Sylvia Sky, M.A., M.F.A., experienced astrologer, writes about astrology, Tarot, and spirituality.
So, You Think the Universe Is Random?
A Christian told me astrology is evil in the sight of God, and he was very serious. I replied, “Do you believe what it says in the Bible—that God created the Sun, Moon and stars?” (Genesis 1:1, 14-19)
He said yes.
I said, “So, either you believe He threw them all up there at random, or that He arranged them in a certain order. I believe He arranged them in a certain order that has meaning. Astrology tries to understand and appreciate that order.”
That was not enough to convince him, though. The problem he had is that astrologers try to foresee or predict the future, and the Bible, which he accepts as the literal word of God, calls that blasphemy. But the Bible, a fascinating book with many contradictions, also makes exceptions. Hebrew Scripture, also called the Old Testament, includes books and books of prophets and prophecies. Going by the prophetic books of the Bible, it seems to be okay with God to tell the future if you worship the Hebrew God and not another one.
The Bible and Astrology
The Bible’s Hebrew Scriptures say quite a bit about astrology and astrologers, almost all negative. In the Book of Daniel, chapter 5, the pagan king’s astrologers and magicians can’t read or interpret the mysterious hand’s writing on the wall, and they look really foolish when only Daniel, the king’s former prisoner and dream interpreter, can interpret it. Daniel predicts doom, and doom happens that very night.
The prophet Isaiah has perhaps the most specific words to say about astrology in his Chapter 47, verses 13-15. He says astrologers are powerless to prevent or shield people against the doom Isaiah predicts. “Let now the astrologers, those who prophesy by the stars, those who predict by the new moons, stand up and save you from what will come upon you. Behold, they have become like stubble, fire burns them; they cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame . . . There is none to save you.”
What the Biblical Scribes Didn't Quite Understand
There are so many mentions in the Hebrew Scriptures of astrologers and diviners that we know they were common in those days. The Hebrew God has some very strict rules for his people against consulting diviners.
The problem is that astrology when mentioned in the Bible is often lumped in with witchcraft, sorcery, idol worship, and paganism, as if they were all alike. The prophet Jeremiah warns against astrology, along with idol worship and decorating trees, in Jeremiah 10:1-5. But of course we decorate trees at the holidays, and Bible-believing people will defend that custom as traditional rather than call it idolatrous the way the Bible does.
Read More From Exemplore
Astrology is not witchcraft or paganism. Astrology is not a religion, nor does it cast spells, call up spirits, talk to the dead, perform magic, worship idols or the Sun or the devil, or any of that. We don’t have one holy book we follow to the letter, or strange gods. We don’t punish people who don’t believe in astrology or tell them God hates them and will send them to hell.
Astrology tries to read what’s in the skies. It’s based on math and astronomy, physics, and optics, and used to be the way people marked the seasons. Astrology includes traditional knowledge and symbolism from ancient myths that astrologers know are mythical. You can believe in one God and in astrology too. I appreciate that God created the cosmos and set the stars and planets in their courses; it's so perfect, so beautiful!
Times When Astrology Is Okay
Regarding astrology, the Bible is really a mixed bag. The Book of Job (38:7) describes an ecstasy in which the morning stars sing together and the Sons of God shout for joy. Those morning stars (plural) must be the planets we call Mercury and Venus. Sometimes other planets also join them as morning stars.
In the Gospel of Matthew is the famous story of the Magi—who were astrologers—following an exceptionally bright star to Bethlehem, where they found the newborn Jesus. The baby's Jewish parents didn’t order these strangers to leave and take their astrology with them. God did not smite the Magi, or condemn them or prevent them from visiting the holy family. The Magi adored the newborn, and gave gifts.
Then King Herod found out the Magi were in town. He demanded to know from them where the baby Jesus was. They left without telling him anything, saving Jesus’s life.
In the Gospels, Jesus says nothing about astrology, positive or negative. That might be why books about astrology and horoscopes are among the Dead Sea scrolls and other early Christian writings and books not included in the final version of the Bible.
The modern Bible’s 66 canonical books were organized and assembled into one book about the year 367 A.D., by a Christian bishop and saint who got his colleagues’ approval for the arrangement. Before then, even the much older Hebrew Scriptures weren’t selected and placed in the order we are now familiar with.
Don't Take It So Seriously
Astrology does not say the stars and planets control your life, or determine your destiny. Astrology is a tool. It lets you know your potentials and the conditions under which you will exert your efforts, so you can think ahead and plan your actions and choices according to your own God-given understanding.
Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and atheists can all be astrologers or horoscope fans. The most famous astrology book in English was published in 1647 and is titled Christian Astrology. Astrology is what determines the annual date of the most important Christian holiday, Easter: the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Sun enters the sign of Aries.
It’s fine with astrologers if you think astrology is just fun and don’t take it seriously. There are many more things in life to get serious about.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Sylvia Sky