Astrology, Horoscopes, Signs of the Zodiac, and the Bible
is becoming increasingly popular.
youth, people almost never took the Occult, witchcraft, or astrology seriously.
People considered them a joke or at most an oddity. Today all aspects of the
occult are increasingly taken seriously. Evidence of this increasing popularity
the 1950's only 100-200 newspapers carried horoscope columns. Today, thousands
of full-time professional astrologers cast horoscopes, most newspapers carry
horoscopes, and millions of people read them with varying degrees of seriousness.
the 1970's the rock musical "Hair" popularized the hit song
announcing "the dawning of the Age of Aquarius," one of the signs of
popular New Age Movement promotes and justifies astrology along with many other
aspects of the Occult.
ads promote astrology, psychics, and the Occult generally. Movies and TV
programs discuss it, promote it, and present it as a serious phenomenon.
recent book fads, such as the Harry Potter books, deeply involve many aspects
of the Occult. A search of occult books on Amazon.com yields a list of nearly
800 titles in the children's section alone! The point is not that all of these
are harmful - many actually oppose the Occult. But the sheer number shows the
popularity of the subject.
fact is that many people, especially young people, are fascinated by all
aspects of the Occult. You and your friends, your children and their friends,
will all have contact with Occult influences, including astrology. You need to
know what the Bible says.
purpose of this study is to examine what the Bible says about astrology.
Christians are not aware of what is involved. But you will meet people who
dabble in it and others who take it seriously. As popular as it is, some in the
church will be influenced. We need to know whether or not we should
participate. We need to know how to approach those who are involved to show
them what the Bible says.
order to compare astrology to the Bible, we must first understand what it is.
So we will begin by describing astrology, then we will see what the Bible says.
Some of the information in this outline is based on "Astrology,
Witchcraft, and Satanism," by John Clark.]
is "the ancient art or science of divining the fate and future of human
beings from indications given by the positions of the stars and other heavenly
bodies" - Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 2, p. 575, 1956. It assumes that
our lives are largely influenced (though not completely determined) by the
position and movement of heavenly bodies.
is a chart of the position of the heavenly bodies, used to predict their
influence on people's lives.
is a narrow strip or belt of the heavens in which the sun, moon, and principle
planets appear as the earth revolves around the sun. This zone is divided into
twelve sections, each of which contains a constellation (group of stars) for
which that section has been named. Each of these 12 constellations is called a
"sign of the Zodiac." Whatever section the sun could be found in at
the time of year when a person is born, that section is said to be the sign
under which that person was born.
is defined as: "magic, astrology, and other alleged sciences claiming use
or knowledge of secret, mysterious, or supernatural agencies" - Random
House College Dictionary. Other occult practices include witchcraft and sorcery,
Satanism, spiritualism, fortune-telling, and psychics.
definition, astrology is part of the occult. It is associated with hosts of
other practices that are specifically condemned in Scripture. This should leads
us at least question astrology.
History of Astrology
began in ancient Babylon.
people realized that the sun was essential to man's needs, so they concluded
that other heavenly bodies must be too. They thought that the largest heavenly
bodies must be the most important, so they named the sun, moon, and largest
planets after their main gods and the stars after lesser deities.
movements of heavenly bodies were thought to represent activities of the gods.
By studying these movements, men hoped to determine the will of the gods and so
predict the future. If the heavenly bodies moved a certain way and certain
events followed, then the next time they moved that way, similar things should
principles of astrology were formalized by the Greeks.
2000 years ago the Greeks studied the heavenly bodies mathematically and
"scientifically" and defined the signs of the Zodiac. The names of
Greek and Roman gods were then assigned to the planets.
historically astrology is rooted in pagan idolatry. The basic concept of
astrology - that the movements of heavenly bodies control our lives - is
heathen idolatry from the foundation up.
Reasons for the Current Popularity of Astrology
society is increasingly accepting pagan concepts. Since astrology is
essentially pagan, we should not be surprised to see it becoming more popular.
Specifically, astrology interests modern Americans for these reasons:
Astrology attempts to predict the future.
are always fascinated by the future. This is especially true when the future
looks bleak (economic problems, war, family problems).
claims to analyze one's character.
love to hear what others say about them, especially if they think no one pays
attention to them. When people feel like a number in a crowd, anything that
emphasizes individual character makes them feel important.
Astrology gives advice for guiding ones life.
seek solutions to their problems: advice for business deals and financial
investments, marriage and family problems, etc. This is why advice columns and
self-help books are so popular. Especially when times are troubled, astrology
purports to offer solutions and guidance.
Astrology offers an explanation for life.
wonder why things happen the way they do, and what is the meaning of life.
Astrology claims to explain the determining forces behind what's happening.
Astrology offers a unique experience and a sense of being special.
are often bored with life. Their jobs and lives are routine. Anything different
or unique fascinates them. They may think they are gaining inside information
others don't have or are becoming part of those "in the know."
short, people pursue astrology for many of the same reasons people seek cults
and other aspects of the Occult.
Scientific Basis for Astrology
the fact astrology began in pagan superstition, efforts have been made to find
a scientific basis for it. However:
There is no evidence that heavenly bodies can influence character.
a living, intelligent being. Your character is formed by living, intelligent
beings: inheritance from your ancestors, influence of family and friends, and
especially your own choices and decisions. The sun, moon, and planets are all lifeless
and unintelligent. How can they form your character?
There is no proof that the position of these bodies at the time of your birth
can influence your life now.
bodies do have some physical influence. The sun gives energy, all the bodies
give light, the moon's gravity causes tides, etc. But all these influence
affect everyone in an area equally, regardless of what time of year you were
calendar astrology uses to determine the sign of your birth does not agree with
the present position of the constellations!
technical sense of the word the 12 "signs" [of the Zodiac] are
geometrical divisions 30 degrees in extent counting from the position of the
sun at the vernal equinox. In the time of Hipparchus [2000 years ago when the
signs of the Zodiac were defined] the signs corresponded fairly closely with
the constellations; that is to say, the first sign (called Aries) corresponded
with the constellation Aries. Owing to precession [wobbling of the earth's
axis] there is now a discrepancy amounting to the breadth of a whole sign, so
that the sign Aries is occupied by the constellation Pisces" - Encyclopedia
Britannica, Vol. 23, p. 959.
when astrology was formalized 2000 years ago, the constellations were at
certain locations in the sky at certain times of the year. If you were born at
a certain time of the year, astrology says you were born under a certain sign,
because that's where that constellation was at that time of the year 2000 years
earth wobbles slightly, like a top wobbling on its axis. So now, 2000 years
later, the constellations are not where astrology says they should be at the
time of your birth. In fact, they are out of step by a whole sign!
because you were born at a certain time of the year, astrology says you are
born under a certain sign, meaning a constellation was at a certain point when
you were born. But in fact, the constellation of that sign was not at all where
they say it was!
remember that the position of the stars is supposed to be what determines your
character and destiny. The constellation that you were really born under is the
next one down the line. Hence, the practice of astrology contradicts the theory
of astrology. If there ever was any validity in its predictions, there is none
should Christians be guided by and trust their future to a self-contradictory
What Does the Bible Say about Astrology?
Astrology Is False Prophecy.
definition, astrology attempts to predict the future. Are its predictions
4:7; (2:10,11; 5:7,8) - On three occasions astrologers and other occult experts
were asked to predict the future. Each time they failed, but Daniel succeeded
by God's power.
"Enchanters" in ASV = "astrologers" in KJV. "Chaldeans"
in ASV is "astrologers" in NIV.]
forbids His people to place serious confidence in astrology.
18:9-14,18-22 - Occult practices, including divination, are an abomination to
God. V14 specifically forbids listening to diviners. "Divining" is
attempting to predict the future by occult or mystical methods. But astrology
is part of the occult and attempts to predict the future. So by definition,
astrology constitutes occult divination, which God forbids (note again the
Britannica definition above).
21,22 - If one claims to know the future, but his predictions do not come true,
do not fear him! The Bible shows that astrologers cannot predict the future
with certainty, and most astrologers will admit their predictions are often
17:16-18 - God destroyed Israel for practicing idolatry, worshiping "the
host of heaven" (stars and planets), using "divination" [ASV;
cf. "witchcraft and soothsaying" in NKJV], and other occult
10:2 - God's people were expressly forbidden to be concerned about the
"signs of heaven," that heathen people trusted in. This clearly
includes astrology. God's people were not to learn their ways!
Testament clearly says that the future cannot be predicted accurately by the
stars. If it could not be done then, it cannot be done now. To place trust in
such methods is to learn the ways of the heathen, which is just as wrong now as
it was then.
attempts to advise people how to act, based on the position of the stars, etc.
So people "trust their lucky stars" and "thank their lucky
stars." They seek guidance from some Occult source other than God.
47:13,14 - Babylon originated astrology. God promised to destroy Babylon, then
asked what the astrologers, stargazers, and monthly prognosticators would do to
stop Him. All these were involved in astrology, but they were powerless against
1:19,20 - Daniel and friends were ten times better in giving wisdom and
guidance than all the Babylonian magicians and astrologers
["enchanters" - ASV].
18:15,18-20 - Having forbidden the occult (including astrology) (vv 9-14), God
predicted a spokesman like Moses whom we should listen to. This refers to Jesus
(Acts 3:22,23). One who speaks differently from His message should die.
teachings of Jesus provide all things that pertain to life and godliness (2
Peter 1:3) and every good work (2 Timothy 3:16,17). What do we need astrology
for? Bible writers reveal true wisdom to guide your life. Astrologers may
occasionally guess right, but the Bible is always right. Yet some people will
read their horoscope everyday, but will go days without opening the Bible!
sun, moon, and stars are lifeless, unintelligent objects. They can no more tell
what your future holds or how to live you life than a rock or mud puddle can!
If you want real wisdom, go to the all-wise, all-powerful Creator who made the
sun, moon, and stars!
4:15-19 - God warns His people not to worship idols, including the sun, moon,
and stars - called the "host of heaven."
21:1-3 - The evil king Manasseh practiced idolatry, worshiped the host of
heaven, and otherwise participated in the Occult (v6).
23:5 - When Josiah became king, he removed idolatry, including worship of the
sun, moon, the constellations, and host of heaven. "Constellations"
(NKJV) = "the Zodiac" (NKJV footnote; cf. Gesenius) or the "12
signs" (ASV footnote).
from its very beginning was a form of idolatry forbidden by God.
today still substitutes heavenly bodies for God.
possible to practice idolatry without intentionally performing worship rituals.
Coveting, for example, is idolatry (Eph. 5:5; Col. 3:5). Idolatry is anything
that puts created things in the position that only God should occupy.
Bible teaches that no one but God can predict our future lives.
4:14 - Man does not know what will happen tomorrow.
27:1 - You don't know what a day may bring forth.
2:27,28 - Astrologers could not interpret Nebuchadnezzar's dream (a prediction
of the future), but God could do so.
41:21-23; 42:8,9 - God rests His claim to Deity on His ability to predict the
future. He challenges idols to prove they are gods by telling the future.
believe the God of the Bible is the only true God, then we must conclude that
stars cannot predict the future. To believe that stars can predict the future
is to claim they have the power of gods! It puts the stars in place of God and
gives the glory of God to others. Intentionally or not, that is a form of
idolatry, which God forbids.
Bible teaches that only God can give rules for moral and spiritual guidance of
8:19,20 - Do not seek occult teachers, but seek God. Where do you find His
will? In the law and the testimony. When people teach us to seek spiritual
guidance from sources other than God's word (as the occult does), there is no
light in them.
1:8,9 - Anyone who preaches a different gospel - a different spiritual source
of guidance for our lives - is accursed. Why? Because they have assumed a
position that only God can occupy.
has evolved from the crude, ... superstitious worship of the planets to the
present sophisticated, ... superstitious worship of the planets" - Raymond
revelation is complete in Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16,17). Anytime we exalt a
creature to a position only God can rightly occupy, we are guilty of idolatry.
55:8,9; Rom. 1:25]
4:8,9 - Gentiles had been idol worshipers, but were converted to the true God.
Why then go back to the principles of heathenism? Idolatry is as clearly
forbidden today as in the Old Testament. [2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1; Gal. 5:19-21;
1 John 5:21; 1 Cor. 10:14ff; etc.]
that astrology claims to accomplish is fulfilled for Christians through Jesus
Christ and His word.
true meaning of life is revealed only in God's word, not in Occult appeals to
true understanding of your character and what kind of person you should seek to
become can be found in God's word, not in the Occult.
best way to prepare for the future is found in God's word. It may not tell
everything people want to know about the future, but it tells everything we
need to know. It is the only sure way to know what God plans for the future,
especially life after death.
true spiritual needs of the believer are met through God and His word. Why look
elsewhere? To seek answers in astrology is to show a lack of faith in God and
to turn instead to heathen idolatry.
Thessalonians 5:22 - Let us abstain from every form (appearance) of evil. [Col.
2:18,19; Acts 19:19]
following God's true word or false spiritual guides? Have you become a true
follower if Jesus? Are you serving Him faithfully?
Copyright 1992, 2000, 2009 David E. Pratte
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