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
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.
9 REASONS BILLY GRAHAM IS WRONG ABOUT “HOROSCOPES”
A recent article in The Christian Post (June 8th) had the now elderly Billy Graham (or perhaps it was his staff or his son Franklin) declaring God to be opposed to “horoscopes” (i.e. astrology). Here are 9 reasons why the Bible, still less God, is not opposed to the subject.
1) According to Billy Graham who regards “horoscopes” as a mystical/magical proceedure belonging with the forbidden “divination” of Deut 18:10, for Christians to seek guidance from astrologers is akin to King Saul visiting the witch of Endor. However, if that understanding of the matter were valid, astrology would never feature so strongly in the Jewish Talmud, nor would the highly observant Essenes have sought signs of the Messiah in the heavens.
2) Astrology as we know it from especially the Greeks is not “divination”. It did not even exist in the times of the Old Testament and its prophets who do condemn forecasting from new moons. The latter however refers to what is called “omen astrology” which involved gazing at the sky and uttering oracles. “Divination” is precisely what depends upon chance (as in reading tea leaves of shuffling cards), and/or just intuition with perhaps assistance from familiar spirits.
3) Standard astrology is about as occult as reading a train timetable. It is empirical, mathematical and depends chiefly upon a study of cycles of the planets and general symbolism. The kind of events and issues observed to feature under one set of positions are assumed to occur under similar or same positions – it is the principle indicated biblically by Eccl 1:9 that declares what has been will be so that there is nothing (fully) new under the sun but only “a time to be born and die” etc.as in the famous poem of time in Chapter 3..
4) The fact that magi (astrologers) came to Christ’s birth should give Christians pause to consider that astrology might have something to teach and contribute to belief..
5) Billy Graham assumes the stars exist simply to the glory of God. They exist for more. The Bible declares they exist for signs (Gen 14 :1) and Ps 19 maintains that the night skies utter knowledge (Ps 19:2). What speech, what knowledge? Do Christians even bother to ask?
6) The Psalms also maintain that God both names the stars (Ps 147:4) and knows in advance every day of our lives (Ps 139: 16). While the latter statement can be taken by faith, the closest to any objective proof for the idea lies in astrological patterns like diurnals and the various transits of planets across the natal chart which can indicate active and stay-at-home days, excitement and nothing much happening, sometimes a turning point.
7) The previous point bespeaks fate. Evangelicals stubbornly maintain like Graham that if astrology were true there would be no free will. This is misleading and false. There is fate and fate. There are birth patterns which indicate active and prominent lives, others lives more hidden and withdrawn; but within the basic natal outline there are always choices. Attitudes and actions under certain patterns can affect the immediate situation and even the positive or negative experience of subsequent situations. People do not so much go to (or at least don’t obtain from) astrologers the “guidance” such as Graham wants believers go to bible and God for, as simple insight into their character and the nature of events they encounter.
8) Astrology is a symbol system that helps us to read and understand the hidden order of reality – the sort of order that scripture points to. Any doubt that the main impulses and lines of history follow celestial cycles should be dispelled by the work of an academic like Richard Tarnas in Cosmos and Psyche (2006). It is lamentable that there are Christians, (like Billy Graham’s daughter Ann Lotz) who presume to speak about “the end times” without even knowing or including such perspectives as the fact we are living at the end of the age (aion) of Pisces, the fishes, to whose beginning the birth of Christ approximately corresponded. Everything from flood and tsunami to fish everywhere dying along coastlines bespeaks the extremes, mostly negative, of the water and seas sign of Pisces arrived in era terms at the equivalent of the last degree of its sign. (The last degrees of any sign are notably extreme and 29 Pisces is traditionally very unfortunate, associated with violence, drowning, suicides and addiction, all the sort of issues presently concerning us).
9) Just as magi came to the birth of the messiah that prophets had foretold, so astrology can and should complement religion, at any rate its more prophetic/charismatic side. Astrology can predict or at least project various situations. The wilder claims of some would-be prophets could be questioned or modified as regards timing and likelihood if astrology were considered and in conclusion I will mention a couple of instances.
Claiming as I exceptionally do to know when Christ was born, I have been able to forecast when Jesus would likely be notably in the news as for example when in 2002 news came from Jerusalem that the so-called James ossuary box with the inscription, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus had been discovered. This if authentic (which it has belatedly been declared to be) would be the only artefact as opposed to text witnessing to Jesus.
I write this on the verge of Britan’s Brexit referendum. Astrologers have been unusually and extremely divided about the final result for reasons I needn’t detail but which suggest a rather neck and neck issue. But apart from the fact astrology can always describe a situation even if and when it cannot precisely predict its outcome, this much is plain. On the standard chart for Britain, among other things a full moon has fallen ahead of the vote conjunct a natal Uranus (rebellion, revolution, separation) opposite the natal Europa asteroid. Just by itself this marks an opposition reflective of Britain’s perennially awkward relation to the continent and even a promise as early as 1066 that there would be a Europe-separative Reformation in religion since the Uranus is in the ninth house not only of the foreign but of any religious issues. The asteroids, not even known or seen back in 1066 or at the birth of Christ, nonetheless prove eloquent today of many things. In some sense all time and language between the stars are one.
Faced with this are we to say as would Evangelicals (or the Catholic catechism which also opposes astrology) that none of what we read in the heavens reflects a divine mind or purpose, is not a case of the night skies uttering knowledge? Evangelicals especially have made a paper Pope of their bible (often the faulty KJV). Frequently read without attention to historical and cultural factors they have used scripture to make knockdown arguments where a range of sensitive issues are concerned, arguments of the kind Franklin Graham (whom many regard as undoing his father’s heritage) increasingly specializes in.
Typically, Graham cites the condemnation of Is. 47:13 as saying “ Let their astrologers stand forth….” A modern translation like the NRSV places a note to indicate it is not certain what the word is, which of course it isn’t certain because astrologers as we know them did not exist for Isaiah to condemn. But the same translation does include, as Graham doesn’t, the vital point that whoever is involved makes forecasts at new moons, which tells us this is not regular astrology which is far from reserving its kind of forecasts to such times.
It would be little short of a needed revolution of spiritual consciousness if the churches could admit elements of astrology to its understanding of existence, its theologies and the character of its leaders – even within the limited realm of sun signism it actually means something for their theology, politics and attitudes to money that Luther was born under Scorpio and Calvin under Cancer (as are Billy and Franklin Graham respectively). However I am not exactly optimistic that notable revolution is going to occur. I have not written to the Billy Graham org to express my radical divergence of view as regards astrology. I know I wouldn’t get an answer. Like American businesses and self-help theories negative responses stand to be ignored, and won’t get past the minders. In fact I know of an astrologer who years ago tried to plead the case of astrology, but never received an acknowledgement from the Graham org. So….that is the point of putting the above thoughts within the humble format of a blog.
I am publishing this controversial poem ahead of this week’s unprecedented address before the Pope on the 24th by a gay Catholic to the World Meeting of Families convention in Philadelphia, USA. Though the speaker Ron Belgau himself elects for celibacy, because conservative Catholics believe no one is born gay and so should not identify as such but rather seek cure (the position of most conservative Protestants), they are still opposed to the convention. Likewise liberal Catholics who think eros has some rights to expression. Obviously the would-be generous Pope still wants to uphold tradition. But the reality is the tradition to which conservatives are attached is not nearly as scriptural as imagined, not least as regards how people are born. No poem could fully cover all the points I make or try to suggest as a theologian writing some considerably didactic poetry, but the notes below will be some guide. (Some notes are offered more like suggestions to further inquiry and conversations and a precis of the poem or what used to be called “the argument” is added ).
JEREMIAH’S LOINCLOTH: A POEM OF FAITH AND PHALLOS
Baruch had indeed been a blessing. (1)
In the calm of his secretary’s eyes
Their attentive, aware, knowing gaze,
What imaged futures, what revelations
Could not find reflection, not shine back
If with traces of more earthly wisdom.
Surely the Lord had granted him this. It
Was, he had privately felt, convenient
Being forbidden free choice among
Daughters of Zion.(2) Most too easily
Turned aside to the wrong – a heavenly Queen,
In love with her and powerless idols (3).
Strong, firm, unyielding, bright as a flame
Mounts devotion to God. Woman will stray.
Her talk and her feeling imagines, suggests;
Naming, language and words were from Adam
His directions came first like an essence
Of action and order, not life’s adornment (4).
Yet even bound to and led by Law’s orders
And counsel, were any attached to the
Father Creator with genuine fervour?
Could devotion more purely or only ascend
To that sapphire of heaven, God’s floor (5)
Above limitless, testing bright sands?
Admit that beyond the desert of trials
And even by streams and waters of quiet
The holiest passions knew wrestle and
Struggle more fit to male circumcised’s will. (6)
Before love for his women the sweetest
Of psalmists could still rate a man. (7)
In Eden’s new symbol, the Temple, (8) near
The ark amid quiet flame and ascension
Of incense, peace like blue heaven’s repose
Might enfold such as he was, a priest, or
That Psalmist desiring to dwell there.
But where was rest for the many outside?
“Go”, said the Lord “and buy yourself linen”.
The linen was fresh as priests’ garments
And linen are pure. Its use was as loincloth (9)
But not to be washed, worn only as sign.
Could a prophet complain? Isaiah was bound
To live naked, Micah determined the same. (10)
“Go” said the Lord and “in what you are wearing
Make way direct to the river Euphrates” (11).
Once arrived and removing the loincloth
There, as instructed, he had hidden his linen
In a hole to be dug in a rock by the waters.
The act was a mystery, no reason disclosed.
For long its purpose remained a deep secret
But during the interval sometimes he’d
Wondered, not least why unwashed, thus impure,
The cloth was a sign outside custom of Law.
Were not emissions by nature occasion
For dipping and corporal cleansing? (12)
Even so, might the intention be something
Of self to be gifted the rockface? –
The imageless Lord is imaged as rock.
Yet beside river waters, digging there
Had he enacted or seen something
Not of himself but other of Woman?
For was there not always a presence of
Lover, Wife, Mother, always emerging,
A something divine that’s also of Woman?
Surely God’s prophet Isaiah proclaimed such, (13)
And had not Elohim, that form of the
First name addressed to the Highest, implied it? (14)
Yes, water like flowers were blesséd, yet
For himself, for the height and depth of
His longings, did he not almost prefer
To see, touch and feel the rough naked rock
On which sun so fiercely beat down that day,
Elemental as he applied to the task?
Rock, stone, first and firm out of chaos
When all else was still waste and void! (15),
Primal, enduring, thrown up amid quake
And volcano, strong from the urge of
Creation and making! Clinging fast to
That rock was like love for God and the earth.
And the highest reaching of mind and of soul
Its purest, most undistracted direction
Was it not based on, did it not rise from
The pillars of earth and the root of himself,
Above and below joined in one psalm, one
Vibration, knowing praise of God’s force? (16)
Love moved and was where? At home, in the heart
In the heavens, with the children of men?
No matter where always with faith, its nature
Often departing from what was familiar
Taking the path of the rawly essential….
So, what had he learned beside a far river?
Long he mused. He’d returned but little conveyed
To Baruch. Sometimes we hold and desire
Secrets from even those dear. The relation
Of two may be helped by a third, spirit
And mind will sometimes demand it. Was not
Elohim the divine One as plural?
Many days having passed, the Lord said
“Go, return to Euphrates and what you
Once dug there and hid, now withdraw”. Yet
That seemed a hard labour for nothing
When the cloth emerged rotten. He was near
To complain task and sign must be worthless.
Except that all thought of the kind was not
Of the Lord, Who himself would declare
The linen was useless and as such, like
The prophet’s own people, prideful and
Evil in service of gods and of deeds so
Unrighteous they invited destruction.
He was reminded his people were made
To be always distinctive, a house
Possessing a name, its function a praise
And a glory, its men – if only they
Saw it, if only they’d listen – bound,
Attached to their Lord like loincloth to loins .
The prophet knew and as well as the Lord
Jerusalem’s rebels would not grant
Him hearing. Yet the message left questions.
Which he addressed less to God than himself,
For a word once delivered and clearly,
The rest should be grasped through knowledge and faith.
Grasped no matter how novel or strange.
For now, no longer a serpent opposed to
The Lord nor a sword in conflict with life,
The member long hidden and shamed became
Symbol, with the priest’s rod that budded, sacred, 
Part with that all-self the Psalmist said praises. 
Being threefold in form it reflected
The powerful One of the plural
Elohim (20) and like prayer in its rising,
It joined with creation. Though of bodily
Form but one part and compact, its urgent
Desire might possess the whole frame.
Nor was it true, if folly compared it
With bodily features designed to allure,
Love’s member owned nothing of beauty;
In that is was closer to what is unseen,
Insubstantial, but sweet to the senses
Like incense aroma or notes of a harp
But raw too, kin to fires of God at the first.
Recalling the shaking and motion of
Earth drawn from chaos. Creation itself
Rose in explosion, foaming and violent
Darkness advancing to light and to order
Fierce and tender to nature emerging.
True, like nature, woman gave birth and helped
Finish creation; but though of its kind
Her own force was vital and flowing
As man’s, still it came after, was second,
More strong for response and reaction.
That much even the eunuchs could tell…(21)
Also one like the prophet barren of
Offspring and, wifeless. As such, why was he
Called to learn from the loincloth? Could he
See, sense or enjoy all the more strongly
The male side of God or even the female
But without bringing life to the world? (22)
Yet even Isaiah, married with children
Spoke of a place that was higher, one
Reserved for the eunuch (23); and if for the
Regular man lost seed (because it spelled death)
Was impure, had not his own seed remained,
As though pure on his way to the river?
While some might be whores, he knew
That not all who were eunuchs were evil,
Though the Law refused them the temple (24).
Some were most righteous, God’s very own
Angels as was one who delivered him
Out of the well-pit when no one else would (25).
Of God or the most sacred urges what
Did these barren ones know? Though by law
No man could lie with a man, these did so,
Brazenly dressed and painted as women (26)
Shrieking and squealing , completely abandoned
In service of God or the gods, so they thought.
And they lived, for though Leviticus’ rule
Required execution, in practice (it might be
Because scribes endeavoured to change things (27)
Or even great Moses himself was unsure),
Deuteronomy let them to live but not
To give offerings to God from their wages (28)
And the same book excluded such men
From the list of those other ones cursed
For perversions (29). Perhaps some mercy
Had thought they arrived at their whoredom
As slaves or that, from birth little fitted to
Custom and home, in confusion they’d strayed.
Hardly he knew, though even he was aware,
Having taught no leopard will ever change spots,(30)
Major change was unlikely. At least
They were not quite the same as the violent
And greedy of Sodom, those who had lusted
Not just for women and men but for angels (31).
Yet they seemed, though Law had not added
Its curse, much self-harmed by addiction,
Disease or even by early decease
And – if they desired such – hurt by lack of
Relation for having too much, too long
Remained bound to their lives of sensation.
For unharmed, the body of soul could never
Sustain the effects of those many profane
And too meaningless couplings (32); and through
That same body it was, prophets knew,
Soul entered to different places and times,
Grasped more of earth and of heaven with God.
But then he recalled that dark time back when,
In anger with God and depressed, he’d charged the
Creator himself with great wrong: his rape (33).
Meaning what? So often in contact with God
His soul with its body was touched high and low
At base of the spine and the crown of the head (34).
Few lived or connected that way with life
Or the Lord. With or without the Creator
The regular man and his spouse, learned more
And were joined chiefly through body/soul centres
Of navel and heart as was, he could tell,
Israel’s wise king with the woman most loved (35)
It was why man and woman would always
Feel more materially owned by each other
Than prophets obsessed by God and addicted
Or those men in their shadow, the eunuchs,
For whom the life stream through body alone
Seemed like their only and dangerous truth.
When, reversing the order of female
To male, the Shulammite offered first of
Herself and her body, that way the
Male force was and could be contained;
And from there was the basis of pleasure
Prolonged, even savoured, not wasted away (36).
And so it should be, for indeed man having
Once entered the garden of woman, to her
He belonged and always – something of soul
Was absorbed to her being forever (37) Soul
Knew that, it’s why man could hate with great
Violence what he knew was great power.
Since divine grace and power are still stronger
Even two of same sex might join as though one (38)
-The Psalmist assumed he could marry a man – (39)
But could that express the commonest way
Two men would know and enjoy who they were
Linked in spirit and mind but together distinct?
The eunuch, whether made or just born
Had more of man and of women together;
To appreciate, not to create seemed his role.
Bliss, nature or God through him all passed;
As witness he stood to lament or rejoice 
Or else with prophets enact and forth tell.
Not possessing but sharing, two persons
One teaching, one learning, (41) mind and will
More than body containing the life flow,
Such might be ground of attachment and not
Of necessity all and always forever (42).
When one loved without home, wife or child….
It was true that for him a man’s presence
And form might be a delight lower yet
Somehow akin to communion with God. But
How hard to admit such as prophet of all
That was pure in the land, a voice to
Recall his own people to keeping the Law.
The Law was imagined or wooed by some
As a woman, its rulings and words deemed
Adornment; but no, for him all pattern was art.
Law shaped, it fashioned a house, when it did
Not strip bare, returned man to nature and Adam,
Man unadorned, truth’s most beautiful form.
How much there might be to change and re-think!
But then, nothing was harder than what,
Quite apart from these musings of his, was that
Message revealed and to him quite uniquely,
How, in the heart and in people one day
A new covenant law would be written (43).
And dimly he thought he saw ahead to
That time a messiah regarded the eunuch
As symbol of difference and strangers
Of whom, to avoid hatred and violence
In self and more widely the nation,
It brought curse to treat with only contempt (44).
Some of this he tried as he hadn’t before
To explain to Baruch. This proved rather
Hard and he failed, though being astute
Baruch half understood. He even laughed
Just a little, if lightly and sighed as
He sought for the words that wouldn’t offend.
“You are such a gloomy bear of a man,
Serious always! And I know it’s been
Hard for you, often quite lonely, but
I think you may now have found some new truth
With you as my teacher I’ll always learn more
And I knew you quite liked me – from that look
In your eye I’ve sometimes felt owned. Let’s not
Rush to conclusions, it’s no good idea.
But I too have thoughts I’d like you to hear ..”
1) The name Baruch means blessing
2) Forbidden to marry Jer 16: 1- 4
3) Queen of Heaven Jer 7:18, 49:19
4). It is interesting that Adam names things before Eve’s arrival. According to theories of Écriture Féminine (Women’s writing) promoted not least by French Jewish writer, Hélène Cixous, language is phallocentric, forces woman to express a patriarchal worldview. She maintains in effect that woman is entirely a sexual organ who has feelings and impressions in numerous ways and directions that current language and writing do not express. Maybe and if so, one has to admit that the impression of this female alternative however suggestive and expressive would never make for an efficient organization of the world!
5) Reference to a description of heaven in Ex 24:10
6) A founding father, Jacob, wrestles with the angel at Peniel by the stream of Jabbok. (Gen 32:22-32)
7) 2 Sam 1:26. The love of Jonathan is rated as “passing the love of women”.
8) New studies of the Jewish Temple, especially from Margaret Barker stress the connection of Temple with Eden.
9) Loincloth as sign, Jer 13:1-4.
10) Isaiah naked 20:2, Micah “I will go naked” (Mic 1:8). Originally prophets were often naked apparently fully as the story of Saul amongst the prophets would indicate (1 Sam 19:24). One might suspect not simply a sign as with India’s Jain monks of dedication and separation from norms, but unstated esoteric considerations (opening the whole aura to spiritual influences which clothing may prevent).
11) Tradition and this poem for convenience assumes Jeremiah went to the distant Euphrates 350 miles away indicative of the direction the future exile of Jews would take (and perhaps the direction in which Eden had lain) but the Hebrew is problematic. The prophet may as easily have gone only three miles away to the river Para and this might have better suited giving a sign to the people.
12) Any seminal emissions involuntary or otherwise occasioned a brief ritual impurity which required cleansing (Lev 15:1-3).
13) Isaiah is only one of those prophets who introduce female imagery to the predominant male imagery of deity. For Isaiah God can be a woman in labour (Is 42:14), a woman who has nursed her child (Is 49:14-15), a mother comforting children ( Is 66:13). This is necessarily, logically valid if both male and female are said to be created in the divine image (Gen 1:27). It is just (as per note 4) that in some fashion and way whatever the male force is, though it need not be superior it is still “first” in order and thus perhaps better or more spontaneously images the Creator.
14) Elohim, the first name of God is a uniplural word. Eloh is feminine singular while im is masculine plural.
15) The prophet had a vision of a world laid waste and void Jer 4:23
16) Especially Ps 103:1 but in anticipation of later claims regarding the soul which for David is the nephesh or animal soul which sustains the whole body, not the para-intellectual spirit..
17) Jer 13:11.”for as the loincloth clings to one’s loins, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, says the Lord…”
18) Num 17:1-8. Though potency and fertility are not the prime consideration in the story of Aaron’s rod, obviously in an episode involving authority that kind of symbolism attaches to it as it did for D.H.Lawrence, author of Aaron’s Rod
19) Again Ps 103:1 “Bless the Lord O my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name”. Soul (nephesh) has implications for soul body or aura while all within me is all of the body the soul sustains.
20) In Henry Miller on Writing (New Directions, NewYork 1964, p. 88), the pornographer declares, “before me always the image of the body, our triune god of penis and testicles…” The point might be obvious and even profound as a possible basis for more mystical treatments of sex, but being neither religious or mystical Miller gets it theologically, kaballistically and almost any way wrong. He identifies the penis (which would need to be the Creator, Keter the Head) with the Spirit. It is Son and Spirit who proceed from the Father/the Head and together they are like the Ying/Yang that realize and carry creation and thus would be beneath and symbolized by the testicles. In numbers of books and articles I take the position that the Eastern churches who insist that both Son and Spirit proceed directly from the Father represents the authentic, original quasi-subordinationist Christian belief, not the Augustinian western formulation which makes the Trinity mathematically equal while claiming the Spirit proceeds from Father and Son).
21) The word “eunuch” is used rather loosely in this poem and thus more in the way of Jesus’ time than Jeremiah’s, namely as covering for anyone, often gay, whois different and apart from family rather than only a castrate.
22) Masters and Johnson research found gays seemed to enjoy or manage sex more than straights who could be bumblers by comparison. Assuming gays are more adapted in some ways to sex, (even if this might be linked to other energies more esoterically), how much should gays be denied it? St Paul controversially advises heterosexuals it is better to marry than to burn (1 Cor 7:9) but doesn’t advise this for gays. Christian therapists with experience of gay cures have other perspectives. For a critique of St Paul on maybe “homosexuality” (a word he didn’t use) see the poem and notes at http://wp.me/p2v96G-yS However, if sex somehow pours through a person without procreative aim, this must say something about libido as something larger, “eros” an energy which is somewhat its own justification. That gays can be channel pleasure but not be merely addicted to it seems implied by some exercises of the Erospirit variety in which gay men once brought to “full body orgasm” (which has something in common with woman’s orgasm), addictive sex seems overcome.
23) Favour to eunuchs Is 56:4,5 “in my house….a monument and a name better than sons and daughters, an everlasting name”
24) No eunuch admitted to the assembly Deut 23:1
25) Jeremiah delivered by a eunuch Jer 37:7-13
26) Lev 18:22 The first century Jewish philosopher understood the celebrated Leviticus ban as most essentially a ban upon what is technically called “sacred” prostitution. The difficult even corrupt Hebrew of the text is hard to understand outside that context. (After all, how could a man lie with a man as with a woman, which is hardly what most guys would care to do, unless as often occurred in ancient prostitution for heterosexuals, the role of women was taken by men in drag?). It is most likely the aim was to avoid association with the idolatries of surrounding peoples. In ancient times sex was always a religious statement of sorts. Whether execution was ever literally intended and commonly applied in early times is debateable. A lot of ancient codes ruled execution in unlikely cases probably just codifying by it what was deemed unacceptable.
27) Jeremiah accused scribes of tampering with scripture (Jer 8:8) and it is hardly sensible of fundamentalists not to perceive at least some elements of editing and development in the Torah. Not all need be deemed tampering either but just updating. After all, the individual is supposed to reason with God – “come let us argue it out (Is 1:18)” . The core covenant was essential but at the margins change was possible as it was for the daughters of Zelophehad who questioned revealed Law on rulings as regards female inheritance and got this changed (Num 27). One could say Yahweh is an absolute ruler who is also democratic.
28) Male prostitutes not to give offerings of their wages. Deut. 23:18
29) The twelve curses of Deuteronomy (Deut 28:15-26), though they include upon incest and bestiality do not include same sex activity, though conservatives always like to lump the latter together with them. This looks like development in the attitude towards same sex issues.
30) That leopards don’t change spots nor the Ethiopian his skin is affirmed Jer 13:23. In ironic contrast, religious conservatives today are convinced no one could be born gay and change therefore must occur although even Jesus affirmed some are ‘eunuchs”, i.e. gay, from birth (Matt 19:12). Extremes of extraversion and literalism cannot envisage homosexuality as any mind state or world view but only a series of sex acts.
31) Although even a modern translation like the NRSV will speak of the men of Sodom as pursuing “unnatural lust” (Jude 1:7) which makes it sound like another terror text for gays, as a footnote concedes, the Greek literally says they pursued “other flesh” or “strange flesh”, meaning angels. Along with gang rape and general violence, lusting after angels is what the story of Sodom is much about.
32) The soul (Heb Nephesh), the aura, subtle body of esoteric traditions is assumed here and also common views as regards its damage and pollution through promiscuity. Nowhere is the doctrine explicit in the bible but it seems everywhere assumed especially among the prophets and through the different words covering notions of spirit and soul. The notion a soul body that departs the body at death is perhaps most explicit in Christ’s parable of the rich fool: “this night your soul is required of you” (Luk 12:20), a soul independent of the dying body..
33) Jer 20:7. Scholarship is divided and translation likes to be discreet using words like “overwhelmed me”; but a strong case can be made for the prophet accusing God of seducing and raping him like a woman – the vocabulary echoes Deuteronomy on such matters. This is more explicable if one assumes a gay psychology and inbuilt cultural fears of the period of the disgrace of being shamed and disgraced as a man and then factors in the esoteric factor (see next note ), then it all makes sense.
34) An esoteric objection in world religions to sodomy, especially as rape, is that it can interfere with the lowest, base of spine chakra, which some systems, notably the Buddhist, won’t even deal with in meditation. It is a powerhouse for the rest of the soul body (aura/subtle body), primal, elemental, animalistic yet linked to the highest chakra to. Some may be born with automatic connection to this and controlled it allows great power, but if this region is blown open uncontrolled it can open to all kinds of imbalance, obsessions, addictions, bad kundalini trips, possession states etc. (We have hints of this in the classic gay poet Cavafy’s poem Terror, an appeal to Christ against the stalking demons who know his secrets.
35) Heterosexual sex is less potentially multi-dimensional and complex (straight, straightforward!) than gay eros and does not usually include highest and lowest but the mid range of the soul/body connection. Rather emphatically so as in some imagery of Solomon’s Song with such as “your navel is a goblet”… Song 7:2.
36) Prolonged, savoured…. suggestions that Solomon’s way is at least partly tantric see my Solomon’s Tantric Song: Questions of Spiritual Sexuality http://amzn.to/14aa5Qe
(2012) To achieve real satisfaction beyond obsession and violence heterosexual sex may need to absorb something of the kind. Note that the poem having earlier indicated that woman comes second, suggests in sex she does and should be first and the energy flow reversed.
37) Early Israel did not even have formal marriage ceremonies. Marriage was sealed by no ceremony but intercourse. The assumption always was and remains, (as when St Paul speaks of believers marrying prostitutes I Cor 6:16) that a male is married to whoever he has sex with. The notion seems meaningless outside of more universal esoteric traditions embracing doctrines of soul bodies which blend whenever full penetrative sex takes place. Therefore each partner joins with and imprints the soul. This would explain why the varieties of “fornication” (originally meaning prostituted sex) and divorce without good reason risk exclusion from the kingdom. Casual partners can be at variance representing different spiritual fields and beliefs like Corinthian prostitutes attached to other deities. Chastity seems less a matter of purity than safety and observing boundaries!
38) It is possible for same sex partners to become one. See my A Special Illumination, Equinox, London, 2004 which includes alleged revelation from Jesus to Christine Troxell see pp 117/8 about this. One can dismiss this as heretical private revelation but not only did enormous sincerity surround the reported experience but arguably the Davidic experience supports the notion.
39) King David made a berith (covenant but a word that can be used for marriage) with a person of same sex. While undoubtedly the biblical ideal and norm of marriage is one man and one woman, it is to ignore the fluidity of biblical thought when conservative literalism insists biblical tradition teaches only one norm and never could or should envisage exceptions. This position’s only real claim to authority is Jesus’ single reference to an original Edenic (“in the beginning”) ideal (Matt 19:5), and Eden is not the world we live in. While believers can hope to realize that ideal, they still do not have automatic authority to impose it on all.
40) In the ancient world eunuchs had ritual functions being employed especially in lamentations. It is quite clear that at the other pole gays are good at celebration; some would seem to wish to be at perpetual dance!
41) A suggestion that something nearer the Greek model might suit some gays. Also that anything like “tantra” (gay tantras have been theorized) might more intellectually than physically “contain” the energies involved, but that any arrangements need to recognize difference. The gay marriage movement is the product of American desire for equality and social sameness, whereas what is significant about gays for themselves and society is their difference rather than sameness. Keeping to and developing gay “unions” might have better reflected and served that. Like gay activist Ken Mills in Ireland who opposed the nation’s marriage equality referendum, some gays have realized the new drive has almost more significance for children and family, adoption, surrogacy etc (things some gays like Dolce and Gabbana and actor Rupert Everett don’t favour), than simply marriage.
42) Stress on difference might better illuminate ethical issues. If the sexual and psychological basis of gay relations are different, should one expect the same kind of contracts and values?
43) Jeremiah is known as the prophet of the New Covenant, Jer 31:31-34
44) Matt 5:22 In the Sermon on the Mount’s section on anger, it is forbidden to dismiss anyone as “fool”/worthless person. This is almost inexplicable in context unless one realizes racah could function as Aramaic slang for something like “effeminate pervert” or “faggot” (according to the Peshita Aramaic bible). Cursing persons for a faggot then appears to be symbolic of all and any angry dismissive rejections that risk generating violence in self or others towards outsiders, sexual, social, racial or whatever.
The poem begins with suggestion of a possible more than business feeling between Jeremiah and his secretary. J, forbidden to marry but not unhappy to be so, suspects some connection between male impulses in establishing attachment to the Creator (the poem implicitly questions contemporary theories of “woman’s writing” where such as religion is concerned). God soon imposes on his prophet the task of a mysterious sign with a loincloth. J wonders about its meaning, not least since not washing what he must wear seems to run against the purity laws. Despite himself, and even while performing the sign of hiding the cloth beside the Euphrates, J recognizes something feminine in God but for himself instinctively still prefers the “masculine” side of God and himself and nature. He also wonders about love. Its demands can separate (as he had to do from Baruch to go to the Euphrates) as much as join. And again even love seems to him somehow elemental, raw and male. He also realizes true love between any couple might require something like love on the side to survive – a love affair with God? Later with the loincloth gone rotten the prophetic sign seems valueless but God agrees about the negativity. The sign was about a faithless Israel needing to be as attached to God as loins to the loincloth. J doesn’t interrogate God about the revelation but realizes that among other things the penis is assigned new dignity and symbolic meaning. It also appears to certify his intuition of the role of the masculine in the roots of spirituality and life organization, but if so it still makes no sense that a celibate should realize it. The revelation makes for questions about sex and its expression , especially given that for Israel sex is about reproduction. But there is the further problem that J had himself once accused God of raping him. What did that really mean, why would he even think it? The secret lies in the hidden (esoteric) features of sex which could include heightened awareness of male or female energies or both within the self and relative to God through reception of divine energies/eros but through different parts of the soul body (aura). The idea is unfamiliar so the prophet can only look at the case of the eunuch and/or male temple prostitutes as any point of comparison. Truth about them then proves to be more grey biblically and socially. Their unsatisfactory lives could nonetheless be influenced by mismanagement of inborn tendencies that engage different parts of the soul body that the prophet himself naturally intuits. As J has always taught the leopard doesn’t change his spots, likewise the relevant impulses would need less change than recognition, use and proper management distinct from heterosexual sex and its organization. As had been in the case of Solomon, the latter might ideally be quasi-mystical or tantric to be fully successful. The role of the born eunuch type by contrast was more (angelically) about vision and praise than reproduction, family or exclusive bodily possession on the material plane. If it was to be expressed at all, (and the “eunuch” role seemed natural and necessary including for clarity and inspiration itself), its own form of relating might be more akin (by implication) to the Greek teacher/pupil relation than the regular marriage by whose standards it could not automatically be judged (an implicit critique of modern marriage equality as universal panacea). Not that the prophet, who does not seek to justify simple licence of relations, is quite sure. He is left with much to consider. He nonetheless acknowledges he is designated prophet of “the New Covenant”, so new views of life and sex could be included. He looks towards a future Messiah’s declarations. He can’t explain his many thoughts to Baruch who proves a bit coquettish, conceding in response he was always aware J rather fancied him.