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Monthly Archives: November 2012

POPE BENEDICT’S BETHLEHEM STAR

A POPE SUPPORTING AN HISTORICAL CHRISTMAS STORY

To judge from press reports, the most surprising thing about the Pope’s just published reflections on the gospels’ birth and infancy narratives (Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives) is how much they have surprised people by just setting Christ’s birth back a few years. I wrongly supposed most people more or less knew some adjustment of the sort was necessary. Also that the birth was not on Christmas Day or in 1 AD but somewhere between 7 and 4 BC at which last most scholars believe Herod died.

As soon as I read on Twitter that Pope Benedict’s book was proclaiming it was likely Jesus was born under a Jupiter/Saturn conjunction of 7BC, I guessed –  rightly enough as I discovered when I downloaded the Kindle version of the book on the 21st  –  there was some influence here from the researches of the noted Austrian astronomer Konradin Ferrari D’Occhieppo (1907-2007).

Again it seems some Catholics have also been surprised by this too. They are so because the Pope, whom Catholics forget is very German and hence vaguely “Protestant” in terms of biblical scholarship, was prepared to be historical (some would say quasi-fundamentalist) enough to look for actual dates and historical happenings. There is after all a strong Catholic, and even relatively early Christian tradition, which regarded the star as a unique, purely miraculous sign which corresponded to nothing that secular or scientific authorities past or present could hope to nail down. It was thought of as more like the shekinah glory of God, pure light, than any star. Despite Matthew’s poetic licence which makes the Star stop over where Christ was born, overall the vocabulary used and the behavior of the heavenly body is consistent with the idea the gospeller had been told of a planet in such as its apparent retrograde motion and its special ascension and he is evoking that.

A NEEDED CHALLENGE TO RICK LARSON’S STAR

The Pope’s new historical emphasis (which has disposed of animals round the crib but insists against the sceptics upon Bethlehem not Nazareth as place of the birth), is not however as significant as some of us felt it could have been as regards the star within the story. But then, it’s true that a year ago the Pope was declaring the real Star of Bethlehem is the Word of God to light us. Accordingly he was never especially looking for either a specific birth date such as D’Occhieppo did try to work towards, or any notable astrological meanings such as precise data could supply us. The pope simply finds the D’Occhieppo theory plausible but is left wondering what we can make of it. (Without some further astrological input one can’t make too much)

The sole revolution here may be to draw at least some Christians away from the more fantastic views of the Bethlehem Star and Christ’s birth date. These have been on the rise in recent years under the influence of Amazon’s all time best selling documentary film, The Star.  Aggressively promoted, this film is now out and being distributed in many countries and languages and faithfully played in many, especially Protestant, churches at Christmas to enthusiastic audiences.

Rick Larson is a Texan lawyer with enough clout and/or cash to obtain the services of  Stephen McEveety, director of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, to put out his mixture of somewhat quirky historical  “biblical astronomy” views which have Jesus conceived and born under Jupiter/Venus conjunctions in 3 and 2 BC.

Since the years 10-1 BC are not as well recorded for history as some periods but were rich in all manner of astronomical events, speculation can run wild, as it has done. This is, especially the case if you aren’t prepared to allow the magi were, as per the New English Bible, astrologers looking at the cycles of the heavens and reading a special and specialized symbolism…..The Pope for example says nothing about how the conjunctions of 7 BC were occurring in a degree band of the heavens specifically relevant to events in Israel.

The Larson treatment, no matter how questionable, has the seductive power of cinematic glamour with its rich pictorial and musical backing. Some just cannot imagine the information conveyed with such gasping reverence at mysteries of the starry heavens and divine power could possibly be untrue. But it is. It is terribly, terribly wrong. It also serves to prevent people from seeing or knowing the far greater range of information with all their implications and useful messages for our times which the true birth data will provide us.  I endeavour to supply some indication of this in my recent, perfectly ordinary and quite unglamorous You Tube talk Bethlehem Star: Facts and Fiction  at:

www.bit.ly/R7mSIZ

It is backed up by no music and, though one or two have complained about it, no charts or diagrams either – in the past I have been repeatedly told anything like that only confuses people. So I talked non technically and unaccompanied. I hope anyone could understand what’s said. Part Two is more remarkable than Part One which clears the way to and explains what I am prepared to claim, its how and why.

THE MESSAGE OF THE CHRISTMAS STAR: HIDDEN IN PLAIN VIEW

Whatever else the Pope has got right in his sensible and quite illuminating book, it is unfortunate he does not  suspect the Bethlehem star could be precisely dateable and/or of special meaning. Instead he dismisses it as almost irrelevant to the extent the true star is always the Word of God.

In fact, the Bethlehem star was the messianic Jupiter associated in Jewish astrology with righteousness, not scriptures. Rightly discerned and for the right date and time – which for certain specialized reasons can be pinpointed in the way D’Occhieppo’s researches strove to do – it will tell us much. It can do so because it lies at the centre of an entire larger pattern that more than anything outside the Bible will disclose us Jesus’ destiny and mind.

At the risk of alienating some by the sheer enormity of that claim, I am bound to say the discovery of Christ’s true and completely provable birth data amounts to information akin to a find like the Dead Sea Scrolls. There was much more than an acronychal rising of Jupiter in a zone of the heavens relevant to Israel that the Magi could look for and that we know stargazers were looking for.  Unbeknown to the Magi and not clarified until modern times, like a computer printout the skies were reeling off facts and data by the hundreds like the names and titles of Jesus in super-conjunction in the heavens….You don’t believe me? Then listen to the talk or read my Testament of the Magi  (available Amazon, http://amzn.to/12eP5S8) and don’t let a spontaneous incredulity prevent you. The Psalms did tell you that night to night the skies utter knowledge. If you don’t wish to have that knowledge, the loss and the responsibility are yours.

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Posted by on November 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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BETWEEN BORA BORA AND BETHLEHEM

A CHANGE IS AS GOOD AS A REST?

If a change is as good as a rest then I’ve had a rest, but my jet lagged self is left to wonder….I have recently returned from a sufficiently exciting,  eventful vacation in Tahiti and while I was away a friend uploaded a video to You Tube, my first,  on the Bethlehem Star about which presently.

My feeling about Tahiti is that in line with the hype and  the history it is rightly called the most beautiful part of the Pacific, its pearl, and if many films have been made there it’s because there’s something of the film set about the supremely photogenic Moorea and Bora Bora. But as regards vacations it’s also one of the more difficult zones not just to reach but to manage.

Tahiti today depends upon mainly tourism but it is not as well adjusted to tourism and tourists as it might be. Hawaii, or, if you want French atmosphere Nouvelle Caledonie, are closer to modern comfort and amenities…..unless you really are going to lodge in the highest echelons of hotel comfort and expense Tahitian style at such as the St Regis resort on Bora Bora which attracts film stars and celebrities. English has only been taught in Tahiti in recent years. Basically most inhabitants aren’t at home in the language. This didn’t worry me personally having lived in France but if you don’t speak French it could trouble you and you had better have everything pre-arranged and go to the “good” hotels where someone can address you in English.

BANKS AND CONNECTIONS

My advice to tourists: Check everything, ask around and be ready to doubt the guidebooks. One of them published as recently as Oct 1st will inform you that you can use your bank cards at ATMs at least of Bank Sacredo if they have Maestro or Cirrus on them. This is completely untrue as I certified in the main banks of Papeete where the most I could do was queue to obtain some additional money off my credit card which I was reluctant to do as I had left it in a state more for automatic bill collecting back home. If I hadn’t largely pre-paid for tours and not brought out adequate cash changed in the central Brisbane bank I would have been in real trouble. The restriction on spending left one feeling edgy because Tahiti is outrageously expensive at the level of everything from taxis to supermarket goods so that if one were to get into trouble, above all lose some money or goods, what would one do? It doesn’t make one’s stay too relaxing and in my case it made for more eating at roulottes in the evening than restaurants to be sure to keep on the right side of things. Fortunately the roulottes, dining vans, don’t serve bad food and eating out under the warm night is not unpleasant.

Tahiti’s connections for internet are by and large not good, they are slow and weak so I bought an international telephone card for some essential messages and contacts. These are not fully reliable. I had to go through the process 4 times on more than one occasion to make the card work. It even started by telling me I was out of credit for calls on a card I hadn’t used!

CHECK YOUR TAHITI TOURS

Sometimes the system seems plain perverse and I don’t refer as I could to silly irritations like being told by the Hilton restaurant waiter while sitting beside a lagoon that the hotel had no fish that day. Nor even to the way that even if you secure yourself the necessary left hand side plane seat for flight to Bora Bora to insure you can film your approach to the dream island, Air Tahiti doesn’t keep the windows particularly clean…..No, I refer for example to the fact that no tour of Moorea seems willing or able to collect you at the catamaran wharf – you need to secure one of the few and expensive taxis to some hotel half way round the island to be picked up by anyone. I was forced to obtain a tour which would pick you up instead on Tahiti island to take you across the water from there. This cost four times the normal island tour rate and then this had to be cancelled and swapped for another because no one but myself wanted to take the other tour on the relevant day. So I missed seeing certain historic sites in favour of a mainly mountain safari that cost a further $40 US more.

This Safari (which included the Hilton visit and no fish lunch – but not the boissons of pineapple juice and expresso coffee at this hotel voted the most romantic in the world) was magnificent but hair raising. The previous day the same tour had come to a halt when someone started suffering panic fits about the dangerous tracks and turnings this trip involves especially to gain the remote and totally magnificent Magic Mountain and its truly spectacular views. Please check your health and nerves are OK for safaris on Moorea and Bora Bora (or even Tahiti main island whose interior can boast wonderful mountains where the painter Gauguin falsely claimed to have gone to be initiated), because they’re rewarding for the enterprising. They seem however only a few degrees safer than the notorious Bolivian death road! I suppose one could call it a form of initiation of sorts.

I feel rather sorry for Tahiti because one can’t be confident what the future holds for its friendly, welcoming people. If formerly France exploited the region it is now virtually subsidizing it big time and under Hollande the French government wishes to do so to a lesser degree. Ever since the ‘08 recession tourism has been in decline. The Sofitel hotel on Tahiti has just closed. Four hotels on Bora Bora have closed, admittedly in one case not for economic reasons but because of being built where flooding from the pass into the lagoon was damaging it. Increasingly French tourists aren’t venturing beyond the Caribbean; the main tourists are Americans and Japanese and honeymooners from anywhere who want to make marriage special on the famous dream island of Bora Bora. Today one needs like myself rather special reasons (my own were cultural and linked to writing) to go the great distance to Tahiti and things need to be made easier if the halcyon days of glamour tourism to French Polynesia are to return.

THE BETHLEHEM STAR – A YOU TUBE TALK

There was nothing particularly glamorous about the birth of Christ in a stable but the event was surrounded by drama and the Bethlehem Star is part of that drama… if we could understand it. Every year towards Christmas people ask questions, observatories offer speculative shows and media sometimes offer programmes.

My YouTube offering on the subject ambitiously declares there is no longer any mystery explains why and how and the entire matter is extremely provable especially assisted by name, place and concept asteroids anyone could understand, and that Jesus’ birth data work for Jesus issues and events to this day.

I hope people can be open to what I have to say  – it’s an important revelation all said and done. Years ago one astrologer raised a Catholic told me they couldn’t deal with this data because it seemed too intimate to someone accustomed to see and treat Jesus like an icon. The whole project of seeking Jesus’ birth data seemed to them a rather Protestant undertaking. (Actually my findings are a radical development of researches of the Australian and Catholic astronomer Ferrari D’Occhieppo).

I think  however it will be possible for some people who deep down don’t want to know the facts, to hide behind excuses like astrology is too vague or complex or pagan or that all your video offers is a talk. Hardly was the YouTube up than I was a bit exasperated to hear that a friend of a friend had complained there were no charts and diagrams. If anyone wants these they are there in my book Testament of the Magi (available Amazon). Normally however people complain that diagrams are too difficult unless you’re an astrologer so this talk uses none whatever, says just things about the names of Jesus’ ancestors in the heaven of asteroids and everything that any non astrologer can understand because there’s nothing technical for them to absorb. Now someone, in perhaps foretaste of things to come, complains this simplicity is not the real thing, doesn’t keep to “the basic facts” whatever those are supposed to be.

I am left wanting to suggest that if someone claims what I claim, then it’s necessarily so momentous and so vital if you consider things of Christ important at all, that if you find (as I don‘t think you should) the material a bit unfamiliar or complex you should just press on and make the effort to understand. Knowledge like beauty sometimes comes at the price of pain! However, as said, I don’t feel you should find the subject that difficult and hopefully you can sufficiently ignore my  beginner’s video for the information conveyed.

THE ASTROLOGY OF BELIEFS

Before Christmas I hope to have made astrology a bit more accessible, explicable and credible not least for religious persons disposed to doubt and reject the subject. I shall be doing this through a new book The Astrology of Beliefs which I am presenting correcting in proof. This book which retains some humour amid serious themes will demonstrate that patterns of philosophical and religious beliefs do in fact follow the zodiacal signs rather clearly, in fact more clearly than is sometimes felt to be the case as regards character.

AND NEXT A VIDEO ON MANY THINGS GAY

I would be doing the editing for The Astrology of Beliefs right now if I weren’t instead preparing a potentially explosive video covering many aspects of especially gay issues in the light of ongoing gay marriage controversies in America and everywhere.

[As of 17.11/12 this is now on the Net and can be viewed at

www.bit.ly/TIRE90          ]

The renewed debate has opened upon some remarkable statements. 

So I will be covering:

  • ·        My experiences of disinformation and censorship with media and publishing and even some gays in this area.
  • ·        What Jesus taught about homosexuality – most people gay and straight believe he said nothing at all and/or wouldn’t even deign to mention it, but he did.
  • ·       The shocking misunderstanding of the churches in approach to the whole gay issue as exemplified by responses to the gay marriage issue.
  • ·        A solution to the problem theologians either can’t solve or just prefer to ignore of why Paul’s conversion narrative has something of a set scene from Euripides’ Bacchae about it.
  • ·        Considers the claims the gay movement is a sign of the end times or part of the movement of history or whatever.

Whether I am heard or not it will be a relief to have it all out and on record. It’s necessary at this time too as I have something unique to say about Uganda which is now on the edge of establishing the most draconian anti gay laws in the world cheered on by various churches. Also I see that hardly had my Bethlehem Star video been uploaded than close to my place on the lists odd persons or groups ignorant of what I am about seemed interested and determined, troll-like, to pursue me with the nonsense and disinformation of a decade ago.  I feel I have put up with a lot, too much too long, and the unvarnished truth should finally be out there. And even if all this is difficult, the trip to Tahiti has left me a bit more relaxed for dealing with it.

 

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
 
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