All Knees Will Bow and All Tongues Will confess that Jesus-Yeshua is Lord, and that includes Jay-Z.
Hip Hop star Jay-Z has blasted traditional Christian values in an epic rant where he claims to be part of an exclusive club of “smart people” who worships “our true lord; Satan.”The billionaire rapper has also claimed that “God created Lucifer to be the bearer of truth and light,” and that “Jesus never existed” but was merely a “tool created by smart people to control dumb people.”During a backstage tirade at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Friday, Jay-Z pointed around the room saying, “ya’ll being played.” “There ain’t no Jesus.”Ya’ll slaves to a fake religion.”Do you think I got where I am praying to a guy that don’t exist?”No. I found the guys who invented that guy and I joined the club.”Then I worked my way to the top.”I earned my new form of humanity and maturity when I fully embraced my older brother, Satan.”The music star claims that Satanism became the “highest form of being” due to the ease of manipulating “mentally-challenged Christians” who “desire to be slaves.”He stated that “there’s real spirituality and guidance in the Church of Satan,” that rewards its followers with “wealth and success,” but “Christians have prayed to God for years and ain’t gotten nothing back, just silence and emptiness.” This, apparently, is what caused Satan to have “gotten a bad rap” from Christians who worship a “fake religion, built by assholes.”Pointing to a small crowd of backstage ticket winners, the multi-Grammy Award-winning musician said: “How many of ya’ll have gotten rich, or famous, after you prayed to God?”Come on, raise your hands?”As the young fans began to murmur nervously, Jay-Z announced: “I can answer for y’all because I am free.”I answer to a higher power.”None of you are rich and none of you are famous because no one is listening to your prayers.”I got everything I wanted because I surrendered to our true lord, Satan.”Because I recognized Jesus is the original fake news, designed to enslave humanity.””God created Lucifer, not Jesus, so he could rule over us as Satan.”I’m telling you this because I know you guys look up to me and want to emulate me.”I will give you this one guarantee, if you start following the doctrine of Lucifer, you will taste success.”The secret of the universe opens up to you. “It is immediate and glorious.”The 99 Problems rapper also promoted his Satanic beliefs onstage, telling the audience they should ignore the rules of the venue and the security staff trying to enforce them.Jay-Z instructed his fans to “Do what thou wilt” instead of respecting the rules.
It’s no secret Jay-Z is a longtime follower of the English occultist founder of the Satanic religion Thelema, Aleister Crowley. The religion is based on the idea that the beginning of the Aeon of Horus was marked by the start of the 20th century, in which a new ethical code would be adhered to: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” This statement indicates that followers, known as Thelemites, should seek out their true path in life, and follow their “True Will.”Jay-Z’s Satanic preaching is just the latest in a long line of public glimpses into the dark side that the rapper has shared.He recreated his image as a dark lord, after starting his career as an aspirational rapper, flashing Illuminati hand gestures and promoting Satanic symbolism as he rose to the top of the music industry.Jay-Z has since attempted to tone down his dark image since establishing himself in the global consciousness as a Devil-worshipping entertainer. However, this latest disturbing rant in New Orleans suggests he has openly embraced the darkest forces in our society, far deeper than ever before.The incident has also sparked fears around the world that the Illuminati has moved onto the next phase of the master plan, and has begun openly promoting sinister spirituality as a viable religious choice for those seeking guidance.Perhaps those most influenced by Jay-Z’s Satanic promotions are his legions of disenfranchised youths, who aspire to one day lead a lifestyle like their hero. (Click to Source)
And the high priest asked [Stephen], Are these charges true?
And he answered, Brethren and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our forefather Abraham when he was still in Mesopotamia, before he [went to] live in Haran,
And He said to him, Leave your own country and your relatives and come into the land (region) that I will point out to you.
So then he went forth from the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. And from there, after his father died, [God] transferred him to this country in which you are now dwelling.
Yet He gave him no inheritable property in it, [no] not even enough ground to set his foot on; but He promised that He would give it to Him for a [a]permanent possession and to his descendants after him, even though [as yet] he had no child.
And this is [in effect] what God told him: That his descendants would be aliens (strangers) in a land belonging to other people, who would bring them into bondage and ill-treat them 400 years.
But I will judge the nation to whom they will be slaves, said God, and after that they will escape and come forth and worship Me in this [very] place.
And [God] made with Abraham a covenant (an agreement to be religiously observed) [b]of which circumcision was the seal. And under these circumstances [Abraham] became the father of Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac [did so] when he became the father of Jacob, and Jacob [when each of his sons was born], the twelve patriarchs.
And the patriarchs [Jacob’s sons], boiling with envy and hatred andanger, sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt; but God was with him,
And delivered him from all his distressing afflictions and won him goodwill and favor and wisdom and understanding in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made him governor over Egypt and all his house.
Then there came a famine over all of Egypt and Canaan, with great distress, and our forefathers could find no fodder [for the cattle] orvegetable sustenance [for their households].
But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent forth our forefathers [to go there on their] first trip.
And on their second visit Joseph revealed himself to his brothers, and the family of Joseph became known to Pharaoh and his origin and race.
And Joseph sent an invitation calling to himself Jacob his father and all his kindred, seventy-five persons in all.
And Jacob went down into Egypt, where he himself died, as did [also] our forefathers;
And their [c]bodies [Jacob’s and Joseph’s] were taken back to Shechem and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of [silver] money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.
But as the time for the fulfillment of the promise drew near which God had made to Abraham, the [Hebrew] people increased and multiplied in Egypt,
Until [the time when] there arose over Egypt another and a different king who did not know Joseph [neither knowing his history and services nor recognizing his merits].
He dealt treacherously with and defrauded our race; he abused andoppressed our forefathers, forcing them to expose their babies so that they might not be kept alive.
At this juncture Moses was born, and was exceedingly beautiful in God’s sight. For three months he was nurtured in his father’s house;
Then when he was exposed [to perish], the daughter of Pharaoh rescued him and took him and reared him as her own son.
So Moses was educated in all the wisdom and culture of the Egyptians, and he was mighty (powerful) in his speech and deeds.
And when he was in his fortieth year, it came into his heart to visit his kinsmen the children of Israel [[d]to help them and to care for them].
And on seeing one of them being unjustly treated, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking down the Egyptian and slaying [him].
He expected his brethren to understand that God was granting them deliverance by his hand [taking it for granted that they would accept him]; but they did not understand.
Then on the next day he [e]suddenly appeared to some who were quarreling and fighting among themselves, and he urged them to make peace and become reconciled, saying, Men, you are brethren; why do you abuse and wrong one another?
Whereupon the man who was abusing his neighbor pushed [Moses] aside, saying, Who appointed you a ruler (umpire) and a judge over us?
Do you intend to slay me as you slew the Egyptian yesterday?
At that reply Moses sought safety by flight and he was an exile and an alien in the country of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.
And when forty years had gone by, there appeared to him in the wilderness (desert) of Mount Sinai an angel, in the flame of a burning bramblebush.
When Moses saw it, he was astonished and marveled at the sight; but when he went close to investigate, there came to him the voice of the Lord, saying,
I am the God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob. And Moses trembled and was so terrified that he did not venture to look.
Then the Lord said to him, Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground and worthy of veneration.
Because I have most assuredly seen the abuse and oppression of My people in Egypt and have heard their sighing and groaning, I have come down to rescue them. So, now come! I will send you back to Egypt [as My messenger].
It was this very Moses whom they had denied (disowned and rejected), saying, Who made you our ruler (referee) and judge? whom God sent to be a ruler and deliverer and redeemer, by and with the [protecting and helping] hand of the Angel that appeared to him in the bramblebush.
He it was who led them forth, having worked wonders and signs in Egypt and at the Red Sea and during the forty years in the wilderness (desert).
It was this [very] Moses who said to the children of Israel, God will raise up for you a Prophet from among your brethren as He raised me up.
This is he who in the assembly in the wilderness (desert) was the go-between for the Angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai and our forefathers, and he received living oracles (words that still live) to be handed down to us.
39 [And yet] our forefathers determined not to be subject to him [refusing to listen to or obey him]; but thrusting him aside they rejected him, and in their hearts yearned for and turned back to Egypt.
And they said to Aaron, Make us gods who shall [be our leaders and] go before us; as for this Moses who led us forth from the land of Egypt—we have no knowledge of what has happened to him.
And they [even] made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice to the idol and made merry and exulted in the work of their [own] hands.
But God turned [away from them] and delivered them up to worship and serve the host (stars) of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: Did you [really] offer to Me slain beasts and sacrifices for forty years in the wilderness (desert), O house of Israel?
[No!] You took up the tent (the portable temple) of Moloch and carried it [with you], and the star of the god Rephan, the images which you [yourselves] made that you might worship them; and I will remove you [carrying you away into exile] beyond Babylon.
Our forefathers had the tent (tabernacle) of witness in the wilderness, even as He Who directed Moses to make it had ordered, according to the pattern and model he had seen.
Our forefathers in turn brought it [this tent of witness] in [with them into the land] with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations which God drove out before the face of our forefathers. [So it remained here] until the time of David,
Who found grace (favor and spiritual blessing) in the sight of God and prayed that he might be allowed to find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.
But it was Solomon who built a house for Him.
However, the Most High does not dwell in houses and temples made with hands; as the prophet says,
Heaven [is] My throne, and earth the footstool for My feet. What [kind of] house can you build for Me, says the Lord, or what is the place in which I can rest?
Was it not My hand that made all these things?
You stubborn and stiff-necked people, still heathen and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are always [f]actively resisting the Holy Spirit. As your forefathers [were], so you [are and so you do]!
Which of the prophets did your forefathers not persecute? And they slew those who proclaimed beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, Whom you now have betrayed and murdered—
You who received the Law as it was ordained and set in order and delivered by angels, and [yet] you did not obey it!
Now upon hearing these things, they [the Jews] were cut to the heart and infuriated, and they ground their teeth against [Stephen].
But he, full of the Holy Spirit and controlled by Him, gazed into heaven and saw the glory (the splendor and majesty) of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand;
And he said, Look! I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at God’s right hand!
But they raised a great shout and put their hands over their ears and rushed together upon him.
Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him, and the witnesses placed their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.
And while they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, Lord Jesus, receive and accept and welcome my spirit!
Acts 7:60Hermann Cremer, Biblico-Theological Lexicon of New Testament Greek.
Bel bows down, Nebo stoops [gods of Babylon, whose idols are being carried off]; their idols are on the beasts [of burden] and on the cattle. These things that you carry about are loaded as burdens on the weary beasts.
[The gods] stoop, they bow down together; they cannot save [their own idols], but are themselves going into captivity.
Listen to Me [says the Lord], O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, you who have been borne by Me from your birth, carried from the womb:
Even to your old age I am He, and even to hair white with age will I carry you. I have made, and I will bear; yes, I will carry and will save you.
To whom will you liken Me and make Me equal and compare Me, that we may be alike?
They lavish gold out of the cup or bag, weigh out silver on the scales, and hire a goldsmith, and he fashions it into a god; [then] they fall down, yes, they worship it!
They bear it upon their shoulders [in religious processions or into battle]; they carry it and set it down in its place, and there it stands. It cannot move from its place. Even if one cries to it for help, yet [the idol] cannot answer or save him out of his distress.
[Earnestly] remember this, be ashamed and own yourselves guilty; bring it again to mind and lay it to heart, O you rebels!
[Earnestly] remember the former things, [which I did] of old; for I am God, and there is no one else; I am God, and there is none like Me,
Declaring the end and the result from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure and purpose,
Calling a ravenous bird from the east—the man [Cyrus] who executes My counsel from a far country. Yes, I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed it, and I will do it.
Listen to Me, you stiff-hearted and you who have lost heart, you who are far from righteousness (from uprightness and right standing with God, and from His righteous deliverance).
In a stressful, data-driven era, many young people find comfort and insight in the zodiac—even if they don’t exactly believe in it.
Astrology is a meme, and it’s spreading in that blooming, unfurling way that memes do. On social media, astrologers and astrology meme machines amass tens or hundreds of thousands of followers, people joke about Mercury retrograde, and categorize “the signs as …” literally anything: cat breeds, Oscar Wilde quotes, Stranger Things characters, types of french fries. In online publications, daily, weekly, and monthly horoscopes, and zodiac-themed listicles flourish.
This isn’t the first moment astrology’s had and it won’t be the last. The practice has been around in various forms for thousands of years. More recently, the New Age movement of the 1960s and ’70s came with a heaping helping of the zodiac. (Some also refer to the New Age as the “Age of Aquarius”—the 2,000-year period after the Earth is said to move into the Aquarius sign.)
In the decades between the New Age boom and now, while astrology certainly didn’t go away—you could still regularly find horoscopes in the back pages of magazines—it “went back to being a little bit more in the background,” says Chani Nicholas, an astrologer based in Los Angeles. “Then there’s something that’s happened in the last five years that’s given it an edginess, a relevance for this time and place, that it hasn’t had for a good 35 years. Millennials have taken it and run with it.”
Many people I spoke to for this piece said they had a sense that the stigma attached to astrology, while it still exists, had receded as the practice has grabbed a foothold in online culture, especially for young people.
“Over the past two years, we’ve really seen a reframing of New Age practices, very much geared toward a Millennial and young Gen X quotient,” says Lucie Greene, the worldwide director of J. Walter Thompson’s innovation group, which tracks and predicts cultural trends.
Callie Beusman, a senior editor at Broadly, says traffic for the site’s horoscopes “has grown really exponentially.” Stella Bugbee, the president and editor-in-chief of The Cut, says a typical horoscope post on the site got 150 percent more traffic in 2017 than the year before.
In some ways, astrology is perfectly suited for the internet age. There’s a low barrier to entry, and nearly endless depths to plumb if you feel like falling down a Google research hole. The availability of more in-depth information online has given this cultural wave of astrology a certain erudition—more jokes about Saturn returns, fewer “Hey baby, what’s your sign?” pickup lines.
A quick primer: Astrology is not a science; there’s no evidence that one’s zodiac sign actually correlates to personality. But the system has its own sort of logic. Astrology ascribes meaning to the placement of the sun, the moon, and the planets within 12 sections of the sky—the signs of the zodiac. You likely know your sun sign, the most famous zodiac sign, even if you’re not an astrology buff. It’s based on where the sun was on your birthday. But the placement of the moon and each of the other planets at the time and location of your birth adds additional shades to the picture of you painted by your “birth chart.”
What horoscopes are supposed to do is give you information about what the planets are doing right now, and in the future, and how all that affects each sign. “Think of the planets as a cocktail party,” explains Susan Miller, the popular astrologer who founded the Astrology Zone website. “You might have three people talking together, two may be over in the corner arguing, Venus and Mars may be kissing each other. I have to make sense of those conversations that are happening each month for you.”
“Astrologers are always trying to boil down these giant concepts into digestible pieces of knowledge,” says Nicholas. “The kids these days and their memes are like the perfect context for astrology.”
Astrology expresses complex ideas about personality, life cycles, and relationship patterns through the shorthand of the planets and zodiac symbols. And that shorthand works well online, where symbols and shorthand are often baked into communication.
“Let me state first that I consider astrology a cultural or psychological phenomenon,” not a scientific one, Bertram Malle, a social cognitive scientist at Brown University, told me in an email. But “full-fledged astrology”—that goes beyond newspaper-style sun-sign horoscopes—“provides a powerful vocabulary to capture not only personality and temperament but also life’s challenges and opportunities. To the extent that one simply learns this vocabulary, it may be appealing as a rich way of representing (not explaining or predicting) human experiences and life events, and identifying some possible paths of coping.”
People tend to turn to astrology in times of stress. A small 1982 study by the psychologist Graham Tyson found that “people who consult astrologers” did so in response to stressors in their lives—particularly stress “linked to the individual’s social roles and to his or her relationships,” Tyson wrote. “Under conditions of high stress, the individual is prepared to use astrology as a coping device even though under low-stress conditions he does not believe in it.”
According to American Psychological Association survey data, since 2014, Millennials have been the most stressed generation, and also the generation most likely to say their stress has increased in the past year since 2010. Millennials and Gen Xers have been significantly more stressed than older generations since 2012. And Americans as a whole have seen increased stress because of the political tumult since the 2016 presidential election. The 2017 edition of the APA’s survey found that 63 percent of Americans said they were significantly stressed about their country’s future. Fifty-six percent of people said reading the news stresses them out, and Millennials and Gen Xers were significantly more likely than older people to say so. Lately that news often deals with political infighting, climate change, global crises, and the threat of nuclear war. If stress makes astrology look shinier, it’s not surprising that more seem to be drawn to it now.
Nicholas’s horoscopes are evidence of this. She has around 1 million monthly readers online, and recently snagged a book deal—one of four new mainstream astrology guidebooks sold in a two-month period in summer 2017, according to Publisher’s Marketplace. Anna Paustenbach, Nicholas’s editor at HarperOne, told me in an email that Nicholas is “at the helm of a resurgence of astrology.” She thinks this is partly because Nicholas’s horoscopes are explicitly political. On September 6, the day after the Trump administration announced it was rescinding DACA—the deferred-action protection program for undocumented immigrants—Nicholas sent out her typical newsletter for the upcoming full moon. It read, in part:
The full moon in Pisces … may open the floodgates of our feelings. May help us to empathize with others … May we use this full moon to continue to dream up, and actively work toward, creating a world where white supremacy has been abolished.
Astrology offers those in crisis the comfort of imagining a better future, a tangible reminder of that clichéd truism that is nonetheless hard to remember when you’re in the thick of it: This too shall pass.
In 2013, when Sandhya was 32 years old, she downloaded the Astrology Zone app, looking for a road map. She felt lonely, and unappreciated at her nonprofit job in Washington, D.C., and she was going out drinking four or five times a week. “I was in the cycle of constantly being out, trying to escape,” she says.
She wanted to know when things would get better and Astrology Zone had an answer. Jupiter, “the planet of good fortune,” would move into Sandhya’s zodiac sign, Leo, in one year’s time, and remain there for a year. Sandhya remembers reading that if she cut clutter out of her life now, she’d reap the rewards when Jupiter arrived.
So Sandhya spent the next year making room for Jupiter. (She requested that we not publish her last name because she works as an attorney and doesn’t want her clients to know the details of her personal life.) She started staying home more often, cooking for herself, applying for jobs, and going on more dates. “I definitely distanced myself from two or three friends who I didn’t feel had good energy when I hung around them,” she says. “And that helped significantly.”
Jupiter entered Leo on July 16, 2014. That same July, Sandhya was offered a new job. That December, Sandhya met the man she would go on to marry. “My life changed dramatically,” she says. “Part of it is that a belief in something makes it happen. But I followed what the app was saying. So I credit some of it to this Jupiter belief.”
Humans are narrative creatures, constantly explaining their lives and selves by weaving together the past, present, and future (in the form of goals and expectations). Monisha Pasupathi, a developmental psychologist who studies narrative at the University of Utah, says that while she lends no credence to astrology, it “provides [people] a very clear frame for that explanation.”
It does give one a pleasing orderly sort of feeling, not unlike alphabetizing a library, to take life’s random events and emotions and slot them into helpfully labeled shelves. This guy isn’t texting me back because Mercury retrograde probably kept him from getting the message. I take such a long time to make decisions because my Mars is in Taurus. My boss will finally recognize all my hard work when Jupiter enters my tenth house. A combination of stress and uncertainty about the future is an ailment for which astrology can seem like the perfect balm.
Sandhya says she turns to astrology looking for help in times of despair, “when I’m like ‘Someone tell me the future is gonna be okay.’” Reading her horoscope was like flipping ahead in her own story.
“I’m always a worrier,” she says. “I’m one of those people who, once I start getting into a book, I skip ahead and I read the end. I don’t like cliffhangers, I don’t like suspense. I just need to know what’s gonna happen. I have a story in my head. I was just hoping certain things would happen in my life, and I wanted to see if I am lucky enough for them to happen.”
Now that they have happened, “I haven’t been reading [my horoscope] as much,” she says, “and I think it’s because I’m in a happy place right now.”
For some, astrology’s predictions function like Dumbo’s feather—a comforting magic to hold onto until you realize you could fly on your own all along. But it’s the ineffable mystical sparkle of the feather—gentler and less draining than the glow of a screen—that makes people reach for it in the first place.
People are starting to get sick of a life lived so intensely on the grid. They wish for more anonymity online. They’re experiencing fatigue with ebooks, with dating apps, with social media. They’re craving something else in this era of quantified selves, and tracked locations, and indexed answers to every possible question. Except, perhaps the questions of who you really are, and what life has in store for you.
Ruby Warrington is a lifestyle writer whose New Age guidebook Material Girl, Mystical World came out in May 2017—just ahead of the wave of astrology book sales this summer. She also runs a mystical esoterica website, The Numinous, a word which Merriam-Webster defines as meaning “supernatural or mysterious,” but which Warrington defines on her website as “that which is unknown, or unknowable.”
“I think that almost as a counterbalance to the fact that we live in such a quantifiable and meticulously organized world, there is a desire to connect to and tap into that numinous part of ourselves,” Warrington says. “I see astrology as a language of symbols that describes those parts of the human experience that we don’t necessarily have equations and numbers and explanations for.”
J. Walter Thompson’s intelligence group released a trend report in 2016 called “Unreality” that says much the same thing: “We are increasingly turning to unreality as a form of escape and a way to search for other kinds of freedom, truth and meaning,” it reads. “What emerges is an appreciation for magic and spirituality, the knowingly unreal, and the intangible aspects of our lives that defy big data and the ultra-transparency of the web.” This sort of reactionary cultural 180 has happened before—after the Enlightenment’s emphasis on rationality and the scientific method in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Romantic movement found people turning toward intuition, nature, and the supernatural. It seems we may be at a similar turning point. New York magazine even used the seminal Romantic painting Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog to illustrate Andrew Sullivan’s recent anti-technology essay, “I Used to Be a Human Being.”
JWT and another trend-forecasting group, WGSN, in its report “Millennials: New Spirituality,” lump astrology in with other New Age mystical trends that have caught on with young people in recent years: healing crystals, sound baths, and tarot, among others.
“I think it’s become generally less acceptable to just arbitrarily shit on things as like ‘that’s not rational, or that’s stupid because that’s not fact,’” says Nicole Leffel, a 28-year-old software engineer who lives in New York.
Bugbee, the editor-in-chief of The Cut, noticed this shift a couple years ago. “I could just tell that people were sick of a certain kind of snarky tone,” she said. Up to that point, the site had been running slightly irreverent horoscopes with gifs meant to encapsulate the week’s mood for each sign. But Bugbee realized “that people wanted sincerity more than anything. So we just kind of went full sincere with [the horoscopes], and that’s when we saw real interest happen.”
But a sincere burgeoning interest in astrology doesn’t mean people are wholesale abandoning rationality for more mystical beliefs. Nicholas Campion, a historian of astrology, points out that the question of whether people “believe” in astrology is both impossible to answer, and not really a useful question to ask. People might say they don’t “believe” in astrology, but still identify with their zodiac sign. They may like to read their horoscope, but don’t change their behavior based on what it says. There is more nuance than this statistic allows for.
Many mainstream examinations of astrology as a trend are deeply concernedwith debunking. They like to trot out the National Science Foundation survey that measures whether people think astrology is scientific, and remind readers that it’s not. Which, it’s not. But that’s not really the point.
While there are surely some people who blindly accept astrology as fact and view it as on par with a discipline like biology, that doesn’t seem to be the case among many of the young adults who are fueling this renaissance of the zodiac. The people I spoke to for this piece often referred to astrology as a tool, or a kind of language—one that, for many, is more metaphorical than literal.
“Astrology is a system that looks at cycles, and we use the language of planets,” says Alec Verkuilen Brogan, a 29-year-old chiropractic student based in the Bay Area who has also studied astrology for 10 years. “It’s not like these planets are literally going around and being like ‘Now, I’m going to do this.’ It’s a language to speak to the seasons of life.”
Michael Stevens, a 27-year-old who lives in Brooklyn, was in the quarter-life crisis season of life around the time of the total solar eclipse in August this year. “Traditionally, I’m a skeptic,” he says. “I’m a hard-core, like Dana Scully from X-Files type of person. And then shit started to happen in life.” Around the time of the eclipse, in the course of his advertising work, he cold-called Susan Miller of Astrology Zone, to ask if she would put some ads on her site.
She was annoyed, he says, that he called her at the end of the month, which is when she writes her famously lengthy horoscopes. But then she asked him for his sign—Sagittarius. “And she’s like, ‘Oh, okay, this new moon’s rough for you.’” They talked about work and relationship troubles. (Miller doesn’t remember having this conversation specifically, but says “I’m always nice to the people who cold-call. It sounds totally like me.”)
Studies have shown that if you write a generic personality description and tell someone it applies to them, they’re likely to perceive it as accurate—whether that’s in the form of a description of their zodiac sign or something else.
Stevens says he could’ve potentially read into his conversation with Miller in this way. “She’s like ‘You’re going through a lot right now,’” he says. “Who isn’t? It’s 2017. ”
Still, he says the conversation made him feel better; it spurred him to take action. In the months between his call with Miller and our conversation in October, Stevens left his advertising job and found a new one in staffing. Shortly before we spoke, he and his girlfriend broke up.
“[I realized] I’m acting like a shitty, non-playable character in a Dungeons and Dragons RPG,” Stevens says, “so I should probably make choices, and pursue some of the good things that could happen if I just [cared] about being a happy person in a real way.”
Stevens’s story exemplifies a prevailing attitude among many of the people I talked to—that it doesn’t matter if astrology is real; it matters if it’s useful.
“We take astrology very seriously, but we also don’t necessarily believe in it,” says Annabel Gat, the staff astrologer at Broadly, “because it’s a tool for self-reflection, it’s not a religion or a science. It’s just a way to look at the world and a way to think about things.”
Beusman, who hired Gat at Broadly, shares her philosophy. “I believe several conflicting things in all areas of my life,” she says. “So for me it’s very easy to hold these two ideas in my head at once. This could not be true at all, and also, I’ll be like ‘Well, I have three planets entering Scorpio next month, so I should make some savvy career decisions.’”
This attitude is exemplified by The Hairpin’s “Astrology Is Fake” column, by Rosa Lyster, with headlines like “Astrology Is Fake But Leos Are Famous,” and “Astrology Is Fake But Taurus Hates Change.”
It might be that Millennials are more comfortable living in the borderlands between skepticism and belief because they’ve spent so much of their lives online, in another space that is real and unreal at the same time. That so many people find astrology meaningful is a reminder that something doesn’t have to be real to feel true. Don’t we find truth in fiction?
In describing her attitude toward astrology, Leffel recalled a line from Neil Gaiman’s American Gods in which the main character, Shadow, wonders whether lightning in the sky was from a magical thunderbird, “or just an atmospheric discharge, or whether the two ideas were, on some level, the same thing. And of course they were. That was the point after all.”
If the “astrology is fake but it’s true” stance seems paradoxical, well, perhaps the paradox is what’s attractive. Many people offered me hypotheses to explain astrology’s resurgence. Digital natives are narcissistic, some suggested, and astrology is a navel-gazing obsession. People feel powerless here on Earth, others said, so they’re turning to the stars. Of course, it’s both. Some found it to be an escape from logical “left-brain” thinking; others craved the order and organization the complex system brought to the chaos of life. It’s both. That’s the point, after all.
To understand astrology’s appeal is to get comfortable with paradoxes. It feels simultaneously cosmic and personal; spiritual and logical; ineffable and concrete; real and unreal. It can be a relief, in a time of division, not to have to choose. It can be freeing, in a time that values black and white, ones and zeros, to look for answers in the gray. It can be meaningful to draw lines in the space between moments of time, or the space between pinpricks of light in the night sky, even if you know deep down they’re really light-years apart, and have no connection at all. (Click to Source)
WASHINGTON — In the $600 billion annual Defense Department budgets, the $22 million spent on the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program was almost impossible to find.
Which was how the Pentagon wanted it.
For years, the program investigated reports of unidentified flying objects, according to Defense Department officials, interviews with program participants and records obtained by The New York Times. It was run by a military intelligence official, Luis Elizondo, on the fifth floor of the Pentagon’s C Ring, deep within the building’s maze.
The Defense Department has never before acknowledged the existence of the program, which it says it shut down in 2012. But its backers say that, while the Pentagon ended funding for the effort at that time, the program remains in existence. For the past five years, they say, officials with the program have continued to investigate episodes brought to them by service members, while also carrying out their other Defense Department duties.
The shadowy program — parts of it remain classified — began in 2007, and initially it was largely funded at the request of Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who was the Senate majority leader at the time and who has long had an interest in space phenomena. Most of the money went to an aerospace research company run by a billionaire entrepreneur and longtime friend of Mr. Reid’s, Robert Bigelow, who is currently working with NASA to produce expandable craft for humans to use in space.
On CBS’s “60 Minutes” in May, Mr. Bigelow said he was “absolutely convinced” that aliens exist and that U.F.O.s have visited Earth.
Working with Mr. Bigelow’s Las Vegas-based company, the program produced documents that describe sightings of aircraft that seemed to move at very high velocities with no visible signs of propulsion, or that hovered with no apparent means of lift.
Officials with the program have also studied videos of encounters between unknown objects and American military aircraft — including one released in August of a whitish oval object, about the size of a commercial plane, chased by two Navy F/A-18F fighter jets from the aircraft carrier Nimitz off the coast of San Diego in 2004.
Mr. Reid, who retired from Congress this year, said he was proud of the program. “I’m not embarrassed or ashamed or sorry I got this thing going,” Mr. Reid said in a recent interview in Nevada. “I think it’s one of the good things I did in my congressional service. I’ve done something that no one has done before.”
Two other former senators and top members of a defense spending subcommittee — Ted Stevens, an Alaska Republican, and Daniel K. Inouye, a Hawaii Democrat — also supported the program. Mr. Stevens died in 2010, and Mr. Inouye in 2012.
While not addressing the merits of the program, Sara Seager, an astrophysicist at M.I.T., cautioned that not knowing the origin of an object does not mean that it is from another planet or galaxy. “When people claim to observe truly unusual phenomena, sometimes it’s worth investigating seriously,” she said. But, she added, “what people sometimes don’t get about science is that we often have phenomena that remain unexplained.”
James E. Oberg, a former NASA space shuttle engineer and the author of 10 books on spaceflight who often debunks U.F.O. sightings, was also doubtful. “There are plenty of prosaic events and human perceptual traits that can account for these stories,” Mr. Oberg said. “Lots of people are active in the air and don’t want others to know about it. They are happy to lurk unrecognized in the noise, or even to stir it up as camouflage.”
Still, Mr. Oberg said he welcomed research. “There could well be a pearl there,” he said.
In response to questions from The Times, Pentagon officials this month acknowledged the existence of the program, which began as part of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Officials insisted that the effort had ended after five years, in 2012.
“It was determined that there were other, higher priority issues that merited funding, and it was in the best interest of the DoD to make a change,” a Pentagon spokesman, Thomas Crosson, said in an email, referring to the Department of Defense.
But Mr. Elizondo said the only thing that had ended was the effort’s government funding, which dried up in 2012. From then on, Mr. Elizondo said in an interview, he worked with officials from the Navy and the C.I.A. He continued to work out of his Pentagon office until this past October, when he resigned to protest what he characterized as excessive secrecy and internal opposition.
“Why aren’t we spending more time and effort on this issue?” Mr. Elizondo wrote in a resignation letter to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
Mr. Elizondo said that the effort continued and that he had a successor, whom he declined to name.
U.F.O.s have been repeatedly investigated over the decades in the United States, including by the American military. In 1947, the Air Force began a series of studies that investigated more than 12,000 claimed U.F.O. sightings before it was officially ended in 1969. The project, which included a study code-named Project Blue Book, started in 1952, concluded that most sightings involved stars, clouds, conventional aircraft or spy planes, although 701 remained unexplained.
Robert C. Seamans Jr., the secretary of the Air Force at the time, said in a memorandum announcing the end of Project Blue Book that it “no longer can be justified either on the ground of national security or in the interest of science.”
Mr. Reid said his interest in U.F.O.s came from Mr. Bigelow. In 2007, Mr. Reid said in the interview, Mr. Bigelow told him that an official with the Defense Intelligence Agency had approached him wanting to visit Mr. Bigelow’s ranch in Utah, where he conducted research.
Mr. Reid said he met with agency officials shortly after his meeting with Mr. Bigelow and learned that they wanted to start a research program on U.F.O.s. Mr. Reid then summoned Mr. Stevens and Mr. Inouye to a secure room in the Capitol.
“I had talked to John Glenn a number of years before,” Mr. Reid said, referring to the astronaut and former senator from Ohio, who died in 2016. Mr. Glenn, Mr. Reid said, had told him he thought that the federal government should be looking seriously into U.F.O.s, and should be talking to military service members, particularly pilots, who had reported seeing aircraft they could not identify or explain.
The sightings were not often reported up the military’s chain of command, Mr. Reid said, because service members were afraid they would be laughed at or stigmatized.
The meeting with Mr. Stevens and Mr. Inouye, Mr. Reid said, “was one of the easiest meetings I ever had.”
He added, “Ted Stevens said, ‘I’ve been waiting to do this since I was in the Air Force.’” (The Alaska senator had been a pilot in the Army’s air force, flying transport missions over China during World War II.)
During the meeting, Mr. Reid said, Mr. Stevens recounted being tailed by a strange aircraft with no known origin, which he said had followed his plane for miles.
None of the three senators wanted a public debate on the Senate floor about the funding for the program, Mr. Reid said. “This was so-called black money,” he said. “Stevens knows about it, Inouye knows about it. But that was it, and that’s how we wanted it.” Mr. Reid was referring to the Pentagon budget for classified programs.
Contracts obtained by The Times show a congressional appropriation of just under $22 million beginning in late 2008 through 2011. The money was used for management of the program, research and assessments of the threat posed by the objects.
The funding went to Mr. Bigelow’s company, Bigelow Aerospace, which hired subcontractors and solicited research for the program.
Under Mr. Bigelow’s direction, the company modified buildings in Las Vegas for the storage of metal alloys and other materials that Mr. Elizondo and program contractors said had been recovered from unidentified aerial phenomena. Researchers also studied people who said they had experienced physical effects from encounters with the objects and examined them for any physiological changes. In addition, researchers spoke to military service members who had reported sightings of strange aircraft.
“We’re sort of in the position of what would happen if you gave Leonardo da Vinci a garage-door opener,” said Harold E. Puthoff, an engineer who has conducted research on extrasensory perception for the C.I.A. and later worked as a contractor for the program. “First of all, he’d try to figure out what is this plastic stuff. He wouldn’t know anything about the electromagnetic signals involved or its function.”
The program collected video and audio recordings of reported U.F.O. incidents, including footage from a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet showing an aircraft surrounded by some kind of glowing aura traveling at high speed and rotating as it moves. The Navy pilots can be heard trying to understand what they are seeing. “There’s a whole fleet of them,” one exclaims. Defense officials declined to release the location and date of the incident.
“Internationally, we are the most backward country in the world on this issue,” Mr. Bigelow said in an interview. “Our scientists are scared of being ostracized, and our media is scared of the stigma. China and Russia are much more open and work on this with huge organizations within their countries. Smaller countries like Belgium, France, England and South American countries like Chile are more open, too. They are proactive and willing to discuss this topic, rather than being held back by a juvenile taboo.”
By 2009, Mr. Reid decided that the program had made such extraordinary discoveries that he argued for heightened security to protect it. “Much progress has been made with the identification of several highly sensitive, unconventional aerospace-related findings,” Mr. Reid said in a letter to William Lynn III, a deputy defense secretary at the time, requesting that it be designated a “restricted special access program” limited to a few listed officials.
A 2009 Pentagon briefing summary of the program prepared by its director at the time asserted that “what was considered science fiction is now science fact,” and that the United States was incapable of defending itself against some of the technologies discovered. Mr. Reid’s request for the special designation was denied.
Mr. Elizondo, in his resignation letter of Oct. 4, said there was a need for more serious attention to “the many accounts from the Navy and other services of unusual aerial systems interfering with military weapon platforms and displaying beyond-next-generation capabilities.” He expressed his frustration with the limitations placed on the program, telling Mr. Mattis that “there remains a vital need to ascertain capability and intent of these phenomena for the benefit of the armed forces and the nation.”
Mr. Elizondo has now joined Mr. Puthoff and another former Defense Department official, Christopher K. Mellon, who was a deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence, in a new commercial venture called To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science. They are speaking publicly about their efforts as their venture aims to raise money for research into U.F.O.s.
In the interview, Mr. Elizondo said he and his government colleagues had determined that the phenomena they had studied did not seem to originate from any country. “That fact is not something any government or institution should classify in order to keep secret from the people,” he said.
For his part, Mr. Reid said he did not know where the objects had come from. “If anyone says they have the answers now, they’re fooling themselves,” he said. “We do not know.”
North Korea claims that 4.7 million of its citizens have volunteered to join or re-enlist in the military since leader Kim Jong Un threatened to “tame” President Trump “with fire” last week, North Korean state media reported.
Millions of young men and 1.22 million women said they wanted sign up to counter the U.S. since Friday, the Rodong Sinmun newspaper reported.
Pyongyang has previously claimed that North Koreans have volunteered to join the military as part of propaganda campaigns to boost solidarity, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.
China, Pyongyang’s most important ally, on Thursday ordered North Korean companies in the country and joint ventures with Chinese firms to close within 120 days of the passing of the latest round of U.N. sanctions on Sept. 12.
The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to ban North Korean textile exports and cap fuel supplies following the North’s sixth nuclear test earlier this month.
The North Korean military enlistment claims came after Kim issued a statement Friday warning: “I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.”
The North Korean leader spoke out after Trump told the U.N. General Assembly in New York that if “forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”
Malaysia banned its citizens from traveling to North Korea until further notice on Thursday, citing Pyongyang’s recent missile tests. Malaysia is one of the reclusive nation’s few diplomatic partners.
It came amid increasing diplomatic pressure on North Korea, after the country launched two intercontinental ballistic missiles, flew midrange missiles over Japan and conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test. (Click to Site)
And as some were saying of the temple that it was decorated with handsome (shapely and magnificent) stones and consecrated offerings [a]”>[a]laid up to be kept], He said,
As for all this that you [thoughtfully] look at, the time will come when there shall not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.
And they asked Him, Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when this is about to occur?
And He said, Be on your guard and be careful that you are not led astray; for many will come in My name [b]”>[b]appropriating to themselves the name Messiah which belongs to Me], saying, I am He! and, The time is at hand! Do not go out after them.
And when you hear of wars and insurrections (disturbances, disorder, and confusion), do not become alarmed and panic-stricken and terrified; for all this must take place first, but the end will not [come] immediately.
Then He told them, Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be mighty and violent earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences (plagues: c]”>[c]malignant and contagious or infectious epidemic diseases which are deadly and devastating); and there will be sights of terror and great signs from heaven.
But previous to all this, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, turning you over to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be led away before kings and governors for My name’s sake.
This will be a time (an opportunity) for you to bear testimony.
Resolve and settle it in your minds not to meditate and prepare beforehand how you are to make your defense and how you will answer.
For I [Myself] will give you a mouth and such utterance and wisdom that all of your foes combined will be unable to stand against or refute.
You will be delivered up and betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and [some] of you they will put to death.
And you will be hated (despised) by everyone because [you bear] My name and for its sake.
But not a hair of your head shall perish.
By your steadfastness and patient endurance you d]”>[d]shall win the e]”>[e]true life of your souls.
But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know and understand that its desolation has come near.
Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside [the city] get out of it, and let not those who are out in the country come into it;
For those are days of vengeance [of rendering full justice or satisfaction], that all things that are written may be fulfilled.
Alas for those who are pregnant and for those who have babies which they are nursing in those days! For great misery and anguish and distress shall be upon the land and indignation and punishment and retribution upon this people.
They will fall by f]”>[f]the mouth and the edge of the sword and will be led away as captives to and among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (completed).
And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; and upon the earth [there will be] distress (trouble and anguish) of nations in bewilderment and perplexity [g]”>[g]without resources, left wanting, embarrassed, in doubt, not knowing which way to turn] at the roaring (h]”>[h]the echo) of the tossing of the sea,
Men swooning away or expiring with fear and dread and apprehension and expectation of the things that are coming on the world; for the [very] powers of the heavens will be shaken andi]”>[i]caused to totter.
And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with great (transcendent and overwhelming) power and [all His kingly] glory (majesty and splendor).
Now when these things begin to occur, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption (deliverance) is drawing near.
And He told them a parable: Look at the fig tree and all the trees;
When they put forth their buds and come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and perceive and know that summer is already near.
Even so, when you see these things taking place, understand and know that the kingdom of God is at hand.
Truly I tell you, this generation (j]”>[j]those living at that definite period of time) will not perish and pass away until all has taken place.
The k]”>[k]sky and the earth (l]”>[l]the universe, the world) will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
But take heed to yourselves and be on your guard, lest your hearts be overburdened and depressed (weighed down) with the m]”>[m]giddiness and headache andn]”>[n]nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness, and worldly worries and cares pertaining to [the o]”>[o]business of] this life, and [lest] that day come upon you suddenly like a trap or a noose;
For it will come upon all who live upon the face of the entire earth.
Keep awake then and watch at all times [be discreet, attentive, and ready], praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things [taken together] that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man.
Now in the daytime Jesus was teaching in [p]”>[p]the porches and courts of] the temple, but at night He would go out and stay on the mount called Olivet.
And early in the morning all the people came to Him in the temple [q]”>[q]porches or courts] to listen to Him. (Luke 21:5-38)
Many have noticed… the world seems to be going crazy. Fires, Floods, Hurricanes…Natural Disasters all around us… with more frequency than ever before. God is getting our attention. There are now more powerful hurricanes forming in the Atlantic…. half of Bangladesh is flooded. The west is on fire. Luke 21:25 seems to be happening before our eyes.
Each week or so Jason A puts together various news clips from around the world with prophetic significance. This weeks compilation is especially powerful and apocalyptic showing the scope of all that is happening around the world. Check out this 15 minute video and keep looking up… It sure seems like our redemption is drawing near (Luke 21:28).
Who is the male child of Revelation 12? This question becomes increasingly pertinent as we near the day on which the Revelation 12 Sign may be fulfilled. Historically the predominant assumption was that the male child of Revelation 12:5 was Christ, but this interpretation appears to have some significant faults. In retrospect it looks like the popular view regarding the male child was held for two reasons: first, because Augustinian allegorism has held sway over the Church since the 5th century and second, because significant scholarly studies on Revelation 12 have been almost entirely avoided until relatively recently.
When we dissect the narrative in Revelation 12 we discover that the identity of the male child must meet eight criteria in keeping with a literal hermeneutic:
This was sent to me by Capt. Paul. Make of it what you will. There are some very interesting “facts’ stated here.
Our country is in the midst of a possible civil war which is being orchestrated, in my opinion, by the left and the deep state and the media, which is the third leg of the Democratic party.
It’s a managed agenda and its goal is divide us and bring our country to ruin. Could this eclipse be a portend of doom? I don’t know and only time will tell us if it means anything at all.
In the meantime here are some interesting “coincidences” that are part of this eclipse phenomena.
We head home today from the Heart the Watchmen Conference which was just fantastic. Thanks to Mike & Jeannie for hosting another great time in the Lord. It was great to see all the speakers and the folks!
Todays eclipse and the one 7 yrs from now form an “X” over the U.S.
It begins in Oregon – the 33rd state of the U.S.
The eclipse leaves S. Carolina at the 33rd parallel
The DMZ in Korea is the 33rd parallel
August 21st is the 233rd day of the year
The eclipse is 33 days before the Rev. 12 “sign in the heavens”
[where the dragon waits to devour the child]
Jesus was 33 when He was “caught up”
The 1st city in Oregon to see the eclipse is Salem (named after JeruSALEM)
The path of totality passes over 7 cities with the name “Salem”
The path covers 14 states (7 times 2) As the eclipse begins in Oregon, the sun sets in Jerusalem
The path of totality is 70 miles wide and is called the “Valley”
The eclipse is 40 days from Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement – time for repenting)
The combined time of both this eclipse and the one 7 years from now is 7 minutes.
The “X” of the 2 eclipses will form near Cedar Point, Illinois — an area know as “Little Egypt”.
The center of the “X” falls on a street named “Salem Rd.”
The next eclipse falls on 2 cities named “Salem” – one in Canada. (Click to Site)
AYALON VALLEY – Many Americans are anticipating Monday’s eclipse and wondering just what it means. It won’t be visible in Israel, but the Bible records several times when dramatic signs involving the sun took place in this area. The question is can we expect to see such signs today?
One of the 10 plagues over Egypt before the exodus of the Israelites was three days of darkness (Exodus 10:21-29).
“The Jewish sources describe it not just as darkness, but a darkness that was so thick it’s like, people couldn’t move in it or the Egyptians couldn’t move in it. So that’s an example of God suspending the laws of nature,” Rabbi and historian Ken Spiro told CBN News.
“The sun god was one of their [the Egyptian’s] major gods, the major god, I think, so by God covering their god, He was saying, I’m bigger than your god. And that was presumably one of the signs behind that one,” said Stephen Bridge, director of the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem.
Many historians believe the valley of Ayalon is where Joshua battled the five Amorite kings, when he said to the Lord, “‘Sun stand still over Gibeon and moon over the valley of Ayalon’ so the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the people had revenge upon their enemies.” (Joshua 10:12)
The Bible tells us three hours of darkness fell at Jesus’ crucifixion/ (Matthew 27:45)
“Whatever the darkness was it wasn’t an eclipse and we have no explanation of what it was or even what it meant, but it certainly would have invoked in the people who were there a profound sense of something monumental happening, which indeed it was,” said Bridge.
God definitely made points with signs in the sky throughout the Bible. But is He still doing the same thing today?
Michael Mott, who serves as assistant pastor with Jerusalem’s King of Kings congregation, and Rabbi Spiro say “yes.” (Click to Site)
It seems a truly remarkable “coincidence” that despite the sun being 400 times larger than the moon, they appear to be EXACTLY the same size from this planet – but only from this planet, rather interestingly. Almost as if it was designed that way, as a phenomenon to be seen and enjoyed from earth. And that is because it wasdesigned. It was designed by God for our benefit, not only for our sense of wonderment, but also as a sign. A clue about this is found in some words – and a single Hebrew letter – appearing in Genesis 1.
A solar eclipse is like a giant wink from our heavenly Father, letting us know that the universe did not come about by accident, but by perfect design.
A sign and a wonder
The diameter of the sun (1.3914 million km) is approximately 400 times bigger than that of the moon (3,474 km), but it is also 400 times farther away from us (384,400 km compared to 149.6 million km). So, when they are in the same place in the sky, the moon will perfectly cover the circumference of the sun, giving a perfect eclipse.
Total solar eclipses are one of the most awe-inspiring phenomena there is to see – the moon hides the sun, but rays from the sun peek out from around the black disc, forming the “solar corona”, or a crown of light and casting eerie shadows and plunging us into a few seconds of darkness before the colossal globes carry onwards in their courses.
Umbraphile (fan of eclipses) David Baron explains why he travels across the world to catch every eclipse he can in a TED talk on the subject. He is not a spiritual man, but admits that his first experience of a total solar eclipse changed him forever. He said,
“It is the ultimate experience of awe… True awe is a sense of wonder and insignificance in the face of something enormous and grand is rare in our lives but when you experience it, it’s powerful. Awe dissolves the ego, it us feel connected, indeed, it promotes empathy and generosity. Well, there’s nothing more awesome than a total solar eclipse.”
Of course, there is something more awesome than a total solar eclipse, and that’s the One who created the entire universe and all its intricacies by the power of his word! And he is calling for our attention in a powerful way.
The sign in Genesis 1
Then God said, “Let lights in the expanse of the sky be for separating the day from the night. They will be for signs and for seasons and for days and years. They will be for lights in the expanse of the sky to shine upon the land.” And it happened so. Then God made the two great lights—the greater light for dominion over the day, and the lesser light as well as the stars for dominion over the night. God set them in the expanse of the sky to shine on the land and to have dominion over the day and over the night and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:14-18)
God makes the sun and the moon and says that they will be for “signs and for seasons and for days and years”. The Hebrew says for “otot ve moadim” – an “ot” (otot in plural) is a sign, or a letter. A “moed” (moadim in plural) is the Hebrew word God uses to talk about his feasts, his high holy days. Shabbat is also one of God’s “moadim”, and sometimes we translate it as “appointed times”, because the word also carries a meaning of fixed appointment and even destiny. So the sun, moon and stars are to communicate to us as signs (otot) and inform us of God’s “moadim” – his appointed times.
In Jewish thought, the moon has more of a connection with the Jewish people (the commandment to mark each new moon as the start of every month, and the fact that the Passover and Sukkot holidays are celebrated at the full moon) whereas the sun is more connected to the gentiles. The Jewish calendar is more lunar than solar, whereas the Gregorian calendar is more solar than lunar. Some rabbis are saying that this solar eclipse over the USA is God calling the attention of America in particular. What is interesting is that the US hasn’t seen such a total eclipse like this from shore to shore for 99 years, but it will only be another seven years before it happens again, on April 8, 2024. This one will cross diagonally from north west to south east, but the following one will do the opposite, creating a criss cross over the land. (Click to Site)