This year’s calendar features the Blood Moon, a celestial phenomenon based on the lunar eclipse that is the subject of fascination especially among Christians and others over the millennia. The Blood Moon’s redness is caused by the earth’s atmosphere, and the phenomenon has been viewed by the devout as a sign of Jesus Christ’s return. On the cover, we feature an image of a replica of Herod’s Temple in Jerusalem, with an enormous full moon behind it. These lunar eclipses are especially significant because there will be four of them during 2014 and 2015, comprising a tetrad. The text by Robert Tulip, D.M. Murdock and N.W. Barker explains the history and mythology of blood moons since antiquity, when one occurred over Jerusalem in 4 BCE, held by some to be Christ’s “birthday.”
In the calendar, we also provide another view of the blood moon showing the “rabbit” common in lunar mythology, as well as images of the Chinese moon goddess Chang-O; the “White Hare of the Moon”; and Christ’s “Second Coming” and Resurrection.
We journey next to Bethsaida, Israel, where ancient ruins focus on a lunar bull god, while in Ireland a neolithic tomb passage may mark the phases of the moon. So too does a 4,000-year-old “recumbent stone circle” in Scotland possess lunar alignments, possibly serving as a site where one could “witness fairy dances and celebrations.” The vision in the biblical book of Revelation of a “woman clothed with the sun, with moon under her feet” is featured next, as part of ancient mythology Christianized. Significant also to Christian astrotheology is the herdsman constellation of Bootes, supposedly also useful in signifying the messiah’s coming.
The blood moon is also a “hunter’s moon,” useful for tracking nocturnal prey, as in the Greek myth of Artemis, featured in October. Maya mythology features the Blood Maiden or First Mother, who resurrects the solar maize god out of the underworld. The lunar goddess Ix Chel is associated with a rabbit, again a common lunar motif. Finally, December is highlighted by a lovely winter scene of a village with blood moon, with the full moon falling on the festival of Sinterklasas in Holland.