#Astrology & The #Skeptics: #TheOrville Misfires.

(Astrology Explored) Seth MacFarlane misfires across the bow of astrology in January 24, 2019 episode “All the World’s a Birthday Cake.” Ed Mercer and crew make first contact with a pre-spaceflight society who SETI like, zapped an invitation for any and all to visit. What should have been a party moment turned deadly serious when at a state dinner First Officer Kelly Grayson mentioned that next week was her birthday. You would have thought someone dropped one hundred cobras on the dinner table for the natives’ reaction. Kelly and Bortus (who share the same birthday) are summarily arrested and put in a detention camp, while feckless Ed tries to figure out what caused the native’s reaction.

Come to find out that Kelly and Bortus were born under the “Sign of the Geliac,” an astrological sign that is supposed to be dangerously violent. The society goes so far as to perform medically unnecessary c-section on mothers dangerously close to giving birth to a Geliac child, even if the procedure is dangerous to both mother and child.

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Astrology and Christmas: All Posts Midwinter Festival

(Astrology Explored) Our ancestors watched the sun, moon and stars to determine the passing of time. Of particular importance, besides the full moon, were the solstices and equinoxes. The theme of both solstices and equinoxes was the interplay of the light and the dark, both being essential to the balance of the Universe. Winter Solstice stories revolved on the death of the old year, the old sun, and the birth of the new. In the middle to the cold and the dark was the hope that the sun would once again warm the earth. Over the years I’ve written a number of pieces about this time of the year, so I thought I’d share them with you once again.

The Astrology of Christmas Myths–Holiday Sales Will Save Us

The Astrology of Zodiac Ages: Christmas and the Next Two Thousand Years

The Astrology and Astronomy of the Star of Bethlehem

Astrology, History and the Winter Solstice: Our Christmas Traditions

Astrology and Mythology: Saturn’s Story and Saturnalia

The Astrology of Christmas: Winter Solstice Traditions

The Astrology of Christmas: Dickens and Scrooge

The Astrology of Christmas: History, Prophecy and Bad Uses of Astrology

Happy Holidays!

Photo published under a Creative Commons License by User GrizDave as explained on Flickr.


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Astrology and Calendars: When Is Easter? Its All Cleopatra’s Fault

Easter Calculation Manuscript(Astrology Explored) Julius Cesar confused everybody. And of course it was all Cleopatra’s fault. At least that is the saw that runs around academic circles.

While Julius lived before the Christian celebration, his decision on what calendar to use affected when Easter shows up on our calendar. Easter bops around our calendar, appearing in March sometimes, April at others and on different Sundays too! How did this happen?

Prior to the institution of the Julian Calendar, Rome operated on a 355 day lunar calendar. It was kind of a strange calendar to begin with making an average of 29.53 days for each lunar month. But the Romans had their reasons, and mostly this involved the timing of religious events, the polytheistic Romans having many ceremonies to honor the gods. These religious events were very important to the Romans, when businesses and the courts shut down, much like our bank holidays. This 355 day year was at odds with the solar year. The regular 10 day difference was strangely ignored some years, then in a game of catch-up lumped two years of mismatching days adding a 20 day intercalary month to religious calendar. While this seems odd to us, with our atomic clocks, for the Roman priests this was their one ticket to secular power. It was the responsibility of the Roman priests to decide when an intercalary month was needed and where in the year this month could be inserted. Quite often the intercalary month was inserted when the priests wished to influence the timing of an election or another important event. There are reports they even accepted bribes to do so.

When Julius Cesar got involved with the very educated Cleopatra, he was immersed in a court well versed in the scientific knowledge of the world. Remember that the Romans imported their gods, the literature and the culture of Greece, making them in some ways their own, but forever Rome was beholden to the scientific and philosophic stores of knowledge from Greece. The Greek Ptolemy dynasty of Egypt sponsored research into a solar calendar and Egypt adopted a solar based calendar for their year. Caesar himself was an intelligent and learned man, waging war very successfully as an exercise in logic and logistics. Caesar saw the political advantages of having a fixed year calendar that essentially progressed as the sun moved approximately one degree against the backdrop of the heavens and instituted the Julian Calendar.

However, in doing so he totally threw the Roman world out of sync with surrounding cultures that used a lunar based calendar. And this is why we scratch our heads at the ever changing date of Easter. Since this holiday is the one religious holiday that is associated with the Jewish holiday, Passover, it’s calculation is based on the moon. This calculation is quite specifically the “The first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox”. The vernal equinox is, of course, the first day of the zodiac sign of Aries.

Happy Easter!