Vexen Crabtree 2015

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Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards


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The Number 12: Disciples, Tribes and the Zodiac

"The Divine Number 12: 12 Gods, 12 Disciples, 12 Tribes and the Zodiac" by Vexen Crabtree (2007)):

The conclusion reads (briefly; many interesting tid-bits are iterated through first!):

When you see the number twelve, watch out. If the number is employed in a practical sense to divide time, measurements, or angles, then the chances are it makes awesome mathematical sense to utilize such a factorable number as the number twelve. But if you see it used in a superstitious, religious, magical, paranormal, holy or weird way, be warned that it is based on ancient sun-worship, star warship, and ridiculous astrology. As a species we have been using it to divide the solar realm into twelve divisions, assuming that each one is ruled by a personification, a god, a divine being, a teacher, a prophet or a son of the sun. Now we understand what stars, planets and stellar objects are, it makes no sense to retain the mystical, nonsensical connotations of the 'holy', 'perfect', 'divine' or 'special' number 12. Such superstitions have made their way into major religions; there are 12 tribes of Israel as founded by the 12 sons of Jacob, the 12 disciples of Mithras and Christ, the 12 Gods of Olympus and according to Shi'a Muslims, 12 successors to Muhammad. The number 12 is useful because we use a base 10 numbering system (using 10 digits: 0123456789). It makes no sense to say that Gods would use a base 10 numbering system: Therefore gods would not divide the skies, their sons, their chosen ones or the message into twelve parts just because we have ten fingers! So applaud the usefulness of number 12... but watch out for those who are deluded by the pagan, irrational, magical and nonsensical claims made about it! It is, after all, only a number.


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You state that The important thing about twelve is that for such a low number it is deviserble by so many others. Specificaly one, two, three, four and six.

You Then say in your conclution that it is sill to think twelve is important to gods because we use a base ten number system and it would be silly to assume a god or gods would.

What base number system you use is irelivant as what ever you hapen to call the numbers if you have twelve pebles you can devide them in to one, two, three, four or six even piles. This is the case weather you write twelve as 12, c, 1100 or XII.

You may as well say gods wouldn't think of twelve as a mystic number because he prefers to speak in ancient hebrew.

You are clearly right, thanks for pointing that out!

the # 12

(Anonymous)
time out! the # 12 'conspiracy' u speak of Would have merit EXCEPT most of the issues in the bible that deal with the #12 were introduced and made part of the bible CENTURIES before the babylonians came up with #12's signifigance to the zodiac, which was in 5th-7th century BC!!! c u n hell, dumbass

12 Tribes of Israel

(Anonymous)
I really don't understand the point of what you are getting at with the number 12. However, the 12 Tribes of Israel are REAL, even if you don't believe in God. They are Jacob's 12 sons, which are the 12 Tribes of Israel. They EXIST historically. Actually, the perfect number of God is 7, not 12. Also, the 12 Tribes of Israel, the land of Israel and the Jewish people are VERY important to God, because Heaven has the 12 tribes all over it. This is why: Revelation 21:10-14

"And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heavem from God. It shone like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall with TWELVE gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the TWELVE tribes of Israel. There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. The wall of the city had TWELVE foundations, and on them were the names of the TWELVE apostles of the Lamb (Jesus)."

Ever notice how the whole world is focused on Israel and what happens there??? Here are some helpful hints: God made the Jewish people, starting with Abraham, His chosen people. He made eternal covenants with them. Jesus was Jewish, from the line of David. Jesus (the Jewish Mesiah), is the son of God that He sent to pay for all of humanity's sin. So, the Jews and their land are very important to God. Be VERY careful of how you treat the Jews and the land God gave them. For God said in Genesis 12:1-3

"The Lord had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I WILL BLESS THOSE WHO BLESS YOU, AND WHOEVER CURSES YOU I WILL CURSE."

Got to love the Jews! Praise the Lord!

Re: 12 Tribes of Israel

The 12 sons of Jacob are mythical.

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Re: 12 Tribes of Israel

Well if we judge by what *happens* in Israel, then I conclude that your God is actually an evil god of war, not a good god of love, and I suggest you turn your back on it.

Secondly, there is *always* going to be a flare-up point somewhere in the world... are you saying that wherever that is, you can conclude the local religion is the true one? A little arbitrary, don't you think!

Thirdly, you said there are "12" in Heaven BECAUSE of what it says in Revelations. That makes no sense, because Heaven and God's plan would have existed for an eternity before Revelations was even written. You appear to have your cause and effect the wrong way round!

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(Deleted comment)
There is only really two levels of evolution:

1. Duplication.
2. Death.

Life results from this cycle, but it is odd to phrase it in such melodramatic terms as you have done. Tell me, what are you counting as a "level"? I am well-versed in evolution, so don't shy away from a technical answer.

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I was just wondering if you have any faith or belief in anything that is not concrete and tangible. Please so not take offense. I am not big on zodiacs or other systems of the sort but do understand a higher power at work in the universe. Consider if humans really represented the greatest intelligence. In the Museum of Antiquities in Cairo they have a battery dating back over 4,000 years yet are unable to figure out how the ancient civilizationcreated the battery using the technology of the day. Much like trying to build a pyramid.

If that knowledge and ability is lost, perhaps an underlying truth to the mysticism of the religious beliefs of cultures is waiting to be rediscovered.

The number 12 in astronomy and myth

(Anonymous)

Part 1

I appreciate your article.

Here is a thought for why the number 12 was so important to ancient astronomers (we would call them astrologers, today), and to ancient religions (we would call them myths, today).

The sky was seen as a revolving dome with stars upon its surface. There were 7 'stars' or heavenly bodies that could be seen with the naked eye that moved independently across the surface of this starry dome. These were called the 'wandering' stars, or 'planetoi' in Greek. We call them planets today. The Romans called them 'angelus', the 'messengers', which gives us our word angel.

The 7 planets were seen to travel at different speeds. Ancient sky watchers realized that the planet moving with the highest apparent speed must be closest to the observer on Earth. The slowest moving planet must be furthest from the observer on Earth. Each planet was thought of as being attached to its own revolving dome or sphere in the sky. Since the spheres could be seen through, and an observer could see the next higher layer, the spheres must be clear, made of crystal. Thus the story comes down to us of the 7 crystal spheres of heaven, or the 7 heavens.

The planets were ranked according to their apparent distance from Earth. Mercury (fastest, and thus closest, and so the swift messenger of the gods), Moon, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn (farthest away, and so cold and dark). There was some debate in ancient times as to the proper order, with several different versions surviving down to modern times.

The revolution of the planets was the best way to keep track of time. An observer merely waited for the planet to return to the same point in the sky. The days were given by the movement of the Sun. The months by the movement of the Moon.

The cycles of Venus were used by Aztecs and Mayans to calculate proper times for war.

The planet Jupiter was hailed as the king of the gods by the Greeks and Romans and Babylonians. The planet Jupiter takes 12 years to perform one revolution in the sky, dividing the sky into 12 discreet sections of 30 degrees each.

The retrograde motion of Jupiter even neatly subdivides the sky into smaller sections of 10 degrees each. By watching Jupiter, such a brilliant and slow moving marker, it is easy to keep track of time. This was crucial in an era when there were no clocks, and the local calendar was always based on the reign of the local king. Only by keeping lists of kings was it possible to keep track of the years. But... each hamlet and city state had its own king. The only way to have an agreed upon time calendar with any other city or state was to use the well known markers of the heavens as the basis. Once you knew the movements of the planet Jupiter, and related it to any of the kings in the list, you could accurately track time.

Any self respecting sky watcher studying the heavens would have to have a book of kings, and a list of the 12 positions in the sky that Jupiter traveled through.


The number 12 in astronomy and myth (part 2)

(Anonymous)
Part 2


The modern clock face still has 12 positions, being based on the movements of Jupiter. The Chinese zodiac has 12 positions, being based on the movements of Jupiter. The Western zodiac has 12 positions, being based on the movements of Jupiter.

In mythology, the Norse claimed 12 great gods in heaven. The Greeks and Romans claimed 12 great gods in heaven,and gave each a constellation of the zodiac. The Hindus of India had essentially the same zodiac as the Greeks and Romans, with a few differences, each place was assigned a deity.

The Greco-Roman calendar and zodiac was inherited from earlier states, particularly Egypt and Babylon. Babylon inherited astronomy from Sumeria. Clay tablets 5,000 years old with recognizable constellations and signs of the zodiac have been found in archaeological excavations in ancient Sumerian cities.

In ancient Greece, 12 tribes were assigned to care for the temples in rotation, each tribe serving for 1 month. Each tribe was related to the section of the sky, the sign of the zodiac, and the relevant god.

Gens Julian, the clan of Julius Caesar, claimed descent from the goddess Venus. Her section of the sky was inhabited by the constellation Taurus the Bull. The Romans had complex genealogies showing how their ancestors descended from the 12 signs of the zodiac. Most ancient peoples, and some modern ones, claim descent from the constellations and planets.

Today we know that stars are hot balls of plasma, many light years away. The planets are spheres of rock and gas orbiting the sun, and are certainly not deities riding across the skies in chariots.

It seems ludicrous today to claim descent from a planet or constellation, or to claim that a planet or constellation descended to Earth, walked about, ate, fought, and possibly died like a person. But myth and legend, religion and dreams are full of such stories. Humans have always turned their eyes toward heaven and been inspired.

------------------------------------------------

As a side note, many stories of heaven give it 7 layers due to the 7 perceived spheres, or 7 angels, due to the 7 angelus. Heaven also will often be divided into 12 sections, one for each sign of the zodiac. Often in stories there will be a great tree. The 5th century Latin astronomer Macrobius relates that the Milky Way galaxy, rising up through the sky, was called the Tree of Life.

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