"the sun became black as sackcloth..."
If we look at the imagery of Rev 12 more closely, we can see that it recapitulates the eschatological astronomical phenomena described earlier in the book - at the opening of the sixth seal. We are told that a great sign appeared in heaven (or according to some translations "the sky") of a Woman adorned with the Sun being pursued by a Great Red Dragon who sweeps a third of the stars from the sky. If we look at the text concerning the opening of the sixth seal we find rather similar language:
"When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale.” (Rev 6:12-13)
I argue in Unveiling the Apocalypse that the great signs described as appearing in the sky in Rev 12:1-4 is a dramatisation of the astronomical events depicted at the opening of the sixth seal. Many ancients thought of a solar eclipses as a dragon attempting to devour the sun (see here for example). In Rev 12, the Woman represents the Sun itself, the Red Dragon attempting to devour the Woman's child is the moon, and the Dragon sweeping a third of the stars from the sky obviously relates to the stars falling to earth. So the "Divine Drama" of Rev 12 appears to be a celestial display reflecting events occurring in the heavenly sphere, and signify on earth the occurrence of the "war in heaven" described in Rev 12, which ultimately results in Satan's expulsion from heaven and confinement to the earthly realm.
Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. (Rev 12:12-13).
In the book, I show how the signs that occur at the opening of the sixth seal describe a combination of events including an earthquake, a solar eclipse (the Sun becoming like "black as sackcloth", a lunar eclipse (when the moon appears with a blood-red hue), and a meteor shower.
"the full moon became like blood..."
My argument is that the moment of Satan's expulsion from heaven and confinement to the earthly realm would therefore be heralded by a combination of portents on earth - an earthquake, a total solar eclipse, a total lunar eclipse, and a major meteor shower.
"the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale..."
Also we can add to this "the sign of the Son of Man" which Jesus appends to these events in the Gospels:
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man" (Matt 24:29-30)
This "sign of the Son of Man" appears to be related to the original "sign of the Son of Man" - which was the Star of Bethlehem. Most scholars concur that the Star of Bethlehem was a combination of unusual planetary occurrences, and was most likely associated with a triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn.
So with this unique combination of astronomical prodigies, it seems that we can attempt to pin an exact time for the moment of the expulsion of Satan from heaven - which I argue coincides with the implementation of the prophecy of the mark of the Beast. The mark of the Beast is a parody of the sealing of the 144,000 in heaven that occurs after the opening of the sixth seal (see Rev 7:1-8). Since the sealing of the 144,000 occurs as part of the sequence of events associated with the sixth seal, we can safely assume that these events are cotemporious with the mark of the Beast. Therefore the eschatological astronomical phenomena described at the opening of the sixth seal not only heralds Satan being cast to earth, but also the moment the prophecy of the mark of the Beast is implemented.
Each of the events described at the opening of the sixth seal occur on a regular enough basis - but it would be highly unusual for them all to occur within a short period of time, and all centring on a single location.
If we are to look for various astronomical signs that took place around the time period that the fall of Satan was prophesied to take place (as mentioned in the previous post), we find that every omen described in Rev 6:12-13 and Matt 24:29-30 all occurred within a one year period between the years 1999-2000, and that each of these signs appear to have centred around Western Turkey - which is the location of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor to whom the Book of Revelation was originally addressed. On 11th August 1999 the path of the total solar eclipse passed between the location of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor, and the Turkish city of Izmit (see the chart here). Six days later, on the 17th August 1999, a huge earthquake struck Izmit killing over 17,000 people (see here). Later that year, in November 1999 (the date of the release of the first WAP phone), there was a Leonid meteor storm (which is the most prolific type of meteor shower known to astronomy - see here) which occurs every 33 years, and in January 2000 there was a total lunar eclipse, turning the moon blood red (see here). After this, on 5th May 2000 there was a rare alignment of the seven visible planets that were known to the ancients (see here), which was followed shortly thereafter on 30th May by a Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn (which as we noted above, is associated with the Star of Bethlehem see here). Did these various signs announce the expulsion of Satan from heaven, and the implementation of the prophecy of the mark of the Beast?
See also the related posts:
The Year of the Dragon
Our Lady of Assiut
The Woman Adorned with the Sun
The Fall of Satan
The Year of the Dragon