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COMMENTARY · 2nd April 2010
Merv Ritchie
Easter is always on the same day; the first Sunday, following the first full moon, following the spring equinox. It is really a stunning display of respect for a physical reality, seldom shown. Faith is the foundation of most religions and this diversion from faith to an actual astronomical observation demonstrates that there is hope. And that is exactly what the resurrection celebration is all about. Hope.

The story is very simple but has endured 20 - one hundred year life spans. That’s all it is really. Think about someone you know, or a relative, that has lived a full 100 years. Just 20 of those lives, end to end, back in time brings you to the time when you could be walking with the disciples. The story passed down through the years speak of a man who taught about love, respect and compassion that was arrested by the government of the day. Through false charges and evidence he was nailed to a cross like a common thief, interned in a cave behind a large boulder and when some returned to look in on his body, found him gone. He later appeared to the disciples as a fully alive man.

It is difficult for some, this writer included, to think of a day when someone gets killed as a good day. However that is what the Christians refer to when they talk about the day Jesus died on the Cross. Good Friday, how bizarre. But through understanding the faith, a much more loving picture emerges. This day symbolizes the event where through this death all of mankind is freed of the ties to this physical world and the restrictions to the afterlife which our apparent “badness” kept us away from. The door was opened to the spiritual “heaven” which makes this a very good day. All our “sins” were forgiven.

Three days later this man named Jesus rose from the dead and invited all humanity to follow. Chocolate and bunny rabbits have nothing to do with Easter except to make your children go crazy on a sugar fix.

Much like Christmas, Easter is the most observed Christian event. The celebration of the life of Jesus and his teachings is the foundation of this faith. The Catholic Church has done little to advance the respect for Jesus as they use many pagan structures and symbolism in their teachings that have nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus. This on top of the abuse suffered by many at the hands of those professing to be Catholic. Jesus spoke about having no others before the kingdom of God. The Catholics provide you with the opportunity to use many intermediaries. Mother Mary can apparently speak on your behalf, as can the numerous Saints and even your personal priest. Jesus died on the cross to show you that you do not need these other crutches, you face God on your own and he is there to hold your hand when you make the decision. This writing is not about beating up on the Catholics this is about astronomy. It has however been the Catholic Hierarchy that has resisted astronomical realities.

There are cycles of our solar system and our planet that are seldom spoke of. These two events of the Christian faith, Christmas and Easter, revolve around two specific time shifts in our planets orbit around the sun. The word Equinox comes from the term equal. This means that the days and nights are of equal length. The Earth is on a tilt and as it revolves around the Sun there are two times when the days and night are of equal length. These are the days we use to describe the start of spring and autumn. Easter uses this spring day, March 21st as the start to the observance of the heavens. This year the full Moon appeared on Monday, March 29th, eight days after the spring equinox, which is why, this year, April 2nd is Good Friday and Easter Sunday is April 4th. Easter always falls on the first Sunday, following the first full moon, following the spring equinox. If the full Moon were on March 20, we would be celebrating Easter in late April.

The other major Christian event is Christmas, the day used to celebrate the birth of Jesus. The day is so close to the pagan celebration of the Solstice it is not difficult to surmise that the selection of this day was to encourage those unenlightened pagans to join in with the Christians in celebrating the birth of Christ.

The word Solstice is a term used to describe the Sun standing still, when the days are not getting longer or shorter. There is a winter and a summer Solstice. The summer one, June 21st is a time when the days are the very longest and after this they start to get shorter, the winter Solstice is when the days start to get longer again, which is why it was such a huge pagan celebration. It was a major Sun God worship time. Here in the Northwest worshiping the Sun is a major pastime. Not in a religious sense, just cause we need the vitamin D.

It is observing these astronomical cycles, those cycles that are dependent on the earth revolving around the Sun, not the other way around as was encouraged by the Catholic Church, that give hope in more ways than just the afterlife.

There is another cycle in our “Heavens” that has yet to be recognized by the major religious bodies. It is called precession. As the earth orbits the Sun it is wobbling. The spinning of the Earth is not smooth. It is actually wobbling like a spinning top that was dropped sideways. The circle of the arc of the wobble is a very significant part of astronomy. Just exactly where the axis of the Earth is pointing on the day of the spring equinox has determined which “astrological age” we are in. The star patterns in the sky (which have names that reflect astrology), the huge ancient stone observatories that were designed to be used during these very specific time periods, the equinoxes and the solstices, all speak of an astronomical understanding that our churches are just beginning to allow parishioners the right to discuss openly.

The arc that the Earths axis makes, as it revolves around the sun, returns to the same place on the spring equinox, March 21st, once every 25,920 years. The star patterns that the arc circles as it completes this cycle are exactly the same as those described in astrology and astronomy, Virgo, Leo, Capricornus, Scopius etc. and each one of these cyclical time periods is a approximately a twelfth of the full 25,920 year cycle, 2160 years, hence the twelve astrological signs. The period we have been in recently is Pisces and we are about to enter the Age of Aquarius. (It is interesting how Jesus has been worshiped since the beginning of the age of Pisces and how the symbolism of fish; the astrological symbol for Pisces, features prominently in the Jesus teachings).

For those that follow astrology a cry will ring out that Pisces follows Aquarius. This has nothing to do with Horoscopes and your daily reading. That is a bit of an unenlightened understanding of reality. We are talking pure science here, not mysticism. Further the cycles of all life do not go “Clockwise”. The Earth revolves around the sun counter clockwise and the Earth spins on its axis counter clockwise. Take a moment and reflect on the Sun rising in the East. The Earth would have to be spinning counter clockwise for this to happen. The same is true for the astrological ages that have been recorded for thousands of years. Toss your horoscope in the trash.

Easter Sunday is a time to shout out, “He has risen”, and it is also a time to share in the love, respect and compassion that Jesus wanted us all to understand. For those that do not partake in the religious aspect of the Christian faith it is also a time to have some hope. Hope for those who do partake in religious activities whom might take some time to reflect on the reality of the universe, as it relates to our solar system and planet earth.

Full Moons, Equinoxes, and Solstices . . . only time will tell. Happy Easter!

Originally posted March 22, 2008 - edited April 1, 2010