Saturday, March 31, 2007

A Lively Concert and Latter Day Astrology

Yesterday evening we saw Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band performing at our local theatre. As Wikipedia says, the band is "unique and different...... They have a country bluegrass sound with pop/rock stylistics." It was a fun, and very lively, show. Instruments played were guitars, bass, fiddle, banjo, mandolin and drums - with gusto and a lot of skill. The band members obviously enjoy every minute, as do their audience. Ryan Shupe is said to have been playing the fiddle from the age of 5 and is a 5th generation fiddle player. "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" was probably the showpiece of the evening, and was an absolutely wonderful rendition. Most other numbers were self-penned. We were told that the band's main claim to international fame was a big surprise to them. They discovered that one of their numbers had made #1 on the bluegrass charts in France. I wondered to myself whether the French call this style of music "l'herbe bleu" or struggle like Inspector Clouseau with "blergrasse".

A blog entry suggested itself, but more research was needed. Oh what a many-forked road we follow when searching via almighty Google! I discovered that Ryan Shupe hails from Utah and is said to have links with The Church of the Latter Day Saints (Mormon Church). I decided not to look into his astrology. I couldn't find his birth date, in any on-line biography. This may or may not be a deliberate omission - I understand that astrology is not approved of by his church. Why am I not surprised?

There was, though, a surprise to be found along a fork in the Google highway. It appears that Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Latter Day Saints had a close connection with magic, the occult and astrology. Later church authorities have denied as much, but a book entitled "Early Mormonism and the Magic World View" by Michael Quinn, which is reviewed HERE makes no bones about the matter.

A brief extract, relating to astrology, from the review states:
"Both friendly and unfriendly sources show that astrology was important to members of the Smith family" (p. 72). They believed that the success in their pursuits of buried treasure "depended in a great measure on the state of the moon" (p. 74). In fact, Smith's mother and father as well as Smith himself and Emma were married on days that coincided with favorable days related to the new moon. Smith founded his church on a Tuesday (April 6, 1830) rather than a Sunday to coincide with the full moon (p. 291). In addition, the children Smith fathered both by his wife Emma and other polygamous wives were, for the most part, conceived in either February or September when his "ruling planet (of Jupiter) governed generation." Mormon scholars, he notes, don't like any correlation between astrology and Smith, but "where LDS apologists claim to see only coincidences, I see logical consequences of astrological belief" (pp. 76-79). "

The living and learning goes on and on! I knew hardly anything about the Church of Latter Day Saints, now I know a little more, at least about its founder (left), for whom I admit a sneaking regard!

Photographs can be enlarged by clicking on them, and were taken by the husband, otherwise referred to as "HeWhoKnows".

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