Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The Apocalyptic Plagues of Egypt



The Crossing of the Red Sea, by Nicolas Poussin, circa1633




In light of the recent publication of the vision of a colossal flood seen by Sr. Lucia when she was asked by the Blessed Virgin Mary to write down the content of the Third Secret of Fatima, I thought it should be worth revisiting the content of an important earlier post on this subject. The natural causes behind the events of the Exodus has once again been brought into focus by the recent screening of Ridley Scott's controversial take on the history behind this event in his Exodus: Gods and Kings, when he depicted the long theorized drainage of the Sea of Reeds (the most accurate translation above the "Red Sea") being caused by a tsunami. While Scott's version of the causes of some of the other plagues of Exodus is seriously flawed, it is worth taking note that its primary inspiration is taken from a quite convincing theory discussed by many leading theologians that these events were actually caused by the most catastrophic volcanic eruption in human history - that of Thera, Santorini, cicra 1500BC. Given the fact that the Apocalypse bases its imagery of the "huge mountain, burning with fire" being thrown into the sea on the events behind the plagues of Exodus, it prompts us to consider the possibility that the destruction of the eschatological empire referred to as "Babylon" will in turn be caused by yet another record-breaking volcanic eruption.

One of the most extraordinary aspects of the Book of Revelation's re-imagining of the story of the Exodus, is that it appears to have been aware that the plagues of Egypt were associated with a "great mountain, burning with fire" being thrown into the sea (Rev 8:8) - millennia before the Santorini/Exodus hypothesis was first postulated in modern biblical scholarship. 
The theory that the Thera eruption was the source of the plagues described in the Book of Exodus, was first forwarded by the Egyptologist Hans Goedicke during the early 1980's, and has since become one of the most widely accepted explanations for the events of the Exodus in modern biblical scholarship. The eruption of Santorini, which destroyed the Greek island of Thera between 1600-1500 BC, was one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history. With an estimated value of 7 out of a possible 8 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI), the Thera eruption brought about the collapse of the Minoan civilisation on the island of Crete, and is thought by many scholars to be the primary inspiration for the myth of Atlantis recounted in Plato's Timaeus and Critias.



Satellite image of the Santorini caldera - the remains of the eruption which devastated Thera in the mid-second millennium BC.

Given that this eruption is dated to roughly the same time period as the Exodus, many biblical scholars and Egyptologists have attempted to establish how this event could have led to the sequence of events described in the Bible. The Book of Exodus tells us that the first plague to strike Egypt was that of the river Nile turning blood red. This phenomenon has been attributed to the rapid growth of an algal bloom (red tide), resulting from either the release of sediments or trapped gases under the Nile by the increased level of seismic activity which often accompanies volcanic eruptions, or by the falling volcanic debris entering the waters of the Delta. The algae which cause red tide thrive in extreme conditions and temperature changes associated with volcanic activity, and quickly deplete oxygen levels whilst producing natural toxins. This kills any marine life in the affected areas - an event which recalls the repercussions of the mountain being cast into the sea in Rev 8:8:

The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
(Rev 8:8-9)

Whilst the fish in the Nile would have been suffocated by the algae, large swathes of frogs would have been forced out of the waterways, leading to the second plague of Exodus. The frogs would have quickly died without water, and their rotting bodies along with those of the fish in the river would have attracted swarms of flies and gnats/lice, which would be able to proliferate more freely without their natural predators. This then accounts for the third and fourth plagues, and the disease spread by the increase of flies, mosquitoes, etc would have led to the fifth and sixth plagues - boils appearing on livestock and humans.
The plague of the hail of fire mixed with ice would have been caused by the fall of the volcanic debris that was ejected into the air during the ongoing eruption at Santorini. Volcanic ash and pumice from the Thera eruption has been discovered at several archaeological sites across Egypt, making it certain that the Egyptians would have been badly affected by this cataclysm. And the plague of locusts has been explained as the mass displacement of these creatures around the Aegean by the ash cloud issuing from Santorini, coupled with the rise in humidity, causing them to descend en masse onto northern Egypt. The ash cloud would then also account for the plague of darkness that swept the land for three days.
The deaths of the firstborn during Passover is somewhat more difficult to put down to a scientific explanation, with theories ranging from a poisoning of the food supplies - which the firstborn would have been privileged to above other family members during a period of famine; to ritual human and animal sacrifice. 
Although it would be a mistake to divorce the events of the Exodus from the miraculous altogether. From a faith-based perspective, it seems best to view these events as a series of cause and effect natural events interspersed with elements of the miraculous, all of which were governed by an overriding supernatural power.
The parting of the Sea of Reeds has then been attributed to a tsunami caused by the main eruption of Santorini. This main eruption caused a large scale volcanic collapse, which generated a massive tsunami that devastated the Minoan civilisation on the adjacent island of Crete. There is  also some archaeological evidence to suggest that the tsunami generated by this collapse affected the coast of the Eastern Mediterranean. A study published by the Geological Society of America in 2009 extrapolated the following results from the archaeological data:

A sedimentary deposit on the continental shelf off Caesarea Maritima, Israel, is identified, dated, and attributed to tsunami waves produced during the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1630–1550 B.C.E.) eruption of Santorini, Greece. The sheet-like deposit was found as a layer as much as 40 cm thick in four cores collected from 10 to 20 m water depths. Particle-size distribution, planar bedding, shell taphoecoensis, dating (radiocarbon, optically stimulated luminescence, and pottery), and comparison of the horizon to more recent tsunamigenic layers distinguish it from normal storm and typical marine conditions across a wide (>1 km2) lateral area. The presence of this deposit is evidence that tsunami waves from the Santorini eruption radiated throughout the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, affecting the coastal people living there. (See here)


Given that the tsunami waves reached as far as Israel, then it is almost certain that they would also have affected the northern coast of Egypt.




There is a modern consensus amongst Old Testament scholars that the usual identification of the Red Sea as that which was crossed by the Israelites during the Exodus was based on a mistranslation of the Hebrew word Yam Suph. A more accurate rendering of this location is the "Sea of Reeds", which given the physical description this name implies, is thought to be a lake located somewhere in the marsh lands of the Nile Delta, near the Mediterranean coast. It has been theorised that the Israelites arrived at the Sea of Reeds just before the tsunami made landfall. The drawback caused by the the swell of the incoming tsunami wave would have emptied large parts of the lake, allowing the Hebrews to cross. While the Israelites reached safe ground, the pursuing Egyptian charioteers would have then been swept away by a wall of water when the tsunami eventually made landfall.

The only real problem with attributing the plagues of Egypt to the Santorini eruption is in the dating of the events of the Exodus itself. In 1Kings 6:1, the Bible dates the events of the Exodus to 480 years before the construction of the Temple of Solomon - around 1450 BC, which is very close to the most widely accepted dates for the eruption of Thera as at around 1500 BC. But placing an exact date on the Santorini eruption has been notoriously difficult. A recent radiocarbon dating of an olive tree found inside a lava flow which issued from Santorini, places the date much earlier than that originally thought by archaeologists - at around 1600 BC. But in the wake of the fiasco surrounding the skewed dating of the Shroud of Turin due to the apparent cross contamination of radiocarbon samples, the reliability of this method of dating is far from certain, and even many archaeologists have dismissed these results. One accumulated, the uncertainties surrounding the date of the Thera eruption is felt by many to bolster the feasibility that it coincided with the events of the Exodus.
Many modern scholars reject the biblical date given for the events of the Exodus however, as this would place it as taking place during the reign of Pharoh Thutmose III. Since there is no corresponding archaeological evidence or relevant Egyptian records for this regnal period, many biblical scholars have forwarded a later date for the Exodus as having taken place during the reign of Rameses II circa 1260 BC. As an alternative to this late dating, Egyptologist David Rohl recently forwarded a revised Egyptian chronology which would support the biblical date for the Exodus as at around 1450 BC, and in turn meets with an archaeological record which perfectly fits with the events described in the Bible. Rohl's New Chronology theorises that the conventional chronology used by the vast majority of modern Egyptologists has been artificially over extended by around 300 years, placing the events of the Exodus as occurring during the reign of Pharaoh Dudimose. If nothing else, Rohl's New Chronology highlights the imperfections of the conventional Egyptian chronology, and reminds us that even long established models can be subject to paradigm shifts, just as some of the presumptions of Newtonian physics were overturned by Einstein's theory of general relativity.

So we can safely conclude that the Book of Revelation bases much of its material on the plagues of Egypt, which rather astonishingly, it appears to have known were centred around a "great mountain, burning with fire" being thrown into the sea. But in its reinterpretation of past events as a reflection of the future, the Apocalypse foretells that a burning mountain being cast into the sea will destroy the eschatological world empire referred to as "Babylon". The main message that seems to be conveyed by these parallels, is that just as the Minoan civilisation (Atlantis?), and indeed the Egyptian Pharaoh, were undone by a burning mountain being thrown into the sea, so too would Babylon be toppled by the effects of a large scale volcanic collapse. It seems that the events of the Thera eruption is destined to be reenacted in the future.
As we have already discussed in the post Mega-tsunami, just such a fate lies in store for America upon the eventual collapse of Cumbre Vieja in the Canary Islands. The ensuing mega-tsunami caused by the collapse of Cumbre Vieja would obliterate the entire east coast of the Americas, including cities such as New York, Boston, Washington D.C. and Miami, as well as the Caribbean islands and various cities on the coast of South America. And a catastrophe on this scale would almost certainly bring about the total economic collapse of the USA - especially if hostile nations exploit this opportunity and deploy certain strategic measures to ensure that it could never recover (such as arming a rogue state to attack key cities on the west coast, or even simply by refusing vital economic aid).
It is also interesting to note that if the destruction of the Minoan civilisation at Thera is the true source of the myth of Atlantis, Plato mistakenly identified this land destroyed in the sea with a continent that lay beyond the pillars of Hercules across the Atlantic Ocean - the location of America itself. Could there be some prophetic significance in this misidenfication of a continent being destroyed in the sea? In addition to being beyond the pillars of Hercules (the closest point between Spain and Morocco across the straits of Gibraltar), Plato describes the location of Atlantis as being at "a distant point in the Atlantic ocean", and that in size it was "larger than Libya and Asia together". Additionally, the Book of Revelation narrates the fall of Babylon in language which is highly evocative of Plato's description of the disaster that befell Atlantis. Plato describes Atlantis as being consumed in the sea in "one grievous day and night", whilst the Apocalypse foretells that Babylon will be destroyed in a "single hour", symbolised by an angel hurling a huge millstone into the sea:

They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, “Alas! Alas! You great city, you mighty city, Babylon! For in a single hour your judgment has come.”   
(Rev 18:10) 

Once we take into consideration the fact that Sr. Lucia described an event extremely similar to this when she instructed by the Blessed Virgin Mary to commit the Third Secret to writing, we should take the threat of this future event extremely seriously indeed:

 ‘I felt my spirit flooded by a light-filled mystery which is God and in Him I saw and heard: the point of the flame-like lance which detaches, touches the axis of the earth and it [the earth] shakes: mountains, cities, towns and villages with their inhabitants are buried. The sea, rivers and clouds leave their bounds, they overflow, flood and drag with them into a whirlpool, houses and people in a number unable to be counted; it is the purification of the world from the sin it is immersed in. Hatred, ambition, cause destructive wars...
(Sr. Lucia, Tuy, January 3rd, 1944)


Wednesday, 7 January 2015

The Secrets of La Salette on the Triumph of the Church




While reading back through my blog in the course of researching my new book, which is working under the title The Ark of God: The Theotokos and the End Time Conversion of the Jews, I came across the following interesting snippet which may be related to the Worthy Shepherd Prophecy of Blessed Tomasuccio de Foligno:

On an interesting side note, Melanie foretold that neither Pope John Paul II (who is generally agreed to be the pope who cannot be killed by his would be assassins in the secret), nor his successor (Benedict XVI) would live to see the Second Pentecost that follows the Great Apostasy - which means that it predicts that this will take place during the pontificate of the next pope:

"The Holy Father will suffer greatly. I will be at his side to the end in order to receive his sacrifice. The wicked will make several attempts on his life, but they cannot harm him. But neither he nor his successor will live to see the triumph of the Church of God."


The original post (found here), was written some time before I happened across the Worthy Shepherd Prophecy prior to the election of Pope Francis, and I had completely forgotten about this portion of the unapproved version of the Secrets of La Salette.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The New Fatima Revelation in Closer Detail (Part Two)



In part one of this post (which can be found here), we discussed the influences behind Cardinal Bertone's remarks following Sr. Lucia's funeral Mass, when he made a direct connection between the "signs in heaven" described in the Bible with the events of 9/11. We noted how Sr. Lucia is known to have written a letter to Pope St. John Paul II in the aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center. This was soon followed by the dispatch of Archbishop Bertone, the then Secretary of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, to interview Sr. Lucia in November 2001 - the timing of which seems in all likelihood in direct regard to the letter she had sent the Holy Father. We have also noted previously in the first part of this post how there are several strong indications that the "attachment" to the Third Secret of Fatima (the interpretation of the secret given to Sr. Lucia by Our Lady), contains a precise date concerning the turn of the millennium, and relates to the struggle of the Woman Adorned with the Sun against the Dragon of the Apocalypse. 
Once we begin to pool this evidence together, it strongly suggests that Cardinal Bertone's contention that the events of 9/11 are connected to the "signs of heaven" described in the Bible, is in fact rooted in some information conveyed to him by the seer of Fatima herself - which was most likely originally communicated to the pope in the immediate wake of the destruction of the Twin Towers.
At the time, there were rumours circulated by Inside the Vatican that Sr. Lucia had sent a letter to Pope St. John Paul II immediately after the attacks on the World Trade Center. Citing anonymous sources from within the Carmelite order, SSPX newspaper The Remnant published yet another rumour that Sr. Lucia had received a new apparition of the Virgin Mary on October 7th, 2001 - the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary - which rather aptly, also reflects the struggle between the Arab and Christian worlds, since this feast commemorates the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, when Catholic forces triumphed over the Islamic Ottoman fleet.  The alleged new revelation was supposedly to ask for prayers to prevent an impending "blood bath", and seems to be partially based on the fact that the Carmel of Coimbra did indeed hold to a 24 hour period of prayer on 7th October, 2001. At least one Carmelite convent had confirmed that it had received a letter from the Association of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima, dated to 13th September, 2001 (just two days after 9/11), calling on the Carmelite order to unite with Sr. Lucia in praying for peace in the world on 7th October - the Feast of the Holy Rosary
Archbishop Bertone himself had confirmed that the purpose of his meeting with Sr. Lucia was specifically to address the recent developments surrounding the events of 9/11, during a press release published on 9th January 2002:

In recent months, especially after the sad event of the terrorist attack last 11 September, articles on alleged new revelations by Sr Lucia, announcements of letters of warning to the Pope and apocalyptic reinterpretations of the Fatima message have appeared in the Italian and foreign press.

The suspicion that the Holy See did not publish the whole text of the third part of the "secret" is being reaffirmed and certain "Fatimist" movements have repeated their accusation that the Holy Father has not yet consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

It was therefore considered necessary, with the agreement of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and the Bishops of both Leiria-Fatima and Coimbra, that I meet Sr Lucia in the presence of Rev. Luis Kondor, SVD, Vice-Postulator of the cause of Bl. Francisco and Bl. Jacinta, and of the Prioress of the Carmelite Convent of St Teresa, to obtain explanations and information directly from the only surviving visionary.
(Archbishop Tarcisco Bertone, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, L'Osservatore Romano, 9 January 2002. See the full text here)

However during the same press release, Archbishop Bertone stated that Sr. Lucia denied that she had received a new revelation after the events of 9/11, quoting her as saying:

"If I had received new revelations, I would not have communicated them to anyone, but I would have told them directly to the Holy Father..." 

So we can safely rule out the possibility that Sr. Lucia received a new private revelation at this time, as was suggested by The Remnant. But there was no denial that she had sent a letter to Pope John Paul II in the wake of the attacks on the World Trade Center. Instead we find a confirmation that if there were any developments concerning the message of Fatima, Sr. Lucia would have communicated this directly to the pope. This suggests that the content of the 2001 letter directly referred to the contents of the Third Secret or the attachment to the Secret kept in the Papal Apartments, and was perhaps a new understanding of this material in light of the world-changing events which had occurred at the turn of the millennium, rather than containing details of any new private revelation. To use the words mentioned by Archbishop Bertone in his press release, the contents of this letter contained "warning to the pope and apocalyptic reinterpretations of the Fatima message".

The then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, added more insight to the contents of this letter, by adding his own comment following the publication of the Inside the Vatican article on 26th October, 2001:

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said Thursday that the rumors about this alleged letter are the continuation of "an old polemic fed by certain people of dubious credibility," for the purpose of "destabilizing the internal equilibrium of the Roman Curia and of troubling the people of God."
(Zenit News Agency, 28th October, 2001)

Although Cardinal Ratzinger's words were intended to bemoan the fact that these rumours were being exploited by the "Fatimist" movement, it has been noted they do not deny the existence of this letter - but rather add an intriguing insight into the destabilizing effects that these rumours were having on "the internal equilibrium of the Roman Curia". In response to this statement, the "Fatimist" movement pointed out that the very fact that there were internal divisions within the Roman Curia itself on this matter, highlights that there was some considerable substance to these claims. If there were no truth behind these rumours, then they could not possibly cause any internal divisions within the Roman Curia - given that the high ranking members of the Vatican hierarchy are the very people who would be fully appraised of these matters. The fact that the Roman Curia was divided on this issue points to something of considerable weight behind these rumours, and indicates not only that the existence of this letter was widely known within the Vatican hierarchy, but also that its contents (which most likely consisted of an "apocalyptic reinterpretation of the Fatima message" in light of the events of 9/11) proved to be extremely divisive. 
We can find yet another detail of the content of this letter in Cardinal Bertone's book The Last Secret of Fatima. Here, Bertone informs us that when he met Sr. Lucia for the second time, after the events of 9/11: "...she showed absolutely no interest in drawing connections between Fatima and the attack on the Twin Towers." (The Last Secret of Fatima, p78). While on the surface this would appear to contradict the possibility that this letter contained some sort of apocalyptic reinterpretation of the Secret of Fatima linking it to the attacks on the World Trade Center, it actually provides us with a number of clues. Given that Sr. Lucia had shown no interest in connecting the Secret of Fatima to the events of 9/11, we can safely conclude that it was not her that had brought this topic up during her interview. Which can only mean that Cardinal Bertone had questioned her on this subject - asking her if she thought there was a connection between the Secret of Fatima and 9/11. The fact that it was Cardinal Bertone who had raised this connection suggests that he had been considering a possible link between the two himself, most likely due to the contents of the letter she had recently sent Pope St. John Paul II. While this means that there was no explicit link between the events of 9/11 and the Secret of Fatima in this letter, that must have been something within it to suggest such a connection - enough to warrant Cardinal Bertone's question asking if Sr. Lucia thought the two were linked. Sr. Lucia's response to this question - that of disinterest in making this connection herself, seems to be a typical trait of her personality. We know that Sr. Lucia humbly deferred to the Church authorities in matters of interpretation, stating of the Third Secret: "I wrote down what I saw; however it was not for me to interpret it, but for the Pope". ("Conversation with Sister Maria Lucia of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart", The Message of Fatima). 
Although Sr. Lucia did not answer the question that Cardinal Bertone had put to her, asking her if she thought there was a link between the Secret of Fatima and the events of 9/11, we know that he remained personally convinced that the attacks on the Twin Towers were related to the "signs in heaven" described in the Bible - given the fact that he publicly mulled over this possibility following Sr. Lucia's funeral Mass. This means that although it was not completely explicit, there must have been something contained in this letter which strongly suggested a connection between the Secret of Fatima, 9/11, and the apocalyptic "signs in heaven" described in the Bible - which herald the moment Satan is cast from heaven down to the earth, signaling the rise to power of the Antichrist and the fulfilment of the prophecy of the mark of the Beast. 
The recently published private revelation, concerning a vision seen by Sr. Lucia which prompted her to commit the Third Secret to writing, helps us to gain a better understanding of the implications behind these events, and what they portend for the future. In order to fully grasp the true significance of this private revelation, we must turn back to examine some material which was published earlier on this blog, and re-evaluate some of our previous conclusions in light of this new evidence.

Ishtar and the Whore of Babylon

As we have already discussed in some detail in an earlier post, there are some remarkable parallels between the symbolism of the angel of the Third Secret and the imagery of the Angel of the Seven Thunders  described in the Apocalypse - once we take into account a bridging link provided by the Book of DeuteronomyThe Angel of the Seven Thunders, who raises up his right hand to swear an eternal oath before God, is directly based on a passage in the Book of Deuteronomy, which combines the motif of a flaming or "flashing" sword with the raising of a hand to heaven to swear an eternal oath:

“See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand. For I lift up my hand to heaven and swear, As I live forever, if I sharpen my flashing sword and my hand takes hold on judgment, I will take vengeance on my adversaries and will repay those who hate me".
(Deut 32:39-41)

The Angel of the Seven Thunders was seen by St. John holding the open little scroll in his hands, and was almost identically described as stretching out his hand to heaven to swear an eternal oath: 

And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay, but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.
(Rev 10:1-7)

Only this time, the imagery directly corresponds to the ancient descriptions given for the Colossus of Rhodes, which was similarly depicted as standing with one foot on the land and one on the sea, while at the same time holding a flaming torch up in the air. This is but one example of the many instances in which the Book of Revelation uses parallelism incorporating the mythology of different Ancient Near Eastern cultures. In doing so, the Apocalypse aligns such imagery with themes found in the Old Testament, in order to imbue the text with a densely layered, complex structure, which can only be fully understood in light of this broader context. 
The imagery of the Colossus of Rhodes is in turn the primary inspiration for the Statue of Liberty - which was conceived of by its Masonic designers as a "new Colossus", that would adorn the shores of the United States. This bridging connection between the Apocalypse, the Book of Deuteronomy and the imagery of the Colossus of Rhodes informs us that the Angel of the Seven Thunders described in the Book of Revelation is also the angel with the flaming sword seen by the shepherd children in the Third Secret of Fatima, and parallels events which unfold on earth during the eschatological age. 
In the post The Angel of the Seven Thunders, we also noted how the French Freemason who designed the Statue of Liberty, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, styled its appearance on the Greek goddess Hecate, who as well as sharing the distinct rays around her head, is similarly depicted in ancient art as bearing a torch.  Hecate was closely associated with the Egyptian goddess Isis and her counterparts in the Mesopotamian pantheons, the mother goddess Ishtar/Inanna/Astarte, as well as the goddess Semiramis - the mythical wife of King Ninus, who was identified with the biblical King Nimrod. Ancient Greek historians attributed the building of the city of Nineveh to King Ninus, and asserted that it was from him that the ancient capital of Assyria derived its name (which was a centre for the worship of Ishtar). The Book of Genesis similarly informs us that it was Nimrod who founded the city of Nineveh:

Cush fathered Nimrod; he was the first on earth to be a mighty man. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD. Therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD.” The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went into Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city. (Gen 10:7-12)

Ninus/Nimrod was also identified with the Mesopotamian deity Ninurta, who similar to Nimrod's description in the Bible as a "mighty hunter", was often depicted with a bow and arrow.





Ninurta depicted as a "mighty hunter" with a bow and arrow




Ninurta, shown to the left holding a bow and arrow, standing between a lion and his daughter, the Babylonian goddess Ishtar.

According to both Jewish and Christian tradition, it was King Nimrod who constructed the Tower of Babel. So by evoking the legacy of the Greek goddess Hecate and her Ancient Near Eastern counterparts (such as Isis and Ishtar), the symbolism of the Statue of Liberty not only alludes to the Colossus of Rhodes and the Angel of the Seven Thunders, but is also closely associated with the story of King Nimrod and the construction of the Tower of Babel. In basing the symbolism of this famous statue on the mother-goddess figure of the ancient world, the Freemason architects responsible for its design appear to have deliberately associated it with the Whore of Babylon described in the Apocalypse. 
In the Book of Revelation, the Whore of Babylon represents the eschatological world power; but its imagery is a deliberate parody of the Babylonian deity Ishtar, who was the goddess of fertility, love war and sex, and mother/guardian of sacred prostitutes. Worship of Ishtar in the ancient Levant involved the use of temple prostitutes in fertility rites, and the Book of Amos informs us that some Israelites had even adopted this practice beside altars dedicated to Yahweh, due to religious syncretism:

a man and his father go in to the same girl, so that my holy name is profaned; they lay themselves down beside every altar on garments taken in pledge, and in the house of their God they drink the wine of those who have been fined. (Amos 2:7-8)

This aspect of Isthar worship is highlighted by the title "mother of prostitutes" in the "name of mystery" written upon the head of the Whore of Babylon:

The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. And on her forehead was written a name of mystery:“Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth's abominations.” And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.
(Rev 17:4-6)

Religious syncreticism was a serious problem during this period of the Old Testament, and the goddess Asherah was frequently worshipped alongside Yahweh by some of the ancient Israelites, as a "divine consort" - much to the ire of the prophets. In the Ugaratic texts discovered at Ras Shamra in the early 20th century, Asherah is also called Elat (goddess) and Qodesh (holy one). This contains an important insight into unraveling the mystery behind the name of the Whore of Babylon in the Apocalypse here, as in the Hebrew Bible, temple prostitutes are called qedesha (consecrated ones) as opposed to the ordinary word used for whore (zonah). A difference which is used in the Book of Deuteronomy:

“None of the daughters of Israel shall be a cult prostitute [qedesha], and none of the sons of Israel shall be a cult prostitute [qedesh]. You shall not bring the fee of a prostitute [zonah] or the wages of a dog into the house of the LORD your God in payment for any vow, for both of these are an abomination to the LORD your God."
(Deut 23:17-18)

The word qedesha (or kedeshah) is taken from the same Semetic root word (qdsh) used as a title for Asherah. So the alternative name for the goddess Asherah - Qodesh, appears to have been used as a Hebrew word-play for qedesha ("sacred prostitute") in the Apocalypse. So to the Hebrew mind, the "prostitute" or "qedesha" of Babylon, would quickly evoke images of the Canaanite goddess Asherah. Asherah was adopted into the religion of ancient Egypt as the goddess Qetesh (derived from the Canaanite name Qedesha), and was considered to be the fertility goddess of sexual pleasure.


The Egyptian Stele of Qetesh, which depicts the goddess Qetesh here holding a snake, and standing on the back of a lion - a symbol of Ishtar/Astarte

Qetesh was considered by the Egyptians to be a combination of the goddesses Asherah, Astarte and Anat, and like the Greek goddess Hecate (who provides the chief imagery of the Statue of Liberty), is one of the best examples in antiquity of the idea of a "triple goddess". The fact that Qetesh was considered to be a triple goddess, or a deity with an inherent threefold nature, gives this figure a striking association with the Greek goddess Hecate.  Hecate was the goddess of witchcraft and crossroads, and is the most widely known triple goddess in the ancient world.  She was usually depicted in threefold form in ancient art, and cult images of Hecate in triplicate form were often placed at crossroads with three ways, which served to highlight an aspect of this goddess as being a conduit between worlds, wherein she would be invoked to manipulate earthly events through the practice of occult magic.


Hecate in triple form



Another remarkable similarity between Qetesh and the Greek goddess Hecate is that both were often depicted holding a snake.


The Triple-Goddess Stone shows the Egyptian goddess Qetesh holding a snake, with the inscription "Qudshu-Astarte-Anat", showing that these three names referred to the one goddess



Hecate shown holding a snake and dagger

The various connections between the triple goddesses Hecate and Qetesh establish them as being merely different manifestations of the same deity, meaning that the Statue of Liberty is basically a representation of the Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar/Inanna/Astarte - the qedesha or "sacred prostitute" of Babylon, and is partially styled after the Colossus of Rhodes.
A further link between the Whore of Babylon and the various manifestations of the ancient Babylonian goddess Ishtar can be found in her connection to myth of the destruction of the primordial seven headed water dragon. One of the earliest versions of this myth is found in the story of Ishtar's father - Ninurta. As we have already discussed, Ninurta was associated by ancient historians with the Biblical King Nimrod, and in ancient Mesopotamian mythology, he was tasked with slaying a seven headed serpent associated with the mushussu, (which in a further parallel with the Dragon of the Apocalypse, translates as "reddish snake) - a hybrid between a serpent, lion and bird.

And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. (Rev 12:3)

The mushussu (previously known by an incorrect transliteration as sirrush) was depicted on the Isthar Gate constructed by King Nebuchadnezzar circa 575BC, which was the main entrance to the ancient city of Babylon.


The mushussu/sirrush as it appeared on the Ishtar Gate, which is now found at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin

This motif of a legendary hero struggling against a primordial serpent recurs in other legends, such as the Babylonian god Marduk killing Tiamat, the conflict of the Egypt sun god Ra against the serpent Apophis, or Heracles battling against the Lernaean Hydra. In the land of ancient Israel, the most well known version of this story was the Canaanite myth regarding Baal Hadad's victory over the seven headed sea monster Yam/Lotan. In the Canaanite mythology, the mother goddess Asherah offers herself up as a consort to Yam, the god of the sea, in order to placate his wrath against her children. But Baal, being angered by Asherah's suggestion assaults Yam in a fit of rage, and defeats him by crushing his skull with a club. In the Hittite version of this story, Asherah is identified with Ishtar.
This myth about a mother goddess who was worshiped through the act of sacred prostitution is used by the Apocalypse to form the basis of the narrative concerning the Whore of Babylon, told through the lens of the Levithan story found in the Old Testament. But instead of being shown standing on the back of a lion (as Ishtar was usually depicted), this version of the Babylonian mother goddess is seen riding on the back of the mushussu-like beast with seven heads - which according to Canaanite mythology was the very primordial serpent she had sought to form an alliance with to serve her own purposes:

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.” And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. 
(Rev 17:1-3)

The Book of Jeremiah explicitly informs us that the immediate cause of the downfall of the land of Judah at the hands of Babylon was because of the Israelite's syncretistic worship of the Canaanite mother goddess Asherah. Jeremiah tells us that the people of ancient Judah paid homage to the "queen of heaven" (i.e. Asherah, following the Cannanite pantheon) by pouring out drink offerings to her as a libation:

Then all the men who knew that their wives had made offerings to other gods, and all the women who stood by, a great assembly, all the people who lived in Pathros in the land of Egypt, answered Jeremiah: “As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we will not listen to you. But we will do everything that we have vowed, make offerings to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we did, both we and our fathers, our kings and our officials, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no disaster. But since we left off making offerings to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine.” And the women said, “When we made offerings to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, was it without our husbands' approval that we made cakes for her bearing her image and poured out drink offerings to her?” Then Jeremiah said to all the people, men and women, all the people who had given him this answer: “As for the offerings that you offered in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, you and your fathers, your kings and your officials, and the people of the land, did not the LORD remember them? Did it not come into his mind? The LORD could no longer bear your evil deeds and the abominations that you committed. Therefore your land has become a desolation and a waste and a curse, without inhabitant, as it is this day. 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. (Jer 44:15-23)

Jeremiah explicitly states here that because of these offerings poured out to Asherah, honouring her as the "queen of heaven", Judah had heaped Divine Judgment upon itself at the hands of Babylon, bringing about the period of the Babylonian exile. Although some Israelites had engaged in syncretic practices, and worshipped Asherah as a consort of Yahweh, in reality God's only bride was Judah itself, and by turning to other gods, Judah had prostituted itself among the nations. The cup that Judah had offered as a libation to Asherah was in fact a poison that she would be forced to drink down herself, following the fate of her sister Israel (referred to as Samaria below) - when the Northern Kingdom was swept away by the Assyrian Empire:
Thus the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. They shall drink and stagger and be crazed because of the sword that I am sending among them.” So I took the cup from the LORD's hand, and made all the nations to whom the LORD sent me drink it: Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a desolation and a waste, a hissing and a curse, as at this day; (Jer 25:15-18)

...and they shall deal with you in hatred and take away all the fruit of your labor and leave you naked and bare, and the nakedness of your whoring shall be uncovered. Your lewdness and your whoring have brought this upon you, because you played the whore with the nations and defiled yourself with their idols. You have gone the way of your sister; therefore I will give her cup into your hand. Thus says the Lord GOD: “You shall drink your sister's cup that is deep and large; you shall be laughed at and held in derision, for it contains much; you will be filled with drunkenness and sorrow. A cup of horror and desolation, the cup of your sister Samaria; you shall drink it and drain it out, and gnaw its shards, and tear your breasts; for I have spoken, declares the Lord GOD. (Ezek 23:29-34)

Jeremiah goes on to tell us that Babylon itself would in turn drink from this cup, pointing to events which are to unfold in the future:

Babylon was a golden cup in the LORD's hand, making all the earth drunken; the nations drank of her wine; therefore the nations went mad. Suddenly Babylon has fallen and been broken; wail for her! (Jer 51:7-8)

It is important here to understand the exact eschatological meaning of the "cup of wrath" here, which is portrayed in the Bible as a parody of the worship of Asherah/Ishtar. While the immediate context here is that of the land of Judah being punished for paying homage to false gods, it also serves as a template for an overarching eschatological narrative - which transposes these events, and projects their significance into the end of days. As I outline in some detail in my book Unveiling the Apocalypse, the Book of Revelation connects the cup of wrath with both the eschatological earthquake (described as the most powerful such event in human history), and the judgment of the end time world power symbolically termed as "Babylon the great":

The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath. (Rev 16:17-19)

We are told here that the occurrence of the eschatological earthquake immediately precedes the downfall of Babylon, which is symbolized by an angel hurling a millstone into the sea. The cup of wrath is further connected to the eschatological earthquake in the Book of Isaiah, where it is also called "the cup of staggering" - in which the trembling earth is compared with the intoxicated stumbling of a drunkard:

 I am the LORD your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar - the LORD of hosts is his name.
And I have put my words in your mouth and covered you in the shadow of my hand, establishing the heavens and laying the foundations of the earth, and saying to Zion, ‘You are my people.’
Wake yourself, wake yourself, stand up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD the cup of his wrath, who have drunk to the dregs the bowl, the cup of staggering.
(Isa 51:15-17)


Moreover, Isaiah also tells us not only that the entire earth will be shaken out of its very foundation during this event, but like Jeremiah, he also links the eschatological earthquake with the final gathering of the world's armies during the battle of Armageddon:

The sound of a tumult is on the mountains as of a great multitude! The sound of an uproar of kingdoms, of nations gathering together! The LORD of hosts is mustering a host for battle. They come from a distant land, from the end of the heavens, the LORD and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land. Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; as destruction from the Almighty it will come! Therefore all hands will be feeble, and every human heart will melt. They will be dismayed: pangs and agony will seize them; they will be in anguish like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at one another; their faces will be aflame. Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light. I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant, and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless. I will make people more rare than fine gold, and mankind than the gold of Ophir. Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place, at the wrath of the LORD of hosts in the day of his fierce anger. 
(Isa 13:4-13)

For the windows of heaven are opened, and the foundations of the earth tremble. The earth is utterly broken, the earth is split apart, the earth is violently shaken. The earth staggers like a drunken man; it sways like a hut; its transgression lies heavy upon it, and it falls, and will not rise again. (Isa 24:18-20)


The Fatima Connection


Given that the pouring out of the cup of wrath is directly connected to both the eschatological earthquake and the chastisement of the end time world power referred to as "Babylon", we can begin to understand the true significance of the vision that Sr. Lucia seen when she was instructed by the Virgin Mary to commit the Third Secret to writing on 3rd January, 1944:

Towards 16:00 hours on January 3rd, 1944, in the convent’s chapel, before the Tabernacle, Lucia asked Jesus to let her know His will: ‘I then feel that a friendly hand, affectionate and maternal, touches my shoulder.’

It is ‘the Mother of Heaven’ who says to her: ‘be at peace and write what they command you to, but not that which you were given to understand about its meaning,’ intending to allude to the meaning of the vision that the Virgin herself had revealed to her.

Right after – says Sr. Lucia – ‘I felt my spirit flooded by a light-filled mystery which is God and in Him I saw and heard: the point of the flame-like lance which detaches, touches the axis of the earth and it [the earth] shakes: mountains, cities, towns and villages with their inhabitants are buried. The sea, rivers and clouds leave their bounds, they overflow, flood and drag with them into a whirlpool, houses and people in a number unable to be counted; it is the purification of the world from the sin it is immersed in. Hatred, ambition, cause destructive wars. Afterward I felt in the increased beating of my heart and in my spirit a quiet voice which said: ‘in time, one faith, one baptism, one Church, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic. Heaven in eternity!’ This word, ‘Heaven,’ filled my heart with peace and happiness, so much so that, almost without realizing it, I continued to repeat for some time: Heaven, Heaven!’


The vision of a "flame-like lance" touching the axis of the earth here, causing a massive earthquake, directly echoes the Book of Isaiah's description of the earth being shaken out of its place (Isa 13:13) and the trembling of the foundation of the world (Isa 24:18). We now know that huge earthquakes can indeed shift the axis of the earth, given that the earth's tilt was slightly shifted during both the Indonesian earthquake of 2004, and the earthquake in Japan in 2011. The fact that this vision is directly connected to the eschatological earthquake, informs us that the subsequent portion of this private revelation is describing the destruction of Babylon foretold in the Apocalypse. So the angel threatening to strike the earth with the flaming sword seen in the Third Secret is directly associated with the eschatological earthquake and chastisement of the world power symbolically referred to as "Babylon".
The next part of Sr. Lucia's 1944 vision, which details how the eschatological earthquake levels entire mountains and cities, followed by a huge tsunami and destructive wars, is strikingly similar to the Book of Ezekiel - which speaks of how mountains will be thrown down in the wake of this earthquake, and ultimately results in the battle of Armageddon:

For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, On that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground. I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Lord GOD. Every man's sword will be against his brother. With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur. (Ezek 38:19-22)

Compare this with the Apocalypse:

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them... (Rev 20:7-9)

The mountains seen being thrown down here is directly equated with the "burning mountain" being thrown into the sea in Rev 8:8 - which the Book of Jeremiah connects with the destruction of Babylon by the sea:

“I will repay Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea before your very eyes for all the evil that they have done in Zion, declares the LORD. “Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, declares the LORD, which destroys the whole earth; I will stretch out my hand against you, and roll you down from the crags, and make you a burnt mountain. (Jer 51:24-25)

“How Babylon is taken, the praise of the whole earth seized! How Babylon has become a horror among the nations! The sea has come up on Babylon; she is covered with its tumultuous waves. Her cities have become a horror, a land of drought and a desert, a land in which no one dwells, and through which no son of man passes. (Jer 51:41-43)

The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. (Rev 8:8)

In my book Unveiling the Apocalypse: Prophecy in Catholic Tradition, I forward the hypothesis that the prophecy of the "burning mountain" being thrown into the sea foretells the future lateral collapse of the volcano Cumbre Vieja in the Canary Islands, which some of the world's most prominent geophysicists believe will generate a mega-tsunami that will devastate the east coast of the Americas, as well as parts of Western Europe and North Africa. The United States of America is currently the only dominant world power that fits the portion of the prophecy that describes the Whore of Babylon as the "great city which has dominion over the kings of the earth" (Rev 17:18). The fact that one of the chief symbols of America is embodied by a statue which was styled by its Masonic architects after the pagan goddesses Hecate/Qetesh/Asherah/Ishtar (the mythology of which forms the basis for the Whore of Babylon), can only further affirm this identification.
In Unveiling the Apocalypse, I proposed that the eschatological earthquake centred on Israel at the end time would lead to a colossal surge in volcanic activity across the North African tectonic plate. culminating in the eruption of Cumbre Vieja, at La Palma in the Canary Islands. This hypothesis was formed on passage of the Apocalypse which states that God would remember to punish Babylon the great for its sins at the occurrence of the eschatological earthquake (Rev 16:19), and the fact that the Book of Ezekiel prophesied that entire mountains would be thrown down during this colossal seismic event (Ezek 38:20). This can only mean that the geological impact of eschatological earthquake is intimately connected to the "great mountain, burning with fire" being thrown into the sea, both of which are related to the pouring out of the cup of wrath held in the hands of the Whore of Babylon. I further speculated that the results of this volcanic collapse was in some way part of the Secret of Fatima, since Sr. Lucia had specified that its contents were directly related to chapters 8-13 of the Apocalypse, and the judgment of Babylon by the burning mountain being cast into the sea is first mentioned in Rev 8:8.
This hypothesis seems to be confirmed by the recent publication of the vision seen by Sr. Lucia's in 1944, which links the angel of the Third Secret striking the earth with his flaming sword with both the occurrence of the eschatological earthquake and the destruction of Babylon by the sea during the end-time - the results of the outpouring of the cup of wrath. As Rabbi Johnathan Cahn pointed out in his bestselling book The Harbinger, before God judges a nation he always first sends a warning - as was the case during the prelude to the fall of the Northern Kingdom of Israel to Assyria in the 8th century BC. It seems then that the events of 9/11 served as such a warning and call to repentance before the pouring out of the cup of wrath. As the Book of Amos tells us, God always reveals his secrets in advance to his servants the prophets before disaster is meted out:

Is a trumpet blown in a city,
and the people are not afraid?
Does disaster come to a city,
unless the LORD has done it?
“For the Lord GOD does nothing
without revealing his secret
to his servants the prophets.
The lion has roared;
who will not fear?
The Lord GOD has spoken;
who can but prophesy?”
(Amos 3:6-8)

Given that Sr. Lucia had written to the pope in the immediate aftermath of the events of 9/11 (which took place just over a year after the revelation of the Third Secret), could it be that God had given her a new understanding of the secret revealed to his servants, the three humble shepherd children of Fatima? An understanding that the attacks on the World Trade Center identified America as being the nation Sr. Lucia saw being destroyed in the sea during her vision of 1944? There seems to be a apparent symbolism in the destruction of the two tallest towers standing in front of an idol styled after the goddesses Asherah/Ishtar, who is in turn linked in Babylonian mythology to Ninurta/Nimrod and thus to the story of the Tower of Babel and the combat against the seven headed water dragon. A statue which is not only a goddess which quite literally is the qedesha, or sacred prostitute of Babylon, but which also is based on the Colossus of Rhodes and thus is directly paralleled by the Angel of the Seven Thunders - who calls out with a voice like "a lion roaring" at the opening of the "little scroll" and the sounding of the seven thunders:

He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded. (Rev 10:2-3) 

The link to the story of King Nimrod/Ninurta, the Tower of Babel and Ishtar is further compounded when we take into consideration that the events of 9/11 took place so shortly after the 1999 solar eclipse (which I argue was part of the "signs in heaven" referenced by Cardinal Bertone) - the extremely narrow path of totality of which passed directly through the ancient city of Nineveh, in Mosul, Iraq. It seems to be beyond coincidence that this exact location has recently been taken over by an Islamist terrorist organisation bearing the acronym ISIS (the name of the Egyptian equivalent of Ishtar), all as a result of the American led invasion of Iraq in the aftermath of 9/11. This new development appears to be an example of the "ripple-effect" of prophecy, which radiates out through history like recurring fractals, providing further witness to these interconnections.

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done... there is nothing new under the sun.
(Ecc 1:9)