THE STARS OF REVELATION

Archaeostronomical Interpretation of the Apocalypse

Revised extract from a chapter of the book STERNSTUNDE 2000 by Sepp Rothwangl
Finished and edited on 9-9-01.

One of the most cryptic texts of ancient Christianity is the Revelation to John, who is not the writer of the Gospel, but who lived about 1900 years ago on the Greek island of Patmos. (1) In the original Greek, it is called the Apocalypse and means the revealing of the end times. The end-time in English is called the "Last Day" or "Doomsday," and in German, it is known as "Juengster Tag," meaning the "youngest day," which is just the other side of the same coin, an arbitrary day of fate.

Let us first continue this analysis of words in order to analyze Revelation, which is a sort of literature too. The myth of Tithonos, in Greek meaning "young day," and Eos, the goddess of the rosy dawn, tells this story marvellously: Eos falls in love with the young Tithonos and requests that he live for eternity, but forgets to request eternal youth for him, as well. Thus Tithonos ages, wastes away, weakens, and turns grey, until he can only chirp like a cricket in the late autumn of the old year. Or like the years of the old age. Poor Eos! That tells the myth, but what is the moral?

Will she ever again have a young lover? Surely, because no day lasts eternally. No year lasts eternally. And no age lasts eternally! Otherwise it would not be age, but eternity. And as the year at the year's end turns, the ages turn with the turns of an era. After any year a new year follows, and after an age ends, a new age rises.

But changes of age are often seen as the end of time, or the end of the world, because ages are very long periods and extend beyond man's natural lifetime or even generations.

To keep traditions alive over generations is what religions do. Therefore their orientation in time has to be for long periods and in very slow motion, like the precession resulting from the wobble of the earth's axis. And here we are already at the decisive point: For believing Christians started "their world" with the birth of Christ, which is linked to the beginning of the age of Pisces, which is also designated by the Greek word for fish, ICHTHYS.

But their other symbols, Alpha and Omega, show that their Christian "world" or worldview is defined to end when the age of Pisces ends. Don't forget, Alpha and Omega are the first and the last letters of Greek alphabet. Revelation gives an affirmative hint when this end will happen and thus has enormous potential for good, as well as bad, influence. We have seen what happens if believers take as acceptable the ugly moral and vengeful descriptions in Revelation. not only in the recent Heaven's Gate and Waco disasters, but previously in the crusades of the Middle Ages Let's hope believers can look at and understand the astronomical contents of Revelation without linking it to its moral claims and appeal to violence. Thus the Revelation loses its destructive potential, but opens a door to the future without religious fear.

It's a pity that believers cannot distinguish between the end of their worldview and the end of the world itself. They live in the belief that religious literature contains the words of God himself. The end of their age might seem for them similar to an event horizon, when no one can predict what will happen. If the Christian worldview with its calendar should come to a point where its end is expected, believers fear their world view and religion would no longer be valid. Let us hope it is possible to inform believers about astronomy and take away their fear, which seems to be the most common cause of aggression.

That seems to be the tragedy of religions. If they are successful for a long time in fascinating people with their miracles and mysteries, they insist their way is the only one that is correct, because it is upheld by tradition, and sometimes force. But even that mystery has its problems, for those who are not aware of the true secret of it.

"Our thing is a secret in a secret; the secret, which can explained only by another secret; a secret over a secret that only with a secret is satisfied by itself." This is a quotation of Ga'fat al-Sadiq, sixth Imam of the Muslim religion and it quite explains the business plan of religion. Keep secret a secret, which is a secret itself. No one ever will have a look inside that black box, to see if it is empty or not. Just a secret about a secret.

It is therefore advised that the worthy readers not read these lines any further, if they want to keep the mystery of religion, but read on, if you want to lose your fear! You could be disappointed to learn the secret, particularly what is behind the secret of the end time. The secret of the Revelation of St. John! The secret of the Apocalypse! The secret of the "Last Days," the numbers 6-6-6, 7, 1000, 1260 etc… Nevertheless, if you should be disappointed at how dull and boring this secret actually is, then you should be comforted! Nature and life still have so many other secrets that learning one can't disappoint you completely.

Thus, we will try to unveil the revealing. It may seem like heresy or sacrilege for a believer, and it could hurt or insult some people, which often happens if you unmask, uncover: reveal. Let us hope not to suffer as a result the fate of those who proclaimed knowledge in other eras like Galileo Galilei or Giordano Bruno, or in other areas, like Salman Rushdi.

The translation and interpretation of Revelation takes place in the same way as other ancient descriptions of celestial movements, such as the giant corn grinding mill of Native Americans, which is mirrored in the Latin "septem triones," the seven stars (corn grinding oxen) of the Big Dipper, or the myth of Kallisto that describes it as a circumpolar constellation, never rising or setting, and therefore being unable to "take a bath in the Sea."

The result may cause conversion, of course, but it is surprising and astonishing. It gives the impression of breaking new ground, although Franz Boll (2), Herta von Dechend and Giorgio de Santillana (3) have made a good beginning. These authors seem to have only tasted John's Revelation, and then made a retreat, perhaps because of religious consideration, perhaps from caution, so as not to singe their fingers. But Boll puts us on the right track by saying: Mankind uses stars to measure time. From this, ignorant people, whose knowledge is based on beliefs rather than science, derive the idea that: "The stars' movements determine the time." As a result, religious people say "Heaven guides everything on Earth."

The text that John of Patmos left us corresponds to a surrealistic poem, a dream experience, or even a vision, as he called it. To its pictorial abundance one must approach either analytically or by enjoying its poetry without comment. We approach its astronomical contents now like a psychoanalyst examines a dream of a patient, turning to reality what the subconscious is saying. These contents may seem coded, as children in their drawings or dream-messages encode messages of things too painful to speak of in any other way. We might call such fear irrational. We need to respect this text as a work of art, just as we have the greatest respect and appreciation for the works of van Gogh or Dali.

So let us interpret John of Patmos' literature as an art historian interprets paintings of allegories from the Middle Ages and see the result.

John's Revelation starts with greetings:

[Rev 1:4] John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne ...

In the very beginning, John speaks of seven spirits. In ancient astronomy, whenever the number seven is involved, this usually means the seven stars of the Big Dipper, the Pleiades, or the seven ancient planets, which includes the Sun and Moon, along with the five planets that can be seen with the naked eye. Therefore, we need more clues to the meaning of that magic number Seven, which Revelation gives us.

[Rev 1:11] saying, "Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea."

And: [Rev 1:20] As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lamp stands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches and the seven lamp stands are the seven churches.

Thus Revelation itself reveals what the number seven means: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches. But who are the angels (or celestial deities) that represent the seven churches (or temples) of Asia Minor? We need to look at the seven cities more closely!

The following first letter to the churches is directed to Ephesus, which was the capitol of the cult of Artemis in the ancient world. It begins:

[Rev 2:1] "To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: `The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lamp stands."

Artemis, the goddess of the hunt and the moon, who became Roman Diana, was the deity of this city. That Artemis represents the moon we find in the New Testament itself, where in Acts 19: 21-40 is reported the quarrel between the apostle Paul and the silversmith Demetrius. The silversmith feared the loss of his business because of the new belief in Paul's teachings about Christ:

[Acts 19:24-28] For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the craftsmen. These he gathered together, with the workmen of like occupation, and said, "Men, you know that from this business we have our wealth. And you see and hear that not only at Ephesus but almost throughout all Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned away a considerable company of people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods. And there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may count for nothing, and that she may even be deposed from her magnificence, she whom all Asia and the world worship." When they heard this they were enraged, and cried out, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"
[Acts 19:34-35] But when they recognized that he was a Jew, for about two hours they all with one voice cried out, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" And when the town clerk had quieted the crowd, he said, "Men of Ephesus, what man is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is temple keeper of the great Artemis, and of the sacred stone that fell from the sky?"

There can be no doubt that this image fallen down from heaven to Earth is the Moon, which is shown on so many coins and statues of Goddess Artemis. The first letter of John is a call to the angel of Ephesus, Artemis, the goddess of the moon! The first of the ancient planets has been found!

Pic:  
Greek statue of Goddes Artemis with moon and constellation

The second letter goes to Smyrna. Similar to all of the others, it begins:
[Rev 2:8] "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: "
 
John defames and threatens the synagogue of the Jews there as one of Satan's. Now, the Jews have special proximity to Saturn, which changes to the Roman Satyr, and finally, within Christianity, develops the features of Satan. The holy day of the Jews is the Sabbath, Saturday, a tip-off to the second planet, Saturn.

The third letter goes to Pergamon with its famous temple of Zeus (whose large marble altar is still preserved).
[Rev 2:12] And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write …
The angel of Pergamon can be only Zeus, the protector and patron of the city. Zeus becomes Roman Jupiter, divinity of another planet. With the third letter, the planet Jupiter is addressed by John.

The fourth letter goes to the angel of Thyatira.
[Rev 2:18] And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write [Rev 2:28] and I will give him the morning star.

This letter is full of reproaches for immorality involving a woman named Jezebel and it mentions the morning star. Sexual love and female fertility, the principles of the Greek goddess Aphrodite (Roman Venus), surely mean immorality to Christians. The ancient Latin name of the planet Venus was the morning star (Lucifer), and its period of visibility was about 266 days, linking it to an age-old pregnancy or fertility calendar, which gives us another clue, and we discover Venus, the fourth planet.

 The fifth letter goes to Sardis.

[Rev 3:1] And to the angel of the church in Sardis write …

This was a municipality with a rich cloth trade. Here we read of clothing and thieves. The god of thieves and merchants is Hermes/Mercury. In addition, Sardis is located in the Hermes Valley, near the major road system that linked it with the other six churches of Revelation, as well as to another planet: Mercury.

The sixth letter goes to Philadelphia. [Rev 3:7] And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write …

In Greek Delphi, which was the name given for this city, once was the most famous oracle of the ancient world. The city was founded by the Sun-god Apollo himself, after he killed Python, as the myth tells. The dolphin, the holy animal of Apollo, points the way to the sixth heavenly body, the sun. The seventh letter goes to Laodicea.

[Rev 3:14] And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write…

Here it would not be a surprise if Laodicea were a place where Ares/Mars was worshipped. There are many Mars-Latopius sanctuaries. Perhaps further research can help here. The seventh letter, therefore, would be addressed to the only remaining planet of antiquity: Mars.

Pic:   
Medieval manuscript with drawings and description of the seven planets: septem planete: iovis, mars, saturnus, solis, luna, mercurius and lucifer.

All letters end with the record:

"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

Can you hear John's message? The spirits of the churches are the seven old divinities of the (former pagan) sanctuaries, which are assigned to the seven planets. He wanted to pack the seven planets into his secret message as astronomical content! A further possibility could be that John realized that the planets also functioned as time telling factors, as they were celestial clocks, which also determine the calendar, prescribing feast days and religious ceremonies. The number SEVEN and why John selected just these municipalities, suggests the seven planets. In antiquity, the number seven links with the weekdays, the Jewish Menorah, or the number of planets known at that time.

As shown, the letters are "addressed" to the planets or at least their deities, then in consequence numerous additional astronomical references are to be found. The introduction of the end of the world with the trumpets brings a fantastic description of the cosmos:
[Rev 4:6-8] "and before the throne there is as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. And round the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all round and within, and day and night they never cease to sing, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!""

This looks like a metaphor, which reminds us of the celestial globe and lets us think of the four directions and the constellations of the cardinal points of the zodiac and the year, Taurus, Leo, Aquila and Aquarius. The symbols of the four evangelists are derived from these constellations and points of the compass.

In the following sequences, Revelation shows the coming of the end of the old age, or the dawn of the new, by using the seals and the trumpets.

[Rev 5:2] "and I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?" And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I wept much that no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to into it. Then one of the elders said to me, "Weep not; lo, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals."

John weeps, because he fears nobody can understand the book (the cosmos). The voice of the elder predicts that there will be a new "Lion" of the Jewish tribe who will be able to read the secret. What does the lion mean? We will discuss this later!

[Rev 5:6] And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth;

The metaphor of the sacrificial lamb, also a symbol of Christ, corresponds to the past sun-sacrificial age, the age of Aries, which has gone due to precession of the equinoxes. It expresses that the spring equinox sun has as good as eaten, devoured, or consumed this age or constellation due to the precessional shift. Remember here the holy meal, where believers eat the body of Christ (the sacrificed lamb). Because of that shift of constellation almost every 2000 years at an arbitrary point of the tropical year, the significant change of one constellation can be observed. It is the moment before sunrise on the day of the vernal equinox, when, after 2000 years, one constellation has slowly set in the East, while another one announces the sunrise and a new one rises upon the horizon in the West.

2000 years ago, Pisces replaced Aries in the East and Virgo replaced Scorpio in the West. Because Jesus expressed the change to the constellation of Pisces, Jesus acquired the symbol of ICHTHYS, the fish, as well as the sacrificed lamb, and, in addition, the story tells us, he was born of a virgin.

Milky Way Myths

In this context there must be mentioned some of the old beliefs of death and rebirth, such as that the dead souls are waiting in the Milky Way and walk along it until they are reborn.

The Greek goddess of death was the wife of Hades, Roman Pluto, whose empire was beyond the river Styx. The name of this goddess of underworld was Persephone, Proserpina, or Hel, and she is represented by the constellation of Virgo, whose main star is Spika, brightest on the ecliptic. Its Greek name is era, represented by the corn-ear in the hands of the constellation Virgo, the virgin. By observing the rising of that star at vernal equinox, the ancient astronomers Hipparchos and Ptolemy calculated the precession of the equinoxes. Thus the Greek name of Spika became also an expression for era, synonym for age (11). The Latin word for corn-ear, "arista," was the root of terms like aristocrat, meaning of noble birth. On the other hand, the Christian belief that Christ was born of a virgin may be based on the fact that Virgo became the new autumn equinox constellation. Thus, the introduction gives us a new understanding. The firstborn of the dead means the same as the firstborn in the age of Virgo or the first born in the new era (Spika).
[Rev 1:5] and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead,…

But let's continue now and see what other stars or constellations occur:

[Rev 5:8] And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints;

What are the golden harp and the celestial (scale-) bowls called? The Lyra and balance! Is the incense intended for the altar?

But further in the text: the first four seals of the famous book are opened and the four apocalyptic riders come:

[Rev 6:2] And I saw, and behold, a white horse, and its rider had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

[Rev 6:4-6] And out came another horse, bright red; its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that men should slay one another; and he was given a great sword. When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" And I saw, and behold, a black horse, and its rider had a balance in his hand; and I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; but do not harm oil and wine!"

[Rev 6:8] And I saw, and behold, a pale horse, and its rider's name was Death, and Hades followed him;

The white horse reminds us of Pegasus, which is the constellation north of Pisces. The bow looks like Sagittarius, and the crown is the Corona borealis or northern crown, exactly opposite of Pegasus on the other side of the zenith of the sky as it was on a spring morning in the times of John. The white horse is followed by three others: one fire-red with sword, a black horse with a balance and finally one pale as death. The one with a sword could correspond to Perseus with the sword, which is opposite Libra (balance) and the one pale as death finds correspondence in the wife of Hades, Persephone, the goddess of the underworld, the dead goddess embodied in Virgo. Nevertheless, wheat and barley are a further reference to Spika, the wheat-ear, the main star of Virgo.

The first part of the Apocalypse seems almost a kind of star walk, full of fantasy, with the descriptions of the constellations at dawn of the vernal equinox 2000 years ago, a description of the morning at the arbitrary moment of the age-old deadline for the changing of the ages. The morning sky that was seen by John of Patmos! It looks like the announcement of the age of Aries by the Persian king and "timeturner" Kai Khosrau, when he shouted out in Firdausi's mythic epos, called Shanameh : "The whole world is my kingdom. Mine is everything, from the fish down there to the head of the bull."(14).

You need to consider this concept of the world of antiquity, if you want to understand: Many believed at that time that for each human there is a star. When a child was born, its star appeared in the sky. Even today we say of movie stars: "his star has risen" if he is successful. However, when someone died in ancient times, then his star -- his life's light -- also vanished.

Up to this point, John described the constellations at the spring morning of his own age. It is Pegasus in the East; Perseus in the North; Virgo and Libra in the West; Sagittarius in the South; and Corona Borealis, Lyra, and Aquila in the zenith.

Pic:
Sky representation, the firmament before sunrise at day of spring equinox, 5 a.m., Jerusalem 100 CE

Pic:
Sky representation spring equinox, view to the West, 5 a.m., Jerusalem 100 CE

Pic:
Sky representation spring equinox, view to the East, 5 a.m., Jerusalem 100 CE

After the four horses comes the fifth seal and a request to wait:

[Rev 6:11] Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.

The sixth seal then describes obvious astronomical and calendrical events:

[Rev 6:12] 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. [Rev 7:4] And I heard the number of the sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand sealed, out of every tribe of the sons of Israel …

The description of the eclipses of sun and moon is followed by the indication of each 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel. From this the ominous number 144,000 results, a number that we know is very important from the Maya calendar, arising as a result of the combination of duodecimal and decimal system.

Before opening the seventh seal, the elect people are going to be saved:

[Rev 7:17] For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. It is a first allusion to the source of holy water. For the early medieval believers this was the beginning for the search for the holy grail. Later crusades any myth at begin of 2nd millennium this also was a motif. The seventh seal contains the seven trumpets and its opening begins dramatically with silence:

[Rev 8:1] When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

Afterwards a constellation south of Scorpio near the southern celestial pole is mentioned: the altar:

[Rev 8:3] And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne;

The altar is the southernmost visible constellation that can be seen from Mediterranean Patmos. For him it seems to be on the lower surface of the sky globe. The actual southern pole itself was not visible to John, because it is not visible on any position north of the equator. Michael Scotus called the constellation altar "puteus sive sacrarius" (source or altar). It is the holy well as a symbol for the way into the underworld and is depicted by Calypso, the "hiding nymph" on the "downunder" island of Ogygia. The legend of the basilisk fits into this pattern, in which the kite with the head of a rooster waits at the bottom of a deep well. Finally, we have the beautiful old Grimm's fairy tale of "The Blue Light" or "Mother Holle" (10). The metaphors of the well seem unfathomable.

There is a history from Gervasius of Tilbury (15) that the Star of Bethlehem fell into a well pit at Bethlehem, after it had fulfilled its function to light the path of the magis. The Ka'aba of Mecca, a giant black cube, which faces the black stone, a meteor, framed in silver, is likewise built on such a well, whose edge once showed a cube. Before Islamic times, this well was a sanctuary of Hubal, a god equated with Kronos/Saturn (3).The cubus is a symbol of Saturn, old Christian Satan, Incubus.

On this altar, which was formerly called a well, according to Eratosthenes (16), Zeus swore his oath, before he attacked his father Kronos and threw him off his throne and out of the heavens, thus usurping the rule of Olympia in the first mythical dawn of gods and turn of an era of the ancient Greeks. It is the mythical base of the Olympiads -- the Greek time calculation.

An enigmatic comment about seven wells or the well of an oath is also mentioned in Genesis: [Gen 21:31] Therefore that place was called Beer-sheba; because there both of them swore an oath.
[Gen 21:33] Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God.

John's concept of the world seems to have been similar to the sky globe of the ancient Greeks and the one of Ovid. John also mentions the altar, which reminds us that Zeus went to swear on the altar before attacking his father Kronos, at the breaking of the dawn of the Olympic gods.

With the opening of the seventh seal, the trumpets, and the altar scene, suddenly the constellations described by John change. Here the view of John on the starlit sky of the future begins! Specifically, a constellation is noticeable, which was not visible in the dawn of the vernal sky 2000 years ago! The great showdown of the Apocalypse after opening the seventh seal starts with the trumpets and the woes: The first reminds us of a tempest, the second of a volcano, and the third of a comet or a meteorite impact:

[Rev 8:10] The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the fountains of water.

[Rev 8:11] The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died of the water, because it was made bitter.

That will probably hook some gloom-and-doom apocalyptic, world's-end prophets, and black-painting astrologers. This might be the prophecy of John about the asteroid 1997XF11, which the astronomer Jim Scotti discovered on 6 December 1997. This asteroid will approach earth on 26 October 2028 at approximately 40,000 km and could collide with earth at a speed of about 30,000 km/h. The course calculations are not yet exactly possible, but it appears the asteroid will come dangerously near to the earth. This close approach is realized best in a model with scale of 1:1 billion. Earth would be then be reduced to the size of an eyeball and moon a pinhead, about 30cm apart. The precalculated distance between the asteroid and earth is only a tenth of the distance from earth to moon, or only about 3 cm on this scale. An asteroid with the size of approximately 1.5 km could have considerable effects if an impact occurred. But John could hardly have known about this asteroid. Thus let us continue his report.

The fourth trumpet brings darkness again, but this time somewhat differently, perhaps like a darkening by enormous dust masses? The fifth opens the shaft into the abyss:

[Rev 9:1-2] And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key of 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.

The metaphor of the shaft or open pit is similar to that of the well, and it is useful to compare it in the metaphoric language of the ancients with the way to the underworld, "downunder." The shaft leads likewise to the southern celestial pole, into the underworld, or inside the earth where Vulcanus and Hephaistos, the smiths and demiurges, work. The often-unfaithful wife of the Hephaistos is Aphrodite/Venus. Their place in hell as Morningstar/Lucifer seems to have been programmed for a long time before Christianity.

The following locusts and the scorpion may remind us again of Tithonos, when he became a cricket at the end of his days, and of the constellation of Scorpion, who in the Greek myth killed Orion.

[Rev 9:3-4] Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth; they were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green growth or any tree, but only those of mankind who have not the seal of God upon their foreheads;…

The fifth trumpet ends with:

[Rev 9:11-12] They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon. The first woe has passed; behold, two woes are still to come.

What does John want to express here? Because angels are the old planets, as already explained in the introduction, the solution here is very simple! As a king, only one star is over them, says John: Apollo, the god of the sun! How is it possible that only the sun is visible, as the only one of all planets (angels in John's terminology)? When is this the case? The description is a planetary position, as it actually occurred with the alignment of all planets in May 2000. This was the Greatest Year of the cosmos, as Aristotle called it. One sees only the sun, since all other planets are behind it, but by the sun's light are blotted out and therefore are invisible. For this planetary lineup of 5/5/2000, the American Richard W. Noone is a peculiar prophet who, strangely enough, fulfils not only John, but also the Gospels! Isn't it said in the Bible that "no one" knows the day and the hour?
[Mat 24:36.7] But of that day and hour no one knows …

Noone depicts in his book (5/5/2000. Ice. The Ultimate Disaster) (17) an unrealistic end of world scenario, where a polar shift due to the influence of gravitation of this planetary alignment destroys the civilization on the earth. Although this alignment was without any geological or astronomical effect, he points out the subconscious power of this alignment by mixing up temporal shift with spatial shift and losing orientation in time and space. Noone seems to be a believing follower of ancient world views, as was John, without being aware that the world view is not the world itself. John had already surmised this planetary position, and Noone fulfilled it like a "self fulfilling prophecy." A bit jokingly, we want to mention here Odysseus, who escaped the Cyclops Polyphem by saying his name was "no one." We will see later how Dionysius Exiguus adjusted and the Catholic church adopted the yearly count and fulfilled this prophecy.

The sixth trumpet follows:

[Rev 9:14] saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates."

 So the four angels were released, who had been held ready for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, to kill a third of mankind. The great river Euphrates, at which the four angels (cardinal points) are bound can be nothing else than the Milky Way. It is in many ancient star descriptions described as a great celestial river, flowing out of the vessel of Aquarius (waterbearer).

Also, in the Greek/Roman myth of Pisces, this river is mentioned by Ovid. When the giants, led by Typhon conquered heaven, all of the Olympic Gods fled or were changed into animals: Zeus/Jupiter into a ram, Apollo into a raven, Saturn into billy goat, Artemis/Diana into a cat, and Hera/Juno into a cow. Aphrodite/Venus also fled with her son Eros/Cupid to hide along the coast of the Palestinian Euphrates River, that means doubtless the rives Jordan as well as Milky Way. Two fish came along and saved the goddess and her son from the raging Typhon. Therefore, says Ovid, the godfearing people of Syria do not eat fish any longer, being afraid of committing a sacrilege (18).

The Milky Way during the Middle Ages was called daemon meridianus, presumably because its surface looks like a big animal. Since in the biblical tradition the most dreadful spirit is this "daemonio meridiano" (High Noon Devil) or "collegio spirituum sapientissimorum" (assembly of very learned spirits), "de quibus valde timendum est" (one has to be afraid of). Also the Psalms say: [Ps. 91:5-6] Latin: non timebis a timore nocturno, a sagitta volante in die, a negotio preambulante in tenebris, ab incursu et daemonio meridiano.

[Ps. 91:5-6] English: You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at the noon.

In his Latin Commentarii in Somnium Scipionis (Commentary on Scipio's Dreams), the 5th century writer Macrobius explains that the Milky Way is the abode of the souls of worthy people and describes it as an oblique circle with respect to the Zodiac. Also, Michael Scotus considers the Milky Way as the seat of the spirit and calls it "demon meridianus seu galaxia" (high noon devil or galaxy) (4).

Many myths are still told today of this animal, usually a dog or a wolf that steals corn from the Northern mill and runs away across the sky. The Pawnee tribe of American Indians still call the Milky Way "the dogway" and record this knowledge in "Sacred Bundles" that contains star charts. The ancient Dutch call the Milky Way "Brunelstraat," after Brunel, a thieving fox (3). In some French provinces, the Milky Way is still called "way of the souls"(6). Similarly, the Lakota Sioux tribe call the Milky Way the Wanaghi Tachanku, or "trail of the spirits" (5). That the Palestinian Euphrates represents Jordan as well as Milky Way is still expressed in the saying for dying: "to go over the Jordan". Symbolically the baptism in the river Jordan also deals with this motif.

This motif is later found in stories of werewolves or the hunt of the night and is still alive in modern fantasy (6) (7).

Last, but not least, the Milky Way or the high noon devil was one of the most feared things in the Middle Ages, because, as Giordano Bruno stated, on these other stars there would live other men and gods. For saying that, he was burned at the stake.

In the 10th chapter, John opens the book and makes clear what will come in the future.

[Rev 10:1-2] Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring; when he called out, the seven thunders sounded.

John expresses here for the first time, completely and clearly, the rise of the lion! A more modern scientific explanation would sound like this: The constellation of the lion rises due to the precession of the equinoxes upon the western horizon at dawn of the spring equinox day. On the celestial globe, in the pictorial language of John, the constellation Leo steps out of the Sea.

Pic:
Sky representation spring equinox, view to the West, 5 a.m., Jerusalem, year 2000

Pic:
Sky representation spring equinox, view to the East, 5 a.m., Jerusalem, year 2000

In chapter 11, first some calendrical advice is given with the hint to a period of 42 months, measured and calculated with a staff. We will later meet that same period, expressed in another way.

[Rev 11:1-2] Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told: "Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample over the holy city for forty-two months.

Next John sees two witnesses, who preach for 1260 days, perform all kinds of miracles, and torment people. They are called the two olive trees. Finally their enemies kill them, but after three and one-half days, God again makes them alive:

[Rev 11:3-4] And I will grant my two witnesses power to prophesy for one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two lamp stands which stand before the Lord of the earth.

[Rev 11:11] But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them.

In this context, it is interesting to mention another medieval Catholic prediction, the prophecy of Malachy, important at any pope's election. This prophecy pretends to give a prediction in the slogans or mottos (epithets) of all popes until the return of Christ. The current pope, John Paul II, is the last but one on this list, and his epithet is "labore solis" (solar eclipse). The final Pope corresponds the last slogan to the list: Gloria olivae (fame of the olive tree). The Latin lines immediately after Gloria olivae, which is the last Pope's motto in Malachy's Prophecy reads:
Into psecutione extreme S.R.E. sedebit. Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oves in multus tribulationibus: Quibis transactis civitas septicollis diruetur, & Iudex tremedus iudicabit populum suum. Finis.

(The bishop of Rome, persecuted, settled down in the outermost end to withdraw. The Roman Pope, who pastured so many herds of sheep: Afterwards the city on seven hills (Rome) will be destroyed and the terrible judge will pass final judgment on his people. End).

How this prophecy until now has been fulfilled in the Catholic Church is found on website of calendersign: http://www.calendersign.com

With the seventh trumpet, 24 elders, the third woe comes with the opening of the ark of his covenant and then appears a woman and the dragon:

[Rev 11:16] And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God,
[Rev 11:19] Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.
[Rev 12:1-6] And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery. And another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth; she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which to be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

What else might this celestial woman bear than a new age, like Mary did with Jesus, whose surname was ICHTHYS and who started a new age? And the constellation of Draco is the dragon, the one who wants to eat this newborn child. Astronomically it is easy to explain, because the constellations on the ecliptic (the ages) run like the hours of the clock around the center of the ecliptic North Pole, where the constellation Draco (dragon) is situated. John describes Draco at the pole of the ecliptic, the center of the precession's movement. In his words, the dragon devours the world's ages. This is similar to the Greek myth, where Kronos devoured all of his children, until finally Zeus escaped from him and later conquered his father.

It is interesting that here again 1,260 days are mentioned, the same period as the two prophets who gave their witness. It looks as if it would be the period of time the new age would manifest. The 1260 days also relate to the above-mentioned 42-month period, if each month has exactly 30 days. This might be a clue to a new world calendar with 30 days in each of the 12 months, with some leap days left over, if we remember [Rev 11:2], where this period is first mentioned:
 [Rev 11:2] but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample over the holy city for forty-two months.

This looks like a bequest, left by John, in that he does not give any advice on the numbers of the leap days, but leaves it to the nations (pagans), presumably the astronomers, to quarrel about. It could be however be another allusion or repetition of the book of Daniel, who seems to have a model for John. Besides the four zodiacal signs (symbols of the apostles) also Daniel mentions in [Dan 9:27] a period which regards 3 ½ years.

A later sentence mentions the same period, if "times" means a year consisting of 360 days. (3.5 * 360 = 1260). [Rev 12:14] But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and two times, and half a time. A "time" in this context doubtless means one period of 360 days, so that 3.5 times result in 1260 days.

Next, the archangel Michael fights with the dragon.

[Rev 12:7-9] Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world--he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

This is the famous dragon fight -- which happens at the beginning of many myths -- when Thuban, the Dragon, still represented the polar star (about 6000 years ago). In all of his fights, he was overwhelmed at the beginning, in the legends of Siegfried, Parcifal, Gilgamesh, etc. and finally in that Vienna fairy tale of Casper and the crocodile. The constellation Draco, around which the precessional circle of earth's axis leads the whole zodiac in a wobble around during one full Platonic year, might be a formulation that everyone who knows a bit of astronomy still understands today.

Now in Revelation starts the famous meeting of the two animals:

[Rev 13:1-2] And the dragon stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems upon its horns and a blasphemous name upon its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard, its feet were like a bears, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.

[Rev 13:4-6] Men worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it? And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months; it opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven.

It is the second time that John has mentioned the lion stepping out of the Sea, meaning in fact the rising of Leo because of the precession. The feet of the bear give us a clue to explain why stepping out of the Sea actually means the rising of a constellation. It is marvellously expressed in the myth of the Greater Bear (part of it is the Big Dipper), Kallisto offended against the holy order, and therefore was thrown into the northern sky. Kallisto (the most beautiful one) was a companion of Artemis, the goddess of the moon. Artemis, goddess of virginity, only allowed virgins to be her companions. Zeus, however had seduced, raped, and impregnated Kallisto. She tried to conceal what had happened and remained, although now pregnant, a companion of the moon goddess, which broke the rule. Pregnant women do not follow the rule of the moon, because they have no female period (menstruation)! As the Greater Bear in the heavens, Kallisto never again can take a bath in the Sea (because it is a circumpolar constellation and never sets). Therefore lovers will never approach her again, because she stinks so badly. And someone who never can take a bath in the Sea also can never step out of the Sea.

Again, at the rising of the lion, the 42 months are mentioned like a legacy of a new calendar. In the Persian Shanameh (14), a similar quote is found at the birth of Kai Chosrau: "From now on new holydays and rules are valid." This birthday is still celebrated on day of spring equinox and is called "Nauroz" (young day).

And then John asks the mysterious question, which has caused the greatest speculations: What is the number of the (first, and wounded by the sword) beast, which Revelation said that the inhabitants of the earth worship?

[Rev 13:11-17] Then I saw another beast which rose out of the earth; it had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast (the lion) in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. It works great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in the sight of men; and by the signs which it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast, it deceives those who dwell on earth, bidding them make an image for the beast which was wounded by the sword and yet lived; Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.

[Rev 13:18] This calls for wisdom: let him who has understanding reckon the number of the beast, for it is a human number, its number is six hundred and sixty-six.

With a little bit of understanding is easily possible to show that the number of the beast (constant of precession) is in fact a number of a man: 1° of the precession represents the approximate length of human lifetime, which in former times was about 66 years and is still retirement age.

As has been shown, Revelation deals with the coming and going of ages due to precession of the equinoxes concerning to the constellations of the zodiac.

The solution to who this beast is follows:
[Rev 14:2] And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder ..

It is Aquarius, out of his vessel the great celestial waters are flowing.

Let us have now a look at how the precession was discovered and described. The precession was first measured and estimated by Hipparchos and Ptolemy with a value of 100 years for each 1° of the zodiac (25). This value was too large, and more clever astronomers were surely aware of it, because the actual (recently calculated) value is 71.66 years per 1° of the zodiac. All Arab and Hebrew astronomers calculated with a different value: 66.6 years per 1° of the zodiac. Their assumption was that the cardinal points would move 30° along the constellations of the zodiac in 2000 years (2000 : 30 = 66.6)!

These astronomers or star catalogues are:

· Al-Khwarizmi (~800 CE), al zij Sindhind. (12)
· "Tabulae probatae" or "az-Zig al-mumtan" from the years 829-830 CE. (12)
· Al Battani (880 CE) "al-Zij", a star catalog with 533 stars. It calculates the annual precession with 54'', which results exactly in 30° in 2000 years. (54'': 60: 60 x 2000 = 30°). (12)
· As-Sufi (964 CE), a fixed star book. (12) · Al Biruni (973 - 1048 CE) al Qanun al-Masud (Masudi Canon). (12)
· Arab fixed star catalog from 1st Oct 1112 CE (with a difference of 14,47° since Ptolemy. (1112 -150 = 962; 962:14.47 = 66.4°) (19)
· The "Libros del Saber" of Alfonse of Castillia (1252-1284 CE). 
· Judah Ben Verga of Lisbon (20)

That list and the value of precession the medieval astronomers used show quite brilliantly what John actually meant with the number of the beast: it is the number of the zodiac, which translates literally from ancient Greek as "beast circle." The number of the beast is the ancient value for the precession of the equinoxes around the zodiac!

After questioning the number of the beast, John tells which constellation is the next, following due to the precession, after the sacrificed lamb, meaning Jesus, called ICHTHYS (Pisces): [Rev 14:6-7] Then I saw another angel flying in midheaven, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; and he said with a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgment has come; and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the fountains of water. This is first time that John announces the "angel with the water," Aquarius, the waterbearer.

Pic:
Constellation Aquarius. Bayer's Uranometria. (24)

He follows with another one, who wears a sickle:
[Rev 14:14] Then I looked, and lo, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand.

[Rev 14:16] So he who sat upon the cloud swung his sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.

That celestial with the sickle looks very like Kronos/Saturn, whose tool is the sickle. With this sickle, the Titan Kronos cut off the genitals of his father Uranus and settled himself on the throne of heaven. Saturn and his many representatives, including Thoth, Kronos, Pan, and Dionysos, were the former "time gods," whose cults finally culminated in the ceremony of drinking wine, which survives in Christianity along with holy meal, celebrated at Easter.

Pic:
Medieval Painting of Saturn with Scythe

In the following chapters there is much about anger, fury, revenge, and retribution, which seems to be necessary, at least as a program, in any big change. It deals more with Hebrew moral or religious feelings and less with astronomy. The text starts to be astrologically and astronomically interesting again when the angel with the millstone appears.
[Rev 18:21] Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, …

That angel in early Christian iconography looks like St. Florien, patron of the fire brigades, who overtook the image of the waterbearer.

Pic:
St. Florian with watervessel and millstone (24)

After that there is some repetition of earlier motifs, but most remarkable is the fettering of the dragon. It is preceded by another angel with the key to the abyss:

[Rev 20:1-4] Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key of 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, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years were ended. After that he must be loosed for a little while. Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom judgment was committed …

[Rev 20:6] …but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and they shall reign with him a thousand years.
[Rev 20:7] And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be loosed from his prison.

Many times the 1,000-year period is mentioned here. This corresponds to the former constant of precession, the number of the beast (zodiac). John is describing again why, due to the precession (the movement going out from the dragon), ages change and new paradigms arise, overwhelming the old.

There is a Russian myth telling of a dog that is chained to the constellation Ursa Minor at the celestial pole. He chews on his fetter until he gets free. If he is free, the end of the world has come (3). This myth also gives us a clue to an ancient global view, as well as the movement of the Milky Way (dog way, or daimon meridianus), and of the change of the polar star, due to the wobble of Earth's axis.

The position of the Milky Way at the equinoxes, relating to the Sun on its way through the seasonal year, survives calendarically in many traditions and myth from a time (about 6000 years ago) when the equinox-sun was located in the Milky Way. Due to the precession, the sun's position on the white band of the Milky Way has shifted now to the solstices

These are the myths of the nocturnal "wild hunt" of "King Herle," Herlethingus, and Hellequin, which are related to the recent Halloween but also to Goethe's poem "Erlenkönig" and Harlequin (who has a hoop and jumps through a mirror into the world beyond), a very artful imagination of the high noon devil and the world beyond. The Halloween procession with masks reminds us of the old rites at fall. In spring it is still called in Swiss Engadin "Chaladamarz" or "Calenda Mars," and is well known in Germany with the name "Hallamasch," the music that introduces the carnival ceremony. This is a very old ceremony introducing the new year that once started with March, the month dedicated to planet Mars. This new year is still found in the names September until December, meaning 7th until 10th, if you start the count with March.

Pic:
Harlekin

Pic:
Daimon meridianus. Olaus Magnus, Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus, Rome 1555.

The Milky Way, our own galaxy, always has been, and its center still is, important as a point of reference for orientation in time. The recent declaration of the Aquarian Age Network (21) reads:

While acknowledging the zero point of the zodiac to be defined as the point where the true galactic equator crosses the ecliptic between Taurus and Gemini, and recognizing the J2000 galactic equator defined by the galactic north pole of 12h 51.4m, 27° 8' to be representative of the B1950 definition of the galactic coordinate system, by virtue of Sagittarius A* being recognized as the dynamical center of the galaxy with the true galactic equator passing through Sagittarius A*, and by virtue of the sun being at 90° 00' 32" past the point of the crossing of the J2000 galactic equator and the ecliptic at the spring equinox of 20 March 2000, 0735 GMT, we declare the Age of Aquarius to have unequivocally arrived. Pax Aetatis Aquarii vobiscum!

Expressed in more simple words, this declaration tells us that the point of the spring equinox (once being between the constellations Gemini and Taurus, on the galactic equator) already has moved more than 90° from this point on the galactic equator, which is opposite the center of our galaxy and supposed to be a black hole. The 90° relates to three constellations, each 30°, and therefore the constellation Aquarius enters the spring equinox dawn and the new age arrives.

The Aquarian Age declaration actually expresses the same thing as the medieval drawing showing the myth of Taurus. The Minotaur represents the monster that began to devour men and time due to precession in the age of Taurus. This constellation announced the day of the spring equinox about 6,000 years ago.

At this time, the sun at spring equinox was at the crucial point of the Milky May and the zodiac: at a door between two main paths of the sky. This door was close to Taurus, where the two paths crossed! Due to precession the sun now stands at this point exactly on the summer solstice. In the medieval painting the Milky Way (daimon meridianus with head of a dog), which is the path of the dead souls, it is depicted as the Labyrinth with seven loops, whose entrance leads to the Minotaur, who is symbolically devouring the time and men of his age.

Pic:
Painting of the Greek myth of Daedalus showing the Minotaur and the Labyrinth with a dog's head from a Medieval manuscript in the National Library of Paris.

To complete the consideration on the calendrical consequences of the sun's position on the white band of the Milky Way that has shifted now to the solstices, due to the precession we will go into another early Christian source that provides us with iconographic hints. Especially in Eastern Christian Orthodoxy of former times, pictures of St. Christopher often show the Saint with the head of a dog (13). St. Christopher is credited to have guided the Christ child over a river. He is said to have originated in the far East, a country that is often mentioned as Gog and Magog in the Bible and seems to be situated east of Persia, or today's Iran. The old myth says that the people of this country had heads like a dog. On special nights, close to the cardinal points, they robbed and kidnapped innocent Christians, like also the "wild hunt" (always with dogs too) did (7). At the end of medieval times, mostly in Slavic areas, this myth still was alive. It has survived until now not only in customs and superstition, but even in fantasy films like "An American Werewolf in London."

Pic:
St. Christopher doghead1

Pic:
St. Christopher hund2

Revelation ends calmly with the start of the new age, giving water from the fountain of life, measuring the new Jerusalem, and with Jesus calling himself the morning star.

[Rev 21:6] And he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the fountain of the water of life without payment.
[Rev 21:10] And in the Spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God,
[Rev 21:15] And he who talked to me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls.
[Rev 22:16] "I Jesus have sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star."

Revelation finishes with a last allusion to the star of David, calling it here the morning star, which could lead to a misinterpretation. Surely it does not mean Venus (Lucifer), but the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn occurring metaphysically in the shape of a triangle, the Grand Trine, which slowly shifts over 59 years along the zodiac. After about 1,000 years the triangle (Grand Trine or Tripod) describes, compared with the starting position, a hexagraph, the star of David, also announcing a "new day," like the morning star, but in another context. Therefore the meaning is a "new age." Let us not confuse this shifting of the Grand Trine of Jupiter and Saturn with their very impressive triple conjunctions, which are used for religious prophecies, such as with the Star of Bethlehem (9) in 7 BC, or the one in 571 CE that the medieval chronologer Abu Ma'shar (12) called the "conjunction announcing of the Arab people" or the one that overall is called the conjunction of the religions.

This "DAY" or age introduced by a religious Triple Conjunction (Jupiter and Saturn meeting each other three times ) or a Grand Conjunction (of all ancient planets) is to be understood as a DAY of God that lasts 1,000 years, in the meaning of old world view.

The Koran declares in Sure 22: Verily a Day in the sight of thy Lord is like a thousand years of your reckoning. And again in Sure 32: He rules affairs from the heavens to the earth: in the end will (all) go up to Him, on a Day, the space whereof will be (as) a thousand years of your reckoning.
[Ps. 90:4] says: For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. [2 Pet 3:8] ... one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

We can understand within this context the promise of Jesus that he will be raised on the "Third Day." (Mat 17:23.13, Mat 20:19.21, Luke 9:22.27, etc.) If One Day (of God) lasts 1,000 years, the Third Day starts after two of these days (each being 1,000 years) have gone. Thus, the Third Day begins after 2000 years. This is in accordance with the ancient way of counting without a zero, and therefore was started with the year 1 CE. In the Roman calendar, the next to the last day of the month was called "ante diem III Kalendas" (three days before the new month). The next and last day of the month was called "pridie Kalendas:" the day before the month. Also that at Easter we are remind on this former usual way of count, when Easter Sunday, day of resurrection, is the third day after Friday, day of crucification.

So far, this interpretation of the Revelation of John of Patmos is -- admitted -- a view that decodes the whole with only the astronomical and calendrical key, but offers a way for the open minded to understand some mysteries. The code has been used in the way described by Umberto Eco (8) in his "Introduction to Semiotics:" "(Due to the code ) the information of a source is decreasing, while the possibilities of transmitting a message is increasing. … The existence of a code … limits the number of criteria." That's exactly what the code does, when using it to understand Revelation. It reduces the abundance of fantastic descriptions, but the possibility of receiving an understandable message is growing. The astronomical sieve filters out that core of truth and the rest falls away through the sieve. The structure, which before was invisible, remains and can be recognized.

This structure also is subconsciously alive in modern art or in musicals, like the Rocky Horror Picture Show with its Time Warp, which sings "it's just a jump to the left." This jump goes from Pisces to Aquarius. See: Lyrics of RHPS
Also the well known peace-generation-musical "Hair" and its song "Aquarius" describes with its lyrics this feeling:
Harmony and understanding 
Sympathy and trust abounding 
No more falsehoods or derisions 
Golden living dreams of visions 
Mystic crystal revelation 
And the mind's true liberation 
Aquarius! Aquarius!
...
As our hearts go beating through the night 
We dance unto the dawn of day 
To be the bearers of the water 
Our light will lead the way

We are the spirit of the age of Aquarius 
The age of Aquarius Aquarius! Aquarius!

Harmony and understanding 
Sympathy and trust abounding 
Angelic illumination 
Rising fiery constellation 
Travelling our starry courses 
Guided by the cosmic forces 
Oh, care for us; Aquarius.   
More lyrics

 

If Revelation describes the bygone age of Aries by using the constellation Ram, the sacrificial lamb designates the fish, yet John never mentions Pisces or fish. That was his secret and mystery, how he hid his message. The mystery is still alive in modern culture. Most of all, Revelation has influenced our everyday, or, better, our every-year lives, by adjusting the calendar.

Around 1500 years ago, there lived two astronomers and chronologers who influenced the fundamental way we count the years. Both were influenced by an alignment of all naked-eye planets that occurred in 531 CE and which was also the basis for the Indian mathematician and astronomer Aryabhata of Kusumpara (12) to adjust the start of the Kali Yuga, the still-valid Indian age, to a similar alignment of all planets on 17th Feb. 3102 BCE (12). Such an alignment was called the Greatest Year and mythically is represented by the Greek Symposium (sitting together) of the Olympic Gods, held after the creation of mankind by Prometheus.

The Western contemporary of Aryabhata was the Scythian monk Dionysius Exiguus (22), who had similar ideas, but projected into the future. He wanted to link the Greatest Year with the precession of Earth's axis, which was known in early medieval times to have a value of 66.66 year per 1° (resulting in 2000 years per 30°). The modern value, as shown above, is 71.66 years per 1°, which is the reason that about every 2000 years a new constellation rises at dawn on the vernal equinox, giving orientation in time.

What Dionysius did was calculate when the age of Pisces might end and therefore show the time when Christ would return. Using the common multiple of the planetary periods, he figured out when a Greatest Year (alignment of all planets) would recur, and having found this, he adjusted 2,000 years before it (to calculate one age, due to the value of precession 66.6) the year 1 A.D. to determine the year of Christ's birth (23). The result is that the 1,000 years explicitly mentioned twice in the context with the dragon of Revelation thus coincides with the recent millennium of the Christian calendar. On 5 May 2000, this alignment of all planets occurred, proving that this indeed was the reason for the establishment of the Christian yearly count.

Pic:
The sky above Jerusalem in year 2000 at day of spring equinox before sunrise.

SUMMARY

Briefly, John's Revelation can be interpreted convincingly in this way. John describes the starlit sky of the Near East, approximately between 30° and 40° northern latitude, before the morning dawn of the spring equinox. The horizon was the age-old deadline designating Pegasus in the East and Virgo in the West. He avoids mentioning Pisces, which seems to be the secret of the Apocalypse, and describes the constellation and age of Pisces as if it were a sacrificed lamb. He attributes the change of the ages to the movement around Draco. The coming turn of an era he portrays in the starlit sky as if it were at the current morning of spring equinox. The period for an age he expresses with the ancient constant of precession 66.6 years each 1°. Significant for the arbitrary moment of the turn of the era is the new, half-risen constellation Leo in the west, and Aquarius in the east. Solar and lunar eclipses and a planetary conjunction, like the bead of planets on May 5, 2000, initiate the new age.

With his descriptions, John of Patmos influenced substantially the adjustment of the yearly count by Dionysius Exiguus, which is still in use and results now in the year 2001 of the Gregorian calendar, the first year of his prophesied new world age.

Sepp Rothwangl 9-9-01 / 246,000 www.calendersign.ric.at

Footnotes and bibliography:

(1) Revelation of St. John: Bible Browser Basic Home Page.

(2) Boll, Franz: Spaera. Neue Griechische Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der Sternbilder. Leipzig 1903. --: Aus der Offenbarung Johannis. Hellenistische Studien zum Weltbild der Apokalypse. Leipzig-Berlin 1914

(3) Dechend, Herta von und Giorgio de Santillana: Die Mühle des Hamlet. Wien-New York 1969.

(4) Bertola, Francesco: The Milky Way through the Ages: an iconographic journey. Lecture held at symposium "Cosmology Through Time" at Astronomical Observatory of Rome, June 2001.

(5) Mizrach, Steven: LAKOTA ETHNOASTRONOMY.

(6) Lecouteux, Claude: Das Reich der Nachtdämonen. Düsseldorf -Zürich 1999

(7) Kretzenbacher Leopold: Kynokephale Dämonen Südosteuropäischer Volksdichtung. Vergleichende Studien zu Mythen, Maskenbräuchen um Kynokephaloi, Werwölfe und südslawische Pesoglavci. München 1968

(8) Eco, Umberto: Einführung in die Semiotik. Zeichen

(9) Ferrari D'Occhieppo, Konradin: Der Stern von Bethlehem. Berlin 1994

(10) Grimm, Gebrüder: Kinder und Hausmärchen. Erlangen

(11) Fasching, Gerhard: Sternbilder und Ihre Mythen. Wien 1994

(12) Waerden, Bartel L. van der: Die "Ägypter" und die "Chaldäer", Sitzungsberichte der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1972 Das heliozentrische System in der griechischen, persischen und indischen Astronomie. Zürich 1970 Die Anfänger der Astronomie. 1968 Das Große Jahr und die ewige Wiederkehr.

(13) Woods, David: The Origin of the Cult of St. Christopher.

(14) Firdausi: The Shanameh of Firdausi. Trslt. By Arthur George and Edward Warner. London 1905-1909

(15) Gervasius of Tilbury: Otia Imperialia. Edited by Felix Liebrecht Hannover 1856

(16) Eratosthenes: Eratosthenis Catasterismorum Reliquiae. Edited by Carolus Robert Berlin 1963

(17) Noone, Richard W.: 5/5/2000. Ice. The ultimate disaster

(18) Ovid: Metamorphosen. Edited by Hermann Breitenbach. Stuttgart 1964

(19) Kunitzsch, Paul: Glossar der arabischen Fachausdrücke in der mittelalterlichen Astrolabliteratur. Göttingen

(20) Goldstein, Bernard R.: The Astronomical Tables of Judah Ben Verga of Lisbon. Lection held on Firth Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop. University of Notre Dame 2001

(21) Aquarian Age Network: Aquarian Age Declaration. http://www.aquarian-age.net/declaration.html

(22) Dionysius Exiguus: Liber de Paschate.

(23) Rothwangl, Sepp: Wirklicht. (V)Erzählung zur Zeitenwende. Graz 2000.

(24) Rothwangl, Sepp: Sternstunde 2000. Der Countdown zum Jüngsten Tag. Graz 1998.

(25) Ptolemaios: Claudii Ptolemaei opera quae extant omnia.I.II. Syntaxis mathematica (Almagest) Ed. Heiberg. Leipzig 1898-1903.

Copyright 2001 Calendersign, Sepp Rothwangl.