THE TITLE of Under The Wormwood Star is inspired by the passage in the New Testament of the Christian Bible to Revelations of John, Chapter 8, The Opening of the Seventh Seal, Verses 1 to 13, as the description therein was so close to the effects of nuclear war as to be uncannily accurate.
|Revelations 8: 1 - 13|
|1||And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.|
|2||And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; And to them were given seven trumpets.|
|3||And another angel came And stood at the altar, having a golden censer; And there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.|
|4||And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hAnd.|
|5||And the angel took the censer, And filled it with fire of the altar, And cast it into the earth: And there were voices, And thunderings, And lightnings, And an earthquake.|
|6||And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.|
|7||The first angel sounded, And there followed hail And fire mingled with blood, And they were cast upon the earth: And the third part of trees was burnt up, And all green grass was burnt up.|
|8||And the second angel sounded, And as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: And the third part of the sea became blood;|
|9||And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, And had life, died; And the third part of the ships were destroyed.|
|10||And the third angel sounded, And there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, And it fell upon the third part of the rivers, And upon the fountains of waters;|
|11||And the name of the star is called Wormwood: And the third part of the waters became wormwood; And many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.|
|12||And the fourth angel sounded, And the third part of the sun was smitten, And the third part of the moon, And the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, And the day shone not for a third part of it, And the night likewise.|
And I beheld, And heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!
Wormwood refers to the plant Artemisia Absinthium which is related to a number of plants belonging to the Artemesia family, which includes mugwort And sagebrush. Artemisia Absinthium consists of the dried leaves And flowering tops of Artemisia absinthium L. (Fam. Compositae), a shrubby herb growing. It is cultivated in N. Africa, Europe And the U.S.A. The flowering tops are collected during the late summer Artemisia Absinthium yields about 1% of volatile oil containing thujone (absinthol), thujyl alcohol And iso-valeric acid. It contains, in addition absinthin And a bitter glycoside.
This substance is used in the drink absinth which is renowned for its potentially hallucinogenic qualities.
It is a bitter herb generally used to expel intestinal worms And parasites but it is also used as a bitters digestive stimulant; to reduce fever; as a wash to relieve skin itching And rashes. It also has abortive properties And should not be taken by pregnant women. It is also used in the treatment of malaria, but can be toxic in large quantities.
So, the general usage in Biblical terms is usually thought to refer to it's bitterness, the abortive properties And hallucinogenic And even toxicity also help to generate an impression of symptoms of radiation sickness. But the image of the Wormwood Star referred to in Revelations 8:11 serves as a symbol for the nuclear explosion itself. It was written as we all live under the threat of nuclear annhihilation, or Under The Wormwood Star.