This evening (April 4) sky watchers – in the western part of North America, throughout the Pacific Ocean, East Asia, Australia and New Zealand, – will have the opportunity to witness a rare total lunar eclipse, when the moon will appear to turn “blood red” as the Earth casts its fiery shadow over it.
Here in Phuket, and the rest of the Kingdom, the moon should redden in the eastern skies between 6:57pm and 7:03pm, and will be visible with the naked eye, barring smog, clouds or haze.
To find out why the moon turns red during an eclipse look up “Rayleigh scattering”.
What makes this blood moon rare is that it is part of what astronomers call a Tetrad, when four consecutive blood moons occur in two years. This will be the third of four blood moons, with the final to occur on September 28, this year.
For some, it’s a sure sign of the times – the end times that is.
I know what many of you are thinking – we just cleared the so-called “end-of-the-world of 2012”,
so why should anyone care to entertain the notion that the end may still be nigh?
But before we continue with this thought, I need to set the record straight about 2012, and the so-called Mayan prophecy, which was really not a prophecy at all, at least not in the apocalyptic sense
The prediction that the world would end in 2012 was nothing more than an imaginative idea, a fantasy if you will, that greatly got misconstrued by the media and ultimately Hollywood.
Yes, the Mayans did have their own calendar, with its major “long count” cycle concluding on the (Gregorian calendar) date of December 21, 2012, which also coincided with the Winter Solstice that year, and a number of other intriguing planetary alignments.
But let it be known, no Mayan scriptures ever suggested that the world was due to end on that date.
Simply put, the Mayan calendar is a circle, much like a common wall clock. When the end of one time cycle ends, a new cycle begins. In other words, what happens after 11:59, when the wall clock reaches the end of its 12-hour cycle? Simple, a new cycle begins at 12:00.
For the Mayans, December 21, 2012 can be compared to 11:59 – but of a much bigger clock, ending a 144,000-day cycle which they called a baktu. If anything, Mayans believed that this particular cycle transition (taking place on December 21, 2012) was to signal a new “age of awakening”.
And considering all the revelations our societies have experienced since (think WikiLeaks, Snowden, 9-11, the Disclosure Project, Mars and Antarctica, among them), and continues to experience every day – perhaps the Mayans were on to something.
I don’t know about you, but I certainly feel more “enlightened” and conscious these days.
End or Beginning?
Back to the impending end of the world as we know it; we look to the prevailing Abrahamic religions that dominate much of the planet – Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
Many of us who come from countries whose society is based on one of these three religions grew up indoctrinated to the idea that “someday soon”, we should prepare for “the return of ...”.
For the Christians, “Judgment Day” is to be brought by Christ; for the Muslims, “Yawm ad-Din” by Allah; and for the Jews, “Acharit hayamim” will be signaled by an-as-of-yet unnamed Messiah.
Whoever it is, they are supposed to resurrect the dead and bring redemption to our wicked world, by the will of “God”.
Without getting too caught up in eschatology, the point is that many people on our planet really believe the world will end soon, and certain signs shall be testament.
Sign of the Times
Which brings us to the Blood Moon Prophecy. Championed by Christian ministers John Hagee and Mark Biltz, the prophecy is based on biblical references to the so-called “end-times”, as referenced in the Book of Joel, “the sun will turn into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the … day of the Lord comes.”
Let us ignore the fact, if only for a minute, that Hagee cashed out with a best-seller out of his research in Four Blood Moons, and entertain some of his compelling findings.
Hagee points out that during the months coinciding with the previous tetrads since the time of Christ, major events have occurred that greatly changed the destiny of the Jewish people, all of which were initially tragic, but ultimately ended in triumph.
For example, during the most recent tetrads in 1967/1968 (Reunification of Jerusalem with the Six Day War), 1949/50 (1949 Armistice Agreements) and 1493-1494 (Spanish inquisition followed by the “discovery” of the New World, which is the largest homeland of Jews today).
And now, with the emergence of ISIS and the age-old conflict between the Judo-Christian order and Muslims boiling to levels comparable to the Tetrads of 795/796, 842/843 and 860/861 A.D., it does make one wonder whether the outcome in coming months will be “apocalyptic”.
Okay, back to reality – the one of logic and reason.
I personally don’t believe that some “holy Messiah” is going to come down from the clouds righting all the world’s wrongs (unless he/she would be an enlightened alien race leader who has come to slap sense into certain power brokers).
But civilisation as we know it on our planet may very well be facing eminent doom – if not as a climactic result of persisting ancient holy wars, then certainly from resource mismanagement, coupled with overpopulation, mass-consumerism, a rapidly changing climate and incompetent leadership failing to employ necessary preservation policies.
Meanwhile, much of the world continues to ignorantly, if not voluntarily, accept and consume perilous things such as “invisible” radiation, industrial fluoride, genetically-modified products and other scientifically-verified toxins, all the while being over-occupied with glitter, glamour, selfies, vanity and what religious people might call “wickedness”.
But I can’t end this article on such a hopeless note. After all, I am among millions of others who have started to awaken and realise that there is so much more to live for – humanity does have a justified will for preservation, and now is the most precious present. Rather than prepare to die, let’s plan to live.
How about you – is this planet and life worth living for?