Monday, March 29, 2010

Moses, the Pleiades and the Nebra Sky Disk

Moses, the Pleiades, and the Nebra Sky Disk
What did Moses see, and when did he see it?

Before the Exodus

Somewhere deep in the heart of the Nile Delta in Egypt, around the mid 1400’s BC, the Israelites were about to gain their freedom after 430 years of captivity, as slaves to the Egyptians. It is approaching the time in bible and world history known as “The Exodus.”

Just prior to the exodus, God gave Moses some instructions. In Exodus 12:2, God said to Moses, "You are to begin your calendar with this month; it will be the first month of the year for you.” (CJB) We know this to be the spring of the year, at the time of the Passover, as the very next instructions were the preparation for, and the participation in, what would become a memorial for all time. This first month of the biblical year was known as Abib, meaning “green ears” or the time of the spring barley harvest. God’s instruction to Moses begs the question, what did God show to Moses to indicate the beginning of the biblical year?

Beginning of the biblical year

What did God mean when He said, “You are to begin your calendar this month?” Obviously He demonstrated or showed Moses something, and the question since that time, about 3500 years ago is, what did God show to Moses so that he could reckon the first month of the biblical year? Not only reckon it at that time; but to possibly reckon it for all time. Since then, the moon has played an important role in God’s sacred calendar. Not only has the moon played a part, but the sun and the stars as well. The heavenly bodies are each figured into God’s calendar and set times. Whether they are called seasons, mo’ed’s, appointed times, feasts, or holy days, they are all set forth by the celestial bodies.

Elements of God’s calendar in the heavens

God said, "Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to divide the day from the night; let them be for signs, seasons, days and years; and let them be for lights in the dome of the sky to give light to the earth"; and that is how it was. God made the two great lights — the larger light to rule the day and the smaller light to rule the night — and the stars. Gen 1:14-16

How the months of the calendar are reckoned

For thousands of years, those following the biblical calendar have reckoned their months by the moon, and the years by the sun. Usually the month is begun following the first sighting of the visible crescent moon. The first day is celebrated as new moon day, then the 6 work days, followed by the 7th day sabbath. According to the criteria given throughout scripture, Sabbaths can be found on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th days of the month, following the new moon. Then the cycle begins again. Over the millennia, all calendars have undergone corruption and aberration. The 7th day sabbath has been celebrated by Jews and other Sabbathkeepers on the Roman Saturday since early Christianity, and certainly by the 4th century when the Jewish calendar was set in stone so to speak. The corruption of the calendars is a subject for another time. No matter what man has done to the calendars over the millennia, God is about to set it right. The original calendar of scripture is being restored to its rightful place.

Standards for reckoning the beginning of the year

In the paragraph above, we discussed the beginning of each month, but what about the first month of the year? Since scripture talks about the month of Abib, or green ears, one standard is held to be the barley harvest, when the barley has matured enough for the “wave sheaf” celebration on the 16th day of the first month, the day of the resurrection of Christ.

The other standards, which are more widely held today, is the visible crescent moon in relationship to the vernal equinox; meaning the point at which the sun crosses the equinoctial line, and the days begin growing longer, and the nights shorter. At about the moment of the equinox, the days and nights are equal length.

One standard says the new moon nearest the equinox; the other standard says the new moon after the equinox. With these two standards, each side is right some of the time, and one side is right all the time, depending on which side you’re on. About half of the time, the new moon nearest the vernal equinox falls on the side after the equinox, so that puts that group in harmony with the other group. Then there is the standard that says Passover cannot fall before the vernal equinox. In other words, it’s a mess, and it has gone on for hundreds of years, each camp saying the other camp is wrong. So is there truth to be found in any of this mess? Is the moon and its relationship to the equinox the final arbiter of the beginning of the year? Let’s explore a little further to see.

The Equinox is not as it appears

Let’s throw a “monkey wrench” in here. We’ll plug in another factor that isn’t often considered. When the instructions were given to Moses in about 1446BC (still disputed), the vernal equinox was in a different place in the heavens at the start of the biblical year than it is now. In other words, when the sun crossed the equinoctial line in the heavens, it was in Aries. But it is not there today. Josephus, the noted historian tells us that the sun was in Aries at the time of the Passover in biblical times. So we know from history and scripture that at the time of the exodus, the sun and the visible crescent moon were in Aries, or that section of the heavens that has been labeled as Aries. It was still in the same relationship at the time of Christ. This is in the first month of spring, and the beginning of the biblical year.

Let me suggest a caveat in at this point. If you rely on the information from astrologers and the mainstream informational pundits, to tell you where the sun is in the heavens when it crosses the equinox, you’re in trouble. The astrological prevaricators will tell you that the first sign on the spring side of the equinox is Aries. And 3500 years ago, they would be right; but not today. By the time the sun and the moon arrive in Aries today, the vernal equinoctial line is in Pisces, or the place in the heavens that astrologers have assigned to it. The equinox used to arrive in Aries around Mar 20 or 21. Today it doesn’t arrive in Aries until April 18th. It’s a shifting process called “precession of the equinox.”  It’s what accounts for the wobble of the earth on its axis causing the equinox to drift backward in time. So the equinox is not the likely candidate to permanently reckon the beginning of the year.

 This image shows the backward drift, or “precession” of the equinoxes. This affects both equinoxes and solstices, shifting these imaginary boundaries in the heavens out of place from their original locations. Currently, the vernal equinox has drifted backward into Pisces, and almost into Aquarius. Instead of the sun being in Aries when spring comes, it is in Pisces. The vernal equinox does not arrive in Aries with the sun until April 18th.

What about “…and the stars?”

It was about this time during my research that I realized that most of the focus of the celestial bodies of God’s calendar is on the sun and the moon. I started asking what the role of the stars is in the calendar. “. . . the larger light to rule the day and the smaller light to rule the night — and the stars.” But what were we doing to include the stars in the reckoning? It was like we were leaving out a third of the equation or formula. In reality, all three of the heavenly objects should be included in the calendar.

The Pleiades

When I started looking at this dilemma, I suspected there had to be something else that Moses would have seen, in addition to the visible crescent moon. And sure enough there is. In the Redshift astronomy program, I set the program to look at the evening sky at the time of the exodus, the first month and spring of the year, to see if I could see what Moses saw. It wasn’t until I unplugged everything else that wasn’t there at the time of Moses, that I saw what I believe he saw. When Moses looked at the sky at that time, he didn’t know about the “astrological” signs, and all the other aberrations man has assigned. Granted there are references to celestial signs in scripture, i.e. Orion, Pleiades, and Arcturas, etc. But there were none of the labels of man’s reckoning as we see today. If Moses wrote the book of Job, as some suggest he did, most definitely he would have known about these particular stars and their places in the sky.

It didn’t take long to discover what I was fairly certain Moses saw. But I had to test the theory. So I began looking at the same time every year, by looking first for the new moon, then the visible crescent after the equinox. I used the new moon after the equinox as I believe the sun, as well as the moon, has to be fully out of winter in order to begin the New Year. The days must be longer than the nights. I believe this study will eventually bear that out. By the time I advanced the sun and the moon into Aries in the astronomy program, there it was; what I had been looking for. It was the Pleiades, in close proximity to the crescent moon. Now I needed to test the theory a little more and every time it has held up. At a point around the time of the first visible crescent after the equinox, the moon arrived in the vicinity of the Pleiades. It was the kind of evidence I was looking for. And so far, it appears that the same thing happens every year, in the first month of spring. So far, I’ve checked the last 10 years for starters and the Pleiades and the new crescent moon keep company usually around the end of March and into mid-April.

The Character of the Pleiades
Now you see it; now you don’t

The Pleiades, also known as the "seven sisters," lies near the ecliptic plane of the sun, moon and the planets in the heavens. All of the celestial objects that travel in the ecliptic plane pass near the Pleiades at some point during the year.

The Pleiades is not visible all year; but it is visible when it is supposed to be, and needed for confirmation. The Pleiades is actually what is known as a star cluster, with 6 of the 7 main stars visible to the naked eye at various times. It looks very much like a “little dipper.” The most prominent star in the cluster is Alcyone, one of the seven sisters in Greek mythology, which is the third brightest star in Taurus. The remaining stars of the "seven sisters'' are Electra, Celaeno, Taygeta, Maia, Merope, and Asterope, some of which form a big dipper pattern with other bright stars in the cluster, making it easy to recognize.

Visibility of the Pleiades varies throughout the year. The Pleiades start to rise in the night sky in June, just before sunrise, and they begin to rise a little earlier each morning afterwards. They are best viewed in December, when they rise as the sun is setting, and then set at sunrise, allowing them to be seen throughout the entire night. As the winter progresses, they begin to rise a bit later after sunset. By March and mid-April, you can only see them for a short time setting in the West, just after sunset. Since the Pleiades are located in the sign of Taurus, they are too close to the sun to be visible during May, when the sun is also in the same sign. On a clear night the unaided eye can usually spot at least six of the brightest stars in the cluster, but it actually consists of hundreds of stars.

What role do the Pleiades play in the heavens?

It seems to be somewhat commonly known that the Pleiades signaled the time of planting in the spring, and the time to harvest in the fall. So it makes sense that it would be visible with the new crescent at the beginning of the year in spring. Not only is it visible with the crescent in the spring to signal the beginning of the planting season, it is also visible in the 7th month of the biblical year, the harvest season, when it is a full moon; i.e. “harvest moon.” I’m convinced that one of the reasons that night watches were held in ancient times is that someone could observe and record what was happening with the moon and the stars at night.

Almost all ancient cultures watched and had a name for Pleiades, usually associated with agriculture and moisture/rainfall. The ancients knew this cluster as the "rainy stars" because their rising heralded the beginning of autumn and the onset of the rainy season in many parts of the world. Inca farmers watched Pleiades to assess future crops. Early Greek seamen knew them as the "sailing stars" and would only sail when the stars were visible at night. One of the Navajos' names for the group is the "Hard Flint Boys," and Subaru is the Japanese name for Pleiades (note the Subaru logo).

Where is the Pleiades anyway?

It depends on the time of year. Pleiades lies near the ecliptic (the path of the sun). Around the first of November it will be rising in the east (about where the sun did) just at twilight. In early February the Hard Flint Boys will be directly overhead at twilight. By early May they'll be setting just at twilight, ahead of Orion. During May and early June Pleiades is absent from the sky--it can't be seen because it's too close to the sun. Then it appears (and remains) as a morning star until November. Between November and May watch for the Hard Flint Boys dancing and scuffling along the ecliptic.

Finding the Pleiades in the night sky

Pleiades can be a little hard to see, and to many it appears as a small cloud. Its appearance varies from night to night depending on atmospheric viewing conditions. Sometimes, when conditions are good, you can see all the 'Seven Sisters' twinkling. First find Orion's Belt--the three stars, close together, in a straight line. Then following the indicated line in the figure below, passing just below Aldebaran, as it points to Pleiades. The figure below is Orion and Pleiades when they're high overhead.

The crescent’s last crossing of the Pleiades till 2023

The Pleiades and the crescent moon made a spectacular showing in the evening sky on Saturday March 20, 2010, when the moon occulted (moved in front of) some of the stars in the Pleiades cluster. Normally, only in close proximity, the moon does occasionally move in front of part of the cluster. It’s quite a sight. We won’t see that occultation again for another 13 years, till 2023.

Note: Although it is reported that this is the last occultation of the moon across the Pleiades until 2023, some astronomy sites and articles are reporting that a similar scenario will occur on April 16, 2010. Only visual observation will confirm this predicted scenario.

 This is an image from the astronomy program Stellarium (free at Sourceforge) on the night of March 20, 2010 when the moon occulted the Pleiades. Notice that it strongly resembles the little dipper. This image is as you would see from earth. If you rotate the image 90 degrees left, you will see the same image that is represented on the Nebra Sky Disk.

The Nebra Sky Disk

While researching the relationship of the new crescent moon and the Pleiades, I inadvertently learned of a relatively new celestial reckoning device of sorts that was discovered around 1999, quite by accident. A couple of treasure hunters in the vicinity of Nebra, Germany, found the disk and several other ancient and valuable artifacts with the help of metal detectors. They tried to make off with their loot, and fence it for profit. But as luck would have it, authorities caught up with them and retrieved the disk. No one knew for sure what they had when they recovered it.

The disk has been tested, deciphered, validated, and proven that it is authentic in terms of age and composition. It is estimated to have been buried around 1600BC, and it may have originated as far back as 1700-2100 BC. It is said to be at least 3600 years old. It may well be the oldest calendar or astronomical artifact known to date. This is the easy part.

What is not so easy is the interpretation of exactly what the disk shows. Even though it has been examined for 10 years now, it is still highly controversial as to its full intended meaning. One thing I noticed in reading several papers, articles and reviews, is that the authenticators seem to be missing a piece from their understanding, consideration and reviews. That piece is God’s sacred calendar of scripture. This is where it gets really interesting.

 The main areas of dispute seem to be that the markings appear that they should be from Egypt or Mesopotamia. But the artifact was found in Germany. Researchers state that Germany would not have followed a celestial reckoning such as this. The materials have been authenticated to have originated locally, meaning that the device was probably not made or fabricated in Egypt or Mesopotamia and brought to Germany. It remains somewhat of a mystery even today.

Some of the parts are fairly easily identified, and agreed upon. One that seems to be agreed on is the crescent, and the group of stars to the upper left of the crescent, which most scientists and researchers have identified as the Pleiades. One of the main disputes is over what the round object is on the left. Some say it is the sun, some say it is the moon. It appears to be inconclusive to some if the portrayal is daytime or nighttime.

The disc was originally smeared with rotten eggs. These would have caused a chemical reaction on its bronze surface, which would have turned the disc's background a deep violet color simulating a night sky out of which the gold-embossed stars would have shone.

Elements of the Nebra Sky Disk

Some authenticators and researchers insist that the round object to the left of center labeled sun is in fact the sun. Because of that, it is said the device is probably only valid as a marker for a solar eclipse as indicated.

Others say the round object is the moon, but seem to be without further explanation.

Since I am not an authority in such matters, I will not attempt to dispute what researchers, deciphering experts, and others have said. I will simply give my opinion based on how I see this device fitting into the overall picture of God’s sacred calendar.

I won’t deal with the planets shown near the crescent except to say when you set the astronomy program to the parameters given, i.e. April 16, 1699BC; those planets are part of the heavenly picture.

I agree that the crescent is in fact the crescent, and that the Pleiades are as shown. What is interesting is the relationship between the two. To demonstrate this point, here’s an image from an astronomy program taken on the evening of Saturday March 20 2010. It clearly demonstrates what the Nebra Sky Disk is showing.

 This image is from Redshift Astronomy program and is taken on March 20 2010 about 2130 hours. This would be about the time the moon passed in front of the Pleiades. What is most astounding about the crescent and the Pleiades on the disk, is that that at least one researcher says that it is portrayed in the position as it would be seen if a 13th month would need to be intercalated. This image is as you would see it from earth. If you rotate the image 90 degrees counter-clockwise, you will see the image as it is represented on the disk. Interestingly, this biblical year, 2009-2010 needed a 13th month inserted. Notice the similarity between the astronomy program image and the representation on the disk. Whether it is true in the end remains to be seen. But it does seem to be a little more than coincidental.

It is at this juncture the point needs to be made or at least mentioned. The fact that the disk may suggest the insertion of a 13th month, and this year a 13th month needed to be inserted, it has to be considered that the beginning of the year is affirmed to start after the vernal equinox, and not before. In the end, this evidence could serve to eliminate the confusion of multiple Passovers, and whether the year should be started with the new moon nearest the vernal equinox. The equinox seems to have drifted out of the picture.

As far as the identity of the other object, I believe it is the moon; the full moon, and here’s why. If the disk portrays the crescent moon and the Pleiades, then it has to be considered that it is at least after sunset, and probably dark or nighttime. That being the case, why would not the other object be representative of nighttime? I also believe its position in relationship to the Pleiades is portraying what it might appear like in the harvest season. Again, it seems to be a bit more than just coincidence to not have some merit. (See image below)

Harvest Moon and the Pleiades in the 7th month

Here’s an image from Redshift astronomy program for October 25 2010, as it would appear from earth. This would be about the 18th day of the 7th biblical month in 2010, following the harvest season of scripture. Note the relationship of the round object to the Pleiades similar to how it is shown on the Nebra Sky disk. This is why I suspect that the round object on the disk may be the moon and not the sun.

Watch for the crescent and the Pleiades on April 16 2010
This is the “sign” for the beginning of the biblical year

Here’s an approximation of how the moon will appear in proximity to the Pleiades on the night of April 16, 2010, at about 2130 Hrs. The moon will be approximately 20 degrees above the horizon at 8:50PM, about 45 min after sunset. The Pleiades will be just above that by approx 2 degrees or so. You should be able to see the Pleiades without the aid of binoculars, but have them for a more spectacular sight

For those that observe the new moon nearest the vernal equinox, or the bowl crescent level with horizon as the beginning of the biblical year, a problem is presented in that the moon is nowhere near the Pleiades on the evening of the visible crescent. It is still in Pisces on the night of 16th and possibly into Aries on the night of the 17th. The moon did not arrive in the vicinity of the Pleiades until the evening of March 20 2010 when it passed across (occulted) the front of some of the stars in the Pleiades. It was at this time that the moon, in relationship to the Pleiades, as shown on the Nebra Sky Disk, indicated that a 13th month needed to be inserted into the biblical year.

 What did Moses see in the sky just before the Exodus?

This image from Redshift Astronomy program shows an approximation of what the sky might have looked like on April 9 1446 BC from the approximate location in Egypt where the Israelites were slaves. Time and date are approximate and the sun has been left shown to show the relationship of the sun, moon and Pleiades. It is only an estimation of visibility as the moon is only a little over 5 degrees above the horizon which means limited visibility. Note the relationship of the moon and the Pleiades.


  • Astronomy programs have confirmed the occurrence of this annual event for the last decade, as well as the next, including various points in history.
  • When Moses looked at the sky at the time of God’s instructions, the Pleiades were in the sky, in close proximity to the visible crescent. (see earlier image)
  • The Pleiades appears annually in close proximity to the visible crescent moon, just after sunset, in the spring, at the beginning of the first biblical month.
  • The Pleiades, in harmony with the visible crescent, must be considered as visual evidence for the beginning month of the year.
  • The vernal equinox has shifted backwards through the heavens to no longer be valid as a reference point for the biblical new moon to begin the New Year.
  • The beginning of the biblical year in the spring must be considered as being fully after the vernal equinox, when the sun and the moon are in Aries and the crescent moon is in proximity to the Pleiades.
  • Visual observations need to be confirmed, but the beginning of the biblical year should be considered when the visible crescent and the visible Pleiades are in close proximity, but a month later when indicated that a 13th month should be inserted.

  • The Nebra Sky Disk confirms the validity of the use of the Pleiades in the visual sighting for the beginning of the biblical year.
  • Since the Nebra Sky Disk predates the time of the calendar given to Moses, the barley harvest has to be considered as secondary to obvious hard evidence i.e. the Pleiades; otherwise as confirmation.
  • The Nebra Sky Disk, even with its controversies, presents coincidences with the calendar of scripture to not be considered as valid for review and possible use.
  • And finally, isn’t it just like God to use a heavenly marker like a cluster of “seven” stars to lead us in His way? What other symbolism will we discover waiting for us here?


Several excerpts from Archaeology and Astronomy publications on Nebra Sky Disk

Review of Nebra Sky Disk by Andis Kaulins, deciphering expert; pros and cons

Article by Roarie Starbuck on history of Hebrew words of Pleiades
Depictions of Pleiades absent from Jewish history prior to time of Christ

Article by Olga Morales on Pleiades
Meaning of Pleiades to Freemasonry, Mayan, mythology, JW’s, astrology and Mazzaroth

Inquiries have been submitted to astronomers, USNO, and Nebra Sky Disk project for confirmation.

You can Google “crescent moon Pleiades” and you will find web articles about this annual event for nearly every year for the last decade.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Problem with Precession and the Beginning of the Biblical Year

Vernal Equinox: Out of Place in the Heavens
The Problem with Precession and the Beginning of the Biblical Year

This is a challenge to those that begin their biblical year with the first visible crescent moon nearest the vernal equinox. Using the nearest reckoning, if the new moon is prior to the vernal equinox, it will cause celebration of Passover a month earlier than those that use the visible crescent moon following the vernal equinox. It could also cause a problem by failing to recognize that a 13th month needs to be inserted in the luni-solar calendar. This early start to the biblical year is also problematic to those using the bowl crescent moon, or the new crescent that appears level with the horizon, with the horns of the moon being equidistant on the sides. Part of the time, the bowl crescent appears before the vernal equinox. This situation exists in the month and year this is written, March 2010. Repeated inquiries to those using the bowl crescent have failed to produce scripturally based answers.

The purpose for this paper is to address the problem of “precession of the equinoxes”, as it relates to the beginning of the biblical year. The equinox, or equinoctial line in the heavens is the point of time in the year when the days and nights are equal, and the days begin getting longer, and the nights shorter. Over the millennia, the equinox has drifted backward in time, and is no longer where it used to be. The most profound impact of this precession is that the stars do not appear in the heavens where you think they are, in relation to the equinox. Astrologers and related informational resources will not tell you any different; they simply are lying or they are deluded.
At the time of Moses, the sun, moon, and vernal equinox were in the constellation Aries. (See first image labeled April 1446BC). 1446BC is one of the suggested years of the Exodus. Notice the point of the vernal equinox at the intersection of the sun's ecliptic and equatorial meridian, indicated by the two small "v's." Notice also that they all are coincidentally in what would be April-May. In reality, the equinox was originally in Taurus, at the time of Abraham, and probably back to the time of creation. It moved from Taurus into Aries in about the year 1865BC. The use of astronomy programs will verify this information within reason.

When the calendar instructions were given to Moses just prior to the Exodus, all celestial references in the heavens were where they were supposed to be. But it is interesting to see what has happened since the time of Moses.

At the time of Christ’s crucifixion, in April 31AD, nearly 1500 years after Moses and the Exodus, the equinox had drifted backward to a point just slightly out of Aries, into Pisces. (See image No 2 April 31AD). Notice that by the time the sun and moon arrive in Aries, past the vernal equinox, it is clearly April (April-May) and not March. This data is confirmed by USNO and other sources that the Passover/crucifixion occurred in April 31AD, and not March as some Jewish sources indicate. The noted Jewish historian Josephus tells us that when Passover was observed at the time of Christ, that the sun was in Aries.

Image No 1: 1446 BC @ the Exodus 

Image No 2: April 31 AD 

Where is the vernal equinox today?
Let's move our celestial magnifying glass to the current day, and look first at March 16 2010, on the day of the sighting of the crescent, when this new year is said by some to have begun. You will notice first of all that everything is out of alignment from where we think it should be. And the sun is still 4 days short of the vernal equinox. What is most noticeable is that the vernal equinox has now drifted all the way through Pisces and nearly into Aquarius. Notice that the sun and the moon are not in Aries to begin the year, where it is said they should be. At the time of the new moon nearest the vernal equinox, they are in Pisces. (See image 3 March 16 2010).
Image No. 3 March 16 2010

Now, let's have a look at where the sun and moon are when they do enter Aries for the beginning of the upcoming biblical year. Contrary to what most astrological forecasters and related websites and other sources say, Aries doesn't begin following the day of the vernal equinox. It's simply untrue. Astrologers continue to tell you that Aries is right after the vernal equinox, and is the period of time from March 21 to April 20. Nothing could be further from the truth. The equinox has now drifted so far back that it does not enter Aries until April 18. Notice in the image that the moon has already moved beyond conjunction, indicating that conjunction is a few days earlier (April 14) than the day the sun actually enters Aries. This means that at the time of conjunction, the new moon for the beginning of the biblical year has now moved out of Aries, where it should be, and into Taurus. It has been suggested that not only should the sun be in Aries, but also the moon. I have seen this idea referenced in other documents, although not many. (See Image No. 4 April 18 2010).
Image No. 4: April 18 2010 
There are many questions that arise because of the precession of the equinoxes.
  • Should we be starting the biblical new year in Pisces at the new moon nearest the vernal equinox?
  • Should we be starting the new year at the sign of the level or bowl crescent, which is clearly in Pisces at the time it appears?
  • Should we delay beginning the new year until the sun and moon are in the sign of Aries? (Josephus and others)
  • Beginning the new year when the sun and moon are in Aries means using the new moon after the vernal equinox.
  • What part does the constellation Aries have to do with the beginning of the year?
  • It has been suggested that Passover should always be in Aries, as evidenced by historical references.
  • Should the beginning of the year also be in Aries; meaning not only the sun is in Aries, but also the moon.
  • Are we out of alignment with scripture with one or the other beginnings?
Remember that Yah said several times in His word that He would do something to make man forget all his feast days and Sabbaths! What should we do in order to "follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth?"

Your Astrological Sign May Not Be What You Think

CAUTION: This article does not support or condone the use of astrology in relation to scripture. Scripture makes it clear that astrology is not part of Yahuwah's plan. The article is not meant to infer that followers of Yahuway and scripture should consider the use of astrology. The article is intended solely to point out the errors in astrology because of the precession of the equinox. It is an attempt to bring awareness to those that are using astrology to reconsider its use.

Strange News
Your Astrological Sign May Not Be What You Think It Is 

By Pedro Braganca, Special to LiveScience
posted: 23 October 2007 04:16 pm ET

It's a great conversation starter: "What's your sign?"
But before you ask or answer that question, consider this: your zodiac sign corresponds to the position of the sun relative to constellations as they appeared over 2200 years ago!
The science behind astrology may have its roots in astronomy but don’t confuse these two disciplines. Astronomy can explain the position of the stars in the sky but it’s up to you to determine what, if anything, their alignment signifies.
The Constellations of the Zodiac

The ecliptic, or the position of the Sun as it’s perceived from the revolving Earth, passes through the constellations that formed the Zodiac - Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. Zodiac signs were originally determined by which constellation the Sun was "in" on the day you were born.

Early astronomers observed the Sun traveling through the signs of the Zodiac in the course of one year, spending about a month in each. Thus, they calculated that each constellation extends 30 degrees across the ecliptic. 

However, a phenomenon called precession has altered the position of the constellations we see today.

Precession and Astrology

The first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere was once marked by the zero point of the Zodiac. Astronomers call this the vernal equinox and it occurs as the ecliptic and celestial equator intersect.

Around 600 BCE, the zero point was in Aries and was called the "first point of Aries." (Figure 1) The constellation Aries encompassed the first 30 degrees of the ecliptic; from 30 to 60 degrees was Taurus; from 60 to 90 degrees was Gemini; and so on for all twelve constellations of the Zodiac. 

Figure 1. The vernal equinox marks the first day of spring and occurs at the intersection of the ecliptic and the celestial equator. The vernal equinox also marks the zero point of the Zodiac.

 Figure 2. If you were born between March 21 and April 19, your astrological sign is said to be Aries. But this was only true for a while, back when the system was set up in 600 BC. Today, the Sun is no longer within the constellation of Aries during much of that period. From March 11 to April 18, the Sun is actually in the constellation of Pisces!

 Figure 3. The graphic shows the precession of the equinoxes from 600 BC to 2600 AD. In 600 BC, the intersection of the ecliptic and celestial equator is in western Aries and marked by the Vernal Equinox. In the year 2007, the intersection is in Pisces.

Unbeknownst to the ancient astrologers, the Earth continually wobbles around its axis in a 25,800-year cycle. This wobble—called precession—is caused by the gravitational attraction of the Moon on Earth's equatorial bulge. 

Over the past two-and-a-half millennia, this wobble has caused the intersection point between the celestial equator and the ecliptic to move west along the ecliptic by 36 degrees, or almost exactly one-tenth of the way around. This means that the signs have slipped one-tenth—or almost one whole month—of the way around the sky to the west, relative to the stars beyond. 

For instance, those born between March 21 and April 19 consider themselves to be Aries. Today, the Sun is no longer within the constellation of Aries during much of that period. From March 11 to April 18, the Sun is actually in the constellation of Pisces! (Figure 2) See also Figure 3, which demonstrates the precession of the equinoxes from 600 BCE to 2600.

Your "Real Sign"

The table below lists the dates when the Sun is actually within the astronomical constellations of the Zodiac, according to modern constellation boundaries and corrected for precession (these dates can vary a day from year to year). 

You will most likely find that once precession is taken into account, your zodiac sign is different. And if you were born between November 29 and December 17, your sign is actually one you never saw in the newspaper: you are an Ophiuchus! The eliptic passes through the constellation of Ophiuchus after Scorpius.
Now you really have something cool with which to start that conversation!

Capricorn - Jan 20 to Feb 16
Aquarius - Feb 16 to Mar 11
Pisces - Mar 11 to Apr 18
Aries - Apr 18 to May 13
Taurus - May 13 to Jun 21
Gemini - Jun 21 to Jul 20
Cancer - Jul 20 to Aug 10
Leo - Aug 10 to Sep 16
Virgo - Sep 16 to Oct 30
Libra - Oct 30 to Nov 23
Scorpius - Nov 23 to Nov 29
Ophiuchus - Nov 29 to Dec 17
Sagittarius - Dec 17 to Jan 20

Friday, March 19, 2010

Continuous Weekly Cycle in Jeopardy

A Calculated Look at the Continuous Weekly Cycle
The Numbers Tell the Story!

Why is the date of the crucifixion of Christ so important to Seventh Day Adventists?

For Seventh-Day Adventists, the date of the crucifixion of Christ in AD31 is an important date, and critical to the foundation of the 2300 day prophecy and prophetic understanding of the church. (For those of you that are not Seventh Day Adventists, or have little or no knowledge of the SDA-AD31 connection, the same principles and calculations presented in this article can be used to confirm other historical dates). It is likely that no other date in history has been so extensively examined by scholars of SDA institutions, as well as many other interested researchers. The date of AD31 has been confirmed first of all by Ellen G. White, prophet to the SDA church. It has also been confirmed by esteemed scholars of Adventist institutions, including the Grace Amadon Research Committee of the SDA church in their research studies in 1938-39, as well as other independent researchers. But do the numbers add up when it comes to reckoning where we are in time? Let’s have a closer look at the AD31 crucifixion date. (See Grace Amadon committee research reports at )

A closer look at the timing and events of the Crucifixion

Let’s begin with Ellen White’s confirmation of the year AD31:

    "And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week." The "week" here brought to view is the last one of the seventy; it is the last seven years of the period allotted especially to the Jews. During this time, extending from A. D. 27 to A. D. 34, Christ, at first in person, and afterward by his disciples, extended the gospel invitation especially to the Jews. As the apostles went forth with the good tidings of the kingdom, the Saviour's direction was, "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not; but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” [MATT. 10:5, 6.]  {GC88 327.2}
     "And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease."  In AD31, three and a half years after his baptism, our Lord was crucified. With the great sacrifice offered upon Calvary, ended that system of offerings which for four thousand years had pointed forward to the Lamb of God. Type had met antitype, and all the sacrifices and oblations of the ceremonial system were there to cease.”  {GC88 327.3-328.1}

   “The 2300 days had been found to begin when the commandment of Artaxerxes for the restoration and building of Jerusalem went into effect, in the autumn of B. C. 457. Taking this as the starting-point, there was perfect harmony in the application of all the events foretold in the explanation of that period in Dan 9:25-27. Sixty-nine weeks, the first 483 of the 2300 years, were to reach to the Messiah, the Anointed One; and Christ's baptism and anointing by the Holy Spirit, A. D. 27, exactly fulfilled the specification. In the midst of the seventieth week, Messiah was to be cut off. Three and a half years after his baptism, Christ was crucified, in the spring of AD31. The seventy weeks, or 490 years, were to pertain especially to the Jews. At the expiration of this period, the nation sealed its rejection of Christ by the persecution of his disciples, and the apostles turned to the Gentiles, A. D. 34. The first 490 years of the 2300 having then ended, 1810 years would remain. From A. D. 34, 1810 years extend to 1844. "Then," said the angel, "shall the sanctuary be cleansed." {GC88 411}

AD31 and the 2300 day prophecy

Now that we’ve reviewed the established year, let’s have a closer look at how the AD31 year was established in the 2300 day prophecy.

When the Millerites were examining and studying the 2300 day prophecy in the 1840’s, and leading up to Oct 22, 1844, they soon discovered they had to use the lunar-solar calendar of scripture. This calendar has long been established as the calendar of the feasts of God, outlined in the Bible. It is this calendar that Passover at the time of Christ is calculated and pinpointed on. The day of Christ’s crucifixion, death and resurrection are highlighted on this calendar. Hebrews have used this calendar and it’s reckoning since it was given to Moses around the time of the Exodus nearly 3500 years ago. It is still used today by much of the Jewish community, as well as other biblical feast and holy day observers to determine their calendar of holy days.

At the time of Christ’s death in the spring of AD31, the first month of the new year began in April; on April 12 (Julian Calendar) to be specific. April 12, 31AD corresponds to the 1st day of the 1st month of the year on the biblical lunar-solar calendar.

The count to Passover is begun on the 1st day of the month, April 12th. Counting 14 days to Passover, or the 14th day of the month, we arrive at April 25, which is Wednesday on the Julian calendar.

Below is a chart of astronomical data showing the various lunar events during the years that are considered for the crucifixion of the Saviour. The data in this chart also confirms the date and timing of events written by Ellen White for the year AD31.

The data in the above chart is taken from the website of the United States Naval Observatory, and reproduced in the chart at the following website:

On the feast, or lunar-solar calendar of God, Passover is on the 14th day of the first month. Counting 14 days from April 12th, we pinpoint April 25 on the Julian calendar. This is the day of the Passover, the crucifixion, death and burial of Christ. It is the 6th day of the week, “preparation” day for the Sabbath. It is Wednesday on the Julian Calendar.

We can confirm the days and events in the chart above with statements from the writings of Ellen White. The 14th day of the month, is the Passover, and the preparation day for the Sabbath. This is the same sabbath of creation also confirmed by Ellen White. The 15th day of the month then, is the 7th day sabbath, the same one ordained at creation.

Here are some of Ellen White’s statements confirming the days and events surrounding the crucifixion;

“On the fourteenth day of the first Jewish month, the very day and month on which, for fifteen long centuries, the Passover lamb had been slain, Christ, having eaten the Passover with his disciples, instituted that feast which was to commemorate his own death as "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."  That same night he was taken by wicked hands, to be crucified and slain. And as the antitype of the wave-sheaf, our Lord was raised from the dead on the third day, "the first-fruits of them that slept," [1 COR. 15:20.] a sample of all the resurrected just, whose "vile body" shall be changed, and "fashioned like unto his glorious body." [PHIL. 3:21.]  {GC88 399.2}

“In company with His disciples, the Saviour slowly made His way to the garden of Gethsemane. The Passover moon, broad and full, shone from a cloudless sky. The city of pilgrims' tents was hushed into silence.”  {DA 685.1}

“Before they came to Sinai, they understood the Sabbath to be obligatory upon them. After the giving of the manna, the people, of their own accord, gathered a double quantity on the sixth day in preparation for the Sabbath. And Moses, upon being consulted by the rulers, declared, "This is that which the Lord hath said, Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord." Signs of the Times Feb 28, 1884; The Creation Sabbath

That was a never-to-be-forgotten Sabbath to the sorrowing disciples, and also to the priests, rulers, scribes, and people. At the setting of the sun on the evening of the preparation day the trumpets sounded, signifying that the Sabbath had begun. DA 775

When there shall be a "restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:21), the creation Sabbath, the day on which Jesus lay at rest in Joseph's tomb, will still be a day of rest and rejoicing. Heaven and earth will unite in praise, as "from one Sabbath to another" (Isa. 66:23) the nations of the saved shall bow in joyful worship to God and the Lamb.  {DA 769.2-770}

In the previous facts and statements, it is confirmed and pinpointed on the lunar-solar calendar of the bible that the Passover, crucifixion, death and burial of Christ is on the 14th day of the 1st month of the year AD31. It is Wednesday April 25 on the Julian calendar. Thursday April 26, the 15th day of the 1st month, is the 7th day sabbath, the same sabbath given by God at creation, confirmed by Ellen White.

The Continuous Weekly Cycle and AD31

Now, lets have a look at the “continuous weekly cycle” and how it relates to the 7th day Sabbath and the events described above in AD31. To determine the continuous weekly cycle back to the time of Christ, we’ll use the Julian Day numbering system*. This system assigns an ordinal number to every date in history, back as far as -4713BC, and to any date in the future. To find the number of weeks between any two given Saturdays, or 7th day Sabbaths (Julian/Gregorian), we need only to determine the number of Julian days between any two given Saturdays, and divide by 7 to find the number of weeks. An even number will confirm the accuracy of a Saturday to Saturday period of calculation. Each date chosen must be set or calculated from 12:00 hours as that is point of time of the day when Julian Day numbers are calculated from (zero hour).

From astronomical and calendar records, we know the Roman or Julian Saturday nearest the crucifixion on the Julian calendar is April 28, 31AD. (see Julian Calendar date in image below). Notice also the Gregorian date is 2 days different from the Julian calendar. Even though there are two days difference between the calendars, it is still Wednesday. The last attempt to correct this drifting problem was the shift from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar in 1582, in which 10 days were eliminated in order to reconcile things into their proper order. Today, in 2010, that difference between the two calendars is has grown to 12 days.

Also notice in the image the date on the Hebrew calendar. It shows the 14th day of the month of Iyyar, which is the correct day for Passover, but the wrong month. Iyyar is actually the 2nd month on the Hebrew calendar, and Passover should be pinpointed in the 1st month. The reason for the difference is due to the way the Jews reckon the beginning of the biblical year, at times a month early, or Iyyar 14 could well be the biblical 2nd Passover for the year, when the first one was missed.
In order to test our theory about the continuous weekly cycle, we then pick any Saturday in the future. For this example, we’ll use Saturday March 13, 2010. The difference between the two Julian day numbers is 722,771 days. If we divide 722,771 by 7, the result is 103,253; that is 103,253 seven day weeks between Saturday April 28 31AD and Saturday March 13, 2010. This result is an even number of seven day weeks, confirming the accuracy of the number of 7 day weeks of the continuous weekly cycle between the two dates; both Saturdays, or Julian/Gregorian 7th day Sabbaths.

Let’s see what happens when we calculate the days between Saturday, March 13, 2010 and Thursday, April 26, AD31. (April 26 is the corresponding Julian calendar day confirmed by Ellen White to be the 15th day of the month, or Sabbath). The number of days between April 26 AD31 and March 13, 2010 is 722,773, resulting in a calculation of number of weeks of 103,255.28. As you can see, this does not result in an even number, which it should if the continuous weekly cycle method were accurate.

Does this create a problem for the continuous weekly cycle theory?  In order to have confirmation of Saturday as the 7th day sabbath on the Gregorian calendar, and confirmation of the continuous weekly cycle, Saturday should theoretically be pinpointed on the 15th day of the month of the crucifixion. But it’s not. It’s pinpointed 2 days away on Saturday April 28 31AD. The sabbath of creation is confirmed by Ellen White to be on the 15th of the month, which is Thursday, April 26; not on Saturday the 17th day of the month, or April 28.

What does this mean for Seventh Day Adventists? It means that we’re faced with a dilemma; a choice between two calendars. If we want to cling to the crucifixion date of Christ, verified by the Millerites, Ellen White, and SDA scholars, as well as others, we have to consider that the continuous weekly cycle cannot be mathematically, astronomically or calendrically supported. If on the other hand, we are insistent on the continuous weekly cycle since creation, we have to consider tossing out the Millerites, Ellen White, and numerous SDA scholars and researchers, all of which have confirmed the AD31 date.

Given the apparent discrepancy between the two methods of reckoning, how does one reconcile this difference. How can we on one hand hold fast to a continuous weekly cycle, and yet uphold the crucifixion date of April 25 AD31, the 2300 day prophecy, the 70 weeks of Daniel, as well as one of the fundamental pillars of the Seventh Day Adventist church, October 22, 1844?

*Note on Julian Day numbering and converting; when searching for results in Julian calendar and numbering converters, one should not only familiarize themselves with the particular model they are using, but should also verify that the resulting data is accurate. 12:00 should be set as the zero hour if the converter allows the use of time of day. Otherwise the results will be an odd number even if you are using the same day of the week for conversion.


Paul W Puckett March 16 2010
Rev April 10 2011