My husband and I slept in one day last week. Bill likes to have a cup of coffee before our run, so we didn’t get out the door until after 9:00, much later than we usually go. We had a nice run, then came home to hot showers and a leisurely brunch. I couldn’t help […]
It could be argued that the Bible is the most important and influential book in Western history. I don’t think many would dispute that, even today.
Whilst I would not describe myself as conventionally religious, I certainly do have a long running, off and on, interest in all things biblical.
By non-conventional, I mean that during my life I have explored several religions other than Christianity, such as Buddhism for example.
Grateful for my Indoctrination?
I was brought up nominally in the Church of England. When I was a child we had a religious service every morning at school, from the age of 5 to 18. This leaves an indelible impression upon everyone, whether one is religious or not.
I have to say, although I felt like rebelling against such teachings as a youngster from time to time, I am now extremely grateful to have had that ‘indoctrination’. I do believe morality is important, it gives us a rudder in life, and whilst we can quibble as to the morality of the institutions, I do think that the Bible itself is crucial, especially in regard to canon and common law, the latter especially being a foundation of our civilisation.
Now, I have seen it and heard it said before about randomly opening the Bible and seeing which verse one’s finger points to. I am not entirely sure what this might ‘prove’ but as I also have a strong interest in divination and spirituality, I thought I would give it go, just to see what would happen.
I opened my oldest copy of the King James Version, and my finger fell upon Acts 12, verse 21: “And the hand of the Lord was with them; and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.”
What are my thoughts? Well, my interpretation of this apparently random act, is that like many of us, I have been questioning how long this world crisis will continue. I think I would certainly welcome some divine intervention, some sign to say that God is still with us; Heaven knows it’s been difficult to believe that at times, especially this year.
So do we look to the skies for signs, or perhaps detect them in the more subtle events in our lives, which may suggest that we will get through this and emerge stronger and more spiritually aware on the ‘other side’?
This verse from Acts is at the very beginning of Christianity. Christ’s followers too were looking for signs. Perhaps if we can simply look for the work of God in our lives, in the simple things, realising that there is a greater power beyond all of us who may indeed work in mysterious ways, we can look forward with more patience and tolerance, knowing that life can and will go on. We have to have faith that a new and better world will emerge. This was my instant, personal interpretation of the verse. You may disagree.
I guess that’s quite a lot to make from a few words in Acts of the Apostles, but I think we must look more deeply, or in scientific terms, begin to use more of our playful right brain rather than the more judgmental and exacting left brain which dominates our lives too much at times.
I may pursue this idea — to see which verse my finger will point to on forthcoming days.
If the Christian Reformation could be said to have a starting date, it must surely be the day of October 31 1517, when Martin Luther, Augustinian Doctor of Theology at the University of Wittenberg, is said to have nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the door of All Saints Church in that German city.
What is not generally acknowledged is the hard work and mental torture that this man must have gone through to get to that crucial point, basically becoming exasperated with such practices as the selling of indulgences, which supposedly reduced a person’s time in purgatory.
A passionately intense man
According to the birth data given, Luther was born with Leo rising, making the Sun his ruler, which is found in Scorpio in house 4. Essentially, here is a lover of life, a deeply passionate and intense person who is interested not only in his family and background but also the fundamentals of life – what he saw as the truth, stripped back to brass tacks.
His Sun is in good aspect to Chiron in house 8, indicating that he suffered much through his deeply penetrating attitude, his wish to get to the fundamentals, but which also put him in to a positive position to help others later.
This can be seen through his encouragement to look to scripture, rather than the other teachings of the then Catholic church. This would necessitate the translation of the Bible into the native tongues of Europe, something which Luther also encouraged.
Black and white
His character is also moulded strongly by the elements; he has no planetary activity in earth and lots in fire and water.
He clearly saw things in black and white, he was emotional, intense, and with the Moon in Aries in house 9, he could be a bit of a firebrand, reacting quickly, strongly, angrily at times, especially in mental pursuits, perhaps most particularly in higher mind/philosophical areas. This was only exacerbated by the Moon’s opposition of Pluto in house 3. He clearly often felt blocked by the intransigence of the Catholic authorities, who were not supportive of his wish to reform and sweep away.
Strongly defining conjunctions
His character is also strongly defined by two important conjunctions. Mercury is almost exactly conjunct Neptune in Sagittarius in house 5.
He had a free thinking, creative mind, able to quickly grasp ideas and philosophy, but behind all this was a strong sense of spirituality, a connection to the numinous (Neptune); it’s almost like having a direct line to God, or believing that you have. I think this was a most important trait.
The other highly symbolic conjunction was between Venus and Saturn in Scorpio in house 4. Though deeply and powerfully emotional, he was also mightily controlled, willing to endure suffering, loss, privation even torture for what he believed.
He certainly did not ‘get his kicks’ from any run of the mill enjoyment and would probably view most earthly pleasures as pointless and tedious. The strength of these two conjunctions alone, are a prime indication of his motivation to become a priest/friar in the first place.
Add to this the cutting zeal of Mars in Scorpio (aided by loose conjunction with Jupiter) in house 4, being the ruler of house 9 of philosophy and religion, plus the above said conditioning of Venus, being the ruler of house 3 of the everyday mentality, and a picture of him fully emerges as someone of complete determination and belief that his deeply felt spiritual cause is correct.
Most interestingly, the north node in house 9 is exactly opposite Jupiter in house 3. The north node shows where are meant to go in life and in his case it is towards a more outer, philosophical direction, a direction which he certainly led.
The harder – but only choice
It would have been much easier for him to have continued as a Doctor of Theology, which, although clearly religious, is very much more house 3 activity than 9, especially in the way the Catholic church was structured then, where he stood to glean much, even materially, from his position in Wittenberg University. Such was the strength of his belief and conviction, he decided to take the harder route and thus became the historical figure he is now.
Few other people, especially common people, have had such an impact on history, a fact which I believe is fully shown in the quality of the chart of his nativity.
copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019
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