On Monday August 21st, a solar eclipse will occur and be visible for up to two hours across the entire United States. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, blocking its rays of light and for a short time completely or partially obscuring sunlight from reaching the Earth. For those lucky enough to be in the path of totality that tracks in a narrow band across the entire country, a total solar eclipse will occur where the moon completely blocks the sun. For up to 160 seconds, the sun will vanish and day will turn into night. Is the upcoming solar eclipse a sign for a prophecy as foretold in the Book of Revelation?
The prophecy foretold comes from the Book of Revelation, the vision of the Woman and the Dragon. Some believe it to be part of an apocalyptic prophecy and call it the Revelation 12 Sign. They believe that an astronomical alignment of the constellations Leo and Virgo, along with Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, the sun and the moon will fulfill the prophecy word for word on September 23rd. The solar eclipse is purported to be a warning sign for the upcoming astronomical alignment.
“A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.” – Revelation 12:1-2
On that day, the sun will be within the constellation Virgo, referencing the woman clothed with the sun. The moon will be at the base of the constellation, referencing the moon under her feet. The nine stars of the constellation Leo along with Mercury, Venus, and Mars, comprising the crown of twelve stars. Jupiter will be within the constellation of Virgo, and after the astronomical alignment will exit the constellation towards the feet, referencing the labor and birth of the Woman. That sounds like a convincing argument for the fulfillment of the prophecy, but is this truly a unique event?
Betteridge’s law of headlines (Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.) holds true in the case of whether or not the alignment fulfills the prophecy. While some believe in the Revelation 12 sign, the alignment on September 23rd is not a unique event and actually happens quite often.
Because of the Earth’s orbit around the sun, it passes through all twelve constellations every year. The sun is always in Virgo every September. Similarly, because of the Moons orbit around the Earth, there is at least one or two days every September that the sun is in Virgo, while the moon is at the feet of the constellation. The woman clothed in sun with the moon at her feet happens every year. The only possible unique arrangement is that of the four planets that make up the crown and child. However, the arrangement of the four planets along with the sun and moon, while not a yearly occurrence, still happens regularly. In the past thousand years, it has happened four times.
Astrology used to be a field that astronomers believed to be valid. However, in today’s world we know that astrology has no scientific evidence to back up what it purports to be able to do. Pope Francis himself has even warned those Faithful to the Church about the false revelations that fortune tellers, horoscopes, and astrologers claim to be able to reveal to us.