New Moons II

Just when I think I have it figured out…

Keyword: I.  Gotta stop inserting ‘I’ into everything.  It tends to get me in trouble, and then I have to come back and write posts like this, which are embarrassing, because ‘I’ thought I knew something, and now I have to admit that I didn’t, and got corrected on it.  Yeah, it keeps me humble, but that’s beside the point.

Quick recap so that we can get to the important stuff:  I’ve never been sure about when the new moon was.  The phrase ‘new moon’ to a NASA scientist means the state of the moon when it’s completely in shadow, with 0% visibility… the opposite of a 100% full moon.  But the phrase ‘new moon’ to a Karaite Jew is the first sighting of moon in Jerusalem AFTER it has gone 0%.  So say the 0% new moon is on January 20… the Karaite moon could be as late as January 22, depending on cloud coverage in Israel, etc., because they’re looking for the moon when it’s 1%… 3%… who the heck knows.  And since months begin on the ‘new moon’ in Hebrew, and feasts are based on the Hebrew months… it could potentially screw up the true timing of a feast.

And yes, that’s VERY important.  For my family, the closest shabbat to the new moon is our communion.  And at present, we’re counting the Omer, which means we’re counting 50 days from the Feast of Unleavened to Shavuot.  There was a two-day difference between the scientific new moon of March and the Karaite new moon – the Karaite moon ironically also coincided with the Chassadic, Orthodox, and Chrischun dates for Passover, Easter, Firstfruits, etc.  So I had a choice:  I could go the broad way that everyone else was on, or the narrow way, which few take.  What would you do, if you were a cynical ex-christian who didn’t trust people who pulled stuff out of their asses?  And yes, this ‘first sighting’ thing is purely made up.  Nowhere in scripture does it say WHEN the new moon is, which is why there’s the confusion there is.  The ‘c’hurches made shtuff up that doesn’t match reality.  So what would you do?  Follow the crowd?  Go with logic and scientific measurements?  Turns out, BOTH are wrong, but don’t let me get ahead of myself, here.

I had gone (originally) with the scientific new moon, because a) I hate the Karaite moon-spotter leader, he’s a swaggeringly cocky jack-ass, b) I think it’s rude/belittling to assume our ancestors were too stupid to calculate a 0% moon, and c) after having been snowballed by organized religion for 30 years, I rarely ‘follow their lead’ just because they say something is so.  Been burnt that way, before.

But a week or two ago, I sat down with the completely blank May calendar, ready to mark in all the stuff we had planned for May (including paydays, shabbats, feasts, etc.)… and as I was putting my dateson the calendar, I saw that May 20 (the big day of eclipse, full moon, Aztec alignments, Nostradamus prophecy, Cayce’s prophecies, Ure’s big quake, etc) fell on the Karaite Ascension Day… exactly seven days before their Shavuot/Pentecost.  And mine didn’t land on anything.  Well… that was a HUGE sign.  It flashed a red blinking light on my previous assumptions… and I had to come here and post that what I’d believed was wrong – the 0% moon was not the new moon of the Bible.

And then naturally, I was forced to sway the other way, and admit that the Karaites (et al) were right.  Which was a sour pill in my mouth, but what I saw was evidence, and I had to admit that He was definitely showing me that something was wrong.  I’d marked Passover as April 4/5, and everyone else had celebrated it April 6/7… a two-day difference.  The GOOD news was that we also celebrated it on April 6/7, because that was my mother’s Ishtar/Passover.  It felt wrong, but we did it with them.  And so we’ve been kind of between the two.

Funny I should say that, actually…

On Saturday, we missed counting the Omer.  That Damn Birthday Party (it might go down in history/scrapbooks as such) messed with our Shabbat and we weren’t home for the Omer.  But (here’s come CynicAnna…) I figured ‘who the heck cares?  We’re two days ahead, anyhow.  Just count it as one of those grace days, and we’ll probably be back on track.’  And I kid you not, a ‘the one’ bulb flashed in my head.  Wow, THAT was unexpected.

Yesterday morning, I woke up way the heck too early.  He does that to me – it seems to be the time of day he likes to give me messages.  I glanced at the alarm clock, half-awake, and mentally mumbled, “Okay, what is it today, Lord?  Y’got me up…” and He said, “Your omer count is on track, now.”  ((!!!!!))  I was startled, to say the least.  But there was a TWO day difference between the 0% and Karaite new moons!  I have to miss another day, no?  ‘No. I’ve taken care of it for you.’

So I got up and looked at my calendar… and the Omer count on my calendar (yes, I count down from 50 in the corner of each square) took me from April 5/6 to May 25/26.  Dates aside, if there’s TWO days between 0% and Karaite, and He’s put me dead in the middle, do you know what that means?  It means it’s NOT the 0% new moon.  It’s also not the first sighting of the moon from Jerusalem.  The new moon is the 1% moon… the first sliver after it’s gone dark.  Whether you can see it or not.  That means not relying on science to calculate it for you, or man to sight it in Israel, but rather to watch the heavens yourself (or an app, because we’re so advanced, you know)… and see that sliver for yourself.

Which puts the one-week mark on the Communion just before Ascension Day (very kewl) and Shavuot on Shabbat… also very kewl.  It also leaves me eating crow, because I jumped from one assumption right to another, and you know what they say about when you assume… it makes an ASS of U and ME.  Oi, will I ever learn?!  I certainly hope so.  But I feel WAY better about things, now, because I got actual confirmation on this.  ((It would’ve been NICE if He’d’ve just SAID THAT when I was marking the calendar two weeks ago, but His ways are not my ways, and that’s MORE than apparent.))

So.  There it is.  I screwed it, again.  I have to apologize for the leaps I made in the last new moon blog, cuz I led you wrong, unknowingly.  But at least He’s got me straightened out, now!

Now, this morning I was at Shirat Devorah’s site, and I saw that she’s got Lag B’Omer (middle of the Omer) on 18 Iyyar…or May 9/10.  Which means they’re one day too fast, and it’s actually May 8/9… with the ninth in common.  I also read this morning that SpaceWeather is calling for two CMEs to hit earth on May 9th, one of which is an M-class flare… that’s pretty nice sized!  I’ve been watching IRIS every morning, and there hasn’t been SQUAT for big quakes in almost two weeks, now.  It’s been completely quiet.  The hush before the storm?  I wouldn’t be surprised.  Lag B’Omer would be a great day for a precursor of things to come… a ‘wake-up’ call to those lulling in their observance of the 50 days.  So I find His timing on setting me straight to be pretty amazing!

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