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Category Archives: Mysteries

BEYOND EASTER DAWNING: A POEM

There is little enough celebration of Easter or any probing of its meaning today in specifically verse..In turn Australia, never the most poetic of nations, has become so  secular (or perhaps multicultural and fearful to offend those like Muslims who deny both the death and resurrection of Christ  occurred), that this year’s Good Friday TV contained not a single programme related  to the day. The following poem thus fills a poetic gap of sorts and is even a small act of  poetic justice in the face of blind secularism/multiculturalism.

Poems of mine can be found throughout this blog, but I have not written any poetry for a while – the last entry was for last September. This latest offering, composed very quickly by my usual standards, came to me (or at least the idea for it did) unexpectedly, while driving my car on the Tuesday of this Easter week. Because it was so quickly written and carries various implications, I may yet edit  the piece. It would nonetheless seem foolish to hold it back at this Easter season simply because I did not consider it as perfect as I could wish. But then, beyond poetry, I don’t think too much of art generally as regards the Resurrection theme (see comment below).

BEYOND EASTER DAWNING

A trembling of the earth alone gave sound
When Life revived. The pre–dawn air was still,
The sky dark amost as the Hades just traversed
And conquered too.

Though present and aware, no seeing angels sang
The moment that gave second birth to earth and soul
And most of all to bodily form, not owning which
Even lasting soul could live as homeless as the damned.

After the earth had moved and shouting soldiers,
Terrified, had fled their watch
The brooding silence had returned and
Lain across the hills of Zion’s troubled land
As though in wait for who at dawn
Might understand and celebrate
The range and heights of mystery.

Beneath the high serene of April sky
Within the second Eden of a garden’s place
What Nature’s Lord, the Morning Star, achieved
A passionate woman was the first to know.
And then the youthful bosom friend, the friend
Of soul. Both these while others talked in fear
Were able to believe if little more than
Joyful fact. Full forty days were needed to absorb
The larger truths and fifty till the Spirit sealed
With fire and tongues the new and growing
Powers now opened to belief on earth.

Though once revealed, the force of resurrection
Grows – the reason earth still travails to its liberty (1)
And still no heavenly choirs have sung the theme
Of life reborn and wholly changed.
Instead, towards the age’s end
And even as belief declines  (2)
They wait, like us, who now and here
See more a light of noon than dawn
A promise of the trumpet’s blast
That raises even those in dust. And thus
On Easter’s morn we feel us sealed
And called beyond as not before.

NOTES

1)  Rom 8:22 …..the whole creation groans and travails

2)  Luk 18::8  ….When he returns will the Son of Man find faith upon earth?

Until I started searching for pictures to accompany this poem, I had not quite taken in how curiously limiting and defective resurrection themed art is. You have little choice apart from archaic, misshapen mostly medieval images  and modern, kitschy, mainly American, emotion based ones, almost none of which suggest the mystery of spiritual, physical and natural power involved. Between ancient and modern Claude Lorrain captures something of the first Sunday mood in its dreamier mystical, peace/shalom aspect, but, though the artist can’t be blamed for it, there is no notable connection to historical detail and setting. Michelangelo’s Renaissance Risen Christ sculpture presents its own problems as discussed by Frank Salmon  ( https://goo.gl/7j36HP )  who points out how vastly more crucifixion than resurrection has engaged art and artists.  I feel faced with one big  artistic distortion, and for the first time have some sympathy for the aniconic position where religion is concerned. Better no image at all if the image can only be inadequate. However, all that is a subject in itself..

 

 

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Posted by on March 31, 2018 in Mysteries, Poetry, religion

 

IRELAND’S OLD/ NEW SPIRITUALITY PROBLEMS AND JOHN O’DONOHUE’S CONNEMARA MYSTICISM

A NATION AND PEOPLE CHANGED

Recently, one of Ireland’s few exorcists, Fr Pat Collins, has charged that the hierarchy of his church is out of touch with the reality of Irish conditions. Despite or because of the decline of faith (he calls it “apostasy”) there has been an exponential increase in troubled people seeking and not finding deliverance from states they rightly or wrongly believe to be demonic possession. Exorcists and their ministry are lacking. https://goo.gl/owAZN8

There is no question that the whole face of religion in Ireland has changed in the last two to three decades in the wake of the combined effect of disillusioning revelations of severe, often sexual, child abuse among the once revered clerical class and the Celtic Tiger years in which Ireland enjoyed levels of economic prosperity alien to long national experience. Multiculturalism which has brought in a variety of faiths has also added to what can sometimes seem like chaotic change. Who would ever have imagined the day would come that Ireland would be  debating the legality of such as female genital mutilation favoured by some Irish Muslims?

Though many do still attend mass, one in ten no longer adhere to any faith, but what has emerged is less pure secularism than a kind of new ageism or neo-paganism some of which may still be quasi-Catholic in its way. It is very evident in the case of bestselling Lorna Byrne (Angels in my Hair – she sees helping angels everywhere all the time and she forecasts that Christians will eventually worship at Mecca) and Joe Cassidy the much in demand diviner.

Celtic and especially Irish religion is a rare and special phenomenon that takes some understanding, but here I am going to try to diagnose its strange ills. Historically and positively there is no question about the service Ireland and the Celts gave to religion and western civilisation itself which they helped preserve during the early dark ages.

There is no question either that there is some kind of, mystical, psychic and imaginative talent that the Irish bring to religion, but there is also an underlying darkness and repression and now under western secularism a new malaise. Can we hope to explain, diagnose and cure this? In one essay obviously not, but I can offer a few pointers and I feel this should be done especially as there is something amid all this that takes us right back to origins, to the beginning of an era now ending and even the often overlooked contact of St Paul with one version of the Celtic mind and culture.

THE JOHN O’ DONOHUE INPUT

   

One of the classier and for its implications more significant expressions of the new outlook, is found in the bestselling works of onetime priest, philosopher and poet, John O’Donohue (1956-2008). He is most celebrated for Anam Cara (Soul Friend) which I wouldn’t consider his best work but which struck a chord in and out of Ireland, perhaps most for reassuring people there is nothing to fear in death and that much in modern life distracts from essentials.

Raised in the Gaeltacht and the austere landscape of Co Clare’s Burren region that he nevertheless loved, O’Donohue was a pleasing personality with a wonderful Irish voice that graced his poetry and statements with a sort of oracular profundity not always due them. His fluent prose can moreover be more poetic than his poetry.

O’Donohue was almost prototypically Irish, a one man guide to the Celtic mind itself, a reason to explore his work. Significantly too, belatedly he brings German figures, especially Hegel and Goethe, into the orbit of Irish thought where they long needed to be because German culture has a lot to say about development, nature and “culture”, themes with affinity for the Celtic legacy in a way the many Latin influences upon Ireland from Dante to Proust don’t necessarily support.

O’Donohue regards the Celts as a nature people. He himself perceives landscape as “full of soul” and animate which recalls assumptions of the theosophist poet seer of the Irish Renaissance, AE, and even the bible, especially Ezekiel 36, though he doesn’t seem familiar with either source on this. He nevertheless calls landscape “the first born of creation” which seems to be a misremembering of a biblical dictum “Christ is the first born] [or preeminent] of creation” (Col 1:15).

Following seminary and studies at Maynooth, O’Donohue pursued philosophy (especially Hegel’s) at Tubingen perhaps most famous for its liberal theology, Bultmann and “demythologizing”. In some respects O’Donohue is himself a demythologizer of things Catholic but under the influence not of modern scholarship but medieval Meister Eckhart’s quirky, ultimately heretical mysticism beloved of new agers. Eckhart opines and O’ Donohue concurs, that nothing is so like God as silence, a denial of deity as the Creative Word/Logos that calls forth creation. O’Donohue has no real sense of the Creator. It’s worth noting that Ireland’s extensive mythic legacy lacks creation myths.

So…..while O’Donohue has described and expressed many elements of Irish character its social spontaneity and capacity for solitude, its “wildness and serenity” – what’s Irish if anything emerges as a set of seeming contradictions and paradoxes – one may still question the new age drift of his interpretations and the mystic balm he offers the Irish and many others who nowadays draw inspiration from Celtica.

Although O’Donohue had the right to believe and teach whatever he liked, I still baulk at quite how much from his quasi-Catholic position ( Anam Cara is itself a concept of Early Celtic Christianities) he misreads where religion is concerned. Trained and practicing as a priest for much of his life, he seems more biblically illiterate than laypersons (like Edna O’Brien’s Co Clare mother to gather from O’Brien’s autobiography) and scarcely to have grasped what Christianity was about short of sending out hopefully successful blessings.

He assumes God and Death are probably the same thing and that’s what contemplative mysticism has discovered (DB p, 225) Really?….Whatever happened to “I am the resurrection and the life”? But no; hearing people talk of heaven as a response to death, O’ Donohue thinks it only sounds unrealistic, though he allows souls slip off somewhere but their heaven is more state than place and maintains that eternal life is simply eternal memory (DBy p. 171). By contrast heaven and salvation were what Celtic Christianity, especially the early kind, were almost obsessively about.

Bordering on Christian atheism, O’Donohue’s God is the God of Eckhart “who has no why” and whose intention is simply to be. This gets justified by a misunderstanding of Yahweh’s declaration to Moses of “I am who I am” which was noticeably delivered from the fire which of the elements is the most distancing and unapproachable. A major biblical theme is that even though God fills everything (Jer 23:24) humanity is still separated from God, especially by iniquities (Is 59:2), making barriers hard for both humanity and deity to overcome. (Even in most world myth the Creator withdraws, but recall Irish myth has a significant gap re creation). Given the withdrawal, wisdom accordingly begins with a degree of fear or respect of the Lord who it is advised to fear as a being with power to commit to hell (Luk 12:5), a notion O’Donohue won’t even countenance..

For O’ Donohue there is no barrier between us and whatever constitutes deity. This is one reason why soul knows no fear including of death – he cites the ancient world atheist philosopher, Lucretius to lend support. Accordingly prayer is just sending out your light rather than communing with God, while holiness is hearing your own voice or even being at home. One could go on and on about with the quotes and self-reflective claims, but does any of this matter beyond to say O’Donohue was a trendy writer somewhat apostate from his role of priest? I will suggest a certain pattern emerges with deep roots in the history and complexes of Celtic faith we need to understand.

ST PAUL AND THE CELTS

O’Donohue represents two things. First and perhaps as long ago anticipated by St Paul, he belongs among those who especially in the last times (we’re necessarily in them if the St Malachy prophecy is to be believed!) will have “a form of godliness but denying the power of it” (2 Tim 3:5), an interesting idea I will return to in citing a few of the philosopher’s more controversial statements. But second and importantly, O’Donohue is an aspect and clue to the problem of Celtic psychology and religion over the centuries, one that harks right back to, once again, St Paul who appears to have clashed directly with tendencies of the Celtic mind in the realm of spirituality.

Two millennia ago the Celts were still quite strongly represented across Europe from Ireland to modern day Turkey where Galatia was in effect a province of the Gauls or Celts. The Roman poet Catullus identifies himself as one of the Cisalpine Celts of North Italy; and supportive of the ancient view that the Celtic character was uniformly distinctive, his poetry with its violent satire, its Maud Gonne type syndrome around his ill fated love for Lesbia, the rushing hysterical golliambics of Poem LX111, virtually unique in Latin poetry, betray the relevant character. So we may assume Celtic character and attitudes in Galatia and they seem to have been present.

On the positive side the apostle commends the at least originally enthusiastic spirituality he’d witnessed and in what sounds like its visionary nature (Gal 3:1). And it is to the Galatians that Paul declares the famous oneness in Christ that abolishes distinctions of Jew and Greek (Gentile), slave and free, male and female (Gal 3:28). To be realistic about this, in the extremely class ridden, hierarchal, patriarchal society of the Roman empire, it would be those of Celtic culture who would be more open than most to receiving this kind of radical message.

On the negative side Paul has two linked complaints. The Galatians have quickly become obsessed and enchanted with the Jewish Law in a manner that gets in the way of faith and grace itself (Gal 3:2). He also complains of something almost its opposite, a return or submission to elemental spirits (Gal 4:8) and through an obsessive ritualism and observance of festivals, a kind of paganising as opposed to a Judaizing tendency.

Again this is interesting because earliest Irish religion (and plenty existed before and after St Patrick fed by various influences from abroad as far away as Egypt), shows a distinct interest in Jewish law and/or a way of works. The Celtic monk Pelagius, from whence the Pelagian heresy, regarded Christ as the supreme example to follow, but essentially on a path which obtains salvation without his intervention, a way of works without a redeemer.

There is an affinity of sorts between Irish and Jews – James Joyce explored it and the association of Irish and Jews in America gives some evidence of it. Accordingly one might have imagined the liberating and poetic Hebrew prophetic tradition that supports so much in the gospels might have been of greater interest. I can only assume it was the importance of the brehons and the lawyer class that supported a more legalistic trend. There would thus develop St Paul’s two poles: Judaistic tendencies among the elite and paganish ones (holy wells and cults of the saints) among the hoi polloi! Or perhaps women. The Irish American but very Irish radical feminist Mary Daly whose occult voyage I consider in Temple Mysteries and Spiritual Efficiency, virtually curses St Paul in her Pure Lust riposte to Galatians and her quest for “The Elemental Powers of Be-ing”. What it seems everyone needs is those elementals.

But we also find something of this in the more rationalist and male O’Donohue who while he airily and academically speaks of “the notion of God”, “the concept of a God”, “the concept of resurrection” not only believes that all our inspirations come from “angels”, but is strangely tolerant of, even favourable to, stories of ghosts and house spirits in western Ireland and not upsetting them.

Perhaps they never got upset enough and are even returning with a vengeance to trouble the likes of Fr Collins. It’s not as though Irish myth and faery lore however dreamily beautiful was ever particularly benign and conducive to living “happily ever after” – even leprechauns can turn nasty. Neo-Pagan author Lora O’Brien admits that while her visualizations for god contacts are almost always safe, if you run into problems there’s always “therapy” can help. Or Fr Collins if he can collect enough experts?

A LEGALISM AND ELEMENTALS CURSE?

St Paul warns there is a curse upon both legalism and what he regards as the paganish “bewitchment” of his Celtic believers, basically because they subject the person to what he calls “the flesh”. As indicated in my last blog, “flesh” is not necessarily, certainly not always, what people imagine. It can mean soul as opposed to organizing spirit whether personal or divine, which last is supposed to be the foundation of true liberation. (O’Donohue is absolutely obsessed with soul but seems in a total muddle when it comes to human spirit and/or Holy Spirit).

I think in effect the apostle is suggesting that to work well or at all, there is a certain technique in accepting even the gospel…..We had better not ask the question whether he meant more and that people who mismanage the gospel destroy themselves and others, since with so many shadows and misfortunes across Irish history one could almost wonder if something like a curse was involved!

Be that as it may, the curse of Celtic legalism soon emerged in the early Irish penitentials. If they prove anything at all, it is that the Irish religious spirit (so busy as in St Patrick’s Breastplate in blessing and protecting itself against sundry ills) was never especially open to ideas and beliefs of the “Amazing Grace” variety such as Paul advocates in Galatians and writes to defend. Instead, believers were required to punish themselves and earn their way to divine forgiveness, favour and salvation. Some of the penances could last years or half a lifetime and highjack all normal existence. (One wonders how much they were actually practiced, but the attitude they express was intimidating and repressive).

It is commonly said Irish Puritanism or “Jansenism” entered with some French priests over two centuries ago. The fact is it was present long before with brutally unforgiving, salvation-earning Irish missionaries to Europe like the efficient but ill tempered St Columbanus who couldn’t bring himself to bless and baptize a child born out of wedlock even if it was royal. Much that has been most typical of western Catholicism in terms of so called priestly power (priestcraft) and penance is a consequence of Irish/ Celtic missions which, regrettably, as much imprisoned Europe as saved its civilisation. (Admittedly Italy’s Pope Gregory the Great has his share in what developed).

Above all the penitentials and their attitude were repressive of the image of deity itself. There were two ways of getting round this: either asking saints and angels to approach the unapproachable God on your behalf…..or subtly dissolving the image of God altogether.

The Irish were expert in and preserved Greek sources and so under the influence of neo-Platonism, perhaps especially Pseudo-Dionysius, the ninth century Irish philosopher John Scotus Erigena developed a whole “negative” philosophy which renders God ultimately unnameable and indescribable unless in precisely negatives. (God is not good because beyond good, not love because above and beyond love and so on). This sort of thing allows you, if you wish, to join Mary Daly in going “Beyond God the Father” if via less magical, occult means then Daly who finishes up with wicca. Erigena’s effort towards salvation got swallowed up in a doctrine of universalism.

A more literalist version of faith overtook Ireland and/or its intellectual class when in the twelfth century the reformist St Malachy of Armagh helped (along with English interventions ) to bring the island under the western Catholic rule to which it had never fully previously adhered. The Catholic change imposed images of a more definable, “masculine” form of deity while with Malachy as friend of the pioneeringly Marian St Bernard – Mary had fed him breast milk – over against God, Mary came increasingly to symbolize the principle of grace and mercy through Christ in a way the St Paul of Galatians would not have recognized.

Interesting, another medieval philosopher the Irish or Scotch, Duns Scotus, spilled much ink in the thirteenth century promoting the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, which at the time was not believed or even thought heretical. However, Ireland’s absorption to western Catholicism gradually turned the country, for psychological as much as theological reasons, into a species of one large Legion of Mary that until the twenty first century it would considerably remain. Dia is Muire duit (“God and Mary to you” ) was a common Irish greeting. All this had and has consequences.

MARY AND THE GREAT MOTHER

Attitudes and beliefs as regards Mary have effect, spiritual and/or psychological in a variety of ways, which those like Fr Collins keen to augment Ireland’s exorcism services might need to absorb given that Catholic exorcism falls under Marian patronage. In Italy where exorcism has made a major comeback, rather noticeably as I point out in Temple Mysteries and Spiritual Efficiency,   goo.gl/se5qBn  the rite tends to be more like an ongoing therapy session (sometimes across years!) It rarely supplies the outright deliverance the early church was famous for and which find more duplication in some Protestant circles where there is no invocation of Mary, saints or angels but Christ only. (In early Christianity any believer was supposed to be able if necessary to exorcize. There was certainly no need to obtain prior permission from bishops).  There is unavoidably something aggressive in exorcism and even in some elements of Christian proclamation like the original opposition to paganism – as though St Patrick never challenged the druids, O’Donohue imagines Ireland knew no conflict between Christianity and Paganism! Anyway, I andt follows that when Christ is not centre of both grace and power, a measure of aggression falls to the image and role of Mary. The devouring Great Mother may emerge and even while superficially she may be presented as sweet to the point of plaster saint saccharine. There are even quaint Irish appeals to Mary to go box an enemy’s ears, though this oddity is nothing to the so-called wars of Christianity which are effectively wars of Mary. (Shock-jock queer theologian Marcella Althaus-Reid correctly enough defined the conquest of Latin America as something performed for Mary or at her visionary behest) [1]

The Great Mother, or Mary psychologically substituting for her, is a problematic figure for the Celts. The Celtic male risks being drowned or castrated by her and basically because, like O’Donohue, he is so full of “soul” and imagination she attracts and repels as the possibility of an organizing factor upon an artistic receptivity that borders on passivity. Catullus learned her power first by falling for the insatiable Lesbia, a woman apparently older than himself, then fearfully trying to banish her power and influence in his anti Great Mother as Cybele (Poem, LX111). It is a significant piece not notably duplicated elsewhere among the Celts.

CUCHULAINN AND THE PUER ARCHETYPE

  

Although like most ancient peoples Europe’s Celts were  theoretically patriarchal, they were less so than many others and not least in Ireland’s west. It’s from the West’s Connaught region that myth’s clearly matriarchal, Queen Maeve originates and from a place associated with entrance to the Celtic Otherworld. It is Maeve who precipitates the war recounted in the epic The Tain, a war in which Connaught is defeated   by Ulster but chiefly the Ulsterman, Cuchulainn.

The latter is a strange, one of a kind figure, violent, multi-talented, magical youth who can transform in ways recalling hindu gods (possibly reflecting Ireland marks the furthest west, and north India the furthest east, of an Indo-Aryan expansion whose extremities retained the most traditional elements of myth and law). To the extent Cuchulainn reflects human over otherworldly traits, he might today be compared to the explosive but intellectual Milo Yiannopoulos who is actually Milo Hanrahan born in Athens but with some Irish and Jewish blood and arguably more Irish impulse than anything. Regardless, to us today Cuchulainn in his violence will seem as unattractive as Maeve is in her selfish cruelty. That’s if we read the myth very literally and/or as some oblique guide to early Irish life.

If we think more in terms of ruling archetypes and symbols, we may find it unsatisfactory that Cuchulainn’s death is anticipated by the goddess Morrigan alighting on the warrior’s shoulder as in the famous sculpture in Dublin’s Post Office. She is after all, related to, or even part of,the triple goddess of Ireland. She or they (the myth is fluid ) hold its “sovereignty” as beings who meet and give the island to the founder druid Amergin. The latter chants his magical, pantheistic identity with the land in what O’Donohue, who I think misses the point, calls a poetry of presence. But then, though not neo-pagan per se, our philosopher reminds us Ireland was seen as the body of a goddess (AC p.116)…… in which case the goddess will represent nothing so much as what’s fixed and static which could be bad news if the principle involved is unhealthy. Almost everyone would agree that despite its many positives, some traditional Irish culture could be a bit too stuck in a bog traditional altogether.

Morrigan is a dark, death and war (but also land and fertility) associated figure whom at least early Irish monks identified with Lilith, Hebrew myth’s wife of Adam who became an ally of the Satan and queen of the demons. (Lilith retains potent mauvaise reputation to this day. Any continental astrologer will tell you that the Lilith point in the heavens that they  use, is regularly associated with misfortune and upset of all kinds).

WHO OWNS THE SOVEREIGNTY OF IRELAND?

     

What I see in  musing on Irish mythic/cultural themes, is that Cuchulainn and ancient patriarchal Ulster only nominally win the battle. The sovereignty remains with the goddess or goddesses. She is able besides to oversee the death of what or who, archetypally, is less a typical mythic hero or warrior figure than a less predictable, more independent puer type figure, whose sparking, explosive nature symbolizes something within Irish character more generally. There will be problems where this originality-serving aspect of psyche is only suppressed or ignored as I think it has been again and again.

I find some significance, and even an unintended addition to the current spiritual confusion, that Irish paganist Lory O’Brien ( A Practical Guide to Irish Spirituality)  seeks not only to reclaim Maeve who reigned from Cruachan in Roscommon, but the goddess Morrigan from the same region. O’Brien even regards herself as specially devoted to and a priestess of Morrigan whose dwelling was near Maeve’s at Rathcroghan in Roscommon, site of a, or the,  entrance to the Celtic Otherworld and called during medieval times “The Gate of Hell”  (see pic above) which plainly makes the Otherworld to be more an Underworld or Hades. Though O’Brien, who was long a tour guide at Rathcroghan, doesn’t come across like certain female occultists and/or radical feminists a la Daly (she has even described her gender as “plural”), it is still an essentially matriarchal side of the Celtic world she is reclaiming. And this belongs with a larger cultural complex and misreading of the past that any concerned psychologist or exorcist might wish to see banished as surely as (mythically) St Patrick banished the snakes from Ireland and Catullus refused Cybele.

I detect that it concerned even the radical Mary Daly that paganism’s triple goddess risked being insufficiently dynamic as a form of trinity. As maiden, mother and crone there is something passive, nature-subordinate and fate ridden about her – rather, one might say, like Ireland itself that too often seems to accept and/or invoke disaster!

Nature presents us with an oscillating Ying/Yang theoretically equal. However, no amount of feminist reform and egalitarian urges will ever quite abolish the fact that, though not an invariable rule, initiatory action is predominantly Yang while Ying is more action as reaction, a correction and modification of given situations. Problems, resentments and repressions arise where this datum is insufficiently recognized and spirituality encounters difficulty too.

Like it or not, I think it has to be accepted that there is an impulse to religion (and one may find it even in so passive a religion as Buddhism), that is in a broadest sense “phallic”/aspirational/initiatory and that the often negatively applied term “patriarchal” is insufficient to cover. This Yang force is certainly present in Judaism. (I try to suggest this and how in my poem Jeremiah’s Loincloth ) [2] The Yang input does not automatically cancel out the Yin – another prophet Isaiah has God speak as a Mother – but it refuses the Yin a certain primacy for reasons which become clearer as the tradition reveals itself. In short I suggest a lot of spirituality, not least in Judaeo-Christianity is simply not properly lived or understood where Yin leads the way.

ABSENT THE OLD TESTAMENT

One reason Catholicism, but especially its Celtic and Marian expression, can finish at once so saccharine but also violent (one can’t forget some of those remarkably bullying nuns exposed by modern inquiries!) is because it owns and appreciates the Old Testament legacy so little, especially its prophetic traditions, that aspect of the OT I mentioned the Celts seemed to have overlooked in favour of law and tradition from the time of St Paul’s Galatians onwards.

Superficially and sometimes actually, the OT is a violent work, but when that’s so it may need to be worked with and contextually understood. There’s often more than meets the eye and at least some of us would maintain the OT narrative anyway presents the face of God and divine “anger” through the lens of its era, the fiery one of Aries – Yahweh even manifests in a burning bush and a mountain volcano. The age was a militaristic, distinctly patriarchal one but many things begin with fire which is (spiritually and psychologically) the strongest element as O’Brien concedes but O’Donohue in his essays on the four elements doesn’t quite get. It is surely relevant that St Patrick’s conflict with the druids which opens a whole new chapter in the life of the nation, breaks the druid’s power spell over the island over the question of lighting of an Easter fire. Patrick wins and  Ulster subsequently grows to become the centre of an organized, rather political form of Christianity, but arguably Patrick has, like Ulster in the Tain, only partially or politically won. The actual dark sovereignty of Ireland has not been confronted and I would even suggest it never has been.

The New Testament, whose record emerges with the (watery) age of Pisces. is inadequately appreciated without like the first Christians dialoguing with the whole Hebrew legacy, especially prophetic which it varies upon and fulfils. Catholicism only tenuously belongs with the “Judaeo-Christian” tradition due to a one-sidedness, sometimes bordering anti-Semitism where the Hebrew legacy is concerned…… Writer and academic Denis MacEoin is one of those who has been drawing attention to certain recent anti-Semitic strains developing in Irish academic circles  [3] though this also chimes with any Catholicism that follows Pope Francis. This pontiff’s credo is so alien to any prophetic sense of Israel’s destiny and those of our times it even agrees over Jerusalem with Erdogan of Turkey while the latter goes about demolishing the last vestiges of democracy in his country! Churches interested in blessing and being blessed – persons like O’Donohue is obsessed with the subject and devotes a whole book to blessings – might need to be more aware of the rule (Gen 12:3)  that Israel is to be blessed and not cursed.

I find interesting, and it’s almost like some Jungian shadow principle at work, that “unbiblical” Erin should be so long challenged and in conflict with a dour, aggressive Presbyterianism almost a parody of all things Protestant and itself ancestor to some of the odder corners of American religion. Both parties to this struggle have perhaps always needed on the psychological plane some species of suitably symbolic, dreamlike working out of their problems along the lines of Spenser’s flawed, but still important and Irish influenced visioning in The Fairie Queen. (Elizabeth 1 was no good fairy for Erin and Spenser’s recommendation to ban Irish language was execrable, but he offers a masterpiece with insights all the same). 

ABSENT SOMETHING ELSE…FIRE AND PHALLOS?

Even without the complication of Ulster in recent centuries, as already intimated, I should say that what Ireland needs (though it might take many essays to convey the full meaning) is more fire and phallos.  By the latter I mean something more  psychological and spiritual rather than purely sexual. Elements of the current spiritual confusion, the outcome of longstanding untreated conditions, are linked to over-emphasis on, or misreading of, what O’Donohue offers as virtual panacea for Ireland and the world, namely realization and acceptance of a sweetness and light cure-all “soul” life that is still refusing fundamental life energies.

O’Donohue enlarges, lives and breathes within “soul”, spreading it over everything like a druid mist, identifying it with beauty, peace and virtually with God – about the closest he gets to describing God is as an artist, in short an image of O’Donoghue himself! He’s caught in Amergin’s bind. That druid as it were claims all the territory of Ireland mentally by his sense of pantheistic soul presence, but the fate and sovereignty of the land still reside elsewhere; he doesn’t own what he sympathetically imagines which is forever under threat. He and Ireland are left open to whatever death and destruction the gods without the slightest explanation care to send or allow.

If one puts aside for one moment the possible religious meaning of statements like “the soul (Heb Nephesh /animal soul) that sins will surely die (Ez 18:20), one may absorb the more purely psychological implications. It will mean soul as the state of pure being O’Dononue tends to make it, is not autonomous and supreme but rather manageable, even dispensable because life can emanate from elsewhere. Outside, above and beyond it is active organizing spirit. Whether or not specifically religion will mediate organization, fire and in the broadest sense “phallic” consciousness can promote action and place some direction upon existence.

SOUL AND FACE

The more whacky side of O’Donoghue’s message whether humanly or more theologically, is well represented by his claim the face always reveals the soul’; it is where “the divinity of the inner life finds an echo and an image” (A.C. p.53). Always? If at all? The claim will be news to many, while theologically it ignores Yahweh’s rebuke to the prophet Samuel: “Do not look at his appearance…..for the Lord does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart” (1 Sam 16:7).

Yet O’Donohue’s weird assertion is key to a whole dimension of his work. It betrays how his faith amounts to a divinization of soul in the anthropology of the self approximating to biblical Hebrew nephesh or animal soul. It is this which as opposed to spirit (ruach – that O’Donoghue seems to think is a regular OT name of God) is what we share with the animals and which links us to nature and which is creative and sexual. You can tell that esoteric and biblical anthropology’s soul factor is the real focus because O’Donohue even proposes relaxing into the body is a new prayer (A.C. p.74), that we should re-imagine God as Eros (A.C. p. 56) and that the senses are our guide to the soul (A.C. p.82).

Of course O’Donohue doesn’t realize the identification he is making. If he did he wouldn’t say other biblically illiterate things like animals knowing nothing of Jesus. (A.C.p.79). It happens that the early church and many theologians since have understood appearances of the OT’s mysterious “Angel of the Lord” to be appearances of the pre-existent Christ. In Numbers 22 this figure intervenes against the false prophet Balaam who abuses his ass. The ass, because animals have nephesh, is able to recognize the Angel though Balaam in his spiritual blindness can’t .

There is a Spirit of God and a Soul of God which last we may assume Jesus is., This status renders him among other things a sort of Lord of the Animals. But just as Christ as Soul and in some respects divine Yin – he is called the feminine Sophia/ Wisdom for a reason – will do nothing major until the Spirit falls upon him, so neither can or will human soul that O’Donohue and some mystics divinize at the expense of all else.

The soul without organizing human and/or divine Spirit will accordingly possess, as O’Donohue assumes, no fixed form which means there is no plan to our lives either (AC.p.82). The latter assumption can be questioned on various grounds and not just biblically though it is a decidedly unbiblical idea opposed to statements like “in your book were written all the days that were formed for me (Ps 139:16). Since however our existence still seems at once improbable yet potentially meaningful, O’Donohue is left to assure readers (in what is itself an implicit rejection of any Pauline notions of divine elect predestination), to be born is to be “chosen” ( AC p. 112) whatever that means.

In the end one is left with a soul of sublime or at least artistic potential that dwells in Beauty, whether visible or more invisible as per Pseudo-Dionysius, and this Beauty is then the nearest expression and definition of God. Yet paradoxically (but from hidden psychological necessity which abhors a vacuum and requires there will be an organizing factor) this beauty that we glimpse comes to us not from the spirit and realms above but if anything from below. Celtic myth according to O’Donohue understands that the underworld (where dwell the Irish gods who he believes describe the Celtic psyche) is the world of spirit (AC p. 124).

Since O’Donohue (in DB p.211) even cites the atheist poet Wallace Stevens to the effect death is the Mother of Beauty and associates the world of the spirit with what’s “below” rather than “above”, I feel one is indeed justified to identify O’Donohue’s soul and divinity image with the animal soul (nephesh) that the bible says must die and which belongs in effect and by default to Hades short of divine intervention, election or whatever. It may not be irrelevant that all of Lory O’Brien’s  visualizations in Irish Spirituality, take the practitioner through the blackness, surely an indication that the organization source of power is an underground, a realm of shadows, a species of Hades, which might mean she is seeing more clearly or honestly than O’Donohue for whom theoretically everything would make for light..

I don’t seek to decry the value and insights of Irish “soul” It’s a precious place and all can share in its inspirations and beauties to a degree, (though I agree with Lora O’Brien it’s something ultimately ethnic which you either have or don’t), but I dissent from what O’Donohue has made of it as philosophy of beauty. What this finishes up as is something surruptiously akin to the devotion to elementals among St Paul’s Galatians and still more to end of era “religion denying the power of it” as far as deity is concerned.

O’Donohue’s philosophical meditations are a version of the new age, interfaith vanishing trick in relation to the distinctive claims of many systems, especially Christianity’s today. These systems stand against just making up doctrines as you go along rather as one might compose a painting, at the same time as you call the exercise harmonious and identical with all other paintings (beliefs). It isn’t, but you can make it seem so by focussing on one aspect of being, namely the feeling, life or the imaginative soul as the whole item in an anthropology of the self and map of the psyche.

Despite all I’ve said, I agree with one of O’Donohue’s readers that reading him was like a trip to Ireland itself. He is representative in many respects but not enough and he ignores too many difficulties.

Ireland is a small country with a relatively newly established national independence. Given its comparatively small population now challenged by  high immigration and multicultural values favoured under secularist but Islam shadowed EU globalism, it is questionable whether it can hope to retain much that’s most distinctive about it. But whatever happens, it may still need some input from the likes of the concerned Fr Collins.

St Patrick did light Easter fire at Slane and centring the spiritual battles of and for Ireland over specifically fire was correct in many ways –  so correct it was even possibly one of the reasons his version of Christianity gained traction over the other versions present in the background which might have suited the culture and people better. But even the saint’s win was not permanent because no victory until apocalypse and the end of time ever is, and in the case of Ireland there is something that St Patrick and Irish Christianity missed. Archetypally it is the great and oppressive ill luck and darkness represented by the so called “sovereignty” of Ireland and the black crow of Morrigan. The darkness is pervasive – even Dublin means Black Pool in Gaelic and modern Irish freedom was achieved there at the Post Office in which a statue commemorates the victory with an image of Cuchulainn but with the black crow on his shoulder. Never ignore the  guide of symbols to spirit and soul. I sense Fr Collins has more than even the out-of-touch attitudes of his Irish hierarchy to think about and more than a few distressed people to exorcise.

NOTES

[1] On the Virgin and violence in Indecent Theology, pp. 56-61

[2]  Jeremiah’s Loincloth: A Poem of Faith and Phallos.  Explores the prophet’s strange male business or homoerotic given sign  https://wp.me/p2v96G-Hm

[3]  Denis McEoin, Uncorked: Ireland’s Pseudo-Academic AntiIsrael Hate Fest     https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9701/ireland-conference-israel

 

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2018 in ethics, Mysteries, religion

 

ANOTHER SIDE TO THE CREATION/EVOLUTION DEBATE

 

 WHEN THE ARGUMENT GETS EMBARRASSING

For more than one reason, the much viewed Evolution vs God Movie is worth watching on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0u3-2CGOMQ It’s truly an experience and it does raise questions but by no means always the questions its originator, the NZ born, American resident Ray Comfort might wish and intend.

On the positive side, if we can assume the interviews with the atheistic evolutionists are not rigged but authentic and they probably are, or mostly are, then they seriously – but also sometimes to the point of the hilarious – demonstrate the careless and shallow attitudes of the scientifically minded. Some clearly take the explanations of science to be true fact beyond discussion. They don’t recognize or admit the problems of their position. It’s a rare evolutionary scientist today who like Gerd Miller (not on film) freely admits there are problems with evolution because it can’t explain “complexity”. Scientists are not necessarily thinkers; but whereas thinkers are normally willing to listen to scientists, vice-versa doesn’t automatically apply, though it should.

Blinkered scientific dogmatism (scientism) is a subject in itself and I have said a few things about it in an unusual way in my Raphael and Lucifer mini epic and attached essay http://goo.gl/C32i3H\ …..Before the reader dismisses this as “just” poetry and probably not pertinent, I could mention that one of the few publishers who considers religious/metaphysical poetry today, refused it not because it was poor material – they admitted it was poetry to the highest standard – but because promotion in my case was a near impossibility for someone not already known as a performance poet and living where I did outside Europe. In the matter of poetry I seem to be something of perpetual poete maudit loser….but back to Comfort’s video and how he and it, make themselves losers despite having scored a few points in the first half.

NEEDLING FOR AND EXAGGERATING SIN

Having shown up scientific ignorance, Comfort wants to drive the point evangelically home that all these unbelievers are not  just deluded but going to hell and he does this as some American evangelicals are wont to do in the worst, intrusive and plain embarrassing of ways. (Culturally I believe the  remote origins of the style can be traced back to pugnacious Scottish and Ulster Calvinist emigrants to early America).
At the very least Comfort might have considered his interviewees had given him their time and honest opinions. Instead he seeks to exploit this for their greater good and by proving they have broken all the Ten Commandments in some way  hence need salvation right now to escape hell. They need only have told one lie and they are bound for the eternal flames. They need only have had a lustful thought and they are adulterers awaiting God’s judgement and so on.
We may well cringe or recoil in disbelief at this kind of narrow treatment including because, although the Bible and Jesus undoubtedly do preach hell, ironically what Comfort and those like him are maintaining is exaggerated, unbiblical nonsense…..

TAKING BIBLICAL LIBERTIES

For example, not only do the Ten Commandments forbid “false witness” (disrupting the course of justice by falsehood in effect) rather than simply lies, but the Bible at least implies what most people believe, namely that at least sometimes lies may be appropriate. For example, in Ex 1:19 the midwives deceive Pharaoh but are commended for it. The world of Comfort appears to be the Kantian one of the Categorical Imperative which knows no exceptions. If no one must ever lie, under a repressive regime they could finish up sending people to torture and death in the service of truth!
Likewise people become damnable adulterers if they allow themsleves erotic thoughts. This charge is based on ‘words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount which interiorize the Law. “Whoever looks upon a woman to lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart ” (Matt 5:28) . Probably few verses in the bible have been less well commented, understood  and privately alienated more people from Jesus than this. Forgotten amid its shock value is that one can only commit adultery with a married woman and the meaning (which in the original is almost more to look to do something than to look upon someone) is that if you have imagined and intend to have the person then there’s really no difference from your doing it which sooner or later you may well.
If the true meaning is radically otherwise and to the effect that every man should be blind to thought and feelings for women until they undress them on the marriage night anything else being hell bound fornication, then we might have to dismiss Jesus as the father of repression, the enemy of all classic art, friend to those cultures which seek to cover and banish women from sight, and a cause of homosexuality (especially if you controversially believe, evangelical style, that the orientation is not inborn but acquired by attitudes!). Jesus’ subject is the declared one, adultery’, itself an aspect of the theft and coveting, themselves subjects of other linked commandments. (Jesus is of course dealing in the ideal and we need not explore the possibility that in cases of severe repression and frustration a few lustful thoughts could be plain righteous in comparison with the likes of having women by calculated rape!)
Along the same literalist lines, bad tempered people become murderers. If you want to assert this you can justify it also from the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5:22) where apparently calling your brother raca and fool risks the hell fire. As observed in my video Jesus and Sexuality, ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OG0odoWqINQ )  this makes almost no sense as people call others fool all the time and it means little. However, it means rather more if we understand raca was a serious Aramaic abuse term suggesting perversion and gross effeminacy. So, that whatever precise form homophobia took in Jesus’ time when homosexuality was not a word, it was cognate with and symbolic for a whole range of racist style hatred for minorities of a kind known to foster violence and sometimes occasion death.

PREACHING HELL TODAY

Damnation is a big subject with a long history not easily summarized. But if you intend like Comfort to preach it today, what might you fairly, logically and honestly claim that’s in some harmony with scripture without making yourself an idiot, fundamentalist style? Or even Jouhandou style? Atheist Existentialist philosopher, Sartre, once mocked Catholic writer Jouhandou and a Christian view of God over his admitted fears that some adolescent masturbation related to homosexual curiosity would send him to eternal flames. What sort of God…..?!
The greater problem is not so much individual sins about which it is often enough wise not to judge (“Judge not that you be not judged”)   as sin – in – itself.  Many early Christians would have also said the curse that Christ came to undo and ransom from. (1 Joh 3:8). It was understood, and there’s enough scriptural basis for it, that all humanity is born into a world and race that until the apocalypse ”belongs” under Satanic rule and which vis a vis God can be considered guilty by association.
If one can limit the obsession with individual deeds, the fact remains, and ”existentially” enough too, that we are all in effect under a death sentence, dying towards our end daily. Whether sinners in a big or small way, rather plainly people are alienated from others, from themselves, from nature and from God, “fallen”and to all intents and purposes victims of “original sin”, no matter precisely how you describe that condition or think about Adam and Eve. Scripture indicates what seems probable and obvious, namely that flesh and blood will not inherit the kingdom of heaven (1 Cor 15:50) and nor will sin – after all if God is perfection, Perfection can’t let heaven be wrecked while imperfect people sort themselves out within realms of the spirit they are not in harmony with or while they maybe refuse to be perfected in necessary ways. And the Asian religions which affirm reincarnation as a means to self rather than saviour overseen perfection, require so long for its achievement the time involved almost equals eternity itself!
It may be conceded that eternal “wrath” (it most essentially indicates separation from God) for the evil of  temporal deeds is hard to take on board. Annihilation would seem more just; but on reflection and logically, there are  problems with this seemingly more “generous” position towards which the present Pope has been said to be inclining. If God can annihilate us (our spirits or root of being in effect), God is not Lord of Life, but rather is partnered with death and this cannot be. God can only quarantine, hold in detention, limit and imprison evil – fallen angels are said to be precisely the spirits “in prison”(1 Pet 3:19) – not fully destroy  because everything exists through God.
Because everything exists through God who is above all light and (spiritual) fire, those who reject God will exist not just in “outer” darkness, i.e. at the furthest point from light, but exist through the core element, fire, without the other elements that make existence pleasant and bearable.

HADES AS DEFAULT DESTINY

Moreover, in the times the gospel was first proclaimed, it was almost universal western belief that with a few exceptions – favoured warriors or the most remarkable darlings of the gods – everyone went at death to the prison darkness of Hades, a version of hell, where they lived as suffering, bodiless spirits. Everyone from Homer and Sappho in Greece to Virgil and Catullus in Rome believed it, though Catullus decides it’s an endless sleep. Hades as the near universal destination  is more or less what the Bible teaches. Everyone has a soul that inhabits the body and leaves it at death (a point that can’t be fully proved or disproved either way though some evidence is emerging), but obviously this soul needs to be joined  with a body to exist meaningfully. The promise of (bodily) resurrection was a novel boon set against a general pessimism which only the democratized, popularized Christianity of recent centuries has gradually modified. The latter now allows most people to RIP although the Bible gives little or no ground for the idea but if anything appears to forecast a body of damnation in hell to parallel that of resurrection in heaven. Why this situation and its distinct pessimism?….

THE LOVE DILEMMA

….Among other things and paradoxically because God is Love. Love depends upon trust and faith and it is said that without faith it’s impossible to please God ( Heb 11:16 ) – which is perhaps another way of saying without love/trust you cannot please or even exist with God. The fallen angels having known God and thus wilfully sinning cannot be redeemed. Humans who haven’t known and seen God and who exist within time rather than eternity, have the opportunity within time to demonstrate a will to love, trust and volunteer (via repentance and the belief which engages will and intellect beyond the heart) to be perfected. Once outside time and into eternity, the same opportunity is not open. Some of the gospel’s urgency, it’s sense of a need to work before night comes, is involved with the limitations and risks of the human situation which is not all “happily ever after”.
It is in this context it always makes sense to preach, as Jesus according to Matthew and Mark begins by doing, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven –  heaven being Matthew’s circumlocution for God – is at hand ” ( Matt 4:17)  “The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel” (Mk: 1:15).
The literal earthly kingdom was not at hand, any political fulfilment was for another era and a second advent, but the kingdom was and is automatically at hand if and whenever God (represented by Jesus) is specially present. There is an obligation to “repent” (change mind and intention) if you want to escape your likely fate.
I say “likely” because while general principles must be established in order to proclaim anything at all, where God is concerned exceptions may always intervene. Practically speaking, the fate of the unbelieving and unrepentant is “Hades/Hell”, but even the sins and sinner-listing St Paul allows that among those who don’t know the gospel, conscience is their judge and it may or may not excuse them on Judgement Day (Rom 2:15).
Though inevitably some cranks and fanatics have taught it, obviously too God was never going to send unbaptised infants to hell (limbo got invented to get round that embarrassment of extreme teachings), nor various kinds of ignorant and abused people scarcely accountable for themselves. Even so it is not inappropriate to have the image of Hades in mind as representing, as it did for the ancients, the default fate for many, the place too easily fallen into by the careless. Jesus refers to lost souls and hell’s torments too many times for the idea to be just ignored and rationalized away.
The fine details of judgement and afterlife need cannot be worked out by us. But the general principle should be honestly admitted and recalled. Today too many die without a thought given to faith or ultimate destination; they are like the rich fool of the parable whose soul is required of him but who has made no preparation (Luk 12:16-21). Christian atheist, Iris Murdoch, decided she did not wish to think of her own or anyone’s death in “Wagnerian” terms. But can one never quite do so? If it’s not oblivion, death is entry to “eternity”, a rather important occasion worth a few cautions and trumpets!

A POST-CHRISTIAN PENDULUM SWING

No matter how little one favours hell fire sermons of which the classic extreme is supplied in James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, it is striking just how much a swing of the pendulum since his time means fundamental declarations about the gospel, about this life and the next are simply not being made today. By way of fodder and appeasement to media and the masses, popes and archbishops will address crowds to appeal for world peace, for harmonious social and religious relations, respect for each others’ traditions and names of God, for the value of recalling “the good news of Jesus”.
This “news”, far from being as in its original form about repentance and reconcilement with God leading to resurrection but  if need be leaving mere family and cultural traditions behind  – leaving “the dead to bury their dead” as Jesus would have it – is instead to the effect we can be loved and included. Love and included, that is, by a church community which if possible would still like to influence society through its laws and according to philosophical formulae from Aristotle and Aquinas like natural law, all an easier option than to actually preach and persuade!
To become a faithful Christian today too often means enlisting to fight not for “lost” souls and for salvation enlightenment like the saints and apostles (that’s much too religious!) but campaigning for a variety of causes, for refugees or  “issues” like “right to life”. The latter (though overall abortion cannot usually be approved) cannot either be biblically defined as murder and  a form of  evil on any exceptionless basis. That the foetus is not infinitely precious and could ve regarded as impure is implied by the way God is quite prepared to kill in the womb ( Hos. 9:16) and such would anyway occur under the law of Jealousy outlined in Numbers 5, and indeed under quite a few capital offences if the relevant laws are taken literally (as opposed to examples that they sometimes are if one takes a more Utopian reading).

FORMULA FAITH

That such contradictions and problems are ignored certifies that, paradoxically enough, Christianity today remains as traditional as possible without being especially biblical. The Catholics for whom the OT is often a closed book, reduce a great deal of the faith to traditions and philosophical formulae that a catechism will represent, while the most biblical Protestants (the Evangelicals and Fundamentalists) read selectively and make no kind of philosophical generalizations in the way  at least sometimes to be practical one must  sometimes do, even if not under the auspices of the pagan Aristotle.
Instead, rather like Ray Comfort, conservative Christians try to corner and close every argument by stressing “the Word of God” says – it might be better to say “scripture says”- and all as though every word were dictated from God. Which it should be obvious can’t be the case. Indeed, if especially the words of Moses were perfect to the last detail under divine inspiration  it would not be possible or licit for the daughters of Zelophehad (Num 27) to have questioned the inheritance laws and had them changed. Fundamentalists never see the wood for the trees, can never hold two often complementary views together. Today they cheerfully declare against “global warming” and “climate change” as some kind of devilish doctrine, untrue because of record cold winters as though the greater heat and greater cold could never be two sides of the same phenomenon. It’s behind the reasoning that fuels the idea that because there were Adam and Eve there could never be any Adam and Steve, God being unable to permit any variation upon any theme, (a situation which could even cancel out the possibility of real music)..
People highly literal with “God’s Word” fail to acknowledge, or just realize, how suggestive and flexible a language Hebrew is, well on the way to the cloudiness of Chinese with its pictograms. Accordingly there  isn’t and shouldn’t ever have been any final dogmatic issues around seven days of creation “Day”and  “hour” have all sorts of different meanings in Hebrew……

THE GENESIS FILM

This brings me back to my starting point in the Creation/Evolution debate from which I have rather strayed. In conclusion I would point out that – possibly and hopefully – a new page is turned with release of the film Genesis:Paradise Lost. The video of this apparently stylish film premiered   last November, is available from February. https://genesismovie.com/ The arguments (including it seems from well qualified scientists) and the evidence for what gets claimed, have been found unexpectedly meaningful and the presentation is generally professional. I have ordered a copy and may get round to a review later.
I just hope after the near comic horror of treatments like Comfort’s, that any facts will be allowed to speak for themselves rather than be exploited to argue for a range of questionable but supposedly biblical beliefs beyond them. If nothing else I find myself in agreement with the makers of the Genesis film that failure to recognize any Creator and the blindness to all things spiritual this can entail is a, perhaps the, major issue for religion today, one cannot lightly and easily give down to popular and common scientific views of reality.Truth is often stranger and more surprising than we can imagine and it is right to keep an open mind.

 

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2018 in ethics, Mysteries, religion

 

JERUSALEM AND “APOCALYPTIC” TRUMP

A PERSONAL FATE BEYOND EMBARRASSING FACTS?

President Trump has stated that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and declared for a move, though not immediate, of America’s embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. No nation currently has an embassy in Jerusalem and Trump has made his announcement a few days after the UN (which seventy years ago in 1947 voted for Israel’s statehood) ironically  enough ruled that Israel, despite all the historic claims and associations, has no jurisdiction over or ownership of the city. There is something momentous going on here, and some would even say apocalyptic at this time for reasons of which presently.

Yet whatever the possible truth in broad historical and religious terms, it remains understandably embarrassing to many Christians and others to be told (by mainly Christian conservatives) that a president apparently against the environment, who favours a  person as dubious as Roy Moore, opposes reasonable gun control and even protection for endangered wildlife (perhaps because his son shoots elephants), is God’s own chosen, raised up to do God’s will. Nor are conservative Christians alone in ignoring the problems of their enthusiasm. When Trump was elected, rabbis in Israel were  proposing he was Cyrus, name of a Persian king considered a – not the – Messiah for his decree that  Babylon’s exiled Jews could return to Zion and build the second temple (which to complicate matters today, many Muslims, especially Palestinians, deny ever existed)..

Sometimes truth is paradoxical and ambiguous as in a statement of the Psalms, “surely the wrath of man will praise you” (Ps 76:10). I suggest it is just this in the case of Trump. Neither God nor Christians need approve all Trump does or believes. The point is that he can still be “fated” to bring about certain necessary changes  And to the extent those changes can’t and won’t be attempted by others and within a certain time frame, almost by default Trump is “chosen”.

In terms of religion no minor issue is involved in acknowledging Jerusalem’s special status for what it is – practically it has long functioned as Israel’s capital anyway, its parliament is there – but biblically it is the place God has chosen to put his “Name” or Mark for all generations and where Yahweh will come to dwell  even though, as in Zechariah 3:2, the Satan challenges that and in the end times  all the nations of the world may be against Jerusalem (Zech 12:3)  This is what in many respects even now is the current situation with  the Trump decision  being roundly condemned.  Especially as regards the UN,  doctrines of worldly expediency or appeasement take precedence over any possible issues of divine will or revelation in the matter while the nations of supposed Judaeo-Christian tradition aren’t that in anything like authentic biblical terms if they can be so alienated over a fundamental issue like Jerusalem’s status.

So…. declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel was arguably something Trump’s “in your face” attitude had to do and alone could do at this time, one generation after modern Israel was first voted into existence. Trump’s  action  is arguably part of a sequence of events which can’t now be put on hold and that have something to do with the building before long of the much anticipated and prophetically forecast third temple in Jerusalem.

It would be hard to exaggerate quite how much Trump is “fated” and that the heavens declare it. Both would-be “progressive” liberal Christians who discount biblical prophecy and conservative Christians who deny the self-same astrology that was involved with Christ’s birth, fail to know and recognize the signs of the times with which Trump’s birth pattern has much to do.

TRUMP AS CYRUS?

At birth Trump had his natal Jupiter (anything to do with religion and vocation and the Bethlehem Star itself) conjunct asteroid CYRUS. This same CYRUS was in direct fortunate, opportunity-making trine aspect to TEMPEL (Ger Temple) itself conjunct shocking, novelty-invoking Uranus in Trump’s house of destiny and reputation. POTUS’ great feeling for and belief in Israel is, moreover, indicated by his ISRAEL asteroid in his house of beliefs and religion. Its position for Trump is having some stimulation at present from current transits of both Saturn and Uranus to it, call-of-duty Saturn itself having been conjunct the Galactic Centre, associated with events in religion.

That Trump would always be challenged by and/or make a challenge of Jerusalem itself is clearly indicated by the way that his natal JERUSALEM asteroid at 2 Scorpio falls in modern Israel’s first house opposite the nation\s own JERUSALEM at 3 Taurus in its house of treaties and relation with other peoples. It is of course a divisive decision (though it merely enacts what the American Congress passed twenty two years ago but feared to act upon but which Trump made a campaign promise of). The policy change was virtually guaranteed to occur at this time because of the pattern of the last lunation challenging to Israel’s sector of treaties and embassies and then last weekend’s super moon full moon occurring under difficult aspects but conjunct Israel’s natal Mercury (anything that divides).

Whether peace or war is the aftermath of what has been declared  – and given last August’s eclipse some conflict for Israel seemed likely in the months following – a countdown is now on towards a peace treaty involving Israel and probably some important agreement concerning the Temple Mount. Trump is particularly dedicated to making this which he regards as this deal of deals. A case could be made for the deal and even some arrangement for the temple area falling within the first half of 2018  and following the February solar eclipse.

As many have pointed out and without any astrology prompting them, Israel’s affairs seem to unfold along a peculiar timeline. Starting from 1897 and the foundation of Zionism, 2017 received various year counts 120, 100 70, 50 amounting to a generation, a jubilee and so on that mark turning points in the history of the revived nation. (Seventy years is always biblically significant – the Jews were seventy years in Babylonian exile before their return to Zion).  And as regards the church, at least according to some interpretations, Christ’s parable of the budding fig tree (Matt 24: 32-34) seems to indicate that the generation of the end times, the generation that will witness the apocalypse, is the one that witnesses the historic rebirth of Israel.  But that generation has its time run out either in 2017 one generation after the UN declaration for Israel, or by May 2018 seventy years after Israel was  fully self-declared as a nation in May 1948. This of course raises all sorts of questions, especially if like many one holds that the Antichrist should soon appear (and/or  even  that he cannot appear unless and until the so-called Rapture of the believing prepared part of the church is taken away).

“WITH THE FALL OF DUSK”

What can astrology comment and forecast here…something, anything? In some respects astrology is like philosophy applied to life according to Hegel. He decided philosophia comes “too late to instruct us”. It can only reveal the underlying patterns of history to us after they have occurred so that it is “only with the fall of dusk that the owl of Minerva spreads her wings” to supply wisdom. Actually I believe astrology can do a bit better than that and can forecast some things including because there are cycles and “what has been will be” (Ecc 1:9) so there is repetition or at least theme and variation; but forecasts often don’t hit right because as I stated in a recent youtube (Signs, Rumours and Forecasts of Apocalypse  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBvx_XMAAyU ) often the astrologer can’t even imagine (or only imagine as one of several possibilities) the sort of things the subsequently clear enough signs pointed to and certified  needed to occur. (I cite how the fated nodes exactly conjuncted Israel’s TEMPEL asteroid when earlier this year Jews prayed for the first time in a Jubilee on the Temple Mount. It was exact but I couldn’t have predicted just that).

So, can one see the likes of the advent of an Antichrist, the building of a temple, WW 111, the occurrence of a Rapture? I am not going to embark upon the prospects for such in this article though I’ve offered an educated guess about a treaty and the temple above and touched on these  areas of concern in the mentioned youtube….where I somehow managed to omit just how vital the eclipses of January and Feb of 2018 are in reply and complement to the super significant ones of last August that I emphasized.

What I will say is that even if 2018 produces nothing so extreme as the Rapture or appearance of the Antichrist (which for certain technical reasons in relation to the patterns I must allow to be possible), with the economy quite likely to collapse (economic depression has some association with years when Saturn is in Capricorn as begins soon) and with even scientists now proposing the year will be one of mega-quakes, I suggest 2018 may well anyway seem like the Tribulation itself and that the first seals of judgement have been opened.

ROLLAN MCCLEARY: TESTAMENT OF THE MAGI : Mysteries of the Birth and Life of Christ  (book and kindle).  All the astrology and astro-theology that should be common knowledge but isn’t.  https://goo.gl/x8KASy    

THE MAGI AT ERA’S END:  A POEM  (followed by a feature indicating how its information is true and still works vividly today)                           https://wp.me/p2v96G-ip

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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

 

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SELLING LEONARDO’S SALVATOR MUNDI AND PURSUING AN ELUSIVE IMAGE

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There is a time for everything under the sun. That includes the sale of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi painting (now finally certified to be his and not a disciple’s) in New York’s Christie’s on November 15th.

Astrology has a bad name because it claims to be able to predict issues and like meteorology often fails at the job. When it does appear to have correctly predicted things it is then dismissed as a system of irreligious fatalism or unscientific divination that must have worked due to everything from intervention of fallen angels (St Augustine) to just chance. Neither judgement is correct.

The fact is that though astrology can foreshadow events that astrologers would often need to be outright prophets to be able even to imagine ahead of time, what it really does is certify events as they happen. This it does with great clarity as in the case of the Leonardo sale.

Leonardo whose birth data we know approximately from Vasari ( 9.40 pm,  23 April, greg, 1452 at Vinci),  was born with Saturn at 14 degrees of the arts and luxuries sign of Libra. Saturn is about antiques and property. On the 15th November, action-generating and competitive Mars is transiting conjunct Leonardo’s Saturn at 14 Libra. This is an indication both of the involvement of competitive auction and, rather importantly, that the picture really is Leonardo’s or this kind of  degree exact agreement wouldn’t be occurring.

Mercury, the news and communications factor, is at nearly 13 of Sagittarius for the auction date meaning it’s suitably in the artist’s first house (his image, his body) loosely conjunct his ascendant degree –  6 Sagittarius was rising over the horizon at the birth as given. Since however  Leonardo wasn’t born in the era of digital timing, it’s very likely the position of Mercury at auction is telling us he was born some time a bit later than assumed with Sagittarius at or nearer 13 degrees at birth. Undeniably the more important events of a life are liable to engage the angles of a nativity and an individual’s ascendant angle is sensitive.

THE SALVATOR MUNDI THEME

Events in religion, which in its way the sale and widespread discussion of Leonardo’s painting is, enjoy some association with the Galactic Centre presently in late Sagittarius at 26 degrees. On the day of the auction, transiting Saturn (antiques, tradition, the historical) enters this degree.

What about the moon and the theme setting sun?. I can’t tell at what time a price will be agreed, but whenever it is the event-timing moon will be in Libra and we have seen the relevance to both the event and the cost value of the picture of Libra due to Leonardo’s natal Saturn in the sign.  (Leonardo incidentally also had visionary Neptune in Libra on O degrees at birth. This degree being a world point and within conjunction of Leonardo’s Midheaven (career, reputation and destiny), Neptune is a factor in the artist’s becoming world famous not least for the mysterious sfumato and chiraroscuro effects which “dreamy” Neptune naturally favours. Also on a world point and thus making for fame was Mars at 15 Aquarius, futuristic sign of inventions for which Leonardo was in demand and very notable).

The sun is at 22 Scorpio on 15th November and this is interesting at the more religious level.

In the correct and still working birth data which in enlargement of the D’Ochieppo and Hughes (astronomers) thesis for the birth of Christ I claim to possess, the asteroid Leonardo is at 14 Virgo. This means it is in what’s called semi-sextile aspect to the mentioned transiting Mars and the natal Saturn which are conjunct on the 15th November. This might not seem important because a semi-sextile is a minor 30 degree aspect – except for one vital point in this instance. Semi-sextiles are deemed to be financial and the 15th is going to produce major issues around finances. What is the painting worth? Will it produce record breaking bids? (It is set for one hundred million). The fact that Jupiter and Venus are conjunct in the heavens (they were exact on the 13th) bespeaks a time of big money deals, this pair in aspect is typically about wealth and any lifestyles of the rich and famous.

But what is the painting about? On the 15th November the sun is at 22/23 of Scorpio. In the natus of Jesus the asteroid Salavat (Salvation) is at 21.59 Scorpio, i.e. one minute of a degree off 22 Scorpio. There is no Salvator (Saviour) asteroid, so Salavat  ( Salvation) is the nearest we can get to it, but I have found after years of working with them that the asteroids have a way of signifying facts through many languages and neat variations on a theme rather in the style of Joyce’ Finnegan’s Wake. There  is also no World/Mundus asteroid or none in aspect unless one cared to allow Universitas (world) in very wide conjunction at 28 Scorpio.

THE JESUS IMAGE IN ART AND LIFE,

Given the prestige of Leonardo and the sheer ambition of the painting, we may legitimately ask how successful (beyond purely aesthetic  considerations) it actually is in conveying an image of Jesus whether as person or saviour. In terms of mystery it is obviously reasonably successful, an effect arrived at by supplying, and not for the first time in a Leonardo painting, an androgynous edge to its subject. This however is not per se inappropriate for someone even biblically described as both incarnate Logos and feminine Sophia (masculine Word and Feminine Wisdom). For these issues see my recent Jesus and Sexuality you tube  https://goo.gl/L7KR2C                     ,

Even so, did the Jesus who worked as a carpenter (more likely a builder or stone mason) and went fishing with his disciples, look quite like this or even anything like this? Actually if, as I seriously maintain, it is possible to arrive at accurate, working data for Jesus’ birth, then we can more or less know what he looked like. I have discussed this at some length and worked towards an image based on the most characteristic features and  interactions  of the natal sun sign and rising sign, the chief factors governing an individual’s appearance. To my surprise and sometimes frustration, the relevant article, Colton Burpo’s “Real” Heaven, Akiane’s Jesus and New Christ Images  at https://wp.me/p2v96G-lH  published in Feb 2014, easily remains after years the most visited of my blog offerings  despite what I consider more substantial writings on religion and some major poetry for the exploring. Plainly people really are interested in just what Jesus looked like!. In a way the emphasis belongs with the almost endless ironies that attend the whole Jesus theme…..

EXPENSIVE IMAGES AND PRICELESS INFORMATION

The auction of a Jesus image involving huge sums of money is ironic both in relation to the relative poverty of its subject historically and the fact that, such are the vagaries of fortune,  it is not so long ago in 1958 that the picture had been sold in auction for a mere 45 GB pounds! …..

Art is of course art and religion is religion and they only sometimes meet, but I could be allowed some disgust at the fact that while almost obscene amounts of wealth, plus plentiful media coverage, get directed  upon a beautiful but imperfect Christ image, it is next to impossible for me to present as author, as doctor of religious studies and astrologer what in its way is as good as priceless information, gold of the Magi itself, the clearest demonstrable solution to millennia old mystery surrounding the birth of Christ. Where others speculate I can prove. But this is ignored (as is that the theory I enlarge upon is one that has long enjoyed considerable academic support and was declared by the scholarly Pope Benedict as distinctly plausible as theories of the birth go).

Forget the too often whorish world of Anglo-American publishing about which I could tell some tales.  I am ashamed of the places of my two nationalities (Australia and Ireland)  that have not had the least room for indications of my information. For example, before last Christmas six leading papers of Australia failed so much as to respond to a proposed author’s op-ed on proof of an historic discovery. I have not got anything into Irish media either, whether the Irish Times, the Irish Independent or, despite my direct appeal while in Ireland this year, the national broadcaster’s Sunday Miscellany which is supposed to specialize in original material from authors. This isn’t good enough.

Because it’s wrong to cast pearls and would demean the subject to go around with a begging bowl insisting to be heard, there are limits to how much, how often I ever deal with this subject which I have carried and represented for years. But where our leaders of opinion secular and religious in their dismissive arrogance are concerned, it is sometimes hard not to hear and think words along the lines of “Depart from me you workers of iniquity” (Matt 7:23).

 [ ALSO RELEVANT

 A recent youtube of mine Signs, Rumours and Forecasts of Apocalypse, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBvx_XMAAyU , answers a few objections to linking religion and astrology and stresses the value and even necessity to get the data of Christ’s birth right to avoid some of the wilder errors that would-be forecasting without it can lead some people into. ]

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2017 in aesthetics, astrology, Mysteries, religion

 

THE “DIVINE” MACRON AND THE TURNING OF THE AGES

HIDDEN SYMBOLS AND MOTIVES

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

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

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

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

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

CHRISTIANITY, ASTROLOGY AND THE AGES

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

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

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

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

THE JUPITER SYMBOLISM  RETURNS

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

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

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

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

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

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OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST CONCERNING MACRON’S NATUS

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

SENSE AND NONSENSE ABOUT THE SIGNS OF 2017

  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

……………ECLIPSES WITHOUT AND WITH ASTROLOGY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SIGNS TRUE AND FALSE OF 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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