The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Christians & Astrology

51

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Astrology is a serious religion, not just a harmless game or a silly superstition. Those horoscope booklets that you find for sale in supermarkets should be viewed like little bibles—religious texts which you are expected to refer to for guidance in life.  Your daily horoscope is really a prophetic newsflash about how your personal deities plan to shape your life for the current day, week, or year—depending on what timeframe the horoscope addresses. You see, according to astrology, your life is not your own—it’s being manipulated by a whole pantheon of gods. And where do these gods reside? Not in a distant heaven, but right here in earth’s solar system, within visual range of a telescope. How convenient.

Now way back in Genesis, God filled the heavens with countless fascinating planets and stars. We live on one of them: Earth. Like a marble rolling around an invisible circular track, our planet continuously rolls around one massive star: the sun. It takes us 365 ¼ days to make a full circle around the sun—this is why a solar calendar year is 365 days long. Now that pesky little ¼ of a day becomes a problem. Four quarters add up to one whole day, so after four years of using our solar calendar, we’re a day behind. No problem: we just make every fourth year a leap year, add an extra day to our calendar (February 29th), and then we’re back on track. If we didn’t keep catching up every four years, the seasons would start slipping. In North America, we’re used to summer being in the middle of the year and winter being at the end. It stays this way only because we keep adjusting our manmade months with leap years so that every time June rolls around, we’re at the same point on our invisible track around the sun. If we didn’t bother with leap years, then eventually when it says June on your wall calendar, the earth would be in the position that it’s usually in during December and you’d be having winter weather during a summer month. Confusing, right? Inventing a calendar that keeps the four seasons associated with the same month names is more complicated than you’d think.

Now the sun has stars all around it, and as our little marble Earth goes rolling around the sun, it’s rolling through that field of stars on the same path over and over again. It’s like driving a tractor in a huge circle around a field of wheat. As you keep going around, you’re always looking at the same field, but you see it from different angles depending on where you are in your drive.

So how do you keep track of the stars? They all look pretty much the same to the naked eye: tiny twinkling lights in the night sky. How do you find the same star twice in a row? Here’s where constellations come in. Constellations were formed by people looking up at the stars as if they were a big book of dot-to-dot pictures. They connected the brightest dots in their minds to form familiar images. Many of the images were animals, like a lion or a bear. Other times people imagined they saw the shape of a person.   At some point, people had to agree that they would all use the same imaginary dot-to-dot pictures. Each picture was called a constellation. Now we finally had a sort of map. To find a particular star, one had to know which picture that star was a part of, and then look for that picture’s dot-to-dot pattern in the sky. Here are some examples:

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As you can see, these shapes leave much to be desired. Cancer doesn’t look much like a crab, and the little dog (Canis Minor) just looks like a stick. It takes a whole lot of imagination to see this:

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Astronomers wanted a complete map of the visible sky with every star being part of a constellation. By the time they were done stretching their imaginations, they had come up with 88 constellations.

Now if I stand in the middle of a bedroom, and you keep walking around me, you’ll see that the background behind me keeps changing. Sometimes I’ll look like I have a window behind me, other times a closet or a dresser or a door. In the same way, as the earth slowly travels around the sun, the starry background we see behind the sun keeps shifting and it looks as though the sun is moving through different constellations. Of course in reality the sun is not moving around us, we’re the ones rolling around it, but hey, we’re egocentric, so we often talk as if we are the center of the universe.

From our perspective, the sun forms a big circle every year, rolling through the same pattern of starry constellations. Let’s get out a long strip of paper and draw pictures of all the constellations the sun passes through in one year. That’s called the Ecliptic. Now let’s cut that long strip of pictures into twelve equal pieces, with each piece showing the sun moving through a particular constellation. We’ll then turn those constellations into twelve zodiacal signs.  Then we’ll assign a range of dates to each sign. Now all we need to do is know when you were born, and we can tell you what your sign is. The twelve astrological signs are Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.

So now you know how zodiac signs were invented. What a bunch of baloney, right? We dreamed up some arbitrary dot-to-dot pictures, and then decided to turn those pictures into super significant symbols in your life. Astrology teaches that the stars and planets are what determined your personality and temperament. You are a byproduct of random celestial activities, not the dearly loved creation of a purposeful God.

Now as soon as we say that celestial objects are determining your personality and passions as well as shaping future events in your life, we’re no longer talking about mere balls of gases and minerals that are drifting about in the universe. We’re talking about objects which have some godlike powers—they are somehow playing a role in creating who you are. But now it gets better, because according to astrology, each constellation has a ruling planet. If you were born from March 21-April 19, then we that say your personality was determined by the constellation Aries (a dot-to-dot picture of a ram) and that you’re being ruled by the planet Mars. If you were born from April 20-May 20, then it was the constellation Taurus (a dot-to-dot picture of a bull) that determined who you are, and you’re currently ruled by Venus. Other signs are ruled by Mercury, the Moon, the Sun, Pluto, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, or Neptune. Astrologers couldn’t come up with twelve unique rulers so some signs have to share planet gods.

Remember that astrology is a religion. All religions try to answer the fundamental questions of life, such as why you are the way you are and what your purpose is. Many religions try to masquerade as mere scientific theories, such as the Theory of Evolution. Yet the Theory of Evolution is very much an atheistic religion—explaining your origin (random chance & slime) and your purpose (to pass on your genetic material).

At first glance, astrology can sound rather scientific. As one astrologer explains:

Astrology sees mankind as being not only influenced by hereditary factors and the environment, but also by the state of our solar system at the moment of birth. The planets are regarded as basic life-forces, the tools we live by as well as the basis of our very substance. These planetary forces take on different forms, depending on their zodiacal position and on the way they relate to one another.

Don’t be fooled by the technical terminology. “Basic life-forces”, “the tools we live by”—these are simply other ways of saying that the planets are our gods. Every god has power, right? Well, the planets have “planetary forces” which take on different forms depending on their current position in the universe.

Now everything in the universe is in motion. Like Earth, the planets in our solar system are all rolling around in predictable loops or orbits. And because every planet has a different length of orbit, the distance between each of them is constantly changing.

Let’s go outside in a large, empty parking lot. I’ll draw a really large circle with chalk on the asphalt for me. Then I’ll draw a medium sized circle inside of that one for you, and a small circle inside the medium sized one for our friend Zack. You, me, and our friend Zack will all take up different positions on our circles. Our friend Joe will stand in the center of all the circles and watch us. Now we all start walking around and around on our separate circle tracks. Joe stands still, always facing in the same direction. Every time someone walks across his field of vision, he takes a picture with his camera. After hours and hours, we take a look at all of Joe’s pictures. Zack shows up in most of the pictures, and sometimes he’s the only one in the picture because you and I are walking on parts of our circles that are behind Joe’s back. Other times, we see Zack and you in the picture while I’m somewhere out of sight behind Joe. Other times, we see just Zack and me, while you’re out of sight behind Joe. More rarely, we see you and me without Zack because Zack is walking behind Joe. But what’s rarest of all is when Joe finally sees all three of us walking in front of him in perfect sync. In these pictures, it looks like the three of us are all standing in a straight line instead of someone being ahead while someone else is behind. Of course this doesn’t last long—our different paces will soon cause us to spread out again, but in these rare moments, we are aligned. When astrologers (or astronomers) talk about planets being in alignment, this is what they’re talking about: a brief moment in which two or more planets which are traveling around on different sized loops catch up to each other so that it looks like we could draw a straight line through all of them. This is a natural and predictable event—once you know the speed each planet is traveling at and the distance they have to travel, you can calculate when they’ll meet up with each other. There’s nothing mystical about this—it’s just a pattern that God has set up. But in astrology—a religion that tries to make a huge deal out of what the planets are doing—alignment is a “sign”. Where a planet is on its orbit, what that planet is composed of (minerals, gases, etc.), and which constellation it is drifting through—all of these meaningless details are considered critical information by astrologers. With these things, “astrology is able to present a complete and comprehensive picture of the person and his potential,” one astrologist says. So then, do you want to know who you are, why you are, and where you are going in life? Consult your planet gods. See what they’re up to right now. Try to figure out how they are wielding their mysterious planetary forces and then you’ll be able to discern their will for you today. As one astrologist explains:

The Sun tells us of the actual core of a person, the inner self, of that which is of central concern. It also shows us the general vitality and the ability to assert oneself, it describes a general tone of being which colors everything else.

The Moon represents our feelings and emotions, the receptivity, imagination and basic feeling tone of a person. It also has an effect on the sense of rhythm, time and timing, it influences our adaptability to change, our mobility and versatility.

Mercury represents reason, reasonableness (common sense), that which is rational. It stands for the spoken and written word, putting in order, weighing and evaluating, the process of learning and skills.

Venus gives us a sense of beauty, the enjoyment of pleasure, aesthetic awareness, love of harmony, sociability, taking pleasure in relationships and eroticism.

The search for individual meaning and purpose, optimism, hope and a sense of justice are represented by Jupiter. So also faith, a basic philosophy of life, the striving for spiritual growth and expansion. 

Neptune gives us the supersensory, opens doors to mystical experience and the transcendental. On this level it is hard to discern where perception moves into deception, illusion and false appearances, and so Neptune is associated with all of these, with drugs and all kinds of pseudo-realities.

Pluto describes how we deal with power, personal and non-personal, be it through suffering the power of others or exercising it ourselves. It describes how we meet the demonic and magical, our regenerative powers and our capacity for radical change and rebirth: the cycles of dying and becoming.

Are you getting the idea? Each planet god controls different aspects of our lives. There are ten “classical” planets which all astrologers consider to be quite important. After this, each astrologer might choose to add other planetary gods to the mix. Some astrologers focus on certain asteroids. Others use fictitious planets (like Vulcan) to aid in their predictions of your personal future. It comes down to individual preference—how many gods do you personally want to recognize? How many objects do you want to believe are controlling your life? Just make something up—this is a flexible religion.

Now since astrology is built on total bumpkus, to survive over time, it has to be complex and allow for all kinds of make-up-whatever-you-want-to-be-true.  Otherwise, it will fail to explain the complex variety of human beings we find on the planet. Simply trying to break everyone up into twelve personality groups won’t work. We need more variables than that. Here’s where we bring in more bumpkus by talking about the four elements of the universe: earth, water, fire, and air. Astrologers have assigned certain personality traits to each of these things, then they’ve attached one element to each of the twelve signs. Let’s look at fire.

People with a strong emphasis of the fire element are spontaneous and impulsive, they apply their energies wholeheartedly. Their emotional response is quick and they have a lively imagination.  Fire signs: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius

Does any of this sound familiar? Have you ever been spontaneous in life? Have you ever bought something on impulse? Have you ever worked hard at something? Have you ever had a quick emotional response? This list of traits is so broad that it’s easy for anyone to imagine they have at least a spark of fire in them. But just in case you’re an Aries who doesn’t feel very fiery, astrologists have come up with a complicated system of other variables to explain why fire might not be your personal emphasis. You see, each individual’s horoscope is extremely complicated. So complicated that you need a professional to help you figure yours out—and because there is so much room for adlibbing, it’s guaranteed you’ll end up with a horoscope that comes true at least some of the time.

Why is astrology so popular? Because it promises to give you a glimpse into your personal future. We all want to know the future because we all want to feel like we’re in control. Of course once you’re relying on floating balls of minerals and gas to guide you in life, you’re only going to end up chasing your own wishful thinking.

A professional astrologer isn’t going to get a lot of repeat business if he or she keeps handing out glaringly wrong predictions, so though they might spend hours working on complex calculations, at the end of the day, the successful astrologers are going to resort to classic fortune teller psychology: keep it vague, keep it universal, and tell the customer what they want to hear. Here are some horoscopes we found around the web:

TAURUS: Good relationships and partnerships are likely to come closer and stressed or limited relationships are likely to fall apart. It’s a time for making plans and listing your priorities. Looking within at truths gives you direction.

Wow. Do you really need an astrologer to tell you that healthy relationships will probably improve and bad ones will probably fall apart? Looking within at truths gives you direction? Well, duh. Looking at truth always gives direction—if the truth is God’s truth and not some baloney you picked up off the internet.

ARIES: Steady progress and smooth movement after a few ups and downs takes you easily forward in business. Finances and practical details need to be kept in mind in creative projects to retain a balanced perspective. Personal relationships are exciting today. Lucky number 2. Colour blue.

Businesses move forward when they have few bumps in the road and steady progress. Now there’s a little known revelation. When you’re working on a new project, you should consider the cost and practical details—well yes, this would apply to any human, not just an Aries. “Personal relationships are exciting today.” What does that mean? Anything you want, of course. The addictive power of horoscopes lies in their vagueness and versatility. They have enough words to make you feel like they’re telling you something you didn’t already know, yet stay vague enough to allow you to force the prophecy to come true. What does it mean to have a lucky number of 2? When you find two pennies on the ground, you can say, “Aha! Just as my horoscope predicted!” When two birds fly past your window, you can say, “It’s a sign!” A sign of what? You don’t care, you just want to think you have found a legitimate way of peeking into your future because it makes your ego feel good. At bottom, humans resent the fact that the real God is an independent, strong willed Deity who refuses to share His power with us. We don’t want a God who demands that we serve Him—we want impersonal planets who beam good fortune into our lives and require nothing from us in return.

LEO: Socializing keeps you busy. Don’t allow blocks of any kind to come in your way but go around them to achieve goals and targets.

The more social events you put on your calendar, the less free time you will have. What profound wisdom. And here all this time you probably thought a jam-packed calendar would only result in boredom, right? Go around blocks in life. Well, considering that a block by definition is something you can’t go through, yeah, you’ll have to go around. This is like saying “When a tree is in your path, go around it to keep moving forward.” This is the deep stuff Leo’s celestial gods are handing out today.

LIBRA: You feel oppressed by family situations, as some people tend to restrict you. Relationships are supportive through ups and downs. It’s best to ignore gossip and destructive elements at work.

Here’s more solid advice. When people restrict you, it bugs you. You don’t have to be a Libra to identify with this. Relationships are supportive through good and bad times—well, duh. If a relationship wasn’t supportive through both, it would end, and therefore cease to be a relationship. This is like saying, “If someone isn’t sleeping, they’re awake.” This bit about not gossiping at work is more foolishness. What is so Libra about telling people to stay out of trouble at work?

CAPRICORN: It is a good idea to invest in land or antiques as they appreciate in value. You may need to take care of parents or friends during an event or support them during an illness or difficult time.

It’s wise to invest in stuff which will go up in value. Something bad MIGHT happen to someone you care about, in which case you MIGHT need to get involved. Whose life wouldn’t these things be true in? Are you seeing how intentionally vague horoscopes are? They claim to be revealing the future to you, but all they’re really doing is recycling a bunch of no-duh life lessons at you—stuff you should already have figured out by now. Sometimes they’ll toss in a specific prediction, and if that prediction fails, it doesn’t matter—the vague part is guaranteed to come true and that’s enough to keep you coming back for more.

So then, does God have a problem with you deifying created things and looking to the stars and planets to guide you in life? He most certainly does. God DETESTS divination, which is fortune telling. Divination is what horoscopes are all about. When you read a horoscope, you are insulting the Holy Spirit. You’re saying, “This fool’s book of idiocy is sufficient guidance for me in life—I don’t need You.” How would you like it if God then answered your next urgent prayer with, “Why are you coming to Me with your troubles? Go ask your stupid planet gods, since you think so much of them.” This is exactly what we find Yahweh saying when the idol worshiping Israelites start pleading for Him to save them from their troubles in Judges 10:

And Yahweh said to the people of Israel, “Did I not save you from the Egyptians and from the Amorites, from the Ammonites and from the Philistines? The Sidonians also, and the Amalekites and the Maonites oppressed you, and you cried out to Me, and I saved you out of their hand. Yet you have forsaken Me and served other gods; therefore I will save you no more. Go and cry out to the gods whom you have chosen; let them save you in the time of your distress.” (Judges 10:6-9)

As a Christian, it is obnoxious for you to go around saying “I’m a Libra, what are you?” or “That makes sense—she’s a Virgo, after all.” When you talk like this, you are publicly declaring your faith in a whole pantheon of fictitious deities. You are identifying yourself as a follower of a religion which completely counters what God says is true. Do your real Creators—Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit—take offense at this? Yes, They do.

The worship of celestial objects has been around for thousands of years, and our jealous Creators have always found it outrageous that Their own creatures should worship lifeless objects instead of Them. In Jeremiah, we find Yahweh eagerly anticipating how He’s going to publicly insult Israel’s honored dead. In ancient Israel, superstitious beliefs about the afterlife resulted in an intense horror of having one’s body treated disrespectfully after death. To have one’s bones removed from a grave and spread all over the ground was considered the ultimate humiliation. Fine. If we want to cling to stupid superstitions, Yahweh will gladly use those beliefs against us.

“At that time,” declares Yahweh, “the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of her officials, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the residents of Jerusalem will be brought out of their graves. They will be exposed to the sun, the moon, and the whole heavenly host, which they have loved, served, followed, consulted, and worshiped. Their bones will not be collected and buried but will become like manure on the surface of the soil.” (Jer. 8:1-2)

What are we doing when we dabble in astrology? We are consulting the sun, moon, and other heavenly hosts for guidance in life. When we then follow the advice in our horoscopes, we are treating the “wisdom” of planets and stars as greater than the wisdom of God. We’re saying to the Holy Spirit, “Take a coffee break. I’m listening to my other gods on this one.” This is where we make our mistake, for our Gods will play second to no one, nor will They agree to be part of some larger collection of deities that we turn to in life. If we persist in insulting our Gods by chasing after the things They have made and consulting idol worshiping fools for guidance in life, then we can be sure that we will suffer the consequences of our rebellion. Don’t fall into the common trap of thinking that being a Christian gives you license to spit in God’s face without consequences. It most certainly does not. Once God reveals truth to you, He holds you accountable for what you do with it. God has told us time and time again that He HATES idolatry, He HATES fortune telling, and this means that He HATES astrology. If you want to please God, there’s no room for horoscopes in your life. There’s no room for joking around about what sign you are. There’s nothing remotely humorous about the fact that humans are refusing to revere their own Creators. Our Gods are extremely jealous Beings and that jealousy must be respected. If we don’t respect it, we will suffer the consequences for our rebellion. God WILL NOT be mocked by us or our stupid astrological signs. If you’re currently playing around with astrology, knock it off. If this is the first time you’ve ever been informed about how God views this matter, don’t let Satan drag you down into guilt and shame. Instead, consider it a privilege that God is educating you about how you can please Him and ask the Holy Spirit to make you all that He wants you to be.

FURTHER READING:
Christians, Horoscopes & Fortune Telling
Christians & Tarot Cards

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