Wednesday, March 28, 2007



It is widely believed that sex in heaven doesn’t occur and that angels are male or else sexless. After all, doesn’t Jesus state that in heaven the righteous will be like the angels in heaven who don’t marry (Matt.22.30)? The tendency to think that spirituality is bodiless plus horrified incredulity at the thought (the substance of occasional vulgar jokes) that with a heaven full of male angels there could only be what there couldn’t be – sex unmentionable – has all added up to a frigidly no eros paradise. But is this really true to Bible, spirituality and common sense?

I had always had doubts about the sexless, genderless (or mono-gendered) heaven as it doesn't make sense within the larger biblical pattern despite the words of Jesus as commonly understood. After all, why the Genesis story of the fallen angels who desire and mate with human females? (Gen 6:2) These are angels who plainly have gender and genitalia and surely they wouldn’t have the latter to no purpose or acquired them solely as a result of the fall? And although it sounds suspiciously like a projection onto women of existing popular rabbinic superstitions (along with purely Semitic notions of what sexual attraction entails), St Paul wants women to cover their heads “because of the angels” (1 Cor.11.10). Perhaps he wasn’t thinking of rabbinic notions of mortal women seducing angels by their long locks (we can never know now and he could have been influenced more by the fact that Corinthian prostitutes went about head uncovered) but quite likely he had in mind a biblical/rabbinic tradition of sexed angels that Jesus would have to have been aware of.

Whatever….various significant experiences hitting me in late ‘06 and recorded in my Thunder Perfect Minds diary – which heaven forbid won’t suffer more publishing house snafus because I'll manage to seem out of some category for originality, in this case visionary – left me unwilling to take stock spiritual answers for granted. I had become pretty sure there was a bit more for me and everyone to know about sex and spirit than was currently acknowledged in churches.


First let’s sort out of the gender issue. Especially feminists inside and outside the churches have become off-put by the all male heaven of angels, tiresome copies of the male God it is thought. The assumption here is that because vision portrays certain classes of angels as messengers or warriors and males to their task that no female angels exist nor perhaps were even intended to. Remember that in the NT there is really no quite specific word for “angel” (it means messenger in Greek) but it is plain from sense and context that heavenly/spiritual messenger is meant. On the same basis this means, (albeit in the OT whose Hebrew does have words for such as cherubim) we should assume that a reference like that of Zechariah 5:9 is to what we understand angels to be.

Then I lifted up my eyes and saw, and behold, two women coming forward! And the wind was in their wings like the wings of a stork and they lifted up the ephah between earth and heaven”.

These “women” are plainly quite as much angels as the “men” which angels in the resurrection and ascension narratives are taken to be. What would these “women” be doing flying between earth and heaven to do the divine will if they were not to be understood as angelic beings? If we hear less about female angels it’s perhaps because they are otherwise occupied than upfront biblical angels of whom we do hear. Modern NDEs sometimes report angelic singing in very high register female voices, so female angels are choiring. Also there is occasional report of mother type angels welcoming and instructing children who have died young. This would certainly make sense if one believes in angels and heaven at all.


So much for deduction. What about experience?. While I have no personal experiences of heaven, just before leaving Australia and shortly after I had fallen over the Zechariah reference I also chanced to be introduced to a pastor who had undergone a fairly prolonged NDE experience. He was considered by his doctors (though not quite by himself!) lucky to be here and alive…he would have preferred to remain in the Beyond. This is the only person I have met who had notably undergone otherworldly experience and could lucidly describe it.

Points I absorbed before posing the questions about angels were: that unless and until you have a body of resurrection heaven is too much of everything, including noise, to be able to bear easily despite the bliss. Angels praise and the voice of God thunders and mighty waters rush. Much of heaven, even the simpler things like its innumerable colours and textures cannot even begin to be described and as in the vision of Ezekiel there are beings that defy description. Angels however are more “human” than other heavenly beings. Even so their light and power can be quite terrifying as it was for the women at the tomb at Easter and they need to assume a more human form, (dim down one might say), for mortals or even visitors to the Beyond to be able to cope at all.

However, this same witness said you just sort of know angels have gender and that there’s not an all male heaven. And he maintains (in line with what one does read of the odd Semitic euphemisms that the Bible sometimes applies in which the genitals can be the thigh or the feet) that the wings of Isaiah’s seraphim that cover their faces and their feet (Is 6:2) should be understood as covering their face and genitals.

This doesn’t make too much sense to me since the still perfect Adam has no desire to cover his genitals when God walks with him. But then neither did he cover his face. It seems one would just have to accept that things are different for angels and mortals. The more important point if the cited witness is to be believed is that, covered or uncovered, angelic beings should be sexed at all. And even from persons who have not “visited” heaven but who claim to have seen or felt angels I have heard of sensing a vibe, strongly male in such as the class of warrior type angels, milder and more feminine in others.


If one affirms angelic gender then one raises the problem, for some people, of sex in heaven. A classic reason to spiritualize the idea of sex out of heaven is precisely Jesus’ words (in a question about levirate marriage custom of his society) that there is no marriage in heaven. To literalists the alternative to a no sex heaven would have to be the impossibility of “sex outside marriage” - i.e."fornication". This was a term which biblically started out meaning most essentially sex with prostitutes but which over church history would evolve into meaning just about anything apart from missionary position marital sex and perhaps especially the gay sex which believers would then additionally decide must remain at the "fornication" level unallowed any forms of union that might sacralize it. So, as heaven couldn’t possibly be promiscuous/hedonistic (given to "fornication") there simply couldn't be any sex. This way the literalistic moralist follows a circular logic that banishes sex from spiritual worlds entirely.

I think the point is that yes, there’s sex in heaven but as with everything in paradise it’s not exactly like the things of earth. Earthly sex is reflective of, but not identical with, whatever heavenly sex might be. And it is only commonsense to assert that earthly sex, whatever other purposes and meanings it may have, is most essentially about procreation and this most essentially entails such as marriage and family.

Though angels are sometimes loosely referred to as “sons of God”, we don’t hear of “families” and marriages of angels or angels reproducing unless the fallen angels on earth. And then, as opposed to the mortal spans within which family operates, eternity is a very long time to be linked to only one person even if one’s behaviour were to be very far from riotously promiscuous and orgiastic! Perhaps those who have passed some of the tests of marriage on earth might be better qualified to negotiate the discretionary behaviour of heaven and the merging of light which Yeats imagined the loves of the angels to be? So I think no marriage in heaven simply means exactly that and nothing more. There’s no marriage in heaven but that can’t be taken to mean there’s nothing at all that corresponds to the sexual.


If this is good news for some what might this seemingly heterosexual heaven have to offer those gays who don’t quite fit the picture once we have seemingly got rid of that seminary-like all male heaven of angels? Let those whom Jesus referred to as born “eunuchs from their mother’s womb” (which by his times could mean not attracted to the opposite sex, not castrates) fear not. Their identities are supposedly so little wiped out that if they make it to the heaven of Isaiah (he of the seraphim) that prophet has already declared they have a chance of being more honoured than those who married and made dynasties (i.e. the heteros) (Is 56:5).

But this begs the question, if you’re born gay and might even finish with a better place in Isaiah’s heaven for having got through life being so, of just what are you archetypally derivative? No matter how imperfect the earthly models, sex and gender can only be modelled on something else and higher – the Judaean Christian worldview is nothing if not Platonic for archetypal design and thought modes.

The answer hasn’t been revealed to me, and I didn’t ask and it wasn’t told me by the NDE visitor to heaven but I deduce it…..There are said to be messenger angels, warrior angels, praise angels, healing angels and others. However visionaries and NDEers do keep on seeing the dancing angels. From report they seem to be male. Their purposes may be rather more spiritual but I am much inclined to think they are the distant archetype of sleepless disco gays whose life would, if they could, be turned into endless ecstatic celebration. I feel like saying shhh, it’s a secret, but you can be pretty sure some or all of them are, sort of, gay.

(The article "If the Holy Spirit has been Seen" includes perspective on certain sex/gender dimensions of the heavenly.

Friday, March 23, 2007



Problems are looming in the world of gay rights and perhaps everyone’s rights. I scarcely know which of the two developments around same sex issues treated in the articles at the addresses below troubles me more: the political correctness around homosexuality which Brazil is coming to represent, or the chronic homophobia that Nigeria displays. Both mark the exaggeration of disturbing trends that the world and gays would be better free of and everyone should be more aware of before it’s too late. That the relevant trends exist at all seems to prove that homosexuality is a subject that regularly invokes extreme responses of every kind and that sweet reason directed upon the subject is still very hard to come by.


In Brazil the so-called Homophobia Law, already passed in the lower house, awaits Senate approval (admittedly against much protest) to legislate that anyone calling homosexuality objectionable/ immoral be imprisoned anywhere from 3 to 5 years. Imprisoned? And for so long? Politicians are nevertheless so serious about this that they want to prohibit even seminaries from refusing anybody on the basis of their sexual orientation….In short, the secular state will tell the churches and ordinary citizens what they will do and think and no one will be permitted their opinions about moral and immoral.

What if the gay applicant to a Brazilian seminary believed it was OK for him to be cruising for boys every night of the week (as the more radical queer theologians might accept)? What if like theologian Michael. J. Clark the gay person wanted to be ordained despite teaching that the resurrection is an “evil” doctrine and the doctrine of the Trinity oppressive? Under the new regime anyone trying to protect the spirituality and beliefs of their organization risks imprisonment as a criminal bigot for merely raising objection to the now super protected gay person!

Increasingly, as in Sweden, where a rather silly elderly rural pastor who should have been ignored was dragged before the courts and declared guilty on account of a sermon, gays are everywhere becoming the pretext for so-called liberals, to put in place a machinery that in the long run risks suppressing free speech and conscience itself. Similar situations to those of Sweden could soon occur in such as England under the SOR (Sexual Orientation Regulations) bill (it comes into force on April 20th but allows 21 months of adjustment) with its sweeping changes. These include regulations to dismiss, fine and perhaps jail church school teachers that would teach homosexuality is immoral or teach any moral law as being “objectively” true. Charities and Catholic adoption agencies which will not be allowed to refuse adoption to gay couples already feel so compromised many may close.

Of course, in a world of too many bad and even abusive parents, doubtless many gay couples make far better parents than many straight ones, but is that really the point? And is it worth having whole well established charities and agencies closed or curtailed in their work because the occasional gay couple who could apply elsewhere might feel offended by a refusal from them? Concern with "equality" here is going well beyond pragmatic social considerations.


No matter how much we may disapprove homophobic attitudes, policies and statements it is surely essential - up to a point – to allow members of the public some eccentricities, bigotries and exclusions and where life and limb are not manifestly at risk we should all refuse to become unduly sensitive. Gay or not, we nearly all suffer discrimination for something, sometimes and must learn to live with it. We may even be better persons for managing to do so. Also, in teaching Shakespeare we don’t approve bowdlerization for some his more questionable attitudes. Nor should we do so for the Bible which should be taught more or less as it is, albeit with a suitable critical eye. In the case of religiously sensitive gay issues we might well hope, as has happened in relation to the biblically semi-sanctioned institution of slavery, they would be something that time and education would alter without the need to round people up for jail to speed the process.


It’s rather clear what’s happening. Cynical secularists have rightly seen that homosexuality is a chink in Christianity’s armour. They are now happy to work to exploit this by creating trouble for churches and religion generally (not just Christians are worried by the new laws) by “defending” gays to a degree almost as absurd as that of their forebears who opposed them.. But punishing the likes of charitable workers so that a section of society rightly or wrongly much associated with partying won’t ever feel offended, is the latest form of indecent obscenity.

Though we want gay rights and protections and I am keenly aware how subtle forms of homophobia still silence and exclude gays in especially religion (I could here and now accuse well known names in religious media and theological circles of deliberate neglect or active obstruction), yet still I must defend the broader principle of free speech. I must also trust in the process of education. Personally I hate that my liberal views in this area should be associated with politically correct policies ultimately threatening to democratic principles in religious and social life alike. I am also unhappy with those gays in the West who currently go along with what is done on their behalf without sufficient concern for the greater social good.

But that’s one side of the picture…..


We now see the polar opposite in Nigeria. There we realize how far unacceptable prejudice will go among some authorities in religion and why secularists and radical gay activists feel no compunction about wanting to control such people. The Nigerian church group, "Changing Attitudes", is warning there could be an exodus of gays from Nigeria because of the daily violence against LGBT people and the new oppressions. These are as good as advocated by the now notoriously homophobic Archbishop Akinola, himself controversially aligned with Muslims to oppose homosexuality to the extent the aim appears to be to legislate alternative persons and ideas out of existence. The so-called Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act of 2006 doesn’t only prohibit marriages or unions. It forbids anyone celebrating or attending them on threat of years in jail something also to be visited upon anyone assembling in public or private to support or celebrate gay rights in any form – one should not even write about them!

The behaviour and statements of Archbishop Akinola over recent years have been such that if he had been almost anyone else he would have invoked much greater criticism from the international community. This hasn’t happened partly because of the inherited guilt people still feel today around the treatment of blacks so that they don’t like to condemn them even when their behaviour is plainly “over the top” (like physically throwing a representative of gay affairs to the floor at the 1998 Lambeth Conference).. Today what is arbitrarily assumed to be orthodox doctrine in relation to gays in Africa (where the opinions of experts in and out of religion count for nothing against the most narrow literalisms) is being employed with almost inquisitorial force and reckless unconcern for the damage to the wider church it doesn’t care if it splits.

Among the rank falsehoods Akinola proclaims, and is allowed to get away with among most other African prelates, is a) that homosexuality is not indigenous to Africa but western imported and b) that it is unknown to nature whereas science shows it is very much known to the natural world. Akinola might be better occupied protesting the rights of the seriously persecuted Nigerian Christians instead of aligning with their persecutors, even somewhat appeasing them, by willing to punish a gay minority. It’s an unpleasant picture.


If there is any solution it is to find a safe space, a middle ground from which to speak to increasingly extreme and extremely divided parties today. In my Thunder Perfect Minds I have something to say about the rapid growth of a new Out of Church Movement, an informal fellowship of people who meet together, some believing God has told them to leave the institutional church, others who have left it because they cannot stomach any longer what the churches are doing and saying.

I think if gays are not to finish contributing to underhand secularist agendas or unnecessary, damaging church splits and if they want to speak out freely then to retain integrity they might need to go in similar direction to the Out of Church Movement. They need to speak from something like a Post Gay Lib Movement. Indeed, if they are to avoid being guilty of helping to make society like atheist China where everybody is vetted for whatever they say, especially religious belief, there will have to be some such movement. Whatever happens the situation is becoming grave but where there’s a will there’s a way. And enough is now at stake for a way to need to be found.

Monday, March 19, 2007



Around last Christmas the Holy Spirit was in the news because film maker Brian Flemming and the highly irrational Rational Response Squad tried to establish an atheists’ campaign, The Blasphemy Challenge, to commit the unpardonable sin of blaspheming the Spirit. Strictly speaking this would only be feasible if you recognized the Spirit exists and wanted to call the goodness and miracles associated with this person of the Christian Trinity, something evil. Atheists don’t even acknowledge the Spirit exists, so mouthing “I deny the Holy Spirit” to You Tube couldn’t really achieve this blasphemy as believers understand it.

Ironically, though, quite a few Christians might as well be saying “I deny the Holy Spirit” for the amount they firmly believe in the Spirit’s existence, while among those who do believe almost nobody claims to have “seen” the Spirit. Apart from charismatics claiming to be overshadowed or possessed by the Spirit the widespread Christian disbelief, or half belief, is perhaps influenced by lack of an imagery to attach to - apart from the dove and the abstract wind and fire.

Yet despite the ancient association of doves with the feminine and Venus, according to Jesus the Spirit is both a person and He, ekeinos (not neuter in line with pneuma in the Greek). In which case what does the Spirit look like and should we have more human images ?

Readers may correct me but I think the modern witness of Sister Prema Pelletier is unique in Christian writing.
A convert to Christianity from Hinduism and now living in Canada she maintains that in the early morning of Nov 22nd 1995 she was shown the Holy Spirit from whom she has moreover received various giftings of a kind one would more usually associate with the saints. I can’t judge the validity of the reported experiences but I do regard the vision as making unexpected sense of sorts. It opens up avenues of thought which I find meaningful in relation to complex ideas and speculations I struggled to convey in my Signs for a Messiah with its symbolic grammar. It also raises anew important questions about the feminine within the divine.


According to Sister Prema , the Holy Spirit appeared in the figure of a tall imposing man who was followed by a small “angel” perhaps four feet in height. (The angel should surely be described as a cherub and one wonders about an identification of this being with the fiery cherub of St Teresa’s vision where she regards him, though small, as one of the high cherubim). The Holy Spirit as a man however looks quite like Jesus (whom Sister Prema had seen in other visions).

To the extent the Trinity is “one” it would make sense that there should be such similarity. To the surprised Sister Prema, the Spirit appeared like Jesus’ “twin” - though of course it wasn’t a case of identical twins. Their style is different and according to this visionary (if one can summarize in so many words) the Spirit looks less obviously human than Jesus. He is more aerial and “electric”, (almost one might say the spaceman counterpart of Jesus). His eyes open onto infinity; his touch is electric and burning and whereas Jesus has hair that flows down to his shoulders the Spirit has short hair that stands out from his head like short rays or electric sparks.

The latter detail isn’t a minor one if you work a la Jung with archetypal symbolism. I wrote in Signs for a Messiah about Jesus and long hair and mysticism and the accepted symbolism of Neptune that is associated with these. I also wrote about shaved heads and short hair, and also the electrical quality and lightning shock realizations of Spirit in relation to accepted symbolism of Uranus maintaining as I do that the Christian Trinity can equate symbolically/archetypally with the three outer, transpersonal planets, Neptune/Uranus/Pluto. I also wrote of Jesus and Spirit and of Neptune and Uranus as a twin-like pair, to be seen as proceeding from the Ultimate, the Zero/All of God imaged by the Plutonic. And I described Christ as representing the essentially yin, feminine energy of the divine , (even though appearing masculine) over against the yang masculine energy of the Spirit (though identified with the androgynous qualities of Uranus). This ying/yang of Spirit upon the waters is what creates the world in Genesis.

So, obviously I am sympathetic towards what Sister Prema’s vision of the Spirit reveals as it confirms my speculations and symbolic equations. Yet I admit to some difficulties here and almost more for her visionary declarations than my more fluid symbolisms.


If one maintains in line with the Bible that there is a love of Father and Son, between God and Jesus, then in our emerging picture will we also say there is a love of…..twins….between Jesus and the Spirit and it’s creative for the world? Is one verging here on pseudo- homosexual imagery and claims, especially if one insists upon the electric and frequently androgynous/gay associations of anything Uranian at the more mundane level?

Much could be said on this thorny, complex issue. Here I would simply draw attention to a major thesis of Rictor Norton I cited and summarized in my A Special Illumination/. This teaches that within the history of culture a non biological same sex love in early societies can be considered source and model for later romantic heterosexual love and not vice versa. Certainly the earliest images of woman are less Venusian, sister bride-like and romantic than biologically based, as perhaps they were for the biblical Eve called “the mother of all living”. The earliest, strongest notions of love for heterosexuals were less of the companionate male to female kind than the mother to child kind. Twins, themselves so often an archetype of the homosexual consciousness, contribute hugely to shape love and relationship as we know it. So whatever one’s precise beliefs about God and creation a savour of the homosexual could be associated with the divine archetypally if we take the divine as archetypal for human impulse. But is this right?


If the historical Jesus is male for all to see while the invisible Spirit is declared by Jesus himself to be male, what hope do we then have of discovering the feminine in God that we are surely meant to find somewhere, even without feminist motivation to do so? After all, though it’s something of a biblical riddle, Wisdom is God’s companion and coworker in creation and She is female. So where is this She who was from the beginning (Prov 8:22-31)? Is She always there, hiding behind or beside God, a sort of potential like Michelangelo’s Eve in his Creation of Adam fresco? Or does She exist in her own right?

Some Jewish and early Christian/Gnostic traditions had it that the Holy Spirit was feminine. It is just possible to read the Hebrew Bible that way, though not strictly the New Testament where Jesus’ words are explicit against the grain of the grammatical to make the point of maleness (and inevitably so if he and the disciples believed the Spirit had engendered him). Recently the American Kittredge Cherry’s novel, Jesus in Love, controversially revives and develops images of the Spirit as feminine. While one may understand the desire today for renewal of such emphasis I myself had never seen the necessity for this particular imaginative/visionary leap because I was prepared to affirm (as in my Signs for a Messiah) that since Jesus is both described and self described as the Sophia (the Wisdom) we could perhaps say that towards the finite Jesus is male but towards the infinite he is somehow female.

This is a bit like making (archetypally speaking) Jesus akin to Plato’s Aphrodite Urania, who paradoxically is, or appears, male. In any case, at least one of the medieval Catholic mystics, Blessed Henry Suso, reported a heavenly vision of Jesus first as male then as a beautiful woman. So maybe Suso saw what God sees, namely Jesus as the Sophia, and “this is my beloved Son” is a concession only to what we necessarily see as earth bound mortals…


However, I am coming round to the idea that what may be involved is something more like an androgyny with bias than the either/or of different faces set towards the finite and the infinite that I have so far hypothesized. I am now thinking more in terms of Jesus and the Spirit being or appearing (and Spirit can take any form as when the Spirit is a dove) essentially androgynous yet predominantly one gender while hiding or implying the other gender which lurks beside or within. Undeniably the historical Jesus appears physically male yet he and his gospel hides a remarkably strong feminine component. Likewise the Spirit is said by Jesus to be, and can be imaged (to Sister Prema at least) as male, yet can hide a feminine “bridal” side that Hebrew tradition has attributed to him.

The reason I incline to this more subtle, fluid view is the result of recent dramatic personal experiences I cannot hope to detail here but which are recorded in my Thunder Perfect Minds book. (I hope this won’t take too long to reach publication given my record for being blocked for the more absurd, irrational kind of excuses that could in certain instances be linked to spiritual blindness and opposition itself ). In the course of the diary I recount extraordinary and shocking moments when I become as aware as it is humanly possible to be so that a barrier is broken and I am having direct contact and communication with God the Father as Father (proof it has to be the biblical God and not the super talkative, distinctly heretical God of Neale Walsch’s Conversations with God is supplied). On one occasion the communication dramatically shifts and something is conveyed that doesn’t fit unless by implication I am being deliberately shown something of the character of God as Mother. Yet this sensed feminine somehow lurks behind, beside, or is temporarily superimposed upon the Father image. You sense it, you don’t see it - unless perhaps you’re Sister Prema permitted to “see” such things and if we can safely assume her vision is valid.

Whatever, I do believe Sister Prema’s vision deserves consideration. It may provide long lost or till now unavailable clues.

Friday, March 16, 2007



Controversies around Jesus are becoming common to the point they’re almost booming, not to say big business. The fact that the latest mystery around an alleged Jesus tomb has the support of a noted film maker, James Cameron, has assured its publicity no matter how weak the claims. And those claims were quickly given 10 reasons for dismissal by a noted theologian on his Blog.

However, what’s almost more significant is how and why we have been hearing about this story at this time. Also why we aren’t hearing about other things that we should know about Jesus. Who owns and distributes the facts here?

Back in early ‘02 when I discussed with a publisher in New Zealand when a book of mine about Jesus might be launched I suggested as one possibility a weekend in late October because I believed Jesus could be in the news then. And Jesus was… because on 21st October it was announced that possibly the first archaeological witness to his existence had been discovered through an ossuary box (whose authenticity remains much disputed ), that named him as son of Joseph and brother of James.

Since ‘04 I have been forecasting, and beyond one specialized magazine almost no one has published or listened, that ‘06 and especially ‘07 would be a season of extreme and mounting lies about Jesus. ‘06 produced everything from the film of the The Da Vinci Code about a Jesus dynasty to publication of Kathleen McGowan's novel The Expected One about a Jesus dynasty through the Magdalene who marries Jesus after becoming the widow of an abusive John the Baptist. Now late February ‘07 has produced the announcement through New York of the evidence for a Jerusalem tomb of Jesus allegedly containing the remains of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Mary Magdalene and a supposed son of Jesus called Judah. A book, The Jesus Tomb by Simcha Jacobovici and Charles Pellegrino is then published a few days after by Thorson’s/Element (Harper Collins). A TV feature film to be shown eventually in all of USA, Canada, UK and Israel has its first release through America’s Discovery Channel on March 5th. All this comes right when I would have expected. But how could I tell the period was a sensitive one for what I would call deception?...


…..It’s because I know exactly when Christ was born and exactly what the Magi knew and a lot more besides. Accordingly Jesus linked events can be read across history to this day. Guided by reputable historical scholarship in the line and the work of noted astronomers I have cracked the Magian code and obtained data for Jesus exact as a fingerprint. It can be seen to be precise because it goes far beyond the conventional, specialized forms of astrology in which I first certified the find while living in Hong Kong in ’87 and is something which, despite the detail, any layperson can grasp. Having been able since 2004 finally to use data from such as the modern new named asteroids for remote dates, of which I have applied well over 300 to the data, defying all statistical probability and retrospectively at that the Jesus pattern produces names, words and virtual sentences to the point one has a working Fifth Gospel. For example:

• Jesus was compared by his contemporaries to specifically Elijah and Jeremiah. Suitably his birth data reveals Elias and Jeremias in close conjunction aspecting the part of a birth pattern regularly associated with a person’s image.
• At the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, (whose date and timing I can exactly pinpoint by innumerable signs resolving all traditional and academic problems around this subject) one suitably finds the asteroids for Lucifer and Peter in exact opposition reflecting a situation everyone recognizes if they know Bible.
• The data is so exact the sector of the chart that naturally relates to family and origins against all chance even turns up the names of Jesus’ leading ancestors.
• The data also turns up a super conjunction “signature” of Jesus’ name with his biblical titles
• Factoring in the so-called Arabic Parts (based on mathematical equations linked to the birth time) the picture becomes still more remarkable. The Part of Brothers impossibly conjuncts the asteroid James, The Part of Redemption conjuncts the identity giving natal sun reflecting Jesus’ self understanding as Messiah. And yes there are Parts of the Mother, of the Father, of Marriage, of Love , of Profession and many more.

The amount of meaningful information that emerges is remarkable and presents a portrait of Jesus’ life and mind unparalleled in Christian history and the history of astrology. It’s so compelling that those who should pay attention don’t do so, perhaps feeling, like the “all Jerusalem” troubled by the original Magi (Matt 2:3), more than anything threatened by the challenge and enormity of this solution to a two thousand year old mystery.


• Influential Christians appear to think they have nothing to discover here or that astrology, despite its role in Jesus’ story, is too inadequate or even verboten to consider. Typically, when I suggested a feature with The Church Times I was dismissed with “we know all there is to know about Jesus we don’t need to know about the Magi”. American reviews like Christianity Today can be expected not to reply.

• Not even with the Australian Society of Authors appealing to him or more recently an editor of one of my books mentioning me to him as a friend has an astronomer, an inspiration for the researches, risked (I presume) to compromise himself as a scientist by contacting me about these researches. He has thus never answered any questions during the years I have carried this informational grail.

• Media has not shown helpful in getting any piece of information on this subject to the public, even at Christmas when it might be expected to prove more open to such issues. Recently a TV production company in UK who said they would take on a feature proposal I’d outlined if they hadn’t just switched to solely current affairs recommended that to help fast track matters I should contact someone involved with religious programming in England in a major way. I have on and off tried since New Year without success to get in touch by email or phone. There may be many reasons for this non connection but one is left to wonder whether the suggested contact would see value at this time in giving room to alternative views while assisting to promote broadcast of such as Jesus tomb material.

• Publishing, so keen to promote everyone from Dan Brown to Barbara Thiering on alternative Christs and Gnostic theories, has been mostly indifferent even to consider the proposal, let alone read, the ms whether of my earlier more specialized treatment of this subject or today’s more popularized, accessible material. Evidently running out of reasons for rejection I have even suffered such nonsense as that it’s not possible to publish work of someone for whom English is their second language! (This to a published author with a doctorate in religion!) Last year a religion editor of one of the major publishing houses did describe the recent, popularizing work as fascinating, groundbreaking and publishable. He recommended it specifically for Harper Collins deeming them most geared to edit and promote in the line (religion with esoteric). Helped by this recommendation the material did reach there where eventually a religion editor apologized for the, as he agreed, inexplicable omission of persons in a subcompany, (to which the book went for reading), to give any grounds for refusal. It is an open question whether the omission could have been involved with concerns to promote their forthcoming The Jesus Tomb, whose publicity would run counter to very different perspectives like my own.

In the course of this too long saga it’s hard to say who or what are being more rejected : myself as published author and doctor of religious studies who at least deserves to be heard; the public which has an absolute right to be aware of and judge such exceptional information; or Jesus himself about whom balanced views and the facts are getting increasingly suppressed in favour of whatever makes for the next sensation and profit.


Regarding the recent tomb discovery for numbers of reasons it is patently false and if a noted film maker wasn't making the claims and popular media backing him we might not have heard of the theory. Normally these sort of claims run through academic reviews for debate first before reaching the public and they would have been squashed if they had done so. For example, Jesus’ relatives were not wealthy, how would they all be buried in such a rich tomb so far away from where they are reported to have lived since custom would always required local burial? In exceptional cases where a person was buried far from their home the ossuary box would describe the person not as being just their name but from somewhere, hence a Jesus ossuary would need to be that of “Jesus of Nazareth”.

In effect this “discovery” merely replays past issues like the case of Donovan Joyce’s The Jesus Scroll in 1970, or even the more recent arguments around the Jerusalem James/Jesus ossuary box, where the mere discovery of names like Jesus, or Mary or Joseph, all very common names – Jesus equals Joshua – can cause sensations. Since my interest, and even duty, is to see my material reaches the public by formal publication I have no wish to enlarge on my own ideas and evidence, but as regards conventional astrology as it links to the immediate controversy this much can be said for those who want a touch of traditional detail.


Proofs of the new discovery have been announced to the world at the time that for the first time this year Neptune exactly conjuncts the angle that would denote reputation and destiny for Jesus as for anyone. Such Neptune contacts by transit are rather notorious for creating scandal and deception around people, but the planet does this at the time it is also directly opposed in the heavens by traditionally restrictive, undermining Saturn. While Saturn is forming this opposition it is also directly conjuncting the point which in any birth pattern refers to the last resting place, one’s grave/tomb. Which is what all this latest “mystery” around Jesus is about. In terms of a conventional astrology the indications for an undermining falsehood around Jesus could hardly be stronger. However the event belongs to a whole wider trend in the debunking of Christianity which will increase and cause real crisis in society some of which is quite likely to be seen in events of ‘08 and ‘09 which could even change the face of much in religion as we know it, but not positively. “What rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” as the poet Yeats would put it.

Monday, March 12, 2007


[The following article was posted to the Anglican Communion Website which may issue it in several weeks. Since the matter is topical I'm placing it here on this resumed Blog. I'm starting again from Hong Kong, not Australia where I began last year and left off partly because I began to write a book/diary currently with a publisher and partly because I wrongly assumed people weren't reading me. I learned I was missed when I stopped. So here's a new beginning and I think there will be some particularly controversial articles coming up this time]



In his address to the General Synod on the 26th February the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, said there is little by way of real theological debate in the impassioned debate raging around same sex issues in the church. All we tend to see and hear is one group pushing for certain changes in practice and discipline and another group repeating tradition as authority. This lamentably is too true. It is also unnecessary.

One of the reasons the situation exists is because so few people in the church know for discussion purposes what even the basics of gay/queer theology actually teach. Nor are they aware what at the more visionary/charismatic end of Christian experience, some gays have been claiming is revealed to them. So we perhaps don’t hear “what the Spirit says to the churches”. Yet how much do Anglican and other Christians even want to know these things? I am writing the following in genuine concern over current dilemmas and not just to push, however justifiably so, my own barrow as a writer in the strange circumstances in which I find myself.

If anyone liberal or conservative wants an objective crash course guide to virtually all the main sources, voices and issues involved in current debates inside (and even outside the churches in neo-paganism) they need only read my uniquely wide ranging assessment, A Special Illumination: Authority, Inspiration and Heresy in Gay Spirituality. It was published in London at the end of ‘04 by Equinox Press. A real mystery, which however I now see as linked to what’s going wrong in church debates, attaches to the strange fate of this book.


It happens that my study was based on a doctorate, a world first of its kind from any Religious Studies department and the first real survey cum assessment of gay religion as opposed to the more familiar offerings of polemic, apologetic, autobiography or select historical/biblical commentary the field abounds in. As such the project could well have been news. And for the wrong reasons (serious disinformation from the Australian press to the effect I’d been paid to research Jesus’ sexuality!) at the time I was awarded the doctorate it did make news, even internationally. Only the updated published version of my researches would justify my ignored protests against the distortions suffered, but no one in church or journalism in Australia would bother to review the book, admit that mistakes harmful to me had been made about the nature of the project or that the real item was unusually relevant to ongoing controversies. One member (actually gay) of Australia's ABC religious service pompously assured me that as I hadn't written about "religion" I couldn't be interviewed. Who indeed was being more insulted, myself as writer or gays assumed to have no "religion"?

The book is about precisely what its title states and very relevantly so despite the neglect. Only last week one of America’s leading gay fiction writers emailed to call the study “landmark” for gay writing. He also said he was “sad” not to have heard of it long ago and found it troubling the book it is still not distributed in America. One can well ask why it isn’t and why there’s been such neglect in England where it’s published and Australia where it was written. In Latin America gay leaders would like such a source book translated but it isn’t yet, if it ever will be, because it has neither sold enough nor raised sufficient debate in English speaking circles to justify translation. Indifference has in fact been so extreme that if I write to higher clergy suggesting they might look at the book I’m unlikely to receive response while gay Christians who have promised review or interview or website listing haven’t troubled to follow up. Beyond matters like Christian obligation to considerate treatment what’s going on here? Unfortunately I do have some notion and it seems relevant to the larger gay issues crisis in Anglicanism and beyond.


From the beginning of liberation some gay circles had the idea one must not criticize one’s friends lest it give ammunition to the ubiquitous enemy. This has meant merely shabby ideas and behaviour have often been allowed to escape comment. The principle has affected some gay Christian self presentation and the attitude towards gays by those who defend them within the churches. Broadly academic though my approach was - the study aimed to put gay spirituality on the map like women’s studies - its objectivity, my will to critique in normal fashion, means I inevitably blow some covers and shed light where it’s not normally shed both in favour of revisionists and against them. This politically incorrect academic honesty cannot please everyone but it’s high time some facts were known and faced.

Thus if a noted gay/queer theologian like J. Michael Clark claims that the doctrine of resurrection is evil and the doctrine of the Trinity an oppressive mythology then I record that. (I’m in fact appalled gays let this post Christian thinker contribute the poison of his cynicism and unbelief to the last pages of the recently published Queer Bible Commentary where he writes on Revelation). In effect, then, I as good as expose some leading gay/queer Christians as heretics (I supply an original definition of heresy and heretic in Part Three) which would imply their influence is disruptive. At the same time I also challenge conservative views citing gays too rarely heard who for example claim that Christ has spoken to them and I set out a quite serious and hard to answer case against St Paul as any biblical authority on same sex relations today.

I think a largely unforeseen effect of my approach in A Special Illumination is to shift the question away from specific practices and morality (which though not irrelevant have so far been primary for churches outside the Catholic), to questions more of faith, theology and spirituality. Before inquiring into, say, whether clergy or laity should be allowed gay unions, one could well ask the more vital question whether those promoting the innovations even subscribe to the faith they claim to belong to. Is their homosexuality a workable, meaningful aspect of their faith (which in examples I cite it may actually be) or just one more pretext to ditch creed, prayer, meditation and the whole spiritual life in favour of rationalized socio-political gospels which embrace alternative lifestyles and claims almost automatically? Do gay Christians subscribe to “Jesus as Lord” or like some lesbians protest against the concept as sexist oppression?

Spiritual integrity and an integrity of belief should precede even moral integrity for Christians. Traditionally in Christianity sins against faith were deemed more important than against morality and reasonably enough so because even saints can fall short whereas everyone can keep some essential loyalty to the faith. When the current debate becomes both more theological and spiritual I believe it has more hope of being resolved for the good not just of gays but the whole church community to which gays belong and whose good they should be seeking along with their own. Again, one must agree with the Archbishop it’s a pity that vital issues like poverty and hunger in the world are getting lost to what’s becoming an almost obsessive sex debate. But as I say, there’s no necessity. Just let’s try to be more informed and change the emphasis.

Rollan R McCleary (Dr)