April 14

Blood Moons! End of The World! Oh No!

I’ve been posting a lot of sort of religious stuff here lately and for those who read my blog and are a bit turned off by this, I apologize. Book reviews forthcoming! I am kind of a religion nerd especially where traditions, ritual and odd beliefs are concerned. I find it endlessly fascinating. Sometimes, something religious has something to do with natural phenomena and things get really weird. When English speaking people are concerned it gets weird, arrogant and just a little stupid. This whole blood moon thing that’s going around on Facebook and everywhere else shows English speaking arrogance in spades, and how dumb some people can be when they don’t think past their own noses.

What’s A Blood Moon?

For centuries in the English speaking world, possibly thousands of years, there have been creative names for celestial events. Some of them ominous sounding. I used to be pretty heavy into astronomy and never heard the term “Blood Moon” applied to a lunar eclipse (though the moon does appear red sometimes after one). There is however a “Blood Moon” that occurs every year, once a year according to folklore. When someone told me there’d be four Blood Moons in a year, my immediate question was, “So four Harvest moons? Neat.” I had mistakenly thought the Harvest Moon was just a low, full moon that appears orange or red, and usually happens late in the year. So what I had considered was that there was some weird circumstance where there would be a full or nearly full moon four days in a row. Of course this makes no sense.

The actual common lunar event called the “Blood Moon” is just another name for the “Hunter’s Moon” which is the full moon after the Harvest Moon. So it’s the second full moon after the Fall Equinox. However some preacher here in Texas has hijacked the term, and started calling all lunar eclipses “Blood Moons”, jacking up who knows how many centuries of tradition to sell books.

Why Would Lunar Eclipses Be The End of the World?

Well these lunar eclipses fall in a tetrad, meaning four total lunar eclipses in a row. They’re also fairly close together which isn’t uncommon in the grand scheme of things, it at least sounds unusual.

What’s special about these is that they fall on the Jewish holidays of Passover and Tabernacles. There’s also some solar event happening on another Jewish holiday in between somewhere that a few of these prophets of doom have stuck in there. They have a lot to say about how, “God controls the earth and moon and has made this all line up. In the past five hundred years this has only happened a few times and when it has it’s been important for the Jews.” Well, OK. Let’s look at this objectively before we start getting all scared because of a few lunar eclipses. Here’s some data points.

  • The Jewish Calendar is a Lunar Calendar. Each day starts and ends at night.
  • Each month begins and ends on the New Moon.
  • There’s a special 13th month every so often to ‘reset the calendar’ (all lunar calendars have to do this).
  • Total Lunar Eclipses always occur during full moons.
  • Passover starts on the fourteen day of the Jewish month of Nisan. Tabernacles starts on the 15th day of Tishri.
  • The fourteenth and fifteenth day of any lunar month in the Jewish calendar falls on the full moon.
  • Passover and Tabernacles, always, always, always start on a full moon. On purpose.
  • Thus, a lunar eclipse is bound to happen on Passover and Tabernacles at some point.

So when you have a lunar tetrad the Jewish holiday cycle is just set up begging to have lunar eclipses on their holidays, since they practically all start on the night of a full moon. So is it God manipulating the orbit of the moon and planet? Simple coincidence? Or is it when you set up a lunar calendar and put all your holidays on full moons it’s inevitable this is going to happen?

Spoiler alert: It’s the last one. It’s inevitable. These lunar cycles are predictable. You can predict them far into the future, and far into the past.

This eclipse cycle falling on Passover and Tabernacles has happened eight times in the past two thousand years. And regular one off eclipses falling on Jewish holy days has happened hundreds of times since they’ve been celebrating them.

So It’s Inevitable, It’s Happened Before, And Every Time It’s Been Bad For The Jews.

It’s happened before, eight times in the last two thousand years. It’s happened quite a lot before that too, but I can’t be bothered to look at NASA’s charts and try to figure it all out pre-1AD. I think the past two millennial is enough to make my point. So let’s look at these grand omens that happened in the past and how it related to the Jews and how precise God was with warning them.

1492 – Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand tell Jews to get out of Spain if they don’t convert to Roman Catholicism. Forty thousand to two hundred thousand Jews not wanting to convert to Roman Catholicism get the hell out of Spain. Learning of their hardship Sultan Bayezid II (A name they should be teaching in school) of the Ottoman Empire sends out his Navy to make sure they get safely to the lands he rules. They end up mostly in Greece and Turkey.

Columbus “discovers” the New World.

1493 – 1494 – God manipulates the orbit of the moon and earth warning the Jews of their expulsion from Spain a year earlier by making four lunar eclipses in a row on their holy days. Thank goodness!

1948 – Israel basically becomes an independent country! They kick the British out! USA! I mean ISRAEL! This is widely regarded as a mistake and makes a lot of people very angry. Kicks off the Arab-Israeli war. Also sometime in here kicks off a war with Syria. Israel also gets its first President, sadly he won’t start his term for a while.

1949-1950 – God manipulates the orbit of the moon and earth warning the Jews of the bad times they’re about to have with their neighbors a full year after the fact by making some lunar eclipses occur on their holy days four times in a row. Thank goodness for that. Fortunately they end the war with Syria after nineteen months, so there is that.

1967 – The famed six day war in Israel. A bunch of crap happens between Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Israel. A war that lasts six days starts. Israel basically wins.

1967-1968 – God manipulates the orbit of the moon and earth warning the Jews of the bad times they’re about to have with their neighbors. Well actually it’s right on time this time, and the main conflict lasts six days. It actually didn’t suck too bad for them this time. It’s mostly over before the eclipses are though.

So that’s what happened the last three times. Yeah there were some things that happened to some populations of Jews,  but as you can see it didn’t actually happen the years the tetrads happened. Except in 1967. So what about the four times before 1493?

162-163 – Nothing of note seems to have happened to any significant Jewish population. The Armenians did get stomped by the Romans though. The Armenian Jews were probably not super happy about this.

795-796 – Nothing of note seems to have happened to any significant Jewish population. Some Vikings did invade Ireland though. Not sure of any significant Jewish population in Ireland at the time.

842-843 – Nothing of note seems to have happened to any significant  Jewish population. There was a big fire in China, and the Saracens on Crete kicked the crap out of a Byzantine army though. Might have been some Jews on Crete? Maybe there were some Byzantine Jews getting stomped by the Saracens?

860-861 – Nothing of note seems to have happened to any significant  Jewish population. Some Proto-Russians laid seige to Constantinople though. I’m sure some Jews were affected.

This is an example of cherry picking your data. The reason the fear mongers only went back five hundred years, is because the previous 1500 years had nothing of any note happen to any significant Jewish population on years with lunar tetrads on their holy days. There were a lot of times between 1 A.D. and 1492 that Jewish populations got royally screwed, just with no astrological signs matching up. Yeah, 70 A.D., not a good year, no lunar tetrad, at least not on the dates required though. So you just ignore all the times nothing happened, even though there were more tetrads before 1493 where nothing happened than after.

Since you know most people listening to you and buying your book won’t even look this up you just say, “This has happened several times in the last five hundred years and every time it’s coincided with something terrible  happening to the Jews.” As if five centuries is a terribly long time in the grand scheme of things.

But, The Tetrads Have Occurred on these Holidays Three Times in the Last Hundred Years! This must mean something!

This is just sheer coincidence. How many times before 1 A.D. did this happen? Probably a lot. It’s utterly predictable. Complex but predictable. It seems like it will happen again in 2033 and 2061 if I’m reading things correctly. After this it will lengthen out and the tetrads will only match up with the holidays every several hundred years or so.

It’s cyclical. Like just about everything else in astronomy.

So Is the World Going to End Or Not?

These same people have had a different world ending scenario every few years since basically forever. Go look at their track record. There’s no reason to think so. Its the problem with these prophecy things, they never work out. I assume the world will end one day or something bad will happen at some point, and one of these guys will have made some prediction and say, “Look, see! I was right! My asteroid flyby in 2019 was totally predicted by some obscure Bulgarian prophet and the Bible. World’s gonna end!”

Reality is for every time they throw something at the wall and something sort of sticks, there’s a thousand things that don’t. But hey, they’ll sell a ton of books and make money in the process. So I will reveal the formula on how to do this so you too can get rich off of end of the world scenarios.

Formula For Writing a Best Selling Doomsday Book

Step 1 – Pick a religion. Christianity is good because there’s a built in doomsday scenario. It doesn’t have to be Christianity, any religion with an apocalyptic scenario will work. Having over 1/3 of the world’s population as members gives you a good customer base.

Step 2 – Research it well enough to be considered an expert. Maybe go get yourself one of those doctorates in metaphysics or something.

Step 3 – Pick some world event or something and tie it in with your religion’s holy scripture. Don’t worry if it doesn’t make any sense at all. Most people in the religion haven’t read the scripture so they won’t know any better, and most prophetic texts are fairly vague and you can find a translation that will work. Heck you can use multiple translations of said texts to make it work. It can actually be something described in a completely different religion that you tie back into your picked religion. If you do that, you can make stuff up because how many Southern Baptists in Tennessee have even read the Bhagavad Ghita right?

Step 4 – Write a book on it, self publish on Amazon and market the crap out of it. Alternatively there are dozens of religious publishing houses that will gladly publish your work for you, it’s easy.

Step 5 – Pick every kind of pop culture thing that happens, write a blog article about it and tie it into your book. Use social media, religious radio shows, new media, whatever. Also a good reason to pick Christianity because there’s someone out there who will agree with you 100% with a listener base that will read what you’re writing.

 

 

Category: geeky faith
February 1

Katy Perry – Satanic Grammy Performance?

500px-Templar_Flag_6.svg

So Katy Perry stirred up a storm of crap at the Grammy’s with her “Dark Horse” performance. There have been a lot of accusations about it being a “Satanic Ritual” and so forth and so on. I watched the video because as someone who gets a good laugh when the fundamentalists go off on things like this I have to see if there’s anything to it. Here’s the video (took a while to find one with audio frankly):


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Not a fan of Katy Perry’s music honestly, it’s not bad, just not into pop. I do like the visuals and the geekiness of some of her music videos though. Not sure if that’s her doing or if she’s got a very interesting production team. Either way she’s got some theatrical skill going on that you just don’t see much. I do  admit to liking her gospel rock stuff in 2000 when she billed herself as Katy Hudson and I went through that really stupid phase when I pretended to like only Christian music for the sake of impressing people at my church. I can’t honestly say if I actually liked the music that much back then or if I just thought she was good looking at had good voice.

Anyway, back to the point of the blog post here. The supposed Satanic Ritual Orgy of Doom that she did at the Grammy Awards with High Satanic Priest Juicy-J is what I’m going to talk about.

So, supposedly this whole performance was some dark blessing of the prince of darkness and the song was about sex with aliens, demons and/or angels. The audience then ate it up and cheered like heathens. Then later there was some blasphemous wedding between straight, elderly, gay and possibly interspecies couples or some such and this represented a Satanic shift in American culture (I didn’t watch the wedding part, just Katy Perry). Apparently there was some more evil stuff going on and this was all part of a multi-part ritual of some kind which various sites only vaguely hinted at the meaning of. Jesus will now come back because of this and that’s a bad thing.

I watched the video a few times, read some commentary, read a few sites thoughts on this, comments, and looked at some of the symbolism. I’ve referred to some notes I took on the occult from some interviews with actual practitioners several years ago and my own reading and I will present my thoughts after I break down what I’ve read and why I do or don’t think it’s legitimate.

Note: I am by no means an expert on the occult or the esoteric. I may have missed a few things.

“Ritual Symbolism”

Templar Cross - One claim was that Perry had a Templar cross on her chest. I spent most of the video looking at her chest and can confirm the red LED cross on her chest does vaguely resemble the cross used by the Knights Templar.

 

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Templar Flag – Supposedly a flag used by the Knights Templar. I got this from Wikipedia. Almost all examples of the Templar cross are this red cross on a white, or sometimes black background. All four arms of the cross are equal length. Only occasionally do you see the traditional cross with the longer bottom arm, usually on shields. A few examples show a red cross with a second, longer horizontal bar at the top.

 

 

katy-perry-grammys

Katy Perry with a red cross on her chest. This is what a few sites have called a Templar cross. I get why they’d call it that, but seriously it’s only vaguely like one in that it’s red and has the flared ends. I suppose that might be what she was going for but it might be she was just going for a red cross.

 

Why would they make such a fuss over a Templar cross specifically and not her dressing like a witch with a cross being the only thing covering her otherwise naked chest? Seems like that’d be the more blasphemous thing right? The connection is pretty clear. On Friday October 13, 1307 Pope Clement V of France had the Knights Templar all simultaneously arrested on charges of among other things “idolatry, heresy, and obscene rituals”. Even then most people thought this was all a load of crap. Basically the Templars were disbanded for charges of Satanism. Of course it’s widely viewed that this was made up because the Pope didn’t get his way and King Philip of France was deeply in debt to them and he wanted to not have to pay them back. The Catholic Church’s current position is that this was all completely unjust and I believe John Paul II absolved them several years ago once the Chinon document was found. Still they make popular scapegoats for the uninformed.

Templar Cross = Satan

Molech /Horned Demons - When Perry comes up from the crystal ball you can see these various horned figured behind her. Many of the articles say that this is “Molech”. Who is Molech? Molech, or more properly “Moloch” refers to an ancient Canaanite deity that, according to the Bible and other sources is thought to have demanded human sacrifices.

There’s no particular reason he’s depicted as having horns, just that there’s an 18th century depiction of Moloch as a bull god with horns. There’s some suggestion that he was related to the golden calf in Exodus but I can’t find any ancient depiction of him as a cow god. Some texts suggest he was a sun or fire god so he might have been depicted as more of a large bearded man with crown as William Blake depicted him. Check the Wikipedia article before looking at other articles, it’s pretty straightforward. There’s certainly nothing in the Bible that talks about what he looked like.

Either way the Biblical account suggests heretical Israelites burned their children alive in sacrifice to Moloch. So when someone slaps a horned god or a horned helmet in something sort of dark instead of just screaming “SATAN!” or “DEMONS!” a lot of these people like to look more sophisticated and say it’s really “Moloch” they’re showing because infant sacrifice is a lot more shocking and the former just doesn’t fly any more. A couple of searches would seem to prove them right until you read a little more about Moloch and it tends to fall apart since we don’t ACTUALLY have any depictions of Moloch from Biblical times, just modern depictions.

Frankly this should be just as insulting to your intelligence as if they were saying Perry had multiple Satans in the background. A few decades ago that would have been the tactic they would have used though as people would have bought the demon thing a lot easier.Honestly if there was any purposeful symbolism the “Molechs” are probably dark forest spirits more like Pan as that’s the usual witch symbolism.

Moloch =/= Satan because people won’t buy SATAN!!! anymore or DEMONS! And an old Hebrew/Canaanite god that people sacrificed babies to that artists depicted as a horned idol is more shocking. Been a lot of throwing baby sacrificing around lately. It stupid.

Satanic Hypnotic Ritual Dancers - The dancers themselves didn’t seem to be as big a deal as the rest of the performance but some of the commenters compared it to a Roman orgy. I won’t spend any time on this. They were scantily clad contortionists dressed to fit the theme.

The Lyrics - The lyrics basically boiled down to Perry’s witch character warning a man that he should not fall in love with her because that might be the last thing he would do. At the same time she wanted that. It contained themes of sex with aliens and the supernatural.This is a fairly common occult theme. I hear more of this from the evangelical side of things and not actual occultists. If you go on YouTube and look up a guy named Bill Schnoebelen and watch his video lectures on how he used to be a vampire you’ll see this theme. He talks about sex with a demon being part of becoming a vampire.

There’s another “ritual” I’ve heard of from the great satanic panic of the 80′s about having “sex in the air” with a demon being part of a bizarre rape ritual. Just about every one of these “former high priests of Satan who find Jesus” has some story about how they had sex with some supernatural entity, alien that is really a supernatural entity, possessed person, or something even grosser like a child. Why they’d admit the latter and no one called the police immediately I have no idea. Saving grace of Jesus Christ right? Immediate forgiveness for child rapists. WWJD.

Funny thing is that this all comes from Christians who say they used to be into the occult but are usually found out to be frauds later. I’ve never heard of this kind of thing from people who are practicing occultists. One could say they keep it secret but there are always people who talk. Where are the people who turn atheist who talk about that? They don’t exist, it’s always Christian evangelicals who talk about the sex with the devil thing.

Lyrics = Occult = SATAN = Save us Jesus from the devil conspiracy.

Other Themes - There was the brooms that are typically associated with witches, used as stripper poles. This seemed more mocking and sexy than any kind of symbolism.

The Well – Just a thematic/aesthetic element. Seems common for the dark forest motif.

The Stake/Burning – The end of the witch is burning at the stake. I don’t know why a Satanic rite would end with the traditional Judao-Christian/Muslim/Major Religious Way of dealing with witches way of dealing with witches but this is what happens to evil witches.

My thoughts

I would have just blown this one off entirely if my Facebook feed wasn’t entirely full of this bullcrap. At least it wasn’t as bad as the whole Easter/Ishtar thing.

I think quite simply that Katy Perry’s performance was more “Halloween” than “Satanic Ritual” and the only people who say otherwise are trying to sell something. In fact that seems to be what almost every article I read was trying to do.

One of them talked about how evil the performance was, how hypnotic the Satanic ritual was, said not to let children watch it, then had an embedded video right there. So great, evil devil ritual that entraps the minds of men, just post that sucker right on your website right? Then it talked about Molech and sounded like they knew what they were talking about. A few words about some Satanist “elites” and then it was selling a $20 book on the end times and what to do about it. I found about three of these with different books to sell. Some talked about the wedding thing, others talked about another performance, but they all talked about Satan, end times, scary stuff, and then tried to sell something.

The other type of site was Catholic. They weren’t trying to sell anything, they did have a link to, not so much the video but some clips. They commented, talked about how America and the world was going to hell in a hand basket, how Jesus was coming back soon and how we should fight this evil then provided a link to some Catholic resources and were done. I didn’t find any kind of Protestant resources like this at all, but then I didn’t search for them, this was just what was linked on my Facebook feed (oddly by Protestants).

But back to my thoughts on the performance. I didn’t find any sort of ‘evil’ in it. It was an attempt by a fairly talented performer at being ‘dark’ and sexy. She used popular imagery, not any sort of occult symbolism. This was all stuff that’s in the popular consciousness and while some of it might have some esoteric meaning, it’s unlikely that was the intent. Any religious anyone, occult or not, will tell you that intent is what matters, not the song and dance. She pulled off the dark and sexy very well, if her intent was evil, I didn’t get that.

I heard a lot of fear, a lot of talk about evil, and blasphemy and Satan. What exactly about this Grammy awards and Miss Perry’s performance was more disturbing than that of performers of the past? Or popular songs of the past?

There was a popular song in the 50′s by a guy named “Screamin’ Jay Hawkins” called “I Put a Spell On You” that’s been recorded by a LOT of popular bands. You’ve heard it. Names like Creedance Clearwater Revival, Dr. John (I think), Bett Midler, Alice Cooper and tons of others have covered it. It is blatantly about a witch doctor putting a spell on a woman and having his way with her because he’s obsessed. I’m sure there was a lot of crap about that in the 50′s but now we just look at it and say, “How quaint”. The dude dressed up like a witch doctor when he performed it and was considered the first shock rocker almost sixty years ago. I’m sure my grandparents found all this disturbing, or highly amusing, I’ll ask them and if they even remember it I’d be surprised. The song is considered one of those foundational songs of rock and roll. Think anyone will cover “Dark Horse” two years from now much less sixty?

 

November 4

Resetting the Maintenance Required Light On a 2007 Toyota Corolla S

Not really a computer tech subject but something I had to deal with recently. The maintenance required light came on my car and I was about to take it to the mechanic. Luckily I did not and decided to check it out on the internet to make sure it didn’t mean something else first.

Apparently with Toyota vehicles the “Maintenance Required” and “Check Engine” lights are two separate things. On some cars they are not. It’s basically just a mileage counter to let you know when it’s time to change your oil and filters. Now I know from the dealership as well as how my oil looks that it is nowhere near time to change my oil. Sometimes the maintenance people or whoever forget to reset this when they are done with the oil changes and likely that’s what happened in this case since I just bought it a few months ago. It’s typically not a big deal.

So I looked up how to reset the light. Apparently different Toyota models have different processes and mine has one that differs from the norm. So here’s how to reset mine if anyone is looking specifically for how to reset it on a 2007 Toyota Corolla S. If you are looking for other models this might be what you need. I’ve also added notes on what the differences I saw were for other Toyota’s so maybe you don’t have to go to a bajillion other sites and try other things.

How to Reset the Maintenance Required Light on a 2007 Toyota Corolla S

Step 1 – Turn the car on, but don’t start it. It has to be on, but not on the “Acc(essory)” position. NOTE: Some models need this to be on the accessory position. You can tell if the digital odometer readout comes on when you put the key in this position.

Step 2 – Push the button next to your odometer. This is the readout on your car that tells how many miles are on the engine. It needs to read “ODO”. NOTE: Some models need this set on “Trip A”.

Step 3 – Turn the car off.

Step 4 – Hold down the button next to the odometer.

Step 5 – Continue to hold the button down and turn the car on, but not start it. The car should beep and the readout should have a few dashes on it that will slowly decrease in number. Once the dashes count down to zero the read out will briefly display all zeros. NOTE: If your car is one that requires you to put it in the accessory position do this.

Step 6 – Release the button when the odometer returns to normal.

Success! Once you start the car, the Maintenance Required light should not be on anymore.

NOTE: If it’s the check engine light that comes on or if the Maintenance Required light comes back on pretty quick after you reset it, you should probably take it to the mechanic or back into the people who changed your oil.

October 30

Examples of Halloween Nonsense From Jack Chick

Was doing some research to prove a few of my points for my Halloween articles. Here’s one of the worst offenders for the demonization of all things entertaining and fun. Good old Jack Chick. I used to love this guy’s stuff, but it’s so full of misinformation, fabrication and outright lies you can’t really see the truth when it’s there anymore. The Muslim stuff is so bad that even when missionaries and Christian scholars on Islam gave him stuff that actually agree with, and proved the stance he wanted to take, he still went with the “Allah is a moon god” nonsense just because it was more dramatic. Continue reading “Examples of Halloween Nonsense From Jack Chick” »

October 21

Origins of Christian Holidays – Halloween and Lemuria – Part 4 of Several

The Real Depaganization – Lemuria

So if in all likelihood the moving of All Saints Day to November wasn’t to Christianize Samhain, what was it for? Well it might have been to Christianize a different festival from Rome called “Lemuria”.

According to Ovid the festival was instituted by Romulus himself to appease the spirit of his dead brother Remus. You were supposed to walk around barefoot and throw black beans over your shoulder and chant “haec ego mitto; his redimo meque meosque fabis”  nine times. This would exorcise the vengeful spirits or “lemures”. It apparently turned into a huge three or four day party from May 11th to May 13th on the Julian calendar.

Supposedly Pope Boniface IV consecrated the Pantheon on the 13th of May to get rid of the holiday and replace it with All Saint’s Day. Though some link the date with St. Ephrem. I can’t find any sources in English to confirm or deny this. They’re all in Latin and I don’t read enough Latin to really tell what it’s saying one way or another. It does seem likely that the festival had at least something to do with it.

I find it odd that it took so long to do so. Constantine made Christianity the state religion of Rome in 313 and it was almost three hundred years later before Boniface did his thing in 609. Typically when Christianity takes over, pagan festivals and stuff go out the window fairly quickly, or at very least get a fairly thick coat of crosses, bread and wine painted over them. Usually doesn’t take three to five hundred years and three Popes to get rid of something not Christian. Heck, many times, the converted volunteer to abandon the old ways almost immediately. That’s the sort of thing you tend to expect when communities convert.

However, I find that there’s more to this idea than the Pope trying to supplant Samhain. The festival of Lemuria did take place in Rome, he was definitely trying to ‘cleanse’ a non-Christian temple to pagan Gods. Boniface was basically saying that instead of the Pantheon being dedicated to Jupiter, Venus, Mercury and Neptune it is now dedicated to Mary, Peter, Paul, Joseph and Andrew, thus “de-paganizing” it and making a sort of holiday to all the saints and memorializing all the dead that have gone before.

Likely as not the idea of a holiday commemorating the dead saints or martyrs was a bit older than 609, but the timely gift of the Pantheon to Boniface IV and the festival of Lemuria fit very well with the idea. The idea took hold, spread and it was celebrated in May for almost three centuries until Gregory III changed it to November.

 

Category: geeky, geeky faith