The World Will End Aug. 21st: Eclipse Apocalypse
Humanity has long looked to the heavens for guidance and signals from their deities and whenever they viewed a condition that was out of the norm they assumed that these were harbingers of doom. From comets and asteroids to eclipses, history has been shaped by the celestial activities, with the one main concept looming as the end of the world.
Solar eclipses occur quite often but since so many have the path of totality in locations where humans can’t see them, we think of them as unique and unusual. On August 21st we will have the first solar eclipse that will be viewed by millions in many countries, with the path crossing quite a few states in the U.S. This inevitably brings about the renewed alarm that the eclipse is projecting an end-of-days message.
For Christians, they have been looking for additional ‘signs’ since the establishment of Israel in 1947. The foundation of the country is part of the Biblical prediction and each time there is a unique celestial occurrence, people are running around getting their Apocalypse gowns ready…again. In the case of the eclipse on August 21st, it is a once in a lifetime situation as we will have to wait nearing one hundred years for a similar event to happen.
But Christians aren’t the only religion or people that associated eclipses with destruction. Throughout time, mankind has listed the eclipse with the idea that mythical animals were devouring the sun as a method to starve people and the planet. The ancient Chinese thought that the sun was being swallowed by a dragon and in India, there was a bodiless serpent head that consumed the sun. Scandinavians of old attributed the eclipse to demon dogs and even the Mayans, who were some of the expert astronomers blamed the eclipse on a giant jaguar.
There has been a conundrum of explanations regarding our world, the universe and the situations that we experience between the religious and those devoted to science. Galileo was excommunicated because of his scientific beliefs and many in the church continued to rally against any theories that went outside of their Biblical interpretations. However, occasionally, there are cross-overs, as was the case with the Vatican, whose observatory is hailed as being one of the oldest in the world. It was a scientist/priest that coined a term known as ‘the cosmic egg’ which later became known as ‘the big bang’. The Roman Catholic Church has come to terms with the combination of theology and data, and in their case, they are eager to find more information about the cosmos.
Past Craziness in Religious Extremists
But this is by far not the only time in history that many believed that an eclipse would signal the end of the world. It recent times it was predicted to occur in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015 and now again in 2017. Then there was that Y2K computer glitch that was predicted to end the world as we know it, combined with the cross over to the new millennia. Every 75 years, Halley’s comet comes around and yes, once again, various segments of the population begin railing that ‘this time’ it will bring about the end days. Astronomy and astrology were once very close cousins but science has separated the myth from reality. There are, however, factions within some religious communities that are translating scripture in a way to convey a kind of blending of these two ideas. In a Belief.net article they include this rather strange combination as it relates to the eclipse and their ‘end-of-the-world’ theories, which will happen on August 21st or maybe September 23rd, due to a planetary alignment:
“Gary Ray, who writes for Unsealed, believes that the end is coming. But the pending eclipse is another astronomical sign the end is near and that the Rapture is fast approaching. He told the Washington Post that the image will be created in the sky on Sept. 23. He explained that Virgo represents the woman in Revelations 12 who will be clothed in sunlight. She will be in position over the moon and under the nine stars and three planets. Ray said that image will be created in the sky on Sept. 23.”
Of course, these beliefs should be added to the many that occurred in history, including the 1919 report by Albert Porta, a meteorologist that made the prediction that the earth would be destroyed by a giant sunspot. But the topic of the end of days as it correlates to the total solar eclipse continues to filter into even our technologically and scientifically driven society. In the mypalmbeachpost.com article they share information regarding specific people preparing for the eclipse to represent some form of religious message in Florida:
“Paul Begley, an Indiana pastor who hosts the Blogtalk Radio show “Coming Apocalypse,” has been researching the August eclipse for more than a year, according to YouTube videos he’s posted.
He’s not predicting the end of days on Aug. 21, but questions whether the eclipse is a spiritual message. In one video, he notes that the southern Illinois town of Carbondale is in the direct path of totality for the August eclipse and another total solar eclipse in April 2024 that will cross from Mexico to Nova Scotia.”
Another Conspiracy Theory
In a time when there has been an increase in conspiracy theories among the more suspicious, it makes sense that they would view a total solar eclipse and add it into their religious beliefs to form yet another end-of-days prediction. There are a plethora of bizarre websites that have cropped up, encouraging people of faith to prepare for the end of the world and they follow it with a litany of Biblical ‘signs’ that correlate with current events. These can include everything from the increase in earthquakes and other natural disasters all the way to the reduction of the bee populations.
The top of the list for those who seem to not only welcome the apocalypse but actually look forward to it are the fundamentalist Christians in both the U.K. and the U.S. In a Dailymail.co.UK article a little known and not validated website confirms their beliefs by saying:
The site claims: 'Never has there been a time before when all these events were evident in so many diverse places and with such frequency and intensity.
'Our generation is the first generation to fulfill all the biblical signs. Without doubt, we are living in the final year.'
A Book and lots of Sites, Just In Case you Need a Guide
There doesn’t seem to be an end to some of the very wacko things people will do in preparation for the eclipse ‘end of the world’; and of course, adding a little profit to the process won’t hurt. There is even a book entitled ’88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will be in 1988’ that was crafted. When that end of times didn’t happen, everyone looked to the next eclipse. The insealed.org site has included ’19 Reasons The Rapture Could be in 2017’. A bit vaguer through the use of ‘could’. Check out reason number five: ‘There will be a very rare total solar eclipse that traverses the entire United States just 33 days before the Revelation 12 Sign.’
While every total solar eclipse exhibits what is called the ‘diamond ring’, where the glow of the outer edge of the sun glimmers around the edge of the moon as it covers it, those that are a bit more involved in the apocalyptic beliefs are calling the 2017 view the ‘ring of fire’ and it is sending the crazy people over the edge. In a DailyStar.co.UK article they explain:
“Naysayers at the website “Signs of The End of Times” say this year we are “living right in the end of times for this world as we know it”.
Celestial events like eclipses, meteor showers and blood moons all point to the inevitable apocalypse, it is claimed.
They say: “If you take into consideration all the signs, there is no mistaking that our generation is living in the last days, nearing the second coming of Jesus.
“The signs are so strong now and the evidence is so clear that any person willing to end times accept the truth can see that the end of the world, as we know it, is near."
Some of the so-called ‘signs’ that they are proclaiming as part of the proof are those that society would see happening on a daily basis, especially the ‘children disobeying their parents’ thing.
A Gift for the Media
This kind of group frenzy wrapped around the continual predictions of the end of times is a complete and total gift for the media. It is wrapped up in Biblical paper and has a bow that is then handed to them on a silver platter. A majority of those involved in the crazy groups seem to be in both the U.S. and the U.K. Reporters and journalists are sent out to interview some of the groups that are rallying around yet another end of times prediction.
In an sbtv.co.UK article, one group is reaching back to a former destroyer of times:
“They <a Christian group> also point to a 12th-century Rabbi who predicted the end times beginning in 2017. Taking all of the above into account, the group say the apocalypse will start next year and end in 2024. It’s all very confusing but, in the event the world does end, don’t forget where you heard it first. Not that it will matter.”
At any other time, this kind of so-called ‘news’ would be listed on the back page as a filler. After all, there have always been those people on the corner wearing signs over their clothes and asking passersby to ‘repent’ in preparation for the demise of the world. But the fact that it is being blended with an eclipse raises the topic to an entirely new level.
In an era when we can create websites that reflect just about anything that we want, it is no surprise that this form of end of the world predictions occur. Add to this that the internet has opened a floodgate of disinformation that few actually try to research as truth, and the conspiracy theories combined with various religions have a free-for-all to reinforce their personal theories.
So far, science continues to offer the best explanations and as far as the total solar eclipse goes, it is being listed as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view a celestial event that has occurred since the earth, moon, and sun joined in a perfect alignment.
Resources & More Information
For answers to 76 Frequently Asked Questions on this Solar Eclipse, Click HERE for FAQ
For Google Map of the PATH of TOTALITY across the USA, Click HERE for Solar Eclipse MAP
For State by State Information on this Solar Eclipse, Click HERE for INFO
For T-shirts, mugs, pillows, tote bags to celebrate, to commemorate, Click HERE for GEAR