FILMS FOR EASTER AND A NEW MAGDALENE
The run up to Easter 2018 sees the release of more than one religion-related film and not only the season but the dates of release are eloquent for what is involved.
The newest cinematic take on the Magdalene is Australian director Garth Davis’s film, Mary Magdalene premiered in Australia on the 23rd and generally released on 30th March, Good Friday (world premiere was in London on Feb 26th on which I comment presently). Said to be visually impressive, the film is not, it seems, controversial by reason of making the Magdalene Jesus’ wife but rather by endorsing and imagining her in the role of spiritual feminist and 13th apostle. Through her is conveyed some rather new age (or end of age) mysticism of the “unconditional love” kind that can lend a forgiving, sympathetic ear to a vividly portrayed Judas. There is a lot of water, of mystical “letting go” and accepting in the film reflected in a framing sequence of a seemingly sinking yet surviving Magdalene.
The timing of the film is rather exquisite. The planet/symbol of truth is Jupiter. It is under its current transit of Scorpio, sign of sex and mysteries, that the truth has been coming out about Hollywood and sexual exploitation generally. On March 23rd and 30th, Jupiter stands on 22 of water sign, Scorpio. When it does this it is directly opposite asteroid MAGDALENA at 22 Taurus in the Pentecost 30 AD foundation pattern for Christianity. This challenging or just oppositional position not only invites to a revisionist re-thinking of the Magdalene r the manner of the current “apparent retrograde” of Jupiter and its watery sign , but warns that what is presented is also largely untrue to the person and her beliefs.
(If one were to take the Feb 26th London premiere that message is arguably stronger. Jupiter just inside 23 Scorpio is again opposite MAGDALENA at 22 Taurus. At whatever was the time on that day, the moon in Cancewasis in the opposite sign from MAGDALENA in the chart for Jesus whose passivity in the film is reflected in a Venus exactly transiting his Jupiter/ Bethlehem star but in stress square to Mars in Sagittarius, sign of religion and philosophy, this well reflecting how the conclusion of the film as good as maintains any kind of organized religion is the enemy of what the Magdalene represents).
HOLLYWOOD STARS A FOUNDING FATHER OF CHRISTIANITY
The premiere of the film, Paul, Apostle of Christ, falls on March 23rd (brought forward from the 28th). Those involved in the film, not least Jim Caviezel who starred as Jesus in The Passion of the Christ but in this film is Paul’s travel companion, Luke, hope much for the film. Remarkable coincidence would suggest it can make a real impression at a time when faith is challenged and great figures in religion are either being nostalgically remembered or longed for in the wake of especially the decease of America’s Billy Graham in February.
THE ASTROLOGY OF CHRISTIANITY…. IGNORED BUT CORRECT AGAIN
I wrote the following before I learned of the premiere of the Magdalene film…..Correctly yet again, both my data for Pentecost AD 30 (the birth of Christianity) and name asteroids prove themselves remarkably able to register notable issues and events for the faith to this day .
On the 23rd March, the sun is bordering 3 degrees Aries. This is the degree, and within Pentecost’s ninth house of religion and distance travel (and thus anything “apostolic”) of Jupiter, planet of faith, preaching, religion and the Bethlehem Star.
(It also happens that March 23rd ‘s 3 Aries is challengingly opposite the 3 degrees of Libra that rises at Caviezel’s birth. This factor times the premiere for the actor and gives him all of an audience for it, though unlikely with the acclaim he was bound to receive for his portrayal of Jesus given that his actor-friendly natal Jupiter is degree exact Jesus’ identity-giving birth sun) .
Shocking, extreme but crowd friendly Uranus on the day has just entered 27 degrees Aries. This means it’s just minutes of a degree past perfect conjunction with Christianity’s natal Venus at 26.57 Aries. (That natal Venus is itself conjunct the religion’s destiny, reputation and leadership Midheaven at almost 24 Aries). The contact is, I believe, involved with what seems to be the film’s rather Venusian theme of forgiveness and reconciliation that’s extreme. However this is not what is most striking in the pattern……
We next ask where is the reputation-affecting Venus itself on the day? Sure enough it is on 20 Aries. This suitably makes it conjunct both Pentecost’s LUKAS (Luke) at 20 Aries and its PAUL at just 21 Aries. And let’s note this pair stood at Pentecost in favourable sextile aspect to APOSTEL (apostle) at almost 20 Gemini.
The pair’s natal conjunction and then this March 23’s Venus conjunction to it (and within Pentecost’s travelling, missioning ninth house too), agree with the fact that Paul and Luke were fated to travel together on some wide ranging missions (witness the so-called “we” passages of Acts) and were together in Rome as portrayed in the film.
A PERSECUTION THEME
On the 23rd , force majeure factor, Pluto, is almost to the minute of a degree in stress square to Pentecost’s PAUL. I should say this reflects a persecution theme, the one-time persecution of Christians by Paul and then pagan persecution of Paul. Persecution is central and it is possible too that the film itself will be opposed because people don’t entirely like the person and/or his cinematic portrayal. Some argument over the film seems almost guaranteed by the way that additionally Mars at 3 Capricorn stress squares the sun of the day.
Of some significance, but I am unsure quite what, Mercury at 16 Aries on the day is at stationary apparent retrograde. This could invite to re-thinking and re-examining Paul in the way retrogrades do retrace steps and rethink things; but the fact 16 Aries is conjunct such asteroids as VATICANA and CRUZ (cross) makes me wonder, especially with Caviezel praying the rosary to get through the film, if this won’t be a very Catholic kind of production as was The Passion in its way.
I have only read articles and seen a trailer and so can’t judge, and as this film will not apparently like The Passion have input from the interpretations and ideas of any Catholic visionaries, I asked myself quite what I meant by a “Catholic” film. I think it was this.
A “CATHOLIC” KIND OF FILM?
The theme in such cases can be emotionally Christian, concerned primarily with a few black and white choices (in this film between love and hate, forgiveness and vengeance) but with no especially “Judaeo-Christian” character to it. One anticipates little that’s suggestive of more intellectual or theological conflicts such as Paul’s story involves.
A “Catholic” art, even at its most sophisticated, carries with it little or no suggestion for Christians of Paul’s alternative jewishness, none of his sense of gentiles being the wild olive shoot grafted onto the tree of Israel (Rom 11:17,18). One almost never deals in historical religious development but as in Dante more like supposedly rationally derived timeless principles promoted by Aristotle and Aquinas, truths and emotions justified more by logic than dialectic. This risks the faith becoming precisely a kind of independent gentile “boasting above Israel” against which the apostle warns.
Paul arrives at a more protesting if not Protestant, “amazing grace” set of beliefs through argument with a type of legalistic, Jewish background. As such Paul is a revolutionary, transitional figure who straddles two eras, (the ages of Aries and Pisces astrologically), helping to define the nature of the latter. Philosophically Paul belongs with the existentialist KIERKEGAARD who conjuncts him at Pentecost, in being against the status quo in religion and the world and defining beliefs against experience.
Great men make great mistakes and that includes Paul. People don’t stop calling Churchill great because he had a dark side and some of his decisions, especially as regards Ireland, were unfortunate and deadly. We may regret today that Paul could be myopic in relation to women and gays – even St Teresa of Avila complained to Jesus about Paul on women – but he was a man of his times. And it is because he was a protestor and reformer of many things that we are at least free to question him in turn as part of the whole spiritual and intellectual revolution he began.
THE DESIRE FOR LEADERSHIP
As said, I think this film speaks to both a certain nostalgia and hope for great(er) leadership in religion. Possibly this is reflected at this season in yet another coincidence – the fact that currently Neptune, chief significator for cinema, is at 14 Pisces, its own sign, opposite Pentecost’s GRAHAM at 13 Virgo, an asteroid highlighted by a Venus conjunction on the day of his death (21st February). This could remind us that whatever his particular gifts, Billy Graham was not a figure quite like St Paul but very much his own person and of his own time, someone made possible by media who could be as much his persecutor as his supporter.
Across time the differences between a St Paul and a Billy Graham might be large, but the same pattern for Pentecost 30 AD will still register after two millennia for matters concerning them. Christians who demonize and dismiss astrology miss much that they should know of times past and present; and at the end of the era Christ’s birth may be said to have inaugurated, that’s unfortunate and serious.