Monday, September 28, 2015

September 28, 2015--Blood Moon

Sunday night saw the last in a series of four total lunar eclipses that occurred within the past two years--a so-called tetrad.

This doesn't happen very often, especially when one of the eclipses, best when it is the last of the four, is a Blood Moon. The previous one was in 1982, the next in 2033.

This occurs when the moon is in its perigee, when it is closest to the Earth, and thus the reflected light of the moon, before it is eclipsed, has to pass through a maximum thickness of the Earth's atmosphere which causes the light to red-shift.

If this sparks our contemporary imagination, as Sunday's did, one can only imagine how it struck native people, who even at their most knowledgable (the Incas and Mayans come to mind), had limited astronomical and scientific sophistication.

For all ancient peoples, this occasional lunar phenomenon (and concomitant solar eclipses) was imbued with spiritual portent, often with concern expressed about the cycles of nature that people depended upon for their survival.

So any tribal leader, priest, or shaman who could understand these occurrences, their spiritual meaning, and predict when they would occur and, perhaps more important, offer assurances that they would soon end, wielded uncommon power among his people.

This was true as well for more modern and scientifically advanced people.

For example, in 1504, Christopher Columbus was on another of his voyages to the New World, this time along the north coast of Jamaica. Short of food, to dupe the natives into supplying his men with what they desperately needed, he knew it would help if he was able to appear god-like. To do so, knowing from his astronomical tables that a lunar eclipse was about to occur, he "predicted" it; and when it occurred on schedule, he was regarded as having supernatural powers.

This was especially true when after the Jamaican Indians begged him to make the moon reappear he "did" so as asked. The next day the natives gave Columbus and his men all the food and fresh water they has asked for.

Closer to our own time, there have been a number of apocalyptical prophesies associated with Blood Moons.

Perhaps most recent is the one propagated by the Reverend John Hagee. In 2007, like Columbus, anticipating an upcoming tetrad of special significance, he claimed that this one, which coincides with the Jewish Holidays, with no less than six full moons in between, including four consecutive lunar eclipses with no intervening partial eclipses, is a sure sign of the End Times and the beginning of the Millennium, which he asserts are described in the Bible in Acts 2:20 and Revelations 6:12.

I assume you are reading this on Monday, a day after the End Times were to commence. I don't know about you, but I have not as yet seen any evidence of this. Oh well.

If Hagee is still around in 2033, I assume we will be hearing more from him.

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