Astrology and Religion "There shall be signs in the Sun, Moon, and Stars" - Jesus Christ
There has been controversy regarding astrology’s role in the Bible. Christians are often taught in Church that astrology is wrong to use on the basis of select scriptures. These oft quoted scriptures are taken out of context and reflect lack of awareness of what astrology is and what the competencies and roles of astrologers are. This article will discuss both the scriptures used to discredit and approve of astrology. Further, it will outline what astrology is and what it is not, as well as what the role and competencies of astrologers are.
Daniel 1: 17 says, “To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.” In verses 18-21 the story continued that when the king questioned the young men, magicians and astrologers about matters of wisdom and understanding, the young men were 10 times better than the astrologers and magicians. In the book of Daniel chapter 2 there is a story regarding King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. The King wanted astrologers to first tell him what is dream was and then interpret his dream. The problem is ASTROLOGERS ARE NOT DREAM INTERPRETERS OR PSYCHICS; consequently the astrologers were not able to do this task. They told the king in verse 10 that there is no man on earth who can do what the king asks; they did not claim they had any special visionary powers. It says in Daniel verse 19, that the “mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision”. Astrologers use a scientific system of the movement of the planets based on mathematics, this is not a special God given vision or gift, it is a system to be studied and learned by anyone with the interest to do so. Naturally, if God gave special understanding and vision to Daniel and the young men but not the astrologers, they would outperform the astrologers.
In Daniel 5: 7-8 it tells the story of how the king wanted astrologers to decipher the writing on the wall that was written suddenly by human hands. ASTROLOGERS DO NOT CLAIM TO BE ABLE TO DECIPHER SECRET CODES AND WRITINGS. An astrologer’s competency lies in studying the influence of the constantly transiting dynamic planets on human affairs and behavior. Astrologers do not have esoteric powers. The word occult means “hidden”. Knowledge of astrology is neither hidden nor only available to a few distinguished people. Any person with a strong interest, motivation and persistence is capable of learning astrology.
In Isaiah 47: 13, it says to the Babylonians, “All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you.” ASTROLOGERS DO NOT CLAIM TO HAVE THE POWER TO CAUSE EVENTS TO HAPPEN OR STOP BAD EVENTS FROM HAPPENING. Astrologers can tell you the dominant themes for any given time period. Astrologers, more than anyone understand that everything in life has its unique timing; bad events and good events alike will happen as scheduled. Eccl. 3:1-8 expresses this sentiment perfectly:
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”
The power of astrology is knowledge; by being aware of benefic transits, one can maximize their benefits. Furthermore, by being better prepared for a pending challenging transit, you can respond with higher awareness and focus on learning a life lesson.
Acts 16: 16-18 tells the story of a slave girl who was possessed by a spirit that allowed her to predict the future and she used this ability to make money for her owners. Paul commanded the evil spirit to come out of her in the name of Jesus Christ, and the spirit left her at that moment. ASTROLOGERS DO NOT HAVE ANY “SPIRIT” THAT ALLOWS THEM TO PREDICT SPECIFIC FUTURE EVENTS. They use the movement of the planets and their interaction with a person’s natal chart to help forecast dominantthemes, these interpretations of planets alignments, have been passed down from ancient times and have been proven to work consistently and accurately. A spirit suggests that only a few select special people have this power. On the contrary there are thousands of professional practicing astrologers worldwide.
Deuteronomy 4: 19 says, “And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.” ASTROLOGERS DO NOT WORSHIP THE SUN, MOON AND STARS; THEY DO NOT SING OR PRAY TO THEM NOR DO THEY CONDUCT ELABORATE PERSONAL OR SOCIAL RITUALS AROUND THEM. ASTROLOGERS DO NOT CLAIM THAT THE PLANETS ARE THE HIGHEST POWER IN THE UNIVERSE. Astrology is a tool for guidance. Astrologers have wide variations in how they worship according to their belief system. Astrologers have varying belief systems; some are spiritual, some are religious, some are agnostic, and some are atheists.
Deuteronomy 18: 10-13 says, “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.”
Divination (1) is defined as:
i.The art or act of foretelling future events or revealing occult knowledge by means of augury or an alleged supernatural agency.
ii. An inspired guess or presentiment.
iii. Something that has been divined.
Supernatural (2) is defined as:
i. Of or relating to existence outside the natural world.
ii. Attributed to a power that seems to violate or go beyond natural forces.
iii. Of or relating to a deity.
iv. Of or relating to the immediate exercise of divine power; miraculous.
v. Of or relating to the miraculous.
Occult (3) is defined as:
i. Of, relating to, or dealing with supernatural influences, agencies, or phenomena.
ii. Beyond the realm of human comprehension; inscrutable.
iii. Available only to the initiate; secret
iv. Hidden from view; concealed.
There is a general misconception among Christians that astrology is a form of divination. Astrology is not a form of divination according to its definition:
1. Astrology is not occult because the definition is “hidden, concealed”, Astrological information is widely available to anyone who wishes to learn. You do not require any esoteric talent to learn astrology; it is comprehensible to anyone with the passion to learn. Astrology is not supernatural; it is not related to having divine powers of miracle making. Astrologers do not have special powers that are unnatural. Astrology is not connected to any deity.
2. Astrologers do not forecast trends and energies based on inspired guesses or presentiment. Astrologers study the movement of the planets mathematically in daily motion. As observed over thousands of years by various astrologers, the same alignment of planets cause the same energies consistently. Since all astrologers agree about the general themes that occur when certain combinations of planets align, there is a good degree of science involved in the study of astrology. This scientific aspect makes anyone in the general public able to ascertain if they have the inclination to do so, what types of energies will likely occur at any given time.
3. A prophet claims to have a special connection to God whereby God speaks directly to him/her and passes on special knowledge that is to be conveyed to the world, through the prophet. An astrologer does not claim to be a prophet. Astrologers do not have a direct link to God and claim to have divine inspiration, that they are compelled to share with the world.
Passages that support God's favour of astrology
Psalm 147: 4 “He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name”. This could be used in support of the fact that God created and named the 12 astrological stars of the zodiac.
Revelation 12:1 says, “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.” This likely refers to the 12 astrological stars of the zodiac. Revelation 12: 5-6 continues, “She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And the child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the desert where she might be taken care of for 1260 days.” One can reasonably conclude this was a very special woman and an even more special child who had the favour of God.
Luke 21: 25-27 “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” The signs in this context can only refer to astrological signs. It suggests that when a certain alignment of planets in the signs occurs, Jesus Christ will return to earth. Once again, God created astrology to show people the timing of major events; God wants people to use this knowledge to be better prepared for them.
Gen 1: 14-15 “And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the Earth. And it was so." The 12 astrological signs are used to mark the seasons. The cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) signal the start of spring, summer, fall and winter respectively. The fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius) are firmly in the middle of each season; spring, summer, fall and winter respectively. Lastly, the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces) signal the end of each season, spring, summer, fall and winter respectively.
In my view, the scriptures used to discredit astrology are taken out of context. An astrologer’s role lies in studying the movement of the stars and their effects on human behavior and life affairs. Astrologers do not claim to be dream interpreters, be psychic, have esoteric or magical powers, have God given visions and understanding or have a direct link to God whereby they are compelled to convey God’s message to humanity. They do not claim to have the power to stop or create events. Astrologers have the competency to time events according to the daily mathematical movement of the stars and interpret the stars alignments using scientific interpretations passed on from ancient times. As well, they rely on their own experience of energies that occur when certain planets align, developed from their professional practice and research. There are scriptures in the Bible that suggest that God created the 12 astrological signs/stars to help time events and guide humanity.