BEWARE THE CAMEROON CRAZY ZONE
I am expecting 2013 will give the world a bumpy ride and we will hear and witness even more craziness than we have already been experiencing. While people have been waiting a bit prematurely to fall off a fiscal cliff, certain members of the churches have been behaving or speaking like madmen over Christmas. Prize winner in the craziness stakes, a man misusing language and terminology itself to the point of paranoia and perversion is the Archbishop of Cameroon, Victor Tonye Bakot. His Christmas address presumed to state that gay marriage amounted to “a serious crime against humanity” and “criminality against humanity”. A vocal church supporter has said the Archbishop needs to be supported to help preserve the human race – presumably because people will no longer wish to breed if homosexuality is tolerated. It’s perhaps to insure the world will remain heterosexual that August 21st has been designated Anti Gay Day, for the benefit of threatened Cameroon youth.
The forgotten, ignored reality is that “crimes against humanity” have been enacted in Africa in especially Sudan where two million Christians and animists have been slaughtered. It’s a reason the president of that country is wanted for genocide and “crimes against humanity”. But in Catholic Cameroon a student Jean-Claude Roger Mbede was jailed for three years in April 2011 because he texted another male with the message “I love you”. In Cameroon homosexuality is illegal while evidently spying upon people isn’t. The text was in itself defined as “homosexual conduct”!! Following massive protest from at any rate secular bodies such as Amnesty International, and then reports of malnutrition and sexual assault in jail against Mbede, he was “provisionally released” – whatever precisely that means – in July 2012.
THROW THE CAMEROON ARCHBISHOP INTO JAIL!
The situation is beyond unacceptable no matter what one’s religious beliefs. It’s totally ridiculous and one feels like saying the arrogant and vicious Archbishop should himself be arrested and thrown into jail for his nonsense. Then let this bully rot there for the twelve years which is the length of time the Ugandan Christians (who have encouraged attitudes of the Archbishop’s kind and been backed up by evangelical millionaires in America who know how to waste the money they should put to charity), want to put anybody who dares even to defend gays. These godly Americans could then make noises to get the cleric out fast no doubt – it would be their idea of justice (forget the wronged student). The silence of leading Christians about the Cameroon Archbishop has been deafening, though like the Pope’s views on gays one reads it has given renewed impetus to the European de-baptism movement. People don’t want to be identified with a religion that expresses itself and operates in this over-the-top manner.
Milder than the Cameroon Archbishop, the Pope, who had preceded Christmas with a quite good book on the birth narratives, celebrated Christmas declaring gay marriage threatened peace in the world itself. Just before Christmas there had been reports that the Pope in audience had blessed one of the leading advocates of Uganda’s proposed draconian anti gay laws (though it’s not clear whether he would have known who he was blessing). But gay marriage threatens peace? How is that even possible? I don’t care whether a person is for or against gay marriage, has reservations about gay parenthood and adoption (one of the trickier aspects of gay marriage law) or perhaps feels that civil unions is a preferable alternative. The fact is that even at its possible worst, the marriage rights and arrangements for a minority (of which perhaps only a minority would wish to make use) is not going to threaten world peace. Could it produce anything like the Syrian civil war if it tried?…..
It was nice of Pope Benedict to have forgiven his butler for Christmas. It would have been nicer still to have intervened in Cameroon instead of continuing in a mode of talk which allows madness like Cameroon’s and Uganda’s to fester.
CHRISTIAN POST OR CHRISTIAN PREJUDICE?
If I sound irritated I have reason in the wake of my innocent contribution to discussion to especially America’s Christian Post prior to Christmas. In response to a feature on the leading Auckland NZ church that had issued a deliberately controversial Xmas bill board with a baby Jesus surrounded by a rainbow and described as needing to “come out” for Christmas, I suggested that beyond any sensationalism there were things to look into. I referred to and justified my YTube talk at
which deals with numbers of issues including theological that Christians have overlooked, don’t understand and badly need to know on gay issues. And I do speak as a theologian and someone qualified to comment in this area.
The moderator for the discussion who doesn’t know me, hasn’t read my books and plainly didn’t intend to look at any mentioned articles of mine, lost his cool. Evidently projecting upon me something of his own admitted promiscuous heterosexual past, he accused me of trying to hide the sins of my “addiction”, my assumed affairs with many men, made out it was lies and deception to suggest anyone was born gay (American evangelicals seem sold on a “lifestyle” theory), that I was ungrateful to God, was as good as blaspheming God and misleading people, that I was on my way to an eternity of flames, that I must repent etc etc. I protested to CP that this was outright libelous abuse that had no place in their discussion and was unworthy of any moderator…..
I have not received and don’t expect any response and am beyond caring. I am convinced that some American Christians are mad or ignorant fanatics best ignored by any sane and sensible Christian or just person. Even Franklin Graham preaching to America for Christmas/New Year that America is “sin sick”, of course heads the list of the signs for this as the fact some parts of America have permitted gay marriage. Does this ignorant man, who won’t be raising his voice to sort out the evils of African evangelical homophobia, realize the depths of evil and corruption in the world and in America against which it is ridiculous to be making gay issues, no matter how seriously one takes them, such a special issue and the very symbol of all evil?
This paranoid craziness disgracing Christianity, and even doing the devil’s own work to the extent it makes people hate the faith unnecessarily, belongs with the revolt, revolution and violence everywhere in the world. Astrologers long anticipated this and see it as reflected in especially the repeated difficult aspects between Pluto and Uranus which will continue for some years. With Uranus under stress gay issues also come to the fore in unfortunate ways. But of course the good religious people can’t see that. Regardless of the fact that the Essenes looked for the Messiah in the stars, that the Magi were astrologers, that the rabbis of the Talmud discussed astrology and that there’s a huge difference between the ancient omen astrology condemned by the prophets (which looked up at the stars and uttered as though over a pack of cards), and the astrology of cycles which is more scientific, there are holy souls who know that the Bible regards astrology as divination and abomination. So they can’t learn what’s useful and they are intended to know. In a rare moment of rationalism they may even tell you you are dealing in superstition or “junk science” (I’ve had that thrown at me by the polite Christians of Christian Post too). You are a person who doesn’t work with real proofs…… But what are proofs in this case?
THE ASTROLOGY OF BELIEFS
For those needing it, there’s more proof for astrology in what and how you believe than what your character is said to be by the generalizations of best selling pop astrology. This is because character itself owes a lot to the direction of your beliefs about life and yourself. And the direction of your beliefs is influenced by certain archetypal factors that can be considered up to a point pre-determined. This is what my most recent book maintains and describes round the zodiac. You don’t perceive reality under the last sign as you do under the first. If you don’t believe this you can read the book (available from Amazon and of which I supply a few paragraphs of excerpts here for Aries and Aquarius).
I would like to think that some of the people like the crazies who write into the likes of Christian Post forums in America and who consider astrology either nonsense or grave sin will recognize themselves in suitable places.
This month I shall be releasing Y Tube shorts about all my currently available books including this one along with a couple of talks this month one of them about what I regard as the crisis point reached in both the reporting and non reporting of religious issues. (All my books are available in both book and e book form except Testament of the Magi which due to its figures and diagrams is in book only and The Astrology of Beliefs, already available in book format, should soon be available in Kindle.
EXCERPTS FROM THE ASTROLOGY OF BELIEFS
HE AND WE ARE THE WORLD
Aries is the one character of the zodiacal twelve that we all share, or at least can recognize ourselves in. It represents not just the complex of those born under the Ram but a whole personal and collective past. It is about an irremediable coming to consciousness, a profound ego awareness that has been growing, especially in the West, since the Greeks who gave us our version of astrology and whose golden age occurred during the age of Aries (2000 BC-1 AD). Cogito ergo sum, “I think therefore I am”, wrote the early modern Arien philosopher, Descartes, and few of us would disagree too strongly with that.
In fact so few would disagree with the idea, or at least the feeling behind the summarizing formula, that western thought itself, philosophy as it descends from the Greeks, either simply assumes a distinct self or is considerably taken up with the problems of how this self perceives and operates over against material reality and/or God. The Arien father of modern sociology, Emile Durkheim, strongly emphasizes the growth towards personal over collective awareness as a major historical development to which we have been tending.
Anti-philosophers like Nietzsche, Foucault and above all the revolutionary Heidegger who all question the widespread view of the self as some kind of independent dominating observer to know and sense truth, almost necessarily derive from Aries’ opposite sign, Libra. They carry on the conversation in the second half of the zodiac. And this half, though its inhabitants are numerous and worldwide, still numbers less in relation to the first signs of the zodiac. The first three signs are believed to be majority signs, population-wise.
In one system of astrology – the Uranian of the Hamburg school – the Vernal Point, 0 degrees Aries, the spring equinox of the Northern Hemisphere, in common with the other O degrees of the cardinal signs but more so, is deemed a world point in itself, the main one. The theory goes that the impact of persons and events can be measured in the light of aspects, transits, and solar arcs to world points and this point. If O Aries does not feature in what otherwise appear to be significant personal or political astrological patterns, then it is less likely society will know so much about, or react as strongly to, the persons and events concerned. It’s a case of we are the world, and the world is Aries! Thus we can see that Mercury (communication) crossed 0 Aries on March 7th 1985 when the hit song We are the World was released, and an eclipse hit 0 Cancer (the sign of America) squaring 0 Aries prior to the events of 9/11 it anticipated.
While the sun, which is “exalted” in Aries, moves forward through the zodiac as the year progresses, the Vernal Point at which the sun annually rises (i.e. crosses the Ecliptic or Celestial Equator in astronomical terms) in the northern spring, moves slowly backwards through the signs against the backdrop of the constellations. What for purposes of measurement is called 0 degrees of Aries changes its sign position approximately every two thousand years marking alterations in consciousness and belief. Thus one notices that when the age of world battling Aries gave way to the more otherworldly Pisces, Christianity, which entered with the new astrological dispensation, speaks much of leaving “this world” and “the self” behind.
Living and dying when he did on the cusp of the two ages, psychologist Carl Jung could describe Christ as symbolically at once the last sacrificed lamb of Aries and the first fish of Pisces – for early Christians the fish was a secret symbol of their faith. The fish corresponded to the Greek anagram, ICHTHYS (fish), for Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour, but was probably influenced by astrological considerations also, in fact almost certainly so. In 2004 remains of the earliest known Christian church in the Middle East, in Israel’s Galilee region, turned up a mosaic floor which portrayed not a fish but the two fish of Pisces suggestive of some early Christian consciousness of their era as being that of the fishes. Whatever, living after Christ we all need to leave elements of Aries, self and world behind; but of course we cannot completely do this so that Aries, like the world, remains with us as an eternal problem, not least because it is with Aries that many things begin.
An Arien in the Southern Hemisphere shares characteristics with one in the Northern Hemisphere, so it is necessary to banish all those pop sceptical notions that the character of Aries and the signs that follow originally derived only from the symbolism of a northern spring and the succeeding seasons. Possibly there is something here connecting to biblical and other ancient Semitic ideas about God ruling from the North; but quite simply Aries, like Cancer, Libra and Capricorn, is a cardinal sign which begins at an equinox or solstice point and like them shows certain dynamic, initiatory characteristics. Theoretically, then, one could begin a zodiacal sequence anywhere, especially at any cardinal point. Nevertheless, if tradition has bequeathed us Aries as the starting point it is eminently suitable since Aries’ beginning is one rooted in a very primary self-consciousness, a quest for separate identity, a will to lead and initiate. Taking Aries as point of origin one can then trace a development through twelve signs to its virtual opposite, a certain dissolution of consciousness in the seas of Pisces at cycle’s end. And if beginnings are energetic then Aries represents a suitable outflow of (erotic) energy of the kind well represented by Oslo’s rather overwhelming Vigeland Sculpture Park, designed, indeed all its figures personally…….
DISTINCTION WITH CONTRADICTION
The Age of Aquarius is a phrase now so synonymous with futurism and change, such a cliché of advertising and the pop music industry that the character behind the image can end up hopelessly lost. From being a human and social sign the Waterbearer has become the ideal man, the hope of tomorrow, the peace maker, the point to which evolution is tending. Some may believe this, but unless the twenty first century should be able beyond its many woes to usher in the Millennium itself, there is not quite so much ground for optimism in the observable character of some sign members. In medical astrology Aquarius rules the heel, the same heel in which Jules Verne was shot by his nephew leaving him limping all his life. And this is the sign of the Achilles heel. Despite the harmonic convergences launched by Aquarian Jose Arguelles to help bring in the new, few sign members could quite hope to live up to the bloated expectations surrounding them and the era to which they give name. Few do even if they are as helpfully idealistic and reformist as New Dealing F. D. Roosevelt, or Thomas Paine who envisaged the welfare state, or Denmark’s Georg Brandes who did so much to shape modern Scandinavian attitudes and the philosophies he believed should serve “the great thoughts of liberty and the progress of humanity”, or the great Charles Dickens himself.
The idealism (utopianism) of many Aquarians though real enough in many cases and philosophically enshrined in perhaps especially the Utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham with its “greatest good for the great number”, can also prove a disillusioning affair in many instances. It could be something as interesting but also impractical as Rabelais’ Renaissance dream world of Thelema with its “fay ce que vouldras” (Do as you will) which became a motto not just for Renaissance overthrow of the medieval sense of “order” but later for the (Libran) Crowley’s Satanism. It is probably how Aquarian persons like Thomas Beatie, the female to male transgendered, divorced, now pregnant father of three but seeking a fourth child would see things over in Hawaii. It can sometimes finish as puzzling as the contradictions of France’s Louis XV. He was as devout as he was lecherous and prayed earnestly for the soul of the half mad, would-be regicide Damiens who had attacked him with a scratch for which, though Louis “forgave” him and could easily have commuted his sentence to beheading, he delivered him over to one of the worst public executions of all time with hours of horrendous needless torture. Or again, despite the genuine philanthropy of many Aquarians, one finds hardliners like the seemingly embittered richest woman in the world, Gina Rinehart, pursuing her own children through the courts to deny them money apparently willed them by their grandfather and declaring Australians should be prepared to compete with African workers content with two dollars a day – protest has issued from Africa on this. It rather belongs with the crazy capitalism of Aquarian Ayn Rand and her Atlas Shrugged worldview. Dickens’ famous Scrooge is in effect the figure of the miser that shadows the sign’s usual generosity.
Even given that a sign’s values can be contradicted and inverted, Aquarian contradictions are hard to understand and for the most part are not susceptible to the rational explanation of affairs otherwise so favoured under the sign. The wonderfully trendy, electric world of Aquarius is also surreal but not always happily so with Alice in Wonderland. Devotees of the Aquarian idea and age might need to absorb that the Nazi regime itself was founded under the sign. Aquarian idealism can be marred by selfish double standards, an insensitivity that too readily sacrifices individuals to ideas and which presses on for the greater good of some collective cause with a fanatical, totalitarian urge, coloured, it seems, by the fixity of the sign and its aerial thinking function’s aversion to emotion. Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage regards emotions with suspicion as bondage. Aquarian emotion tends to emerge from its repression in the sign’s hysterical fits.