Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The War For The Stars

I was aghast to learn that some of my readers are unaware of the centuries-old war between the Astrologers and the Astronomers for control of the Solar System. What are they teaching you people in school these days, besides homosexualism and evolution?

After an exhaustive evening of typing a few search terms on Google, I realized that there is little, if any, discussion of this ancient feud anywhere on the Internet, either. Upon reflection, this makes perfect sense. Both sides have good reason to cover it up, and thus they have both made Herculean efforts to remove all reference to it from the internet, as well as all world libraries and manuscripts.

For millennia, dating back to Babylonian times, the sky was the sole domain of the Astrologers. They were responsible for tracking the movements of the twelve planets in the sky and understanding their effects on our psyches and sex lives, but this was only part of their job. Less well-known is that they were responsible for pacifying the planets as well, lest they become angry and smite us with asteroids and bad lotto numbers.

And for many centuries, this arrangement worked out well. The Astrologers were revered, and the planets were kept pacified. Only occasionally would they throw a comet or solar eclipse our way to keep us in check.

Then, through the Middle Ages, some upstart Astronomers began moving in on the Astrologers' turf. In China, then India, then Persia and the Arab world - un-trained, non-Astrologers began gazing at the heavens and using new Number-based techniques such as calculus and trigonometry to predict the movements of celestial bodies. The Astrologers were understandably furious. All their hard work keeping the planets pacified was now being reduced to mere clockwork.

The conflict reached a boiling point in 1610 when a young and headstrong Italian patent clerk named Galileo Galilei began pointing a military spyglass towards the heavens and discovered the moons of Jupiter, an unconscionable invasion of the giant planet's privacy. The Astrologers could stand it no more, and declared War on the Astronomers. Working with their allies in the Catholic Church, the Astrologers had Galileo arrested for heresy and put to death for his crimes.

The Astrologers didn't stop there. Throughout the 17th Century, a great many Astronomers met their ends at the hands of the Astrologers' trained assassins - Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, Taqi ad-Din Muhammad ibn Ma'ruf, the Huygens brothers, and countless others. The Astronomers fought back, using their sophisticated optical and calculation techniques to bombard the great Astrological Monasteries of the ancient world by trebuchet.

By the turn of the 18th Century, both sides were exhausted and most of the sky-observing world was in ruin. When a British geometry professor and hollow-Earth enthusiast named Edmond Halley proposed a truce between the two enemies, both the Astrologers and Astronomers eagerly came to the negotiating table. Thus in 1705, the Oxford Agreement was signed, granting both factions equal dominion over the heavens, so long as their areas of operation remained separate. The Astronomers would be allowed to observe and predict the motions of the stars and planets, and the Astrologers would be the planets' communicators and interpreters.

To commemorate the long-sought peace agreement after a century of brutal war, the Astrologers appealed to Jupiter and Saturn to ellipticize the orbit of a rogue comet that had randomly terrorized the Earth for centuries, which the Astronomers were then permitted to observe and document amid great fanfare. The comet was named for the peacebroker Edmond Halley, and since then has served as a reminder both of the truce between the skywatchers and the bloodshed that preceded it.

Today, I fear that both factions are inching towards conflict once again. The Astronomers are clearly seeking sole dominion of the skies, with their mountaintop telescopes and orbiting observatories. They have even sent robotic probes to view the outer planets close up, angering them immensely. The recent demotion of the planets Pluto, Ceres, and the Moon - and the Astronomers' consistent denial of the existence of the twelfth planet, Nibiru - has left our celestial neighbors and their Astrologer messengers positively furious. Asteroid "near misses" such as 2010 AL30, which just buzzed us today, are more than just warning shots - they are harbingers of what is to come.

Astronomers, be advised. You are playing with fire. I only hope that it is not too late to prevent a second War For The Stars.