Eclipse 2017, or “The Great American Eclipse” as it’s being called, is going to be one of the most spectacular scientific and astronomical events to ever happen in the U.S. in a hundred years. But rather than simply taking it for what it is — a rare and beautiful cosmic event — some Christians are convinced it’s part of a series of events heralding the end of the world.
The Inquisitr has already covered the fact that some Christians — particularly those who write for, and believe, the website Unsealed — are convinced the eclipse was prophesied about in the Bible and that it heralds the end of the world. It doesn’t, of course, as that article lays out in well-researched and reasoned detail (still no phone call from the Pulitzer Committee, unfortunately).
As it turns out, there are a couple of other reasons, besides those laid out by Unsealed, that are causing some people, including some Christians and some conspiracy theorists, to freak out about this eclipse.
The “September 23 Sign”/Revelation 12 Sign
If you look up “September 23 Sign” on YouTube (and you really shouldn’t), you’ll see several videos purporting to pair the eclipse with a supposed astronomical event that’s going to take place a few weeks later, on September 23. Supposedly, the alignment of the planets and stars that day was spoken of in Revelation 12.
“And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.”
On that day, the sun will be in the constellation Virgo (the virgin), the moon will be near Virgo’s feet, Jupiter will be in Virgo, and Venus, Mars, and Mercury will be above and to the right of Virgo in the constellation Leo. That’s real and is actually happening, as EarthSky makes clear. It’s really cool and will be quite a sight, but it’s also utterly insignificant.
Even Answers in Genesis, which is written by people who believe the Earth is 6,000-years-old and was literally created in six literal, 24-hour days, points out that there is no significance to this event — at least, regarding biblical prophecy.
“For a day or two each September or October, the sun appears in Virgo with the moon at her feet, so this is not that remarkable.”
Further, says AiG, Leo has more than nine stars, depending on which map of the constellations you reference, so the addition of the three planets means exactly bubkus. And of course, it goes without saying that the constellation Leo is nothing more than lines on a map, drawn by humans thousands of years ago. The stars that make up Leo are light years apart from each other and do not “know” that they’re part of a constellation.
OK, But What About This “Planet X” Business?
Here is where we leave the hoary and confusing world of biblical prophecy and enter the mysterious world of conspiracy theories.
The Planet X Theory, as IFL Science explains, says that an unknown planet, sometimes called “Nibiru,” whose existence is being hidden by NASA, will wipe out humanity when it collides with the Earth. The theory first gained traction in 1995 and was first offered by Nancy Lieder, who claimed to have an implant in her brain that allowed her to talk to aliens. She also believed that Nibiru would wipe out humanity in 2003, so there’s that.
Conspiracy theorist David Meade has mixed the September 23 Sign and the Planet X theory together into one meta-theory that holds that the eclipse portends the arrival of Planet X and, you guessed it, the end of the world.
“In his latest book, Planet X – The 2017 Arrival, [Meade] claims that the planet will be driven towards Earth by gravity from a star ‘twinned’ with the Sun. Based on the alignment of stars, he now thinks it’ll happen 33 days after we first see the planet on the day of the solar eclipse, August 21.”
This theory doesn’t really require much in the way of debunking. There simply is no Nibiru or Planet X, and that is literally all that needs to be said about this.
It’s human nature to assign significance to routine events. If you saw a shooting star the night of your wedding day, you would remember it for the rest of your life. But the tens of thousands of other humans who saw it likely thought, “I’ll be darned, a shooting star,” and then went about their business. This eclipse will be significant because it will be awesome to see, and it’s a comparatively rare event. But like the tens of thousands of eclipses that have taken place since H. Sapiens climbed down from the trees, it will come and go with nothing else happening. The moon will resume its path across the sky, and life will go on.
Enjoy the Great American Eclipse for what it is: an awesome, once-in-a-lifetime celestial event.
[Featured Image by Digital+Vision./Thinkstock]