Wednesday, March 24, 2010

When there's no more room in Hell...

Taught the usual course on the Book of Revelation tonight, going over the structure of chapter 6 and St. John's use of the four angelic "beasts around the throne" to launch the sevenfold series of visions brought on by the unsealing of the scroll.

According to Farrer, the beasts have astrological significance - Lion, Bull, Man, Eagle, or, Leo, Taurus, the Water Bearer (Aquarius) and the constellation of the Eagle, which is the heliacal equivalent of Scorpio. These serve as 'leads' for the four horsemen of the apocalypse - Leo/Lion for the conquering rider on the white horse, standing for Christ, the victorious Lion of Judah. The Bull/Taurus follows next, as the beast of slaughter, with the rider of the red horse bearing a sword. Then the Eagle, the rider of the black horse carrying scales, signifying famine, and lastly the Man/Water Bearer rides on as pestilence - a summation of the series.

But why the inversion of Eagle for Man? Because St. John is following Ezekiel's list of plagues - sword, famine and pestilence (Ez. 6:11) - and the constellation of the scales, the sign of scarcity, is in the very claws of the Eagle's zodiacal equivalent, Scorpio. Man, standing for winter and the death of the year, serves duty as the final rider, bringing pestilence ('the Death'). And the horsemen? St. John has gone back to the Prophet Zechariah (Chs 1, 6), where four angelic riders on white, red, black and dappled horses scout the earth.

The following three visions take up the imagery of the first three, ending with a new series of angelic trumpet blasts which unfold sevenfold pestilence upon the earth. And so the series of apocalyptic visions rise in intensity towards the enthronement of Antichrist and the False Prophet.

At which point I asked the people if they suspected that the spirit of Antichrist stalked the land - they did, very much so, and then the heavens opened with a mighty crash of thunder and pounding rain. Dramatic, I tell you.

But speaking of horsemen, a helpful parishioner has found an eight year old thoroughbred, which I could have for the cost of feed. An ex-racer, evidently. Tempting.

And Healthcare? I'm not sure I trust the Executive Order - but what do I know?

Stay on the horse,



Anonymous said...

Thoroughbred racehorse? Stay away, Parson! They're highstrung and hard to control. Stick with the American Quarterhorse.

I liked the headline coupled with his Rahmness...

All joking aside, Satan does indeed walk the earth, and humans do his bidding (usually unawares).

From the first chapter of Job:

"The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?"

Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."

You're entering the busy season, rest up!

LSP said...

We'll have to see about the horses - I've been riding Arabians; a lot of fun and fast - a bit like a living motorcycle, if you'll forgive the phrase.

And yes, the Adversary does 'wander through the world for the ruin of souls'...