Sunday, 2 December 2007






Such are some of the names and epithets ‘enjoyed’ by one of our closest neighbours in the Solar System – the planet Mars and its satellites. And what a collection of names! And how diverse the origins. (And what on Earth does this have to do with the mental health topics about which I normally write?)

Babylonian astronomer-astrologers chose to call the planet Nergal – the name of their God of death and pestilence. The Greeks chose Ares – their God of war - and called the two Martian moons – Phobos (Fear) and Deimos (Terror). The Romans paralleling the Greeks named the planet Mars, their God of war, also.

But why? Yes, why should so much opprobrium be heaped upon an inert heavenly body? One whose equatorial radius is about half that of the earth and whose mass is just one-tenth, and surface area four times less than our planet.

“Because it is red” – so goes the normally accepted myth. 

 If that is the best we can do, I suggest that we think again. The Ancients – the ones who applied these epithets – did not have any visual aids to magnify the object of their observation and assist them in their study. Furthermore, for a large part of its orbit, Mars is not visible from earth in the hours of darkness, and for a significant part of the remainder, it may appear to be no brighter than a bright star at dawn or dusk.

But what about the rest of the time – the period when it is largely visible to the naked eye, and obviously red? 

To understand the significance that I apply to this period of high visibility and the links that I see to the various ‘qualities’ that the Ancients ascribed to the planet, it is necessary to study certain facts about Mars, its movements around the sun, and consequent positions relative to the Earth. 

Even though you may not have the slightest interest in astronomy, nor in the machinations of the Ancients, nevertheless, you have the same tools that they had – namely your eyes. You also have the same intellectual abilities, which you can apply to the observation and study of human behaviour, and to natural phenomena such as storms and earthquakes. 
You might then come to the same conclusions as I have in relating the results of your observations to the behaviour of humans, whether as individuals or in the mass. 
You might also come to the same conclusions as me when I take the observed behaviour and reactions a step further into the field of mental health. 
You might also discover that as you share your thoughts with others and find that you are able to predict times or periods when individuals or people in the mass will behave aggressively or unpredictably, you will be treated as a minor prophet, such as I seem to have become among my acquaintances.

 (And you will not be indulging in astrology.)
To understand fully what I am trying to convey, it is necessary for you to absorb a few facts.

Mars orbits the sun every two years. It has an eccentric orbit, which means that the sun is not at the mid-point of the orbital ellipse. The orbit is ‘outside’ that of the earth.

Once every two years, the earth and mars are in ‘opposition’; i.e. the earth is directly between the sun and mars, and the earth and Mars are close to each other.

Every fifteen (occasionally seventeen) years the ‘opposition’ occurs when mars is at its ‘perihelion’ – i.e. on that part of its orbit that brings it closest to the sun, and consequently very close to the earth. (The distance between the earth and mars varies from 56 million km to 400 million km)

When mars is in opposition, it appears due south at midnight, and as it is closer to the earth than at other times, it is larger, clearer and redder. At ‘perihelic opposition’, it is even larger, clearer and more red.

For reasons that yet I cannot fathom, as the earth and Mars draw closer to each other, humans, whether singly or in the mass, are affected in ways that may be discerned by anyone who is prepared to stand back and observe with a mind that is open and objective. 

In his ‘The Planets’ suite, composer Gustav Holst names Mars ‘The Bringer of War’. Yes, ‘The Bringer...’ 

Whether as between individuals, between families and family members, within societies and within nations, and between nations, dissent and conflict erupt. 

Check for yourself. At the end of this note, you will find a list of ‘perihelion oppositions’ from the year 1608. Check, as I have done, these dates against the types of social upheaval that I describe, and you will be surprised at the correspondence.

More than that, check the dates against records of major earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, great storms, ‘the coldest this...’ or ‘the hottest that…’ Again, you will be surprised at the correlation. Examination of the dates of major epidemics and ‘pestilence’ will reveal more correspondence than can be explained by sheer coincidence. 

 Then ask yourself ‘why?’

Ever since I became aware of the Mars ‘phenomenon’, I have pondered, yet have not found an answer that satisfies me.

 The fact that major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur coincidentally with the Mars oppositions has convinced me that the variations in the gravitational pull between earth and Mars might be the greatest source of influence.

 Does it alter the flow of the ‘solar wind’ – the passage of electrically charged particles that flow outwards from the Sun?

 Does it depress the Earth’s ionosphere in the same way that the Moon does on its movements around its ‘host’?

I don’t know – shall probably never know. What I do know is that the effects upon people are very real. Observe for yourself at the next opposition, which will occur in May 2016.

(The next perihelic opposition will occur in April 2018.)

But the effect is not specific to the opposition date itself.  The most recent opposition was in April 2014, and this year seems to be excelling itself in human conflict and disaster.

 Don’t let me prompt you, be your own judge, just as my own personal observations have informed me.  It is impossible to escape the reports of the human torment and natural disasters that come to us from all over the World. 

Less obvious, and usually apparent only to the immediate participants, are the events at a domestic level. And even less obvious are the influences that beset the minds of sensitive individuals, particularly those with nervous or ‘mental’ problems. 

 It is obvious that I am not being specific – principally because I do not want to prompt anyone into an action or response.

My chief concern is with those who suffer voices and other forms of intrusion into their minds and bodies. 

I write with absolute conviction that in a high proportion of instances, these originate from external spiritual sources; sources that are both intelligent and malevolent, and that are aware that sensitive individuals are depleted and undermined at the times that I write about. 

 Sleep is often disturbed and minimal, and the terrors that may plague the vulnerable in the loneliest time of the night will increase markedly. The lonely persecuted mind is vulnerable and prey to the suicidal thoughts that may be being forced into it. 

Resentments may be fuelled and violence provoked.

I know, to some it will seem like a combination of ‘old wives tales’ coupled with a fertile imagination. 

 Think like that if you wish.

Thirty years of personal experience and observation have convinced me of the reality of what I write.

 This reality came home forcibly to a long-standing friend. He had a partner who was very sensitive to the influences that I describe, and when I saw that any set of adverse conditions was approaching, I would give him a ‘hard hat’ warning, for his partner would lose all control and become very violent and abusive – and yet would have no subsequent recall.

I could write much more, but the best confirmation of what I have written above, will come from your own study and observation.

So, just stand back - and try to observe objectively.


1608, Aug 3. 1625, Sept 22. 1640, Aug 21. 1655, July 21. 1672, Sept 8. 1687, Aug 8. 1704, Sep 26. 1719, Aug 27. 1734, July 26. 1751, Sept 24. 1766, Aug 13. 1781, July 12. 1798, Aug 30. 1813, July 31. 1830, Sept 19. 1845, Aug 18. 1860, July 17. 1877, Sept 5. 1892, Aug 4. 1909, Sept 24. 1924, Aug 23. 1939, July 23. 1956, Sept 10. 1971, Aug 10. 1988, Sept 28. 2003, Aug 28. 2018, July 27.

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