BIBLE, ASTROLOGY AND THE THIRD TESTAMENT
BY TIM STEPHENS
(The early pages below were drawn from my Astral column preambles.)
ASTROLOGY AND THE BIBLE:
Well, I’ve finally read the Bible from start to finish. The word “astrology” is not used once, but “astrologer/s” occurs ten times – once in Isaiah, and nine times in Daniel. The prophet Isaiah, speaking as God, uses the word while he is taunting the kingdom of Babylon (Isa 47:13). God does not actually condemn astrologers in this passage, though he comes close. While telling how Babylon, one of Israel’s enemies, will one day be defeated and destroyed, he says all their magicians and astrologers will not be able to save them. Here’s the text (all quotes are from the New International Version of the Bible):
“Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you. Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame….each of them goes on in his error; there is not one that can save you.”
This passage is most often quoted by Christians and Catholics who want to prove that astrology comes from the devil. However, read Isaiah’s passage again, this time substituting “warriors” for “astrologers.” Or “King” for astrologers. Or “wise men” or “fighting men” or “shields” or “swords” or “armies.” Let’s use a military theme:
“Let your heroes come forward, those warriors who proclaim so often how brave they are, let them save you from what is coming upon you. Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame….each of them fights in vain; there is not one that can save you.”
Now it sounds like a passage we see many times in the Old Testament, when a prophet taunts an army or foreign nation. (Although more frequently such predictions of defeat are spoken not directly to the enemy but to the Israelites, to assure them that they will vanquish their enemies. God/prophets also use the same taunt or warning against Israel, when the tables are reversed. The Israeli army is defeated about as many times as it wins.) “Let your warriors and your shining shields try to help you; let your city walls try to stand; when I (God) use my might against you, you cannot win” goes the typical warning/taunt. In the Old Testament, shields, warriors, city walls, swords, etc., are never bad in themselves. Both the good guys and the bad guys possess them.
Isaiah’s taunt regarding the astrologers is similar: in the strictest sense it is not a criticism of astrology per se, but of those who use it. (Just as swords or shields are not blamed or credited for defeat or victory, but the warriors who wield them.) Isaiah’s words, in the barest interpretation, are a warning that nothing, including their astrologers, can save the Babylonians from destruction. There is a good reason astrology is never directly criticised in the Bible – I’ll show you soon.
Last week we saw the first mention of the word “astrologers” in the Bible. The word is written nine more times by Daniel, an Israeli/Jewish prophet who lived in Babylon, astrology’s birthplace. In Daniel astrologers are mentioned in three incidents. The main one involves the Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar. He has a dream one night. He brings all his “magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers” to his court and says to them: Not only do I want you to interpret my dream (which was not unusual) but I also want you to tell me what dream I had – describe it without a word of it from me. The astrologers, quite honestly, say they can’t tell him what dream he had. They protest that they are only men, not gods. So King Neb issues a decree that they – and all the “wise men” (all astrologers, magicians, enchanters and sorcerers) be torn to pieces. Daniel, who “could understand visions and dreams of all kinds” (Da 1:17) is included in the death decree.
But Daniel prays to God, and God reveals to him Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, which he then recounts and interprets for Neb. Neb rewards Daniel, spares his colleagues, and appoints him chief over all the astrologers, enchanters, magicians, and sorcerers (twice called diviners instead of sorcerers). Throughout the Bible, God condemns enchanters, magicians, sorcerers and diviners (he calls them “detestable”) yet he never condemns astrologers. He obviously loves and protects Daniel, so Daniel might have been an astrologer, or a new species – an independent wise man. Neither is stated.
Two more incidents occur. In the first, the astrologers, being jealous of Daniel’s three friends and their power, tell King Neb that these three are not bowing down to worship his pagan god. So he throws them into a fire, but they don’t burn. This is not the astrologers’ finest hour. They’re envious, malicious snitches. In the third instance, Neb’s son, now King, saw an angel’s hand writing on a wall. Again all the wise men were summoned, including astrologers, but only Daniel communicated with God, and only he could interpret it.
So the Old Testament gives four pictures of astrologers: 1) in Isaiah, they can’t save people from destruction; in Daniel, 2) they can’t enter another’s subconscious; 3) are honest; 4) are envious snitches.
Throughout the Old Testament, magic, sorcery, fortune telling, divination, being a medium, “spiritist” etc., are condemned by God as being more heinous sins than murder or adultery. (David, who murdered and committed adultery, is loved by God, yet this same God repeatedly states, with no grey area whatsoever, and with not one expression or admission that a mitigating circumstance can exist, that all sorcerers, diviners, mediums, etc., must be put to death (by stoning). This is first expressed in Exodus 22:18: “Do not allow a sorceress to live.” Yet as early as Moses’ time, Jewish priests practiced divination with impunity. The prophets, by the Book of Samuel, have become akin to fortune tellers who accept payment to answer such questions as “Where are the donkeys I lost?” Yet still they are loved by God.
The thrust seems to be: psychically gifted people who submit to God and speak in his service, are loved. Those who practise the same mantic arts, but not in God’s service (or worse, for other gods) are condemned to death. Astrologers seem to sidestep this entire scenario. They are never directly condemned nor praised, perhaps because they claim no connection to divinity. If anything, they are mocked and treated with disdain by Old Testament authors. Yet, astoundingly, two of the Bible’s most respected books (Ezekiel and Revelation) repeatedly show that there is nothing closer to God than astrology, and the New Testament’s first book (Matthew) holds astrologers to be more accurate in vision than the prophets. But that’s for next week.
To paraphrase Charles Spurgeon: a lie will go round the world before the truth gets its pants on. In the case of modern Christianity and astrology, the latest version of “truth” has taken about 100-150 years to get its pants on. That’s when our modern Protestant sects, “discovering” that astrology implied fatalism and a lack of free will, arose to renew an old fight against astrology. Many of these Protestants would be surprised to learn that astrology was studied right into the 18th century by seminary students.
They might also be surprised, if they visit Europe, to find hundreds of cathedrals covered in astrological carvings, Jesus shown with zodiacal glyphs, etc. The truth is, astrology and Christianity have undergone alternating phases of marriage and divorce for 2,000 years. At present, modern Christians equate astrology with Satan. They might as well believe the Bible was written by Satan, for it is, both on and under the surface, a prime document of astrology.
The Bible’s two most distinct, stunning and extensive descriptions of God, in Ezekiel and Revelation, contain unmistakable images and symbols of astrology. These descriptions place astrology closer to God than any other thing in the universe.
Ezekiel says he first saw God “in the land of the Babylonians.” (Babylon was the birthplace and center of astrology.) He describes God as “an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light” (Eze 1:4). In “the center” of this cloud were “four living creatures.” Each, though shaped like a man in body, had “four faces and four wings…each had the face of a man…of a lion…an ox…also…an eagle.” They “sped back and forth like flashes of lightning.” Each creature was connected to a wheel, but each wheel “appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel.”
These could not be the wheels used for carts or chariots, because they intersected each other, and would cripple any such mobile device. Again, though each creature’s wheel(s) moved with it, “the wheels did not turn about” – in other words, they did not turn or spin like a cart’s wheels. These wheels could only be the two wheels or discs used by astrologers: one for the 12 zodiacal signs, the other for the 12 houses. (The discs/wheels of astrology do intersect each other.) Ezekiel goes to great pains to describe these wheels, and to affirm that they are inextricably linked to the creatures.
He spends 2 entire paragraphs (7 verses) discussing them in Chapter 1, and then repeats the description in Chapter 10 (four times) and again in Eze 11:22. He says they are filled with the “spirit of the living creatures.” The creatures themselves are the four fixed elements of astrology: Taurus the ox (earth), Leo the lion (fire), Scorpio the eagle (water) and Aquarius the Man (air). Upon these four creatures the throne of God sits. Each wheel, and each creature “including their backs, their hands and their wings” are “completely full of eyes” (Eze 10:12) – indicating the prime purpose of astrology (to perceive) – and God’s omniscience. The wheels are “full of eyes all around.” (Eze 1:18)
Over 600 years later, in Revelation, the four creatures are not men with animal heads (four heads/faces per man). Instead, each is a different creature: one an ox, another a lion, an eagle, and a man (again, representing the four fixed elements/signs of astrology).* Again, they are covered in eyes “even under their wings.” As God sits upon his throne, the closest things to him are “seven lamps” (the sun, moon and 5 planets – only 5 were known at that time) and the four creatures. Next, in concentric circles, are “24 thrones” occupied by “elders.”
The 24 thrones are probably the 12 signs and 12 houses of astrology. (In astrology, the signs and houses are called “thrones.”) When the four creatures of astrology speak, the 24 elders fall down and worship God. Beyond the elders “ten thousand times ten thousand” angels join the chorus (Rev 5:11). The creatures of astrology and the 24 “environments” of astrology – the 24 thrones/elders – are closer to God than the angels. When Christ appears in Revelation (5:5) he too, stands “in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the 24 elders.
*I do not know why these four creatures were chosen rather than the other zodiacal creatures, but it was probably expedience. First, the term “living creature” is used to distinguish these from the fetish objects or idols of pagan religions (the carved images of cows, etc.). Throughout the Bible, the term “living God” is used to distinguish the Israeli’s monotheistic God from the pagan panoply of gods. The four creatures are all “living” beings, which protects them from a charge of paganism. They represent the fixed signs of astrology: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. This is the only group that represents all four elements (earth, fire, water and air) yet contains all living creatures.
There are two other groups of signs, cardinal and mutable. The cardinal signs are Aries (the ram) Cancer (crab) Libra (balance or scales) and Capricorn (goat). This does not fit Ezekiel’s needs, for Libra’s representative is not “living.” The last set of four “elemental” signs are mutable: Gemini (two humans – twins) Virgo (a stalk of wheat, sometimes with a woman harvester) Sagittarius (centaur, half man half horse) and Pisces (two fish swimming in opposite directions).
This set is just too complex for Ezekiel’s purpose: a person hearing of his vision might say, “what do the twins mean? Why fish swimming in opposite directions?” In Biblical times, fish were probably not considered sentient. And using a mythological creature, the centaur, might have been too close to paganism for Ezekiel. (Though the centaur might have come later, from Greece.) Wheat, being plant matter, would not have been considered capable of intelligence or animation. So the fixed signs, all mammals, became the perfect choice.
BTW, it is possible that animals came to represent the 12 zodiacal signs simply because they were easier to remember than a numeric or abstract designation. E.g., “ox,” is easier to remember, or more tactile, more satisfying to the mind, than “Sign 2.” In addition, the animalization allows us to begin assigning a character to each sign. Oxen are slow but powerful, calm and steeped in nature – as are people born under Taurus, the sign represented by the ox. Rams are pushy and assertive, as are Aries. Twins “double think” as do Gemini natives. Etc.
An alternate conclusion exists: if the four creatures were part of Judean belief before astrology adopted them, it would indicate that not astrology, but only the four creatures were next to God, and that the astrologers, having read Ezekiel, had appropriated the four creatures to make their “science” acceptable to Israelites. However, many circumstances argue against this.
For one, the nations using astrology were far more powerful than Israel (at least from Ezekiel onward) and had no need to seek Israel’s approval.
Three, although I have not been able to locate any “point of entry” of the creatures – or of animalistic representation – into astrological lore, it was probably pre-Biblical. According to one source, the planets were called gods as early as 4000 B.C. by the Sumerians. By 2700 B.C. [probably earlier] the Egyptian goddess Isis (among others) was depicted as part human and part cow. (2,200 years later, Ezekiel’s living creatures are, like Isis, human in body, with partly animal heads.) A workable, or semi-modern astrology begins to appear about 1300 B.C. However, the modern zodiac of 12 signs seems not to have developed until right around Ezekiel’s time, 600 to 300 B.C. (Ezekiel 500 B.C.) – though the points of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn date back to about 1200 B.C.
Four, when Ezekiel did envision the four creatures, they were inseparably connected to an astrological tool (the wheels). There was no evidence of them being separate concepts, “glued together” by Ezekiel – or of having any origin other than astrology.
Five, Ezekiel lived, practiced and had his vision of God in Babylon – his world’s centre of astrology – and he was probably influenced by its tenets.
At the end of this vision Ezekiel is told to prophesy “woes and laments” to the Israeli people, then he is lifted up by the “Spirit” with the accompaniment of the living creatures and the wheels and transported to the Israeli exiles. (Eze 3:12-15) Other than revealing his vision(s), Ezekiel does not transmit any overtly astrological learning or instructions to the Israelites.
However, in Ezekiel 10 and 11, the four creatures with their wheels are centrally involved in cleansing God’s sanctuary by killing the idolaters who have invaded God’s temple in Jerusalem (and most of the denizens of the entire city); then they rise, “with the wheels beside them, spread their wings” and they and “the glory of God…above them” fly off to hover/exist/stand “above the mountain east of” Jerusalem.
A curious thing here: the prime sinners (who “spread all over the walls all kinds of crawling things and detestable animals”) are 25 elders, reminiscent of the 24 holy elders who surround God’s throne in heaven 600 years later in Revelation. Here, though, there are 25 – possibly a perversion, or an “unholy addition” to the “24” of astrology (12 signs, 12 houses).
This becomes significant when we look at Satan’s perverse or mis-formed “replica” of astrology in Revelation (discussed later). Whenever the “grand numbers” representing astrology – 3, 4, 7, 12 and 24 – are “altered,” it tends to signify decadence, sin, or Satan. In Revelation, Satan is prominently accompanied by 6 (666) and 10 – but more of this later. (It’s also interesting to note that Jacob had 13 children, not 12. The 12 male children become the 12 tribes of Israel. But one daughter, Dinah, was basically ignored, then raped, avenged, and ignored again. The female element is definitely rejected.
The mentions of pagan worship often include immoral women, adulteresses, prostitutes, females who pleasure themselves with pagan idols (as dildos) (Eze 16:17) – and bad cities such as Babylon are seen as either prostitutes or the “Mother[s] of Prostitutes.” (Rev. 17:5). Because Dinah was female, she was replaced by a final addition in Canaan, the twelfth son, Benjamin. But if we add the “female element” or the “missing daughter” to the 24 elders (12 signs, 12 houses) we get 25, the “perverse worshippers.” (More of Dinah later – I believe she might become a progenitor of the Third Testament, to arrive after the Second Coming.)
As seen in Ezekiel and Revelation, the elements of astrology: the 7 heavenly bodies, 4 creatures, and 12 houses and 12 signs, are more integral to God and his vision (note the creatures are covered with eyes – God’s omniscience) than the angels.
Only Christ who is God (and who seems to have been born under the aegis of astrology) can be closer. When Christ does appear a bit later, he too is “encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God.” (Rev 5:6) (Where he appears earlier, in Rev 1, he is surrounded by seven golden lampstands, and “in his right hand he held seven stars.”)
These four creatures might be the four cherubim carved on the tabernacle of God built by King David 500 years before. Hence the same four cherubim, the living creatures, used to destroy the (same locational) tabernacle after it is defiled by the immoral, idol-worshipping 25 elders of Ezekiel 8 to 11.
In Biblical times, peoples other than the Israelites considered the heavenly bodies to be gods. The planets’ modern names are all (Roman) gods: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. (We’ve carried on this tradition by naming the three “modern” planets discovered by telescope, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, also pagan gods.) Before the Romans, the Greeks labelled the planets Apollo, Athena/Aphrodite, Ares, Zeus, etc. To the Sumerians, a pre-Biblical people, the sun was the god Utu, the moon was goddess Nanna, Venus was Inanna. Ezekiel and others (especially Revelations) get around this problem of planet-naming and planet-worship (including sun and moon worship) by making the seven bodies “the living spirits of God.” (Rev. 4:5) thus preserving God’s singularity and their monotheism.
Yet there is a remarkable underground continuity of reference to, and reverence for, the sun, moon and five known planets throughout the Bible, a tendency to refer to them without naming them, but using their total or identifying number, seven. For example, we’ve already seen that the word “astrologer/s” occurs only ten times in the Bible.* (*The word is Greek, so Isaiah in 700 B.C. must have used an equivalent.) The phrase “sun, moon and the stars” occurs only 18 times in the entire Bible. (The 18 repetitions include non-astrological variations, e.g., Solomon’s “fair as the moon, bright as the sun, majestic as the stars.” (SS 6:9-11) But “seven,” the substitute term for the seven heavenly bodies, occurs 404 times. Otherwise, astrology and astrologers are remarkable for the sheer absence of overt references in this 2,000 + page history.
It might well be that the Bible substitutes numbers for concepts. (I am not speaking of numerology here.)
These numbers fill the Bible: 1, 2, 3, and 7. One, two and three are not surprising: these are the numbers of daily life. (Also, there is “one” God, with “three” aspects.) But seven? We don’t often say, “Give me seven pounds of that.” But seven is the number of the (then known) planets plus sun and moon. Among the compound numbers, i.e., ten and above, these stand out, in order of declining frequency: 100, 1,000, 20, 10, 12, 30. Notice the only high frequency “specific” or non-zero number is 12. (For example, 12 is used 146 times, but 11 is used only 23 times, 13 is used only 13 times, 14 only 27 times, etc. Many specific numbers are never used: 23, 39, etc.) Twelve is the number of the zodiacal signs, and of astrological houses. Jacob, the father of Israel, had 4 wives, who produced 12 sons – who became the progenitors of the 12 tribes of Israel. As Thomas Mann has pointed out, after their escape from Egypt, during the 40 years of wandering, the 12 tribes encamped in the form of a circle, with God’s altar in the centre: the design of the astrological wheel. Some credit the use of 12 – 12 months of the year, 12 tribes, 12 disciples, etc., as a result of Jupiter, the planet of good fortune, having an orbit of 12 years. Early Chinese astrologers, for instance, divided the sky into 12 segments because Jupiter, the “Yearly Planet,” took 12 years to complete one circle of the sky. (Thanks to Igor Davidov for this insight.)
If one looks carefully, the numbers of astrology are used everywhere throughout this great book, and not haphazardly. The number 7 often occurs in conjunction with destiny implications. For example, in Genesis 41:1-7, the Pharaoh’s dream contains 7 fat cows, and 7 gaunt cows, 7 healthy grain stalks, and 7 thin, scorched grain stalks. Joseph interprets the dream to mean that 7 years of abundant crops will be followed by 7 years of famine. This immediately occurs.
The Hebrew for oath or promise, “shibah” (“????” – CHECK THIS) also means “seven” (NIV Bible, note on Gen 26.) (In Genesis 26:33 a well – the symbol of life and of origin, water in the womb of the earth – is named “Shibah.” ) Here, the language implies that the “ultimate seven” – the sun, moon and 5 known planets – were involved in God’s oath or promise to mankind.
The word “seven” occurs 404 times in the Bible – more often than any other number except “one” (2,510 times) “two” (672) and “three” (423). (“Seventh” occurs an additional 123 times. Using the “th,” “rd” or “nd” number versions does not change the pattern outlined below.) It seems intuitive that “one” and “two” would occur most often, as these amounts are often used in daily life. (You say, “Give me two pounds” more often than you say, “Give me seven pounds.”) “Three” has a surprisingly high occurrence; however, three is also a number often used in daily life, and there are three parts of God: God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. So its high frequency is not surprising. The numbers “four,” “five” and “six” decline markedly in use to a low of 136 times, then there is a sudden surge at “seven” to 404, and beyond “seven” the repetitions fall even more markedly: “eight” only occurs 49 times, “nine” only 30. If we put these occurrences on a graph, we would start at a huge peak at “one” (2,510 reps) then the line would steadily decline to one-eighteenth its height, to 136 repetitions for “six,” suddenly jump to 404 for “seven,” then fall off a cliff, to 49 for “eight” and 30 for “nine,” then peak again, though lower, for “ten” (203) then fall again to eleven (23). After the initial height of “one,” “seven” forms the next major peak, not to be equalled again by any succeeding number.
GENESIS, EXODUS, AND THE OLD TESTAMENT – AND THE GREAT WOMAN:
Another very broad, subtle and lengthy support of the astrological reality or “environment” of the Bible occurs in Genesis; it’s presented in a geographical context. Astrology is generally thought to have arisen about 2,000-1,500 B.C. – perhaps around the time of Noah’s flood. In the most general way, Mesopotamia was the birthplace and center of astrology; the west, the land of Canaan (which became Israel) was non-astrological. The flood of Noah covered the earth, wiping out all but the seed of man and animal. The earth was cleansed of all sins, false gods and false worship. Finally, the entire world was ready for a new, correct start. The ark lands in Turkey, in the northern reaches of Mesopotamia, the land not only associated with astrology, but in actual historical fact, the land that birthed and lived by astrology. After this, the man called the grandfather of Israel, the grandfather of Jacob, whose 12 sons become the 12 tribes, is born in Ur of the Chaldeans, a city which either was early Babylon, or was located downstream on the Euphrates River, about 200 miles or 300 km. Early astrologers were known as “Chaldeans.” Ur’s sister or daughter city, Babylon, was, by the time of the Old Testament, the center of astrology – known as such by the Biblical prophet Isaiah (740 B.C.) and portrayed as such in Daniel (550 B.C.).
Subsequently, Abraham (the progenitor or grandfather of Israel) wanders to Canaan, from Mesopotamia (the land of astrology). But when Abraham’s son Isaac becomes old enough to marry, Abraham insists that his bride come from Mesopotamia rather than from the land where they have lived for all of Isaac’s life. This choice appears to be ethnic and/or religious. Abraham has two choices for his son: a wife from the pagan tribes who surround him (peaceably, and with a surprising amount of tolerance and goodwill) or a wife from the land of astrology. He chooses the latter – in fact, it is not even a choice. Abraham insists (though oddly, he also insists that his son not return to Mesopotamia).
When Isaac in turn has a son, Jacob, who becomes old enough to marry, Isaac insists that Jacob return to Mesopotamia to find a wife. (Unlike Abraham, who insisted that the wife be brought from Mesopotamia. I don’t know what this difference signifies.) Subsequently, 11 of Jacob’s sons are born in Mesopotamia. These will be the fathers of the twelve tribes. This seems to break the “12” pattern, but it doesn’t, for 1 daughter was also born in Mesopotamia, making 12. Later, a 12th son was born in Canaan, “replacing” the daughter, Dinah, who was subsequently raped in Canaan, then simply dropped from the story.
This daughter, Dinah, sister to the 12 brothers who will form Israel, who are God’s chosen ones, who is raped then dropped from the story, might be the “transcendent 13” I’ve written about elsewhere in a purely astrological vein. (Briefly, the concept is that traditional astrology assigns to each of the 12 houses of the zodiac a different focus or governance over an area of life – 1st house, personality, 2nd house, possessions and earnings, etc. – but that one might then repeat the circle, or begin it again on a spiritual level, wherein the 1st house repeated becomes the 13th house, or the spiritual, transcendent personality, the 14th becomes the “possessions of the soul,” etc.)
Perhaps, more simply, Dinah might be the silent spiritual mother of all the silent women of the Bible, who number in the millions. She might also be – not in the genealogical way loved (probably of necessity) by the early Hebrews, but spiritually – the predecessor of the Virgin Mary. (Notice the “switch” here: a raped Dinah, and a virgin mother. In the cosmic balance, an undeserved punishment, rape, should be followed by an equal compensation or reward, the virgin birth.)
Dinah might also be the predecessor of the woman in Revelation 12, just as King David was the predecessor of Christ. Initially, the scale might seem incongruent. The male half of this comparison includes the Bible’s greatest King and his distant offspring, God incarnate, Jesus, while the female side consists of a hardly-mentioned rape victim, and an unnamed woman who seems threatened with rape in Revelation. This woman’s story, although she is obviously as big and as holy as the very sky (universe) is basically mentioned, never resolved, then seemingly forgotten, just as Dinah was. There is no conclusion, no “wrap-up.” After a couple of events concerning her, she is just dropped out of the story. If we think about it, so was Mary.
To recap, I believe we see Dinah two more times in the Bible, once as the Virgin Mother, Mary, and again as the woman who appears in Revelation
I call her the “Great Woman,” and in this I beg the Revelation’s author’s forgiveness (re the warning in Rev 22:18). (She is called as “a great and wondrous sign” in Rev 12:1.)
When she is first described in Rev 12:1, the Great Woman has a crown of 12 stars, but is “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet.” She is pregnant, cries out in pain, and then gives birth to a child that is obviously Christ, but a punishing Christ (“who will rule all the nations with an iron sceptre” Rev 12:5). Here, her role s simply that of Mary, but on a cosmic scale. (The crown of 12 stars, etc.) In an almost lewd passage, Satan sands in front of Mary while she births, waiting to eat the baby that emerges. But God snatches the baby to safety and the woman flees from Satan to the desert, where God will take care of her for 1,260 days. This is 45 menstrual cycles (28 days) or exactly 45 moon-cycles (also 28 days). I don’t know the significance of this. Numerologically, 45 = 4 +5 = 9. 45/9 = 5. Five eras? Five Plutonic mega-eras is approximately 20,000 years. (A mega-era lasts an average of about 4,000 years; one ends in 2229 A.D. A mega-era begins whenever, upon Pluto’s return to 1 degree Scorpio, Neptune appears in a different, i.e., the next, sign.) Five Pluto eras is approximately 1,250 years. (A Pluto era is the time Pluto takes to orbit the Sun, 242 to 250 years.) That would bring us to about 1350 A.D. or the beginning of the Renaissance. (Significance?) Nine eras (45=4+5=9) would bring us to about 2313 TO 2350 AD. The next Pluto mega-era begins in 2229 AD. The chart for this mega-era shows Neptune directly on the 7th horizon, which could, as I’ve noted elsewhere, indicates an angel “as wife as the horizon” – and the beginning of the psychic period of consciousness. But more of this later.
The Great Woman flees from Satan to the desert. (Desert = anonymity, seclusion, “waiting period,” cleansing, expunging of sin – e.g., the Israelite’s 40 years in the desert.) There is a hint, in this entire passage (Rev 12: 2-6) that the Great Woman might be close to sin or lasciviousness, for “an enormous red dragon” with 7 heads, 10 horns and 7 crowns, stands hungrily in front of her while her pubis is, we can suppose, exposed and dilating. But she is snatched away, and flies to the desert on the wings of an eagle (the symbol for the sign Scorpio, the sign of sex, regeneration, of birth, death and rebirth). Twice the text states that this place in the desert is “prepared for her” (Rev 12: 6 and 14). And we are reassured, twice, that she will be “taken care of” there – first, for 1,260 days, or 45 moon/menstrual cycles (Rev 12:6) and second, for “a time, times and half a time” (Rev 12:14) – in other words, an indeterminate, but probably very long, time. It is as if we are being told that she is being preserved. For what? I believe she is being preserved and prepared for a time beyond Armageddon, and probably beyond the time encompassed by Revelation, for she does not appear again, despite the huge events and great time spans covered in this entire book. This means that she is being preserved and “taken care of” beyond the Second Coming. There are only two other possibilities. One is that she was simply forgotten by the author – but that reeks of the whole legion of biblical authors who “forgot” Dinah until she re-appeared as Mother Mary, and then “forgot” Mary (other than a few minor – possible – mentions in the Gospels) until she re-appeared as the Great Woman. But this in itself hints that she will possess another re-incarnation, just as she has twice already. (I say “twice” because I feel Mary was the return of Dinah; if you don’t accept this, then Mary is the original, and “once” would be accurate.) The other possibility is that she was dropped from Revelation’s subsequent events simply because she wasn’t important enough, had no outstanding role in the end days nor in the heavenly kingdom to follow. But this possibility is virtually denied by the fact that she is larger than any angel – for she is as big as the sky, “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.” She is also the mother of all humans who “obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus” (Rev 12:17). Gain, she is the only entity, other than Christ/God, to directly confront Satan. (I am assuming that the red dragon of Rev 12 is Satan.) Granted, she is passive in this confrontation, and nowhere displays the (male) courage of Christ nor God, nowhere wages war on Satan as they do; in fact, she is rescued, sequestered and protected by God, and in every other way treated like a helpless woman. Yet even in this, the whole episode surrounding her is dense with intimacy and closeness of feeling: she is not handled like any woman, but like a sister, a mother, a wife: God’s wife. (In general in the Bible, God is very masculine. Christ is somewhat androgynous. The Great Woman is (lushly?) female.)
Christ might have inspired legions of believers, but the Great Woman birthed those legions (Rev 12:17). Her accomplishments are not war, teaching, or other male arts, but just as huge and necessary: hers is the equivalent female accomplishment of birthing. Without her action (of birthing) Christ would have no followers, and none to teach nor to lead to and through the gates of heaven. When it is truly examined, the Great Woman’s place seems to be on the same throne as God and Christ inhabit. Yet she is not there; she rather unceremoniously flies like an eagle to the desert, where the serpent (Satan again) continues to affront her by spewing “water like a river” – an image of sexual ejaculation, or of the insult of spitting.
Note that the Great Mother’s “offspring” – other than the Jesus figure, or Jesus himself – are “those who obey God’s commandments, and hold to the testimony of Jesus” (Rev 12:17). This means she gives birth only to the faithful, which in turn raises two points: one, she is the mother of faith and obedience. Such a being must be as elevated from sin as Jesus and God themselves, or close behind. Two, the chronology of Revelation shows Jesus being the last to be born (Rev 12:5) of this woman. Her other “offspring,” being the followers of Jesus, have already been born. If Jesus faithful followers are born before Jesus, this opens all sorts of doors to fate, destiny, reincarnation, pre-choosing (i.e., choosing the corporeal life before birth) etc. I won’t pursue this, other than to mention that I still have not seen how the cruelty that is inflicted on the young and innocent (for example, a one-year old baby anally raped by its father) can be justified without the doctrine of pre-choosing or re-incarnation. There are other, more complex examples of this dilemma, and generally the more complex, the more resistant to the one-lifetime, sin or salvation tenet.
Back to astrology:
When we first meet the Great Woman she is “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.” (Rev 12:1) (Notice she also is the 12th book.) In ordinary astrology, there are 12 zodiacal signs. Theoretically, each sign should be ruled by a different planet. But until recently there were only 8 known planets in the sky, or 4 less than the number of signs. Astrologers overcame this lack by assigning the sun and moon to rule a sign each (Leo and Cancer respectively) and by letting Venus rule both Taurus and Libra, and permitting Mercury to rule both Gemini and Virgo. This fills the 12 signs. In Biblical times there were only 5 known planets, so in addition to the double-ruled signs Taurus/Libra and Gemini/Virgo of our present-day practice, in biblical times Aries and Scorpio shared Mars, Capricorn and Aquarius shared Saturn, and Sagittarius and Pisces shared Jupiter. As Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were discovered, one-by-one over the 19th and 20th centuries, they were each given a zodiac sign to rule. At present, astrologers consider only two signs to be “empty” – Virgo and Libra – so they “borrow” Mercury and Venus from Gemini and Taurus, but there is always hope that two more planets will be discovered. (The hope is so strong that some astrologers have “invented” planets, such as “Lilith.”)
However, in the time of Revelation, that is, of the Second Coming, the Great Woman indicates that both the sun and moon are removed from the zodiac wheel, for they are not part of the 12 zodiac signs here (the 12-starred crown on her head). Rather, she is clothed with the sun, and stands over the moon. So the moon now longer rules a sign (Cancer) nor does the sun (Leo). This is very reasonable also, for the sun and moon do not properly belong in the zodiac wheel; they are not planets, and their influence is too strong, far stronger than that of any planet. Having them in the zodiac makes the entire wheel lopsided in terms of strength. In addition, the sun does not revolve – all the signs revolve around it. Similarly, the moon does not, as the planets do, revolve around the sun, at least not directly. So excluding the sun and moon leaves us four signs to fill with planetary rulers: Cancer, Leo, Virgo and Libra.
The question becomes: is Revelation in part history, were there once 12 planets for the 12 signs, and some cosmic catastrophe (the “enormous red dragon” – a sideswipe by a red dwarf?) literally swept them out of our solar system, or rained them upon earth? Secular history indicates no – the 12 signs were probably not developed/used before about 1500 B.C. – before this, some indicators pointed to the Egyptians having only 4 cardinal points. (12 points are needed for the zodiacal wheel.) And a cosmic event of such magnitude is not mentioned anywhere in the span 1500 B.C. to 95 A.D. (the approximate year Revelation was written). Such an event would have wiped out humanity; scientists think a similar but much smaller event destroyed the dinosaurs. (The Chinese supernova observation, by the way, occurred in 185 A.D., 90 years after revelation’s authorship. It would not have affected this solar system’s planets anyway.)
So the “twelve stars” remains prophetic. The description of the Great Woman (Rev 12:1) hints that she will appear when we know all 12 planets.
In addition, another planet, even larger than Pluto, has been discovered outside the Kuiper Belt – Eris (named after the Greek goddess of discord and strife, but who was also sometimes known as a bringer of co-operation and aid). Also, Ceres, orbiting between Mars and Jupiter, though it is surrounded by the asteroid belt, is considered a dwarf planet because it is round in shape. However, it is very small, even compared to Pluto, and many as-yet unclassified objects are larger. This entire area of discovery and classification is in great flux right now, and probably will remain so for some years, even decades. The latest “table” of planetary objects I have seen is this one from Wikipedia:
1. Ceres – discovered on January 1, 1801 (45 years before Neptune), considered a planet for half a century before reclassification as an asteroid. Classified as a dwarf planet on September 13, 2006. (Ceres is considered an asteroid by astrologers, due to its placement in the asteroid belt.) (Roman goddess of agriculture, fertility, grain crops, motherly relationships – a candidate to rule Virgo.)
2. Orcus – discovered on February 17, 2004. (Roman god who punished oath-breakers and other evil-doers; ruled Hades; similar to Pluto, but nastier. Ruled “wild men.”)
3. Pluto – discovered on February 18, 1930, classified as a planet for 76 years. Reclassified as a dwarf planet on August 24, 2006. (Assigned to Scorpio by astrologers in mid-20th century.)
4. Haumea – discovered on December 28, 2004. Accepted as a dwarf planet on September 17, 2008. (Hawaiian goddess of fertility and childbirth.)
5. Quaoar – discovered on June 05, 2002. Big enough to have its own moon. (The original god over all gods according to Los Angeles Amerindians: a “creator” God, much like the God of the Bible.)
6. Makemake – discovered on March 31, 2005. Accepted as a dwarf planet on July 11, 2008. (God of fertility and the creator of humanity in Rapanui mythology of Eastern Island.)
7. 2007 OR10 – discovered on July 17, 2007.
8. Eris – discovered on January 5, 2005. Bigger than Pluto. Called “tenth planet” in media reports. Accepted as a dwarf planet on September 13, 2006. (Greek goddess of strife.)
9. Sedna – discovered on November 14, 2003. Most distant “minor planet” known, about 43 times further from the Sun than Neptune. Smaller than Pluto, and probably not significant in personal astrology (but might be in the astrology of history) because its orbit takes about 11,000 years. Is unusual orbit might indicate that a large planet exists beyond Neptune. (Inuit goddess, ruler of the sea and everything beneath its surface, hence the Inuit underworld. Possible connection to Pisces.)
So the “filling” of the Great Woman’s crown in Revelation (i.e., the finding or assigning of 12 planets to the 12 zodiac signs) is either complete, beyond complete, or almost complete – (echoing the period of the Great Woman’s seclusion in the desert in Rev 12:14, “for a time, times and half a time”). For we now have at least 12 planets for 12 signs. To date, however, there is no agreement on assigning these planets to specific signs – and this might take a long time, particularly as many astrologers will be extremely reluctant to abandon the moon and sun as sign rulers of Cancer and Leo. Still, this particular timing clue seems to indicate that we are on the verge of Revelation – or, as nothing is perfect, are already in, or have actually already experienced, Revelation. (This last possibility is explained a few pages on.)
Jacob’s (Israel’s) daughter, Dinah – or the Great Woman of Revelation – might be the early sign of the Third Testament, the “third coming” that will occur after Christ’s Second Coming. In the third coming, the Holy Spirit might become a woman who binds Christ and God, or the woman will be separate from the Holt Spirit, and thus a fourth member. (I think this is more likely, for several reasons: the chart of her coming, for 2229 A.D., shows Neptune in Cancer, the fourth sign, and the sign of the mother, which she indisputably is. “4” is also the number of these things.) Her adherents will practise an unwritten, psychic religion. Her symbol will not be the cross of suffering, but the sphere of inclusion . “Her adherents” is a slightly false phrase, as everyone will be included, all will “adhere” yet without adhesion; in adherence they will float free.
Foreseeing her, Jeremiah says, “The Lord will create a new thing on earth – a woman will surround a man.” (Jer 31:22) And “’after that time,’ declares the Lord, (though this is 25 lines later)‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts…no longer will a man teach…because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.” (Jer 31:33-34). The woman who “will surround a man” is the female angel I was writing about back in the 1990’s, the one who would come in the 2229 mega-era, whose wings would span the horizon, and who would usher in a period when literate religions such as Christianity, religion that depended on “the Word” and on writing, and records, would dissolve into a psychic state that joined people spiritually – in essence, the era in which spirit will replace religion. This is what I call the Third Testament, though I wish I had a better name for it. I predicted the decade in which this woman-angel, great as Christ, would come, which I’ll try to find for a future column. I now think this angel who is greater than an angel is the Great Woman, descended from Mary and Dinah.
He is speaking of Jerusalem, but there are clues that Jerusalem might not last.
Jeremiah, in 3: 14-18, describes present-day Christianity (they, Christians, don’t even think of the ark of the covenant – a Jewish artifact – but they do see Jerusalem as “the Throne of the Lord”). In Jer 23: 1-8, he describes the Israeli Diaspora returning to Israel in 1948. In Jer 31:33-34, he describes the post-Revelation state. (The state in which I posit the Third Testament.) Here, Jerusalem seems still to exist, to be renewed.
However, God repeatedly says that he will protect the Jews and retain them as his favoured people, and make the descendants of (King) David rule forever, unless his covenants are broken. Jeremiah describes the conditions which can break them:
Case # 1: “Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendents of Israel…” (Jer 31:37). That is one way to break God’s promise. The results do not seem exactly benign.
Case # 2: (Jer 33:19) “If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time,” God says, then his promise to keep the male (“man” – Jer 33:18) descendants of David continually in charge and seated on “the throne of the house of Israel” will be broken. So will his promise to always have a Levite, or priest, to offer sacrifices – that is, to worship (and more) for the people.
The first condition, the heavens measured and the earth’s depths searched out, have not been totally accomplished yet. Mankind is approaching such knowledge, but might never search out the earth’s depths totally, due to the physical conditions. Accordingly, God has not rejected the descendents of Israel, and might never do so.
The second condition (Case # 2) on which depends the line of David and the priests (Jesus is also from the line of David) has already virtually been broken, at least by a portion of humanity. Astronauts routinely encounter 90-minute (and shorter and longer) days and nights, because they are above the earth. Even the ordinary air passenger, going, say, from Toronto to Vancouver, or Chicago to Paris, experiences the revision of day and night. Sunset and sunrise can come three, five, even twelve hours earlier than usual, or be delayed as long.
The consequence of this, however, seems startlingly benign. Breaking this covenant will lead to the rejection of the descendants of David, and the Levite priests will be stripped of their role and their power. “David will no longer have a descendant to reign on his throne.” As mentioned, Jesus was David’s most powerful and famous descendant. He will no longer sit on David’s throne. This can mean Jesus’ earthly role is taken away. Jesus died around 40 A.D., so he was stripped of David’s throne at that time. (David was a very earthly king, and the Old Testament envisioned even Jesus to be in the same vein, a warrior king who would lead Israel to military and political victories.) (God also says, in Case # 2, that “I will make the descendants of David my servant” Jer 33:22. This could be interpreted various ways, which I won’t pursue.)
Shortly after Jesus’ earthly death, Revelation was written, containing the events of the Second Coming, but also the message, embedded partially in the Great Woman’s tale, that a third coming might occur, leading to a Third Testament. Note that David will not have a male descendant to sit his throne if the covenant of day and night is broken.
The other consequence of breaking Case # 2’s covenant is the disbanding of the formal priesthood, whose role has always been to represent the masses to God. This is a privileged position, which grants them an intimacy with God. When the day-night covenant is broken, he will make “the Levites (priests) who minister before me as countless as the stars of the sky and as measureless as the sand on the seashore” (Jer 33:22). The priests will be so numerous that everyone cannot help but be a priest! Everyone will be a “Levite,” everyone will share an intimacy with God. Again, Jeremiah is re-affirming the conditions of the Third Testament: a male does not rule, a woman surrounds a man, no one teaches (nor needs to) and everyone “will know me, from the least to the greatest. This is the state of psychic or spiritual immersion (and inclusion) of the Third Testament.
According to Jeremiah, the elevated state of mankind, our psychic state of spirituality, or our major step toward angelhood, will come “when day and night do not follow their appointed time.” I showed above how space flight and jet travel have accomplished this, at least in part. This covenant condition in some sense entails a breaking of the usual bonds of time. (Heaven is infinite, thus has no time: eternity must not be unending time; rather, it is the absence of time.) In September, 2011, the media reported that scientists at CERN have propelled a neutrino to travel faster than light (evidently about 1 nanosecond per 12 kilometres faster). Evidently (for I’m no expert!) the CERN event (if true) upends all physical “laws” – of time as well as other conditions. Supposedly, if an object travels faster than light, it will arrive at its destination before it left. This is a form of time travel, or more correctly, time distortion or time dissolution. I think we have to declare God’s covenant-breaking condition fulfilled, and embrace the fact of non-hierarchical spirituality, spirituality without priests, of the purely democratic and totally non-exclusive spiritual intimacy with God – the psychic state of the Third Coming.
There is also a Case # 3, an all-inclusive sort of case: (Jer 33:25) God says: “If I have not established my covenant with day and night and the fixed laws of heaven and earth, then I will reject my covenant with Jacob [the founder of Israel] and David my servant and will not choose one of his sons to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes and have compassion on them.” Although it is not perfectly clear, the antecedent of “their” seems overwhelmingly to be all the descendants – the millions of people descended from the founders of Israel (and David). Again, the implication is of total equality, the end of hierarchy – the Third Testament. Does the CERN event break or alter “the fixed laws of heaven and earth”?
It begins to appear that what biblical readers have for millennia (2500 years) interpreted as an unbreakable promise to preserve Israel and its political/religious system, was actually a promise of freedom from this system, and the dawn of a new, new world of divinity.
BACK TO ASTROLOGY
To return to early, formative Israel, and astrology – how far we’ve strayed! – remember that the progenitor of all Jews came from the land of astrology, then insisted that his son be married to a daughter of this land, even going to the point of importing a woman from that locale. This son in turn made his own son return to the land of astrology to wed, and there 11 of the 12 tribes of Israel were born. (As opined above, the greatest female Israelite was born here also – the daughter Dinah, who I believe returns as Mary, then the Great Woman, then, though the Testament is not yet written, as Christ’s sister/God’s wife.)
So Abraham came from the land of astrology, then his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob returned to “astrology land” to wed (to add the female element of womb, birth, source, mystery, origin). Jacob has 12 sons, who later become the 12 tribes of Israel.
One of these sons, Joseph, is taken to Egypt as a slave, and eventually all the other sons follow. Over centuries, they prosper and grow into an “exceedingly numerous” population. (Ex 1:7) – some say over 2,000,000 (NIV, Page 94). (Jacob himself had, including his 12 sons, “seventy” direct descendants (Ex 1:5) – another representation of the 7 heavenly bodies (sun, moon, and 5 known planets).
After a few centuries of prosperity for the Jews in Egypt, the Pharaoh, seeing how many there were, feared them and made them slaves to keep them weak. (They had formerly enjoyed the status of resident aliens.) The Israelites, severely oppressed by forced labour, finally broke free and fled Egypt, after 4 centuries. Four is the number, in astrology, of childhood, of nurturing, of security, of the end and new beginnings – and of birth. The exact length of stay was “430 years, to the very day.” (Ex 12:41) In numerology, 4+3+0 = 7. Their flight from Egypt was kick-started by, and preceded by, the first Passover, a rite of 7 days. At this point, as Israel was about to be permanently established, or “reborn” in the new, promised land, as God established Passover and the flight from Egypt, he said: “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year.” (Ex 12:2) This first month (Abib or Nisan) coincides roughly with Aries, the beginning of the zodiac. It remains the first month of the Jewish calendar today.
The Israelite nation then flees to the sea, where God parts it to effect their escape from the Egyptian army. (This famous miracle might not have occurred at the Red Sea, as is commonly thought. Exodus 14:2-22 indicates it took place near Baal Zephon, which was probably a Mediterranean town near the Nile Delta – over 100 miles/160 km from the Red Sea. The “Red Sea” mentioned in Exodus 14 is translatable as “reed” sea. The Nile Delta would be choked with reeds. “Red,” perhaps used later, might be a poetic term, as in Homer’s description of the Mediterranean as “the wine red sea.”)
The Israelites pass through the sea’s walls of water. This is a metaphor of rebirth. The pursuing Egyptian army, not believing in the “new” or “living” God of the Israelites, is drowned – i.e., not allowed into the rebirth.
The homeless Israelites then go south. They are overcome by thirst. First they find bitter water (which God sweetens for them) at Marah, then they find, at Elim, an oasis of “twelve springs and seventy palm trees” (Ex 15:27). Here, astrology (12 signs of the zodiac, 7 [70=7] heavenly bodies) is associated with the source (springs – of water, life, knowledge, etc.) and restoration, the slaking of thirst. (Note: Eden, Elim.)
The contrast of these four places is significant: 1) the Israelites pass through the (salt) waters of the sea (womb) and are reborn; 2) they protest that they are thirsty, so find water at Marah but it is bitter (Mar = Mary, mother, ocean [“mar,” “mer”]) – once birthed, you cannot continue to drink the waters of your birth, of the “womb” – this foreshadows the prohibition against incest to come in Leviticus – and the incestuous practices of some pagan nations – whom the Israelites spend whole chapters warring against, and being seduced by; 3) then they find Elim, where there is good, sweet water and palm trees (implying shade, food, abundance and rest) – and the numbers of astrology, for there are 12 springs and 7 palms; finally, 4) they leave Elim and enter Sin, a desert in which they are hungry, echoing the truth that sin always leaves one dissatisfied; here, they twice sin against God.
In the two hostile, non-life-sustaining environments, Marah and the Desert of Sin, no astrological reference or number occurs (although in Sin, some Israelis violate the Sabbath – the seventh day of the week). In the one restorative, sustaining environment, the numbers of astrology not only do occur, they link directly to, or “are,” the only two life-giving/sustaining things: springs of water and palm trees.
There are surely many more references to 7 and 12 in the rest of the Old Testament, but it becomes merely an exercise to pursue them all. For example, “a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water… to water their father’s flock.” (Ex 2”16-17) Even such a casual mention reverberates quietly: the seven heavenly bodies time the seasons, time births, bring rain and pull tides – they “draw water” – and they (the “seven”) tend the father’s flocks: i.e., God’s people, humanity, is sustained, guided by, the seven heavenly bodies in service to God. Moses marries one of these daughters (heavenly bodies), and becomes the leader of the 12 tribes.
There is an interesting problem here: if the 12 tribes of Israel were not connected to the zodiac or astrology in any way, and were, at their genesis, not meant to be a representation of the zodiacal signs, but were simply, by happenstance, 12 in number, then all the instances of 12 following in the Bible, all the repeated emphasis on 12, is simply a reverberation or echoing (or trumpeting) of the tribes, and not of astrology at all. Similarly, as God made the earth in 6 days and rested on the seventh – i.e., as the cycle was 7, all the emphasis on this number throughout the Bible could simply be praise of God’s originating work.
Some passages, however, argue against this, at least regarding “12.” Ezekiel’s double (“intersecting”) wheels shows he knew of the astrological concept of signs and houses – i.e., the double or intersecting wheels of astrology (12 of each) by 500 B.C. In Revelation, there are not 12 elders, which would correspond to the 12 tribes, but 24, which corresponds to the 12 signs and 12 houses of astrology. (It is reported that an explorer/scholar found the wheel of the zodiac inlaid in the floor in the center of God’s temple in Jerusalem. I know nothing more about this, and can’t remember the source.)
There is also the concept of “co-habitation” – if 7 is the number of days God acted and rested to form existence as we know it, and if 7 is the number of Sun, Moon and visible planets, the Bible’s 7 might be referring to both. They are not mutually exclusive; in fact, it is more likely that the two concepts or references (to 7) are mutually joined. If one was an early scholar/writer, and looking up at the sky, and contemplating the origin of one’s species, one’s earth, one’s universe, and knew that there were 7 heavenly bodies, one might be inclined to write that God created all this is 7 days.
Small clues also support the link between the numbers and astrology. When, for example, in Daniel “12 trees” give food all year long, one for each month, or when in Elim the Israelites find 12 water springs, 12 is definitely seen as a source of life, or at least of nourishment. It is doubtful that God made the 12 tribes themselves the source of life and nourishment: if so, they would never have gone hungry or thirsty, they simply would not have needed the 12 springs in Elim, since they could sustain themselves – but of course they could not. Rather, the 12 of astrology, of the mysteries of life, the 12 of God’s design, is much more likely to carry the mantel of “origin” or “source.”
THE NEW TESTAMENT:
As time went on, Israel became one of the greatest nations on earth, and then one of the least. Near the end of the Old Testament, about 500 years before Christ, Israel has declined into its deepest, darkest pit of self-indulgence, political chaos, greed, corruption, sexual immorality and godlessness. Its citizens have largely abandoned God; Israel’s priests foul the inner walls of Jerusalem’s temple (God’s house, an equivalent building to, say, the Vatican) with “ all kinds of crawling things and detestable animals.” God declares that Israel (Judah) has sunk lower than Sodom, of Sodom and Gomorrah. ) (Eze 16:48) At this nadir of Israel’s self-destruction, Babylon, the nation of astrologers, conquers Israel (despite Isaiah’s anti-astrology boasts). This conquering is actually a rescue – Babylon not only takes the Israelites (back!) to Babylon, to Mesopotamia (back, for Israel’s progenitor, Abraham, was from Ur, Babylon’s earlier “self”) but heals them there as a people. They are given jobs, social position, are allowed to practise Judaism, to worship the very God they abandoned in Israel, and even to have their own prophets. In fact, here, under the nurturing care of the astrologer nation, two of Israel’s greatest prophets – and the only major prophets of the time – arise: Ezekiel and Daniel. Daniel is eventually made chief over all wise men, magicians, astrologers, etc., in Babylon. (Though he is never specifically called one, and the emotive atmosphere of the narrative hints that he was something different, Daniel might have been an astrologer. We only know that “he could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.” [Da 1:17])The wise men of Babylon are “magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers.” [Da 2:2] Later, “diviners” are included as wise men. God has repeatedly stated, for a thousand years – since Exodus – that all of these practitioners are detestable and must be put to death – all except astrologers, whom he never mentions. Daniel could not have been a magician, enchanter, sorcerer or diviner, because he was loved and protected by God. Perhaps he was none of these, just a dream interpreter. When Nebuchadnezzar condemns all the “wise men” to death, Daniel is definitely included, and must act to save his life. [Da 2:13])
Once the Israelites are psychically and morally healed, capable of fending for themselves, Babylon not only helps them rebuild Jerusalem, which has declined into rubble, but encourages their repatriation there, and protects them from their enemies while they rebuild and re-establish themselves. The land of astrology not only gave Israel and the Jews their first birth through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, it also rescued them from self-destruction, re-birthed them, rebuilt their temple, and put them back on track to their God. Like a parent, picking up the child who’s fallen from his bike, dusting him off and lifting him onto the bicycle again! But it was not a bicycle young Israel fell off, it was its very soul. (For an interesting side note on this return to Babylon, read Jeremiah 27: 6-22, in which God commands Israel to submit to Babylon, because its king is “my servant.”)
Thus the Old Testament. After this second re-birthing of Israel (the first by God through Moses, the second by Babylon) circa 530 B.C., the Old Testament simply ends. Astrology has given Israel its “second chance,” and it exits the scene, leaving the nation to itself. During the 500 years until Christ’s birth, Israel does nothing of note, at least Biblically. (With the exception of Malachi, 4 pages of one minor prophet’s writings, circa 400 B.C.)
The New Testament begins with the birth of Christ (described in Matthew). But the birth of Christ, as every schoolchild knows, is “announced” by the Magi from the east. In actuality, this is not perfectly true. Matthew seems to indicate Christ might have been as old as 2 years when the magi appeared. These Magi are generally accepted to be astrologers. They are from “the east” – tradition says they were from Parthia, near ancient Babylon (NIV Bible, Page 1528, Note 2:1,2) – again, the center of astrology. (If not Parthia/Mesopotamia, then further east, Media, India, etc., where astrology had spread.) These astrologers – 3 by tradition, though there could have been any number of them, 2 or above – do exactly what astrologers do: they have followed a sign in the heavens, a star of Bethlehem, to find Christ. But locating Christ in Bethlehem is not their greatest act. (In fact, the Old Testament prophet Micah (Mic 5:2) foresaw that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem. Though the astrologers go one better, they find the exact street and house by astrology –i.e., by the “star.” Mt 2: 9-11) The astrologers’ greatest act is to two-fold: 1) they know when Christ is born (no one else could tell even the century or millennium) and 2) they recognize and announce that this baby is the Christ. They practice the three major functions of astrology: locational (where), timing (when – they even tell Herod how old Jesus is before they have seen him [Mt. 2:16]) and natal (character/destiny). Before them, only Joseph, disturbed that his girlfriend is pregnant and thinking another man caused it, is reassured by an angel in a dream that his son was immaculately conceived and will “save his people from their sins.” (Mt 1: 18-21) There is no indication Joseph told anyone of his dream.
Obviously astrology is respected in Israel at the time of Jesus – or at least deeply believed – for Herod, on no other evidence than the Magi’s say-so, believes the future “King of the Jews” has arrived – believes it so deeply he murders all the infants in Bethlehem and its vicinity.
So not only does the historical or Jewish portion of the Old Testament (Noah onward) begin in the cradle of astrology, and end in the cradle of astrology; not only is Israel birthed in the land of astrology but rescued and re-birthed (and its story effectively ended) by and in the land of astrology, now 500 years later the New Testament begins with the announcement of the Christ – by two agents, covertly and secretly in a dream by an angel, and openly and publicly by astrologers. By now, astrologers are portrayed very favourably, unlike the taunting and disdainful Old Testament portraits in Isaiah and Daniel. (We shouldn’t forget that both prophets lived at a time when Israel was, and spoke from a population that was, largely anti-God, steeped in sin and disbelief.) The New Testament astrologers not only bring Christ gifts, they discreetly save his life by not returning to tell infanticide-bent Herod where he resides. But in both these actions the star-gazers appear subtly aloof. They seem to practice a form of benign non-interference, comparable to our present day anthropological tenet of non-disturbance, or to the popular sci-fi “rule” which forbids superior races/aliens to interfere in the development of less advanced species on other planets.
Though the word astrology is never used in the New Testament, there are various small references to it – the “signs in the heavens” phrases – and one, last, massive portrayal of astrology which I have already shown, in Revelations. So the New Testament, much more clearly than the Old, opens and closes with powerful and favourable portrays of astrology. (In Revelation, as shown, the astrological elements and systems are shown to be closer to God than the angels – to, in essence, be his environment, or “first expression.” I have already explained much of this, including the central role played by the four astrological creatures, who stand closer to God than the angels. (One might say “rest of the angels” – though the creatures are not called angels in Revelation, they are referred to as “cherubim,” the most powerful of angels, 600 years earlier in Ezekiel.)
Looking at all this, I’m tempted to declare that World Wars One and Two were the two battles of the Second Coming. For in my charts, in my memory, another period of such war and destruction does not appear, at least as far as I have glanced. I will have to look again, but I cannot look ahead limitlessly, nor is my sight very clear, logical, or “intelligent.” It is accurate when inspiration, God, informs it, but often I just flounder in my own flailing of intellect. As far as I can see, I see many more signs of enduring peace, and growth toward an angelic state – and, of the Third Testament – than of warlike cataclysm. Even now, signs are appearing of the Third Testament: words are being replaced by glyphs and pictures – look at any computer screen – a disbelief in religion is spreading, and man is starting to accomplish what God said must be accomplished before he and we would move past the Israeli-centric belief system or religion. Jeremiah (Jer 31:35-37) shows what man must accomplish first: “Only if the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth below be search out” – a condition that is quickly being approached by mankind’s scientists. He goes on to say (Jer 33:19-21): “If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time, then my covenant with David my servant…and with (the) priests ministering before me – can be broken, and David will no longer have a descendant to reign on his throne.”
These are amazing words. David, of course, is the ancestor of Christ, and when the Old Testament mentions David in this sense, it means the entire ongoing future of the Jewish (and by extension, Christian) faith – and, specifically, the future of religion/s. Most scholars have supposed that these passages are God’s assurance that he will never abandon Israel nor Israeli-centric nor Christ-centric religions. For first the heavens and earth’s depths – the immeasurable – would have to be measured, and the day/night “covenant” be broken, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time. Yet all these are to some degree already accomplished. Virtually every astronaut – mankind’s arm or extension – has broken the covenant of day and night. To an astronaut, day and night can alternate in, perhaps, two hours – or day or night can last for days, even weeks. The time has come: I believe this marks the “end times,” that we have already been plunged into the Armageddon of the end times in the last two centuries of war, and are now, from 1984 to 2229, in a transition of ending and of growth, of “waiting” but also of self-improvement, in preparation for the third coming, the Third Testament. Many will argue that a worldwide nuclear war is very possible, and that mankind certainly has the ability, if God wills it, to destroy the entire earth, as Revelation’s Armageddon seems to imply. However, notice that in Revelation’s many descriptions of disasters being dealt to the earth and mankind, many only affect one-third of the populace, and another affects another one-third, etc. In Genesis, after Noah’s flood, God pronounces: “Never again will I destroy all living creatures as I have done.” (Ge 8:21). In other words, no future war, not even a nuclear one, will make earth lifeless.
In light of this (and of many passages in Jeremiah which seem to describe World War II and the re-establishment of Israel of 1948 A.D. – more clearly than that old fraud Nostradamus ever described anything) the stars and fire raining down on earth from the sky in Revelation could refer to the massive bombings of WW II, which did create unprecedented extinctions of populations. Many of the other descriptions of disaster could be seen to have been fulfilled in the World Wars. Kingdoms fell – yes, probably ten (or more!) of them as in Revelation! (I’m too tired to research this – you do that.) Plagues occurred, famine wiped out millions. In 1918 to 1920 a flu pandemic killed 50 to 100 million people, and infected 32 % of the world’s population – reminding us of the “third of mankind” in Revelation 9:15. However, the biblical third was killed, not merely infected. The death toll from the 1918 flu was about 3 to 6 % of the world’s population. However, millions more were murdered in genocides by cruel dictators and Satanic warmongers – Hitler, Stalin and Mao, to name several. The numbers, however, don’t add up.
Any calculation of the deaths of WW I and II, and related incidents, does not give a third of humanity dying, as in Revelation 9:15. Some of the larger death totals were: WWI, 16.5 million; 1918/19 flu, 50-100 million; Congo, 6; Russian Civil War, 9; WWII, 43-78; Stalin’s purges, 20-60; Mao, 44-72. Adding the lower ends of these numbers gives 189 million. Adding the higher end gives 342 million. The world population in 1914 was 1.8 billion; in 1939, 2.3 billion. These fatalities do not equal one-third; even the higher end comes to only 15 % (342,000,000/2,300,000,000). If accident, murder, other illnesses and pandemics were added, the total would rise, but not to the 33 % level – that would mean more than doubling the high end of all genocides and wars. If natural deaths are included, the total should easily equal one-third, but should such deaths be included? We might be stretching facts to validate a prophecy.
One fact does catch the eye and snag the thought: in WWI, the centrist nations mobilized 22,850,000 troops. By war’s end, they had lost, through death, maiming and “missing” (POW’s, dead but unidentified, desertion, etc.) 15,181,252 – almost exactly 66 %, or 2/3rds. (Revelation, Chapter 9, twice focuses on “thirds.”)
It is tempting to compare the number of countries Germany, Italy and/or Japan conquered in WWII with the number of horns on Satan’s beasts. However, attacking and conquering are two different things. Japan attacked and occupied China, but never really conquered it. Germany had a similar fate in Russia. Japan seems to have conquered about ten nations – the number of the beast’s horns – but many small nation states might have existed in the swath of Pacific islands it took over. Germany is credited with between 11 and 21 conquered nations, depending on the telling. To some degree, this might be acceptable, in that many of the Bible’s predictions are not fulfilled with exactitude, and many of its numbers can be symbolic. There did seem to be ten axis allies, which corresponds to the beast’s ten horns. These were: Germany, Japan, Italy, Slovenia, Persia, Finland, Hungary, Romania, Manchkuo, and Thailand. However, the compiler of this list says “and more.” There seems to be 12 in all, but over 30 if puppet states are included. Many nations switched allegiances during the war – e.g., Russia, Romania. The Allies included 51 nations by war’s end.
Earlier, World War One, if one likes to work with numbers, had 4 “centrist” or “bad guy” nations pitted against 26 “good guy” nations. However, many of these were not allied nations but “empires,” hinting that there were bodies within bodies. Of the 4 centrist entities, 3 were called “empires.” On the “good guy” side, the United Kingdom is counted as one nation/empire. But under this umbrella term, Canada, India, and other nation states also fought. The total “good guy” count, if we give Canada, etc., an independent role [and ignore the numerous small U.S. possessions] was 33 – a number numerologists sometimes call the “Christ number.” [See page 193, “Numerology And The Divine Triangle” by Faith Javane and Dusty Bunker, Para Research, Gloucester, MA, USA, 1979, ISBN 0-914918-10-9.] But all this is a confusing – and perhaps ultimately impenetrable – mish-mash.
Again as in Revelation, Nazi Germany forced a portion of its people to wear Satan’s mark – the yellow stars of the European Jews. (If they didn’t, they could not “buy or sell,” as in Revelation 13:16.) Perhaps Hitler, like Satan, was “thrown into the abyss” (Rev. 20:3) – for his remains have never been discovered.
If we add the 1,000 years that Satan was to be imprisoned before being freed again “for a short time” we come to about 2045. In 2044, Pluto, the planet of crime, death, destruction and the underworld, enters Pisces, the sign of the angels. (In WWI, Pluto was in Cancer, the sign of families and nations; Pluto started WWII in Cancer, but spent most of it in Leo, the sign of kings and kingdoms – almost every viable kingdom was wiped out by that war.) Revelation says that a second struggle then occurs. And the aspects in 2046-49 do show some upheaval, Uranus opposite Pluto, which can cause massive deaths, etc. Also, at the 1,000 year mark (2045 if the World Wars were Armageddon) the souls of the dead awaken and are judged. The good ones get a ticket to heaven, the bad ones get thrown into the lake of burning sulphur. Hmm. That’s only 34 years away. Perhaps it’s time to start praying.
In predicting (general) peace ahead, which I’ve done since 1984, I don’t think I’m being one of the false prophets that Jeremiah (and others) criticize. I’m not doing it to pander to anyone, or to gain favour from the nearest king, but (I hope) only for exploration. Jeremiah does couch his criticism in such a form that it literally says: If peace does come, then this is a true prophecy.
The Third Testament will be uniquely female. I’ll explain that later. (I already have explained it, in my articles on the mathematics of belief, in prior preambles. These are reproduced below, after this “Astrology” article. But a quick reference here: when the “new heaven and new earth” of Revelation are established after Satan’s final demise, God “will live with them” (men) “God himself will be with them and… Wipe every tear from their eyes.” (Rev This is a uniquely maternal, female gesture – though it might not be in every culture.) So I see the abandonment of the New (i.e., Second) Testament and of Israeli-centric and “literate” belief systems as not a thing to be feared, but to be welcomed as a new, glorious expression of God, in which he takes us into his embrace, rather than places us on an earth of testing and crisis.
Satan’s astrology (yes, we’re back to Revelation) also contains errors or mis-formed “creatures.” Mother Mary (Great Woman) appears with the sun and moon and “a crown of 12 stars” (Rev 12:1). Satan comes to attack her. He does have seven heads and seven crowns (the seven heavenly bodies) but only 10 horns, rather than the “correct” number of 12. In other words, Satan is using the same sun, moon and 5 planets, the same 7 as God’s beings, but he employs the wrong methodology: ten houses/signs instead of twelve. This accords with the general malaise of Satan: wrong interpretations, lack of clear sight, both unresolved due to arrogance. Yet it also accords with present-day astrology (as it has been since the 1930’s, when Pluto was discovered) – only 10 of the 12 zodiacal signs are “filled” or have separate rulers. A shortage of known planets means 4 signs have to share 2 planets. At least, that was the case until about 1990, when, just as the new Pluto era (1984-2229) had dawned, 4 more planetoids were found, of about Pluto’s size, in the Kuiper Belt. More about this later.
However, there is an interesting point here: these descriptions of Satan and his beasts, and the “ten horns” are set in a future as seen by the Revelation author. “Ten” might not be a perversion at all, but an expression of a future fact: in the 19th and 20th centuries A.D., Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were discovered, giving modern astrology 10 heavenly bodies, not the 7 “visible” ones of Biblical times. Again, this points to the recently-past Pluto era as being the one of Armageddon. Pluto, the last of the non-visible planets, was discovered in 1930 (February 18) – just before the greatest war the world has ever known. Astrologers quickly gave Pluto rulership over the underground, underworld, massive deaths (i.e., genocide) crime, earthquakes – and the atomic bomb. Pluto was itself a pretty good image of, harbinger of, Armageddon!
To continue speculation regarding a third testament time, astronomers have (1990) discovered the Kuiper Belt, which contains over 1,000 objects, and three of Pluto’s “sister planetoids.” As discussed already, this and the discovery of Eris far beyond Pluto, and the reclassification of Ceres as a dwarf planet, actually give us more than enough candidates to fill all 12 zodiac signs with a planet or planetoid each (fulfilling the vision of the Great Woman is Revelation 12, and thus indicating Revelation is here, close, or already past.) When in about 2006 Pluto was declassified as a planet, and termed a “dwarf planet” or “planetoid” by astronomers, astrologers howled with outrage and derision. But perhaps they should not have been so quick to protest. Nothing is coincidence, and the “demotion” of Pluto might also indicate a “shrinking” of the existence of Armageddon, of the nuclear war potential, etc. – of the whole concept of mass population extinctions and genocide – in other words, an ending of Armageddon. (Remember that astrologers assign Pluto rulership over nuclear war and mass destruction, among other things.)
It will be interesting to see what qualities and ruler-ships astrologers assign to these four additional planetoids, for these will be clues to the nature of the Third Testament.
We might have an embarrassment of riches. Wikipedia states: “A number of other Kuiper belt objects are also large enough to be spherical and could be classified as dwarf planets in the future.” This would throw off the concept of filling the 12 signs, because finding 13, then 20, then 100 dwarf planets would tend to undermine the validity of the entire concept of 12 signs; and/or/but the discovery or reclassification of more planet/oids might also signal that the Revelation period is complete; hence signal the end of the Second Coming, or the start of the Third Testament.
The whole “discovery of new planets” situation is a mess – no tidy 4 new planets to make a tidy 12, and signal, “Yes, It has come!”
But we might just have to accept close approximations, near misses, or patterns in the plethora of life as the real unfolding of Biblical prophecy.
My assertion that the Third Testament will somehow embody a sphere rather than a crucifix might also be reflected in less than perfect images/events: For example, among relatively new phenomena (for we’re dealing with timing) a visual of the Kuiper Belt shows what looks like a circle surrounding our solar system, out beyond Neptune, a belt so broad it looks more like a doughnut – and moves us slightly closer to the spherical shape – the symbol I think will replace the crucifix in the Third Testament
But there is something unsettling in all this. Satan is shown to be, and produces objects and effects, and takes actions, that are, though lesser, perverse, mis-formed or stunted, mirrors of God and his actions, objects and effects. We’ve already seen the marking of the hands and foreheads, and the “mirror astrology.”
Let’s look at two other remarkable “reflections” or mirror-images, the lesser one first: in another parallel description, Mary, the mother of Christ, is mirrored by Satan’s “great prostitute” (Rev 17) who sits on the very beast that had attacked Mary in Chapter 12. She sits atop the beast in the desert – the very place where Mary had fled from Satan’s attack. In a sense, holy Mary and evil prostitute are two nodes of the same concept, or “twins.” At the least, they seem to appear in the same or similar spots. This great prostitute, though in the desert, “sits on many waters” (Rev 17:1). When Mary fled from Satan into the desert, Satan “spewed water like a river to overtake the woman and sweep her away.” But the earth helped he woman by swallowing the river. Yet when we next return to the desert in Rev 17, we find a great prostitute who “sits on many waters.” She also sits on a scarlet (color of lust) beast. Clearly, these are two emerges of the same woman, the only difference between them being the choice: one chose to flee Satan, and stayed on “dry desert” while the other obviously swam in the water Satan spewed out, and ended up riding the beast of lust. In addition, she holds a golden cup filled with abominations and the “filth of her adulteries;” and she is “drunk with the blood of saints.”
Most interestingly, the waters that the prostitute sits upon are “people, multitudes, nations and languages.” So the Prostitute seems to give birth to all mankind’s teeming masses, whereas her Mary twin only gave birth to Jesus (and a few brothers) who was Satan’s nemesis. Here mankind and holiness are separated in one huge stroke.
More, this implies that the only difference between Holy Mary and the Great Prostitute is one of motive and righteousness, of self-discipline and morality. Mary is Mary because she does not yield to temptation, lust, the drives of the flesh. And the prostitute is a whore because she does. Yet the multitudes of mankind come from the prostitute’s surrender to lust.
As mentioned above, Satan himself is portrayed as an echo or imitation of God, even to the point where he creates his own (anti) Christ (the lamb beast). He produces objects and effects, and takes actions, that are, though lesser, perverse, mis-formed or stunted, a mirror of God’s actions, objects and effects. In a very real sense, at least in Revelation, Satan is the other node of God, or his “bad half” or “bad possibility” just as the great prostitute is Mary’s “bad half” or what she would become without exercising righteousness and holiness. (The terms here are inexact, for which I apologize.) The unsettling part is the small distance between God and Satan, in motive. I’m not sure I’m expressing myself well here, and do not mean that Satan’s oil could ever glisten on God, but there is a certain worry available in this interpretation of Revelations. What if God, God forbid and were it possible, were one day to want to experience lust, or to try experiencing just one tiny sin? Would that be the end of everything? The end of his unique position as God, and therefore, in a cosmic snowball of fire, the end of goodness and heaven? Here is the disquieting doubt; it lies in the phrase “were it possible.” That is the question, one which only great faith can answer, with the only answer being denial. So faith ultimately might be the denial of sin’s possibility, more than the acceptance of positive goodness. Can this be true?
An even more striking and puzzling “reflection” occurs: In a long description of Satan, Isaiah, about 750 B.C., calls him “morning star, son of the dawn.” Jesus, at the end of Revelation, only 5 verses from the very end of the Bible, declares: “I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” (Rev 22:16) The Bible is saying both Satan and Jesus are the morning star. The morning star refers to Venus when it rises before the Sun. Lucifer means “light bringer.” In Latin, Lucifer refers to the “morning” stage of Venus. (Venus can also appear as an evening star.) Yes, both Satan and Jesus are connected to “astrology” – or at least to a heavenly body – but why are they both the same star? Why isn’t Satan ascribed to some bad star, such as violent, murderous Mars, or punishing Saturn? The answer might be very simple: In astrology, Venus is the planet of love. It rules both sacred and profane love. It rules affection, beauty, female receptivity, grace, posture, gentleness, peace, calmness, and possessions – showing that these qualities can be used by, or be part of, both Satan and Jesus. Venus rules the desire of a man (Mars) for his wife – i.e., her attractiveness. But it also rules prostitutes, who are also linked to two Mars figures: the john and the pimp. Jesus is the compassionate, spiritual being of love, and he promises “possession” of the kingdom of heaven. Satan is a being of love also: he most easily “works” his evil through desire, lust, love of earthly possessions, love of power, greed, idolatry, etc. – all forms of love, but the “non-Godly” forms. Ezekiel, when he is describing Satan (as the city Tyre, Eze 26 to 28) gives a beautiful and fabulous list of art, beautiful fabrics, treasures, etc.
We can see now why throughout the Bible, God condemns idolatry: it deals with material, concrete statues and statuettes (and is sometimes connected to sexual misbehaviour, e.g., the smaller idols are used as dildos) – whereas the Biblical God is intrinsically immaterial, of the mind and heart, a way of thinking, being and experiencing, rather than a material possession. (For the essential moral and practical problem, see “Idolatry” below, page 24.)
But back to astrology:
Numbers fill Revelations – the 7 of astrology, e.g., “7 lights” or sun, moon and 5 known planets, is repeated so often that it becomes only an exercise to list every instance. Before God’s throne “seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God.” (Rev 4:5). Jesus holds 7 stars in his right hand (Rev. 1:16) and wears a crown of 7 lights.
There is a scroll of destiny/judgement “sealed with seven seals” (Rev. 5:1). This scroll contains descriptions of apocalyptic events, most dire (e.g., death) but one of a materialistic or economic nightmare, and one a promise of salvation.
Christ opens each seal, and as he does so, one of the four astrological creatures announces “in a voice like thunder” one word: “Come!” (Rev. 6.) The word is not chosen randomly. In fact, in usual parlance, it would be awkward. We would say “Next!” not “Come!” The “come” seems to be summoning the actual events of each seal: the red horse of war, the earthquake in number six, etc. The creatures are summoning the instruments of destiny. Every odd-numbered seal, 1, 3 and 5 (not 7) seem non-apocalyptic, conflicted or more neutral in intent, while each even-numbered seal is definitely punishing: 2 removes peace from the earth and makes men slay each other, 4 is Death, killing by sword, famine, plague and wild beasts, and 6 brings an earth-destroying earthquake and a rain of destroying stars. Number 7 seal remains a mystery for several pages. When Christ opens the seventh seal, 7 angels with 7 trumpets (Rev 8:6) appear, and they announce the 7 events of the 7th seal. The first 6 of these bring even more dire destruction than the major seals 2, 4 and 6. The 7th seal of the 7th seal is announced by a new angel who holds yet another “little scroll” in his hand. This angel announces (Rev 10: 6,7) that finally, “There will be no more delay…the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.” But instead of revealing the secret, the “mystery,” the angel tells Paul (our narrator, though scholars dispute Paul’s authorship) to eat the scroll! From that point on, the angel says, Paul must prophesy. But we get the picture in following chapters: essentially, Satan arrives, a huge fight ensues between Satan’s forces and God’s (Jesus is the head warrior) and Satan is destroyed, God prevails, and the saints and believers are welcomed into heaven. (“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet…and…the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ.” Rev. 11: 15.)
Boy, did I get sidetracked. The point is, though, that the number 7, representing the astrological heavenly bodies, is repeatedly used as a bringer or announcer of destiny or judgement. Throughout Revelation, the four living creatures of astrological origin either announce or accompany the events. Notice they are called “living creatures.” In both the Old and New Testament, the word “living” is emphatically used throughout to describe God, to distinguish him from the “dead gods” of the idols and idol worship. Here, “living” is used to distinguish the four creatures from the idols. They are not the wooden, brass or gold idols (statuettes) of oxen, lions, eagles or man, but the actual, God-infused living creatures.
Speaking of numbers and the Bible, a very curious thing occurs: If we add the ages of the inhabitants of Genesis from Adam and Eve down (more correctly and accurately, add the ages of each when he has a first son, then the age of the son when he bears his first son, and so on) we find that Abraham, the father or “grandfather” of Israel, was born exactly 1,948 years after Adam’s birth. (I call this 1948 A.A. – “After Adam.”) (I am not suggesting that Adam’s birth date can be taken literally, nor that he was born so recently. I’m speaking, as always, within the Bible’s reality.) The Jewish Diaspora, after World War II, fought for and re-established Israel, in 1948 A.D. (Israel was recognized as a nation by the U.N. in May,1948 – Taurus, or the sign of the “ox,” the first “living creature” of God’s throne in Revelation.) I haven’t tried to count it, but Christ seems to have been born approximately 1,500 years after Abraham. If we add another 1,948 years to 1948, we arrive at the year 3896. I wonder what happens then? I’ll try to erect a chart soon and look for some clue.
But for now, this ends my exploration into astrology and the Bible. Sometime in future I’d like to discuss the Third Testament and the Great Woman .
First, I need to look into the charts.
FIRST MATHEMATICAL GLIMMER OF THE GREAT WOMAN:
THIRD TESTAMENT FROM ASTRAL COLUMNS
A square consists of four straight lines of equal length joined by four right angles. When a square collapses, it still conforms to this definition, except that it has become a cross or “plus sign.” (I wrote about this some years ago.) Mathematically, the lines of the cross are theoretically infinite, or have no end. As a square bounds a finite area, and represents a knowable environment, so the collapsed or inverse square divides or “sorts” all two-dimensional area to infinity equally. Therefore, it is the representative of unending reality or boundless environment, both of which are intangible and unknowable. So what happens when a cube collapses, or a sphere?
When a sphere reverses, a totally new phenomena occurs – the collapsed sphere does not divide space, but travels/projects through ALL three-dimensional space. The sphere has no finite lines, yet when it collapses must radiate outward as the lines of the square and cube do. But because the uncollapsed sphere has no distinguishable lines, perhaps there cannot be inter-spaces or “gaps” between the outward-projecting radians of the reverse sphere. Therefore, the collapsed sphere’s projection must entirely fill the universe/infinity. It cannot divide infinity, because the numbers of its “lines” is itself infinite; an infinite number of lines cannot divide an area/space; it can only cover/fill it. (Infinity cannot divide itself.) So the collapsed radiation of a sphere cannot divide or catalogue. But other possibilities occur: 1) as a collapsed square becomes only lines, without area, so a collapsed sphere might become only area, without a third dimension; 2) the reverse sphere might have no reality – this is unlikely, as the collapsed square and cube do exist, and can be drawn; 3) it might have no projection, and once reversed becomes an infinite collapse or self-consumer, e.g., a black hole; 4) the reversed sphere, if possessing infinite projection in every direction, must fill the universe; i.e., becomes infinite being; therefore, as many spheres exist, there must be multiple infinities; or 5) if the collapsed sphere infinitely divides all being, it might become the opposite of being: not nothing, but reverse being (anti-matter). What is a collapsed sphere of light? Of gravity?
…Okay, the “geometry article” last week: the cross (collapsed square) that divides space to infinity is also the cross of religion, of spirit. It tries to transform the square of defined, bounded area, of ownership and self-interest, into the opening to infinity and non-materialism (the plus sign or cross contains nothing). It originally came from death: the crucifixion. But that cross is 2,000 years old, and belonged to a two-dimensional age. (We believed the earth was flat.) The new “cross” is the collapsed sphere; it also comes from death, from the black hole concept, in which a star/galaxy dies. (And, continuing our myth of resurrection, we believe black holes create a new universe on “the other side.”) The radiating “reverse sphere” symbolizes the new paradigm in religion and spirit, one that fits our pantheistic, three-dimensional age. (We believe the universe is an expanding sphere, not flat.) You might quibble with certain aspects: the cross came from a man-god, Jesus, whereas the radiating point refers to a star. But Jesus was actually one in a long line of sun gods. I’m just speculating…!
Apropos the Middle East, I think there will be a Second Coming, to occur between 2230 and 2380. I suspect this one won’t be God’s Son (Jesus) but a Daughter. She might not come as a human, but as an angel, with wings filling the horizon. And perhaps she won’t bring the cross, but a sphere. Anyway, this is what astrology seems to indicate. Of course, I might be one of the false prophets Jesus warned us about. But I don’t feel false, and I also don’t see any personal gain or honour accruing to me for saying this – on the contrary, I might lose clients from writing such weird things.
This future era, by the way, will be both healthfully religious and extremely intuitive. Learning will be marked by intuition, not logic. Logic, analysis and detail will decline in subtle, accumulative ways (much as religion, philosophy, colleges and universities are declining in our present era, 1983-2230). Entire structures, in thought and in mortar, will be built upon psychic, intuitive and spiritual foundations. If a “visitor from outer space” does come, it will be during this era. We will launch vehicles intended to reach other stars. It will be a bountiful, cheerful time, but also a quiet, relatively uneventful time geopolitically.
Christmas is supposedly based on Christ’s birth. But many scholars say Jesus was born in September. I think Christ was probably a Pisces, born in March. (He was almost certainly a Virgo, Gemini, Sagittarius or Pisces, for these signs love paradox, and Jesus’ attributed sayings were filled with riddle and paradox.).
Awhile ago I pointed to two places in the Bible that seemed to support astrology (Matthew and Ezekiel). There’s another, Luke 21:25 – Jesus says “There will be signs in the Sun, Moon and stars.” But in Deuteronomy 4:19 Moses warns: “the sun, the moon and the stars – all the heavenly array – do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshipping….” Those who do must be stoned to death. It’s not an outright condemnation of astrology per se: the command is “don’t worship,” not “don’t study” – but where does “using astrology” lie, in study or in belief/worship?
In Leviticus (and elsewhere) God says anyone who practices divination (i.e., fortune-telling) must be stoned to death. No leniency, no excuses. Same book, Moses dressed Aaron in the very first priest’s uniform (sewn according to God’s description) and “put the Urim and Thummim in the breastplate.” The U and T, scholars say, were “yes” and “no” divination stones! By1 Samuel 9, Israeli priests had evolved into “seers;” the public paid them to answer questions about the future, lost animals, etc. These priest-seers were the ancestors of the great prophets. Today, some Rabbis practice numerology and occult studies such as the Qabbala.
But why weren’t all those priests stoned to death? Does this mean that, though it is never flatly stated, only God’s priests can practice divination? Or does it mean motive is the determinant of good and bad divination? If I intend only good by studying astrology, Tarot or divination, am I then permitted (by God) to do so? Or, if only priests can practice divination, where are the priests in this age of pederasty?
A further problem: the Bible, though purportedly God’s word, is written by man, and man can make mistakes or have changes of heart and understanding. In Deuteronomy, God says that religions which practice child sacrifice are “detestable,” yet in Judges the Jewish hero Jephthah promises God he will sacrifice whatever first appears in his doorway when he returns from battle, if only God will let Israel win the battle. Israel wins, which shows God’s agreement. When Jep returns home, his daughter runs through the door to congratulate him. To obey God, Jep must kill his daughter. Jep, of course, was foolish to make the promise – but he was also, perhaps, culpable, wanted to kill a family member (for who else was likely to appear in the front door of his house?). Was God, who let this sacrificial murder proceed, merely letting this sin have its natural consequence to punish Jep for his dark promise? (I believe so.) But on whose hands does her blood lie? Only Jephthah’s?
So the Bible’s complex about everything – astrology included!
Probably the largest “sun centered” social “culture” – and certainly the longest lasting – is astrology. (Did you see that movie, forget it’s name, that puts forth the intriguing proposition that Jesus was one of a long line of “Sun Gods?” Of course Christianity is a religion, whereas astrology is a metaphysical system.) In any case, the sun is our source of energy, the source even of the blood that pumps through our veins, and in astrology is unparalleled as the most important factor. There have been some bad Sun-centered societies, too. Evidently the Aztecs (at least so said the guide book I took to Mexico City last February) would sometimes slaughter thousands of victims in one day, worried that if they didn’t feed the Sun God enough blood he wouldn’t rise the next morning. Now that’s paranoia!
I was writing about meditation and stress levels last week, and somehow sidetracked onto Nima, the “entity” I channelled in the late ‘80’s-early ‘90’s.
I stopped trancing/meditating for astrological reasons, and when the reason had fled, I never began again. My short experience, though, indicated a few things: channelling is light, calming and for myself at least took place in a fairly conscious state, while I was aware of everything around me, and simultaneously immersed in the sweet, calm, warming “slowness” of the other “feeling.” Whether this feeling came from an actual entity called Nima, or whether it was largely my subconscious surrounding me, really makes little difference. The “answers” would be the same. I only know one thing: it was not imagination, for the imagination could not know what I uttered. (BTW, to answer a reader’s question, I don’t combine channelling with astrology sessions. But “Nima” has given me some of my best predictions – for example, when I wrote here in August 1987 that everyone should get out of the stock market until December –foretelling the famous October/87 crash –that was “Nima assisted.”)
I suspect any channel who claims not to know what they say in trance (“I’m always unconscious, deep asleep”) might be faking it. Even in my deepest trances, I heard perfectly (though I often forgot) what both Nima and her questioners said. “Entities” (such as the famous Ramtha of the 1980’s/90’s) who begin directing people to do questionable things, and who brag about their past life exploits and begin talking about killing, are either fakes, bad entities, or most likely, the channel has let his/her imagination “out speak” the entity; the channeller’s ego has taken over, and like all egos, has begun to seek power and to deal with fear. If you ever visit a (meditation) guru who begins to speak of power, hierarchies, good and evil, of accepting some people and not others, flee.
“Men heap together the mistakes of their lives, and then call it destiny.” (I think Hobbs, a British philosopher, wrote something like that.)
Violence is its own justification and its own reward. It is the perfect social addiction, because it costs nothing beforehand, and its aftermath only creates more of itself.
The Catholic church revered astrology until the Renaissance, when the rise of science induced it to denounce the practice in an attempt to remain relevant.
It’s possible Christ was a sun god. When he’s described in spirit form (transfiguration on the mount in Matthew, for instance) he is so bright he can’t be looked upon, an unearthly white light – in essence, like looking at the sun, which is so bright the eyes recoil. He had 12 disciples. Twelve men have walked on the Moon….
Another common problem with karma is the chicken-and-egg phenomena. Sometimes it seems like the punishment precedes the crime. This is a puzzle best left to God, although Christ hinted at the answer when he said we had to be good in our thoughts, also. I.e., we might attract “bad karma” simply by entertaining the temptation to transgress our moral high ground.
The greatest goal, and what we should all strive for, is peace between us. Yet those who advocate violence have much more compelling justifications than any peace-seekers. Why is this? I think it occurs because peace is, by its nature, passive. But why is violence more compelling than peace? Why is the world made this way? Perhaps because the universe is based on dynamism, on velocity and growth. For a plant to grow, it must “stab” the soil’s calm surface. For man to discover, he must cleave the waves or burn rocket fuel. Such a world system is inherently violent. I think it’s a testament to mankind that we have progressed so far and kept, even developed, our sense of humour, empathy, mercy and tolerance. Don’t despair of mankind. We’re the closest thing to angels, and this earth the closest thing to paradise, that any of us have ever seen.
The 1960’s remain unique. If troubadours, slackers and wanderers could ever be heroes, it was a generation of heroes. We still don’t know what our actions meant, but we know they were heroic. We stepped forward into a world unknown, a true brink. I don’t think there have been explorations of such importance since the fifteenth century. Columbus discovered America in 1492; in the 1960s, Americans landed on the Moon and society discovered consciousness. Has there been a greater act of exploration between those dates, or since? To access a comparable period of such stark “awareness intensity” as the sixties, we’d have to go back to the old testament prophets who saw wheels and burning bushes or who, like Moses, bore the full brunt of God’s powerful breath – or to the pre-literate peoples who saw monster-gods in all nature.
Every time Pluto enters Scorpio, a 250-year era begins that is characterized by the chart of its entry. In 1732, when it entered Scorpio, the chart was full of squares, denoting friction and inventiveness. We then experienced 250 years of war – the World Wars were just the biggest ones – and the industrial and technological revolutions.
The 1984 [actually Nov./83]Pluto entry chart (into Scorpio)shows something much different – virtually all the planets are in one area of the sky, denoting consolidation and centralized power for the 250 years to follow. E.g., the USA has become the sole military super-power. But stagnation and eruption are also characteristic. This period will be marked by long periods of calm, disturbed by possible tectonic shifts, changes so deep and large that they affect whole populations, or the entire world. This era – 1984 to 2229 – is also the last one of the mega-era that runs from 3500 B.C. to 2229 AD. After this, writing, religion, law and linear thought will tend to disappear.
Speaking of “tectonic shifts,” in July/August 2010, a massive array of square aspects occurred that has probably not been seen for thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of years. (Who can search all those years? Perhaps someone can with a computer.) This portends massive shifts in humanity’s forward progress. The west’s decline and asia’s rise economically (and, following, militarily)are one example of such huge shifts. But there must be more. I’ll have to study more…
Often in the Old Testament, they practice of idolatry – generally, every religion that was not of Israel’s God – is condemned in the same breath as the condemnation of sorcery, divination, medium-ship, spiritism, and fortunetelling. Obviously, both classes of offense are wrong because they divorce the practitioner from the true God. (We might say the New God, for monotheism was a new concept – and a difficult one, for even the Israelites kept abandoning it – partly, perhaps, because carved idols are much easier to “see,” comprehend, or have faith in than an invisible God.
Here, I think, is the problem with idolatry:
Lust is wrong because it objectifies a person, makes them an object. It ignores their spirit. It seeks power over them.
Worshiping idols is wrong because it objectifies God, makes God an object. It ignores the spirit of God. It seeks power over God. It makes God a dead thing, just as lust makes a woman, a person, a dead thing. Ultimately, just as lust has the purpose of power over the other person (power to enjoy them and their body without worshiping or respecting their spirit, soul, or living personality) so worshiping objects and idols rather than God directly, seeks the same power over God, over the divine. It is a method of killing the divine, of taking the life out of the divine, just as lust takes the “life” and individuality from the victim. Therefore, lust and idolatry are the same, both are arrogant and both seek to have control over and enjoy the object without limit, thus committing sin. This is the sin of replacing God, of essentially saying,” I am greater than God, and my desires are more important than God’s.”
Now we can see why the Bible is so insistent in describing the Israeli God as the” living God.”
Whether it was in fact true or not, it is easy to see why the writers of the Bible so often equated idolatry with lust and immoral sexual practices.
ON HEBREW GENOCIDE:
I hate to say this, and I might be wrong, or missing some crucial justification or difference, but the following, at least in the blunt, crude sense, can’t be denied: Throughout the Old Testament, the Israelites (and those of Judah) practiced genocide. Repeatedly, God tells them to kill every man, woman and child of a neighbouring nation, and often every animal also. More than once God punished the Jews for sparing some small percentage of the conquered. Throughout the Old Testament, the Jews are told they are God’s only people, his chosen ones, his only loved ones. In Ezra 9:2, for example, they refer to themselves as the “holy race.” Usually, intermarriage with other nations, citizens (pagan peoples) is forbidden. It often takes place, and has a negative consequence. This consequence is usually that the Jew who intermarries is influenced by his wife or wives – many Jewish kings practiced polygamy – into either respecting or, more frequently, taking part in, the pagan religion. Though king David did not.) This major sin then is punished, usually by disease, plague or death from the hand of God.
Is it ironic, then, or simply long-delayed karma, that Nazi Germany 1) believed itself to be the chosen people (though not necessarily God’s) and undertook a campaign of genocide against Jews? It is simply the mirror reflection of what the Jews did for centuries. Though the Nazis assuredly did it with more cruelty and – how does one label Dr. Mengele’s motives? But this perverse cruelty itself might be a judgement, a “comment” by God. (It is perhaps wrong to say “long delayed karma,” as pogroms were committed against the Jews for many centuries before the Twentieth, and in many nations.)
In the New Testament, this belief system or practice of racial (it is actually national, and religious) exclusivity is challenged and refuted by Jesus. Christianity becomes a religion, from inception, of inclusivity – of accepting all races, nationalities, all humans on earth. That itself, however, has led to other problems, such a wars of conversion, enforced conversion, religious wars, and the non-acceptance of all other belief systems. In the Old Testament, non-believers were either rejected or killed. In the New Testament onward, non-believers are converted – or rejected and killed.
(For example, Amerindians). In both systems, though it was condoned by neither system, to an appreciable degree non-believers were (and are) simply ignored and/or tolerated – though this seems to be much more a human reaction than a spiritual or Godly one. (In fact, the Old Testament Jews were repeatedly criticized and/or punished by God for such tolerance – or more properly, tolerant inaction – the inaction of not destroying the pagans and/or their altars and religious symbols, idols, etc. This was negligence, the passive refusal to carry out God’s instructions to destroy all who worship other (false) gods, and their places and articles of worship.
MORE ON THIRD TESTAMENT:
The following is speculation, not prophecy nor an attempt to be prophetic (for God has spoken loudly and plainly to me, in audible words, only once in my life, four decades ago); rather, the idea put forth below is submitted humbly, in trust, but not certainty, that God approves, or at least tolerates my speculation, as it is done in the spirit of enquiry rather than of arrogance or blasphemy.
Though it is too early to demonstrate, a progression exists in the unfoldment of Judeo-Christian belief, event and “method” : first, there is the Old Testament, a belief in one God, excluding all other people. This is the exclusivity and purification stage. Second, Christ, a cross, crucifix, and a doctrine of spreading the word, the belief, to all people. (Mathematically, a cross is infinite, as its four lines radiate to infinity.) This is an imposition stage. Third, I believe, will the next stage, perhaps the one referred to as the Second Coming, but perhaps not. This stage will include a coming, a huge spiritual force or wave. This will be the inclusive stage, and will be represented not by a cross, but a sphere. I believe this stage will also be largely non-literate. (By this I mean humanity will have progressed beyond written words – as he is already doing in technology.) The sphere, of course, will not have the basic message of radiating outward, as the cross/crucifix did/does, but (though still radiant) of containing, of inclusion, and also of birth. The cross was one of death and rebirth. The sphere will be one of new birth. It will be a dominantly female phase, as the former two phases were male. (The Old Testament is quite balanced in symbol: God’s two presences, flame and cloud, are male (flame) and female (cloud). The altar and sacrifice are male, but the temple is female. But socially, the Old Testament is overwhelmingly male. The dominant symbol of the New Testament is male: the cross-cum-sword-cum-phallus. But the sphere-cum-womb-cum-earth/Gaia-cum-surround-cum –shelter-cum-egg, is female.) Every stage has its prejudices and punishments, but this third stage, hopefully, will have far fewer than the previous two, because by its nature it will include.
I think this phase will begin in about 200 years, that is, 2229 (when a major planetary phenomenon occurs) onward to about 2490 AD, and will be marked or announced, by an angel whose wings fill the horizon.
Whether this third stage coincides with, or precedes, the time of the Revelation, or the “end days,” I do not know.
In mentioning a planetary phenomenon above, I am not attempting to violate the Bible’s instruction not to worship the heavenly bodies. Though I have not read most of Isaiah through Daniel yet, nor Titus to Jude, I have not yet seen a proscription against astrology. The closest that occurs (in my reading thus far, which is 9/10ths of the Bible) is a mocking of the Babylonians by Isaiah (47:13) in which he says: “Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you. Surely they are like stubble, the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame.” If we take these words, which are a portion of a long condemnation of idols, magic, sorcery, of the Queen of Babylon and of the Israelites also, and we substitute, for astrology, the word “swords,” or “legions of warriors” we get a speech that is often heard in the Bible, when both Israel and its enemies boast, to paraphrase: “Let your best warriors come forward, sharper your swords, prepare your war machines and your armies, who have made war month in and month out, let them save you from our wrath. Surely they are like stubble, the fire will burn them up…” In this sense, astrology is little different than a sword, or any other tool of advantage. God does not condemn the sword in the Bible; instead, he condemns how the sword is used. When David uses it to conquer Israel’s enemies, it is good. When he uses it to dispatch the innocent husband (Uriah) of a woman he lusts for, it is evil. God is consistently speaking to motive. Even in regard to divination, motive appears to be the deciding factor. Repeatedly, practicing divination, God says, is to be punished by death. Yet God’s own priests practice divination, via the Urim and Thummim stones. (Mentioned by name in Leviticus 8:8 and Nehemiah 7:65 – in Leviticus, Moses, in “introducing” the divination stones as part of the priest’s accouterments, says “This is what the Lord (God) has commanded to be done.”) The difference is that priests are allowed to practise divination, but others are not. Fortunetelling is also condemned. Yet in Samuel, (9:6 onward) “prophets” and “seers” proliferate, are little better than fortune tellers, and are asked such everyday questions as locating lost donkeys, which road to take to the next town, etc. They say things like, “I will tell you all that is in your heart” (Samuel 9:19) – a sentence surely uttered by many “Madam Psychics” of today. These seers are even paid for their services, yet are accepted and approved of, implicitly by God, for a seer/prophet is called a “man of God” (repeatedly in Samuel 9). However, very near in time, “false prophets” are also castigated – there are even confrontations between real (sincere) and false (self-serving) prophets, with sometimes a virtual army (hundreds) of prophets (usually the false ones) slain by the sword.
So one of the differences between good practice and evil practice seems to fall along lines of motive and of service to God. There is no difference between Baal the bad sorcerer, and Elijah the miracle-working prophet, except allegiance (and, by extension, goodness or badness of motive). A second, and easily as important, distinction lies in whether a person is a priest (and part of the priestly clan, the Levites) or not – the former, anointed priests, are allowed to touch the altar of God, and to practice divination. The latter, are killed for the same acts. (E.g., David’s man, killed instantly by God for touching the altar, even though he was trying to save it from falling onto the ground when it was being transported.)
But in the New Testament, a new regime of sin and grace was instituted. Animal sacrifices were abandoned; Christ’s sacrifice replaced these. The exclusiveness (in spiritual grace) of priests was rejected by Christ, and “sinners,” or in general laymen, were given the “right” to be a holy as anyone. Nowhere in the New Testament is astrology condemned, that I can find so far. (I have not read Titus through Jude.) Indeed, many believe the Magi who perceived Christ’s birth from afar, were astrologers. They followed “his star in the East.” (Matthew 2:2). Many commentators believe these Magi came from Babylon – the nation Isaiah noted (see above) as being filled with astrologers. (Babylon was, in fact, the seat of modern, or western, astrology, which is thought to have arrived there from India.) This sounds a new note, as the New Testament begins with an acceptance, and even an approving, flattering portrait, of astrologers, or at the very least, of star gazers who draw information about events from the stars.
There are many reasons to forgive, and these are well expressed by many leaders. One of the greatest is that when we do not forgive we curtail, maim, and embitter or own selves, and make our life small. But the chief reason forgive is that if everyone forgave, there would be nothing to forgive – no sin, no crime, and no hurt. This is because almost all sin on earth, and the justification for the sin, arises from an original injury or abuse to the sinner. Pedophiles and rapists have almost always been sexually abused as children. Those who batter, murder and assault have experienced this in their youth or have observed it being done to a family member. Every pedophile, rapist, robber, murderer, bully or any other criminal will almost always feel that they are justified in their action because at some point in their lives they have been grievously wronged. Whether this is true or not – and I believe it is almost always true – had these people truly forgiven their abusers they would have felt no justification to commit their own sin; and indeed they might have felt no motive, compunction or desire to commit their crime.
We are tempted to say that this view is too simplistic. For example, a man who has never been wronged may still be excited by a beautiful woman, yield to lust, and take advantage of her. But when we say take advantage, we imply or assume that she is using his superior strength as a man to overpower the woman physically and enjoy her physical attributes. Or we might suppose that he does not overpower her physically, but that the implied threat of his greater strength causes her to yield to his sexual desires. In either case the man has committed the sin of lust. However, we can see that both these instances involve a deliberate use of force or intimidation – in other words of bullying. A child who has never been bullied is not likely to bully anyone else as an adult. A child who has not been harmed nor abused, is not likely to enter the inward psychological corridors or alienation from the opposite sex which is a breeding ground for lust. A psychologically healthy young man – that is one who has not been abused in any form drastic or slight – is not likely to yield to lust, and even less likely to act upon it. Instead such a young man would be likely to engage in the more common and more healthy interaction between men and women of friendship, courtship, flirtation, mutual consent, mutual desire, and other forms of interaction which lead to equality of relationship rather than the bullying or dominance on the male’s part and the submission or seduction on the female’s part. Had this pathological young man who was drawn to lust, forgiven the parents or other actors who had bullied, abuse or otherwise turn the healthy current of his growth into an unhealthy Valley – if in forgiving them he had also obtained health, salvation, a cleansing, or (re)admittance to the open social channels of sexual interaction, he would not have attempted to fulfill a desire of lust, because lust itself is deeply entwined with a desire to bully, possess, or control – lust, in essence, is related to a fear of the environment or of other human beings. Even further lustful desires are entwined with a desire to be alone or to embrace alienation in the deepest way.
Again, words cannot reflect the myriad social and psychological complexities that exist – so any statement on the subject is open to an accusation of oversimplification. This is why sometimes the greatest truths are told in a paradoxical or seemingly riddled form. But the simple truth is this: had this young man’s bullying parents forgiven their bullying parents and had their bullying parents in turn forgiven their bullying parents and so on back to the beginning of mankind, no generation would have felt the need to bully the next generation. Hence, no bullying would occur. Without bullying, there would be no lust. The same pattern should hold for sexual abuse, murder, thievery, violence, and every other crime. At this point in our development, it is impossible to not sin, to not commit crime; there is only one cure which can eradicate this constant thorn in the side of humanity’s progress. That cure is forgiveness. As we forgive those who have wronged us, so we are freed from the need to wrong others. As we forgive those who have wronged us, so we become people who find no satisfaction in the temptations of sin. Should all of humanity practice real forgiveness, there would very soon be nothing to forgive.