EASTER, ISHTAR, ASHTORETH: GODDESS OF FERTILITY & QUEEN OF HEAVEN

EASTER

There are a lot of things that Easter is and there are things Easter is not. Easter is a goddess. Easter is a queen. Easter is real yet it is make belief scene. Easter is sanity yet requires a degree of insanity. Easter is recognition of Jesus’ death by name but Easter dishonors Jesus’ death in deeds and fame. Easter is poisonous yet Easter is good for you. These are all factual despite seemingly diverse views. WHAT? How comes? Here goes.

EASTER, ISHTAR or Ashtoreth which means goddess of fertility, has been a part of my life for more than five decades. As a child, my Easter kite was one of my most prized possession. (Lost a few friends and got several spankings because of kite flying). Sigh. Bun and cheese and fish. That was my dish during Easter. Of course, I was carted off to church on “Good” Friday as well as bright and early  morning Easter Sunday.

Was a glorious time though. Easter. “Good” Friday and Easter Monday were public holidays so no school, or as I got older, no work. It was a lot of fun and frolic , if not careful you could eat until you get colic.

I don’t recall our doing any Easter eggs but then again, maybe I was too caught up in kites and bun  and cheese to noticed. What I remembered though was that there were images of an unfortunate man, called Jesus Christ, severely battered and strung up on a cross. Not so sure what he did to deserve such a wretched death. He seemed okay to me. I heard stories he raised people from the dead, healed the sick and also fed multitudes. Not sure why you would kill someone for that.

Well, you could say Jesus was kind of out of order or rude to go into the church and turn over the tables and then whipped the money changers. Maybe it border on destruction of property and physical assault occasioning bodily harm, felonious at worst but still not worthy of death. Also, he was a bit over confident and his claims about being with god when the earth was made was a bit troubling if not arrogant, but still not enough reasons to kill him like that. Mentally disturbed. Maybe. Criminal. Come on.

The man on the cross  had a “crown” of thorns on his head and this was the sad part about Easter, so I thought.  I even use to wonder if this crucified man on the cross was being celebrated or tolerated. I was perplexed why they allow us kids to foster a liking for such savagery and even required us to wear the cross(es) around our necks and had them placed in our homes. Interestingly, theses cross(es) were sold to us too. (Marketing or trickery?)

My family tried to explain to me that this seemingly wretched man was indeed of royalty and was the son of god. (Wow, there and then went my ambitions for royalty). They explained that he came and bore our sins and by his death and blood we were healed and our sins paid for upon his resurrection, three days and three nights after his death. To show our appreciation of this death and resurrection we celebrate good Friday for his Death and Easter Sunday for his resurrection. Needless to say, my mathematically inclined family could not, to this day, determine how we get from Friday evening to Sunday morning to consist of three days and three nights.

Such was Easter until I began working with the Library Service and got exposed to the world of reading and knowledge. Suffice to say, knowledge had me confused at first as I realized that many facts are fiction and many things seen as fiction are facts. Ignorance is not bliss and knowledge is not freedom missed.

Say, have you ever wondered what or who is Easter? When is Easter? Why is Easter? Is Easter real or make belief and just a figment of the imagination?  Here is a possible, albeit, controversial if not heretical take on Easter based on literature and intuition. Read on and draw your own conclusion.

http://www.bibleinfo.com/en/questions/ash-wednesday-bible

WHAT OR WHO IS EASTER?

As mentioned, Easter or Ishtar or Ashtoreth means “goddess of fertility”. In a nutshell, Easter is an attempt by our pastoral fore-parents to recognize and celebrate the fact that when Spring comes, nature comes back alive after the long cold dreary dark winter. Fertility reigns and new born life flourish. Animals reproduce and plants and birds strive. Such glorious things need to be encouraged and one way to do this is to have rites and festivals of appreciation.

Our ancestors realized that the Moon, Sun and Venus influenced their agricultural output so these created things became the creator and were worshipped as the source of life. The Winter Solstice was given to the Sun (male) and the Spring Equinox was given to the Moon and Venus (female) . Of course all forms of worship need priests and a power order. Hence the origin of Winter and Spring worship and by extension religion.

 

Easter

IS EASTER REAL?

As suggested, Ishtar or Easter is the incarnation of nature at  the Spring Equinox into a goddess and is one of the earliest form of documented worship and control.

Yet, the question still abound: Is Easter or Ishtar real or make belief? She is as real and as make belief as how the names of the days of the weeks are real but make belief. In other words, Easter is based on real things but is not real.

Is Sunday or Monday or even Wednesday real? Depends. What is real is that every 24 hr we see a repetition of things and we call it a day. For example, in the Caribbean, the sun appears first in the East almost same time everyday after 24 hours. That is fact and real. However when we give a name to a particular batch of time of 24 hour as Sunday or Monday or Wednesday, that is make belief and imaginary.

In reality, there is a day but no such thing as Sunday or Monday unless we imagined it exist by painfully taking note of each 24 hours and giving it a name. Now a days, we use a calendar to help with the make belief and ensure we keep the counting right.

In short we create a world of make believe where we all agree that a particular 24 hour is designated by a name and every 7 day we call it a week and start all over again. We go froward then back, forward then backward. This imagination is called civilization and progress and result in what we now call mid life crisis. Why not every 8 day  or 10 day or no day is a week?

Similarly, Easter is an imagination or confusing state of mind associated with the full moon. (Recall people are believed to go crazy near full moon). That is what happen at Easter. A bit of shrewdness, schizophrenia and truth encapsulate in stories called Myths and Legends. Myths and Legends are boasty words for lies and fiction.

These stories were created with a shrewd copying and explanation of real things with a special goal of warping and training minds for proselyting and deception. Developed from before the time of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, these myths and legends were used to justify power and claim to leadership. The Easter story is one of the first set of myths and legends developed to honour nature (Moon) and to set up power and control over mankind. It was the first type of religion.

THE FIRST EASTER

Easter ArtemisEggsEaster started thousands of years before the birth of Christ but was first considered organized religion with the Nimrod and tower of Babel story from a biblical perspective. It’s recognition and justification centred on the notion of Myths and Legends which are normally far fetched stories embodying some truth. Of course, different nations had their version of the “truth”.

According to these myths, Inanna, was the first name for the Spring Equinox deity as coined by the ancient Sumerian who called her goddess of love, beauty, sex, desire, fertility, war, combat, justice, and political power. She was also known as the Queen of Heaven. Later on, Inanna was worshipped by the Babylonians and Assyrians under the name Ishtar or Ashtoreth or Easter.   She was associated with the planet Venus which as we know is the brightest “star” apart from the sun and moon.

In Greek Mythology she was called Aphrodite and her husband was Adonis or Dumuzid the Shepherd (later known as Tammuz). Ancient Egypt had her as Isis and her husband Osiris. Her most prominent symbols included the lion, and the eight pointed star.

So far, we have been looking at inanimate things surrounding religion and worship and the idea of Easter or Ishtar. Well, the plot thickened and this is where reality and imagination dove tail or become blurred.

WHO IS SEMIRAMIS?

Some literature state that Ishtar actually started out as the infamous Semiramis,  the wife of Nimrod, of biblical fame who was an opponent to the Creator. The idea is that Nimrod started religion with the help of Semiramis. She influenced him to create a mystery religion based on the stars and zodiac. This polytheism (many gods) was to replace the Creator’s monotheism (one god). The place associated with this is Assyria and as such, most early myths began in Mesopotamia. As Assyria lost its world power status, Babylon simply adopt the concept with change of names. Persia, Greece and Rome did the same upon becoming world powers. The conqueror usurp the beliefs of the conquered.

For example Ishtar is akin to Venus (Rome), Aphrodite (Greek), and Isis (Egypt).

It is unclear how Nimrod died as in in the Book of Jasher it is said that Esau, son of Isaac killed him; while Josephus stated that Shem, the son of Noah, killed Nimrod. However, after his death, Nimrod body ascended into the heavens and became the sun god himself. A bit horrifying but here comes the romantic part.

Nimrod, the sun god, became rays of light and implanted his seed into his wife, Semiramis now a widow, and impregnate her.

Ash Wednesday semiramis.tammuz
Semiramis and Tammuz (Mother and child worship)

The myth further stated that the child  was called Tammuz , son of the sun god. He was responsible for bringing light into the world and to fight darkness.

Can you guess when Tammuz was born? If you said at the Winter Solstice (December 22 – 25) you are correct. For those steeped in religious studies, you will recall that Invictus Sol (the unconquerable sun) was born on the shortest day of the year or the Saturnalia (December 22 -25) and we worship him today every December 25. That is Tammuz. Some customs called him Baal, or Mithra and more recently Jesus Christ, to legitimize its worship. An apple by any other name is still an apple though. Click here to See my blog on December 25 worship

As the myth would have it, Tammuz mother, Semiramis died and the gods looked favorably on her as she was the mother of the son of the sun god. She was sent back to earth as the Spring fertility goddess, Ashtoreth/Easter, always shown as a well endowed bare breasted  queen of fertility. According to the myth, she emerged from a giant egg that landed in the Euphrates river at sunrise on the Sunday after the full moon after the Spring equinox.

(By the way, that is how we set Easter dates. The Sunday after the full moon after March 21. Thus, Easter can be as early as March 22 or as late as April 25).

Semiramis, the queen of heaven, was “born again” as the goddess Easter (Ishtar/Ashtarte/Ashtoreth). To prove her divine authority, Semiramis, now Ashtoreth/Easter, changed a bird into an egg laying rabbit. Hence, decorated eggs and stories about rabbits are still part of today’s Easter ritual.

The Old Testament even referred to her. “The women were engaged in kneading dough and baking cakes of bread for the “Queen of Heaven” ” (Jeremiah 7:18). (Fertility, ability to have children, is important to a woman).

Easter Ishtar

THE RITUALS AND FESTIVITIES OF EASTER

Cakes and buns: Our hot cross buns originated from the cakes which were baked and given as presents to Easter or the Queen of Heaven.

Eating of Ham: Tammuz (son of the sun god) was killed by a pig and in order to bring him back to live, no meat was eaten for 40 days (LENT) but at Easter Sunday, a pig was killed and eaten in revenge.

Fish eating on “Good” Friday: The fish symbol also represents the goddess of fertility and is considered as a woman’s vulva: the creator of life. The eating of fish on Fridays was a sacrament to the goddess.

Virgins sex: As the cult of Ishtar developed, the priests would take and  impregnate young virgins on the altar of the goddess of fertility at sunrise on Easter Sunday.

Blood sacrifice: A year after impregnation, the priests of Easter would sacrifice these three-month old babies on the altar at the front of the sanctuary.

Easter eggs: The priest dyed Easter eggs in the blood of the sacrificed infants as eggs were great examples of the embodiment of fertility and life. (Recall the myth of how Semiramis came back to earth from a giant egg and then turned a bird into an egg laying rabbit).

You must be saying wow. You knew Easter was bloody but it was suppose to be the blood of Jesus, that was shed to save the sins of the world. Not the blood of infants.

WAS EASTER CREATED BEFORE JESUS CHRIST’S DEATH OR AFTER?

Until I was in my late teens, I honestly and fervently believed Easter was in recognition of Jesus’ death and resurrection. I began working with the Library Service and all that changed. In fact, I began to realize that Easter dishonored Jesus’s death. 

The evidence show that the crucifixion of Jesus was only attached to Easter, 300 years after Jesus Christ died, under a political and ecclesiastical marriage of differences, initiated by Emperor Constantine of Rome to keep his subjects under rule. (Council of Nicea). In short, Easter predated Jesus by thousands of years so this negate the idea that Easter was being celebrated as the recognition of Jesus’s death and resurrection.

Interestingly, it should be noted that the new testament even mentioned Easter by name and being around at the time of Christ and the Peter, the disciple.

Acts 12: 4 state that And when he (Herod) had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. (The Romans were already worhsipping Easter before Jesus was attached 300 years after).

Easter, is also mentioned in the Old Testament, in the time of the prophets such as Isaiah and Ezekiel, thousands of years before Jesus Christ was born. Ashtoreth/Easter is mentioned in the old testament and in every instance that it is mentioned, Jehovah, the god of the Hebrews/Isrealite is pretty much annoyed, and in vengeance mode. In short, Easter dishonoured the Creator and Jesus, his son.

Here are a few examples of Easter or the Queen of Heaven in the Old Testament in abominable associations. Proof that Easter was worshipped long before Christ born.

bibleEzek 8:14 Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. (Lent) 

2 Kings 23:13 And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for  Ashtoreth   the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile.

1 Kings 11:5-6. He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites.  So Solomon did evil in the eyes of Yahweh; he did not follow Yahweh completely, as David his father had done.

1 Kings 11:33. I will do this (split the nation) because they have forsaken me and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians…., , and have not walked in my ways, nor done what is right in my eyes, nor kept my statutes and laws as David, Solomon’s father did.

So the people of Israel removed the Baals and images of Ashtoreth. They served only Yahuwah.  (1 Samuel 7:3,4)

The women were engaged in kneading dough and baking cakes of bread for the “Queen of Heaven” (Jeremiah 7:18).

Jeremiah 44: 15-18 sated that the people actually believed that because they stopped worshipping Easter or the Queen of Heaven they were suffering. Jeremiah think contrary. It was the worshipping of Easter that caused the calamity.

JEREMIAH+44_15-18.Jeremiah 44: 23 Jeremiah replied, It is because you made offerings and because you sinned against the Lord and did not obey the voice of the Lord or walk in his law and in his statutes and in his testimonies that this disaster has happened to you, as at this day.”

Again, from the information in the Old testament, common sense, though uncommon, would dictate that if Easter was being worshipped before Jesus was born then Easter is not the recognition of Jesus’s death? Most importantly, it must be noted that the Creator punished peoples who worshipped Easter with the intention to get powerful. These countries flourished for awhile but suffer, eventually. Assyria, Egypt, Jerusalem, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Italy.

THE LOGIC OF EASTER AS RECOGNITION OF JESUS’s DEATH?

The logic of Easter as Jesus’s death and resurrection is erroneous. Recognizing “Good” Friday as Jesus’s death day and Easter Sunday as his day of resurrection needs a high level of make belief if not schizophrenic tendencies. If we were to believe the scriptures and Jesus Christ, then Jesus Christ must be dead for three days and three nights. “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:38-40).

By mathematics, Friday Night to Sunday morning was not, cannot and will not be three days and three nights. It is two nights and one day.

The big question then is: WHICH DAY DID CHRIST DIED?

Christ was actually killed or preferably, crucified at midday on a Wednesday and died by 3 pm that same Wednesday afternoon, the day before the High Sabbath that occurred on Thursday that year when Christ died.

If Jesus died at 3 pm, the day before the Sabbath, yet the day after this Sabbath, the bible said, the women went to get spices and prepared them and then went home and prepared for another upcoming Sabbath. It is obvious that we have two Sabbaths happening in one week and days apart instead of a week apart.

The Passover or High Sabbath was not the regular weekly Saturday Sabbath. 

Indeed, many of us do not know that the Jews had annual Sabbaths. As a matter of fact, two extra annual Sabbaths called High Sabbaths  are observed every year starting at Nissan 14 (March or April) in remembrance of the Exodus of the Israelite from the Egyptians under Moses’s leadership. As a result, there are two Sabbaths every year in a week in March/April.

The High Sabbaths don’t have to be on a Saturday as they are dates not days and can be any day of the week. They are celebrated to recognize the Passover and Israel’s miraculous exodus from Pharaoh’s Egypt.

Recall the Exodus story and the Passover? How Moses had a hard time convincing Pharaoh to let the Israelite go. Jehovah had to kill all first born in Egypt except those whose doors were marked with a Red Cross . Before, the slaughter, the Hebrews who had killed  animals for the last meal in Egypt, use the blood to smear the posts of their houses and the Lord passed over them and none was killed. Exodus 11:4-5. 

Ash Wednesday Passover

Hence the creation of the Passover and the two High Sabbaths which were required to be commemorated annually by the Israelite. Leviticus 23: 5 – 8.

As mentioned, these two holy convocation or High Sabbath sometimes fall in the same week of Easter and sometimes they do not. The year when Christ was killed, the week of Passover and the Feast of the Unleavened Bread (High Sabbath) fell on a Wednesday/Thursday with the next day, Friday evening being the start of the Saturday, normal Sabbath.

SabbathSummarily, the bible mentioned two Sabbaths during the week of Christ’s death. The annual High Sabbath which occurred the Wednesday evening Christ was killed and the weekly Saturday Sabbath, the evening he rose.

Still a bit fuzzy? Let’s use the Gospels as our guide to get a clear idea of the timeline for Christ’s death. By the way, remember that in Christ’s time, a day began at sun set or in the evening. Not at midnight as we now do in the West. So Saturday actually begins Friday evening and ends Saturday evening with Sunday beginning Saturday evening and finishing Sunday evening. Hope that helped.

http://www.eaec.org/bibleanswers/passover-week-two-sabbaths.htm

 

DAY/TIME EVENTS Days/night of death
“Palm”  Sunday
  • Christ rode into Jerusalem town
  • Went into the temple and whipped the money exchangers and turn over their tables. Felony?
  • Called the temple a “den of robbers and thieves”. (Slander?)
  • He healed some sick people and then spent the night in Bethany.  Matthew 21:1-16
0
Monday
  • Spent his time preaching in the temple
  • Spoke parables such as the wicked tenants,
  • Discussed his views on the right to pay taxes
  • Declared that the greatest commandment is that we should love the Lord thy god with all our heart, soul and mind.
  • Curse out the Pharisees.
  • Upon leaving the temple he told the parable of the 10 virgins.
  • Judas went to the authorities. Matthew 21:23-27
0
Tuesday
  • No teaching
  • Back to Jerusalem Matthew 26:17-19
  • Passover meal in the evening, at about 6 pm in Jerusalem.
  • Exposed Judas.
  • After the meal they went to the garden of Gethsemane
  • arrested and brought before the Jews later in the night. Matthew 26:47-56
0
Wednesday
  • Tried and whipped early morning, 9 am Matthew 27:2-50
  • Crucified at midday
  • Dead at 3 pm
  • removed from the cross, wrapped in linen and placed in a tomb before 6 pm.
  • No time to prepare his body for burial as they had to prepare for the Annual Sabbath in a few hours.
  • Annual High Sabbath (Feast of unleavened bread) begins at 6 pm.
First night (6 pm – 6 am)
Thursday
  • Christ is already dead. Luke 23:43-46
  • Annual High Sabbath (Feast of unleavened bread) continued.
  • High Sabbath ends 6 pm
First day (6 am to 6 pm)

Second night (6 pm – 6 am)

“Good” Friday
  • Christ is already dead
  • After the end of the High sabbath Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint the dead. Mark 16:1
  • Spices were prepared in the day on Friday but they had to stop for the Saturday Sabbath was approaching. They intended to come back first thing Sunday morning to anoint the body.
  • The women rested on the Saturday Sabbath day (starting from 6 pm Friday evening). Luke 23:55 – 24:1
Second day (6 am to 6 pm)

Third night (6 pm – 6 am)

Saturday
  • Christ is already dead in the morning
  • Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James continue resting during the Saturday Sabbath until it ended on  Saturday evening at 6 pm)
  • Christ risen around 6 pm, Saturday evening.
Third day

(6 am to 6 pm)

Sunday
  • Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James visit Jesus tomb on the Sunday, first day of the week. 6 am. Matthew 28:1-10
  • Christ already risen from Saturday (6pm)
0

If the gospels are right that Christ fulfilled the prophecy and was dead for three days and three nights, it questions the premise on which Easter is currently associated with Christ’s death on a Friday afternoon.

http://thewayofthemessiah.org/tsp.html

EASTER: GODDESS BUT NOT CHRISTLIKE

Easter, goddess of fertility and queen of heaven, is one of the great deities of all times. It is a pastoral recognition of the Spring Equinox, and although a figment of the imagination, her incarnation is glorified in myths and legends and rites and rituals.

Whether real or imagined, she has influenced our lives in many ways. As a pastoral pagan entity, her followers have done some ignoble things that would make it despicable to associate Easter

First commandment

with righteousness or with followers of Christ.

Spring Equinox worship, Venus planet deification, hot cross buns, bunny rabbits, eggs painting,  and human sacrifices are not really noble and Christlike traits despite the association of Christ’s name to Easter.

Of course, stars and full moon worship at the spring equinox make for great fireside tales but borders on schizophrenia masked with arrogance and power battles when used to influence our lives. This is utter darkness compared with the bright light of righteousness.

In fact, any attempt to turn darkness into light by giving the rituals and practices of Easter acceptability by simply designating the activities as those for Christ, can be dubious if not deceptive. With the fact that Easter precedes Jesus, attempts to continue this make belief that Easter is in recognition of Jesus is fruitless.

Easter or Ishtar is great by herself, and if people

first commandment 2

want to break the first of the ten commandments and worship her, it is okay. We have choices and if we choose to follow a multitude to do wrong: so be it.

The only noble thing is to let Easter and Jesus remain in separate camps so we can clearly without blinkers, see the things that are Caesar’s and the things that are Jesus Christ’s. That is the only way we can render to God the things that are God’s. Yeah. A clear understanding that Easter is now Christianity and that the real reason for the season is a battle between dark and light: Christianity/Easter the dark  vs Jesus Christ teachings, the light.

This year, 2018, Easter falls comfortably and fittingly on April 1 which is very suggestive if not profound. April 1 is All Fool’s Day but try not to be fooled.

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VALENTINE’S DAY AND ASH WEDNESDAY : WHICH IS POISON?

 

VALENTINE’S DAY AND ASH WEDNESDAY

February 14, 2018 is very very special as Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday will be sharing centre stage on that day. Makes for great drama and intrigue. Romance vs Penance. No doubt, Valentine Day and Ash Wednesdays are not jokes and silly notions, however they have set up a climax with Easter Sunday falling on April 1, All Fools’ Day. Hoping no one gets fooled.

Chances are, this is the first time you are experiencing this unusual occurrence as the last time it happened was in 1945. Most of us know February 14 as the day when we deck out our red and white outfits; send poems and buy gifts; express love and romance and of course a lot of sex, lewdness and at times even debauchery.

Well, this year, Ash Wednesday finds itself on February 14 and is threatening to temper this aura of romance with its insistence on penitence, repentance, sadness, and mourning. What a contrast. Imagine mourning and fun and frolicking on the same day. Is this a choice?

Of course, you might be wondering which of the two rituals will win. Which will get more recognition? Valentine’s Day or Ash Wednesday? Will there be romance or penance? Maybe, there could be a draw with no clear winner. A bit of romance and a bit of penance. Hmmm, now that is complicated.

Then again it might not matter which one wins because they both serve the same purpose: they both are agrarian/pastoral attempts to get the favours of the gods to ensure a great Spring and farming. One does it with lewdness and one does it with shrewdness. The winner is the seasons or more simply, nature.

The Origins of Valentine’s Day (February 13 – 15)

(Februarius) February got its name from the thongs (known as februa) cut from the flayed skin of sacrificial male goats and dogs which were killed to favour the agricultural gods during that time of the year. Most of the observances in this month concerned the dead or closure, reflecting the month’s original position at the end of the year. It must be noted that the calendar had February at the end of the year but Julius Caesar decided in 46 BC to move the start of the calendar from the traditionally beginning of March to the beginning of January.

The spring cleansing ritual of Februa (February 13 – 15) involved sacrifices, lewdness and eroticism. It evolved into  the Lupercalia as called by the Romans or Pan as called by the Greeks. The Lupercus (god of the flocks) was nude, save for a goatskin girdle.

Valentine days Lupercalia
Lupercus, god of the flocks and , forerunner to Valentine’s Day

At the Lupercal altar, a male goat (or goats) and a dog were sacrificed under the supervision of the  chief priest. Goats and dogs were chosen as they are animals remarkable for their strong sexual instinct, and thus most appropriate sacrifices to the god of fertility.

An offering was also made of salted mealcakes, prepared by the vestal virgins. After the blood sacrifice, two Luperci (priests) approached the altar. Their foreheads were anointed with blood from the sacrificial knife, then wiped clean with wool soaked in milk, after which they were expected to smile and/or laugh. (Red and White on February 14?).

The sacrificial feast followed, after which the Luperci cut thongs (known as februa) from the flayed skin of the victim, and ran with these, naked or near-naked, up and down through the streets, for sport and laughter striking those they meet with shaggy thongs. Many women purposely get in their way, hoping to be struck, believing that the if they are pregnant it would help with delivery and if they were are barren they would get pregnant. (Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday?).

The rituals also included a matchmaking kind of pixie draw, in which young men drew the names of women from a jar. The couple would then have sex for the duration of the festival — or longer, if the match was right.

Note that the Lupercali festivals and worship were practiced before the birth and death of Christ and was quite acceptable among the common folks and gentry. However, it was considered abominable by Jehovah and the Jews. With the conversion of Rome to Christianity in AD 326, attempts were made to “reposition” the idol worships of the ancient fathers into a frame of mind that would be palatable and more becoming for purists and folks who were “trying to serve Jehovah”.

Fortunately, by coincident or design, a priest named St. Valentine, was imprisoned by the emperor of Rome, Claudius II for assisting persecuted Christians and secretly marrying Christian couples in love. As the story goes, during Valentine’s imprisonment he tried converting Claudius to Christianity. Claudius became enraged and ordered Valentine to reject his faith or be killed. He refused to forsake his faith, so Valentine was beheaded  on February 14.

The story also included an account that happened during Valentine’s imprisonment after he tutored a girl named Julia, the blind daughter of his jailer. The legend states God restored Julia’s sight after she and Valentine prayed together. On the eve of his execution, Valentine supposedly penned a note to Julia and signed it, “From your Valentine.”

The Catholic Church declared him a saint and listed him in Roman Martyrology as being martyred on February 14. In the late 5th century A.D., Pope Gelasius I eliminated the pagan celebration of Lupercalia and declared February 14 a day to celebrate the martyrdom of Saint Valentine.

Interestingly, many of the traditions of Februa and Lupercalia were usurped or continued under the banner of Valentine’s Day. As mentioned, use of red represented the blood sacrifice during Lupercalia and the color white signified the milk used to wipe the blood clean and represents new life and procreation. The sex, promiscuity and romance were done to enhance fertility.

As seen, the rebranding of February 14 and Lupercalia worship as Valentine’s Day is an easier sell to get converts. Today’s discerning population will prefer to buy a product packaged with a chubby priest  than the use of that horrible looking half naked man dressed in goat clothing. Of course, we know an apple called by any other name is still an apple.

Such is the story of Valentine’s Day origin. Let’s look at the seemingly contradictory approach to fertility, called Ash Wednesday, that suggests penance and abstinence.

ttp://www.history.com/topics/lupercaliaSAINT VALENTINE

The Origins of Ash Wednesday

The worship of Lent is a fore runner to Ash Wednesday.  Similar to how Lupercalia became Valentine’s Day. The term Lent is a shortened form of Lenten, which derives from the Old English term lencten, which means spring.  This word is from the Old English root word lang which means long.  Lent thus refers to the Spring because it is the season when the days begin to lengthen.

In biblical times, Lent was a period of penance and abstinence for forty (40) days to mourn the death of Tammuz (a day for each year of his life as he was killed at age 40). At the end of the mourning, on a Sunday near the Spring Equinox,  Tammuz would come back to life and the agriculture would flourish and the animals fertile. The 40 day mourning and penance had to end on the Sunday after the first full moon after March 21 to coincide with the worship of Easter, the goddess of fertility.

Ash Wednesday Tammuz
Tammuz, god of fertility embodying the powers for new life in nature in the spring. (is that a cross?)

You may be curious as to who was Tammuz. As we will soon realize, man also made gods in his own image and likeness. Tammuz, the god of fertility, was one such god. He was paraded as the immaculate conceived son of a great woman called Semiramis who, some legend has it, later became the Queen of Heaven,  Easter or Ashtoreth as Isaiah and Ezekiel called her. (see below for more information on this mother/child relationship).

Lent was accepted into the beliefs of the Catholic Church at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. The council also settled upon the 40-day fast period as the standard length to celebrate Lent.  During this time period Constantine’s (emperor of Rome) goal was to combine pagans and Christians into a peaceable unit within the Roman kingdom.

In 601, Pope Gregory moved the beginning of Lent from the fourth Sunday of the year to Ash Wednesday, 46 days before Easter. This changed allowed for 40 days of fasting with six Sundays counted as feast days, for a total of 46 days for Lent.

http://www.bibleinfo.com/en/questions/ash-wednesday-bible

The interesting thing about Lent or Ash Wednesday is that it is attached to Easter. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, is determined after the date of Easter has been designated. Easter begins on the Friday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox, which is March 21. By ecclesiastical rules, which fixes the date of the equinox to March 21, the earliest possible date for Easter is March 22 and the latest possible is April 25.

Accordingly, Ash Wednesday can be as earl y as February 4 and as late as March 11. It all depends on when the moon fulls after March 21 and counting backwards for 46 days from Easter Sunday to determine the beginning of Lent. 

Wait a minute. I am sure if you were brought up in a nice Christian home like I did, you will be getting a bit puzzled now. What does the full moon, and beginning of Spring (March 21) got to do with Lent and Easter? The answer is everything. They both depends on the full moon after the spring equinox.

To fully appreciate the origins of Lent and Easter we must look back at where it all started. Thousands of years ago, man was very dependent on nature and its predictable yet uncertain behaviour. They quickly realized that the Sun, Moon and stars had a far-reaching impact and influence on harvests and live stocks.

As reasonable folks or better yet, as shrewd folks, they tried to give reverence and recognition to this profound fact. Common sense would dictate that the reverence be given to the Creator of the sun and moon but guess what, so far, no one has seen the maker of the sun and moon.

So man, being as creative as he is, decided to make gods in his own image, likeness and understanding. A god for everything of great importance. The sun was called the god of life and the moon was the goddess of fertility. Venus and Cupid took care of Love and Thor took care of war. You get the drift.

The greatest thing about this multi theism was that these gods were not jealous of each other. Each had his or her own affair and actually worked together. (Contrast this with Jehovah who is said to be so Jealous that he is biased and prejudiced in that he will destroy those who serve other gods and take care of those who serve him).

Sentiments aside, let’s look at how the myths and legends explain the rituals and practices surrounding the worshipping of Lent and Easter.

According to the original and genuine Easter story, Ashtoreth/Easter (the goddess of fertility) was worshipped as the provider and re-starter of all life at Spring (March 21). She is also believed to be the deification of the infamous Semiramis,  the wife of Nimrod, of bible fame. Recall the tower of babel great hunter. We learnt about him at Sunday School and how he was against Jehovah.

It is unclear how Nimrod died as in in the Book of Jasher it is said that Esau, son of Isaac) killed him; while Josephus states that Shem, the son of Noah, killed nimrod. However, after his death, Nimrod body ascended into the heavens and became the sun god himself. A bit horrifying but here comes the romantic part. Nimrod, the sun god, became rays of light and implanted his seed into his wife, Semiramis now a widow, and impregnate her. (Virgin mother and child?).   Ash Wednesday semiramis.tammuz

The myth further stated that the child  was called Tammuz , son of the sun god. He was responsible for bringing light into the world and to fight darkness. Can you guess when Tammuz was born? If you said at the Winter Solstice (December 22 – 25) you are correct. For those steeped in religious studies, you will recall that Invictus Sol (the unconquerable sun) was born on the shortest day of the year or the Saturnalia (December 22 -25) and we worship him today every December 25. That is Tammuz. Some customs called him Baal, or Mithra and more recently Jesus Christ, to legitimize its worship. Again, an apple by any other name is still an apple. Click here to See my blog on December 25 worship

The myth climaxed with the idea that Tammuz, at age 40, went hunting and was killed by a boar (hog, pig..same thing….how fitting). In order to bring back her son (Tammuz) to life an elaborate scheme was devised. The idea required forty (40) days of mourning for Tammuz (a day for each year of his life). At the end of 40 day mourning, Tammuz returns to life on the Sunday after the first full moon after March 21. Abstinence from meat, self and lust was the order of the day for the 40 days of Lent. At the end of Lent, a boar is killed and ham is eaten. Sweet revenge on the pig that killed Tammuz.

As the myth would have it, Tammuz mother, Semiramis died and the gods looked favorably on her as she was the mother of the son of the sun god. She was sent back to earth as the Spring fertility goddess, Ashtoreth/Easter, always shown as a well endowed bare breasted  queen of fertility. According to the myth, she emerged from a giant egg that landed in the Euphrates river at sunrise on the Sunday after the full moon after the Spring equinox.

Semiramis, the queen of heaven, was “born again” as the goddess Easter (Ashtarte). To prove her divine authority, Semiramis, now Ashtoreth/Easter, changed a bird into an egg laying rabbit. Decorated eggs and stories about rabbits are still part of today’s Easter ritual.

Easter Ishtar

As the cult of Ishtar developed, the priests would impregnate young virgins on the altar of the goddess of fertility at sunrise on Easter Sunday. A year later the priests of Easter would sacrifice these three-month old babies on the altar at the front of the sanctuary and dye Easter eggs in the blood of the sacrificed infants.

You must be saying wow. You knew Easter was bloody but it was suppose to be the blood of Jesus, that was shed to save the sins of the world.

Indeed, Christians are quick and proud to recognized Good Friday and Easter Sunday as Christ’s death and resurrection day. It is with good intentions that they do such acts of passion but the evidence show that the crucifixion of Christ was only attached to Easter, 300 years after Christ died. Furthermore, the math and prophecies suggest that a Friday death and Sunday resurrection would not fit in with the “three days and three nights” requirement for the Christ to be dead and then resurrected. (Friday evening to Sunday morning is one day and two nights).

Interestingly, it should be noted that the new testament even mention Easter by name and being around at the time of Christ and the Peter the disciple. Acts 12: 4 state that And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. (Seems the Romans were already worhsipping Easter). 

So the true meaning of Easter Sunday is originally for the day Tammuz was resurrected and neatly too the day when his mother, Semiramis, was returned to earth as Ashtoreth/Easter/Ishtar the goddess of fertility.

The major contention that many people have with the Friday and Sunday idea of Christ’s death and resurrection has to do with the fact that the Gospels mentioned Christ as being killed the day before the Sabbath. Of course we all know that Friday is the day before the weekly Saturday Sabbath. However, most elementary school students will let you know that if Christ was killed on “Good Friday” evening and raised from the dead on Easter Sunday morning, he would be lying or his math poor as this is only one day and two nights.

Why is this contentious? Well, if we are to believe the scriptures and Christ, then Christ must be dead for three days and three nights. “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:38-40).

WHICH DAY DID CHRIST DIED?

If according to the “new” Easter story Christ died on a Friday and raised on a Sunday then we have a problem. Are the gospels wrong? The answer is no. Christ was actually killed on a Wednesday, the day before a Sabbath but it was not the regular weekly Saturday Sabbath. Many of us do not know that the Jews had annual Sabbaths. As a matter of fact, two extra Sabbaths called High Sabbaths  are observed every year in Nissan 14 (March or April). As a result, there are two Sabbaths every year in March/April.

These High Sabbaths don’t have to be on a Saturday as they are dates not days. They are celebrated to recognize the Passover and Israel’s miraculous exodus from Pharaoh’s Egypt.

Recall the Exodus story and the Passover? Well, before I graduated from Sunday School, I was taught the Passover story of how Moses got the Hebrew people out of the land of Egypt after being enslaved for years. Of course, the Hebrews were only set free after  Jehovah killed all first born in Egypt. During the slaughter, the Hebrews who had killed  animals for the last meal in Egypt, use the blood to smear the posts of their houses and the Lord passed over them and none was killed. Exodus 11:4-5. 

Ash Wednesday Passover

Hence the creation of the Passover and the two High Sabbaths which were required to be commemorated annually by the Israelite.   Leviticus 23:5-8In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is Yahweh’s Passover. 6 ‘Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to Yahweh; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. 7 ‘On the first day of the 7 days you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work.'”

As mentioned, these two holy convocation or High Sabbath sometimes fall in the same week of Easter and sometimes they are not. The year when Christ was killed, the week of Passover and the Feast of the Unleavened bread fell in Easter week, Wednesday (High Sabbath) and on Saturday, normal Sabbath.

For example, this year Passover 2018 will begin in the evening of Friday, 30 March and ends in the evening of Saturday, 7 April. As such this year we will see two Sabbaths in one.  The High Sabbath and the weekly Saturday Sabbath will both occur on Friday evening March 30, to Saturday evening March 31. On the other hand Easter is Sunday April 1. Noticed how Easter is always a Sunday while the High Sabbath and Passover can be week days or even the Saturday Sabbath.

Summarily, the bible mentioned two Sabbaths during the week of Christ’s death. The annual High Sabbath which occurred the Wednesday Christ was killed and the weekly Saturday Sabbath, the evening he rose.

Still a bit fuzzy? Let’s use the Gospels as our guide to get a clear idea of the timeline for Christ’s death.

http://www.eaec.org/bibleanswers/passover-week-two-sabbaths.htm

 

DAY/TIME EVENTS Days/night of death
Palm Sunday
  • Christ rode into Jerusalem town
  • Went into the temple and whipped the money exchangers and turn over their tables. Felony?
  • Called the temple a “den of robbers and thieves”.
  • He healed some sick people and then spent the night in Bethany.  Matthew 21:1-16
0
Monday
  • Spent his time preaching in the temple
  • Spoke parables such as the wicked tenants,
  • Discussed his views on the right to pay taxes
  • Declared that the greatest commandment is that we should love the Lord thy god with all our heart, soul and mind.
  • Curse out the Pharisees.
  • Upon leaving the temple he told the parable of the 10 virgins.
  • Judas went to the authorities. Matthew 21:23-27
0
Tuesday
  • No teaching
  • Back to Jerusalem Matthew 26:17-19
  • Passover meal in the evening, at about 6 pm in Jerusalem.
  • Exposed Judas.
  • After the meal they went to the garden of Gethsemane
  • arrested and brought before the Jews later in the night. Matthew 26:47-56
0
Wednesday
  • Passover ends at 6 am
  • Tried and whipped early morning, 9 am Matthew 27:2-50
  • Crucified at midday
  • Dead at 3 pm
  • removed from the cross, wrapped in linen and placed in a tomb before 6 pm.
  • No time to prepare his body for burial as they had to prepare for the Annual Sabbath in a few hours.
  • Annual High Sabbath (Feast of unleavened bread) begins at 6 pm.
First night (6 pm – 6 am)
Thursday
  • Christ is already dead. Luke 23:43-46
  • Annual High Sabbath (Feast of unleavened bread) continued.
  • High Sabbath ends 6 pm
First day (6 am to 6 pm)

Second night (6 pm – 6 am)

Friday
  • Christ is already dead
  • After the end of the High sabbath Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint the dead. Mark 16:1
  • Spices were prepared in the day on Friday but they had to stop for the Saturday Sabbath was approaching. They intended to come back first thing Sunday morning to anoint the body.
  • The women rested on the Saturday Sabbath day (starting from 6 pm Friday evening). Luke 23:55 – 24:1
Second day (6 am to 6 pm)

Third night (6 pm – 6 am)

Saturday
  • Christ is already dead in the morning
  • Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James continue resting during the Saturday Sabbath until it ended on  Saturday evening at 6 pm)
  • Christ risen around 6 pm, Saturday evening.
Third day

(6 am to 6 pm)

Sunday
  • Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James visit Jesus tomb on the Sunday, first day of the week. . 6 am. Matthew 28:1-10
  • Christ already risen from Saturday (6pm)
0

Note that the Jewish day starts and ends at six o’clock in the evening, while our day starts and ends at midnight,

If the gospels are right that Christ fulfilled the prophecy and was dead for three days and three nights it questions the premise on which Easter is currently associated with Christ’s death.

http://thewayofthemessiah.org/tsp.html

For the fun of it, let’s take a quick look at Easter, as it was in the time of the prophets such as Isaiah and Ezekiel, thousands of years before Jesus Christ was born. Yeah,as we noted, Easter was around long before Christ was even born. Ashtoreth/Easter is mentioned in the old testament and in every instance that Easter is mentioned, Jehovah, the god of the Hebrews/Isrealites is pretty much annoyed, and in vengeance mode. A top flight Jamaican DJ, Bounti Killer, would say.. “cross, angry and miserable”.

Ezek 8:14 Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. (Lent) 

2 Ki 23:13 And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile.

1 Kings 11:5-6. He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites.  So Solomon did evil in the eyes of Yahweh; he did not follow Yahweh completely, as David his father had done.

1 Kings 11:33. I will do this (split the nation) because they have forsaken me and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians…., , and have not walked in my ways, nor done what is right in my eyes, nor kept my statutes and laws as David, Solomon’s father did.

So the people of Israel removed the Baals and images of Ashtoreth. They served only Yahuwah.  (1 Samuel 7:3,4)

These “images” are referring to the idols and statues of Ishtar, the fertility goddess of the Philistines, who is depicted with large, bare breasts.  (Some say she is now the  Statue of Liberty).

CONCLUSION

Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday have both been dear to our hearts for years. The romance associated with Valentine’s Day has allowed us to express love in many ways. The penance shown during Lent starting at Ash Wednesday, reminds us of our mortality and dependence on nature.

History, however is muddling this rosy picture of Valentine’s Day and is suggesting that Valentine’s Day is a mere continuation of Lupercalia, an ancient agrarian erotic fertility festival that was held near the Ides of February (February 13-15). The festival involved shedding the blood of a sacrificial goat and then dipping a piece of its skin in its blood after which it was used to smear the priests and then wiped clean with milk. (Is this the red and white).

Ash Wednesday has not escaped the glare of history. Many myths and legends suggest that Lent was also an ancient pagan festival devoted to Tammuz, the god of fertility who was the son of the infamous Semiramis who became Easter, on the Sunday after the full moon at the Spring Equinox. . The horrifying stories of three month old children being killed to appease these gods at Easter  might make Satan blush. Then again, they might just be his proxies.

With this in mind, it seems that although both Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday have served us well and seems to be good for us, they can be poisonous. Hmmm, Poisoning. Poison, but you are good for me?

Can’t resist the temptation to share a song done by my daughter, Aneil, called Poison. It’s quite befitting for Valentine’s Day. It tells of a heart that is being motivated and being made special albeit by something that is already “owned”. This dilemma is profound as it provides the choice of running away or staying and fighting and ruling the world with it. Seems, it can be poisoning but also good for you. Verse 1 lyrics are below. Please watch the video on YouTube by clicking here… ANEIL – POISON (Official Lyrics Video)

Poison

Verse 1

Aneil Poison You tube video artwork small version for yt
Aneil – Poison. Official lyric videos

Your love is poison
But oh baby I want it
And oh baby I’m ‘on it’ (ye ey ey ey ey)

Ya take my mind on a roadtrip
My mind can’t behold it
All the tantalizing things that you say

You do for me what sanity won’t
And that is to be your only girl
In reality it’s so wrong
Because you are already ‘owned’
Your love’s like that drug; can’t get enough
ECG shows my heart all over the charts

(Cho.)
You make me wanna ru-u-un, sta-a-ay, fight and rule the world (x2) with you
You’re poisoning
You’re poison, but you good for me

Do check out the song on YouTube by clicking on the Poison logo.

Maybe, this February 14, we can make it special with love and penance by sharing our time and resources with the less fortunate. That is godly and requires no ritual such as those on Valentine or Ash Wednesday. Just natural out-flowing love and sorrow that should be shown 365 days a year and 366 days in a leap year. Oh what a lovely world it would be.

OUTLAWING POVERTY: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE!

Being poor is not nice, is inhumane and it should be a crime, illegal and punishable at law. Yet, poverty is such a part of our society that we take it for a given. It is institutionalized and common place. Actually, being poor, for some, is so much a lot in life that many have resigned themselves to being poor. Adding to this resignation, is the fact that poverty can create a vicious cycle of persistent poverty. Indeed, poverty is so ingrained in the society that sociologists even have measurement for it. First class, second class and third class “poverty”.

Sadly, many people benefit from the existence of poverty as many great nations are built and structured with poverty as a main stay feature. Then again, some people are afraid that if the poor is no longer poor it might affect the current status quo. Others also find that when there are poor people around, they feel motivated because they can say they are better than “them”. Yes, for some the existence of the poor makes them feel adequate and fulfilled?  Some even believe that if there are no poor people the world would be in disarray?

So it begs questions: “Do we really want to see a change where poverty is discredited and everyone is living like “human beings?”

POVERTY: TO BE OR NOT TO BE

Ben Carson believed that Poverty is also a “state of mind”. 

Is poverty really a state of mind as suggested by Ben Carson, who believed that people with the wrong mind-set, will be poor. According to Ben, “you can give them everything in the world — they’ll work their way right back down to the bottom.” He added that helping people may not better their lives.

Interestingly, Mr. Carson then credited his mother for helping him focus on his education and rise out of poverty.  “If everybody had a mother like mine, nobody would be in poverty,” This aspect of Mr. Carson’s speech has not been underscored. WITHOUT ASSISTANCE HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN A BUM.

Then again, is it that the poor is a part of life and will always be with us as implied by Jesus Christ and as such it is fruitless to try and eradicate poverty? Matthew 26:11, The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have Me. We must however hastily add that Jesus did suggest a fix for poverty when he advised his disciples  to “Sell your possessions and give to the poor” (Luke 12:33).

Unlike Mr. Carson, many people such as Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro believed poverty was “created” and is real. Folks such as Marx and Lenin believed poverty is real and blamed Capitalism and market economies as the main contributor to poverty.

WHAT IS POVERTY AND ITS CAUSES?

Everyone knows poverty. You are either in poverty or trying to keep out of poverty. However,  the United Nations definition: “Fundamentally, poverty is the inability of having choices and opportunities, a violation of human dignity. It means lack of basic capacity to participate effectively in society. It means not having enough to feed and clothe a family, not having a school or clinic to go to, not having the land on which to grow one’s food or a job to earn one’s living, not having access to credit. It means insecurity, powerlessness and exclusion of individuals, households and communities. It means susceptibility to violence, and it often implies living in marginal or fragile environments, without access to clean water or sanitation”.

Image result for castro quote on povertyThe causes of poverty have been cited to include the inability of poor households to invest in property and education; limited access to credit; production of more poverty via inherited poverty and discrimination.

War and violence due to politics, religion or commerce are also some of the primary causes of poverty. Unemployment also contributes. 

How could we leave out Colonialism and slavery. Emancipation in 1838 saw the Blacks having their feet unshackled but their minds fettered. After years of forced labour, Blacks were set free with only their brawn and brain as their sole worldly possessions. Contrast the lot of the Africans vs their brothers, Whites, Indians and Chinese who all came over as free men and are the owners of the main factors of production.

OUTLAWING POVERTY

Image result for castro quote on poverty

Misanthropy is not a commonly used word but unfortunately its meaning is common among people, race,class and creed.  Having bad will towards fellow human beings is unmistakably and sadly prevalent in today’s society. Even the blind can see that with the level of knowledge, development and resource in the world there is no excuse for poverty. Yet poverty abound amidst much wealth.

Maybe the time has come for us to think about outlawing poverty. Poverty should become persona non grata. Government would put in the relevant structures, resources and policies to ensure that poverty is eradicated. Education and schools would be used to kill ignorance while tolerance, goodwill and understanding will be used to convert misanthropy into philanthropy.

Seriously, for just a moment, imagine if there was a law that made it illegal to be poor. Each person in poverty would be arrested along with the heads of government for the town or community in which the poor was found. In other words, if a person is found living in poverty, he or she would first be determined for fitness and if found fit then to the penitentiary at hard labour. The respective members of parliament or congress men would also be taken through the same process.  If the reason for the poverty is government oriented then the politician would be arrested.

Mark Zuckerberg
May 25, 2017. Mark Zuckerberg,  receives honorary degree from Harvard, his former university, 13 years after he famously dropped out to start Facebook. 

On a more palatable note, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is also concerned about curbing poverty but is calling for a universal basic income to boost personal potential and build economic growth. He is touting the idea of a universal basic income – where the government unconditionally pays all citizens a small amount of money to cover basic needs and to cushion them to try new things.”

Supporters of a universal basic income argue that people might decide to acquire more education or change their career, to make themselves more attractive to the labour market. Others might start a business. Finland and a few other countries are experimenting with the idea.

However, there is always the chance that it could be used as an excuse to work as little as possible and as such poverty should be outlawed.

IMPLICATIONS OF OUTLAWING POVERTY

One of the first implications of outlawing poverty is the need for a Paradigm shift in terms of our values and measurement of success. The usual “guns vs butter” economical decision will need revisiting and maybe empowerment could be the key motivator.

Full employment of human resources, and an educated and healthy nation supported by government could lead to the development of more innovation and technology. For example, Zuckerman admitted   “If I had to support my family growing up instead of having time to code, I wouldn’t be standing here today” (as a billionaire and owner of Facebook).

Of course there are some scary and unsettling implications for the outlawing of poverty. Just the thought of eliminating poverty by outlawing it, is a careless reckless idea conjured only by people smoking Champagne and drinking Havana cigars. There are no guarantees that crime and violence, diseases, and inhumane living conditions would be drastically reduced if poverty is outlawed.

Furthermore, being rich is motivational and who doesn’t want to be rich? Think of the displacement it could cause a few rich folks. (According to the 80/20 rule, 80% of the wealth of the world is owned by 20% of the population.) Wouldn’t this border on communism and authoritarian rule. Many will point out that it will even create a military police state which will deprive citizens of basic human rights and democratic freedom. Cuba is seen as an example.

Advocates of capitalism will let you know,that any attempt to interfere with the market structure will result in inefficiencies and bureaucracy. Of course, Cuba’s trump card would include the inequalities, inefficiencies and human rights violations that are traits and characteristic of capitalism and imperialism.

CONCLUSION

Ben Carson feels that poverty can be a state of mind and this is true. There are instances where the individual level of intrinsic or extrinsic motivation can help determine a life of poverty or wealth. Some misled folks also believe that some races are by characteristic lazy and not enterprising. Fortunately, we need not pay attention to such poppycock as the evidence shows that there are bums in all races. What is real is that poverty is an institution created by man and anything that man created can be destroyed. So far Apartheid and Slavery have been toppled and any effort to discredit and remove poverty should be welcomed.

Of course, outlawing poverty may see changes in the existing status quo and might require a paradigm shift. There will definitely be winners and losers to an extent but the glory will go towards humanity. There are no guarantees that a poverty free world will eliminate crime, violence and injustice but just imagine. Indeed, we may just be changing the types of crimes and ills but why stick to the evil we know  when we can venture into a new and exciting world.  Just imagine such nonsense. Poverty is illegal.

 

Clifton Neil is a university lecturer in marketing and a lover of history and literature. Contact – cneil@wordfoodmusic.com. Twitter. @cliftongneil

 

 

DECEMBER 22 – 25: THE DEATH AND BIRTH OF THE UNCONQUERED SUN

 

SOL INVICTUS – THE UNCONQUERED SUN 

The Sun will “die” at midnight on December 21, but don’t panic, it will “rebirth” on midnight December 24. This occurs at the beginning of Winter every year for the past 4.6 billion years. It is called the Winter Solstice, “sun stood still”, and is considered the shortest day in the year in terms of hours of sunlight. It is a three-day period when the hours of daylight are at its shortest and the hours of night (darkness) are at its longest. Noticeably, the sun progressively sets earlier each evening after June 22 (The Summer Solstice – longest hours of sunlight) and night fall comes the earliest on December 21. Hence daylight savings time put our clock one hour back to make up for the shorter hours of day light.

 

Needless to say, the Sun is vital to our life here on earth and is one of the most important star in our world. It is the nearest star to Earth and is believed to be formed 4.6 billion years ago.  It is the most important source of energy for life on Earth and its diameter is about 109 times that of Earth, with mass about 330,000 times that of Earth. The sun accounts for about 99.86% of the total mass of the Solar System and is so large that about 1,300,000 planet Earths can fit inside of it. Awesome. WOW. (Worthy of Worshipping?)

WORSHIPPING THE SUN

Well, our ancestors did just that more than 9000 years ago and it is still being done today. The ancients selected December 21, the Winter Solstice as the ideal time to invoke the sun. Maybe if you were living in the north pole and had long, dark harsh winters to deal with you might want to invoke the sun too.

In the solar myth, the death of the “old sun” occurs as the length of daylight decreases and bImage result for invictus sol unconquerable sunecomes its lowest at the Winter Solstice which begins on the midnight of December 21 (early morning December 22) and ends on Midnight December 24 (early morning December 25). The sun stop moving south on December 22, it is then at its lowest point in the Northern Hemisphere, residing in the vicinity of the Southern Cross. It stays at this lowest point for three days (December 22, 23, 24 appearing to not moving south or north and was considered “dead”

It “returned to life” at midnight on December 24/ early morning December 25, when it begins its northern journey again and the hours of sunlight start to lengthen. Therefore, the ancient said that the SUN was born on December 25. As a result, mistletoes, holly, wreaths, cakes, gifts, greeting cards and feasts were done to honour Sol or Mithra or Saturnalia as the case may be.

Interestingly, on December 24, Sirius (star in the east and brightest star in the night sky) aligns with the three brightest Orion belt stars called the Three Kings, (Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka) and on December 25, these all point to the location where the sun will rise on earth that day. In essence, the three kings follow the star in the east to find the sunrise (birth of the sun).

Image result for unconquerable sunSolar deities and Sun worship can be found throughout most of recorded history in various forms, including the Egyptian Ra, Mithra in Persia, Apollo the Romans, Isis the Hindu Surya, the Japanes Amaterasu, the GermanicSol, and the Aztec Tonatiuh, and controversially, more recent, Jesus in “Christianity”.

DECEMBER 25: BIRTHDAY OF THE SUN OR SON?

As a Baptist, I grew up with the belief that December 25 is the birthdate of Jesus Christ and as such we worship and acknowledge it as Christmas. Indeed, Christmas is big— very big. The entire Island of Jamaica comes to a virtual standstill. Schools and colleges are closed; businesses shut down to give their employees time off; many families plan trips and get-togethers; Church attendance increase; and gifts are given by even those who were scrooge all year long. Maybe you recall, the Christmas Carol that even erroneously say “ Long time ago in Bethlehem, so the Holy Bible said, Mary’s boy child Jesus Christ, was born on Christmas Day”
However, recall all these activities were already being done in Rome, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Egypt to acknowledge and worship the birth day of Sol Invicta  (the Unconquered Sun) up to 4000 years before Jesus Christ was born. It then begs the question, whose birthday are we celebrating on December 25? Does Jesus the SON share the birthday with the SUN?

WHEN WAS CHRIST BORN? LATE SEPTEMBER?

There is no definitive proof of Jesus’s birthdate but there are clues about when he was or wasn’t born.

First, we know that shepherds were in the fields at night watching their flocks at the time of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:7-8). According to Celebrations: The Complete Book of American Holidays , Luke’s account “suggests that Jesus may have been born in summer or early fall. Since December is cold and rainy in Judea, it is likely the shepherds would have sought shelter for their flocks at night”.

Second, Jesus’ parents came to Bethlehem to register in a Roman census (Luke 2:1-4). Such censuses were not taken in winter, when temperatures often dropped below freezing and roads were in poor condition and would be self-defeating.

Also, the conception and birth of John the Baptist gives an idea since Elizabeth (John’s mother) was in her sixth month of pregnancy when Jesus was conceived (Luke 1:24-36). From this we can determine the approximate time of year Jesus was born if we know when John was born. John’s father, Zacharias, was a priest serving in the Jerusalem temple during the course of Abijah (Luke 1:5). Historical calculations indicate this course of service corresponded to June 13-19 in that year ( The Companion Bible , 1974, Appendix 179, p. 200).

It was during this time of temple service that Zacharias learned that he and his wife, Elizabeth, would have a child (Luke 1:8-13). After he completed his service and traveled home, Elizabeth conceived (Luke 1:23-24). Assuming John’s conception took place near the end of June, adding nine months brings us to the end of March as the most likely time for John’s birth. Adding another six months (the difference in ages between John and Jesus (Luke 1:35-36)) brings us to the end of September as the likely time of Jesus’ birth.

HOW DID THE BIRTH OF THE SUN CHANGED TO SON?

According to scriptures, Jesus Christ was whipped, spat upon, publicly dishonored then killed by the Church (Caiaphas the high priest) and the State (Pilate the Roman governor). After JesImage result for invictus sol unconquerable sunus’s death, his followers had to go “underground” as they too were meeting the same or worse fate than Christ. These “Followers of Christ” (not Christians as Christianity wasn’t start as yet) were stripped and flogged with whips, stoned to death, and persecuted.

Yet, despite the persecution, the “Followers of Jesus” went underground and their church started to flourish and soon became a major concern to the Roman government. They were blamed for spreading “mischief” that Jesus Christ was king and lord, and was crucified to save our souls. Followers of Christ were also accused of destabilizing the economy and threatening civil war.

Constantine I. R. 306-337. Constantine was the 1st Christian emperor. Constantine decided to establish a new Eastern capital representing the integration of the east into the Roman Empire as a whole. He settled on the Greek city of Byzantium, located in strategic spot. The residents spontaneously decided to rename the city Constantinople. Relics of the True Cross & the Rod of Moses protected the city. The Church of the Holy Apostles was built over a temple to Aphrodite. It was the “New…
Constantine I.R. 306 -337. The first Christian emperor.

To stop the possibility of civil war and at the same time keep the existing pagan occult worships, Constantine, in AD 326 at the Council of Nicaea, “married” Christ like sentiments (name and life story) with that of Rome’s mysticism and called it Christianity. This new “Christianity” became the official religion of Rome and the SUN was replaced by the SON with Isis and Osiris became Mary and Jesus. December 25 was then decreed as Jesus birthday with the Spring Equinox full moon in March/April designate as his death day. In short, today’s Christianity is an unholy marriage of Roman Idolatry and Christ sentiments designed by Constantine to maintain religious and political if not economical order and harmony in the empire.

KEEP THE SON OUT OF THE SUN

Sol Invictus (Unconquered Sun) is a very important star in our solar system without a doubt. As the main source of energy, we can understand the need to recognize it and maybe even glorify its daily presence in our lives. Many people deliberately and some unwittingly  worship and glorify the SUN between December 21 – 25 to show appreciation. Unfortunately Jehovah is a very jealous god and considered Sun worship as an abomination 4000 years prior to the birth of Christ.

It now begs the question:  is the Son of God the same as the Sun of God? Is it now okay to use the same day to celebrate our Messiah’s Birth and the Sun’s birth bearing in mind the Scriptures do not sanction birthday celebration of any kind and Christ wasn’t born in December in any event?

According to a friend of mine, “December 25 is the most wonderful time of the year.  It’s okay if we buy gifts and put up Christmas Trees. Furthermore, the Lord will understand that “disobeying” and having festivities on December 25 is not in honour of the SUN, as pagans do, but is for his SON Jesus which is the reason for the season”. I smiled as I reminded myself that December 25 is the “silly season”.

HOW TO GET TO HEAVEN SMARTLY

HOW TO GET TO HEAVEN SMARTLY

Do you believe in heaven? Do you want to get there? Will going to church, tithing, praying, fasting and calling upon the Lord’s name get you to heaven?

Of course it depends on what you call heaven. Is it a place where God dwells or do you see it as a place or state of peace and harmony in body or mind, right here on earth?

The fact is that many people, captors and captives alike, see heaven as a place to be but  how to get there has been a big debate resulting in many isms and schisms, religions, politics, commercial pursuits and even genocide.  Many a books have been written about it but this weekend I found out how we can all get to heaven smartly. No joke.

how-to-get-to-heaven-image-cartoon-blog-version

I can assure you it doesn’t require yoga, nor therapy, or religious creeds or any obsessions. It doesn’t matter your creed, religion, political views and or no views. No science nor chemical formulas and equations are needed. It does however require an element of selflessness and a love for self and others.

WHO CAN BE IN  HEAVEN

Anyone, race, class or creed, can experience heaven but the requirements to get in make it difficult and restrict heaven to a selected few. Indeed, many will be called but few chosen. To make this worse, the normalcy of our abnormal lives make us fit somewhere among the inadmissible to heaven.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 states: Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. Do the maths and you will noticed that only a few people will be qualified for heaven, on earth or in the sky.

To make it more intriguing, it is possible that even if we are none of the above we are still not guaranteed a space in heaven.Seriously now? Yeah, serious as a sun without heat.

As Proverbs 16:25 reads, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death”  and “No one is good – except God alone” (Mark 10:18. So it is possible our understanding could send us to doom.

how-to-get-to-heaven-image-2Also, check out this verse in the bible about heaven and who will be let into the kingdom, according to Jesus Christ.

Mat. 25:34 – 46 “Then I, the King, shall say to those at my right, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, into the Kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world.  For I was hungry and you fed me; I was thirsty and you gave me water; I was a stranger and you invited me into your homes; naked and you clothed me; sick and in prison, and you visited me.’ “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Sir, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you anything to drink? Or a stranger, and help you? Or naked, and clothe you? When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’ “And I, the King, will tell them, ‘When you did it to these my brothers you were doing it to me!’

Then I will turn to those on my left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry and you wouldn’t feed me; thirsty, and you wouldn’t give me anything to drink; a stranger, and you refused me hospitality; naked, and you wouldn’t clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you didn’t visit me. “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’ “And I will answer, ‘When you refused to help the least of these my brothers, you were refusing help to me.’ “And they shall go away into eternal punishment; but the righteous into everlasting life.”

Read that again. This is a very important thing to note: it does appear that if we go to church regularly, give our tithes and offerings and pray every day, we are not guaranteed a space into Jesus’ heaven, UNLESS we help the poor.

SO GOING TO CHURCH WON’T GET YOU TO HEAVEN? NO GUARANTEES.Image result for proverbs 3 vs 6

The temple and the priest have played their important role as the link between god and man. However this arrangement was only necessary until Shiloh (Jesus) comes.  We should also add that not only is the priest (church or law giver) redundant and unnecessary but also the king/president and prime minister (scepter). Indeed, if Christ has come, then the church and the priest have become redundant because Jesus is now both King and High Priest..

Genesis 49:10: The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

In short, there is no middle man between god and man since Christ is now the redeemer and forgiver of sins. No church can forgive sins anymore.

Another take on the now personal, no middle man ‘relationship” can be seen in

John 14 : 5 – 7- “Lord,” said Thomas, “we do not know where You are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I amImage result for how to get to heaven the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would know My Father as well. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.”

This is reinforced in Matthew6: 5 – 7: Jesus said, And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. Truly I tell you, they already have their reward. But when you pray, go into your inner room, shut your door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 

CAN TITHES AND OFFERINGS GET YOU INTO HEAVENS? NO GUARANTEE.

So what about if tithes and offerings are paid regularly. Doesn’t that help? And didn’t Malachi say that when we don’t pay our tithes and offerings we rob the Lord. True, it should help back then but as seen above, I am not sure if it is applicable today. Jesus paid our debts.

You see, back then, a tithe (1/10th of earnings) was given to the church because the high priest had to be “paid” as he could own no property and or do mundane work otherwise. A reasonable gesture since the priest was god’s representative on earth at the time.  However with the advent of Christ, this job become redundant as Christ is now God’s representative on earth. (Ooops, there goes the pastor’s job)

Offerings are different from tithes and were done based on the situation. The popular ones were Burnt, Sin, Peace, Meal and Trespass Offerings. All had to do with the sacrifice of animals and birds.  A bloody endeavor that makes one wonder why the Lord wants to smell burnt blood and flesh.   However let us see what Isaiah had to say in regards to offering, (Isaiah 66:1-4): Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, Even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog’s neck; he that offereth an Oblation, as if he offereth swine’s blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.  I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes and chose that in which I delighteth not .

The question to ask is, if Christ’s death and resurrection washed away our sins and paid for our iniquities, are we free and no longer need to pay tithe and offerings? If we are free, and tithes and offering are no guarantee, does that make it wrong to give tithe and offerings at church?

HOW NOT TO GET TO HEAVEN

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The Bible seems to have contempt for those who can help the poor and do not help.

Prov. 21:13 He who shuts his ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in his own time of need.

1 John 3:17-  19.  But if someone who is supposed to be a Christian has money enough to live well, and sees a brother in need, and won’t help him–how can God’s love be within him ? Little children, let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions. Then we will know for sure, by our actions, that we are on God’s side, and our consciences will be clear, even when we stand before the Lord. (Action speaks LOUD).

1 John 4:20If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. (For God is LOVE).

Image result for how can you love if you oppress the poorJames 2:14 Dear brothers, what’s the use of saying that you have faith and are Christians if you aren’t proving it by helping others? Will that kind of faith save anyone?  If you have a friend who is in need of food and clothing,  and you say to him, “Well, good-bye and God bless you; stay warm and eat hearty,” and then don’t give him clothes or food, what good does that do?  So you see, it isn’t enough just to have faith. You must also do good to prove that you have it. Faith that doesn’t show itself by good works is no faith at all–it is dead and useless.  But someone may well argue, “You say the way to God is by faith alone, plus nothing; well, I say that good works are important too, for without good works you can’t prove whether you have faith or not; but anyone can see that I have faith by the way I act.”  Are there still some among you who hold that “only believing” is enough? Believing in one God? Well, remember that the demons believe this too--so strongly that they tremble in terror! Fool! When will you ever learn that “believing” is useless without doing what God wants you to? Faith that does not result in good deeds is not real faith.

Prov. 28:27 If you give to the poor, your needs will be supplied! But a curse upon those who close their eyes to poverty.

Prov. 14:31 Anyone who oppresses the poor is insulting God who made them. To help the poor is to honor God.

HOW TO GET TO HEAVEN: A GUARANTEE

Although common sense is uncommon, it should be clear that both the captive and the captors are in captivity and need to be set free. The captors spend their lives in captivity keeping the captives in check, while the captives spend their lives in captivity trying to overcome the captors. Neither will experience heaven without love. since without love heaven, peace and freedom are afar and apart.

Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Prov. 19:17 When you help the poor you are lending to the Lord–and he pays wonderful interest on your loan!

James 1:27 The Christian who is pure and without fault, from God the Father’s point of view, is the one who takes care of orphans and widows, and who remains true to the Lord–not soiled and dirtied by his contacts with the world.

Psalm. 82:3-4 Give fair judgment to the poor man, the afflicted, the fatherless, the destitute. Rescue the poor and helpless from the grasp of evil men.

Prov. 22:9 Happy is the generous man, the one who feeds the poor.

Even Saul (Paul) who was killing Christians thinking he is doing God a favour, had this to say after being converted:

1 Tim. 6:17 – 19 Tell those who are rich not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which will soon be gone, but their pride and trust should be in the living God who always richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.  Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and should give happily to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has given them.   By doing this they will be storing up real treasure for themselves in heaven–it is the only safe investment for eternity! And they will be living a fruitful Christian life down here as well.

Luke 6:38 For if you give, you will get! Your gift will return to you in full and overflowing measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use to give–large or small–will be used to measure what is given back to you.”

how-to-get-to-heaven-atlanta-pixIsa. 58:4 – 11 “Behold, ye fast for strife and debate and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will thou call this a fast? And an acceptable day to the lord?

No, the kind of fast I want is that you stop oppressing those who work for you and treat them fairly and give them what they earn. I want you to share your food with the hungry and bring right into your own homes those who are helpless, poor, and destitute. Clothe those who are cold, and don’t hide from relatives who need your help. “If you do these things, God will shed his own glorious light upon you. He will heal you; your godliness will lead you forward, goodness will be a shield before you, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. Then, when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply. All you need to do is to stop oppressing the weak and stop making false accusations and spreading vicious rumors! “Feed the hungry! Help those in trouble! Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you shall be as bright as day. And the Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy you with all good things, and keep you healthy too; and you will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.

Love one another.

That is how you get to heaven, whether you think heaven is right here, right now while living on earth or up in the sky after judgment day.Love one another.