The Most Comprehensive, Up-to-Date Research Yet on the Star of Bethlehem
New Light on an Old Star...
For the first time, an author with a solid background in the role of astrology in ancient religion takes on the Star. The result is a breathtaking blend of the latest discoveries in Biblical scholarship, history, astronomy, and astrology that finally tells the whole story as it has never been told before. The Star of the Magi, by Courtney Roberts, M.A., reveals who the Magi were, how their astrology informed their beliefs, and how much those beliefs influenced their Jewish neighbours...
The Introduction: More Star of the Magi
Chapter 9: Pisces And Precession
To Read the Reviews: The Star of the Magi
Zoroaster & the Persian Religion
What did Christians believe about time and cosmology, at least for the first 1600 years of the church?
Among the earliest Christian writings, there was considerable argument over astrology, but not about whether the heavenly bodies exercised any influence. That they did was common knowledge. The argument was generally over how, and how much, and what was right and proper to do with that knowledge. "Natural astrology," and the wholesale influence of the sun, moon, and stars over everything from the weather to the infirmities of the body, was rarely - if ever - the cause of contention.
A brief history of the practice of astrology within the Christian church ...
Christian Astrology, the Dark Ages & the Celtic Church
The Influence of Astrology & Stellar Religion on Early Christianity
Visions of the Virgin Mary
Lourdes, Fatima, Medjugorje -
Millions of people of all faiths and nations flock to Marian shrines around the world; a testament to the enduring human desire for transcendence and meaning. Visions of the "Luminous Lady in White" abound: at Zeitun, Egypt, she was witnessed by hundred of thousands of Jews, Muslims, and both Protestant and Orthodox Christians. Courtney Roberts adds a new and fascinating dimension to these miraculous sightings, exploring them through the perspective of astrology.
...The first of its kind to introduce the astrological dimension into comparative religious studies,Visions of the Virgin delicately unravels the tangled skein of pre-Christian goddesses woven into the cults and legends of the Virgin Mary, and reflected in the stars, revealing a tradition of goddess worship still very much alive and well in contemporary Christianity.
To Read the Reviews: Visions of the Virgin
To Read Excerpts from the Book:
For More Information on Readings with Courtney Roberts, M.A. Readings
Apocalypse, New Age,
or Mayan Meltdown?
Does Anybody Really Know What Time it is?
Mankind has an instinct for perceiving all of time and history as meaningful. We have long been preoccupied with organizing the flow of the past, the present and the future into some grand design; whether an endless, repeating cycle, or a straight line moving forward towards some ultimate destiny and fulfillment. That’s why so many different peoples, in different cultures throughout history, have devised so many vast and astonishing religious cosmologies, and continue to do so today.
We are the hereditary recipients of some truly remarkable ancient systems; for instance, the Zoroastrian Apocalypse and the millenniums, the Hindu Yugas, and the Buddhist Kalpas. More recently, modern western culture has taken to recycling and remodeling the cosmologies of the ancient world to our own liking, resulting in our popular, contemporary beliefs in the impending return of Jesus Christ in a Christian/Muslim Apocalypse, the dawning of the New Age of Aquarius, and the alignment of precession, the winter solstice and the galactic equator at the end of the Mayan Calendar.
While the methods, calculations, and mythology may vary, the impetus is much the same, even across the ages. We all seek meaning in time, and our destiny and fulfillment in history. We long to fathom the hidden,
innermost secrets of the universe, and at the same time, we can’t help but impose our own desires and limitations upon it.
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference.
Just because we desperately want to find meaning in time, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t there all along. It’s entirely possible that some ultimate, driving significance is out there, aching to be made known to us.
At the same time, the contending popular cosmologies differ on so many fundamental points that they can’t all be right. Somewhere, someone is guilty of pulling at least some of this stuff out of a hat. What can be said with some certainty is that what we believe about the past has everything to do with how we live in the present and how we build for the future.
History is always with us, for better or worse, bearing in on the present
moment, but our expectations for the future are too easily distorted by our ignorance of the past. So let us consider how we organize time, and how we derive meaning from the past and future. This is not some careless process,
nor should it be driven by market fashions or paranoia, but by all that is eternal and infinite within us.
I've included a series of articles and links below to try to stimulate a more thorough examination of the crucial issues at stake, comparing and
contrasting what we believe with what we think we know. Here you will find some of the fascinating story of how/when the modern,
western concept of the precession of the equinoxes and the astrological world ages – like the Age of Aquarius - came to be. It’s a story that doesn’t get told often enough, but it has everything to do with what we believe about the use of precession by other cultures, like the Mayans, Egyptians, or Sumerians.
Pisces & Precession (an excerpt from The Star of the Magi)
Newton & The Age of Aries
The Fabulous Eighth Sphere: Precession & Trepidation
Astrological World Ages: Zurvan, the Zodiac, and the Millennium
Origins of the Apoclaypse
The gifted makers of the Antikythera mechanism knew better. After all, these consummate craftsmen may have been the intellectual heirs of Hipparchus, the greatest astrologer/astronomer of the ancient world. They may have even studied with Posidonius. They readily recognized the Olympic Games as a symbolic, mythological and ritual means of coordinating the solar and lunar calendars, and their exquisite device would have seemed sadly incomplete without them!
For More on the Antikythera Mechanism: The July 30th Article in Nature
For More on the Astronomy, Astrology, Mythology and Sacred Time Keeping of the Olympiads and the Olympic Games, please see: Valere Vaughn's article on the origin of the Olympics
Archaeoastronomy in the Odyssey
Did a Solar Eclipse Guide Odysseus Home?
To this day, the tales of brave Ulysses retain their almost magical power to move us. Now two researchers claim that, before our hero slipped through the back gates of his own kingdom disguised as a beggar, strung his bow and put Penelope’s suitors to the sword, his triumphant return to Ithaca was heralded by a blood-red, total solar eclipse at high noon.
Back in the 1920’s,Carl Schoch and Paul Neugebauer did the calculations revealing that a total solar eclipse had been visible over the Ionian island of Ithaca around noon on April 16, 1178 B.C. Using this earlier work as a starting point, Marcelo Magnasco and Constantino Baikouzis of Rockefeller University in New York surmised that this eclipse would have taken place approximately one decade after the sack of Troy — which many date to the 1180’s B.C. If we factor in the legendary ten years of wandering which make up the Odyssey, there is a possible coincidence.
Magnasco and Baikouzis, who detailed their findings online on June 23rd in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, are not the first to believe that a solar eclipse accompanied Odysseus on his return. The same possibility was raised by the 1st century, Greek historian Plutarch. After all, in the 20th book of the "Odyssey," the seer Theoclymenus foresees the death of the suitors, prophesying "The sun has been obliterated from the sky, and an unlucky darkness invades the world." This passage gave Plutarch the idea that the seer may have been referring to a solar eclipse.
The existence of Homer himself is as much of a mystery as that of his epic characters, but whoever the legendary blind poet was, he did leave a trail of astronomical clues in his tales which Magnasco and Baikouzis have dutifully followed, allowing them to further refine their hypothesis. For instance, as Odysseus breaks away from the clutches of the nymph Calypso, he “is told to watch the Pleiades and late-setting Boötes and keep the Great Bear to his left. Next, five days before the supposed eclipse, Odysseus arrives in Ithaca as the Star of Dawn - that is, Venus - rises ahead of the sun.”
The researchers also believe that poet made a mythological reference to a Mercury retrograde period, when “the messenger of the gods, Hermes, is sent west to Ogygia by the king of the gods Zeus to release Odysseus and then immediately returns back east roughly 34 days before the eclipse.” Apparently, there is only one date which satisfies all these conditions: April 16th, 1178 BCE.
Now whether this work proves to be yet another exercise in futility, or a real innovation, it does raise some important questions about how an eclipse, or other unusual planetary motion like retrograde periods, would have been interpreted by the Greeks of Homer’s time. Presumably, Homer’s Odyssey was compiled before the revolutionary discoveries of the cyclical nature of planetary motion in Mesopotamia, and the dawn of mathematical astronomy (approx. the 6th century BCE). If we should interpret Hermes’s roundtrip errand as an astronomical reference, then this recent work encourages rigorous astronomical re-readings of the entire corpus of classical mythology. That alone is the key to a wealth of buried treasure…
They "are not convinced, as others have been, that Stonehenge was a holy place or a secular tool for calculating dates. Instead, they think Stonehenge was a site of healing. "The whole purpose of Stonehenge is that it was a prehistoric Lourdes," says Wainwright. "People came here to be made well." This is revolutionary stuff, and it comes from a reinterpretation of the stones of the henge and the bones buried nearby. Darvill and Wainwright believe the smaller bluestones in the centre of the circle, rather than the huge sarsen stones on the perimeter, hold the key to the purpose of Stonehenge."
If Stonehenge was a site for healing, and healers, as they claim, this only adds to the intrigue of the site's astronomical alignments. Apart from their obvious calendrical value, could these measures of the motions of the Sun and Moon also been used in the healing arts? There is certainly abundant evidence for their use in astrological medicine from every other age. Will Stonehenge one day emerge as the earliest known evidence for healing by the stars?
Complete reports of the excavation, with videos, pictures, etc., at:
Visit Mythical Ireland at: http://www.mythicalireland.com/