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IRISH CHANGES (A poem in a time of endangered free speech)

   

[On 16th July, a distinguished, award  winning investigative journalist, Gemma O ‘Doherty, who had been highlighting disturbing levels of crime, corruption and cover-ups in modern Ireland, had two youtube channels permanently removed by Google – its European headquarters are in Dublin’s docklands – including  for alleged  “hate speech”. Prose  comment on the issue follows the poem  along with Notes]

IRISH CHANGES

By a city’s black pool where lodged
The unbanished raven of Morrigan, who,
Doom’s queen, cast dark shadows on Erin,
Will and fancy would choose for avoidance ]1].
And Dublin, against what centuries
Dealt it as fate, would achieve that. It became,
Despite all, a theatre of life, half rococo,
Ironic, where, like mistress and flunkey
Arriving to further a turn in the plot,
Each dweller would add their own story
Would bespeak some new sign, at best
Gifting by chance an epiphany’s light.        [2]

Greece, Rome, Middle Ages, Baroque
Aren’t strongly evoked by symbol or relic,
(The feeling for these is near wholly absent),
And no force of invasion would quite
Leave its mark…Unless you’d insist that
Through love of pure abstract opposed
To the real, the inhabitants joined with
Colonial power to let Georgian angles
Direct lines of sight. Such might seem a reply
To the circles of Kells and a natural motion
Still central, essential, embracing the all. [3]

Between the lure of sea and bay and
Sight of cloud-swept hills beyond,
So little fixed by monument and time,
The city set more store elsewhere: in thought
And myth, the last self-made, divided up,
Renewed by who within themselves became
The tales and most points in between to find.
No calm and darkened sanctuaries
With altars and their candle flame
Preserving mysteries of eternal kind,
Could quite engage to stop or slow
A circulation of ideas with images,
Some from afar, Formation’s sphere,
Some local only, near as terrace door. [4]

James Joyce, I never liked you much
But take for truth you understood the
Genii loci of your home, its formed and
Re-formed mysteries, their darting motions
Of exchange. But little more you grasped
Because, to speak in tongues – which was your aim –
You were not aerial enough to raise
Even your Talmudic mind above
The barren Qlippoth zones of earth,      5]
The tar black pool. You wanted matter
Meshed with spirit, strove for union of
Midden heap with air; you hoped for
End to boundaries, borders, tribes.
It can’t be done, a reason why
At night in dream it’s always done
Replayed forever with the same result,
And plain to see no washerwoman cleans
The linen’s stains in waters of your riverrun.

But woken in the realms of day (where
Bloom selves would be better left
To liminality of gays), the nightmares     [6]
Leak their poison out. It falls on free society
Where dislocated characters of dream assume
Real life; and they undo what lies between
Howth’s Giant Head and Castleknock
And lands beyond the monster feet with fields
You thought were lasting, but are not.    [7]
You should have known, you maybe did,
Your Daedalus maze leads but one way. It goes
By secret path direct to Babel’s tower.
Delusion-ridden, proud and doomed.    [8]

It’s true this time the imperial plan         [9]
Rules fields go last, not first. Already towns,
And suburbs wither, seedy in decline.
And though a Liffey bridge now bears your name
Near towers of sleek modernity
(Prime centres of the censors too),
Essential unities are lost. It’s said
The rural parts (that bear tradition, but
At cost too great) will follow suit
Its populations must depart, make way;
In time replacements will arrive,
Already in the towns they do, sometimes
By stealth, if need be, night – it’s justified,
It’s unopposed. If voiced, a people’s pain,
A nation’s right, will stand condemned as
Merest race, or border-conscious sin,
At best an ignorance that should become
More generous, more pleased to “share” [10]

Long centuries which denied the name
And land too many gave lives to reclaim,
Are in brief years ignored, dismissed
And near erased supporting aims of
New imperialists, the bureaucrats and
Mediarats that oversee a holocaust
Of inclusion. Acceptance too for even those
Without intention to belong or learn, the
Unappeased, the mad enraged, all judged
As equal with the rest, new sudden inheritors
At law, of land and place that some
Would even spit at while – near
Dispossessed and drowned in debt –
The new despised scarce dare complain.
But then, why bother to resist
When all from priest to media,
As though a basilisk rose and stared,
Can offer only silence or more lies
When vandals strike a sacred place?     [11]

Fit for a Finnegan’s list but little else
There’s hardly more than names remain. There’s
No Sinn Fein, (ourselves alone), nor is there
Fianna Fail for warriors, (they’re nowhere found),
Nor Fianna Gael, tribe of the Gaels, (they’ll soon
Be a minority), all names like these
Are meaningless in light of day;
When crime gains hold across the land
And many who rule, or so pretend,
Do so through only lies and from amid
Enlarging swamps of rank corruption.

It once was said that Albion gnawed
At Erin’s flesh, a planter where he’d
Neither owned nor sown. Now prisoned again,
At first unwittingly, to new plantation lords
Europa’s progency sucks Erin’s blood,
This time it’s likely to a lingering death.
She is too limited, too almost delicate
And new remade to bear the rude
Attentions of a ravening beast.
But lulled by bribes and blandishments
She still consents, sleep-walking to extinction,

Indecent from the first, Europa’s line,
Which birthed the monster widely feared
Awaits to snatch the maiden for its
Nimrod’s plan of babbling building Babel’s
Tower of artificial unity again.
So, here at last from nightmare steps, Yes, HCE
That’s Mr “Here Comes Everybody” himself
With Mrs ALP, this time a shambling, ambling,
Trousers only Deutsche Frau, a Washerwoman
Smacking stains, flip flap, flap flop, who wants
To talk, to be familiar, put up welcome signs
To one and all at your expense for your own good. [12]

Ireland you could resist, you maybe will, but,
Like a Noah’s generation, one who                         [13]
Eats and drinks and lives the usual way
Right to the end, heedless of darkening skies
And thunder’s roll, you may accept to hear
The lies, put off the day, prefer deceptions
Of a dreaming sleep to revelations of
A risen wake…. Whatever’s chosen and
Is done, there’s no eternal round to trust,
It’s but a fable for the blind; the truth is
What is gone is gone and neat avoidance
Has its term. Your utter end, so Patrick                 [14]
Thought, is drowning flood. But whether that’s
For near or far, meanwhile from Dublin
To remotest field you’d need to wake
To ban the raven and reclaim a name.

 

NOTES

[1] Dublin is literally Dubh Linn, Black Water or Pool. Morrigan is goddess of doom, death and chaos. One of my Ireland-related articles theorizes this goddess is an important archetype for Ireland, never quite confronted or exorcized. Her depiction in a central Dublin sculpture is meaningful, albeit she is not expressly Dublin-related in myth. See “Ireland’s   Old/ New Spirituality problems” https://wp.me/p2v96G-126  especially sub- sections, “Who owns the Sovereignty of Ireland?”  and “Soul and Face”.
[2] James Joyce had a theory and aesthetic of “epiphany”, explored especially in his Dubliners stories.
[3] Kells i.e. the Book of Kells illuminated manuscript which contains not only circles but swirling patterns which embrace human and natural
[4] Even where Ireland has been dominated by Catholicism there has always been an alternative thought mode, close to native temperament and imagination. It is mystically independent of Catholicism and similar to the likes of Jewish mystical Kabbalah. The latter  imagines reality in spheres like the Sphere of Formation joined to a whole tree of life scheme by lightning flash.
[5] Qlippoth is the lowest of spheres or the evil reverse of all the spheres in mystic Kabbalah, a sort of earth hell.
[6] In his Ulysses and Us, critic and doyen of Irish studies, Declan Kiberd, supplies an account of Bloom’s character as an experience of liminality almost gay. However, an authentically gay character along these lines (and arguably the value and meaning of homosexuality is involved with a socially needed liminality) might  produce something more poetic and affecting as in the case of Jamie O’Neil’s accomplished novel in Joycean mode, At Swim Two Boys.
[7] Finnegan’s Wake envisages Dublin as a giant spread out between Howth to Castleknock, suburbs of the city.
[8] Babel and its associated tower is associated with Nimrod (Gen 10:10) whose name means “rebel”. Babel was built to prevent the spread and formation of people and nations (Gen 11.4)  which God then insures by imposing the variety of languages. A distinction of nations is assumed to the last page of the bible. Anything other than nations is an imperialism, something  which belongs only to God. The “broken” half finished design of the  Parliament of Europe building (see image above) is variously seen as modelled on the tower of Babel, either suggesting an incomplete work of unity awaiting fulfilment in our days, or as (unconsciously at least)  symbolizing  the traditionally recorded judgement upon such efforts. But the point is that any New World Order risks becoming like conquering Nimrod a species of human imperialism. See next note.
[9] This stanza is much involved with journalist Gemma O’Doherty’s expose of  various aspects of social and political life in Ireland. According to Michel Gorbachev, March 23rd in London, “the EU is the new European Soviet”. What critics of the EU like O’Doherty maintain is suggestive for  this idea, is not least the censorship and ideological labelling which renders all dissenters, “far right” enemies of state, “racists”, or something negative. Such  labelling aimed at suppression of free speech and regardless of plain facts  is characteristic of the communist systems in the  initial stages. O’ Doherty regards Ireland as a chief zone of experiment in this direction being small enough to impose upon and exploit.
[10] The extremely pro-Europe, Soros friendly Irish President, Michael. D. Higgins, has made clear in a recent Leipzig speech that Ireland iexists simply to “share”. But who shares what with just whom and why? Why should Ireland, long exploited and colonized suddenly be a still more invaded home for the world”?
[11]  Echoes of events in especially the cathedral city of Tuam, (often called the most Catholic town in Ireland), and its surrounds. Churches have suffered attacks on their images and in the Cathedral square the elevated statue of the bishop who helped found the cathedral, has had its head sawn off. If reported at all, such events are improbably dismissed at the work of drunken louts ignoring for example that the bishop’s statue would require a  planned midnight operation with tools and ladder while a pattern of decapitation bespeaks a specific ideology and a warning to religion in Ireland. But fear prevents the truth being spoken.
[12]  HCE or Humphry, Chimpden Earwicker, alias Here Comes Everybody,  and ALP or Anna Livia Plurabelle are main all-embracing, all -inclusive symbolic if not always quite archetypal characters in Finnegan’s Wake to the point of dissolution of identities. But in fairness to Joyce’s dissolution of things to the point of chaos  and his basic rejection of any conventional patriotism,  the linguistics of his vision are still to be seen as a revenge upon a form of imperialism Joyce did question, namely, the  imposition of the ultimately alien English language. As  regards ALP, and because archetypes are real, Mutti Mummy Merkel is well and truly a Great Mother Washerwoman with natally five planets in water, four in mother sign Cancer, the sign most associated with chaos.
[13]  Noah’s generation. “As it was in the days of Noah….”Matt 24: 37/8
[14]  Re St Patrick’s supposed forecast of Ireland’s end, see “Is the Patrick Prophecy for Ireland Encoded?”  https://wp.me/p2v96G-MR

GEMMA O’DOHERTY, CENSORSHIP  and a “HATE SPEECH” CHARGE

You don’t have to endorse everything Gemma O’Doherty says to be appalled at the action taken (16.7.2019) at Google Ireland to close down the two youtube channels of this veteran, award-winning investigative journalist. Over the years O’Doherty has researched numerous issues and exposed too many crimes and abuses to merit quite this kind of treatment. Ironically the charge against her includes “hate speech” against gays, i.e. homophobia.

I happen to be gay and published on gay issues and I don’t buy it. I am not so thin skinned, easily offended and needing protection as to dismiss all O’Doherty says about crime, corruption and cronyism in today’s virtually Mafia Eire merely because she finds LGBTQ rather “silly” and potentially dangerous if pushed on young children in schools. These are anyway ideas that many people have. Gemma could be said to have a blind spot and/or information gap as regards gays, but it’s hardly a major subject with her in the first place, and should not justify a case against otherwise important work. Providing it’s decently enough expressed, best leave contentious matters, anything from gays to immigration open for debate rather than automatically censor them out on some PC basis. The decline of free speech of all fronts is currently a great problem of our times as O’Doherty  has often had occasion to declare.

What like many people O’Doherty fails to understand when she generalizes on sexuality issues, is that there is considerable difference between gay and queer theories and identities as I recently stressed in an article. (“Rainbow questions in a gay month” https://wp.me/p6Zhz7-66 ). Moreover, if there is a connection between LGBTQ and globalism as O’Doherty now suspects (which may sound mere conspiracy theory alarmist to those totally unacquainted with these matters), it has something to do with highly politicized, basically hard left Queer theory. This, while it talks individual rights and may get called liberal progressive, can entertain more radical agendas many would baulk at if they were clearly acknowledged. As it is, there is increasingly ’s a hard left tendency to use all and any sexuality issues,(along with exaggerated talk of “racism” and “patriotism”), as a pretext to accuse society and individuals of prejudice. They then employ the laws rather than the wider democratic system to alter society’s direction, early moving to close down consensus politics  and free speech as in Communist societies,  and tyrannizing over what are matters of conviction for people.

An  example would be the recent UK sacking of a doctor for refusal to accept as a woman and address as “madam”, a six foot tall man retaining  a full beard,  (the refusal was deemed infringement of equality laws). This, belongs with the kind of social revolution entertained by Queer’s Cultural Marxist agendas. It does not belong with gay theory nor the opinion of the average gay person.

As someone who carries no card for left or right but votes according to whatever strikes me as the best in policies and persons at the time, perhaps I should look to be suing people if they opportunistically judged my poem guilty of one or other PC failure.  Would I be supported? It’s most unlikely and I would be wasting my time to protest. Today’s political talk is very one-sided, considerably media supported in what is altogether an increasingly serious situation about  which people  need to be more aware. Whatever…if Google (its European headquarters are in Dublin and O’Doherty and supporters have been demonstrating outside it these last few days) dislikes “prejudice”, then I dislike the censorship of free speech….. And if anyone cares to be aware of the kind of censorship from the Irish establishment I have myself suffered and for issues quite removed from O’Doherty’s concerns, see the final  section (“To lay my burden down”) of my article “Staging Sweeney Frenzy: Irish parable or problem” https://wp.me/p2v96G-1b2

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2019 in culture, current affairs, Poetry

 

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IS SCOTT MORRISON A VIRTUE-SIGNALLING HYPOCRITE?

IS SCOTT MORRISON A VIRTUE-SIGNALLING HYPOCRITE?

 The Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, who passes for some kind of Pentecostal Christian, in answering a privileged media Muslim’s charges of his inadequate management of “Islamophobia”,  declares his coalition party has “no problem with Islam”. Really?

While any decent citizen would hope and assume the nation’s leader wouldn’t indulge in hate speech and spread Islamophobia as such – Christian conversation is supposed to be always gracious (Col 4:6)! –  “no problem”, bespeaks virtue-signalling hypocrisy or just ignorance. No Christian, without disloyalty to the many oppressed in Muslim majority countries, can call themselves Christian who fails to have a few questions and problems around a faith that in so many places denies rights to and seriously oppresses their fellow believers (along with those  of other minority faiths and social groups from women to gays).

ScoMo’s Christianity is too like the “Liberalism” of those feminist Swedish politicians who, despite appeals from Iran (where last year a woman was sentenced to twenty years for removing a hijab in protest), proudly wore Muslim garb to make for goodwill with Muslims leaders. https://goo.gl/s4pq75  It doubtless gave them feelgood highs which is what a lot of political moralizers crave, but it won’t do if truth matters.

Like the return of the repressed following a too long sexual ignorance and repression, to some extent “Islamophobia” flourishes where open statement and simple fact is allowed little to no scope in public forums before the radical screaming begins that aims to shut down free exchange of ideas and free speech  as “far right” or “fascist” or “racist” discourse. Liberal  Sweden is  incidentally one of the worst western offenders in this area. Not to mention  how the will of much of its citizens has been ignored, the PC country is plausibly accused of sending Christians to their death in Muslim countries they tried to escape while the political establishment welcome Muslim migrants with open arms https://goo.gl/iSRMZd  It also has nothing to say that the city of Malmo is now emptied of its long resident Jewish population due to unchecked anti-Semitism.

That there are many good and peace loving Muslims need not be questioned, unless to indicate they don’t tend to be particularly conservative and orthodox. Regardless, what is perhaps most disconcerting about almost any major issue that presents itself concerning Muslims and faith issues,  is  that, as in the case of Waleed Ali calling out the Prime Minister  the protest and the complaint are one-sided.

Unlike Christians and Liberals of the West, the Muslim position evades self-criticism, it is loud in condemnation of perceived prejudice towards itself, but contributes next to nothing that might reform the oppressions across the greater part of the Muslim world, oppressions against which nearly all complaints an Australian Muslim might make are pinpricks. That more Muslim voices aren’t raised against injustice may itself betray some of the constraints adherents of the faith (whose meaning is “submission”) live under. This is usually a degree of pressure exerted by conservatives and fundamentalists who hold much of the power and call the tune and through what is often the apostasy charge or social ostracism threat. Not things in harmony with broad-based human rights.

In fairness, Christians can well ask – and even should ask as Scott Morrison fails to do – is, in how many Muslim majority states would Christians be allowed Ali’s platform and scope to point out that Christ’s final injunction to his followers was to preach the gospel in the whole world?  Evangelism should, like free conversation, be a basic human right of Christians and anyone at all. Islam denies this and much else to Christians like building or repairing  places of worship and whenever possible always has been doing this. Wherever it is a majority the religion  has normally  demanded Christians, Jews and all infidels to be respectfully subordinate and if not converting to pay crippling  jiza taxes  if they are to be tolerated rather than executed. While no Christian would wish to defend the misguided vision and barbarities of the Crusades, it must always be recalled the trigger to the fiasco was an appeal by Middle East Christians to the West to intervene against the level of oppression suffered. .

DON”T USE THE  “ISLAMOPHOBIA” WORD LIGHTLY AND FOR MERE VIRTUE-SIGNALLING

Before anyone starts raising the spectre of “Islamophobia”, they should recall not only the good-willed Muslim neighbours they understandably don’t wish to offend, but the following facts – a few among the all too many which Christians should consider it their duty to protest.

Maldives (quoting from The Guardian UK’s list of the 25 worst places to be Christian in 2018  https://goo.gl/dXDojK      Converting from Islam means forfeiting Maldivian citizenship, and owning a Bible is punishable by death. Churches are banned; Christian migrants and tourists also have to meet in secret and cannot own Bibles.   (No need to list it here but it is quite common in especially Muslim central Asian republics like Kazakhstan for bibles to be confiscated and destroyed and any teaching from it to risk arrest).

Brunei: Jail for celebration of Christmas https://goo.gl/QLhpcd

Algeria you could be forced to worship in a tent, not a church https://goo.gl/xtDnFE

You are not safe among  migrants everyone regards as only and always innocent victims, Christians have been thrown overboard for not converting to Allah https://goo.gl/yiK9as

Christians are not safe in Muslim communities in Netherlands https://goo.gl/oBDD1i
In Germany   https://goo.gl/mSxWFB
even in  England    https://goo.gl/Ht6fid

Christians (thanks largely to PC concerns which favour Muslims) though the most persecuted group in the Middle East are least likely to be selected for immigration https://goo.gl/cwEXzj

Where Pakistan is concerned one hardly know where to begin and what to include the abuse levels are so overwhelming. The infamous blasphemous  laws alone are  used to extort money, property, be revenged on families etc but the abuse is ubiquitous.
Christian children suffer in schools https://goo.gl/FjsibH
Rape, abduction and forced conversions are a major ongoing problem https://goo.gl/NnZ6tS . The case of Asia Bibi is better known than most – she was accused of blasphemy on absurd grounds including the crime as an “unclean” infidel of drinking from a cup of water on a hot day, and after 9 years in solitary, often beaten by vicious guards, she was acquitted of all charges but is still in hiding unable to leave the country because pious Muslims want her dead more than to leave their country as would be best. This isn’t cricket to put it mildly, but why is Australia or anyone playing cricket with Pakistan? Is it too much for ScoMo or his henchmen to suggest the sports will stop till the laws change? What is the all – accusing  Ali saying about the injustices of Pakistan?

Egypt – home of Waleed  Ali’s forebears  is not a safe place for Christians according to Guardian report of last year https://goo.gl/Urd9hQ

None of this touches on the woes, the discrimination against and sometimes massacres of Christians across central Africa from Zanzibar to Cameroons and perhaps especially the endless violence of Sudan whose ultra Muslim president is wanted for war crimes there has been so much genocide of Christians and animists in Sudan. The policies of Boko Haram (somewhat known from a media that rarely reports attacks on Christians), the vigilante groups ;pursuing Christians in homes and colleges in Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, all this goes on and on, sometimes more, sometimes less, but generally clearing the world of infidels before Judgement Day as per the fundamentalist vision of things.

I could conclude the links with a heartfelt condemnation from a British journalist and former MP of the indifference of so many people, even sometimes clergy, to the situation of many Christians globally https://goo.gl/3K7zSg  This was back in 2011 and it’s worse now.

It is neither hopelessly irrational nor automatically prejudiced to raise questions about the cultural assimilation potential of some people from these regions.  Fear of being called “racist” , something whipped up by especially the hard left, was what caused police in UK not to deal for years with the scourge of  criminal sex grooming gangs in Newcastle, Rochedale, Rotherham and Oxford  imported from the nation mentioned above for a particularly bad human rights record. It is also post-Christian and controversially so, to rail on the basis of an “equality” fetish, against suggestions that the often most persecuted Middle Eastern group, Christians, should not be given some priority for migrant intake – an “equality” obsession so warped it has actually seen Christians put last and least rather than first and most.

MORE FEMINIST, SECULARIST APPEASEMENT?

Helped by a hefty dose of ignorance where the affairs of religion are concerned, the current religion and rights situation in the world makes not only for injustice but absurdity. One can tell something in the value system is going seriously wrong when the very proper commiseration of the NZ Prime Minister with victims of the Christchurch massacre, passes from commiseration to theatrical identification  by  a donning of the hijab (that Swedish feminist gesture again) and   announcement of the  broadcast of a nation-wide, memorial ceremony with two minutes silence including afterward the Muslim call to prayer in which all were encouraged to join, even men were encouraged to wear scarves in solidarity with Muslims. Though I don’t endorse all that  NZ’s  Brian Tamaki says – he is, a leading pastor of Pentecostal persuasion (like ScoMo) – he has protested the inclusion of the Muslim call to prayer in the broadcast ceremony, and arguably he has a point if one considers what might be intended and could be involved.

The effect of Ardern’s  togetherness gestures is to be  rewarded by her image beamed  onto Dubai’s world highest building and Sheikh Mohammed telling her 1.5 billion Muslims respect  and thank her. Superficially it hardly makes sense Muslims should love the unmarried Great Mother with child  who in parts of Pakistan and Gaza would be more likely to find herself at the bottom of a well for offences to honour and morality! Since however joining in the symphony of praise  is even the tyrannical President Erdogan, (whom to criticize entails the imprisonment that has affected numerous journalists and women), Tamaki is not too far off in feeling he sees a declaration of Allah as the true God of NZ and notes that Ardern has removed mention of Christ from NZ’s parliamentary prayer.  Different cultures and faiths read signs in different ways, What is so appreciated by Muslim millions (and Waleed Ali over in NZ and embracing the infidel PM) is the implicit shift towards mainstream acceptance of their religion, the move towards absorption and submission that New Zealand’s agnostic PM’s appeasement encourages and that ScoMo is not going to question. In his role of politician rather than Christian, Scott Morrison  just hopes for the “indigenization” of Islam in this part of the world, when in fact an increase in its demands and its enlargement are  more to be expected.

INTERROGATE  PCISM  BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE

Secularist, humanist, post-Christian and hard left dismissal of Christianity has gone so far that (despite even atheist Dawkins’ warning that Christianity is soft against some alternatives), it risks producing a sort of sharia situation by default. Pressing for laws against “hate speech” and “racism”, though Islam is a religion not a race,  by increasingly placing “Islamophobia” under the hate/race category, freedom for expression and any critical views are compromised. To combine, to be together, is the new religion. But the self congratulating  “tolerant” crowds doing this aren’t and  won’t be mourning  and standing in silence for the innumerable Christian martyrs to blatant intolerance in fact.

These matters are matters for Judgement Day and examination of the ever deceptive human heart.. But today, since the views of the PM and politicians are hardly clear and owe much to pragmatic voting concerns, what Australia needs is a visit by the likes of Douglas Murray (author of The Strange Death of Europe). Such a person is needed to challenge and interrogate the too easily held and expressed views of the arguably ungrateful and presumptuous Waleed Ali…… That’s if the PC screamers wouldn’t start campaigns to ban Murray from these shores and if media, to its disgrace, doesn’t continue the one note mantras about “tolerance”, “diversity”, “equality” and “multiculturalism” in a way to hide truth. The distortions and virtue-signalling  overtaking  public discourse is suggested by the ironic rather than funny opening of Murray’s latest Spectator article:.

“I return to Britain just in time to find some online warriors trying to pin the New Zealand massacre on everyone who has ever spoken out against Islamic extremism or mass immigration, including me”.

Yes, this is the ridiculous level to which public debate and those who lead us have degenerated. And alas, it’s almost symbolized by the likes of Scott Morrison unable to speak up and, bumbling awkwardly before Ali. May Australia have more courageous leadership, honest media  and church leaders with more insight and backbone!

 
 

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THINKING ABOUT THE VATICAN GAY CLOSET

The inevitable response from Catholic critics to Frederic Martel’s In the Closet of the Vatican is that it lacks substance, he’s got it wrong about his probably 80% gay Vatican and that it’s all worth little more than gossip. While of course it’s possible Martel has got a few facts wrong, one can wonder how often in his over 500 pages. Hadn’t controversial reports since 2015 from such journalists as Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi made no impression or given no warning that more was present to be revealed? I wouldn’t expect the critics to consider any astrological dimension, but the guilty charge is so strong even  “the heavens declare” in this case. Uranus (anything to do with gays) is in the Vatican’s sex sector making easy trine to Mars (any men and sex) in the sector of the hidden!

Though I’m not suggesting Argentina’s Pope Francis is gay, – and Martel insists he isn’t – had conservatives never heard the common saying in the Pope’s nation of origin, “todas las curas son maricones” (all priests are faggots)? People get the idea, even if most priests won’t be as hypocritical  or on occasion blatant as some Vatican gays about their preference. Hidden, undeclared (closeted) homosexual clerics is a massive problem for Catholicism .  But Martel makes no claim that his 80% are all active. The most many can be accused of, but it’s bad enough,  is assisting cover-ups through complicit silence, sometimes reluctant, of serious scandals. That situation is surely even a reason why, when given the opportunity by an outsider (in this case a gay French writer) to just talk, so many are ready to blab to someone  used almost as a therapist or father confessor.

Before offering a few original perspectives and imagining improvements, I must emphasize what should be obvious, namely that for professed Christians hypocrisy is unacceptable and corruption more so and there’s no cure for them but repentance. Scandals known before Martel’s expose like the 2017 revelations about a top Vatican official, Msgr Luigi Capozzi’s cocaine-fuelled gay orgies iare disgusting; and it’s unpleasant to hear of sexually harassed Swiss guards and arrogant, high placed clerics using migrant male prostitutes whom they insult and underpay (others who do pay properly feel so guilty they get embarrassingly tender with them).

This said, I am neither so shocked as conservative Catholics at the given picture nor smugly assured like some American evangelicals that we are only witnessing further proof of the “end times” evil of the Roman “Whore of Babylon” soon to fall – which the Vatican might anyway do, because how much scandal bad press can any institution sustain? What  however I believe is finally coming to light is a more perennial, ingrained problem that is too often a tragedy for those involved and the result of chronic misunderstandings of theology and psychology that must be addressed, though I am not confident they will be.

Years ago in Latin America I was invited to give a talk to a group of self-confessed gay priests. It was the rather neat, pretty but queeny priest among them who took sudden exception as utterly ridiculous something I said about the book of Revelation  as regards the erotic (see the sub section “An erotic and esoteric moment” in ‘Apocalypse as a Gay Issue”. https://wp.me/p2v96G-1eT . The fact he didn’t grasp or refused to consider the rather obvious point involved, has its connection with the ongoing problem of gay priests in the Vatican and beyond it.  Because there really shouldn’t be quite such a problem with homosexuality. And what the gay Martel perceives as an irony – the strangely “homoerotic” Vatican with its images from Michelangelo including the ignudi (nude youths) painted around the Sistine Chapel alongside a clothed prophet Jeremiah a figure with whom the artist identified himself,  carries its own hint towards the solution. 

THE TRAGEDY OF IGNORANCE

But first things first. The “tragedy” I refer to is the one well represented by Martel’s lead-in story with ex-priest, Francesco Lepore. For him as for so many youths in Italy until quite recently, there were few places beyond entering orders for the more introverted, sensitive type of youth to go to hide or cure an attraction to the same sex. He might hope to self-cure through denial, or, if he couldn’t quite achieve that, as one who was often mother’s boy, he could feel the Great Mother, Mary, would always forgive him anyway. But there was often something more.

Lepore admits to how the church positively drew him towards itself through the senses, the scents, sounds, colours, the mysterious rituals and costumes in which you could lose yourself – plainly a bit like being in mother’s skirts and in parallel to the way gays almost dominate the woman’s fashion industry. And  that’s a point I take to be rather important because of things that emerged pre-Martel among the earlier revelations from Fittipaldi and Nuzzi.

In harmony with the tendency of especially people of Latin background to assume a role or pose (recall singer Madonna’s hit, Vogue, with its “strike a pose”) some Vatican clerics felt easy with being distributors of mass when dressed for the ritual, but equally easy with going to gay bars for fun nights and pick-ups once they were in civvies. Dress made and unmade the man, the personalities, their roles and responsibilities.

Something is going wrong here and it’s more than a case, as evangelicals might plausibly maintain that these priests were never remotely “born again”, because similar problems can be found among the community of the born agains too. It’s more like a whole historic blind spot is involved, one that can’t imagine being gay to be anything but (as Pope Benedict had it) a condition “objectively disordered” if not plain evil rather than in the majority of cases something perfectly natural to those involved, inborn, and even in its way vital to religion.

It is customary to start citing Leviticus 18 or Romans 1 (Protestants) or Natural Law (Catholics) against any idea of anyone being born different and meaningfully so. However, if I am not to get immediately and lengthily bogged down in answering the objections (which can be done), I must say directly that, psychologically and spiritually dominated as it clearly is by the Puer archetype, Christianity is “ascenional”. It is earth-denying and/or nature-denying more than any other faith. To that extent it is arguably the most “gay spiritual” of the world faiths with Buddhism perhaps some rival (its monks and attitudes are often quite gay),

This means Christianity is indirectly, and in some fashion that needn’t automatically affect woman’s rights (though ignorantly and crudely it may do so) against the feminine, the Dionysian swamp or raw nature. The point is well stated in Camille Paglia’s Sexual Personae which underlines the vital importance and inevitability of gay vision to human culture which is ultimately always a war against nature.

So much about Christianity is anti-gravitational, “contra naturam” – St Paul even says divine election and salvation itself are “against nature” – that just this standpoint is likely a cause, psychologically and historically, the faith sets its face against anyone or anything that, as though in rivalry, claims to be “naturally” against nature. Witness the tirade of St Paul in Romans 1 which I am quite prepared to state (as I do say in the poem and notes to A Saint’s Mistake https://wp.me/p2v96G-yS ) includes some real error and exaggeration and constitutes something Jesus never intended or would approve, something one can tell given certain hidden, unexplained facts concerning even Jesus’ original address to Paul which speak to him at more than one level. 

POSSIBLE REMEDIES

In quest of remedies for the gay clerics problem, it must of course be acknowledged there can be none at all without first some transparency, especially for those within the Vatican which is supposed to function as beacon and example for all of Catholic persuasion. It’s unholy to remain silent in the face of, say, child abuse, from fear you yourself might be outed as gay (which is not the same things as paedophile). Better to be openly gay and better far to be able to affirm the positive value of being so.

So, for a start obviously and ideally one would  simply hope that the gay priest could sooner or later be out as gay (not automatically banned from orders as is increasingly proposed) and  free to find the soul mate …..which might also be the best term for whatever partnership could be established and hopefully not changed by the week.

Gay marriage (described by Pope Benedict as “the legislation of evil”) and the drive to so-called “gay marriage equality” represents an essentially secular ideal involved with wider social movements to equality. It was originally necessitated by legal problems over inheritance and adoption. Marriage is nonetheless very much about the making of families and this is not what gay relationships are usually or chiefly about. They are friendships, partnerships, unions and should probably be called such, and in the case of priests perhaps not even too precisely defined. Who knows precisely how the unmarried prophet Jeremiah and his secretary Baruch with whom he lived might have described their connection, or again the centurion with his boy/servant that Jesus healed in what is the nearest thing to a blessing accorded a same sex union?  I don’t consider there should be any need to formalize the connection except by personal declaration. (David and Jonathan declared they had a berith, which can mean variously covenant or marriage, but the matter was purely between themselves, not subject to public ceremony). To whatever extent the priestly relation would be sexual (and I would define chastity in this case as principally involving sincerity and fidelity) would likewise be a private decision perhaps influenced by – despite everything! – such principles as St Paul’s “better to marry than to burn”.

 I say all this because I believe, ideally and usually, relationship should be aimed for and as far as possible acknowledged too because it is vitally  important not to be attached  –  as plainly many  Vatican and non Vatican clerics are attached – to the closet. This reduces life to a kind of perverse game filled with rumours, secrets, gossip and an often demeaning humour. At times it is a sort of Catholic version of Genet’s The Maids with the priest as a species of bitter drag queen rather than any representative of God. In this uncertain space whose very repressions are almost loved, objections like the Latin American priest’s can be raised as soon as eros and change are frankly broached, and Mother Mary’s pardon can be lazily preferred to any engagement in the life of the Creator. Indeed, as Martel emphasizes, some of the most ardently homophobic, traditionalist priests are the most self-indulgently gay. This truly is unacceptable, but one might have to go into the subject of the poles of pleasure and self-denial to understand how the contradictions involved might ever come about.

THE PRINCIPLE OF PHALLOS

It can be made to seem, and in the early Christianity of the Fathers, influenced not least by ascetical values of Greek philosophical thought, it was made to seem that Christianity is all about self-denial, especially where any eros is concerned. We are, after all, told to take up the cross and deny ourselves (Matt 1:24)…so shouldn’t we be denying sexual pleasure? As with so much of the bible there is paradox and apparent contradictions to resolve. Jesus also tells us to love our neighbours as ourselves, an almost impossible task if one is to hate one’s deepest, most self-defining urges. It is even easy for some to claim just this is meant if one takes the statement that if possible we should be eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven (Matt 19:12), eunuchs however being by Jesus’ time a broad term that didn’t automatically signify castrate or even chaste but instead different and out of the family way. Origen who decided to take Jesus literally and castrated himself, later believed this was sin.

It was certainly rather crazy too, but was related to the idea that God somehow disapproves pleasure and punishes those who desire it. However, as has been observed, and most recently so by would-be church sex reformer Nadia Bolz-Weber, God created the clitoris which has no function at all outside of female pleasure. So we may well ask, is it likely God would wish to deny men all pleasure?

In the post-Freudian, post neo-Buddhist world that shapes our vocabulary and expression, I think we would be well justified to understand the demand to deny our selves as meaning something more akin to denying the ego with its wilfulness and cravings, while to love our selves means not ego but our deeper, greater selves that are related to God and others. We are not meant to be pleasure addicts, but we should still love our natural being and be able to take some pleasure in its affirmation.  And men, certainly, should not, like the neo-platonically minded St Augustine, regard every sexual feeling as arrogant uprising by the flesh in defiance of a holy God.

For gay men, and even to a degree straight men (for whom the penis is a form of power, or competition and at worst inclining to just control and even rape), there has to be a new acceptance and appreciation of phallos, the physical but also, beyond it, the spiritual dimension of the phallic. Something to the effect could hardly be more stressed in the inevitably little commented, little known story of Jeremiah’s loin cloth which again I have poeticized https://wp.me/p2v96G-Hm

From the beginning of life when the Jewish male is circumcised, the phallus is made to seem of interest to God, something that belongs to and, as it were, partakes in God. What this may do and mean for women is a subject in itself that need not be dealt with here; sufficient to affirm there is a subtle danger that amid contemporary emphasis on the rights of (and wrongs done) women, a new kind of de-spiritualizing, emasculating of men sets in that is not healthy but which unexpectedly gay men and vision might even help to overcome.

Emasculation did not take place in the case of the gay Michelangelo who stands in the Vatican pointing a way out of the confusion Vatican society has got itself into. Like Jeremiah who opposed the cult of the Queen of Heaven, but unlike the Vatican gays who look to mercy from Mother Mary, for the Sistine Chapel’s Last Judgement fresco, Michelangelo’s Mary, hardly any queen, is almost cowering away from the decrees of her Son. But at the same time, beyond the wall fresco and between the depictions of the prophets on the ceiling frescoes are the twenty Ignudi, the naked youths. The late art critic, Sister Wendy Beckett, found them highly enigmatic. She couldn’t understand their function (and nor really has any art critic unless to say they represent a perfection) but I think this should not be so difficult to grasp. It is simply a complement to other tendencies of Michelangelo’s essentially gay thought and vision.

SOME NAKED TRUTH?

   

Only recently a new star tennis player, the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, shocked and puzzled fans by posting to social media: “I like me better naked….when you put clothes on you immediately put a character on. Clothes are adjectives, they are indicators….When you don’t have any clothes on it’s just you, raw and you can’t hide”.

Quite so. While the side of nudity one tends to hear about from  religion is some version of a “naked and ashamed” theme, this isn’t the only side the scriptures present, and neither is the “just sex” meaning that a secular world gives to nudity by contrast. The prophet Micah, for example, declares “I will go stripped and naked” (Mic 1:8).  There are a variety of functions and meanings to nudity (I interrogate this subject in Naked in Thessaloniki: Riddle and Signhttps://wp.me/p4kNWg-fD), but what is certain is that the prophetic tradition that the Vatican tends to downplay in favour of its rituals, is a rather nudity-as-truth one.

It is psychologically and symbolically correct that Jeremiah and Isaiah (another “naked” seer) should be set among the ignudi. It’s all part of the same thing: the clothed and the unclothed psychologically complement one another and interact; and in many respects nudity as for the ancient Greeks is a male, not a female theme. As a point of symbolism, it is male nudity that symbolizes “truth” because the male genitalia are exposed, exterior to the body, “solar”, not hidden as for females and “lunar”. Woman can symbolize truth as beauty, but truth is not always only beautiful. A mixture of Christian and secular values have rendered art and Hollywood and Playboy’s display of women natural in a way it traditionally wasn’t and spontaneously, symbolically isn’t. Put on an event like the World Naked Bike Ride that is legally able to dodge the “indecent exposure” charge and there will be more males, often gay, in attendance. Throughout nature it is the male of the species is colourful and/or exhibitionist.

At the risk of more self reference, I would point to the message of a chance realization in my poem Baroque https://wp.me/p2v96G-IS  It is based on an experience had while in Sicily where I visited a church, not without charm and power of a kind, but ultimately oppressive in its highly ornamented style (like a weighed down, over-decorated wedding cake – the pic below is not the place in question but a typification). Because I didn’t care to sensationalize,  I didn’t outright state the chief thought  prompting  the piece. This was the feeling upon stepping outside into a sunlit square, of an imperious need for a kind of renewal by just light, sun, and endless sky being naked to which would be like a  baptism in its own right. Enough to say the poem which ends

The point of reception is here, now, even
This temple, the body; with this I greet change.

carries  more the thought of the second image than the first.

   

The statement is a purely personal one. It doesn’t belong with any programmes queer or other encouraging people to disrobe inside or outside of churches to protest something. However I would say that, just as Martel found some of the most rabidly homophobic Vatican clergy were the most actively gay, I am suspicious of those gay clergy and some non clerical gays  who too readily deny any real value to eros for their own or anyone’s condition and so treat nudity as little more than something else to ban, and little more than an aspect of modern pornography.

What dismissal of the erotic as part of the gay equation (which is taken up instead with rituals of the closet) can mean in real terms, is a flight from reality and change. It can accompany a disappearance into Mamma’s, or Mother Church’s or Mother Mary’s skirts, with a whole idolatry of clothes and ceremony  at the expense of a more “naked” and abrasive “male” truth. And  this must sometimes be pursued if there is ever to be reform. The ignudi as symbol of truth, change and perfection got painted in the right place.

 

 

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“REAL IRISH” AND IRISH REALITY (Symbols, Archetypes, Fate)

CALLING YOURSELF IRISH TODAY

Recently the Dalai Lama found himself in hot water for suggesting that “Europe belongs to the Europeans”. Nowadays it has become trendy to call any defence of borders, any species of national identity, “fascist”, the  obsession of  those who  risk being called  “the far right”.

Back in 1972 Paul and Linda McCartney were targets of criticism for singing “Give Ireland back to the Irish”. How might they answer postmodern trolls of the “hard left” and Globalists today for the same sentiments? They would probably be assured that – really – there is no such thing as Ireland or the Irish to give or return anything to! Ireland’s  current president, Michael Higgins, a friend of ultra  Globalist, George Soros, has called Ireland “a home for everyone” as though Ireland had not already had centuries enough of uninvited persons making Ireland their home. But as early as 1988 and just ahead of the Celtic Tiger years of a Europeanizing or just borderless Ireland, such was almost but not quite the message of the ground breaking, ultra-scholarly, widely praised R F Foster ‘s Modern Ireland (1600 -1972). This was effectively an economic and statistical history of Ireland. Its chronicle was so dense in its chosen emphasis it sidelined theories about Ireland and the Irish as virtual irrelevance, sometimes “Anglophobia” itself as against the shifting allegiances, regroupings of people and parties, fluctuating economic trends that compose the true picture, the “real” story.

At one level you can’t dispute the truth that across recent centuries, behind all the national myth, dreams, and political rhetoric, grim fact opposed much that was declared and hoped for. But no new and revisionist data can quite alter the fact that, just as a sense of home is natural, every society automatically and from psychological necessity, will define itself along nationalist lines. The Irish as a too long colonized people (the only colonized people in Europe) would perhaps especially do so. Anciently, the chief deity of the Celts appears to have been a version of Mercury, god of speech and persuasion, who is portrayed taking people captive by his words. Yet even eschewing Mercurial rhetoric, it must be conceded, and ironically so, that in the case of Foster’s new style historiography, the picture finishes Irish of a sort almost despite itself in that it has unintended affinities with the more shape-shifting elements of Celtic myth. And questions can well be asked about that, because myths are revealing for the societies which entertain them.

So I will examine, sometimes from the little explored angle of the symbolic and archetypal, just what “being Irish” means and why both in the past and present it has represented a tenacious ideal but one curiously difficult to pin down and realize in practical terms. Which also means, despite the cultural and psychological importance of what’s involved, any idea of Ireland and Irish identity is threatened anew and increasingly today, not just by the deconstruction of unpatriotic intellectuals but by the current social picture with its controversial patterns of Irish emigration outwards and EU migration inwards.

THE IRISH PSYCHE and THE DREAM FACTOR

Influenced by the writings of Joyce, Freud notoriously maintained you couldn’t psychoanalyse the Irish. Jung was more optimistic he could get to grips with at least the mind of Joyce, and it is by more Jungian means we should progress towards understanding. But of that presently. I will begin with a simple point of basic psychology which some Irish and Celtic people I have discussed this with have found illuminating.

I suggest for that a significant number of Irish (and Celts generally, especially Gaelic Scots) the music of the bagpipe can symbolize something about the psyche itself. Behind the tunes played on the instrument there is a single, one note drone. Visually it can be thought of like a permanent dark screen across which play the light and movement of life as expressed in melody; but it’s the screen is the core reality. That indelible impression is arguably the source of the Celtic dream which has affinities with the Hindu notion of world dream or Maya. The permanence and prominence of the  “screen” as somehow what’s most true, is liable to render everything else relative (or even unreal), more or less a projection only, sometimes futile (extremely so in the case of such as Samuel Beckett) and fit in one’s waking mode for ironic dismissal and satire. The latter is an Irish art form in itself. This negativity, dissociation or just doubt in the face of the normal course of life and events is often only redeemable by particularly brilliant symbols temporarily overwhelming the dark  like so many deities of light – Yeats’ Cathleen ni Houlihan crossing the stage as though an incarnation of Ireland itself!  This mindset encourages asking with Joyce the questions in Ulysses like: “Signatures of all things I am here to read….Am I walking into eternity along Sandymount Strand?”. I would take the implications of the assumed affirmative response  rather sensationally further.

Unmanaged by mental exercises or mystical teachings, the more fundamental “drone” side of the Celtic mind may be identical with the Hindu notion of the personal atman which is said to be identical (could one but realize it) with Atman of God/Soul in the Upanishads beloved of Yeats. The similarity is quite likely valid and a case of real affinity because there is plenty of evidence that ancient Ireland preserved elements of myth and law with parallels in the Vedic tradition which represents the furthest east expansion of the Indo-European tribes who spread as far as northern India three thousand or so years ago. The physical transformations of the Ulster hero Cuchulainn recall the shape shifting of some Hindu gods and more generally Celtic myth has something of the jungle-like quality of much Indian myth.

(There is a more secular version of this mental division. It has been noted in the poetry of for example Louis MacNeice that there is a certain juxtaposition of inner and outer, an observation of  the flux of images (in effect Kant’s phenomenal world) as against the noumena, the unknowable things in themselves. The main point, no matter how one describes or evokes it, is that the Irish mind is not firmly placed in the here and now, never completely and rigorously materialistic).

AN ISSUE OF RACE?

I would not insist, and have no evidence for a claim, that all Celts experience the drone phenomenon; but I believe they do have some sense of intense transcendence I shall mention later. But keeping to the drone factor, here we immediately run into a major problem. You don’t catch the Celtic dream by infection and only little by cultural assimilation (though Jung might allow anyone could pick up on the spirit of place). It is almost certain that it derives from that mostly forbidden source of anything today, namely race, and with the most unmentionable of reasons too, because isn’t “ Indo-Aryan” race theory what fascism is about?

But even if one can allow a race dimension to the picture, superficially there would anyway seem to be certain practical objections to it. Those Aryans beloved of fascist theory and the early Celts according to Roman report (plus even a few indications from Irish myth), were predominantly blue eyed and blond to order. So how could there be genetic inheritance? And then, as Oliver St John Gogarty once remarked of even Irish nationalist Yeats, despite what the poet claimed, he was English, not Irish anyway. So genetics might seem irrelevant.

Gogarty’s charge is actually rather misleading because whatever intermarriage may or may not have taken place and effected among Yeats’ Anglo-Irish forebears, we do know that the Pollexfens of Yeats’ mother’s side were of Cornish stock. Celtic Cornwall is probably the most dream fed, occult inclined quarter of England and this could explain the Yeatsian mindset at the more “racial” level. Likewise, despite claims to be Irish, Yeats’ own idol, Maud Gonne, may not have been this, but she did have an ancestry in the north of Scotland.. I would judge that – usually –  a strong vein of Celtic feeling can be associated some degree of genetic input.

Round Galway there are many “black” Irish of Mediterranean appearance, almost certainly testimony to intermarriage over the centuries with the merchants from Spain. The very fact most Irish are not blond and blue eyed could actually be because (apart from many Irish Gaels apparently anyway deriving less from Ukraine and Austria than from Galicia in Northern Spain and being perhaps related to the darker Basques) as is well known, blue eyes and blond hair represent recessive genes. Yet we repeatedly hear of Viking and Norman invaders and some English settlers becoming “more Irish than the Irish” within a generation or two following intermarriage. And do we not see the part Irish individual turn out oddly strong-to-type like the Greek-Irish free speech advocate, Milo Yiannopoulos (Hanrahan) whose personality is extravagant enough for Cuchulainn and Irish myth itself. (For the curious or unaware where Milo is concerned, the following YouTube can supply an idea https://goo.gl/GwZ57r ; to be noticed is the refusal to be PC and so attack whatever’s off limits like feminism and Islam etc. There’s a touch of Oscar Wilde’s will to dazzle and shock).

A reasonable inference would be that the mental characteristics of the Celts on the genetic plain are the opposite of recessive. Something genetic goes on. Why did we hear some years ago that rural Cavan is so high in the nation’s academic and IQ stakes? Possibly because, as historicans know, it was the original centre of Irish druidism which produced the main scholars of the society. Sometimes, just occasionally, it can be even fair features and red hair are retained in parts of northern Iran, India and Pakistan and right up to the borders of West China where Celtic type burial relics and custom have been found. Once upon a time Indo-European tribes went very far. (My original interest in this subject was prompted back in the seventies and in the Himalayas when to my astonishment I found myself in front of a Nepalese who might have been Ireland’s Free State leader, Michael Collins).

As a footnote to any search for the Celts since Mil and the Milesians arrived from Spain, it should be noted  that a variety of features in the art, music and even Celtic languages as they differ from the European, point to what DNA research somewhat substantiates. While the Irish are not Arabs, they do have traces of North African, Berber/ and Egyptian (Coptic?) Cretan and even Middle Eastern peoples in the mix, all of them able to reach ancient Ireland by sea from Phoenicia, Egypt and Morocco via perhaps long sojourn in Spain This might shed more light on the builders of dolmens and the mythologizing genealogies which look back to Greece, Egypt and Mesopotamia. I find  significance in Bel being a Celtic sun god with Beltaine his feast, because it is widely accepted Bel is or echoes Baal. Arguably a couple like Maeve and Ailill bespeak an ancient Mesopotanian, quasi-matriarchal type, (biblically like King Ahab dominated  by his persecuting queen Jezebel). When not directed at Baal, Israel’s apostasy was in service of Baal’s Asherah denounced by the prophets. This echo of the remote Middle Eastern past is suggestive for the Irish cult of trees in which the Ash was the druid Tree of Life..But if we keep speculation  to the two main places of origins, continental Europe and northern Spain the one could perhaps say  the more surrealistic, Finnegan’s Wake  side of Irish  character and early myth is suggestive for the north Spanish connection, while early Fianna myth seems more continental European.

The majority Celtic input as regards population and culture cannot be passed over, but questions can well be asked about what looks to be some inconvenient truths in the realm of ethnic inheritance. Whether genetics applies or not, I shall now turn to what I consider one or two enduring features about the Irish.

IRISH “DIFFERENCE”.

It can seem odd to propose, but on examination it seems true enough to state, that almost the most essential character of the Irish is “difference”-in-itself. Difference would appear to be a relative value rather than any fixed and permanent one, but I suggest the Irish, (rather like gays in relation to straights), are definable by precisely a sort of permanent alienated difference from the Other, or Others; they are the eternal variation on a theme, having like Joyce’s Jewish Bloom a sense of being liminal. (What really is more permanent exists at a Platonic, symbolic level that underlies the philosophy of Ireland’s ninth century thinker, Erigena. This level of otherness, another version of the Celtic Otherworld is a subject in itself and functions sometimes as a basis of Irish wit, a sense of the absurd and paradox as ideal and real clash).

The Jews have been called a “feminine” race as being the bride or handmaid of God. The Celts have always liked to travel (but rather less when forced by emigration as the home turf also counts!) because new places present new ideas and possibilities to absorb into whatever the energies of their core being are. In short, their development is dialectical – thesis, antithesis, synthesis. (Arguably Irish history itself progresses in antithetical waves, one generation more revolutionary, another more constitutional). But what prevents movement is bad almost by definition. Joyce’s Dubliners is very much a portrayal and protest against stasis and stagnation. (Even given more opportunity, it is unlikely architecture would have been a leading Celtic art if only because of  stone’s  permanence as against the impermanence  of wood said to have been favoured by the druids – evidently a touch of Buddhist feeling on that point). A reason Ireland has so dangerously, even self-destructively accepted the damage the EU has been doing it, is because – at least at the outset –  it looked like the prospect of a wanted, needed change which  it was (wrongly) assumed could be easily absorbed. It is an error to assume Ireland is root and branch conservative.

However, only  recently in the work of the late John O’Donohue has an overt emphasis on the dialectic and other more Mitteleuropa ideas, as from Goethe, been imported into Irish thinking at the more conscious level (see https://wp.me/p2v96G-126 They have of course long been a principle at more unconscious levels where they have been in suppressed conflict with what was often the straightjacket of Catholic Thomist/Aristotelian values. In fact, the swirling decorations of everything from La Tene art to the Book of Kells bespeak the dialectical impulse further implied by the ancient Celtic obsession with the number 3.

By contrast, England, in some respects  the great intellectual and imaginative exception within Europe, would present less a dynamic (in effect extraverted)  contrast such as at least sometimes Italy and Dante, so important to Joyce and Beckett, supplied, than a wholesale denial.  Those who rather cynically maintain that England was “necessary” to Ireland’s development, ignore how exceedingly difficult England was to adjust to with it’s almost automatic repression of the possibility of any substantial variation upon itself – it even worked to abolish the native language and laws along with appropriating national land and uprooting whole populations on it  The home turf, natural scenery and nature are something many Celts have been almost mystically attached to, but if you believe in Locke’s  tabula rasa minds, then such attachments can be ignored..

Despite inevitable cultural  percolation  over time, Shakespeare, Dickens, Shelley (the latter strongly protested England in Ireland) being prominent at the literary level, most essentially England presented a series of psycho-social  exclusions with values  almost too opposite to ever quite assimilate. Everything from its most representative philosophy, the materialist, Lockean empiricism with its tabula rasa of mind abominated by Yeats, to its social organization in cliques which would permit an empire to expand everywhere but be ruled by a virtual caste system, all was a tough nut to crack. You needed to become English to socially interact at all – in order to shine, Oscar Wilde promptly disposed of his Irish accent upon arriving in England; Yeats never even had one. But a century after Irish independence, from his professorial position in Oxford, revisionist historian  Foster shockingly refers to the voices of historic Irish nationalism as “Anglophobic”.

IRISH RHYTHM

If “difference” was a core value often repressed, less repressible and arguably another genetic feature, is access to a certain unique rhythm which others may appreciate but not quite have in the blood. Some of it is, after all, almost manic, Dionysac. Over the centuries even hostile reports of Ireland conceded the Irish love of and skill with music (albeit liable to be regarded as an aspect of lazy national dolce far niente values!). Within and beyond the music is not infrequently a quite special driving energy, well reflected in the thunder and lightning of the modern Riverdance phenomenon which freed Irish dance from the no arms polker skipping originally imposed by careful priests. Dancing is in fact behind quite a lot of what the Irish do and not just in the lilt of the linguistic expression. A surprising phenomenon of recent years is the Irish OTT wrestling which has a lot of virtual dance in its unusual expression in variance on a common theme.

The rhythm points to an ongoing, implicitly eternal energy symbolized in the eternity knots and circles of traditional Irish patterning, and while this can be associated with a quieter, sometimes plaintive, melancholic strain of feeling and music, more essentially (if one wants to make the often meaningful Indian comparisons) it is a dance of Shiva whose Celtic equivalent would appear to be the horned Cernunnos who sits Shiva-like cross-legged on the Gundestrup bowl. (Some scholars regard this figure as the Irish Jupiter, but I doubt it and the fact we don’t know more about this figure at the literary level, is because he was almost certainly a rural, Pan-like deity of the third order or farming class rather than the druid elite).

The rhythm is simply everywhere from the earliest flowing artwork to the lilt of the largely discarded language which still echoes into the English as spoken and which is incidentally oddly distinct from the harsher tones of Ulster accents. The latter accompanies the more “no nonsense”, iconoclastic attitudes of the Scots Irish which, if one reached back far enough, might take one to the blue faced Picts renowned for a bellicosity the English and Romans could never tame and raised a wall against. Ulster was at least notionally the centre of ancient Ireland and associated with the High Kingship. Tudor English policy could hardly have chosen a more sensitive area for Plantation or selected more fortress mentality agents of a colonization away from any Gaelic world. To this day there is intense Ulster resistance to any proposal Irish language might be taught in schools as helping make any bridge between north and south.

CELTIC INTUITION

Last and briefly in this section I would add intuition as a core characteristic. It could hardly be quantified and made a statistic, but it seems fair to say the intuitive function is more used and represented among the Celts than many European peoples. Telepathy, prophetic dreams, water divining, sometimes apparent healing ability, reading symbols and directing “second sight” upon affairs are fairly common.   They are often seen as inherited and running more in some families than others, which if so would again tend to support a rather ethnic as opposed to purely cultural view of the people. The high status originally enjoyed by poetry and the poet in the traditional society was tied to assumptions that the extreme intuition of vision/prophecy was involved. To the extent Yeats laid much emphasis on these factors he is the truest Irish poet within modern times and see re Yeats also under archetypes.

For what the point is worth, those rare people who claim to be able to perceive auras maintain people of Celtic extraction have a strong green ray in the aura, the real basis of Irish green obsession, not just the often electric green of grass in Eire! Whatever is or isn’t involved, it often seems stronger than in many other places. People swear by the gifts of past and present figures like Biddy Early (a witch), Joe Cassidy (a diviner and healer), and Lorna Byrne (a psychic) the latter exceptionally claims to see angels and entities not  now and again but all the time. (See my Joe Cassidy, an Irish phenomenon   https://wp.me/p4kNWg-bA ).   At this point one borders less intuition than something more purely occult. In this connection I suspect  that elements of the St Patrick story, which have him challenging druids claiming to levitate and fly,  may not be pure fancy but reflects conditions and people of an ancient society with something of Alexander David- Neel’s celebrated reports of magic and mystery in traditional Tibet.

PART TWO

ARCHETYPAL AND SYMBOLIC EMPHASIS IN CELTIC THOUGHT

Before turning to what perhaps most neatly describes who and what the Irish are today, I shall turn to the more historical question of archetypes and archetypal emphasis, something always crucial in understanding people psyches. We have a description, of sorts, of Celtic religion from the Romans from Caesar to Lucian. This is thought to be fairly reliable but it remains suspect to the extent it can seem too easy to parallel certain deities with leading Roman ones, like Mars or Mercury when archaeology and art appear to indicate quite a few additional deities. These fit nowhere, unless perhaps they belong to the quasi-Hindu “jungle” of much native myth. Moreover, what myth comes down to us scarcely concentrates on divine figures in their own right but emphasises rather issues like kingship, just rule, land possession, warriors  and healing.

I think however the Roman view need not be too distrusted, especially not on the basis that the classical world represents centralized stateism so that  Celtic  fluidity of myth reflects nothing but Celtic anarchy. Given anything like a Jungian concept of a collective unconscious, one will support the notion that in all myth everywhere there will be, or ought to be, and as primary, gods of sun and moon, Mars and Venus types etc, namely archetypes related to the visible planets and which function as trans-cultural, universal symbols. Any absence of or variation upon this root pattern can be significant and demands explanation.

So….all that can really differ as regards a Celtic pantheon is:

a)  the just mentioned plethora of local deities of hill, stream and wells, these being much akin to and precursors of later cults of the saints. This is what we might expect of an originally nomadic society which is making sense of things as it goes along. Also a society with often rather fluid tribal boundaries. The tribe itself will have its particular god or gods,  but these can be changeable following the tribe’s fortunes.

b)  a greater fluidity in definition and function of the major, trans-tribal gods. For example, according to Caesar the chief god of the Celts was Mercury, (Ogmios, Lugos, Lugus, Lugo, Luga  across Europe but in Ireland Lugh). A confirmation scholars miss for Lugh having to be more essentially Irish Mercury than anything, is that he is “Long Arm” and hand and arm are by tradition ruled by Mercury/Gemini). While Irish Mercury can function conventionally as the usual symbol/patron of roads, communication, commercial transaction and various arts, he can have a touch of Mars about him too when the category of arts extend to making implements of war. Also when he is sometimes a light and kingship factor merging with the solar god Bel or Belenus (of the Beltaine festival). Lugh, whose festival of Lughnasa fell in August (i.e under the ultra solar sun sign of Leo) Lugh is often regarded as the Irish sun god……It is incidentally my guess, that the lack of Irish cosmology and origins myth as opposed to intricate concern with mythologized genealogies, is involved not simply with clerical editing (monks have recorded and preserved the creation myths of many societies) or even tribalism, than with the native Mercurial  sense of continuous creation and, where possible, identity with, participation in  creative flow rather than any process considered  wholly from outside. Then too,  as perhaps the most dramatically inclined of the known Celtic groups, Irish feeling for interchangeability among the roles of divine figures  could reflect a native desire to assume all roles within the drama of existence.

c) By contrast to the fluidity of the Celtic gods, the chief deity for the Romans was Jupiter who as thunder bearing Taranis is a lesser figure for the Celts. A fairly benign and versatile but not creator father god, The Dagda (the good god), possibly represents a Jupiter figure for Ireland, especially as he controls weather and is a druid, a religious function. Dagda exemplifies a Jupiterian bounty and fortune through especially his famous, (proto grail) magic cauldron. However, he is not any powerfully cosmological, philosophical or refined Jupiter but a more Falstaffian, Rabelaisian one. If Rome regarded Mercury as effectively chief god of the Celts. that impression seems right as reflecting the restlessness and general eloquence (“gift of the gab”) of Celtic culture. Also, if we allow possible Indo/European connection, Mercury is the wisdom of the mind. In Hindu religion, rather surprisingly it’s Mercury, not religious and philosophical Jupiter (named Guru in India), is arbiter of wisdom and even of ultimate “enlightenment”. This is because it supports “discrimination” between types and levels of thinking.

While much could be said about Celtic myth and Gaulish custom before and beyond it (all significant for Ireland in its way – the Tain epic has warriors fighting in chariots which happened in Gaul rather than Ireland), the following is what seems distinctive about pagan Celtic religion and thus ruling archetypes psychologically.

1) There is no completely distinct Celtic sun god (it could be Bel or in Ireland Lugh), nor a Mars whose role seems distributed around various deities like power around the tribe.

2) The existence of Angus (Mabon in Wales), a god of love, beauty and youth – like Yeats the Celts can rage against age. This god may or may not be an aspect of youthful Mercury but especially as the child who tricks his illegitimate father, The Dagda,  he gives the impression of being Ireland’s trickster figure. Though he brings couples together and is entranced by a woman, at another level  he may represent a type of the (Uranian) Puer (boy/child) archetype Jung associates with homosexuality. (I use my intuition here which years ago, so a Buddhist scholar assured me, correctly guessed the esoteric secret most Buddhists don’t know, namely that Manjusri/Monju, a rather similar figure, is the gay god). The Ancients did regard the Celts as considerably same sex inclined, something they never ceased to be – report of same sex unions was one of the reasons the only English pope gave England the right to invade medieval Ireland. (It looks as though Ireland accepted “marriages of brethren” along the lines of some eastern churches, Ireland having had more contacts with the East than post Patrick Roman officials cared to admit). If the depiction of depression  is a feature of Irish myth (see below), then Angus could be a kind of redemptive, surprise and change bringing  influence, an Eros as against a Thanatos (Death) principle. Insofar however as versatile Lugh and  not Angus is Mercury, it is noticeable how much Yeats (himself a Mercurial Gemini like an earlier  national poet in English, Thomas Moore) is related to the Lugh archetype. Asteroid Lugh conjuncted his rising moon, while Luga,, a continental variant name, squared his moon at birth).

3) Despite the radiant glamour of some Celtic goddesses and the existence of a few potent, fate ridden  love stories – tragic Deidre anticipates tragic Isolde, Irish princess of Cornish lore – there is no clear Venus/Aphrodite equivalent serving the love principle fully (or very cheerfully!). There are only minor Minerva type figures of wisdom or healing, or goddesses of wells and rivers like Boann (Boyne)  the mother of Angus, and then a goddess of the Sovereignty of Ireland. She herself is a triple goddess, Eriu, Fodla and Banba (or she is Morrigan who might be all three together). Quite simply, Irish myth seems more linked to nature than to society and the relation to the goddesses ( who may appear temporarily as hags) could well reflect need, desire and struggle in relation to an originally difficult terrain. Divinity as a smiling or playful Venus is more likely to emerge in sunnier climes as of southern Europe.

4) There are also numbers of Celtic lunar goddesses, some of them again trinities like supremely the Sovereignty of Ireland. There are a variety of goddesses associated with motherhood and/or fertility, chief among them for specifically the Irish, Danu. But as with Mercury’s overlap of functions, goddesses may also be involved in war, death and destruction (Some Celtic women, Amazon-like and like the British Boudicca, did venture into battle and a small minority of Irish women like child abusing nuns or singer Sinead O’Connor’s sadistic mother, can have a very dark side). Such lunar divinities hark back to pre-Venus figures like Babylonian Ishtar who served both eros and war. The mythology suggests matriarchal tendencies at some level, but despite even the apparently woman favourable to permissive Brehon laws, the reality on the ground,  was that the majority of the women who weren’t wealthy and privileged,  suffered disadvantage – many of St Patrick’s first converts were women including because the faith appeared to favour women rather than otherwise.

5) A sort of shadowy, sinister male Trinity group Taranis, Teutates and Esus, a Trinity whom Lucian even regarded as the chief gods of the Celts (though they are not clearly so for the Irish), and who allegedly required human sacrifice.

6) A shadowy Dispater or Pluto figure, “father” of the Celts according to Caesar, and possibly a version of the withdrawn Creator god or “the unknown god” St Paul refers to among the Greeks at Athens. The dark and hidden nature of this Gaulish god with no clear Irish version might have bearing on what I am calling the Celtic atman or drone factor. If there is an Irish equivalent it would perhaps be Midir, a lord of the Underworld and foster father to Angus rather than progenitor of the whole race. But if Midir is a Pluto variant  this could explain his unexpected relation to Angus, especially if the latter is once seen as a Uranian, naturally ascensional,  brightness-surrounded  archetype who would resist age, and any lasting dark and downward motion. Despite his centre of power, where he appears  Midir is not a notably sinister figure like classical Pluto, but merely mysterious; nonetheless,  in his insatiable desire for compensation for an accident occasioned by Angus, there may be suggestions of remorseless, inescapable Plutonic demands and insistence, ultimate fate.

7) An Irish  god of the sea, Lir or Ler and his son Manannan mac Lir, may equate with Poseidon/Neptune. The archetypal fits are that one of the saddest Irish myths is The Children of Lir, and Neptune (especially in astrology) is sorrow and tears, while Poseidon is a god of horses or perhaps the waves ridden as such; and the Irish sea god, associated like Poseidon with equine imagery, leads to the final point.

8) Finally, and in view of what’s mentioned later, I note there is more than one horse goddess (Macha and Epona) and in Gaul a male deity Atepomarus, a healing god with some associations with the classical sun god Apollo, but perceived as a great horseman. This has some connection with the otherwise mostly absent or invisible Celtic Jupiter given the ancient and perennial connection of Jupiter with religion and Sagittarius with the horseman.

What if anything might all this point to on the archetypal, psychological plain? To the extent, love and benevolence, even good fortune and material wealth are worldwide associated with Venus and Jupiter, the Celtic emphasis, even though Mercury is commercial, is quasi-ascetical in line with historical fact and self image as in “land of saints and scholars”. Knowledge and self-realization have usually counted for more with the Celts than financial success of the more notable kind. And the saying “happy wife, happy life” will not readily apply in this society. We know from earliest myth as of the Tain that it doesn’t. King Ailill and Queen Maeve are not on good terms and Maeve is no Venus but a bullying virago. However, note she is really a type of lunar goddess since, again suggesting the mystery of Indian affinities, her husband’s 27 window palace is redolent of the 27 lunar mansions of Vedic astronomy/astrology. The druids were reported to be great astronomers so we cannot ignore this dimension.

It remains hard to determine to what extent the Irish record of tribal  invasions represents a mythologized history or something more psychological. It is possible a symbolization of a Celtic war with  depression is conveyed through figures like the dark Fomorians and Balor. But given that the Celts do appear to have a depressive vein (too often “cured” by alcohol), the psychological dimension, a war between conscious and unconscious, cannot be ruled out possibly as one of the more distinguishing features of Irish myth. Here darkness may not be just something seasonal and wintry, or deathly and irremediable, but a symbol of defeat and living death.

Weakness of solar emphasis could owe to little more than Irish cloud and rain, but coupled with a “distributed” Mars too, it might point to a degree of matriarchy that hands things over to the lunar factor which, like Mercury, is changeable. It can be  women who go on the offensive or stir the men to Martian activity. Although the Celtic raids upon Rome and Delphi were dramatic and long remembered, overall the Celtic impulse has not been imperial, unless at the remote beginnings of Indo-European expansion, violence historically having more to do with tribal raids and skirmishes (i.e. home turf, lunar issues). One could almost say Irish Mars is Mars negative, more defensive than offensive; and if that seems a bit  generous in the light of history, it must be recalled, and despite Lucian’s mention of human sacrifice in Gaul, that Ireland is the only country in the world where Christianity managed to be introduced without producing martyrs. Also early Irish myth likes to think of the Fenian band as defenders not extenders of the kingdom.

It would be a bold thesis, but I can’t help wondering if what distinguishes and confuses Irish myth away from many norms, is its intimations of those archetypes now more clearly associated with the outer, previously invisible planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. In modern psychological astrology which emphases the archetypes, these planets register forces more generational and spiritual than the inner planets. Main features of classical mythology rather neatly equate with the visible planets. It would be consistent with both the tribal element of Celtic thought plus a heightened spirituality if there were to be more reflection of outer planets drives and symbolism.

HOME TRUTHS AND FATED FACTS

If he couldn’t fathom a patient and make them speak their problems, Jung would resort to what would disclose the problem and make them talk, namely their horoscope. We shall do the same with the riddle and often hidden facts of (modern) Ireland. I shall take the uniquely fated crossroads moment between past and present when after eight hundred years Ireland (more or less) obtained what it wanted. A return of its land through a divorce from England via achievement of a Republic status. (18th April, 1949, 00. AM . UT , Dublin)

It is remarkable how accurate the picture is. I can only describe salient features of a detailed pattern of huge significance.

The moment in time is shown by asteroid IRELAND in the house of leadership and destiny, conjunct of all things but suitably, THE PART OF DIVORCE while several planets fill the opposite fourth house of land, origins and history. The land is what Ireland desires to regain, so this house contains all of Sun, Mars, Venus and the fated nodes in a new beginnings sign, Aries. Since by long tradition Ireland was always represented by home-loving, musical and earthy Taurus, which was suitably the sign of the sun at the time of the Easter Rebellion in 1916, there is a message for the future, of which presently, in the strong Aries input for the Republic. However, noteworthy is that the Taurus tradition continues to the extent all-important Mercury  falls in the sign in the creative fifth sector conjunct asteroid YEATES (sound vibe, not spelling, determines asteroid meaning and usage). This is as good as to define Yeats as the truest to tradition for modern Ireland,  something I have always maintained against certain claims to the contrary. See for example: Why Ireland needs Yeats 2015…and more  https://wp.me/p2v96G-xA

FROM THE FLIGHT OF THE EARLS

The crossroads moment also looks back to the past – vividly. There is no Ulster asteroid but I knew if an O’NEILL asteroid existed it would be meaningful. The greater part of Ireland’s problems in recent centuries go back to the fatal Tudor plantation of Ulster and the Flight of the Earls in 1607, especially clan O’Neill and Hugh O’Neill of Irish High King lineage, a departure which effectively lost Ireland its ruling elite and with it something of its identity and culture.

I am not a romantic, uncritical admirer of the old clan system which could have used some reform, but deceit and wrong was nonetheless practiced upon O’Neill and the clans. This is clearly shown by asteroid O’NEILL in the house of the land and origins at 12 Aries opposed to a Neptune at 13 Libra in the destiny and rulership house suggestive, via this “afflicting” opposition aspect, of precisely deceit, theft, and/or suffering imposed. Yet by extension even the new leaders could well confuse or fail to defend past legacies of identity and culture. The marks of the past overshadow present and future.

Ever since the Flight of the Earls, the Irish have had to find their way amid disadvantage as much socio-cultural as economic. It is generalization only, but broadly what would happen is that while the peasant and farmer on the land (Celtic society’s traditional third order) would be symbol and protester of many things and supposed bearer of tradition, power went to a half hidden, town and village based rising commercial middle class. This could only thrive under existing restrictive laws by a degree of shady dealing which become ingrained and would compromise the standards of Irish life and politics for generations. Their mouthpiece and deliverer was the rather brash and loose living Daniel O’Connell (it was joked you couldn’t throw a stone over the workhouse wall without hitting one of Dan’s bastards).

Asteroid O’CONNELL from the house of lawyers (he was a lawyer) is tellingly in affliction square the Republic’s would-be socially unifying Venus and exactly square its fatal Saturn in Leo in the house of religion which is the promise of the eventual end of Catholic triumphalism and hegemony in Ireland.

The as, when and how of Catholic Emancipation and its achievement ahead of the catastrophe of the Great Famine, put Catholicism, O’Connell’s class and especially the priests (acting now as a substitute Celtic elite) into power in a way that would subsequently choke national life at every level, worsening relations between north and south. It would identify being Irish almost wholly with being Catholic when ironically a lot of Irish nationalism and modern culture would subsequently derive from Irish Protestant sources – necessarily so as Catholicism would not allow the independence and modernity of thought involved. In the 1930s in shocking betrayal of values and promises of the 1916 revolution, De Valera virtually reduced Ireland legally to an arm of the Vatican and there was a major exodus of Protestants, artists and writers. The emphasis on Aries in the Republic’s chart is, I believe, a key to the fate of the increasingly rejected Catholicism within Ireland as suggested below.

CELESTIAL MARKS OF DIFFERENCE AND STYLE

The theme of Irish “difference” that I have stressed, is superbly shown by the status of Jupiter. This planet is symbol of a person or nation’s philosophy, beliefs and the basis of freedom. Placed. in the second house of personal values (as much as wealth), it is strong on 0 degrees of independent, freedom loving, would-be different Aquarius. This signals emphatic difference, but besides that something of the shocks and surprises of the Celtic Tiger years are anticipated by this additionally wealth-registering factor in an erratic sign in the possessions house.

Although the Celts historically didn’t – consciously – stress any Jupiter deity or factor, this Jupiter is still crucial for defining the (modern) Irish including the perennial wit (which often has a sharp edge and the (sometimes helpless) laughter  – Swift, suitably for an adopted if reluctant Irishman, was a Sagittarian. Jupiter is theoretically ruler of the whole pattern because Sagittarius, (“ruled” by Jupiter), rises over the horizon at its birth. This rising point will define the body of the people, their persona, temperament and mythos. At one level Sagittarius is the priest, the philosopher, the prophet and pilgrim. At another level it is the sportsman and undeniably Irish sports, especially Gaelic football and hurling, are defining for Ireland and influential  on the international level.  Temperamentally, Sagittarius is the Irish as  ”broth of a boy” or “the wild Irish girl” type who can never have enough of the fun. Except that Ireland can’t quite have all the fun of the fair. 5 degrees of Sagittarius rises, but behind it at 8 degrees rises the planetoid, Chiron, the wounded healer, insuring tears may accompany laughter and melancholy visit the party and never quite be banished. Even so, the intensely “Sagittarian” approach to life and luck is reflected in the Irish expression of “Good luck”. This is “Go n-eiri an bother leat”  which means, “may your journey be successful”, the quest, the trip, the adventure rated higher than, say, the acquirement of worldly goods.

With the body involved in the ascendant, classic Irish beauty among the women from Maud Gonne (Yeats’ own Cathleen ni Houlihan) to Edna O’Brien, to singer Sinead O’Connor whose 5 Sagittarius ascendant degree exactly conjuncts Ireland’s, is essentially the Sagittarian one. (Tragic Sinead who now wants to work for the dying, with her Venus and Sun below her ascendant seems to embrace the nation’s suffering, wounded Sagittarian Chiron).  Recall amid all this, and bespeaking Sagittarius, there were the Irish horse goddesses and that from the Gauls onwards many observers, like Richard Stanihurst in the sixteenth century, have been declaring the Irish make fine horsemen (they needed to be so since the Irish traditionally resisted any use of the saddle!). But Jupiter and Sagittarius transcend so that, even if and when the drone psychology doesn’t apply to them, many Irish, especially men, feel a sort of higher self and wider existence upon them through the racing and riding of horses and national sports generally which are almost a substitute or supplementary religion.

So…the restless Irish who travel, go on pilgrimage or who, through desire for adventure or from economic necessity, emigrate far and wide and who seek fun, all this is covered by shades of Sagittarius. And the horseman is the distance traveller as opposed to the more local one of Gemini and Mercury. But above all, Sagittarius is the sign of belief and organized religion, and of course the Irish are traditionally and typically religious, so unsurprisingly  the rising 5 degrees of Sagittarius positively trines asteroid CHURCH in the ninth house of beliefs and religion. We are now ready to cover those most vexed subjects, religion and sex.

THE IRISH AND SEX

Astrology may suffer misinterpretations but the skies don’t lie and they tell the truth about the Irish and sex. EROS at 5 Aquarius is loosely conjunct expansive Jupiter but in exact favourable aspect to both the image-giving ascendant and the marriage and unions associated descendant. This reflects the Irish mostly reckon to keep sex within bounds (and might even expect of it little short of the alchemical wedding itself!);  but since Aquarius is many ways different/queer, it’s a promise that one day Ireland could accept gay unions as is also the fact that the gay planet, Uranus, is in the nation’s house of marriages.  (It could equally and also indicate that divorce would eventually be legalized and perhaps rather easily had recourse to once  instituted)

Sex strictly speaking nevertheless belongs with Ireland’s eighth house which holds Pluto. This can involve very intense sex and, some maintain, it rules pornography. As symbol of transformation generally, Pluto is certainly a promise of profound changes that personally and/or socially the Irish can and will undergo regarding sex. With Cancer on the cusp of the house this sector is ruled by the moon.

The Republic’s moon is in steely conservativeCapricorn. This fits for the more familiar side of things, the Ireland set up by De Valera and rather mercilessly portrayed in Patrick Kavanagh’s poem The Great Hunger, with its the cold world of the lonely bachelor, unromantic and frustrated, “married” to his mother and patting his horse for comfort. But if lunar Capricorn at its Saturnian worst risks being this, notoriously it can manifest as its extreme opposite, the libertine like the supposedly life and sex-hating Samuel Beckett who used prostitutes and had marathon sex (some said three days with just intervals to eat and drink) with the nymphomaniac Peggy Guggenheim.

Though these are two extremes, it seems fair to say there aren’t just Italian stallions. Ireland of the horses can be exciting in its own way. Within the eighth house Eire has the wow factor of all of CERNUNNOS, SIVA and MAEVA (i.e. Maeve). (Even in the fifth sector of love affairs and romance there’s DIONYSUS!).

All this rather points to huge reserves of raw sexual energy, though I believe MAEVA has a lot to do with bestselling novelist, Maeve Binchy, feminist recorder of an Ireland in social and sexual transition. Binchy regarded herself as a modern mouthpiece of mythic Maeve  and went annually to Lisdoonvarna, home of Brian Merriman the eighteenth century poet whose Midnight Court poem protests Irish sex repression, to recharge batteries as Maeve’s voice to the modern Irish. However….raw energy (backed up by the addictive, exaggerating quality of the Celtic dream function) can still be dangerous and not everyone really wants or needs it. So I suspect, rather as some rabbis have discovered a few tantric principles to channel sex better for the sometimes insatiable and Freudian-minded Jews, Ireland might use a bit of tantra to achieve especially the full body orgasm that among gays has been found to cure their too frequent and dangerous sex addiction. See article What gays want and need  https://goo.gl/ZVxWR9

As it is, the relations between partners in Ireland remains, as it always has been, a little strange due to its high degree of independence. Husbands and wives rarely seem close and intimate, a characteristic reflected in cool, different and gay-inclined Uranus in the nation’s marriage house, but conjunct PAN. While this combination could again indicate couples might use some tantric relating, if partners seem so self-contained, hardly needing one another, this may be because the Irish are almost pre-wedded to nature or their “soul” function stressed by  John O’Donohue and here symbolized by the conjunction to PAN. This incidentally fits my speculation about a real difference between soul and spirit that O’Donohue’s theology fails to grasp; soul, even among Christians, is always somewhat pagan and nature-bound in contrast to Spirit with which O’Donohue confuses it. See my Ireland’s Old/New Spirituality Problems https://wp.me/p2v96G-126the

THE IRISH AND RELIGION

Finally, what about religion? With the ascendant exactly trine CHURCH, the society was and always will be somewhat church associated, though never to the extent it once was. In the house of religion stands a dangerous Saturn in Leo, a warning within any pattern to any kind for leaders and leading authorities (“Saturn in Leo, king dies” – Hitler had it and eventually lost and died) and since Saturn is order but also restriction, the church could be oppressive of the society and was.

But ultimate spiritual scandal was waiting to bring  down Irish religion in the Catholic mode. The late Fr Malachi Martin, once a Jesuit Vatican insider, shocked many by claiming Satanic rites took place in the higher echelons of the church. I can’t tell similarly dark and occult meanings attached to  some of the patterns of abuse and cover-up in Ireland that when finally revealed would traumatize the nation, occasioning distrust and lapse from faith. However, I do notice something remarkable in the Eire pattern the likes of which I have never found elsewhere before. The asteroid THEOTES (Godhead/Trinity) conjuncts LUCIFER. Conjunctions represent what is either very joined or opposed. The message seems to be that God and devil are in outright spiritual conflict over Ireland and it could suggest that what has been involved in recent scandals is sometimes more than just sexual.

The sun represents the ultimate will, life direction and identity. Unless and until the nation formally redefines itself, Aries, the self made man, represents that will. Unless you care to say Aries could represent “the fighting Irish”, as said, a Taurus sun that shone on 1916’s Easter Rising might have better represented the national mind, the “matriarchy” and culture generally and especially the arts; but with Aries, the patriarchal sign, attention shifts towards the more gritty writers like the overrated Seamus Heaney and the nihilist Samuel Beckett and the Judas sympathizing poet Brendan Kennelly (see my article, Judas Stopped at Dublin. https://wp.me/p2v96G-Bm ).  These  were all Ariens. Aries tends to be either very evangelical like General Booth of the Salvation Army (and Ulster’s Ian Paisley), or militantly atheistic like America’s Madilyn Murray O’Hare, or both, a sort of “evangelical” atheist like Richard Dawkins.

Here then is the basis for Irish secularization and revolt against Catholicism. It began with the young men of Ireland who refused the mothers of Ireland about going to mass. The priests weren’t worth it. Finish! The only trouble is that – looked at from the Protestant sidelines as I do – what you also get is Rob Doyle’s nihilistic, anarchic, aggressive, Here are the Boys and a considerable breakdown in the society with all the usual chaos of problems, drugs, crime, STDs etc. Even those one time rebels like Edna O’Brien who spoke for a greater freedom, are unhappy with what Ireland has become and is becoming. A dose of secularism may be useful to change a few archaic laws and free a few minorities, but the Celtic world has been consistently and insistently too spiritual and Christian too long to lose faith without losing its compass and suffering harm. Some religious renewal or truce with the spiritual past is needed, and even some truce with the right of people post post modernism  to define themselves – it has anyway been  an Irish obsession and reflex action since at least the times of St Colombanus who was an original in defining Europe too.

The slide from Catholicism when not into indifference into some form of neo-paganism is nonetheless simpler than a surprised world might be imagined. It results from how for too long the Catholic emphasis has been upon symbol and ritual rather than history and theology – biblical literacy and a firm grasp on a Judaeo-Christian tradition is largely absent, a reason an element of anti-Semitism easily finds expression (see below). The individual  slips into a kind of Jungian universe of floating symbols, none more significant than another but some more attractive for the purpose of experiment and new invented rituals. I am not certain if it’s coincidence or not, but with Lora O’Brien one of the more vocal and published writers on an Irish return to the old gods, we see asteroid O’BRIEN opposite that dangerously  over confident, tradition bound Saturn in Leo in Ireland’s house of beliefs. But then didn’t Edna O’Brien, author of A Pagan Place , though not herself finally pagan, question the role of the church in Irish life? Watch those O’Briens!

LUCK OF THE IRISH

Amid its diverse messages it must be admitted the Republic’s chart is not an especially  fortunate one. Under the usual rules it cannot hope to be so when its crucial Part of Fortune exactly conjuncts of all misfortune-registering features, black moon Lilith, (notorious among continental astrologers for trouble), the goddess whom early Irish monks once identified with the Irish Morrigan, figure of battle, death and doom. As I stressed in Ireland’s Old/New Spirituality Problems https://wp.me/p2v96G-126the   refusal, or just inability, to somehow banish or transcend this too central archetypal influence  makes for block, for depression and failure . Not to do this, not to understand itself more, and so not to be more understood by others, is regrettable because the Irish difference is not just any difference such as might separate Belgium from Holland, Norway from Sweden. It has value as being a real exception (at points almost quasi-Asian) within the West which represents quite other, certainly more this-worldly and matter-of-fact inclinations.

Douglas Murray has written persuasively of The Strange Death of Europe. It might not be inappropriate to speak of a dying Ireland. At any rate it’s hard to be optimistic of much future change either from what one observes is going on or from the telling celestial pattern I have interpreted. Especially if one of Ireland’s prophets, St Malachy of Armagh, is to be believed, we are anyway supposed to inhabit the end of days. The present Pope is supposedly the last in his line and hence the appearance of the  Antichrist pending – albeit an alleged prophecy of St Patrick from a seventh century biography has it Ireland won’t suffer the false prophet’s rule  because it will disappear beneath the waves! If Malachy’s prophecy has any validity, the ultimate  form of authority  Ireland supposedly wouldn’t see would necessarily entail the kind of attempted New World Order that would abolish all borders and disregard all differences.. But without considering this most drastic of prophecies, Ireland has already lost borders enough, perhaps to the point of no return for a small nation.

It is true that there have been times in its history when Irish society seemed to have been brought to near ban and extinction and it has more or less recovered. It might actually rally again. But practically  there are limits, and the international outlook is not helpful to any  self-assertive and descriptive project. Around one in five people in Ireland are now migrants from wildly different cultural and religious backgrounds. It shouldn’t be called “racist “to notice that in tourist spots in the West or even in central Dublin, souvenir shops can be incongruously manned by migrants from Asia and around the world. Not necessarily those persons but some new migrants to Ireland are said to have illegally entered the country through the ineffective border of British Ulster. I don’t suggest those in the souvenir shops and elsewhere in Ireland are dishonest or disagreeable as individuals; many are perfectly pleasant and helpful, but that’s not quite the point in the cultural  circumstances. Same goes for the many pleasant and enterprising Poles who immigrated in large numbers in the 2000s. Irish is theoretically the first language of Ireland, but practically it is no longer the second but the third spoken language of modern Ireland because there are so many Polish speakers.

All one can say is that Ireland struggled valiantly for centuries to achieve some degree of independence, to have borders and the freedom to express a distinctive, separate cultural tradition. This was something many and sometimes reluctant members of the Irish diaspora in America and beyond,  looking for a point of reference, a  mental homeland, (if not  somewhere they might actually return to) hoped Eire could one day achieve. But within only a few decades the country finishes in virtual rejection of its historic strivings through a more than generous multiculturalism, the price its often corrupt leaders have paid to have an Ireland of (admittedly needed) motor roads plus some subsidies from the EU, that organization of fanatic bureaucrats and reckless globalists. And Ireland is even due, unwisely in comparison to Austria, Australia and other nations, to expose itself to still further meltdown and dissolution by signing on this  year to a UN agreement that all and any migration is an absolute human right to be always assisted.

Though what passes for good literature in contemporary Ireland raises some questions, there have been real strides made in the realms of art and music. And now that it’s not a compulsory subject, enthusiasm for Irish language is actually increasing. But the progress is too like the last burst of a candle flame before an almost inevitable extinction. Except that as with reserving ancient art works it’s important to know the anthropology of people groups, the shape and pattern of their traditions, there’s little left to say or do about the Irish idea – except as individuals to carry and the remains of a culture. One does so in, as it were, a portable ark for the interest of whoever it may serve. But unless change could be thorough and rapid, the reality is that a lot more than just the romantic Ireland of O’Leary is in the grave as Yeats lamented. It’s more like an Ireland of any distinct description  is in a box on the way to cremation and at the hands of Rob Doyle’s aimless  hedonistic rebels (along with the too many dubious politicians, some of them, as the academic Denis MacEoin has been highlighting, rather anti-Semitic too. ( https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/10126/ireland-anti-semitism). It’s a tragic shame, a huge irony and a great loss but, as the very un-Irish T.S. Eliot might say, “This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper.”

                                                                                       

( 22/7/2019 )  Irish Changes: A Poem in a time of endangered free speech https://wp.me/p2v96G-1kp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2018 in culture, current affairs, Mysteries, psychology

 

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TODAY’S CHRISTIAN IMAGE PROBLEM

If it’s your fate in life to be dismissed or hated, it’s reassuring to take the flack due to your support of good causes and so be able to protest with Jesus “they hated me without a cause (Joh 15:25). Today when in many places Christians are increasingly opposed or just left out in the cold and ignored, they need to ask whether they are not at least partly to blame for what has happened. They need to ask whether even Jesus might not remind them that in their generation the children of this world are wiser than the children of light ( Luk 16:8) and also that what Christians in the West are experiencing is less a straightforward “suffering for righteousness sake” than a type of judgement on the church through long insufficiently unexamined policies and beliefs (1 Pet 4:17).

For example, it is clear enough that recourse to secular courts was apostolically disfavoured (1 Cor 6:1).Yet today the main image of Christianity is not as any source of a preached gospel that cures souls but too often a political party or institution in constant legal war with the secular world to defend or impose rights and principles deemed old fashioned, unscientific or an interference in personal rights, a rear guard attempt almost to make society Christian by legal fiat than divine persuasion.

It’s not that some issues in contention like the right to die aren’t significant and complex, or that Christians should have nothing to say on them or that only secularist progressives are right about them; but too often what believers stand for is not as Christian or supportive of justice as they imagine….They may even serve little more than to stymie wider conversation around the faith and making persons, especially the unchurched young, hate God or feel excommunicated in advance as when a Pope (who has anyway controversially discouraged claims by believers to any personal relation with Jesus) compares abortion to Nazi crime.

Anyone would think such things as miscarriages (medically called “spontaneous abortion”) and stillbirths didn’t happen all the time, that God has not stopped them and has never pronounced about them, unless as mentioned presently. They are just a phenomenon of (fallen) nature. In the past leading Christians have rightly or wrongly pragmatically justified everything from war to prostitution but now they can’t allow an abortion for the most pressing reason.

Practically, the hard or traditional religious line that reaches the law courts (or plebiscite as in Ireland) on controversial themes too often serves to make do-gooders feel good or even pile up some other serious wrongs. Thus, when abortions are too strictly limited they only go to the back streets where they may occasion deaths of the mother, or they may, as in El Salvador, cause innocent women who have undergone still births or miscarriages to be imprisoned for years accused of murder. In Ireland until the recent plebiscite, the archaic penalty for abortion was fourteen years jail. Where did any pro-lifers protest this sword of Damocles over the heads of women and doctors?

It’s the likes of Amnesty International, not protesting Christian right- to- lifers, who are left to protest such scandals like El Salvador’s. Meanwhile few today will anyway listen to pro-lifers from churches that have turned up such high levels of child abuse, itself a proof of just how biblically illiterate or plain unbiblical some churches now are. Whereas some biblical scholars have long accepted there can be some wiggle room over matters from divorce to homosexuality, there really is none when it comes to Jesus and child abuse (Luk 17:4). The condemnation is made so strongly there never was any case for not dismissing a priest on the spot or defending the sanctity of the confessional in such cases.

Whole books could be written on sexual issues across time and culture for the churches, and some of my articles have now and again tried to tackle difficulties involved (like Issues of Sex, Love and Biblical ‘Incoherence’https://wp.me/p2v96G-111, but briefly let’s look at four main areas of contention. 1) Right to life and abortion, 2) Preservation of Life and Euthanasia, 3) Gay Rights and 4) the question of what is the occult.

ABORTION AND PRO-LIFE

If formerly unbelievers might be viewed as sinners, now some Christians have found a reason to either call or consider them murderers or unacknowledged worshippers of Molech (a god to whom live infants were sacrificed). Christians can agree that life must be respected and abortion as just alternative birth control, a lifestyle option in say, service of a career or dislike of the sex of a foetus, is wrong (as is likewise secular pressure to abort when a pregnant woman doesn’t want it). However, to deny that some abortion can fall into  this world’s ‘necessary evil” category and thus opposing abortion unequivocally, including in cases of rape, incest, danger to the mother’s life or awareness of extreme deformity and handicap such as could render the rest of a parent and child’s life an unrelieved burden, is controversial. Failure to make concession, especially to non believers, places Christian belief into the too hard (or plain silly) basket and most people will be left thinking those Christians who wanted especially extreme handicap spared should themselves volunteer for a lifetime of personally caring for it. Anything else could be deemed hypocrisy.

It is so not least because (despite the ritually repeated verse that God knew Jeremiah in the womb Jer 1:5), the modern Christian line has little biblical basis but is grounded instead in absolutist, abstract medieval doctrine influenced by the pagan Aristotle. Taken to the extreme – as matters long were as regards contraception – with this line of thought one could finish relative to the Jains who preserve life to the point of carrying a strainer to preserve ants ….in fact it almost  was so taken in the days when such as masturbation was considered next to murder because it killed supposed miniature homunculi, not seed constantly and automatically expelled.

The reality is that even one of the biblical prophets, Hosea, declares death in the womb upon the godless (Hos 9:15). The laws of Moses if taken literally (they weren’t necessarily and always so understood) would have been the death of many foetuses in the womb if the adulterous wife was executed, while the notorious Law of Jealousy if literally adhered to would induce abortion.

Even if one discounted all this, the bible, especially the OT, is very concerned with objective and subjective states of purity and then purging impurity. Clearly any woman raped is liable and entitled to feel impurified and as such should be permitted if she wishes to seek the kind of purgation which in many cases only abortion could supply. Yet for the height of irony, those same conservative Christians, evangelical and charismatic, who in an age of ecumenism have followed a Catholic line (formerly American Baptists lent qualified support to abortion and Methodists still do) are the same who will write books on exorcism, associating possession states very often with the result of sexual impurity, not least through rape. Why then preserve impurified life that will need special treatment to avoid many other evils manifesting?

The bible respects life, but just not infinitely – if the bible and not abstract ideals counted, there would still be capital punishment for serial killers. And the pro-life campaigner ignores the extent to which the ideal that would preserve life under all and any circumstance is anyway simply a luxury of modern medicine. Not only under modern medicine does still birth and miscarriage still occur, but the mortality rate for women and their offspring in childbirth before modern times was enormous. Formerly godly persons accepted this as the will of God. Abortion should likewise be accepted as at least sometimes appropriate.

Failing reasonable compromise in this grey area, the churches have raised whirlwinds of secular demands for abortion for almost anything and often as just woman’s right to choose as though two persons weren’t involved. (Even that pre Christian advocate of free love, the poet Ovid, expressed shock at his lover’s blasé recourse to abortion).

VOLUNTARY EUTHANASIA

The role of modern medicine also affects the question of the termination of life and has led to increased pressure towards voluntary euthanasia. Here is obviously the most difficult of questions and not just for Christians. The possibility of misuse and exploitation of freer laws is patent and the average doctor doesn’t want to become as in Holland a Dr Death to people depressed or just tired with life. Moreover suicide under almost any conditions is deeply disturbing to relatives.

This said, not only is it controversial if religious beliefs rule the lives and choices of those who don’t believe, but modern medicine increasingly has the power to keep people in existence who are only existing, not living. Helped by medicine and advanced care, nature no longer always takes its natural course in ending lives as it has across history. In special if rare cases, it is controversially able to keep people in existence if they suffer locked in syndrome which cuts off all effective communications with the world beyond perhaps what a finger or eyelid can convey.

I recall the horror and disgust I felt a few years ago when the Catholic church in Italy refused Christian burial in the case of life support removed from a patient with locked in syndrome. This was treated as though murder while everything from ecclesiastical sympathy to representatives went to the Christian funeral of the popular but lifelong adulterous opera tenor, Pavarotti, a man so self indulgent at the table in later years he could barely stand up. Where’s the charity or godly insight? This sort of thing creates doubt and cynicism about the faith whose modern starting point is once again an intransigence so marked it is merely an invitation to secularist dismissal of religious and legalistic quibbling outright in favour of alternative policies of often radical licence.

GAYS AND THEIR RIGHTS

Although due a certain understanding of religious rights I personally believe Christians and independent businesses have a right to refuse to bake cakes or photograph for gay celebrations they don’t believe in, I don’t approve the Christian attitudes which have caused this to become an issue on the scale it has.

Much could be written and has been on what the Bible states or implies, theologically, psychologically and culturally as regards the “homosexuality” word it doesn’t use. Here I would only emphasize one thing which I think is a hinge to much else and which I would maintain conservative Christians wrongly ignore and at the risk of offending people’s integrity and denying the same scriptures they seek to defend.

No matter how you interpret Jesus on eunuchs in Matt 19 (and it’s claimed that by Jesus’ times its reference could include a wider range than just castrates and include the same sex attracted ) the fact is Jesus accepts that some people are born a certain way out of the norm. Conservative Christians of the cure party deny and ignore this vital point. Their assumption is that all persons are naturally born one way and can be re-directed into it and they may back this up with reference to rare cases of claimed cures (which may be real in the case of those sexually abused in childhood or the drug addicted whose sensibilities became blurred). And because they believe no one is born a certain way they make the further mistake of failing to realize how gay is more than just sex and the “lifestyle” they call it, but a whole outlook, psychology, even spirituality, (For some different views and approaches see   https://goo.gl/A8M4VV )

Scripturally, conservatives will further back their position with reference to St Paul on those who are contra naturam in Romans 1, implicitly rating Paul over Jesus as regards character fixity and thus any change and character issues. They will assume that the same apostle, (whom I’m sure they don’t really believe was right when in a weak, self-contradictory moment he declared women gain salvation through childbearing!), is the last word on the nature of sexuality. It follows that everything psychologists might claim and gays assert about themselves must then be wrong and even wicked lies. What can one say, and where is even common sense?

Although most homosexuals are not effeminate, some plainly are and nothing could ever make them he-men. If Christians are foolish enough to trust some translations and accept from St Paul a doctrine that “effeminates” will not inherit the kingdom of God, why not believe that say, on another plain, any obviously fixed condition, like say mongoloid children, will be damned for the original sin of being who they are? Sometimes there are grey areas in life, ethics and bible and this must be acknowledged and worked with. The expression “Gay Pride” which some Christians are dead set against as in itself another sin and a manifestation of a last days return of Sodom, is merely a reaction to attitudes long bent on shaming and persecuting anyone gay (in Russia you can still be dragged off the street by gangs and tortured if you merely look as though you might be gay, “effeminate” Some idiotic Christians like Franklin Graham are favourable to Russia because of its treatment of the gay question).

The charge of “pervert” that conservatives still too easily use (amid new, more self-defensive talk about loving the sinner but hating the sin), has always been around. Biblically King Saul directs it at the mutual attraction of David and Jonathan calling his son offspring of a perverse rebellious woman (1 Sam 20: 30) but the meaning is quite clear except to the conservative blind and deaf who to this day deny despite all the signs, that there was anything special in the relation of David and Jonathan whose lives are joined by a berith (covenant or marriage).

“Difference” stares out of the face of the Bible for those with eyes to see and not just In the case of David and Jonathan (consider my poem “Jeremiah’s Loincloth” https://wp.me/p2v96G-Hm , but there are none so blind as those who do not wish to see.

The behaviour of lunatic Portuguese missionaries to Japan abusing courtiers as lower than dogs and worse than Sodom because of homosexuality, was a major cause Christianity never progressed in Japan. The gay subject has always been divisive but it would be hard to describe the degree of damage (conservative) churches have done to modern Christianity via their approach to homosexuality. It succeeds to whole unrepented eras of outright, unchecked bullying and discrimination through (in America) what is often a kind of hill-billy theology of which the likes of the at least sometimes intelligent and interesting Perry Stone is representative. (Perry will sometimes mince and screech in imitation of – presumably – the drag queens he imagines all gays are, as he declares horror at all and any homosexuality whose toleration is a sure promise of America’s coming downfall and judgement).

Not only is this situation harmful to the churches now seen as merely unsympathetic and uninformed, but it’s unhelpful to gays themselves because it has largely or wholly prevented pastoral work, addressing questions like what are gays for, how should they live and so on.

And as in any community, wrongs and abuses are found in the gay community – one thinks especially of how youths from the country or thrown out of homes, instead of finding proper community acceptance and support have found instead exploitation. But nowadays the threat of charges of homophobia has virtually shut down the possibility of discussing or condemning corruption and any specific ills of the gay scene. Outside of conservative thought ghettoes, in secular society gay is now only ever good; it is not possible to state some of it may have a dark side or be soul damagingly misdirected.

Gays are  perfectly entitled to protest, why pick on them to moralize or save souls when so many heterosexuals live in irregular unions, some Christians several times divorced? Where are the Christians who protest the legal right to attend gay events to witness outside churches protesting some marriages?

When Gay Lib began the struggle was to deny gays new rights and the accusation was that they were just fornicators. When unions and marriage came into view that was as bad, another form of abomination. The message is clear and it’s homophobic. Gays are not meant to exist in even democracies. Gays have finally returned the compliment with the secularists among them wanting Christians dragged before the courts and denied their businesses and their rights. I don’t approve but can appreciate why it has happened and if one reads histories of homosexuality and the record of the church in relation to it, Christians can’t expect God’s favour on them short of some repentance and changed attitudes.

DEMONIZING ALMOST ANYTHING THAT MIGHT BE THOUGHT ESOTERIC OR OCCULT

Religion is often seen as at variance with science, but in one area Christian conservatives might as well join the scientists and rationalists and unattractively so for the many today who still desire and perceive a few mysteries.

A fourth Christian image problem attaches to extremist treatment of “the occult”, a term those using it often don’t understand but are convinced is damnable in any form they imagine it exists. Granted Christians can and must agree that certain activities like the Ouija board and fortune telling cards are verboten, they constitute the biblical “divination’ which ultimately depends for its effects upon chance or the intervention of real or imagined familiar spirits which may trigger obsession or possession. Exorcists have been surprised at how much possession problems have their roots in this kind of dabbling.

There is however a distinction to be made between inspired dreams and what is more empirically grounded and requires neither pure intuition nor external forces to arrive at, chief of these being the astrology which features strongly in the Talmud of the rabbis. (Elements of numerology which also feature in rabbinic thought and possibly some principles of palmistry, some of it with medical support, could also be included). The rabbis understood astrology be the study of cycles and phenomena and on the basis of the astrologically implicit theories of Ecclesiastes for which “what has been will be”, what happens under one pattern can occur again and this is not fortune telling. (It is true the prophets can be construed as disapproving astrology – unless and until one realizes they are not talking about mathematical astrology as we know it since the Greeks, but a more primitive, oracular stargazing that functioned much like fortune cards).

Astrology is also not a damnable doctrine of “fate” when applied to nations and individuals – if you try to understand how it works. Astrological patterns in most instances include free will, there are various possibilities and attitudes under them. It is nevertheless true, and hardly unbiblical if astrology points out, that the life pattern of a person is involved with root traits and that thus Saturn may symbolize and apply differently in the life of a politician as opposed to an artist. It is perfectly biblical to recognize shape in a life or even a day – the outlines are present from the first as Ps 139: 16  indicates.  Study of diurnals are the nearest thing to proving the Psalmist correct in the matter of every person’s day being forewritten and known.

Jung hoped the time would come when basic astrology was taught in schools. According to the late Catholic seeress Jeane Dixon this will happen. Both believed that there is a basic psychology and wisdom that should be known. Although it is foolishness to think individuals can learn their futures from sun sign forecasts (and foolish of Christians to treat the entertainment of reading them monstrous error), it is useful to social interaction and toleration of difference to have a basic grasp of difference as revealed by astrology. It even colours very accurately the kind of things and philosophies people assume (see my The Astrology of Beliefs   https://goo.gl/oN9aQe).

In this respect let it be said that failure to acknowledge and assimilate some astrology is almost as great a problem for the churches as their attitudes to homosexuality. Christians today need to realize the significance of living at the end of the (Piscean) era that began near to Jesus’s birth. They need to understand the symbolism of Pisces and its opposite/complementary sign Virgo as it runs through the whole New Testament and how the OT and NT difference with the elements of violence and extreme patriarchy of the OT are involved with traits and themes of the previous Arien age. Many things fall into place and are quickly explained if only this simple fact is recognized. But it isn’t with many unfortunate consequences. And with the esoteric repressed it re-emerges in eccentric forms like trying to obtain “Christian” numerological messages and clues to the times by looking up the number of Greek and Hebrew words in the lists of Strong’s Concordance.

A PROBLEM OF AUTHORITY

According to the demonized system of astrology, the chart for the foundation of Christianity in AD 30 reveals a sun in Gemini, the dual sign. This bespeaks a dark/light, saints and sinners type organization. That sun is in (fortunately)  very wide conjunction to Saturn. This is a promise the community will be bedevilled by the shackles of Saturnian “tradition” (not least in languages that hamper Geminian communication  – Latin, Church Slavonic etc) and proper understanding and use of “authority” in everything from politics to management of religious affairs.

Much of the foregoing covered here can be traced to current problems, especially American, around authority in religion. Arguably, and not least from the astrological standpoint, we do stand at the end of the Christian aion (era) itself. It’s a time even Christ identifies with lack and loss of faith ( Luk 18:8) and undeniably some clergy and theologians do now seem virtual atheists for sheer doubt (as Douglas Murray, author of The Strange Death of Europe has stated). But opposed to the doubt trend is an attachment to a radical concept of authority in its turn inconsistent with a religion that places so much emphasis upon not just belief, but faith so that not everything can and should be clear in all cases.

Among conservative Protestants there is almost a fetish of the Bible as “God’s Word”, totally inerrant. While it’s reasonable to call the bible inspired, it cannot and must not be deemed some kind of Paper Pope deemed inerrant.  And one doesn’t need to be a trained philosopher or theologian to know why it can’t. Commonsense dictates that when the Psalmists give voice to their complaints or St Paul talks about wanting some books he has left behind, plainly this is not “God’s Word” dictated from heaven. Anyone should be able to recognize  that when Ps 137 suggests it’s blessed to smash the heads of children of enemies against the rocks, this is outside the meaning and tenor of the bible as a whole.

Quite simply, there are degrees and levels of inspiration (in Corinthians Paul says the thinks he has the Spirit of God 1 Cor 7:40) on a subject, and there are a few glaring errors and low moments scattered about – much of Ecclesiastes is obviously weak. If there weren’t these moments, everything would be so clear there would never have been need for any biblical commentary past or present. If everything were perfectly clear there would also be no need for the Spirit to lead into all truth (Joh 16:30), or indeed for the Spirit to speak to the churches (Rev 3:22) at all because everything could be deduced from the scriptures anyway.

The bible is a guide and often a teacher to be dialogued with. A measure of doubt and argument should be almost fundamental to spiritual development. Truth is to be learned and acquired (Jesus says to go and make disciples teaching them). “To love God is to argue with him” is a rabbinic saying. There must be a modicum of wiggle room because there will be a few places where as even Jesus concedes to his disciples, “not everyone can accept this saying”. The bible is not something to hit people over the head with and to cut off all dialogue as so often happens in American religion where “The Bible says”  or, “God’s Word says” is used as a kind of ex cathedra, papal style authority to cut off all question and argument. The essential authority of scriptures is something to be learned and felt over time, not announced ahead of or in opposition to all questions put to it.

WHY ALL THIS REALLY MATTERS

Currently the churches are everywhere in trouble. Religious freedom and opinion are in danger from everything from political correctness in the West to outright persecution outside it as when last week thousands of Christians were slaughtered in Nigeria by Muslim fanatics and the fact scarcely reached the news. The relative silence was likely due to the fact secular liberal media cares little nowadays what happens to Christians anywhere  but cares a lot about never offending Muslims and pleasing offended women whose problems count for far more than believers tortured, imprisoned or murdered.

In these circumstances it is not however for Christians to cease from proper self criticism which if practiced would show how it became too easy for secular forces to dismiss believers. Nor is it for Christians today almost degradingly to plead they ought to be tolerated because of all the good works they do through charities and hospitals etc. It’s no good calling the charity card, however true, when otherwise justice and common-sense in the  direction of some policies have been (as most  notoriously in the treatment of child abuse scandals) too obviously lacking. Apart from which, and as should be remembered first and last, good works alone anyway never quite count. Christians should demonstrate good works as the natural expression of their belief in a gospel it was Christ’s parting command to go and preach. This preaching is now scarcely in evidence, but the right to be able to declare it (but without confusion and prejudice against whole classes of people from raped women to gays) is what needs to be understood and preserved as the Christian programme and the human law. Freedom of religious conscience and belief are the virtual basis of all human rights and freedom and this is ignored at our peril. So, to conclude……being, and still more important the decision to become Christian today, should never involve a commitment to be

1) unequivocally opposed to abortion on all and any grounds
2) unequivocally opposed to all and every right to die
3) automatically opposed to all gay rights
4) automatically, uncritically opposed to every possible form of the so-called “occult”, especially astrology (some converts are even persuaded to burn all books relating to that subject of the original Magi)

The religion that takes this line scarcely deserves the name of Christianity; it borders on a cult and is enemy to the very democracy that the struggle for Christian freedoms helped much to form.

See also article: Issues of Sex, Love and Biblical ‘Incoherence’   https://wp.me/p2v96G-111

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2018 in current affairs, ethics, religion

 

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

 

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2017 in current affairs

 
 
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