The astronomical phenomenon of a red lunar eclipse that occurs four consecutive times in two years is known as “Tetrad”. People with more colourful imagination like to call it “Blood Moon”. Contrary to popular belief, it is frequent and has occurred at least 4 times in the last 60 years.
The reason that the eclipse appears red (or bloodied) is because the moon passes through the outer band of the earth’s shadow. Thus for an observer on the moon, it is same as watching sunrise or sunset, across the horizon of planet earth. While an observer on earth sees the moon painted in red. The second “blood moon” of the current tetrad occurred in the early hours of 8th October, 2014. It was preceded by one on the 4th of April and will be followed by two more in April and September next year.
We are living in times when doomsday conspiracy theories are making their way into the mainstream. The world did not end in December 2012 (Mayan Calendar’s end) and yet we saw countless hours on TV coverage of people pedalling this hoax. There was even a Hollywood movie “2012”, made to bank on people’s fascination to this theory. It is no wonder then, that San Antonio Pastor John Hagee wrote the book titled “Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change“ on the phenomenon on Tetrad. In his book he notes that the tetrads have coincided with major historical events in the past.
The Pastor mentioned in April, “Every time this has happened in the last 500 years, it has coincided with tragedy for the Jewish people, followed by triumph. And once again, for Israel, the timing of this tetrad is remarkable,” The events mentioned in his book are Discovery of America, Holocaust , Birth of Israel, six-day war and recapture of Jerusalem.
Hagee’s correlation makes the book an interesting read; however it also muddies the water and creates a smokescreen. With reference to the current Tetrad, the pastor has mentioned the existence of imminent threat to the state of Israel. He propounds his case by citing the recent turmoil in the middle-east region.
It is true that the middle-east is currently in a very volatile state. Any undesirable perturbence can trigger events of geographical and historical importance, but that is beside the point. The point is that going by this theory of Israel being in imminent danger paints it to be the aggrieved rather than aggressor.
This is in contrast to Israel’s actions following the start of current tetrad. In August, nearly 1000 acres of Palestinian territory was grabbed by Israel and declared “State Land”. This came after butchering of 2100 Palestinians in Gaza the previous month. God forbid, if this recent massacre and oppression is a tragedy than what will be the scale of the triumph?
The world is in turmoil. It is easy to lose focus with tension simmering in Ukraine and Russia and ISIS wreaking havoc in Middle East, all this with an outbreak of Ebola in Africa. If the world is to see peace, the first step is “sincerity of intention”. The intention by all parties to achieve sustainable peace through truth and reconciliation. This is where our belief and efforts should be invested. Let’s not wait for an astronomical phenomenon to turn our fortunes.