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MAD PROPHECY, BAD ASTROLOGY AND THE TRUMP WIN

trump

A DEVASTATING ASTROLOGICAL FAILURE….MEANING?

I don’t doubt that in especially many American evangelical minds, their prejudice against astrology will seem amply justified by recent events of the presidential election. At one level the prejudice could seem well justified – even devastatingly so.

It’s a fact most American astrologers predicted Clinton would win at the election easily. The LA Times of October 18th reported that a conference at Costa Mesa of hundreds of astrologers (of The International Society For Astrological Research no less!) was unanimous Hillary would win. This was of course only what a blind media (and the polls) almost automatically assumed too in a clear case of people believing what they want to believe. (At a stretch and in mitigation one might say Clinton won the popular vote and certainly those astrologers were right who noting the moon to Neptune factor on the day forecast confusion over the result. But even so).

By contrast, and like some prophet of old, Pastor Saeed Abedini, the long term Christian prisoner in Iran so little helped by the Obama regime, told Huffington Post days before the November election, that while in jail Jesus had informed him Trump would be next president. Ironically the same Huffington Post had even given space to astrologer Larry Schwimmer to detail all the celestial aspects that supposedly showed why Clinton must win against Trump.

For American evangelicals, such devastating failure by astrologers simply justifies Isaiah’s condemnation (Is 47: 13) of stargazing and suggests that astrology when not pure nonsense is a form of the biblically forbidden divination (albeit the Essenes and Talmudists didn’t read their Torah that way and practiced astrology as did the Magi who visited the Christ child). Didn’t Isaiah ironically declare, “Let those who study the heavens stand up and save you, those who gaze at the stars and at each new moon tell what shall befall you”?. So astrology has to be wrong, religiously and empirically, right?…..

CHRISTIAN PROPHETS WRONG TOO

….Despite everything, actually the answer is no. It is so for reasons I will show presently….after immediately mentioning how inaccurate some Christian prophets have also been over the election. In Nigeria a famous preacher and self-declared prophet, TB Joshua, forecast a Hillary win but tried too late to delete it from his website causing public scandal. In America prophet Brian Carn forecast a Hillary win. Prophetically inclined preacher Perry Stone, though hoping for a Trump victory, expected a Hillary win because a prophecy from the thirties from the controversial but often accurate William Branham, foresaw the destruction of America under the rule of a woman.

Still more extravagantly there is prophetess Glenda Jackson, who portrays herself as consistently right (having visited heaven and hell and chatted with St Paul how could she be wrong?!), and due in these her latter days to be made by God like the prophet Samuel. She declared on TV to the hopelessly credulous Steve Roth of It’s Supernatural last April, that there would be no election. There would be crisis in America and Obama would suspend the election and reinstate himself to become America’s last president.

Obama as last and apocalyptic president is itself a claim quite a few would-be prophets have endorsed, some of them following visions in the night reported on YouTube. Some of these nostrums are supposedly released under the direct influence and authority of Jesus and/or the Holy Spirit. Frankly it’s an embarrassment to Christianity and recalls another prophet, Jeremiah, on another subject: noisy, over-active false prophets (Jer 14:14, 23:16) whom God never called.

But it’s no good the kettle calling the pot black. If you abominate astrologers you had better start abominating and weeding out your own prophets. So I repeat the question: is astrology so wrong? I don’t ask here whether it’s theologically wrong (a case for it can always be biblically made no matter what evangelicals claim), but is it just inaccurate nonsense no one in or out of Christianity should consider? What about all the false prediction for Clinton? How ever could this even come about?……

ASTROLOGY RIGHT, ASTROLOGERS WRONG?

……Three points in answer can suffice here:

1) It is always best if an astrologer is an all-rounder and not just a specialist and this means they need to know a bit of history in order to apply their sometimes complex data aright. The Republican party, as a conservative party is linked to Saturn whose sign of rulership is Capricorn. Yet most American astrologers seem blithely unaware of the remarkable historical/astrological fact that since the foundation of the GOP in 1854, every time Saturn has been in Capricorn, a Republican has been president. Saturn though now in Sagittarius will be in Capricorn during any first term of the next president so Hillary was not favoured. I only recently learned this through America myself but it is something especially American astrologers with a grasp of history could and should have known. It’s an instance of astrology being relevant and accurate but astrologers ignorant, rather like the bible true but high jacked by interpreters.

2) Something that almost all qualified, practicing astrologers should be expected to know, is the well-established Grant Lewi theory about the cycles of Saturn. Basically it is that career and success are governed by the 28 year Saturn transit of the natal pattern through its four quadrants. Self and career is made or re-established through the first quadrant and it grows and finds outlet in especially the last quadrant between the 10th and 12th houses. Clinton’s birth time is admittedly disputed, but on the basis that in 2014 Saturn crossed her ascendant according to the most widely assumed birth time and Saturn is thus now in only her first quadrant, she simply could never become president in her lifetime and it was astrological folly to try.

3) If astrologers were abreast of researches as of the Magi Society they would also be aware that even if the aspect is a traditionally easy/positive/fortunate one such as a trine, when transiting Saturn aspects to natal Pluto that marks failure regardless of all else. This is just what was the case around election time for Hillary. Plainly, many like Larry Schwimmer at Huffington did not know this. And almost no one listened to a friend of mine in astrology, Barbara Ybarra of San Francisco, who back in April did forecast a Trump victory on Sacramento’s local TV. She cannily noted a technicality (a progressed moon conjuncting the ruler of Trump’s career Midheaven), affecting the inauguration day as opposed to the election day most astrologers focussed on (1).

(A possible further point to note is that by transit conservative Saturn by election time had   – if one used the most widely used Sibley foundation chart for America – crossed over America’s ascendant into its first house hinting at a new swerve in the body of the people towards a  conservatism desiring to remake America by restoring many traditional values. The shock of this reversal was arguably promised by the way the eclipse preceding the election had closely squared America’s foundational Uranus, the shocks and upheaval factor).

TRUMP’S UNUSUAL CHIRONIC WIN

I was not myself aware of the just mentioned Saturn to Pluto principle and despite success with Brexit, can’t boast I did better than the American astrologers on Hillary, though I have more excuse. I’m not American, astrology isn’t my regular profession to concern myself with the question and I don’t know Hillary Clinton’s birth time – no one seems to which should render any predictions more cautious and provisional.

The reason I slipped over the Hillary forecast was this. Without applying any in-depth study to Trump’s (accurate) chart at all  – not even the asteroids I usually examine which significantly enough show America conjunct Trump’s ascendant – , it didn’t strike me as about to produce any very typical, obvious winning pattern at election time. Jupiter conjuncting Trump’s Chiron, the wounded healer planetoid, a factor to be emphasized again at the inauguration, is rather special and raises all sorts of interesting questions beyond present scope about Trump’s and America’s situation. I merely assumed some tough but positive aspects for Hillary like the mentioned Saturn to Pluto reflected a hard campaign (as was the case) in which the disliked but least opposed candidate (Hillary) was likely to emerge as victor however narrowly. I assumed no easy run or landslide victory and can’t imagine how any astrologer ever would.

I could and perhaps should have applied the Grant Lewi principle I was familiar with, but as said the birth time is disputed. If you don’t know that you won’t measure the quadrants properly. So I have excuses and perhaps the American astrologers could be allowed some….if they hadn’t spoken with such excessive confidence.

As it is, failure of the astrological elite in this instance is rather spectacular. It’s without parallel since the 9/11 disaster which only one astrologer (in The Mountain Astrologer, America’s most intellectual astrological journal) got right according to basic rules that amazingly all the rest seem not to have known or just ignored. Essentially a major eclipse had hit a world point in the sign of America (Cancer) and eclipses are triggered for events when planets go over their degree. Aggressive, bellicose Mars hitting a dangerous eclipse point should produce mayhem the world would hear of. Was it against American positive thought to suggest disaster could occur?

Once again astrology was true enough but the astrologers like the prophets fail…….[ After issuing this blog I have belatedly discovered the case of astrologer GianPaolo DiCoco’s very striking insistence against the astrological establishment that Trump must win – various You Tubes but see  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEtsUkRIOOk ]

BACK TO THE MAGI…..REALLY

All this is troubling if like myself you believe religion is important and astrology carries messages that religion should know and use, not excommunicate as heresy. As the recent election contest has underlined, many Christians want and expect visions, prophecies, special words from the Spirit. Ironically they fail to realize, and could hardly imagine, that the Spirit (long recognized by astrologers as symbolically represented by the planet Uranus) is giving messages all the time through the skies and the same astrology that Uranus “rules”. The Psalms declare night after night gives knowledge (Ps 19:2). Which they do if only attention was paid. So why not “Hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev 2:7) in one of the forms in which the divine will is revealed – even daily revealed? You would need to know and understand about the astrology of diurnals to grasp something of what the Psalms claim about every day of our lives being already written in advance (Ps 139:16).

It is high time and beyond it that Christianity, which is increasingly dismissed as a purveyor of myths, should understand the long hidden mysteries of the Magi, better grasp the historical basis of its beliefs and know for once and for all when Jesus was born. Also when Jesus died and that he died on the cross (an increasingly challenged point) and along the way know whether he married the Magdalene and all such more personal details of biography and character people want to know today.

A modern astrology, especially if it applies the micro-astrology of name, place and concept asteroids and the descriptive factor of the Parts can do these things; and they are now available for anyone to read in my Testament of the Magi. The material, a radical development of the Ferrari  D’Occhieppo and David Hughes theory considered by Pope Benedict as plausible, is as distinctive as a fingerprint for Jesus. It resolves numerous longstanding scholarly problems and popular questions and altogether represents so improbable a discovery – no one could possibly invent all the details – it is as good as unanswerable. Let any who wishes, try to demolish the evidence. I suggest they can’t and won’t…..All the more reason many will try to ignore and pretend the evidence doesn’t exist.  (Testament of the Magi is available at Amazon in book and kindle versions  https://goo.gl/I28aCm

 testament1

That situation belongs with issues of our times. The Trump election has helped highlight just how much information is dominated by political and media elites who don’t necessarily reflect society but do seek to impose their own views. I submit this is one reason my crucial information has not reached the public forum as in justice it deserves. Publishers and media outlets who will give room and voice to the most whacko or negatively undermining treatments of Christianity and Jesus, have proverbially no room at the inn for this information – you are fortunate even to be given a reply to a proposal or inquiry. Sometimes there is a plain uncivil answer or, as recently with someone in religion in Australia’s broadcaster, the person is just too busy to attend to you because they have “more important things” to do…..more important that is than something in its way as potentially significant as the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Basically you are liable today to be treated like a fool if the dogmatic and undemocratic elite doesn’t happen to be interested or in agreement with your views or you are not already a celebrity.

Truth however has a way of ultimately getting out. The material is now available for readers to assimilate, discuss and pass on. You can do your part in making the truth known…if it isn’t and always was so essentially secret it’s a kind of knowledge hidden from the world as St Paul would have it (1 Cor 2:7-8)….Or, as the correctly forecasting Pastor Saeed rather airily said to Huffington Post, “You’re not Christian so you wouldn’t understand”. I’ve certainly encountered misunderstanding enough.

1) Trump’s important progressed moon at inauguration time is interesting and strange like his Jupiter to Chiron aspect at election. Normally, symbolic progressions amplify but essentially agree with transits. The cited inauguration progression is of the winning variety as Barbara Ybarra saw, but at the same time Trump has Saturn transit his natal moon (anything to do with home and emotional tenor) and opposite sun (his will and status in the world). I joked to Barbara that, knowing Trump, if he did win, was inaugurated and entered the Whitehouse under Saturn he could well rubbish his new home declaring it uncomfortably inferior to Trump Tower. That’s surely a real possibility; but I do find the usually depressive, frustrating Saturn/moon transit odd at the point of assuming power. Like the Chiron factor at election, it looks as though hard times are ahead for Trump (and America) and he is taking on heavy Saturnian burdens. Barbara herself thinks the outlook for America in 2017, especially later in the year, is pretty grim and notes the long so-called Great American Eclipse across the US in August hits right on Trump’s ascendant conjunct America. Let’s not speculate…yet anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2016 in astrology, religion

 

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CAN ANY GOOD COME OUT OF AMERICAN RELIGION?

AMCH

CAN ANY GOOD COME OUT OF AMERICAN RELIGION?

The title could seem overstated, even impertinent directed upon such a large phenomenon as a nation’s predominant religion, but especially in its more conservative and evangelical wing American Christianity can itself be remarkably given to the overblown, aggressive or emotionally intrusive statement. Thus it’s not possible for some to maintain Obama has been wrong  or misguided about, say, marriage equality, rather it has to be he has “blasphemed God!”! Even for a believer (or even the Pope) to be just concerned with welfare and poverty issues could cause him or her to be judged and dismissed as “a Marxist”.

Because despite everything I believe American Christianity does represent and preserve a few beliefs and ideas in danger of being forgotten or overlooked elsewhere, I shall first define what I mean by “American Christianity” and before pointing to some good things catalogue the  real, sometimes major blemishes. This is needed because one notices how inside and outside America, most admirers of the positives seem in their enthusiasm to find it too easy uncritically to absorb, even cheerfully export, the negatives. (Asian and African churches particularly have not been helped by that tendency).

Granted if one is to generalize, American Christianity is highly diverse. Its Catholicism alone is of a unique, sometimes quasi-Protestant or very protesting variety. However, my main concern is what is covered by what broadly descends and from the first from Calvinism and Presbytery or else is close in its “evangelical” belief system to the widespread Bible-believing Baptist tradition still much represented in the South. Together these streams often combine in what gets labelled “the Religious Right”. Both these traditions, though increasingly questioned or abandoned by the young, remain widespread in terms of influence and to the extent both have things too unexamined about them, for a toxic influence.

SOME NEGATIVES:

THE CALVINISTIC ELEMENT

Together Calvin and Calvinism are almost what was most controversial about Reformation Protestantism. Calvin instituted a mini inquisition in Geneva teaching people to spy on one another. Calvinist Americans (originally from Scotland where Calvinism took strong root) retain a questionable habit of labelling, judging and testing fellow believers ( and wider society) while themselves chasing respectability and success to the point they are St Paul’s men-pleasers (Eph 6:6). But worse, overturning the beliefs of centuries and ignoring that Christ taught riches could be a stumbling block to attaining the Kingdom, Calvin taught that prosperity and success were the mark you belonged to the righteous elect and enjoyed divine favour.

The consequent emphasis upon material success has sown the seeds which would flower in contemporary prosperity gospel, a kind of legitimized religious materialism and even greed recently obscenely symbolized by preacher Creflo Dollar’s 69 million dollar private jet to help him bring people the gospel. There is something in all this that recalls the condemned Church of Laodicea which declares, “I am rich, I have prospered and I have need of nothing” (Rev 3:17). In reality, however, even Calvin’s prosperous children need something and it’s to support or to be supported by the traditional party of the wealthy in politics, the Republicans, in order to impress their beliefs and agendas upon the masses. The irony of this is just not seen.

THE BAPTIST INPUT

Despite some liberal policies – support of separation of church and state, women preachers, some reasonable scope for divorce – the Baptist/evangelical strain which in modern times has produced the archetypal Billy Graham, has been hamstrung upon its Koranic style treatment of “God’s Word”. Here the Bible becomes an inerrant authority, an authority which can assume the role of a Paper Pope and almost more infallibly. Any human quirks or weaknesses in the record are simply not seen. St Paul and others don’t write inspired documents, they simply repeat what God says much as Mohammed claimed to receive the Koran. References to “God’s Word” at least implies complete direct dictation.

It follows that the mainstream of Baptist/Evangelical churches read the bible at face value literally. Poetry and ambiguity, cultural and historical filtering don’t count (who cares about poetry in America and a day means 24 hours only doesn’t it?)…..unless and until by selective reading it suddenly does count. Thus today there are evangelicals of the plain sense school prepared to preach that “as in the days of Noah they were marrying and giving in marriage” (Luk 17:27) has to mean Noah’s contemporaries were pushing gay marriage. How? Why? Remind  these same people that the “covenant” David and Jonathan had was a berith which can mean marriage or inform them that one of the ancient meanings of “eunuch” that Jesus said some are naturally born, was the nearest thing to the modern “gay”, and you would be accused of special pleading or worse.

Biblical literalism excused or justified the South’s slavery historically, but selective reading still abounds. Paul gets suitably ignored about women covering their heads or men obeying political authority (American independence was born of ignoring St Paul!); but whatever the apostle may have meant in Romans 1 about Roman morals it’s living proof “homosexuality”, (though the bible knows no such word), is the final barometer of morality and national life. Tolerate marriage equality and you go the way of Rome and divine judgement falls! Making your gay offspring homeless is perfectly OK. The long history of bullying and violence directed against gays or those thought not masculine enough everywhere from schoolyard to high street  has never been protested but even been deemed inevitable by those same literalists who will scream like stuck pigs about persecution and diminution of their rights under secularism.

Hawthorn’s Scarlet Letter might as well to be attached to every gay or seeming gay in those corners of the land where heteronormative Christianity rules and regards the disposition not as an inspiration for the likes of Michelangelo but a living curse. (Gay is envisaged as nothing but drug and alcohol fuelled sex addiction around bars or perhaps a demonic  possession). Besides which, sinners have no real rights in democracies, only conservative Christians should own democracy…or just rule the land. But that’s only one issue.

Despite Jesus’ relative pacifism and “put down your sword”, religious rights for literalists include carrying guns according to the constitution. (You might need to fight an evil government or the  forces of Antichrist!). The connection between gun laws and America’s internationally exceptionally elevated crime and murder rates is just not seen; such connections are only made by evil unbelievers! Disciples of Jesus are as good as gun-toting soldiers. Again the irony, even eccentricity of all this is not seen.

THE RULE OF “GOD’S WORD”, A WEAKNESS OPPOSED TO THE SPIRIT

Even given a less face value, more consistent reading of scriptures which educated conservatives do allow, should the Bible ever assume the almost Paper Pope authority evangelicals give it to the point they will almost hit people over the head and dismiss them and any contrary  argument with what the inerrant “Word of God” declares? Even for those of us who consider scripture precious, we must say, no.

I always cite how the apostle Peter denies vision itself to protest to God what he is shown is against scripture (Acts 10). Long before him the daughters of Zelophehad successfully petition against what they deemed unjust to them in details relating to the (revealed) Law (Num 27). The fact is one cannot adequately read and apply scriptures to absolutely all people, situations and times always, especially not without some illumination. Try it and you may finish up with policies like the most rigid rulings of conservative Catholicism whose guide is less scripture than philosophical formulae according to Thomas Aquinas and scholasticism.

It is hardly surprising that in recent ecumenical decades evangelicalism has become almost Catholic on abortion. It used to be some exceptions like rape were deemed permissible. Now for pro-lifers every women is supposed to preserve life at all costs as though before modern times the number of women and foetuses who died in childbirth was not truly enormous in the course of just nature. If God could allow so much infant mortality that medicine alone has diminished, God is surely capable of excusing termination of life in the case of the traumatized, the life threatened, or those who feel contaminated by sexual abuse whose effects may well be lasting for the future child anyway. Is it Christian charity to want to jail doctors or victims for doing the practical or merciful?

This irrational absolutism has prevented true and just laws being instituted because the whole subject becomes polarized into  either/or, “murder” against life alternatives rather than a matter of proper exceptions. (I accept that abortion on demand and for convenience is against life but that’s another matter).

Given that the Spirit (who is said to lead into all truth, Joh 16:13) is not a vivid part of the evangelical’s Trinity, it follows that we will often find conservative believers absent from common sense or charity not to say any exalted Truth. Many conservatives would even deny the Spirit any place in the life of the church and are vehemently opposed to charismatic trends of whatever sort. It can even be heresy to assume the Spirit is present beyond the times of the apostles.

And so we have the contradiction of “born again” Christians dubiously claiming colourful conversations with Jesus yet without aid from the Spirit or hearing God’s voice (memorization of bible influences the substance of many “conversations”). I, like many, was (unnecessarily given his background) surprised to learn that even Billy Graham denies having ever heard God’s voice. While I don’t believe anyone, short maybe of extreme saints, will hear from any member of the Trinity on a frequent basis, as per my Cosmic Father (https://goo.gl/o7YqtJ), I do believe one can and even should hear from God….now and again and with real communication, not just repeating a believer’s remembered scripture verses.

So here one touches on the blindspots, contradictions and even cruelties which American Christianity can manifest. But rather than continue as one could, to change the subject, what about the positives?

SOME POSITIVES:

EVANGELISM

America of the adverts is also  the America of evangelism. Beyond all the potential abuses, caring enough about people and beliefs to go out and preach to strangers and argue for one’s convictions is to a degree commendable. It’s because some churches like The Church of England seem incapable of persuasion, apologetics, dynamic preaching that they cannot recoup their massive losses and confront indifference. Even a former Archbishop of Canterbury has recently opined his church will be extinct in around a generation. This isn’t good enough, including because to preach the gospel, to make disciples, is part of Christ’s own parting commission to followers (Matt 28:19 ). Not everyone can evangelize any more than they have a voice to sing a hymn (St Paul calls evangelization a gift) but many could and can reach out and they should make some effort if they are to call themselves Christians.

A SENSE OF SALVATION

It may be expressed and described in different ways, but what is preached by many American churches, especially the more traditionally revivalist, is a form of “salvation” which involves a deliverance from potential damnation. This means that if persons aren’t sidetracked into prosperity gospels and even if and when believers need to recall a few social and political issues, still the religious issues will remain primarily spiritual and visionary. They need to be that whether to make a real impression or to be at all close to the gospel as originally preached. Social and political gospels may satisfy for a while, but ultimately people want and expect to deal in ultimate issues, life, death and the beyond.

Like it or not,Jesus referred to loss of soul and the threat of hell quite frequently (45 gospel verses refer to it). Not of course in the style of the hell fire sermon of James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist which is morbid/obsessive, but nonetheless succinctly and firmly. Quite how and why hell could and should exist at all and if and how it belongs to justice is a major issue. I explore it in my Cosmic Father (https://goo.gl/o7YqtJ ) not always supplying regular answers and not Calvinistic ones; the subject is beyond present scope but I would say this much here. Ideas and attitudes essential to Christianity begin to weaken outside of a view to an eternal loss. It is for example more possible and just reasonable to forgive to the uttermost if absolute hell is the prospect of your worst enemy. It is at the time that American Christianity is beginning to weaken and youth abandoning it that you will read books like “evangelical” Rob Bell’s Love Wins which preaches a certain universalism and disposes of more dire possibilities around the soul.

A SYMPATHY FOR ISRAEL

Far from universal among American churches though it is, and sometimes exaggerated into a kind of Zionism where it appears, nonetheless few national churches have as much feeling as America’s whether for the Jewish origins of Christianity or the importance of modern Israel in the larger spiritual picture of things. It is as though American Christianity had to make up for the history of western Christian anti-Semitism. Certainly somebody needed to make up for it because it was never acceptable and was a serious heresy when it swerved with Augustine and others into what is called supersessionism or replacement theology. This makes out that OT prophecies regarding Israel are either invalid or apply to the Church instead.

Surely nothing could be further from the intended truth. If replacement were the case Jesus would have rejected more than date setting when, for example, he is reported in Acts 1:6 as refusing the disciples’ question about when he would see to the re-establishment of Israel, i.e. political Israel, the messianic kingdom, the Millennial reign he had not set up during his ministry.

Christians are not obliged to agree with everything modern Israel says and does, but they should perceive history and providence, prophecy and the turning of the ages in the establishment of modern Israel. Anything else risks becoming, as it has done among some Eastern Orthodox Christians and others, a kind of unacceptable anti-Semitism with refusal of a proper witness to God’s purposes in history.

In certain respects some traditional churches are closer to the Muslims (whose Koran is strongly against all Jews) than Christian doctrine and it may be their fate is to be swallowed up by Islam if they can’t distinguish themselves more in some areas of belief. (Let’s not forget that Pope John Paul 11 astonishingly, perhaps just ignorantly, kissed the same Koran which often declares against the Jews with whom, like Christians, one should never be friends and [according to Surah IX, v. 30] Jews are simply “perverse” so that Allah is opposed to them.

A SENSE OF IMMEDIACY AND APOCALYPSE

Americans have little sense of history, but less anchored to tradition and the past they are more open to the possibilities of the future. This includes embracing the much misunderstood, too little considered issue of apocalypse and Second Advent. Again it is anyway supposed to be only Christian to be awaiting the Advent which is awaited two ways, first archetypally in a state of general readiness (because there is a sense in which the divine is always coming to us and we are to be ready for it) but, more literally, there is a point in time in which God absolutely intervenes in history and returns.

Although liberal scepticism has it Jesus wrongly expected to return within a generation this is not really so likely, especially not if he told his disciples on leaving he would be with them till the end of the aion (era). What era? For American Christians it is the end of “the Church age”, but for some of us (inevitably charged with heresy, divination or whatever!) this could plausibly alternatively or additionally be the end of the age of the current age of Pisces with whose beginning the birth of Christ and the arrival of the Magi (astrologers) corresponded. Accordingly, though plainly some people keep date setting, dreaming Second Advent and rapture (itself a rather American obsession but with surely some basis in otherwise incomprehensible or ignored claims of Jesus and Paul about a sudden disappearance), it is not wrong per se to look at world events and ask questions about where we may stand in terms of history and possible last things…. Which leads me to a related point which is re “prophetic” perspective.

A “PROPHETIC” OUTLOOK

There are always two kinds of prophecy, the prophecy which seriously foretells (this tends to be rare and is a gift and vocation) and the prophecy which is more like commentary on events from the religious/biblical standpoint and there is not enough of that in the churches. Whether one agrees with what was said or not, an interesting recent example has proceeded from Billy Graham’s daughter Ann Lotz Graham who has been saying that God “allows” – not the same as positively wishes and wills – terrorist attacks and natural disasters because they are also wake-up calls for people.

The point is an important one, (again reaching into theology beyond present scope) but believers and even the world do need to be told, and in a way that voices for the traditional and liturgical churches rarely if ever do, that spiritual forces are at work in events and must be engaged. In an evil world God’s so-called “wrath” is more like his withdrawal of a degree of protection that must always be prayed for and sometimes earned by suitable personal and social reform (repentance). “Ah Assyria, rod of my anger” (Is 10:5) says Isaiah about what is to occur for a faithless Israel. This kind of discernment needs to have a greater part in contemporary religious discourse.

It is of course something that risks misuse and ironically Ann Lotz’s less imaginative brother Franklin Graham can be a leading abuser. He works a bully pulpit which doesn’t seem to have understood the kind of principles his sister refers to. For example, instead of being open to the possibility that Obama is a rod of God’s anger and that the shocking Christian American history of violence and discrimination against gays is being allowed, judged or repaid when Christians defending their business rights against gays now get (unjustly) treated in the courts, nothing is ever seen except insults to God and Christians who are being or who will be shortly persecuted.

But supposing God will be deaf to conservative prayers until real repentance and changed outlooks are evinced? Franklin G’s perspective has been shockingly, inexcusably wrong when he can even praise Putin of Russia’s treatment of the gay issue (fascist gangs freely roam the streets attacking and torturing those who might be gay). Could God possibly approve Graham’s wrong minded, ill informed bully pulpit nonsense? Addressing every issue, hurling threats in all directions, his poorly disguised egotism should relent and let others prophetically speak about any judgement God might intend upon America.

EXPERIMENT AND DEMOCRACY

Not all experiment works and not every novelty is valuable, but we should be open to the new or at least not be stuck in a rut. The gospels constantly challenge to new and radical perspectives, to ongoing self and social criticism. One would hardly imagine so to judge from the appearance, style and practices of much Christianity, some of which is even stuck into the Catholic motto, semper idem (always the same). It is the American churches which are really prepared to experiment, change and adapt, and not just to obtain more funds but at least sometimes to discover what spiritually works, what occasions success, influence, a change to lives, a healing of mind or body. Such things matter or they should do to churches. Religion is not just about eternal security but a few temporal risks and what I would call “spiritual efficiency” and letting faith work.

In certain respects tradition, so valued in some churches, is almost religion’s greatest enemy preventing the church from hearing “what the Spirit is saying to the churches”, that refrain in the early chapters in Revelation, and meaning. what the Spirit is saying now and into the future, saying without only quoting previous scriptures or repeating familiar prayers and chants of the centuries. While main traditions of the faith may not be wholly disregarded or excluded just as the bible cannot be denied in the general direction and essence of its meaning, some variation on a theme and development is also required. The openness of America religion can be risky but is meaningful. Of course it needs to be part of and interact with a degree of democracy too, and here we come back to a potential American weakness.

Yes, the people and culture are democratic but not quite so much as they imagine. There is something polarizing and polarized about American society as in its history of race relations and there is something which seems to encourage situations in which, as the wife of someone in politics in America once said to me, “everyone persecutes everyone else in the end”.

So, I admit the possibility that such as the new secularism and emphasis upon gay rights may create a situation of discrimination for Christians (who once reckoned to discriminate against all and any sexual variation). I touched on this in McCleary’s Additions and the article, Something Wrong with American LGBT http://wp.me/p4kNWg-8a . True democracy must always go a fair way to tolerating what it doesn’t particularly like, want or approve. Otherwise it’s not democracy but sharia or fascism under another name. But to the extent American Christianity is able to find the grace to tolerate, then, as against the increasing cynicism and dismissal that American religion is generating around the world, I do think it still has some lessons to teach us.

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2015 in religion

 

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WHY PETRARCH’S “TO ITALY” REMAINS SIGNIFICANT

PETRARCH2

WHY PETRARCH’S “TO ITALY” REMAINS SIGNIFICANT

Since I am neither Italian nor a scholar of Latin beyond what I learned at school, I sometimes ask myself why I should feel moved by and dealing with something close to the heart of poetic inspiration in the case of Petrarch’s Ad Italiam, (To Italy, but sometimes called Petrarch’s Hymn to Italy). More recently too I find a new and relevant symbolic significance attaches to the work..

The mood of the poem is plainly enthusiastic and ecstatic but the total impression is of feeling somehow more engraved, fixed and  “absolute”  in a way I should wish to class with the very different because elegiac  Catullus C1, the celebrated “hail and farewell” poem for the poet’s brother deceased in a far land. It is always possible that Catullus at least indirectly influenced Petrarch, a proto-Renaissance classical scholar who had unique possession of the newly rediscovered work of the Roman poet, but undoubtedly Latin bible Psalms played their part  – there is an affinity for the spirit of those Psalms which celebrate Jerusalem and Israel as sacred site and Promised Land.

Ad Italiam  which begins  Salve, cara Deo tellus sanctissima, salve is of course more impressive in the Latin in which so much of Petrarch’s poetry was composed (though his famous Canzoniere with its Sonnets to Laura) were in his and Dante’s native Tuscan. One translation I take from the net runs as follows:

Hail, land most holy dear to God, hail!
A land of safety to the good, a land to be feared by the proud,
Land much nobler than other famous shores,
More fertile than the rest, more beautiful than any other country,
Bound by twin seas, shining with famous mountains,
Revered for arms and holy laws,
Home of the Pierian Muses, rich in gold and men.
Art and nature together courted your exceptional favors
And gave a teacher to the world.
Now after a long time I return to you eagerly,
A permanent resident. You will give a welcome resting place
To my tired life, and in the end you will supply enough
Earth to cover my pale bones. How happy I am to see you,
Italy, from the high mountain of leafy Montgenèvre.
The clouds stay behind my back. A clear breeze
Strikes my face, and the air rises to meet me with gentle
Motions. I recognize my homeland and rejoicing I greet it.
Hail, beautiful mother, glory of the earth, hail.

THE POET’S SELF AND HIS ITALIA

What might be so specially poetic and/or moving about this? Granted the lyric might strike us a little more forcibly if we read it with some poetic biography in mind – I first came across the poem in youth in a book about the Renaissance to which Petrarch was in many respects a founding father. He was so through his revival of the classics and his novel conviction that ancient and modern could be somehow blended because a real continuity should be seen to exist. I read how the poet was leaving France for the second and last time, the land where, due to his father’s business, he had spent a good part of his own youth and early adulthood enjoying success (and serenading Laura) but feeling increasingly dissatisfied and alienated in the corrupt atmosphere of Avignon and its papal court.

So this is a poem of homecoming, of liberation and hopefully of finding oneself at last. At that level almost anyone could appreciate the poem’s feelings even without the precise biographical background against which I first encountered these lines.

In this instance however the easily appreciated emotion is raised to another plane by the fact that something of the prophetic and archetypical functions of poet and poetry are super-added to what is being declared. Quite simply, no such place as Italia/Italy even existed at the time Petrarch was writing, nor would it for centuries.

Italia is a name drawn from Roman politics and geography. Typically, and like Dante so patriotically attached to his Florence, Italians scarcely felt they belonged to any larger national entity and certainly no single language unified them. Petrarch thus simply names and claims Italy, spreading across the geographical region something by way of  old-new Platonic generalization in preference to the Dantesque Aristotelian and medieval detail. It’s a work of poetic making and claiming of which there are few examples – the more archaic, briefer song of the druid Amergin setting foot upon Ireland would be one.

This address to an imagined, effectively archetypal Italia is made from the mountain heights of Montgenèvre and rather like Moses viewing the Promised Land from Mount Nebo before he dies. (Possibly remembering that example, the poet refers to where his own final resting place will be….although at the time he was only forty nine and would spend the last twenty one years of his life in Italy). Petrarch was modern or at least pre-romantic in re-discovering the beauty and power of mountains. From curiosity and for pleasure – and madly it seemed to people of his time – he had actually climbed Mt Ventoux in Provence. Here he is traversing the lower Alps above the Val Susa and the Turin region to arrive in his “Italy”.

With this generalization about the land below him there is a sudden expansion of feeling, a deeper breathing. The wind that strikes the poet’s face while the clouds are behind him is almost more inspiration itself, a liberation of spirit, than any natural phenomenon even if a breeze was blowing on the heights. Behind him lies France and in effect the sort of things that France at the time (and to this day somewhat) represents in terms of scholasticism, a kind of analytical pigeonholing and rationalization of everything that at worst risks preventing the individual from reaching transcendent states of mind and being. For these the poet himself has obvious affinity and he has been able to justify them from especially elements of classical culture. He is thus released to the lyrical, more musical, even operatic impulses that belong with “Italy”.

THE ITALY OF WESTERN ORIGINS

It is his Platonic generalization which allows the poet statements about Italy which perceive everywhere the sanctity and beauty of the land and culture. Practically, from its medieval banditry to its modern mafia, from its corrupt medieval popes to modern politicians, not to talk of things like ugly modern traffic chaos, Italy carries many blemishes like many another country. But in the more prophetic and archetypal view it is still inspired, spiritual and beautiful, “more beautiful than any other country….” And the fact remains that, quite objectively, Italy is particularly and hauntingly beautiful among nations whether in terms of nature or culture. Even a French painter, Claude Lorraine, would render it a symbol of Arcadia and Promised Land, the Golden Age, the Millennium. Germans would make a cult of the place (Goethe’s Kennst du das Land wo die Zitronen bluhn? bespeaks an attachment to Italy as somewhere that offers a beauty that however tangible and immediate also somehow exists as a special longing beyond the immediate). Well before any modern tourist invasions Italy would become homeland and heartland to many, especially artists. Poets and artists of the Romanatic era descended upon it with Keats and Shelly managing to die there, Shelley having declared in Julian and Maddalo,

How beautiful is sunset, when the glow
Of heaven descends upon a land like thee
Thou paradise of exiles, Italy.

Beauty of all kinds can corrupt as much as improve, but Italy goes about as far as it is possible to go in redemption of many things through beauty. At any rate many will excuse it much on that account. People may however also identify with and overlook much where Italy is concerned because of a fundamental recognition that in many respects, it is also “us”. It is Europe, the root of many things – the West itself.

It’s Rome that marks a beginning for Europe in a way that Greece never quite does. We are indebted to Greece for many things that make the West the West, but there is also a discontinuity with its legacy. Italy via both its medieval and Renaissance worlds supplies the world a continuous development, a variation upon a theme that we recognize. Rome never quite died whereas Athens did. I feel therefore that when Petrarch prophetically celebrates Italy he celebrates Europe itself by default even while, like Moses rejecting Egypt, he implicitly rejects France for a more lyrical, all-embracing, quasi-operatic worldview. But then the Italian opera that Greece, despite its drama didn’t invent and which didn’t exist in Petrarch’s time, can itself be considered one of the symbols of the West. It, and its lyrical impulse is the sort of thing that allows Petrarch to steal from Greece its claim to be home of the Pierian muses. As said, the poet’s “Italy” is, beyond the actual place, a heart zone and archetypal and he knows what keys to hit….

ARCHETYPE AND HOROSCOPE

One can tell this from the all-revealing horoscope for modern Italy (10th June 1946, 6 pm Rome) which with remarkable accuracy registers the force field of cultural identity across time as when we find asteroid Dante together with his prime inspiration Virgil, a doyen of the mythos of Rome and all Italians. They are conjunct on 25 degrees of Gemini, the sign of languages and writing, the sign of Europe, of democracy and of Christianity (born under Gemini with the speaking of tongues) and the sign of modern Italy which has, so far, perhaps most realized Gemini as the division of twins, the mental and other divisions of North and South regions. And since on the physical plane Gemini rules the hands, Italy under Gemini suits the nation that half speaks through hand and gesture.

Petrarch (Petrarca)  is found in the nation’s creative fifth house in initiating Aries. He stands in fortunate trine to a Mars in Leo, Petrarch’s own sign – he was born 28th July Greg 1304 – in the nation’s ninth house of ideas, philosophy and religion. (I can’t report that Petrarca aspects Laura in Italy’s chart but curiously his natal Mars in Cancer does fall exactly on Laura in the national chart).

While Italy’s 1946 pattern naturally represents the modern nation, it echoes its past too as national charts will, even spectacularly so (like Solomon conjunct the Part of Wisdom in the chart of modern Israel). There is little question that Petrarch by helping to birth the Renaissance in a way that Dante and Virgil didn’t, is a major creative influence upon Italy for all time. (Dante and Virgil, famed for visionary journeys to Hades and the Inferno are suitably found together on the same degree in the nation’s eighth house, traditionally the hell house and the house of secrets.

Altogether, Petrarch’s legacy in aspect to Italy’s beliefs house Mars relates to and stimulates what is deemed most typically, perennially Italian in what (despite the Gemini sun) will be the modern nation. This is the tendency to a certain dramatic, leonine extravagance in everything from architecture to entertainment. The popular reputation is for this even when not it is not universally the case; but since Leo is the sign not just of the national Mars but of the Midheaven, a point which describes the destiny and reputation along with leadership profile, the nation will always produce some singularly flamboyant leaders from Mussolini to Berlusconi whether they were Leos or not (Mussolini was!).

When he defines his at once real and dreamed “Italy”, Petrarch defines it not just by the mountains that we know he would automatically favour, but describes it as “bound by twin seas” almost as though it were an island. As if to confirm this emphasis in the real and ideal (or dreamed) image, we find asteroid Italia in the fourth house of land and origins in Pisces, sign of seas but also of dreams and myths. Italy may be sea-girt, but as one cannot emphasize enough, beyond any place it is also a state of mind, a mythos.

Roma is likewise in the same land and origins house and sign though not conjunct Italia – something, but happily by no means everything, is indebted to the Rome of Virgil. Vaticana isn’t in the house and shouldn’t be since modern Italy is separate from Vatican city. (Vaticana like Dante falls in the eighth sector of secrets (which is how many Italians see it, but placed in Cancer at 19 degrees in exact semi-sextile aspect to the 19 degree Gemini sun. This is a relation which betrays how Italians can have both real attachment to yet divided thoughts about the Vatican they won’t fully trust).

AN ABSOLUTE POETRY

Through a brief astrological excursus I’ve aimed to show how a gifted poet will be in touch with the kind of archetypal and symbolic forces that seem to distinguish the more memorable expressions of poetry. Recently Australia’s multi-tasking intellectual Clive James, who is recommending a poetry that avoids some of the excesses of an increasingly tired and non communicating modernism in the arts, has emphasized the old belief that one does not choose poetry (the art that so many try their hand at) but rather is chosen by poetry. To the extent I would agree, I should want to add that sometimes it is as though history itself chooses the poet.

A supreme example in my opinion is the Catullus that Petrarch rediscovered. History has not just been kind to the Roman poet whose work was thought lost for centuries. His times and setting provide him a quite special voice, even an authority that manages to cancel out all failures and lapses of taste in minor pieces. This is a poet who can refer casually to Caesar and Cicero as acquaintances and magisterially to the range of the rapidly growing (late Republican) territories. He carries Italia from its back streets to its urban grandeur and natural wonders on his shoulders, but lightly so as to make any contrasting elegy and sense of loss all the more hauntingly memorable.

At times it can be hard to be quite sure where powers of art or notable social privilege make for the effects, (nearest in literature perhaps to the world-owning internationalism of Shakespeare’s Anthony and Cleopatra), but there is a sense of capturing something essential and foundational for all time that lends Catullan poetic utterance a stamp of authority that even very good poetry doesn’t necessarily have. Here the poet sings and sees because the times, history itself, make for it, and the effects be so vivid it becomes poignant – one may finish half surprised the poet is even long dead.

Himself inhabiting a turning point of history he helped to make, Petrarch in his prophetic idealizing sets the bar high for Italy, but arguably the poem become a vantage point for any thinking about who and what the nation was, is and can be and, as I have suggested, even in some respects the West that Italy originates and symbolizes.

Looking back at the past and contemplating the near future in which ISIS has promised to attack Italy and Rome and now that already the country is being overwhelmed amid its lifesaving generosity towards impossible numbers of fleeing refugees, a new and different poignancy surrounds any absolutes of vision. Astrologers could well wonder concerning the eclipse that hits Italy’s destiny and leadership Midheaven in 2017, They could also question the presence of the only two Islam-associated asteroids Ahmed, (a name for Mohammed), and Abdulla (the name of Mohammed’s father), in Italy’s ninth house of beliefs and the overseas. The conjunction of Abdulla to the national Saturn in the beliefs house, the proximity of Ahmed to that house’s Pluto (death and transformation) and the proximity of Ahmed to Sicilia, a once Muslim region and one of the regions through which Italy is most likely to suffer invasion, together likely say something. Especially as we then even find Isis in the ninth house in the same kind of aspect to Italy’s destiny Midheaven as Vaticana is to Italy’s identity and leadership giving sun. Will the flag of Islam at one point fly over the Vatican as promised by ISIS?

Petrarch of course envisages an eternal and very Christian Italy. Christian is undoubtedly prominent in the chart on an angle (the descendant) for Italy, but it’s in an odd position which could suggest that a truly Christian identity may be left to struggle against internal and external enemies, everything from mafias internally to IS fighters externally[1].

I do think that seven centuries on from Petrarch and two thousand years and the whole age of Pisces from Virgil, the fate and identity of Italy is once again in dispute and endangered, perhaps more than it quite realizes. But if poetry is sometimes prophecy, I don’t feel I have entirely presumed to conclude Part 4 of my Coming to Syracuse, (which offers a deliberate update and partial critique of Virgil’s overtly prophetic Eclogue 4), with the assurance after many trials of ultimately surviving:  ( Part One https://goo.gl/97NgiO Part  Four  https://goo.gl/KQZ6kp – there are six parts recorded by actress in Canada).

…And then the fortunate of the coming age
Beneath the shade of beech and elm
Again in midday idleness they’ll sing
And speak of love that’s everywhere and everything
And under clusters of the vine, breathe in
Deep peace and view all Being as benign.

[1] The seventh house is paradoxically the closest partner and ally and/or open enemy of the person or nation (hidden enemies are more involved with the twelfth sector). Christian is directly opposite Italy’s Scorpio ascendant above which in the hidden twelfth is the nation’s moon while below the ascendant in the first house is Palermo in Scorpio. Palermo being the traditional home of mafia with Scorpio its supposed sign and Palermo squaring (i.e.afflicting) the rulership Midheaven, we know immediately there is something hidden about Italy, something not easily seen or known amid the extraversion and which could affect even the government. This will likely be a variety of secret societies and forces. Whatever or whoever precisely they are, Christians are or should usually be their natural enemy, hence, I think, the position of Christian in this chart suggestive of strivings without and within..

 

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Poetry

 

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COMING TO SYRACUSE (A Poem: Epyllion not Epic, Urblogues not Eclogues, in Six Parts)

COMING TO SYRACUSE (A Poem: Epyllion not Epic, Urblogues not Eclogues, in Six Parts)

COMING TO SYRACUSE

(You Tube film versions of parts and eventually the whole of this poem available at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vv3fmsaxDBU and
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIV1JtM0Bp8 )

After three months we sailed in an Alexandrian ship whose
figurehead was the Twin Brothers…And landing at Syracuse
we stayed three days
” Acts 28:11

PART ONE: A CITY, ITS ISLAND AND ITS MUSE

Sing of arms and of the man no more
The human person can suffice, and then
A city and its island’s life. [1]  While wars
Still rage and rumours of the same escape,
Instead relate the struggle of cultures and
The soul with which as lengthy ages pass
Each day and century are filled, driven
Onwards by strong forces little grasped
And rarely seen, whose impulse shapes
The mystery and course of fate, their truths
Concealed within an implicate order.

Syracuse, great Syracuse, arisen besides
Ionian waves that anciently Tenians and
Corinthians braved, like Athens born anew
You shone, for wealth, trade, theatre, science and law
And all as if to rival a later Rome
While yet the glory of a larger Greece.
As though Athena’s second child you thrived
And from afar, some said, were joined to fields
Of blest Arcadia from which a river
Flowed beneath the ocean’s depths. Still others
Then devoutly claimed you housed the spring
Of Arethusa by a legend famed which tells
How on Ortygia’s isle that nymph poured forth.

A victim of the river god’s lust
She’d tried to flee; yet even hidden
By Artemis, first in a cloud then
 

Fountain

Caverns of the sea, she learned that haven
And safe place from Alphaeus there was none
Unless as water. And even with that
The cruel pursuer found a way
All suddenly to merge with her until
The earth itself was opened up, when
Artemis had given means so that
The nymph in freshest salt free jet
Emerged in new found freedom, all alone.

Oh light of Sicily whose sainted patron
Too was light [2], where went the freedom and
Your knowledge with its widespread beaconing,
And then the wealth of fields beyond
Whose grain fed Rome and Italy itself?
Since Alphaeus forced illicit claim
And Verres stole from land and shrine, what street
And parcel of your earth has not known loss
And fear through Carthage, Rome, Byzantium,
From Norman lord and Saracen and violent
Clan, all this bound fast by a colonial curse
So multiplied, so like the sea nymph’s mergence
Much renewed, each person’s left to wonder
“Who am I?” and “Who are you?”. Thus all
Become like characters without, yet striving
Still, to find the pattern and their author [3] ,
Step children of Pythagoras round whom
Biography dissolves in myth, though history
Receives his theories and his numbers.
Yet theirs remains the blessed ground of
Idyll and the elegy whose being rests
With inner landscapes of the mind, bucolic
Scenes lit by the eternal and ideal
In which through fancy and through reverie,
Hopes of the soul and its regrets speak quietly
As you of Syracuse, Theocritus [4] ,
First did and with such art that even as male
Some hailed in you another muse. Though
In our times main streams of inspiration
Fail, be now if not a muse, a guide
To help our tales and teachings flow through
Lands and pastures rich as Arcady’s.

PART TWO: A SICILIAN CURSE

CERES

Begin with Ceres and her loss and how
From out the earth all of a sudden evil rose
And Etna had its part in this. Enkelades was
The titan’s name or some said Typhon;
Either way, amid the struggles of
The gods Athena caught and pressed
Him down beneath the weight of
Etna’s heights. Desiring still to rise to
Heaven, the demon struggled in his bonds [5]
And raged and screamed so fire and smoke
And tremblings deep beneath the earth
In what was also Vulcan’s forge, at
Unexpected times broke forth. Within
Tartarian depths and far remote
From sunlight and the fields above,
Upon his throne of darkness now and then
Even Hades took offence and felt alarm [6]
Enough to draw him up to inspect
The pillars and balance of the earth.

It was at Enna in the spring that
Earth being shaken, opened up
And steeds of wrathful Hades galloped
Forth, nor did they stop until the god
Who drove his dusky chariot alone,
Glimpsed from afar a radiant maiden,
Proserpine, carefree, at play and
Gathering violets in a grove. She,
Although herself divine as Ceres’ child,
Was not yet strong against the will
Of Venus and her son who bore
His arrows and, as ordered, shot the girl
To leave her victim to those powers
Of love till then it seemed she might reject
Or else she was too young to know.
And so it was that Hades snatched the
Maiden’s innocence and thought it love.
His victim screamed in terror and she called
Repeatedly for Ceres’ aid and yet,
Though she resisted, due to Cupid’s dart
She somewhat loved her rapist too
And passed below where soon she would
Be honoured as the hell king’s queen.

proserpine2

But not before the Underworld’s mad steeds
As though enraptured by the violence
Still rushed across and round the trembling
Isle and by a pool where Sicily’s nymph,
Cyane, in vain protested at the crime,
And wept. So great was Hades’s wrath at that
He threw his sceptre in her pool returning
To his home from there, while she dissolved
Into her tears and her no longer sacred place
Until she was but silent water. Meanwhile and
Soon, Ceres to whom no child returned
Began to fear, to grow in anger and to mourn
And, tossed like waves at sea in her distress,
Set out to search the whole wide world, first
Sicily then that island last. And at the pool
Where now Cyane was only voiceless water
She saw, just as the sorry nymph intended,
The maiden’s girdle floating free. Here
Was the proof the island held her daughter still.
But Ceres while she quested on grew more enraged
And bitter at the Sicilian earth. With no child found
And seeking vengeance ever more, in grief
And comfortless this Mother caused all
Natural gifts of fruit and grain to be
Withheld so round about whole deserts spread
As fields were wilted, blackened and a
Blighted earth fell barren of its previous life.

At Arethusa’s fountain, there alone
It was that earth gained some reprieve.
The nymph, who now loved Sicily as her home,
Made plea to set harsh punishment aside,
Assured the troubled mother that the
Very land opposed the crime to which it was
The sad reluctant witness, and, from what
She’s glimpsed beneath the earth where Hades
Bore his bride away, there was no doubt
It was the dark Lord surely did the deed.
At first struck dumb, the anguished mother soon
Resolved to take her outrage to the courts
Of Zeus, rose there in haste and stood upon
Olympus’ heights. But Zeus was torn between
The claims on him of his own sister and
A brother too; and what his sister called vile theft,
To him seemed more like love gone half astray.
But witness to so great distress with consequences
For the world, his will allowed his niece could
Be returned to the maternal home. Except
This boon was now impossible. Within
The realms of hell its king had given his spouse
To eat; and once a soul, even one divine,
Had taken of food outside the world,
There they must stay and there belong. So
Zeus decreed a compromise that half the year
The girl might spend some time on earth
And every spring she could return.

Which is what many have believed. And
It is true that every spring the sun
Gives light and heat and violets blow
First and more early in Europa’s fields
In Sicily than anywhere. But even so
Some curse still lurked and whispered to the land
And that same sun that spreads on Enna’s walls
Would see the challenge to that city’s rule,
Conflict repeated and oppression too
Where it now stands athwart the island’s centre.
And to the north still Etna groaned and
Spat and had no mercy on a man
Except its slopes at rest gave honey [7].
It swallowed up even Empedocles who,
The last philosopher to write in verse,
Defined the fundamental elements
And thought all change results alone from
Strife and love in their perpetual motion.
Strife with gods and elements he met
When, seeking proof for his divinity,
Into a fiery crater of the mountain’s side
Himself he flung and was consumed. It is
As though in Etna’s shadow lie heaven
And hell, there sky and earth cannot agree
And from their violent colours, violent ways
Like poisoned flowers; and out of Vulcan’s
Forge and from the Titan’s jail arise
The retribution that lays waste…. But
To the south rose Syracuse whose bays
Face eastwards to the sea and Greece and
Do not look to, nor are overseen, by
Any mountain or dread Typhon’s place.
There, even if a tyrant ruled, the light
Of day could still be hailed like so much
Radiance of Reason’s rule, the blessing
Of Athena’s aid on every thinking citizen.
But darkness hides in many forms,
Sometimes even most and longest in the light.
And always there is love and strife.

PART THREE: TOURISTS AND VISITORS TO SIRACUSA

Arethusa

Alex:  From Dionysius’ Ear to Arethusa’s fount
And other places in between I have a feeling
That you’re following me. What’s on? You’ll
Make me think you want, I’ll not say what.

Cori:  Mi dispiace Sir, Signor, Mein Herr,
You make me feel confused, the route we take
Is all coincidence; but what you sense
Is that I’m looking rather hard at you
Because I’d say we’ve met before,
Somehow, somewhere…Could that be true?

Alex:  If not met seen, that is the likelier thing,
I’ve been so many places near and far
Where were you last? Half choked in Beijing’s fog?
To rest and breathe try Taormina or Tahiti’s shores.
Today all travel’s much like work.

Cori:  I’ve been in Europe, not much past Italy, I find
It’s good enough for me, from Mantua’s plains
To Etna’s height all’s fine, even Rome and all
The crowds – I’ve just come here from there
But Taormina, that I like, it’s heaven,
So even Goethe said when he could stop
Examining varieties of Sicily’s soil.

Alex:  You sound like Verdi who declared
The universe is yours if Italy’s for me.

Cori:  Well, I’m not Verdi but wherever I go
I write some songs or poems for each place .

Alex: You have them here? I’ll listen to them
If you wish. We should sit down,
It’s rather hot to keep on walking in this sun.
Let’s find the nearest tree – beech, oak
Or cypress, willow or plane. [8] Let poets
Find them different meanings, what’s certain
Is trees offer shade.

Cori:  Just there is fine, things aren’t so certain with
My words. On Syracuse they’re very new
With some of them I must admit, still rough,
They’re all a bit impromptu. More than
Description of a place I write of people
Native here or those who visited and stayed.

Alex:  I’ll listen anyway when you begin.
.
Cori:  Born in Eleusis where in Greece the cult
Of Ceres flourished most, the father of
Stage Tragedy was raised. He was familiar
With the Maiden’s fate, indeed according to
The Stagirite [9] the plays of Aesychlus – most
Now are lost – betrayed some secrets of
Initiate rites. Save but for bravery at war
At Salamis and at Marathon in which
The playwright lost a hand, he would have forfeit
Life itself. Even so he was attacked with
Such degree of violence by a crowd
It’s likely why before too long he took
To sea and Syracuse. At Demacopus’
Theatre there his tragedies could be
Performed (first The Persians which had won
A prize), but though among all ninety plays
We’re ignorant what depth his Women of Etna
Plumbed, in Reason’s cause the playwright wrote
What sounds like homage to Athena’s power
And then the benefits of rule by men.
Which would not have been clear to all – the
Play which most affirmed it was the same
At which a pregnant woman died in shock
At sounds too supernatural. Even so
It must be said that though in youth it was
The vine god told the dramatist to write,
With age and Syracuse he grew more like
Apollo’s devotee, a lover of the local light.

Dramatist

At Gela not at Enna Aeschylus died,
His end, alas, was all too tragi-comic.
Due to a forecast he had heard he feared
To stay too long indoors, but outdoors
Proved no safer. An eagle thought his head
A rock and on it dropped a tortoise.

Alex:  That must be myth. I’d guess the last act of the
Playwright’s life got written by his enemies.

Cori:  I think…. I’ll let you read the next piece
If you choose. Philosophy’s more serious.

Alex:  As though for life’s experiments Sicilia
Was the Promised Land, Pythagoras once
Settled there, in Croton where disciples
Learned new simple ways and diet too –
None caught or ate an animal. Perhaps
Recalling the example shone, great
Plato sailed to Syracuse three times.

Plato

With politics corrupt in Greece then
Hearing how across the sea within
The largest colony that gluttony
And debauch were rife, the best solution
Seemed to be to educate some leaders.
Indeed he would feel honour bound
And working for the good of all.
With sober Dion, an admirer, he began,
(He was the local tyrant’s brother in law)
But fears of too great influence at court
Had Dion placed beneath a ban and
Plato flee the hostile shores. And later
Visits ended much the same. Once come
To power the tyrant’s son, at Dion’s urge,
At first submitted to the Sage’s way, but
Wearied soon and once again intrigue
And violence arose. Dion, long cheerfully
Exiled abroad and pupil at the Academy
At last returned and being Reason’s child
And thus an enemy to mere anarchy,
Placed rule and order on his home
But by recourse to sword and force.
The island slid towards new chaos.
And thus with age and grave experience
The visitor from Athens learned that
Teaching can’t alone suffice; the maybe
Necessary second best is rule by Law,
So what he’d deemed the Good might need
Assistance from strict rules and greater
Limitation. And so, O Syracuse, alas,
Your world and history helped to shape
Ideas for later generations of
A state less democratic than policed,
All poetry suspect or simply banned
And gays – the sage now changed his mind
And allowed for laws against them.

Cori:  Now me again. Next in my line is
Someone born in Syracuse….

archimedes

Archimedes found out many things in
Physics, maths, in pumps and screws, and managed
Too to map the heavens. But even so
His fame lies chiefly with his bath,
Where inspiration in a trice revealed
How he, beyond whatever science knew,
Could judge the buoyancy of water.
Up from his seat within the tub he
Jumped, screamed but one word, “Eureka”
And then while still a-drip ran out
Stark naked through the streets
To share the thrill of his discovery.

Alex: How fortunate police weren’t there,
The type to think him criminal!

Cori:  No, it was a Roman called him criminal
And killed him with a sword for studying
Maths with Carthage at the city gates…
But clothed or nude he was so little
Loved and lost to public memory soon,
It was alone the brave and gold mouthed
Cicero, when not attacking Verres’
Crimes, discovered and restored his tomb.

At this point there’s an interval, a tuning
Of the instruments let’s say, in which
We introduce some other themes that follow.

When, because he would look back
Sad Orpheus lost a wife to Hades’ realm
His interests turned, and, so it’s said
He taught and loved young men instead.
But his own magic lyre, the legend goes,
Had floated down from Thrace to Greece
And stopped at where fair Sappho dwelled….

Alex:  With that did someone wish to imply
That love and lyric verse are gay
And maybe even music too?

Cori:  Perhaps, or possibly they thought bisexual,
For some say Sappho had a child. Consider too
King David loved to play a harp and he had
Wives and sons; but then, as scriptures tell,
He loved and entered – sort of – marriage
With a man – the word they used was berith.
In Sicily no doubt things were more free
As long before Von Gloeden had a camera
Trained on charms of local naked youth,
Greek Diocles who admired just such, once
Dead was honoured and at his own grave
With competitions in the spring for boys
To meet and greet and in the grandest style
To kiss in harmony with vernal gusto[9].
(Just what they did in Syracuse remains unsure
We only know Theocritus approved).

Gloeden Faun

Things weren’t so easy
For the other sex, but nonetheless…
Your turn. Pull the stops out for a great Poet

Alex:  To Siracuse from Lesbos Sappho came
In flight from Pittacus, a tyrant and intrigues
Back home. The citizens were so agog
That she whom Plato called tenth muse
Inventor of new music and poetic forms
Should seek to make her home with them, that
Even before they saw her face, as welcome
To their refugee, Silanion was engaged to carve
A statue in her honour. Before the town hall
It was raised but then, like Archimedes tomb,
This too was doomed to disappear
– only the pedestal was left – another of
Those victims to gross Verres’ thefts.
And yet, how like the symbol of a fate
That was. One poem from nine volumes
Is what now remains, and for the rest, like
Marble chips, we own but scattered fragments
And they’re unclear – the dialect in which
The Lesbian wrote itself died out –
And like her image fades away as when
It’s said this poetess was fair and tall while
Others think her dark and low, so in the end
It is the name and fame alone endure.

Sappho2

Such was the fate of one who wrote, alas,
As she herself would once admit, despite
Her social and erotic themes, chiefly
To be recalled when she passed on and not
Be lost to night within the Underworld.

Cori:  I’ll come back again, I represent Italia…
The centuries passed but then, as though
He had to pursue the Lesbian (as surely
Later fathers would to hell), the apostle Paul
Sailed into harbour with a companion Luke –
A doctor, (though there’s legend claims a painter).
An unlikely pair they might appear
One strict, the other generous, the
Apocalypse of one, some deem indeed,
Half gay with two men sleeping in a bed [11] ;
But anyway, even twins affined can be
At odds and disagree and of the
Heavenly twins beneath whose sign
The two embarked at Syracuse, we know
That Pollux was a boxer as was Castor too
Though he was more disposed to sleep.
As to St Paul, (I cannot speak for Luke)
He maybe liked to box, but not the air….. [12].

PAUL

Alex:  I’ll interrupt you there…I want to say…
With no church founded nor epistle
Written and just three days Paul was
Ashore, could time here be significant?
A small church only, not a cathedral
Or cathedral square exists in town
To commemorate his stay, and that stands
Close beside some ruins of Apollo’s shrine.
Which some might feel was almost right
Because if mildly, quietly in its way
This place is somewhat pagan still.
It’s transformation is its style and not
I think conversion. In centre town,
With little change, the Virgin’s cult
Now owns Athena’s temple.

Cori:  No, once again I think this is symbolic.
Three days Christ lay within the tomb and
On the third day he was raised. Recall Paul’s
Company was tossed about and nearly died
Devoured by fiercely angry waves until
They ran aground in Malta. A pattern of
Pure woe indeed, one much akin to storms
And tempests of our lives. When three months later
They could leave, safe harbour lay in Syracuse
As well as calm and brief serenity
Three days before the apostle sailed to Rome,
To judgement on his life and work,
His final days and execution. Thus say
That Syracuse is the sacred pause,
The moment of vision and of rest,
Maybe a fork within the traveller’s road,
Almost a place of heaven’s door, as
Have not others said before, this island
Stands a portal to heaven as to hell?…..

Escaped from out a prison cell above the bay
Of Malta, that artist Caravaggio,

Caravaggio

The same who claimed – he was no Paul – that
All his sins were mortal, found home awhile
In Syracuse. His goal was Rome and
Pardon there, though he met death along the way.
But in this harbour city he still gained
Some favour with its leaders. These all were keen
He turn a hand to make fine image
Of their patron saint – he showed her dead
And ready for her burial. Her story goes
She had been dragged towards a brothel where
Her throat was cut because she’d wished to
Sacrifice both life and chastity to God. The image
Shows….

Alex:  Oh, something morbid I dare say
But then that was that painter’s way
He loved the shadows more than light
But Lucy stands for all that’s bright
So white is doubtless in the picture…
Enough of history and the town
Let’s follow sunlight to the beach
I’ll put the sunscreen on your back

PART FOUR: THE COMING AGE

ROMAN

Now for a higher theme, its flight ascends [13]
Above all trees and forests that give shade
And beats strong wings to fly beyond firm
Harbour walls of ancient Syracuse,
Its aim to reach into our larger world
Beyond even noble monuments of Rome.
As to its seeing, may that be with vision
Like the eagle’s eye which looks upon both
Heaven’s sun and earth beneath as though
Those two could be the same.

Sicilian muse, soon is again the time
For which now dreamers dare to yearn
When through the circle of celestial signs
There dawns a new age for humanity.
Yet can it savour of that Golden Age
And be the crowning era of all prophecy
Once sung so hopefully but only spied
Through darkness of a glass where rose those
Images combining true and false amid
A too great trust of Caesar as a god
And reverence for Pan in every field?
For prophecy indeed is hard and harder
Than all poetry (even though those two
Are much allied), for in it farthest futures
Show as though a virtual present, and this
Because main words of prophecy derive
From outside time, their usual frame and
Speech being symbol and their working out
All bounded by the round of stars,

For no, throughout the world wars have not
Ceased, nor fear, nor is wild nature purified
So that a fertile land grows to support
Itself with no fields harrowed, no vines pruned
And even the ox  and lion reconciled [14].
But though you grasped how for redemption and
The age the sign of Jupiter was core [15]
And though from heaven the First Born came so that
Past evils could erase, most that was forecast
And desired did not occur and that
Because true alteration knows two kinds,
One gradual, the other born of crisis.
Within the time that cycles and their symbols
Shape, freewill exists to choose a higher
Above a lower way of the same thing,
And thus to learn and change as persons
And societies. When that’s refused
So evil thrives, it’s God and Nature bring
An end and introduce the new by force.
For when the Good is little taught or learned
How could your Golden Age be realized
Or Nature form new harmonies when amity,
Forgiveness, love are rarely settled in
The heart? Relentless hatred must be
Swept away, and will, with all confusion
Of the names of God lest poison through belief
That’s false and misnamed vision keep its
Hold, prolonging strife with every wrong.

Then only does the monarch of this world,
No more a mother’s child, but even now
Awaiting and prepared within the light
Bring near the justice of a longed for reign.
For this come soon, the world is impatient
To rejoice, the gate of welcome is unbarred,
None may resist the sceptre of your rule…..
And yet, before the new age can begin
And when within the heavens the Water Bearer’s
Sign lets freely flow the healing springs of
Spirit beyond the lightning flash and sudden
Fear and wakening towards new dawn [16],
Some years a weary earth must suffer still.
Whole multitudes, alas, must die as seas
Will rise and mountains fall and many
Cities be destroyed and even Rome itself
Fall once again beneath barbarians.
And all these things shall be because the world
Must be renewed and those who cannot
Live aright must learn instead how well
To lose what’s theirs, and even maybe
How to die, to perceive that life alone
On earth is not the sum of all that is.

It’s only then and following the years
Of strife and loss, of false beliefs and none
Another world, one wholly new, can rise,
All history and life such as was known
No longer there except as records read,
Or told as tales, by which fresh offspring of
The age will be amazed, sometimes amused.
Though travelling less, within their lands
And in their minds they’ll travel more
As with all cities rare, villages and groups
Combine, communication being total,
While on its mountain Zion rules above
All peoples and beyond all memory of
Terrors past, the division and confusion.
Each person shall be free, at last more free
Than all before and their own leaders,
Who’ll be few, will – much as once in Plato’s
Dream – be guardians of a single Law with
Wisdom and philosophy empowered and
Knowledge of most things divine, an absolute.

Then, what remains of Italy in which
No more a pontiff reigns to speak of deity
Or take its place, the beasts of field and forest
The  hunters slew, and slew to desolation,
These now as nature soon revives, return
Not to devour but roam in greater harmony
As centuries long all life itself
Will lose much of it that was entropy –
Even age extends, a hundred years like
Infancy as time grows closer to eternity.
And then, those fortunate of the coming age
Beneath the shade of beech and elm
Again in midday idleness they’ll sing
And speak of love that’s everywhere and everything
And under clusters of the vine, breathe in
Deep peace and view all Being as benign.

PART FIVE: OVERHEARD AT THE THEATRE

GKTHEATRE

He:   It’s really quite a mystery. This theatre
With the largest stage this island holds, the
Birthplace of so many plays, and many
Now deemed classic, has least to show by way
Of natural vista. We’re even told that sites
Like these were chosen for their setting, it’s
Integral to the drama. Segesta shows
A pure sublime; there’s nothing here to rival it
Or Taormina’s majesty. See… just a tiny
Sliver of the bay, its distant blue half lost
To clumps of cypress – the tree of death
So Virgil wrote. But then I’d say these plays
Are guilt and death-filled first to last.

She:  So deaths are all we’ve come to see?

He:  It must be said the action is quite minimal
It’s mostly chorus plus much commentary,
On serious actions little seen whose outcomes
You evaluate.

She:  If this is Greek and philosophical I’d think
We might need help with that.

He: ……Well, rather as Plato once dismissed
The Homeric gods so as to affirm
Some higher principles of good or God
Beyond those poor Olympian morals,
So Aesychlus evokes a holier Zeus.
He tries to make existence seem more
Sane and tangled fates more rational
By teaching Zeus one time decreed man learns
Through suffering alone. While things this poet
Does with myth can be ingenious and
Original, the messages may not convince.

She:  What messages are those? I’m sure to miss
Them for the spectacle and sound!

He:  To understand and two millennia on
I’d need to give the Oresteia storyline …
Be patient if you can, it’s this:

Oresteia

The Trojan war being at its end, King
Agamemnon now heads home. However
There’s some guilt on him. To appease a goddess
And to help the Greeks he’s sacrificed a daughter.
Clytemnestra who’s his wife and queen
Resents this death and, having suffered a
Ten year absence of her spouse has taken
A lover, though of course she hides the fact
Declaring strict fidelity. So guilt’s on her
(as on Helen who began the war). The king
Himself has not been faithful (what king is?)
And guilt of sorts is on his mistress too
Cassandra a prophetess and true
But whom a god, Apollo, cursed to
Never be believed for any oracle made.
– he took offence at her because she
Was unwilling to return his love.
The unfortunate girl foresees that if she
Enters in her lover’s house she will be
Murdered as he will be too. She prays the sun
In vain to be delivered. At palace entrance
King and queen might just be reconciled
Again except – it’s maybe fate –
There’s something makes them disagree.
The queen plans welcome on a tapestry
All purple where she utters praise that’s
So extreme – more suited to the very gods
Her husband feels – that he recoils, in both
Humility and fear. But then, reluctant still
He gives consent and enters in though later
Resting in his bath he’s murdered by the
Ambitious queen abetted by her lover.
This spouse, condemned by Chorus members
On the stage, rejoices in her evil deed
Whose fatal blow she offers to the god
Of Earth. She feels no guilt; it helps her lover’s
Party to the crime and he, Aegisthus,
Can declare it’s just and even proof the gods
Are good because he now sees vengeance on
The death the father of the murdered king
Had put upon his brothers. Thus retribution
Vengeance, guilt seem all combined and likely
To continue, the Chorus left with little choice
But to concede whoever acts must suffer.

She:  Yes, that’s exactly how it seems,
Should gods and men do nothing? So far, so bad
What is the next part of the Trilogy?

He:  It’s all the worst fears of the queen come true.
Fate intervenes when out of exile in disguise
Orestes, the king’s son, makes his return
He with a cousin, Pylades, goes to the tomb
And there, both for his father and a nurse
Sets down two locks of his own hair. Elektra
His mourning sister soon appears with bearers
Of libation, themselves arrived because
The queen now seeks to appease the dead
Due to her suffering from dreams by night.
To Hermes, god of dead souls in the underworld
Elektra prays for vengeance and on seeing
Both the locks of hair and certain footprints
In the ground suspects at last her brother’s
Near. This he can prove when he presents
A robe his sister helped to stitch. Rejoicing
At reunion the pair invoke high Zeus
For vengeance which Orestes now reveals
Is highest duty and a need since in an oracle
Even Apollo told him blood needs blood
And that ignored more curse and sickness
Follows. At which the Chorus calls
On Zeus for justice and is free to reveal
What dream it is haunts Clytemnestra in
The night, though not before declaring (at some
Length) the madness of all women’s passion.
The queen dreamt that a snake would suckle
At her breasts but then draw blood, and this
Orestes feels assured is forecast of
The matricide he must pursue once he
Has entered in his home and readied it
For vengeance. Requesting shelter but disguised,
Orestes meets his mother telling her
That he himself is dead abroad. Distress
Is feigned but he’s admitted and Aegisthus told,
Then with the Chorus’ aid, Orestes’ nurse
Will lead the lover of the queen to
Where he’s all alone so that Orestes
Is left free to strike. He does this and the
Dying screams bring Clytemnestra to
Aegisthus’ side. Now all is clear, mother and
Son are face to face and against the queen’s
So desperate pleas the son is deaf
Refusing mercy to fulfil quite other laws
As he sees fit. Although the deed once done
Both Chorus and the prince rejoice,
No sooner has the matricide declared his right
Than he falls victim to gross torments,
Visions and pain avenging ancient Furies
Place on him. In agony he flees the scene.
The Chorus is now left to ask, can deliverance
Exist or must there be another death?

She:  I must agree it’s getting worse and what
The Chorus asks makes sense.

Orestes

He:  Now comes the final episode, Part Three
Of this most dire Trilogy.

No longer Argos now the scene is Delphi
At Apollo’s shrine. Its prophetess appears
And terrified. She flees at sight of hag-like
Furies fast asleep sprawled in a circle round
Orestes, still a hunted, haunted man.
But soon Apollo, newly lord of earth
Appears with soul guide Hermes at his side.
Apollo’s promise is the curse must end
But not before Orestes makes appeal to
Athena in the city that she rules.
As Hermes leads the matricide away
The ghost of the dead queen appears and
Rouses the vile Furies to pursue their prey
And they, enraged to see their quarry gone,
Renew their curse and rail against all
New gods on the earth and Apollo who
Is firm to order them away. In Athens
Its own goddess will appear to declare
Orestes and the Furies, both, must be
Submitted to her rule which will include
Trial by a citizen’s jury. Still vehement
And unsubdued, the Furies rage against
All thought of any process and the law
Which might curb warning terrors and
All retribution of their kind which is
True justice, so they claim, which once denied
Expose even parents to all crime. But
Athena and Apollo too know that
The Furies rise from earth and hell and
Speak for earlier ages and for women.
Apollo who is witness and an advocate
For the victim now his protégé,
Maintains Orestes did a deed once
Forecast by his oracle itself made
With the authority of Zeus. He also
Rules true parenthood belongs not to
Mothers whose wombs can only nurture seed
But rather to Fathers from the first.
The court holds session and the count
Is equal save that Athena casts her vote
Through which the haunted prince is freed
And it’s agreed henceforth the city
Will have trials and be a seat of justice.
Again the Furies rage but seeking peace
Athena promises them a noble home
Within the city’s bounds to which
At last with hesitation they agree.

She:  And so, despite the misery and gore
The story isn’t quite a tragedy.

He:  How much of misery and gore could
Any audience hope to stand, even if, as
Aristotle held, such drama gives catharsis?
But for myself I’d say there’s tragedy of
Another kind and hidden on another plain.

She:  What’s that I’ve missed?

He:  In essence there’s no formula for good
Nor any real redemption

She: Not even with Orestes freed?

He:  Well, think of it. The Furies may be loathsome
But they have a point, or almost so, because
What flame is it the new gods bring to justice?
Apollo was cruel to Cassandra
And to Marsyas too, his rival in music
Whom he skinned alive. Compassion never was
His style. Orestes is quite right to plead
Compassion of him, and though we hear his
Father Zeus stands closer to true mercy,
Why would that Father then endorse
The crime of matricide Apollo gives
To Orestes as an oracle?
And why does that same god of prophecy
And truth maintain that blood needs blood
In what, if taken as a rule, which
In the dramas it can be, might run to
Unending tolls of sacrifice and vengeance?

She:  It doesn’t make much sense I must agree.

He:  The friendlier Athena will declare
For practice of a noble mean and peace
But only for her city. All war that’s
Made abroad to garner fame or win
More land she can approve. Her stated “mean”
Is scarcely something rational, more like
A shaman’s trick in primitive societies
Which holds the forces of the night at bay
By admitting just sufficient light. It’s

Athens

Much the same for what’s approved for life
Within society, its rule by men, a point
On which even gods can be agreed
But it’s the poor name for or an alternative
Form of Hellenistic Reason. Hence,
Practically, and faced with problems that
The Furies pose, it’s change is the redeemer
Its cure a lie akin to how – although
Apollo claims he could not lie – The Furies,
Pacified, will be renamed the Kind Ones.
In sum, there’s never exorcism nor
Is there banishment or blood of final
Sacrifice. Like Lucifer as angelic light
The new gods, greatly idealized, could hide
New rule by demons. But what is plain –
The gods themselves admit it – is how
Even cutting bonds and granting boons
It’s life they do not and they cannot give
In either this world or the next; no years
Once lost, as lost they were beneath Troy’s walls,
Can find their recompense and be restored.
Those few in fields of bright Elysium
Are wraiths who have no body and no home
And thus the only prospect for mankind is
Endless night in Hades. From Acheron’s
River none return because the family of Zeus
Though worshipped widely and still more appeased
Don’t deal in life as resurrection. And
Reason as a path to Truth and peace is
What the sages offer for this life
And then Gods utter versions of the same;
But it’s the fact that purest Reason
Never is entirely of the intellect,
Nor is it wholly male or something men
Alone may guard. Its thought is for this
Middle earth and really, truest Knowledge
Has a span encompassing the heaven above
And hell below, the visible with
The invisible. When that’s ignored
The human mind Is too divided, vision split
And, never reaching true control, our thoughts
Fall prey to forces not quite understood,
Misnamed, misused and so we walk to death
Alone  in blindfolds and in ignorance.

She: Well, something I now understand is why
The natural scenery as a setting counts.
It’s like a counsel to enjoy this life
As being your nearest to the world of
Gods before your brief hour of existence
Ends. In which case I’m inclined to say
I’d rather sit and contemplate this world
From Taormina than from here.

He:  But here the stage is sacred for its drama.
In Taormina Romans changed the theme,
No longer tragedy but combats of the
Gladiatorial kind, fights to the death
As entertainment. With such the memory
Of its stage is stained. Recall that
Syracuse rose faced away from Etna’s
Height. Maybe it has more light, less curse,
There’s just less past to exorcise.

She:  No curtain rises but the play begins
All light and sound, I’m ready for this tragedy.

PART SIX: EVENING, NIGHT AND GOING HOME

EVENING

 Alex:  You should finish our journeys with a song.

Cori:  I’m not so sure I really can. It might be
That the problem’s you.

Alex:  What’s wrong with me? What words or tunes
Do I prevent?

Cori:  I thought I knew, but now I feel less sure
Just who you are, from where or why?

Alex:  You must think I am secretive!

Cori:  More like just strange. You sometimes visit
In my dreams and always it’s so long ago
Though vivid as true memory; but often too
You disappear and manage to escape me.

Alex:  Oh such imagination! What ages past
Did we call home?

Cori:  It was whole centuries ago and then
At times we talked of poetry and Rome
Of distant futures and of love.

Alex:  So long ago and serious? Well, certain is
We never had a life before. If we made
Poetry and talk then think when
Certain stars are in the skies
That people much like us return
And say things that are similar
Which some repeat and may recall.
It’s really nothing more than that…
Well, as it seems you won’t perform
Now maybe I should be the poet.
But since I don’t profess to own your
Kind of special talent, I may be left
To work with scarcely more than what
Are merely borrowings from others…
“Now I am wearied with the day”
My longing happily receives the starry night [17]
(That fits, the sky tonight is clear enough
And I’ll admit I’m rather tired)

Cori:  I know the verse, what follows is..”And then
My unfettered soul desires to soar,
Freely into night’s magic sphere to
Live there deeply and a thousand fold”
Don’t say you’re trying to escape again! [18]
It’s very “north” and sounds too like those
Hymns to Night Novalis wrote in hope
That night’s eternal. I never understand it.

Alex: No need to try. It has a lot to do
With mood and time or simply place…..
Another poet of the sunset wrote
“Soon it will be the time to sleep…
Let’s not lose our way within this solitude
O vast and tranquil peace,
so deep within the evening’s glow!
How weary we are of wandering..”. [19]
(And don’t you think by now we are?)….

Cori:  Weary of wandering here and now
Or wandering simply everywhere?
Well you, I know, have seen the world,
And yes we’ve gone quite far today
But that’s not how the poem ends…
Don’t repeat it, you might trouble me.

Alex:  No, nor is there need to ask what’s next,
Or where. The sun’s gone down.
I feel, and so may you, a special radiance
As much from earth as from the sky
The peace, that glow; they are enough;
They join what has been and will be
With or without our journeys or our songs
Think we are here and we have paused.
Right now there’s nothing to complete
Say only that we came to Syracuse.

[This poem is now available in a second edition of New Poems and Two Celtic Dramas, http://amzn.to/1tKdkJr ]

NOTES

[1]  Arma virumque cano….”Arms and the Man I sing” opens Virgil’s Aeneid , the epic of Rome’s conquest by survivors of the Trojan war.
[2}  St Lucia, a saint associated with light and vision, is patron saint of Syracuse (Siracusa)
[3] Six Character in Search of an Author is a classic play by Sicilian dramatist, Luigi Pirandello
[4} Theocritus ( d.260 BC ) was a Greek poet born in Syracuse whose original Idylls and Elegies influenced the work of especially the Roman Virgil
[5} The Demon…….Here the Titan sent to Tartarus and effectively all titans are identified with fallen angels of biblical account. This somewhat influences the theory and theology of this account of spiritual influences.
[6} Hades. Strictly speaking, if one keeps to Roman names and myth it was Pluto, not the identical Greek Hades who raped Proserpine (Gk Persephone),
but Hades is not just a name but a place and concept. It thus  works better and more widely for meaning in the poem, but any reading could substitute the Pluto name since both names have two vowels and similarly Zeus could be substituted with Jove..
[7]  During Etna’s dormancy its slopes can be very fertile and the best honey in Sicily derives from there.
[8] The mentioned trees feature extensively in the poetry and symbolism of Virgil’s Eclogues.
[9] The Stagirite was a title for Aristotle who defined the aesthetic rules of Greek drama.
[10] Baron Von Gloeden (1856 -1931) settled in Taormina for health reasons and became famous for some early homoerotic art photography. It’s hard to tell whether in Idlyll 12 Democritus means that the spring male kissing competition took place in Sicily or not – he refers to Diocles as the Athenian “stranger” (visitor in this case?). We know he was born in Megara on the Greek mainland and went to Athens where the competition was celebrated by his tomb, but whether also he went to Democritus’s Sicily is not clear. He may just have influenced it.
[11] Two Men in a bed. See Luk 17:34. Although their sleeping together in not condemned and probably only refers to the fairly common ancient custom of shared beds (albeit Luke’s gospel does include the story of the centurion and his boy), what is implicitly condemned is the spiritual  unpreparedness of one of the men who is not taken  at the end of age Rapture.
[12] 1 Cor 9:26. “So I do not run aimlessly, nor do I box as though beating the air”
[13] “A higher theme”. Eclogue 4 concerning the Golden Age, describes its theme as more important than tamarinds and shrubs and hopes it will be worthy of forests.
[14] Virgil’s Eclogue 4 speaks of lion and ox being reconciled. It is like a echo of Isaiah’s prophecy of the Millennium from earlier centuries and is one of several features that makes one wonder how much the classical world was aware of biblical prophecies.
[15]. Jupiter is core because Jupiter is traditional ruler (Neptune is modern co-ruler) of Pisces on the cusp of whose era Virgil was writing, but also because Jupiter would be the Bethlehem Star that stands at the entry of the New Age with the messianic birth Virgil, I think, dimly foresees. Virgil’s coming child of the gods is the representative of Jupiter. Modern criticism in its easy sceptical rationalism dismisses the Eclogue as any kind of prophecy such as by tradition the churches regarded it as paganly being. I feel however that despite its misses and confusion it was intended to be prophecy and mixes current events with future developments dimly seen.
[16] The Water Bearer is Aquarius. As Aquarius is the sign of any Utopias and idealistic group work, it is closest to the idea of any Golden Age and Millennium of harmony, freedom and new Law.. The New Age is inaugurated in, or its inauguration is like, lightning which is a symbol of Aquarius (Matt 24:27).
[17] “Now I am wearied with the day….” from Hermann Hesse’s Beim Schlafengehen
[18]  In Eclogue 2 the shepherd  Corydon suffers frustrated passion feeling that Alexis is ignoring and avoiding him.
[19]  From Eichendorff  Im Abendrot   Both this poem and Hesse’s are set to music in Richard Strauss’s Vier Letzten Lieder, Four Last Songs 

 

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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THE MAGI AT ERA’S END: A POEM

THE MAGI AT ERA’S END: A POEM

THE MAGI AT ERA’S END: A POEM  (followed by a feature indicating how its information is true and still works vividly today)

Tzedek, great lord of liberty and righteousness
With Shabtai symbol of the Sabbath rest
Serene across the desert plains you once rose
Not as prodigy yet bearer of high mysteries, [1]
Even limitless, with secrets to unsettle kings
And mark beginnings of an age
Now entered on its anguished end.

Magi who fled into the night, of all
You witnessed and declared you left no trace
Except what was enshrined in precious gifts.
Gold was a royal sun and bright divinity,
Myrrh was your Shabtai, Saturn of burial,
Endings and the God of Law, while Frankincense
Was Jupiter for the priestly chosen one. [2]

Inside degrees stargazers of the Gentile
Lands attributed to Israel, two stars
Conjoined as sign the One of Ancient Days
Had sent and blessed the filial messenger.
They shone near blended as one light
Themselves in opposition to a set,
Long hidden sun of night within the
Maiden sign of dedication [3] This was
The centre of a horoscope, this was
The vital core of what you knew,
A life of  kingship, service, prophecy
But then of conflict too with persons
Of authority and faith all promising
One cruel end – judicial execution. [4]

Yet even you who wondered, sought and
Who adored, even you with whom an era
Was begun could not see all, were not disclosed
The further secrets time unfolds. No tables
And no instruments of yours could tell
The same night of nativity inscribed
The names and titles in the skies, would
Place the forebears in their proper house, [5]
Would as one pattern signify and far beyond
The time of death, would work throughout an age’s
Span, so much there is no question you were right.
Those mysteries you first divined for which you
Left far Persian homes are something we may
Certify; yours was the truth we can enlarge.

Between long centuries if much has changed
Among those things which stay the same, include
There lacks the room within the inn for either whom
You came to find or else the wisdom you reveal.
Most wish to know the authentic Christ, or if
The messiah lived and died. For some it’s
Curiosity, for others it’s their means
Of gain; even so, contempt, indifference
Or hate is all there is to greet suggestion
That they trace your way resolving most
They want to know. “It would not fit our list”
The godless publisher opines, the same who’ll milk
Religion for the Magdalene. “I don’t do myth” another
Says (who deals in lies). Of enemies the worst
And almost furthest from the truth, the followers
Of Christ know best: there is nor can be fate
Or astral truth, it’s devil’s work, forbidden
Divination, no magi were astrologers –
Even though Talmudists and the Essenes
Were, as they aggressively ignore.

And thus for arrogance religion joins
The scientist who quite denies the heavens
Speak knowledge as the Psalm would say. [6]
So now the ship of fools sails on faced to
Those storms – expression of an age’s end
Unrecognized –  confused around the ways of God
Through scriptures of the Hebrew and the Greek
Which seem to clash and cancel each their vision out
Because how God’s face and the symbols change
With eras’ turn, believers neither see
Nor do they even wish to know. [7]

Not even the apostle gladly suffered fools.
O cross beneath the Southern Cross to endure
The leaders, blind, who block and hinder
On the path, to realize near to cycle’s end
There’s scarcely more of wisdom now than
Greeted Magi at the first! What light
May hope to penetrate the obscuring mists,
The enveloping gloom? It may be none.
What can be justified and known awaits
The next, the coming time whose lightning
Sign divides the sky. Let this awake
The dead and open eyes, the mystery
No more a Bethlehem child, more like
A midnight bridegroom’s wild surprise.[8]

NOTES

[1] Acronychal risings as of Jupiter (rising opposite the sun’s setting) were not miraculous or prodigies like shooting stars, but they were deemed significant, watched for in ancient political astrology and associated with special births. “We have seen his star in the East” should read “we have observed the ascension of his star”, his star being the messianic Jupiter.
[2] Frankincense was the incense of the Temple and had priestly associations. Jesus will be imaged among other things as a high priest [Heb 8:1]  though Jupiter depending also enjoyed royal (princely) associations and in Jesus priestly and princely images merge.
[3] Ancient astrology inclined to more literalistic, fatalistic readings than would apply today. Especially for a presumed ruler, Sun opposite Saturn in a heavy sign for it like Pisces could be seen as a tragic end or execution (perhaps through religious forces given the Jupiter contact) rather than just a  difficult life. Sun opposite Saturn plus potential conjunction conflict with Jupiter corresponds to suffering and the burial incense myrrh in a way theories of “biblical astronomy” don’t with their Jupiter/Venus patterns more akin to lives of the rich and famous (or even lucky devils) than Messiahs!
[4] i.e. this was a night birth with sun in Virgo. The new era was Pisces or rather the Pisces-Virgo era. It is the sign opposite Pisces defines the collective ideal and under Virgo Jesus will represent that to Pisces.
[5] i.e. then unseen, unnamed factors like asteroids have filled in the gaps.
[6] Ps 19:2. The claim that every night the skies are giving knowledge would only be true if as in the astrology Christians deny, heavenly signs were continuous and not exceptional
[7] Confusion over the such differences in imagery and values as the God of the OT being “Lord God of Armies” and N.T. “Prince of Peace” are more explicable in terms of era change, -the militaristic associations of Aries and the more forgiving ones of Pisces, the fires of Aries and the seas of Pisces etc. Christians avoid these obvious facts of traditional astrology while some pursue the often arbitrary and confused “biblical astronomy”.
[8] In one of the apocalyptic parables Christ is the unexpected midnight bridegroom (Matt 25:5). Shocks and lightning are of Aquarius.

RELATED BOOK AND KINDLE  Testament of the Magi: Mysteries of the Birth and Life of Christ  available Amazon goo.gl/I28aCm

THE ABOVE POEM INCLUDED IN  Raphael and Lucifer and other Visionary Poems https://goo.gl/BI0w8C

RIGHT TIMING A JESUS EVENT AND WHY THE NOW FORGERY-FREE JAMES OSSUARY BOX ALMOST CERTAINLY LINKS TO JESUS’ BROTHER AND FAMILY

[The following is one of many pieces, but an important one, in the puzzle offering unexpected evidence for the above claims from an unexpected quarter…….The much disputed James Ossuary Box, claimed to be the only artefact that can be associated with Jesus’ family, after having been declared free of forgery charges last year is now the centre of a criminal investigation. It is so because IAA investigators and Israeli police have controversially applied a silicon substance they might have known could harm the chances of ever perfectly certifying further issues around the age and authenticity of the box’s vital inscription. My article from last year for a now abandoned site is re-issued, slightly altered here in light of journalist Matthew Kalman’s Nov 10th Blog feature at http://bit.ly/1bNvkF3 which raises the question: can we now ever hope to know the truth? Sadly it looks like we can’t…..unless via the contested route I describe here which offers its own proof, because….how many agreements and coincidences can one have and then just ignore them? I put the point to Kalman, a Guardian and Jerusalem Report journalist who has not acknowledged or replied]

RIGHT TIMING A JESUS EVENT

Over a decade ago in early ‘02 when asked to suggest a good time to launch a Jesus related book of mine in New Zealand, I proposed (what proved impossible to fulfil) the weekend of 19/20 October. I believed Jesus might well be in the news around then, though I wasn’t sure quite how he would be so.

On the 21st Oct news from Israel was announced of a potentially momentous discovery of maybe the world’s only Jesus related artefact. This was an ossuary box inscribed as belonging to James, “the son of Joseph and brother of Jesus”. James died (martyred) in 62 and Israel only produced ossuary boxes between 20 BC and the 70 AD fall of Jerusalem. The three names were common at the time, but the relationship between them in one inscription was obviously suggestive. The limestone is from the right period, but since ‘02 there has been inevitable controversy over whether the inscription could be genuine. The box’s owner Oded Golan was accused of forgery, but after a frustrating decade of legal proceedings was judged innocent of the charges as of 14.3.12.

I suspected Jesus would be in the news in late October ‘02 because in a radical extension of respected researches of astronomers Ferrari D’Occhieppo and David Hughes I claim to know and prove exactly when Christ was born as per my Testament of the Magi (2009). Before saying more on that scepticism and dismissal-inviting and mostly just ignored claim I shall mention the following. In the heavens at the time of the ’02 announcement, what is called the fated nodal axis lay across 10 Gemini/Sagittarius. A decade later on March 14th ’12 with the ossuary (whether related to Jesus’ family or not), declared no forgery, that same axis stood at its almost perfect exact reversal at 9 Sagittarius/Gemini.

HIGHLIGHTING JAMES AS BROTHER

This coincidence might seem to be no more than that except for another rather crucial one. In my data for Christ’s birth (which I happened to discover on March 14th twenty five years ago) the asteroid JAMES falls at 9 Gemini (itself sign of any twins or brothers) and conjuncts besides astrology’s Part of Brothers on the same degree. JAMES in turn is very close to Jesus’ so called ascendant angle (the degree on the horizon when Christ was born). Since angles are affected by major events concerning a person during and even beyond their earthly lives, given factors like the nodes conjuncting this angle and then Neptune (for many modern astrologers the Christ planet) fortunately trine it in late Oct ’02, plus these factors following an eclipse which that year had positively trined Jesus’ destiny/reputation Midheaven angle to within minutes of a degree of accuracy, I could guess Jesus would be in the news in some notable way. (The chart can claim extreme accuracy. As early as 1988 the late Gwen Stoney, an Australian specializing in little used German timing techniques was satisfied the  birth time fell with 30 seconds of accuracy for a painful death for the given date and time of crucifixion in AD 30).

But I had not taken into account something in effect unknowable but relevant. If, as I obviously wasn’t expecting in the twenty first century, anything material such as any artefact could belatedly be linked to Jesus and his family, then that should relate to the most bodily/physically associated sector of his birth chart, namely the ascendant angle. So… if there were any artefact found, factors affecting this ascendant and with links to James and brothers, could well bring out something to do with them too.

A VIRGINITY AND MOTHERHOOD CONTROVERSY

Actually, for many people discovery of the ossuary box brings out something else: a major question around the mother. The Catholic church is sceptical of and opposed to the ossuary not least because Mary is deemed “ever virgin”. Arguments for ossuary authenticity could help undermine belief in perpetual virginity if James could be certified as Joseph’s son by Mary rather than only a cousin or perhaps half brother by some previous marriage of Joseph as per traditions since especially St Jerome.

It happens that the reason that originally I had myself entertained a few doubts the find was genuine was because with Neptune the mystery planet highlighting Jesus’ ascendant there could just be confusion and delusion. However…. Neptune is liable to herald confusion as opposed to illumination when what astrologers call “affliction” (bad aspect) is involved. Neptune in ‘02 was not afflicting the ascendant in that way suggesting deceit. It was if anything registering fortunate shock towards the materially relevant ascendant angle from the surprises sign Aquarius. Moreover, as said, astrologers today regard Neptune, if and when working positively in this way, as the Christ planet itself in religious contexts. So if the Christ planet fortunately trines the ascendant….the artefact would be authentic and could relate to Jesus?

But what might acceptance of the ossuary do to the rather crucial question of the mother and family relationships? We can well ask because the birth pattern shows Jesus’ mother as very much involved with James too.

In astrology the moon is universally the mother symbol. The moon at Christ’s birth fell at 8 Gemini where it conjuncts the Part of Children at 9 Gemini. So James at 9 Gemini ought to be Mary’s child at the same time as being Jesus’ brother. Which means the Virgin wasn’t a virgin? The celestial answer would seem to be….at any rate not perpetually so!

The heavens seem determined only to affirm what the first believers held, namely that Mary was a virgin when she bore Jesus. All said and done, and against every statistical probability, we find Jesus’ maternal moon was conjuncted either side by the only two virgin asteroids in the heavens in any language, namely JUNGFRUN and BETULAH (God’s virgin). And this Gemini moon was not in any fixed sign that would better signal anything as permanent as “perpetual” within the temporal and material realm. The moon was nonetheless challengingly opposed by a conjunction of AETERNITAS (Eternity) and GABOR (The Hebrew word for the strength of God) with the Part of the Father, with its obvious affinity for “the Power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Luk 1:35).

But recall that belief in Mary’s perpetual virginity is first suggested by the probably late second century Protoevangelion of James which an early church father Origen mentions as containing this belief he considered dubious. The gospel is pseudepigraphical, i.e. not authored by the apostle, but still the name and identity of James would now be forever indissociable from mysteries of Mary. So the skies reflect the connection even while they challenge the derivative belief.

A TIME OF RECOGNTION

I doubt these and other coincidences would hang together if the discovery of the ossuary was not somehow significant as the sole artefact linked to Jesus’ name we may possess and are likely now ever to possess. Why else would Christ’s birth data which register to this day for such as Dan Brown and the onslaughts of sceptics as they affect the reputation and understanding of Christ, be registering the case of the James ossuary so closely?

I have a further consideration. In astrology Jupiter is deemed the register of truth in any question. It is also central to the line of inquiry I have long pursued that Jupiter was “his star”, the Star of Bethlehem itself. 9 degrees Taurus is traditionally a critical degree meaning it’s strong and carries special significance. I therefore ask myself why Jupiter, “his star” and register of truth in astrology for any legal affairs, would be on this same critical 9 degrees when judgement gets passed that the ossuary is not a fake? For Jesus’ birth 9 Taurus is significant as a site of recognition. It is his degree of the asteroids ANNA and SPIRIT and even the Part of Spirit – Anna the prophetess in the Temple is said to recognize the child as the Messiah by the Spirit.

It must be conceded in all this that astrologers would raise questions about any supposedly final decision on anything made as the court’s decision was with Mercury in its apparent retrograde motion. By tradition a declaration under that influence could only be subject to revision. But no doubt the argument will go on! We may reasonably suspect in this instance that this Mercury signifies as much and more a call to a more general revision of people’s opinions, everything from the nature of Jesus’ family to the truth of celestial signs in relation to Jesus and life at large.

I am once again compelled to affirm the data for Christ’s birth have been found beyond all reasonable doubt if everyone from secularists to fundamentalists could somehow overcome their various prejudices sufficiently to look at the evidence which always works and rings true down to minor details. (The leading theologian to have argued for and  written on the veracity of the find has never replied to me. For theologians as for scientists astrologers don’t or shouldn’t exist even if they’re doctors of religious studies!). It’s astro-archaeology not archaeology, but significant in its way and more revelatory and wide-ranging than any archaeology for Christ if fragments for such could ever be found. For those who would insist against the surprising claims of the above that Jesus’ brother was anyway really Jacob rather than James, a JACOB asteroid also exists….it’s found at his birth in Jesus’ house of origins and in the same sign, but suitably not conjunct, his disfavoured alienated wife Leah (asteroid LIIA), along with names of his ancestors, rather than his brothers.

In other words the skies are precise, and as one of Jesus’ forebears insisted, they “utter knowledge” (Ps 19). They do so even though as the Church Times would tell us (as they told me in refusing a feature years ago on the subject of Jesus’ natus ), “we know all there is to know about Jesus, we don’t need to know about the Magi”, or as the Archbishop of Canterbury would propose for Christmas 07, the Magi were probably just myth anyway.

Further details emerging:

TORONTO AND JAMES

Back in ’82 the news regarding the James Ossuary was released through – and all the main debates engaged about it have centred in – Toronto. It was also the site of the emergency problem that nearly cancelled the unique public display of the box when it was discovered that transportation had produced unexpected cracks. Where is asteroid TORONTO in Jesus’ birth?

James 9.27 Gemini
Toronto 9.25 Pisces in 10th house of destiny/reputation…..

in other words, Toronto is almost to the minute of a degree in astrology’s classic square affliction aspect of 90 degrees to indicate difficulty, problems, arguments and linked to Jesus’ own reputation and identity too in some way.

AN ISSUE OF MARCH 14th

I was surprised and wondered if it meant anything that declaration against fakery occurred on March 14th. . It was the same day that a quarter of a century earlier I believed I had discovered the birth data for Jesus. Just coincidence? Maybe, but for both dates it highlights sun at 23 degrees Pisces which had always struck me as an odd degree for the discovery. But what does it mark in Jesus’ birth? It is the position of asteroid POOR on an axis (i.e. directly opposite) QUMRAN. The Essenes were alternatively often referred to as “the poor”.

23 Pisces/Virgo has to be the Essene axis of Jesus’ natus. Scholars have often suspected connections of Jesus and/or James with the Essenes – the scholar Eisenman in a massive tome on James, to the eccentric extreme most of us disagree with, and his interventions at Toronto demanding to be heard for his theories weren’t well received. But it was nonetheless the Essenes who searched for the Messiah in the stars. In effect, my discoveries are bringing back the Essenes and an aspect of their teachings which Christianity has rejected and overlooked. Which means that under the rules my own personal astrology should be connected to James and or the Essenes? I hadn’t bothered to look before today.

A JAMES/QUMRAN CONNECTION

In my own natus I found that James stood at 28.21 Libra. On the 14th March when the decision from Jerusalem sent me off into a flurry of messages, Saturn (anything to do with career, reputation and long term aims), was on 28.26 Libra, i.e minutes off exact to James. When I posted a version of this blog on Friday morning it was exact. But where is QUMRAN? It’s natally conjunct my JAMES asteroid at 27.07 Libra. Which means it is in positive trine aspect to my natal Uranus this being the planet of any astrology and astrologers. Essentially one could say I am bringing back some Essenean astrology or astrologizing theology and James is a, or one, of the triggers for this……Necessarily so…. I now see that even at the time I discovered Jesus’ data back in ‘87, James was fortunately trining a world point Midheaven angle making him, as I hadn’t realized till now, vital to the picture. The terrestrial artefact that solely testifies to Jesus is complemented by the more extensive celestial information regarding him.

BOOK AND KINDLE  Testament of the Magi: Mysteries of the Birth and Life of Christ  available Amazon goo.gl/I28aCm

The Magi at Era’s End is now included in  Raphael and Lucifer and Other Visionary Poems  available Amazon  goo.gl/gS9cZL

OTHER ARTICLES ON THIS BLOG RELATED TO THE MAGIAN MYSTERY

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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POPE FRANCIS, A FIRST OR A LAST?

POPE FRANCIS, A FIRST OR A LAST?

IS POPE FRANCIS AN END OF ERA POPE?

Following the resignation of a Pope whose name appears beside the word FINI (finished) in the Pentecost chart for Christianity, and, as considered presently, following a run of significant signs in Pisces, sign of our era now at its last gasps, habemus Papam. We have a new Pope. But what does it and he really mean? Is he the last of a line at the end of a dying era?

Given his reputation in his native Argentina, the largely unexpected election of Cardinal Bergoglio (b. 17th Dec 1936) promises well for a new humanity and transparency in the affairs of a Catholicism mired in scandals. He is “a man of the people” (moon and Venus in Aquarius) and being a Jesuit in the papal role belongs to Aquarian novelty and difference. But what else might this election promise? And is this person, or isn’t he, the elusive “Peter the Roman” of the popular but much questioned prophecy of St Malachy?

It cannot be said the time of announcement with the moon what is called “void of course” (i.e.not making major aspect before it leaves its sign unless one cares to count “weak” semi-sextiles to sun and Venus) suggests things are going anywhere very much. A certain dynamism could be lacking or prevented. In fact, with this Pope’s natal Saturn in affliction square to the Vatican sun he can see wrongs but could have an uphill battle managing them.

In harmony with the element of confusion and upsets which can accompany any period of Mercury’s apparent retrograde, I correctly guessed which time the smoke would provide the decision, but not for whom it would rise – I thought Turkson likely (though as my earlier article stressed I couldn’t feel certain in ignorance of patterns for other papabili). What Turkson did seem well set up for was the role of any Petrus Romanus of the Malachy prophecy. After all, this Peter Turkson, called Roman in his native Ghana, even had asteroid ROMAN conjunct his natal sun (for perhaps the reason he is so called in his native country?). Coincidences sometimes happen; and anyway conclave might hesitate to vote for someone positively known as “Peter the Roman”. The prophesied last pope’s name might anyway be more a description than a real title to look for.

But should any of us still be talking about the questioned prophecy and could it yet be fulfilled through Bergoglio? There are reasons to think this remains a meaningful issue.

A NOT SO IMPOSSIBLE MALACHY SOURCE

Nine centuries ago an Irish saint and prophet according to St Bernard of Clairvaux (though he doesn’t mention specifically the papal prophecy), is said during a visit to Rome to have presented a prophecy of the Popes which disappeared into the vaults. It’s my opinion Malachy gave at least the number of the popes and that the mottos were later added. Something I didn’t know when I wrote my Vatican Destiny article was that a little known but important, very detailed work by a Belgian Jesuit, Rene Thibault, La Mysterieuse Prophetie des Papes (1945) maintains that the prophecy is genuine but that the version we possess was likely edited from a Celtic document by Nicholas Sanders (1530-1581). The latter was a papal legate who spent a lot of time in Ireland prior to the publication of the work by the Benedictine Arnold Wion in 1595. Thibault regards the earlier almost too perfect prophecies as forgeries and the more generalizing but often correct later prophecies as genuine. As some recommendation for the book’s researches and speculations, the author did regard the regular line as ending in 2012. This means he was two months out if Ratzinger was end of the line as the Pentecost chart for Christianity indicates. As said, this shows RATZINTGER conjunct FINI (finished) in a portion of the chart actually stimulated when the resignation was announced.

Is there anything following Bergoglio’s election would suggest we should still suspect the Petrus Romanus identity for this person whose name is not Pietro but who if nothing else would surely do well in the kind of protector role given him as opposed to the darker, Antichrist-linked picture some have recently been putting upon a last Pope? (They have done the latter in the light not just of Protestant ruminations but some old Catholic forecasts including one attributed to St Francis of Assisi)…..I notice the following.

• Just as RATZINGER conjuncts FINI (Finished) in shocking Aquarius for Pentecost, so we find FINI conjunct Bergoglio’s Venus in the same Aquarius sign (though I am unable at this time to know where in the new Pope’s chart this Venus stands and what issues it might “rule”).

• At Pentecost RATZINGER and FINI were at 24 and 25 Aquarius. There is no Malachy asteroid unless its translation, MESSENGER; but as though giving a connective signature to the prophecy and to Ratzinger’s end of line resignation, MESSENGER for Bergoglio falls at 24.15 Aquarius, itself highlighted under the usual rules by the fact that 24 degrees is the same degree as his fated nodes (in Sagittarius) this meaning MESSENGER could hold a special significance for this whole chart.

• Bergoglio was born with VATICANA conjunct the degree of his Pluto (in Cancer). This links him rather specially to the Vatican and certainly promises he could transform and reform it in the style of Plutonic action; but Pluto can be involved with death too.

• The death dimension of Pluto is somewhat more likely to apply since Bergoglio’s sun at 25.32 Sagittarius is conjunct the Saturn at 28 Sagittarius in the house of any endings for the Vatican. (The Saturn connection also bespeaks the known conservatism of this Pope – expect needed reform but not necessarily progressive policies). Bergoglio’s own Saturn at 16 Pisces is a very heavy one conjunct the Vatican’s Part of Father and Fate.

• I have long said that the ACHRISTOU asteroid is an astrospeak factor and works for persons and issues like Satanists and Satanism that are fundamentally Antichrist. Interestingly, Bergoglio’s Mars (attack and resistance) is conjunct the Achristou asteroid which would fit for any Peter the Roman.

THE PISCES AND ERA CONNECTION TO THE POPE

If there is anything at all in this it should be assessed in the strange, larger context of current celestial signs.

• When Pope Benedict announced resignation 4 planets were in Pisces.
• When he left the Vatican 5 planets were in Pisces.
• When the conclave began there was a lunation with 6 planets in Pisces. The comet PanStarrs has been passing through the sign. (Comets traditionally harbor trouble and endings). The lunation just preceding the conclave and which colours issues under the month it is held, showed Mars at 29 Pisces, its last degree, the notorious endings, sinkings and murder degree, a feature which belongs to a general pattern of ending one sees.
• Pope Francis himself has Saturn in Pisces which reflects his humility, simplicity and and labours of service and is very Christian (Jesus had Saturn in Pisces) but at this point in time it could link him to the sinking ship.
• Why, we may ask, at the time of Benedict’s departure from the Vatican at 8 pm on 28th February, was Mars, which often cuts off, on 20 degree Pisces directly opposite Jesus’ natal sun and conjuncting HEMERA (Gk Day) and ISHI (Ara. Lord/Husband) in the Pentecost pattern for Christianity? ……One could say the Day of the Lord prepares and the darkness rises.
• The Age of Pisces introduced by Christ’s birth is now ending (albeit the faith he introduced is not of that sign). When the result of the conclave was announced Venus in Pisces was at 19.33 between the positions of messianic Jupiter (“his star”) at Jesus’ birth at 19.23 Pisces and The Part of Sons at 19.41 Pisces. I suppose one could say this means papacy under a Jesuit will be more than usually about Jesus and no more is implied, but VENUS is traditionally Peace and any Victory. The position of Venus here at this time and following all the other signs is like one recalling St Paul’s, “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 15:57). In this case surely a victory beyond the approaching demise of the Vatican with its too many failures, and victory over what prepares beyond the darkness preceding the advent of the new age.

I hope to write further on the outlook and policies of this Pope and how and why he might become involved in any persecution of the church a la Malachy, but I shall wait to do that including to see if more exact birth data can be established.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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