally well-reviewed The Expansion of God had been published in Britain by SCM (a respected publisher of theology and philosophy), she almost choked with horror gasping “Oh, so you’re a Kistian!”. And while I sat (quite likely where Charles would sit in full view of her dancing Shiva bronze), she launched into a lecture, almost a tirade, about the superiority of India over the West, the nonsense of Europeans trying to bring any religious wisdom to it, etc etc.

Raine’s biography states that some considered her an autocrat. Sensing as much myself, I felt virtually certain in light of her shock that I would not be accepted whatever I said or did and that I would be sentenced without trial. Unsurprisingly, the details of the later refusal proved not just mean in the context of my thankless task of being published for the kind of material Raine should support, but suitably absurd. How could someone admitting I had something of Wordsworth, then object I exceeded his expression of the egotistical sublime by admitting the purely private to my verse. Here was an objection (surely a Jungian projection!) from someone herself embarrassingly personal in her own verse to the point of complaining (since Raine was once celebrated for beauty) of her thin hair and old breasts and whose revelations include how she managed her cat, “Is Pussy coming to bed?”  (I see my little Cat). My own work would seem downright impersonal by comparison. And any religious prejudice was ironic too since, however Christian I might be personally or in the published book I’d mentioned to her, the reality was that the material that would constitute Puer Poems unlike more recent work such as Raphael and Lucifer and Other Visionary Poems, (6) had nothing Christian to it at all. Conservative Christians might even have objections to the content, and given the way I’d employed religious and mythic imagery I didn’t believe in, I could almost have been taken for a Buddhist or Yeatsian theosophist.

POSSIBILITIES AND LIMITATIONS OF POETRY

Poetry can be and do many things. At its higher reaches it can function to change perspectives, further unity through new thought syntheses, grant vision to people. Accordingly it can be all of Ted Hughes “magic” and national definitions and likewise Kathleen Raine’s “transcendence” and evocation of the Beautiful. However, even Raine’s devotion to the Platonic Beautiful cannot avoid the Good and True.

The greatest originality can never entirely circumvent basic psychological and spiritual principles. If, like Hughes, one refuses anything like “repentance”, one will be left raging in the dark, and if like Raine one dismisses all issues of truth-in-belief in favour of the claims of tradition, love, inclusion or whatever, one will merely finish in self-contradiction…. not to say the discrimination that officially one’s position may claim to be opposed to.

Raine may establish Temenos to unite cultures, beliefs and creativity across the board, but practically she would be strongly opposed to and exclusive of all Christianity (outside possibly the Meister Eckhart ultra-mystical “heretical” kind) and caught in the branches of her own Judas Tree. The position exemplifies the biblical statement “Whoever is not for me is against me and whoever does not gather with me, scatters” (Luk 11:23).

THE UNIVERSALIST PIPE DREAM

Prince Charles has never been notably fortunate in his gurus – the “Jungian” adviser the late, Laurens van der Post (another Chelsea resident and a friend of Raine) has been shown to be such a lying fraud and some claimed a pedophile, he is today best forgotten and unmentioned – but I suggest that where poetic gurus are concerned, the complication repeats itself if more mildly. More mildly, but not with less potential significance for the Prince’s credo, and perhaps increasingly that of many who incline to the same would-be universalist views.

One sets out to include everyone, to defend “faith”, to love the world over its component national or whatever parts, but one finishes with discrimination in fact. At its worst, it is precisely tolerance, acceptance and inclusion of all people, races and faiths that in Britain has allowed the Trojan horse scandal in education and the sexual exploitation of minors through police fears of “racist” charges if they point to crimes and values protected within specific cultural and religious groups. In this way the moral ideal breeds the immoral one and the religious ideal fosters spiritual pollution.

Arguably the truest., most appropriate poetry for our times would be prophetic satire, nothing more, nothing less. I could envisage a sort of update of Pro 7 with this time a lost, aimless Europa and her unruly offspring wandering “in the twilight, in the evening, in the time of night and darkness”. But I sense it is already too late to tackle the momentous subject of rapid western decline in all its daunting complexity. Albeit from a different perspective, I share some of the pessimism of Raine’s Millennial Hymn to Shiva. in which already there is something less to warn against or correct than to resign to and mourn. It is has become apparent to me that writing well and relevantly today only raises insecurities and resentments in those who determine the face of literature. I mentioned last article the case of a leading Australian poet who while giving me the back-handed praise rather like Raine’s Wordsworth compliment that I had the musicality of Virgil (not a bad hit – tell the Dartmoor shades of classics translator and astrologer  Ted Hughes that asteroid Virgil conjuncted my sun at birth!), the fact I had included such “hopelessly archaic words” as “conduct” and “bestow” meant I could not be published with Penguins.

The rapidly increasing decline of the West is due not just to its materialism and PCness but among other things its artistic decadence, pundits like Raine invoking light but too often fostering darkness. As said, this decline is a theme already almost too large, too late for any one person or artist to tackle and after much striving to be allowed any kind of voice, finally I refuse to attempt such tasks, though my Beyond Dover Beach is a gesture in the direction (7). As the Taoists have it, “to retire is best”. In my own case I am satisfied that retiral and silence are the appropriate response. “Where there is no vision the people perish”. But if help is not wanted, often it is not right to insist upon giving it either; casting pearls never helped anyone or anything.

As to Prince Charles and because he does enjoy influence, one can only hope he is more fortunate in future with his gurus of art, avoiding the contradictions into which they could lead him and others.

NOTES

1) Jonathan Bate, Ted Hughes: The Unauthorized Life, p.219
2) Testament of the Magi: Mysteries of the Birth and Life of Christ, goo.gl/I28aCm
3 ) Alleged Sufi conversion https://goo.gl/MF2qYF and  for continuous updates over the years on Charles’ statements and gestures vis-à-vis Islam see https://goo.gl/YnNndW
4) “…..Charles’ own position might be described as anti-modernist Jungian and Emersonian universalism. At the opening of his Institute of Architecture he defined “spirit” as that overwhelming experience of awareness of a oneness with the Natural World, and beyond that with the creative force we call God which lies at the central point of all….It is both ‘pagan’ and Christian and in this sense is surely the fundamental expression of what we call religion”. In the same speech Prince Charles spoke against “scientific rationalism:” as “destroying the traditional foundations on which so many of our human values had been based for thousands of years” Against the Modern World: Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History. Mark Sedgwick. Oxford University Press 2004. n. 45 p 328.
5) Puer Poems  (2011) goo.gl/ymnMmr
6) Raphael and Lucifer and Other Visionary Poems (2016)  goo.gl/Xqd5BF
7) Beyond Dover Beach: A Poem of our Times http://wp.me/p2v96G-gY

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 6, 2017 in aesthetics, Poetry, religion

 

Tags: , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: