LIGHT OR BLACKOUT OVER BETHLEHEM?
I shall first review this week’s Australian ABC1 broadcast of Britain’s Channel 4 production Star of Bethlehem: Behind the Myth and mention a few common, but misleading, approaches to the whole Christmas star theme. I’ll then offer some perspectives in light of controversial experiences I've had in treating this sensitive subject over the years and now in more recent days faced with virtual censorship on communication of remarkable new facts and data concerning the birth and life of Christ.
Something of the scope and revolution of what I’m claiming, (necessarily one of the more remarkable finds of Christian history if true and with unprecedented insight into Jesus’ mind and intentions) can be gauged by copies of the ignored News Release and refused author’s Op Ed material pasted below in conclusion here. My Testament of the Magi was published two weeks ago, but as a doctor of religious studies I’m already compelled to ask who reckons to own and/or block access to the subject of the Star and related vital issues around Jesus. The problem (since the material is not intellectually opaque) is arguably a profoundly spiritual one for especially self-declared Christians who have been caught unawares (and perhaps found wanting!). This whole issue - like “no room at the inn” itself - amounts to one big but largely hidden scandal.
THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM DOCUMENTARY
The Atlantic Productions' documentary was commendably wide-ranging. It was also fair, though I question the title’s implications. There is no “myth” to get behind, rather there are certain religious and scientific prejudices to overcome that have too long obscured the picture and stopped anyone reaching the firmer conclusions needed and now possible. The feature never went beyond informed speculation. There was strong and sensible argument for the star being a planet, though towards the end also speculation I would deny, but reasonable, that a nova in 5BC could have summarized other earlier and mainly Jupiter related phenomena so as to be the Bethlehem star for brightness. (The star as comet got rightly dismissed - comets were traditionally deemed unfortunate, not good news).
Astronomer, David Hughes, whose line I endorse, was given more time than I expected to explain phenomena of 7 BC in Pisces and the association of such phenomena with Israel, something which by contrast Michael Molnar (whose popular views are now regularly repeated every Christmas) either denies or is unconcerned with. Molnar emphasizes the sign of Aries for Israel and again Jupiter, his interest triggered by a coin from Antioch showing a Ram and the moon and Zeus/Jupiter on the other side. (I didn’t gather why alleged Christians commemorating Christ’s nativity would stamp coins with Zeus on it!).
Though astrology was acknowledged as indissociable from ancient astronomy hence of some symbolic importance to consider, its wider significance was ignored or else denied in favour of “scientific” explanations for the star. It was hoped science and an ever better scanning of ancient skies may yet reveal what the original secret was - if by now "the mystery" is not better and more potent than the truth! Most participants, even scientists, nonetheless assumed the Star did represent a truth to discover, though one Canon theologian of London's St Paul’s Cathedral was content to accept it might only be a symbol for the greatness of the Christ event. Ironically, it was the Magi finished the most knowable, revealed datum of the inquiry. Almost certainly Persians, we can know how they dressed and that they probably rode on horses not camels. The feature’s bright kaleidoscope of facts could neither inspire nor offend in its inconclusive nature. Normally, theories both mentioned and ignored in the BBC feature are more strongly defended and contested. Here’s a brief criticism.
THE ERROR OF SINGLE FACT AND OVERLY ASTRONOMICAL BETHLEHEM STAR THEORIES
Some BS theories, most notably those promoting Jupiter/Moon occultations or Jupiter/ Regulus contacts (Michael Molnar and Rick Larson respectively), or Jupiter/Venus conjunctions in 3 and 2BC (David Reneke, Ernest Martin, the latter popular but ignored in the docu), no matter how scholarly in certain respects, are not well rounded. And they are not necessarily well informed either - Jupiter occultations in ancient astrology indicated a king's death or conditions of shortage, certainly no birth to celebrate! These theories satisfy little more than conservative Christians. The latter want their signs to be bright heavenly spectacles, not the full blown astrology and destiny patterns which Magi dealt in and which get conceded to, if at all, in only the mildest possible way i.e. just Jupiter or Regulus or zodiacal sign Leo are allowed to signal something royal and even then more or less independently of the rest of the celestial patterns within which they occur.
The fact is – astrologically – the Jesus of the gospels simply could not be a Messiah or King of Israel born under conquering Jupiter in Aries aspects or Jupiter/Venus aspects that looked good or bore loose association with things regal. Such aspects would mean Jesus was born, or must become, the conquering hero some hoped for, or be another glorious Solomon, but not any tragic or spiritual Messiah. It’s notorious that Jupiter/Venus aspects incline to lifestyles of the rich and famous or even accompany natal patterns of lucky devil criminals!
I have already mentioned the Jupiter occultation error, but in any case the related sun sign of this thesis, Aries, bellicose sign of the outgoing era, is very much what Jesus was never about even if one concedes there’s some evidence that Aries enjoyed associations with the Jews among at least the pagans of the West if not stargazers further east. Texas lawyer, Rick Larson, who has issued a popular, much promoted DVD on the Star (it is directed by Steven McEveety who directed Gibson's The Passion of the Christ) wants those seeing and purchasing his film to contribute to his Star Project for ongoing scientific research into the Star! (He hasn’t replied to my comments). Meanwhile Michael Molnar proclaims in Net interview that his theory seems to be the best yet, and is as good as incontestable according to those who have reviewed him.
Most theories, even when apparently comprehensive, tend towards a one fact bias, the trump card approach. One or another phenomenon is deemed the birth star because it fits with the fact Israel was symbolized a certain way, or else kings were, or because Herod died a certain year, or a census was one year, not another, or Jesus wasn’t “about thirty” when he began his ministry if born in 7BC (there’s a special and important answer to that problem I supply). Given the limits of our information both biblical and historical it’s always possible to make one fact fit, or fault a theory by stressing how another fact doesn’t tally. So it is
a) The greatest all-round level of agreement must be taken into account
b) The stellar information likewise should offer all round, not giving single factor sense, i.e. one will take not just a planet for Israel, for kingship or religion but read an entire planetary picture. The pattern should also work for the last week of Jesus’ life and work to this day for Jesus issues too.
This is what I can dramatically demonstrate and in unprecedented detail but which is not being examined or in effect not permitted to be so. Those who know little about astrology or theology are telling those who do what the picture should be, and various prejudices of religion and science are allowed to prevail. And beyond that limiting situation one then perhaps has to convince communicators like TV production companies who these days need to be approached before the TV channels.
[An interesting footnote to this section which emerges via comments I see posted to the latest seasonal You Tube promotion of Larson's DVD is the following observation which I paste:
This guy (Larson)is a lawyer. Which may be why he was careful to tweak the info he lifted from Ernest L. Martin's book 'The Star that Astonished the World' (free to read at ASKELM-dotcom) just enough so he couldn't be accused of plagiarism.He basically switched September 11, 3 BCE from being Christ's birthday to the day of his conception, which undoes layers and layers of rich, meaningful symbolic and prophetic fulfillment as the late Dr. Martin showed in his scholarly book back in 1991.
Obviously I deny the Martin thesis too, but I'm interested in the promotional side of things. There are by now vested interests which make inquiry more difficult].
UK PRODUCTION COMPANIES AND THE BETHLEHEM STAR.
During much of ‘06 I found myself subject to a bewildering sequence of demands for reports and plans, with promises to me both made and broken regarding a docu with links to my claims re the astrology of Christ and related issues. The company’s contact didn’t want me applying elsewhere but in exhaustion I finally did so to more helpful, realistic responses. In two cases religion and history had just been dropped as company themes otherwise, I was told, I would have been taken on. One company advised me to skip the double problem of dealing from Australia by applying direct to Acquil Ahmed, who would supposedly be either interested or able to direct me to who would be. AA is the Pakistani born Muslim who formerly ran religion at Channel 4 and to some controversy has since been appointed head of religious broadcasting for the BBC. Over around 3 months, no amount of emailing or phoning to his UK office and done in light of the recommendation given me, produced one word or line of response. Later and while in Hong Kong in ‘07 I received calls and inquiries about contributing to a proposed British docu on Christ (rather than celestial signs as such) but this got refused at Channel 4.
After all this… I’m interested and to a degree happy that any broadcast from any perspective on the Christmas Star has got through the hoops; though again I say without compromise I have decidedly more information both conclusive and significant than is offered by existing theories that enjoy more promotion. TV however is not the sum of media, there’s also the press to convince.
THE NO MAGI ARCHBISHOP AND HIS NO MAGI CHURCH TIMES
Some Christians like the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, have decided the Magi are probably myth. The prelate spoiled some people’s Christmas in ‘07 when his unnecessary scepticism hit the headlines with a privileged ease contrary report on the subject can’t obtain in times when scepticism is trendy. Oriental Magi were a standard if controversial feature of the Roman empire until the emperor Constantine banned them after the Church was established. It’s extremely unlikely the very Jewish Matthew would put such disapproved pagan people into his birth narrative without much reason to believe they were somehow associated with Jesus’ birth. But people believe what they want to believe. An editor of the Church Times, organ of the church Williams oversees, controversially dismissed me a few years ago (when I was less advanced with my researches but had been reviewed by CT for another book so felt it could feature something on the Magian theme) with the words: “We know all there is to know about Jesus, we don’t need to know about the Magi”. But, they do need to know because otherwise they may miss things they need to understand about Jesus today!
THE NO MAGI CLONES AT RELIGION NEWS SERVICE
Following in the Archbishop’s footsteps, to help spoil some Americans’ Christmas for ‘09, one of the writers of Religion News Service put out a feature in America Today highlighting the book, The First Christmas by Marcus Borg and John Crossan of the Jesus Seminar. The authors’ position is basically the birth narratives are just introductory poetic flourishes. I had given my PR notice to the Religion News Service who couldn’t be bothered to acknowledge. Since I am published in religion and a doctor of religious studies and have compelling information it would be hard not to feel censored especially as I then wrote to the editor to check material was received. Again no courtesy of reply.
NO ROOM AT THE INN AT UNHELPFUL, CHRISTIAN TODAY.COM.
I’m not Jonathan Swift, so not wishing to be merely vindictive I won’t list as I could all those outlets and persons to whom PR re my Testament of the Magi findings were sent and who didn’t respond. The silence of some is anyway almost more odd than rude like Time magazine seeing I was several years ago listed as an expert whom they might consult. However….I do rather identify with the Jesus of Revelation wanting to spit lukewarm, indifferent Laodicean Christians from his mouth when I recall Christian Today, described as the biggest British Net purveyor of religious news. I rang from Australia to discover the best way to approach them. Plainly the hard to understand receptionist wasn’t interested in any unique news nor willing even to let me speak to anyone about such. I must send email to an address given me. Receiving no acknowledgement to this and made aware of a temporary email and server problem I rang to certify if anything ever arrived. No, this couldn’t be dealt with. Email the press room - to which I was categorically refused permission to speak. The mails were now working but in view of the communication problems and the singular subject I specifically requested as a Christian courtesy to have acknowledgement even if it was only negative. I’ve never received reply. This isn’t good enough. Religious organizations should improve on the indifference of more secular organizations devoted to more material ends.
ANOTHER CHRISTMAS LET DOWN BY THE AUSTRALIAN NEWSPAPER
Some years ago when working at the more traditional, technical version of the Star theory that became my published Signs for a Messiah, the late strange, (some said pedophile) priest, James Murray, then religion editor for The Australian newspaper, put me to considerable trouble and even expense towards a colour supplement feature of my work. It was cancelled for vague reasons at the last minute and I felt Murray wasn’t too honest with me about it. It has left me feeling The Australian might kindly owe me a little space on my theme. I did mention that point and also this week’s broadcast in offering an author's Op-Ed on the Star theme for to the Opinions editor who had nothing more to say than “Thank you I can’t use it”. With or without religion as theme Australia can be shockingly rude and indifferent to its authors and intellectuals. Now if I were a footballer…!
IN PARENTHESIS: ASTROLOGICAL CURIOS OF THIS SUBJECT AT THIS TIME
Astrologers believe in what are called “sensitive degrees” observed to repeat and connect across time. The following might not mean too much to non-astrologers (who can skip it if they wish), but the other day I noticed, as I should have done earlier, that the late Ferrari D’Occhieppo (1907-2007), ultimate source of my and David Hughes'line of inquiry which radically develops from the thesis Jupiter was the Star of Bethlehem, natally has his crucial
Jupiter at 13.30 Leo
(his career/destiny linked Saturn is also conjunct the Bethlehem star)_
Hughes who popularized D’Occhieppo’s views for the English speaking public adding some some views of his own, has his own name asteroid,
DavidHughes at 14.44 Leo (i.e. within Jesus natus - Hughes doesn’t supply his own date of birth).
Rollan McCleary who has cracked the code the scientists missed and worked the despised astrology of the relevant theses natally has,
Pluto at 14.53 Leo
Mars at 15.48 Leo (i.e. on a world point)
All three of us are therefore opposed to,(i.e. can be challenged by), the degree of Chaldea (a name traditionally associated with Magi and Eastern mysteries at
Chaldaea) which is at 14.03 Aquarius in the natus of Jesus
THERE’S NO PROOF OF THE BETHLEHEM STAR WITHOUT A RELEVANT HOROSCOPE
I shall now wrap up my comments before concluding with copies of the ignored and rejected media directed messages. The Magi were astrologers seeking and following signs. Though they may not have cast a horoscope for Jesus, such were cast in the era for prominent people. Astrological signs work across-the-board for events, for groups of people (like nations) and individuals. Therefore any signs betokening the birth of a Messianic king must do so in meaningful, personal terms on a personal horoscope. It would however require a near revolution in consciousness for many Christians to accept this point since they have decided that astrology is a biblically verboten form of divination although the rabbis of the Talmud and the Essenes never saw things that way.
THE DUTY AND CHALLENGE TO EXAMINE THIS EVIDENCE
As I’ve been insisting, the findings I possess are objectively some of the most remarkable in Christian history if true. If untrue – attempt to beat the odds to disprove them! – then they are at least a remarkable statistical anomaly, an interesting curio which in the normal way of things it might be expected would be taken up at this season. To ignore the possibility I could be correct, to dismiss and disregard all evidence is a censorship and unworthy of at so-called Christians and arguably finishes less an insult to myself than towards who and what is represented. This needs to be considered.
COPY OF PRESS RELEASE MESSAGE ON CHRIST DATA (unacknowledged by all press and media religious and secular approached).
MODERN REVELATION OF THE HISTORICAL JESUS: New Christ data exact as a fingerprint.
That Jesus never existed will become harder to sustain. Questions around Jesus like who he descended from, when he died, if he married the Magdalene, what he believed, are resolved in an unprecedented revealing study from a doctor of religious studies issued at the end of this month.
Enlarging upon a respected line in historical and astronomical scholarship, Dr Rollan McCleary knew years ago he had cracked the Magian code and discovered Christ’s true birth data and the dating of the Easter week. But proving it to sceptical laypersons and non-astrologers seemed impossible. Now, especially with ability to apply to remote dates the same kind of detailed, but little used kind of micro-astrology of names, places and concepts that if applied to, say, Prince William’s natus reveals asteroid Kate in his relationship house, a wider, more obvious range of information emerges.
Jesus’ house of origins actually names notable ancestors in his messianic line. The heavens produce a super-conjunction of his names. His disciples are meaningfully placed like Peter conjuncting his brother, Andrew. The patterns are so repeatedly, consistently exact they can only belong to Jesus at whose death one even finds Lucifer opposing Peter in tension to Hahn, i.e. the cock associated with the denial. The data work across time. An eclipse opposite Jesus’ Magdalena preceded the modern burst of publishing on all aspects of the Magdalene story. The patterns are doubly remarkable because the asteroids were named in modern times so apply retroactively and trans-lingually implying time and language are ultimately one. The study employs 430 asteroids and many so-called Arabic Parts like Part of the Father in their unique positions and inter-relations.
Testament of the Magi: Mysteries of the Birth and Life of Christ is a virtual fifth gospel taking readers as never before into the self-understanding of Jesus. The book is being released from November 28th and direct onto Amazon for a reason. Increasingly houses and agents are refusing to consider religion projects so the writer risks waiting through the 36 houses needed for even Roy Williams’ now successful God, Actually to be accepted. A Transworld editor did deem Testament “fascinating and groundbreaking”, but recommended it for another major house which refused it without explanation probably as inconvenient to their promotion of a title at variance with Testament’s evidence. With “no room at the inn” threatening the project it seemed best to release material without further delay. This Christmas it can be known when the real Christmas was, what it meant and much else about Jesus.
Rollan McCleary holds dual Irish and Australian nationalities. He is a doctor of religious studies from Queensland University, Brisbane, and a qualified astrologer. Published in mainly religion his first main publication, The Expansion of God in 1982 on the relations of Christianity and Asian cultures was a critical success. His A Special Illumination: Authority, Inspiration and Heresy in Gay Spirituality (2005) caused some controversy internationally.
COPY OF OP-ED refused by The Australian newspaper Opinions section with just “Thank you I can’t use it”
THE BETHLEHEM STAR IS NOT A MYSTERY:
At the end of the Introduction to my Testament of the Magi I remark that much of the book was written in a state of surprise and perhaps can only be read that way. The same advice might apply for this article. I will try to convey here the confronting claim we can finally know beyond all reasonable doubt when Jesus was born, when he died and much more about him. Those who care to argue must now beat some major statistical odds to do so since nothing more convincing than I show is likely to be produced – ever.
In 1977 astronomer, Ferrari D’Occhieppo’s Der Stern der Weisen opened a scholarly path towards discovery of Jesus’ birth and in 1980 astro-physicist David Hughes' The Star of Bethlehem was published. Mid September 7BC was their general target area. But where was the horoscope? Could and should there be one? Such proof (on which the scientists weren’t keen) wasn’t forthcoming. Ever since 1987I have known that, enlarging on the path opened up, I had cracked a code the scientists missed and found the only possible working data for Jesus, (a pattern which responds to Jesus issues to this day). But popularizing the case from technical data would be hard especially given the hostility of religionists and scientists to anything astrological, a hostility requiring you need to be overwhelmingly obvious and precise even to be heard. Now with recourse to a micro-astrology especially of name, place and concept asteroids made available for remote dates the irrefutable case can be made.
First a few words about asteroids. They work. And perhaps because all time and language are one they even work retroactively and trans-lingually from their modern naming. Australia's Schapelle Corby imprisoned in Bali shows asteroid Bali conjunct Saturn, traditional symbol of sorrow and confinement. Prince William shows asteroid Kate in his relationships house while asteroids Camilla and Diana battle it out in conjunction between two painful planets. Now apply asteroids and Arabic Parts to a correct birth time for Jesus remembering that to establish house divisions and use Arabic Parts like Part of the Father you need time accuracy. The late Gwen Stoney, Australia’s expert in modern techniques measuring fate/death patterns most astrologers avoid, early encouraged my researches once convinced the birth time was extremely correct for the assumed date of Christ’s crucifixion.
I can hardly convey the wealth and intricacy of detail derived from 430 asteroids and 70 Arabic Parts applied to the itself suggestive root planetary pattern; but some things can’t be missed. Jesus’ “house” of family and origins produces names of leading messianic ancestors along with some creed-like flourishes like asteroid Paradise. The chart’s Midheaven (reputation and destiny) produces exact conjunction with Licht (light) and Shabas (Sabbath) in the sign of originality and the masses, Aquarius. It’s suitable for someone uniquely called “Light of the World” and self-called “Lord of the Sabbath” especially as both asteroids form degree exact aspect to Logos (Word) in astrology’s traditional religion and doctrine sign (Sagittarius). The death pattern is as remarkable as for birth, with many, often very theological details but also an unforgettable opposition of Lucifer to Peter in affliction aspect to Hahn, the cock of the famous denial.
At times I’m left with questions. Why are Adam and Eve beside a viper in a pattern of symbolism I won’t describe but which bespeaks the Edenic prophecy? One could explain the primal pair away as figures in Jesus’ mind (which I claim is revealed as never before); yet can I likewise deny Kate Middleton exists when she’s in William’s unions house? Sometimes there are borderline cases I call “astrospeak” where the skies seemingly give muffled echoes of something from the limited available lexicon like (also in Jesus’ origins house), Patria conjunct Betlem – homeplace Bethlehem? Also in an improbable super-conjunction of Jesus’ names Christ is Christa because early asteroid namings were in the feminine – Nelsonia, etc.
Compelling though all this is “No room at the inn” haunts this subject with archetypal force. No PR notice on the theme this season has been taken up - even by the religious press. I imagine reaction was akin to a church newspaper contacted while writing the book: “We know all there is to know about Jesus, we don’t need to know about the Magi”. But missing the Magi you may miss things about Jesus and the future too. The data remains sensitive. An eclipse opposite Jesus’ Magdalene asteroid preceded publication of Susan Haskins' study of the Magdalene which unleashed the torrent of speculation on this individual.
It’s ‘No room at the inn” in publishing too. Despite its sensational nature and my being published in religion my book has been released direct onto Amazon because, with a singular exception at Transworld, I have not been able to interest publishers or agents to look at the project. “It wouldn’t fit our programme” “We don’t take religion or spirituality”. Couldn’t they make an exception? No! Too busy like the wedding invitees in Jesus’ parable? It’s a fact everyday arrangements can finish more important than life and truth themselves!
So, there’s something here of the Christmas story in its raw form. But that same story is also a foundational one for the West which is increasingly dismissing it. However the Bethlehem star and the skies against which it appeared still hold messages to guide us and which it would be unwise to ignore.