Thursday, December 7, 2017

Skies Over Grimerica: Night Skies and Star Myths for December, 2017

I had the opportunity to visit with Darren and Graham for another installment of "Skies Over Grimerica," this time focusing on the stars and heavenly cycles we can observe during the month of December (2017).

During this month's segment, we talked about the best nights for star-gazing in December, the best nights for viewing the Geminid meteor shower, the location of visible planets and why we see Mars and Jupiter in the east prior to sunrise this month, the spiritual meaning of the winter solstice (which, for viewers in the northern hemisphere, corresponds to the December solstice later this month), some of the celestial aspects of the Christmas story as recorded in the gospel accounts, and importance that the world's ancient myths ascribed to the "great turning point" of the winter solstice.

I hope that this segment will help you to go out and enjoy some of the beautiful winter stars for yourself, if at all possible.

Apologies if some of the planetarium images are a little small -- for best results, I recommend watching the video on a laptop or desktop or even larger screen. However, the main thing is to get out to the "infinitely large screen" of the heavens themselves, if it is possible for you to do so.

Thanks again to Graham and Darren for graciously inviting me back to the famous Igloo. I look forward to future installments of the "Skies Over Grimerica" feature.

You can also check out Grimerica's new Aeronautical and Space Administration, which is attempting to launch cameras to an altitude of 40 kilometers or 25 miles (whichever is higher and more impressive) in order to try to observe the curvature of the earth -- and sign up to help fund and be part of this historic adventure yourself, if you are able to contribute to the effort in any way.


For those wishing to read further about some of the concepts discussed in this month's episode, here are a few links to previous posts:

Monday, December 4, 2017

Monetary imperialism and its links to the privatization of natural resources and even the selling of rivers

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Last week, Professor Michael Hudson published an important article in Counterpunch entitled "Monetary Imperialism."

It provides a sweeping overview of monetary history from World War I to the present -- which may not sound like a very interesting subject, until you realize that he is explaining the outlines of the political and economic system which has framed a hundred-year period marked by the overthrow of any nations which attempt to restrict the takeover of their peoples' natural resources and their sale to private parties, and (through the lever of foreign-currency debt) the imposition of austerity upon their populations (including the removal of public services, the reduction of pensions, and the sale of utilities, ports, airports, and even rivers and waterways to private "investors," who stand to make a fortune from these assets).

As such, Professor Hudson's article is worth reading and re-reading very carefully and deliberately in order to try to grasp the framework that he is describing, and how it leads directly to consequences that are all too familiar in the world around us.

He explains that after the cessation of open hostilities in 1945 at the end of World War II, the united states controlled seventy-five percent of the world's gold stock. This situation led to the united states dollar becoming the reserve currency, "freely convertible into gold at the 1933 parity of $35 an ounce." And, because other governments wanted to have either gold (largely controlled at that time by the united states) or dollars (which were "as good as gold" and could always be turned into gold at a fixed rate) to back their own currencies, those countries that wanted to participate in the system found that there were a few strings attached when it came to obtaining gold or dollars: they had to accept the trade and investment rules dictated by the united states.

Professor Hudson explains: "These rules called for relinquishing control over capital movements or restrictions on foreign takeovers of natural resources and the public domain as well as local industry and banking systems."

That sentence deserves to be read very carefully for all the points that it is making. It explains how the gifts of nature (or the gifts of the gods) to the people of a country -- such as the waters, the woodlands, and the mineral wealth beneath the surface of the earth -- were privatized (largely by individuals and corporations operating across boundaries and originating in other countries), so that the benefit of those natural riches accrued to a small group of people (from other countries) instead of to the people to whom nature (or the gods) had given those gifts.

However, the reader is probably aware that the united states dollar is no longer readily convertible into gold at the fixed price of $35 an ounce -- that framework ended a long time ago (in 1971), as Professor Hudson's article explains. You will get a lot less than one ounce of gold if you try to convert $35 into gold today. The gold window was closed after the united states spent so much of its gold on military actions around the world beginning in the early 1950s and accelerating in the 1960s, as Professor Hudson explains.  

However, instead of being a defeat for the united states, the severance of the united states dollar's link to gold "was just the reverse of a defeat," Professor Hudson says. Those other countries could no longer easily turn their dollars into gold (and, as Professor Hudson notes, anyone trying to do so met with strong disapproval from the US), so they turned them into united states treasury bills and bonds instead -- and that is the situation that largely continues to this day.

What the reader must understand (and what Michael Hudson points out in his article) is that holding united states treasury debt is the same as making a loan to the united states, without any say in how the proceeds of the loan are used. Thus, the international landscape actually became even more dominated by the united states, which could still dictate that nations had to open their public domain and natural resources and industrial companies and banking firms to foreign takeovers by private individuals and corporations, and at the same time could rely on low-cost loans to finance its own military buildup and reduction of tax rates.

Towards the end of the article, in a section with the heading "US Neoliberalism Promotes Privatization Carve-Ups of Debtor Countries," Professor Hudson explains that the strong economies of industrialized countries like America and Germany were originally founded on "public investment in economic infrastructure," in which prices for essential services such as water and education were subsidized and kept to a minimum (or even provided freely). 

"The aim," Professor Hudson explains, "was to lower the price of living and doing business by providing basic services on a subsidized basis or freely." But after the implementation of neoliberalism, public sectors are "privatized and planning turned over to rent-seeking corporations" -- and the united states is now leading the way in exporting this neoliberal privatizing vision around the globe. 

"The price of resistance," he notes, "involves risking military or covert overthrow." The united states has a demonstrated history of overthrowing democratically-elected governments which oppose privatization of public domain and natural resources, as well as of protecting authoritarian governments which are open to giving away their country's natural wealth and resources (given by nature, or by the gods, to the people of those lands) to privatization. Authoritarian regimes have been invaded and overthrown as well, to be sure -- but the unbroken track record since the end of World War II demonstrates unequivocally that the criteria for the implementation of covert or overt overthrown is whether a nation's government resists privatization of public resources and the public domain or whether that government is open to such privatization. Such overt and covert actions have nothing whatsoever to do with "supporting democracy."

The economic aspect of this system is not very well understood. It is extremely rare to find anyone who can explained it with the clarity that Michael Hudson explains it -- and who can, in addition, bring a rich understanding of the history of economic thought and the debate over these issues stretching back over centuries (and indeed over millennia) that he also provides in his published writings, interviews, and lectures. 

And, while the question of reserve currencies and treasury debt may seem to be far removed from the profound ancient wisdom contained in the world's myths, scriptures, and sacred stories, the question of the privatization of the natural resources and public domain that we see taking place in the world around us at an ever-increasing pace is very much a manifestation of the rejection of that ancient wisdom given to all people around the world. I have discussed this subject in numerous previous posts, including:
And so, what may seem at the outset to be a dry and unappealing subject -- the monetary history of the world since the end of World War I, and the question of reserve currencies and the holding of united states treasury securities in reserves of nations wanting to be part of the international monetary system and trade -- opens a window on the privatization by a few of what actually belongs to the gods, and thus to the people (in whom, the ancient wisdom explains, the gods are present, and at whose birth, the ancient myths tell us, specific divinities -- usually goddesses -- are always present).

The ugly and life-depriving effects of this privatization (note that "deprive" and "private" come from the same root -- a fact Professor Hudson points out elsewhere) is perhaps most dramatically seen when governments who are collaborating with the forces of neoliberalism sell off entire rivers. Here is an article from 2011 about the sale of rivers in India to corporations, who promptly fence them off, barricade their flow and divert it for use in mining, and hire guards to prevent the people from using the water for cooking, cleaning or fishing as they and their parents and ancestors have done for centuries. 

And a similar thing has also been happening in Central and South America, where rivers may not be  blatantly sold off to corporations by the collaborating governments, but where they are "de facto" given over to mining companies, who then barricade them off, prevent the people from using or even accessing the water, and divert their flow to generate power used for mining operations. See this story from early 2016 about the murder of Berta Cacares, who was a vocal leader in the opposition of such privatization of the rivers of her people. As that article shows, she urgently called on humanity to wake up to what is going on, saying: "!Despertemos, humanidad!"  

Articles such as the most-recent article by Michael Hudson, "Monetary Imperialism," provide the kind of big-picture overview of what is taking place that should help us to wake up, and see how the pieces fit together. 

The path that the world is on -- towards privatization, deprivation, and the short-sighted exploitation of the public domain and natural resources given by the gods (or by nature, if you prefer) to all and not just to a few well-connected individuals or corporations -- is by no means inevitable or unstoppable. But we need to be able to see what is going on, explain what is going on to others, and then stand up to what is going on, if we are to change direction before it is too late.

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Time to sign up and send in your questions for the upcoming conversation on Celestial Foundations of the Bible!

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

I'm looking forward to the upcoming conversation on the celestial foundations of the Bible, which is scheduled for this Saturday, December 2nd at 7pm Pacific time (which equates to 10pm Eastern time on December 2nd, for those in North America, and which equates to 3am UTC on December 3rd).

The web-based interactive class will be ninety minutes long, and I'm planning to give a presentation with visual images and planetarium views for the first fifty minutes, followed by forty minutes for questions and discussion.

You can reserve your space in the webinar by visiting this web page (look for the button that says "Add to Cart"). You can also receive a 50% discount from the price of the class by using the coupon code found on the "Video" page of my website (enter the coupon code during the checkout process, after you click "Add to Cart").

After you sign up, you will receive a link which will allow you to submit questions in advance, in case you prefer to ask questions that way rather than during the live webinar. The class will also be recorded, so that you can view it again later. 

Also, if you are unable to attend the class in person at the time that it is being offered, you can submit questions in advance and watch the recording at a different time, although of course I hope that as many people as possible can attend during the event itself. I will do my best to address all questions that are submitted.

I am planning to discuss a few episodes and characters which I have not addressed in previous blog posts or videos, as well as some of the likely messages that various episodes and figures might be intended to convey to our understanding. 

If you have not already done so, you may find it worthwhile to view the discussion of the spiritual significance encoded in the "annual cycle of the year" which is presented in the previous post's video entitled "Heaven and Hell are celestial metaphors describing the Endless Circle of the Zodiac Wheel." During the presentation, we will see how this framework sheds light on the possible message conveyed by specific episodes in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.

The image above shows a painting by Rembrandt, depicting the scene in which the aged Simeon and Anna encounter the Christ child and prophesy, which is found in the canonical gospel according to Luke, chapter 2. 

I would argue that Rembrandt has incorporated specific references to zodiac signs marking two important points on the Great Wheel of the year (two points which are opposite to one another) in the body posture and hand positions of Simeon and Anna in his painting -- and that in doing so he has by implication incorporated the entire sweep of the full circle of the annual cycle in his depiction of the episode in Luke chapter 2.

Also note, of course, that the very name "Anna" refers to a "ring" or a "circle" and is thus used in the Latin word which signifies "a year" (the Latin words for "annual" and a "year," annualis and annus, are very close to the word anulus, which means "a ring," and although some may argue that they are not in any way related, since one is spelled with two n's and the other with only one, they are certainly very close to one another in sound, as well as conceptually, and thus it seems likely to me that there is some relation between them). In any case, the name "Anna" can be seen to share the same root as that found in familiar words such as "annual" and "anniversary."

The upcoming course is presented in conjunction with Ananda University. I'm very much looking forward to it and hope that you can be part of the conversation!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Heaven and Hell are celestial metaphors

Here is a new video I made for you entitled "Heaven and Hell are celestial metaphors describing the Endless Circle of the Zodiac Wheel."

It discusses the abundant evidence which points to the conclusion that the scriptures of the Bible, in common with virtually all the other ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories found in cultures around the globe, are built on a foundation of celestial metaphor and use the heavenly cycles of the sun, the moon, the visible planets, and the stars and constellations to convey profound truths about the interaction of the Visible and Invisible Realms, the interaction of the physical and spiritual natures, and the journey of our soul down from the realm of pure potentiality and into this incarnate form through which we are all presently sojourning.

The video presents the crucially-important framework expounded by Alvin Boyd Kuhn in a short work he titled Easter: The Birth-day of the Gods, a framework which I find to be incredibly helpful in understanding the "code" or "language" employed by the ancient myths in order to convey their profound message and meaning.

We will see how this framework, and the understanding of the connections between specific characters and episodes in the Bible and specific constellations in the night sky, helps us to hear the profound message in some selected stories of the Old and New Testaments, in my upcoming 90-minute interactive webinar class entitled "Celestial Foundations of Biblical Mythology" (hosted by Ananda University).

In order to receive a 50% discount from the price of that class, enter the coupon code found in the "Video" section of the Star Myth World website when you sign up for your space in the course.

I hope to see you there.

More importantly, I hope that the information about the celestial foundations of the world's ancient myths and scriptures -- including those contained in what we call the Bible -- will help anyone who struggles with the fear of eternal punishment in an afterlife realm called "hell" and based on a literalistic interpretation of ancient scriptures which are actually speaking an esoteric and celestial language.

Please share this video with anyone else who might find it to be helpful, and subscribe to receive notification of future videos as they are published.

You may also wish to revisit this previous post entitled "No hell below us."

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

From one year ago: "Prophets don't talk about the future: they talk about the past -- which has been hidden"

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Peter Kingsley, a prophetic scholar of ancient philosophy and ancient Greek philosophers, explains "what prophecy really is" in one of the lectures in his outstanding collection entitled The Elders.

In that talk, Peter Kingsley explains:
Prophecy is not about the future. Prophets don't talk about the future. What they do is: they talk about the past -- which has been hidden. Things which have happened -- that have been covered over, and no longer clear. That is what the real prophets do: they speak about the past, but the past that has been forgotten.
I have written about this profound observation in previous posts, such as here and here.

As Dr. Kingsley goes on to explain, the ancient Greek myths frequently illustrate the problem of "things which have happened -- that have been covered over [. . . ] the past that has been forgotten," in the scenario in which a transgression has never been admitted and repaired, resulting in ongoing punishment by the gods until the prophet is called upon, who can identify the cause of the problem (the covered-over transgression) and the problem can be addressed:
And you can see it also at the very beginning of Homer's Iliad, when there is a whole plague. The soldiers are devastated, by sickness and plague. They're suffering; they're dying. And what happens, in this case? They find a prophet, and they ask him what's going wrong. And he says: "Apollo -- these are the arrows of Apollo. He's shot these arrows of plague, into the troops, because you did something wrong, you offended Apollo." And then it all becomes very simple. Because you see, once you know what's wrong, then you can sort it out -- you can make amends. It's very, very precise. That is what prophecy is.
A very similar scenario is recounted in the lead-up to the Trojan War, when the ships of the Achaeans cannot sail for Troy, because Agamemnon has offended Artemis, and a prophet must be found who can explain what the leader has done wrong and how to remedy the problem.

This is a very powerful truth, expounded in the ancient wisdom of the myths, and by the prophetic Peter Kingsley.

It is especially important to consider this profound and inalterable truth on this particular day, November the 22nd, the anniversary of the murder of President John F. Kennedy -- a situation where the truth has been covered over for fifty-three years [now fifty-four] by lies, and has never been adequately admitted, addressed, or remedied.

Because of this failure to confront the truth, the consequences continue to manifest in an ongoing tragedy. 

This article by Gary Weglarz, published today, explains the ongoing ramifications succinctly and powerfully. In that article, the author cites a poignant and bitter observation by Charles de Gaulle, upon returning from the funeral of President Kennedy:
They don't want to know. They don't want to find out. They won't allow themselves to find out.
Prophecy is not about the future. Prophets don't talk about the future. What they do is: they talk about the past -- which has been hidden.

And, in most of the ancient myths which illustrate this profound truth, the actual root of the problem is known by those who want to remain in denial about the situation. But the problem cannot be remedied until it is admitted, and addressed.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Join me on December 2nd (December 3rd in some parts of the globe) for "Celestial Foundations of the Bible" in conjunction with Ananda University!

Above is a new video inviting you to participate in an upcoming course offered in conjunction with Ananda University on the "Celestial Foundations of Biblical Mythology."

This course is web-based and will include plenty of time for questions and dialogue. We will look at some of the evidence which shows that the figures and episodes found in the scriptures of what are commonly called the Old and New Testaments of the Bible are based upon the world-wide system of celestial metaphor which forms the foundations of the ancient scriptures, myths and sacred stories from cultures around the globe.

The live webinar begins at on December 2nd at 7pm Pacific Time, or 10pm Eastern Time, which corresponds to 3am on December 3rd in UTC. The webinar is scheduled to run for ninety minutes (until 8:30 Pacific Time).

The course costs $20 USD, but after you click "Add to Cart" on the web-page linked above, you can enter the coupon code holiday17-50 to receive 50% off the standard price.

You will also receive a code to access the video archive of this course a week or two after the live event.

If you're unable to participate in this course at the above-scheduled time, there should be a way to purchase access to the archived video for some price less than the standard $20 cost for the live class (but higher than the cost of the course using the 50% discount that you will get when you use the coupon code above).

I very much hope that you will be able to join me as we explore the celestial foundations of the incredible riches of the ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories of the world!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Night skies for November

Here is a link to a new video I just made entitled "Night Skies for November (any year)."

The video provides a tour of some of the stars and constellations that you can go outside and observe at this time of year, as well as some tips on locating and identifying them.

The video also discusses connections to a few selected myths and sacred stories which are based upon the stars and constellations visible in the night sky right now.

Friends following this blog will know that I recently appeared on the Grimerica Show with Darren and Graham to discuss the "Skies over Grimerica" for the month of November. Due to the limitations of time, we couldn't cover all of the constellations that you can go outside and see during this time of year -- so I've added this video for those who might find it helpful for their star-gazing efforts.

There are still plenty more myths and constellations to discuss in upcoming installments of the "Skies over Grimerica" feature -- in fact, I focus the myth discussions in the above video on constellations which will soon be rotating out of the post-sunset night sky (as the earth progresses along its annual orbit, we "leave some constellations behind" which sink down into the west a little bit further each night until they are out of view below the western horizon by the time the sun sets and the other stars come into view).

I hope this video will help you in your visits to the night sky, and in your understanding of the connections between the stars and the world's ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories.