Friday, 6 April 2012

A Heavenly Annuniciation?

I recently received an email asking if I thought the recent conjunction between Venus and Jupiter, together with the crescent Moon and the Pleiades (perhaps better known as the "seven sisters") on the feast of the Annunciation on 25th March held any significance. I remember reading an interesting blog article on this subject which Spirit Daily linked to around the time of this event, but hadn't really given it much thought until I was asked about it (hence the lateness of this post in relation to event in question). The full article can be found on Daniel O'Connor's blog here, and I'll quote some of the relevant content below:

On March 25, 2012, millions of Christians (Catholic and Orthodox) will celebrate the “Annunciation” – which commemorates the conception of Jesus. This March 25, there will be a neat astronomical arrangement in the sky, that seems to mesh nicely. See the description below:
The sky will be spectacular in the west after sunset on March 25, 2012, with the waxing crescent moon and the planet Jupiter very close to each other in the evening twilight sky. Plus Venus is nearby – the sky’s brightest planet. You’ll see Jupiter and the moon below Venus in the west after sunset. The famous Pleiades star cluster is above Venus.
For centuries Mary has been referred to as the “Morning Star”, the popular name of the Planet Venus. In this configuration, the Morning Star appears with the moon at her feet. The Pleiades (from “peleiades” the Greek word for doves) overshadows the Morning Star. Jupiter, the “King Planet” approaches the configuration. The symbolism is striking. This is a interesting arrangement for the mystery of the Annunciation which heralds Christ’s coming through Mary.

We should first note that while the practise of astrology (attempting to discern future events through an elaborate system of occult interpretation) is condemned by the Church, the Bible clearly teaches that important events are often heralded by symbolic astronomical and geophysical phenomena. For example the birth of Christ was accompanied by the appearance of the Star of Bethlehem. And during his eschatological discourse on Mount Olivet, Jesus explicitly states that great signs would appear in the heavens before His Second Coming:

There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.(Luke 21:11)

 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”(Luke 21:25-28)

This is followed by Peter's eschatological sermon during the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost:

And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.(Acts 2:19-20)

The Book of Revelation also foretold that the unbinding of Satan's chains "for a little while" (which I argue corresponds to the "100" years given to Satan in the Prophecy of Pope Leo XIII) would be signified by a star fallen to earth:

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.
(Rev 20:1-3)

And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft. Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth...
(Rev 9:1-3)

(See the earlier post Tunguska, Pope Leo XIII, and the Opening of the Abyss, where I equate this "fallen star" to the Tunguska event of 1908)

And the sounding of the third trumpet in Rev 8 was predicted to be accompanied by the sign of a great star falling from heaven "blazing like a torch" (which I equate with the last appearance of Halley's Comet and its timing in relation to the Chernobyl disaster in the post Chernobyl, Wormwood, and the Hrushiv Apparitions).

Perhaps most importantly, the opening of the sixth seal in the Book of Revelation was foretold to be accompanied by a combination of an earthquake, a total solar eclipse, a total lunar eclipse and a major meteor shower (which in the post Signs in the Sky, I point out all occurred at the turn of the millennium centred on modern Turkey - the location of Pergamum in Asia Minor, which the Apocalypse identifies as "the throne of Satan" in Rev 2:13).
As I argue in Unveiling the Apocalypse, the eschatological astronomical phenomena described at the opening of the sixth seal in Rev 6, is once again recapitulated in Rev 12. The Woman Adorned with the Sun with the Moon at her feet represents a total solar eclipse - which corresponds to the Sun turning "black as sackcloth" in Rev 6:12. The Moon at the Woman's feet represents the Dragon intent on devouring her Child, and the red colour of the Dragon represents the reddish hue typical of a total lunar eclipse, which in turn corresponds to the Moon becoming blood-red at the opening of the sixth seal. And the Dragon sweeping a third of the stars from the sky in Rev 12:4, directly refers to the stars falling from the sky in Rev 6:13 (which is also recapitulated again at the sounding of the fourth trumpet in Rev 8:12, when a third of the Sun, Moon and stars are struck).
The twelve stars around the Woman's head are traditionally associated with the Twelve Apostles; but they also represent the twelve tribes of Israel, as is shown by the allusion of this verse to Joseph's dream in Gen 37:

Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”(Gen 37:9)

The eleven stars symbolise the sons of Jacob who make up the tribes of Israel, with the tribe of Joseph being divided between his two sons - Mannaseh and Ephraim, bringing the number up to twelve.
So the twelve stars around the Woman's head in Rev 12 is a further allusion to the opening of the sixth seal, which includes the sealing of the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel in Rev 7.

The manifold similarities between the opening of the sixth seal in Rev 6 and the sealing of the saints in Rev 7, held in juxtaposition with the unfolding of the Divine Drama of Rev 12 and marking of the inhabitants of the earth with the mark of the Beast in Rev 13, further confirms that the bestowing of the saints with the Seal of God is an antithetical parallelism to those who are marked with the number of the Beast. Chapters 6 and 7 of the Apocalypse are therefore directly connected with chapters 12-13, and forms a theological diptych which deliberately contrasts these portions of the Book of Revelation.

Since they both describe the same events, the astronomical signs at the opening of the sixth seal thus herald the eschatological casting of Satan to earth described in Rev 12 (which must be distinguished from his primordial fall from grace), and the subsequent rise of the Beast from the sea to mark the inhabitants of the earth in Rev 13 should be considered to be a direct inversion of the sealing of the saints in Rev 7 - events which logically would coincide at the same moment in real-time.

Now that we have determined that astrology should be clearly distinguished from the Bible's admonition to regard certain astronomical signs as portentous of contemporary and future world events, we can safely discuss whether the particular planetary conjunction on the 25th March may be imbued with any religious significance.
Since it took place on the feast of the Annunciation, it would follow that any particular event this may signify would only be revealed nine months later - the gestation period of an unborn child. So we could safely assert that we would know exactly if it does indeed herald any future event during the Christmas period - close to the rather ominous date of 21st December 2012. We will only know that it was truly a sign if anything of historical or religious importance occurs around this time period.
As exactly to what event it could herald can only be guessed at. We can be almost certain that it is not the Second Coming of Christ, since the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that this pivotal moment in salvation history is delayed until the future conversion of the Jews - an event which is synonymous with the Second Pentecost and the preaching of the Gospel to the ends of the earth:

"The glorious Messiah's coming is suspended at every moment of history until his recognition by "all Israel", for "a hardening has come upon part of Israel" in their "unbelief" toward Jesus. St. Peter says to the Jews of Jerusalem after Pentecost: "Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for establishing all that God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old." St. Paul echoes him: "For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?" The "full inclusion" of the Jews in the Messiah's salvation, in the wake of "the full number of the Gentiles", will enable the People of God to achieve "the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ", in which "God may be all in all".
(CCC 674 See full text here)

We have clearly not reached the stage of the conversion of the Jews at the Second Pentecost just yet, but there are other prophesied events that it may concern. The promised religious revival to take place at the Second Pentecost is almost certainly the next major prophesied event that is to take place - at least according to any provisional schedule which may be determined from analysing the eschatological events foretold in Scripture.
So could it herald the coming of the Second Pentecost itself? This event seems to be intimately related to the prophecies of the ministry of the Two Witnesses and the martyrdom of a future pontiff. And in turn these events also appear to be connected to the "great sign" promised in various prophecies, including those of St. Fautina and Our Lady of Akita. Therefore any of these events are the most likely prophetic occurrences yet to unfold at the highly significant schedule relating to the date of 21st December 2012.
Yet foremostly it has to be admitted that the most likely explanation is that this particular date bears no significance at all to the date of the end-time (especially not to Christianity), and that like every other prophesied date purporting to pinpoint the end of the world, it will come to nought. We can only be left guessing until nearer the time. Either way, it is extremely unwise to tie ourselves to an exact date - especially when we know that the coming of the Lord will be as a "thief in the night" (Rev 16:15), and that we should always be prepared for the arrival of the Groom. Attempting to to preempt this crescendo of salvation history through the process of logic is all but impossible.
We can only conclude with the same prayer as the apostle himself and subject ourselves to the immanent glory of Christ  - Maranatha! "Come, Lord Jesus!" (Rev 22:20).


Anonymous said...

I just thought that the interpretation of Our Lady of Guadalupe which Michael Rizzio connected to the conjunction on his blog is very interesting too. It seems to line up with the conjunction very well. She is also the patron of the Pro Life movement which may hold another key to this amazing sign in the sky. As you say, we must all be discerning of these cosmic manifistations, but as I did witness it myself it was extremely beautiful and brought me personally very much joy to see it.

Emmett O'Regan said...

Thanks for that link!
I had thought of the similarities between this and the imagery of Our Lady of Guadalupe also...

RCsince62 said...

Check out for more on the "martyrdom of a future pontiff"

Anonymous said...

Hi Emmett,
Nine months have passed since these signs in the heavens and we are gifted with an apparent (and significant) message from the infant Jesus at Medjugorje, "I am your peace, live my commandments."

Emmett O'Regan said...

Hi Anon,

I thought that the events described at Medjugorje on the 25th December 2012 were very interesting in regards to this heavenly "sign". I have always been undecided on the authenticity of Medjugorje. The evidence for and against are equally compelling IMO, and I think it would take a major sign to fully convince me. There was certainly no other event around this time period of any prophetic significance however. As you say, this apparition is considered to be of the utmost importance to Medjugorje supporters, given that it was the first time that Christ (as the Infant) has spoken, with the words "I am your peace, live my commandments." - which does in fact allude to the coming of Pentecost described in John 14, and could therefore be interpreted as being related to the coming era of peace in the Second Pentecost. The exact passages the above phrase alludes to are given (highlighted in caps) below:

“If you love me, YOU WILL KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
(John 14:15-17)

“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. PEACE I LEAVE; MY PEACE I GIVE TO YOU. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
(John 14:25-27)

This in turn is directly related to Christ's promise that the Spirit of Truth would reveal His hidden words:

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
(John 16:12-15)

This passage is in turn related to the sealed words spoken of by the prophet Daniel, who stated that they would be finally understood at the end time:

"But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
(Daniel 12:4)

"I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, “O my lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?” He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end."
(Daniel 12:8-9)

I'll try to update this material in a new post.