Is Astrology from the Devil?
by Carole Devine
It has become a common response to the mention of Astrology that it is evil and under the Devil's influence. Unfortunately, the widespread practice of lumping Astrology under the category of the "occult," which also includes witchcraft, hasn't helped any. Most people follow their spiritual advisor's ideas and very seldom do any research on their own.
About twenty years ago, I researched the subject exhaustively, using five concordances and four translations of the Biblethe King James, the New Jerusalem, the Jehovah's Witness', and the Douay Catholic Bible. It had become obvious to me that Astrology was absolutely accurate, an incredible body of knowledge just going to waste because people were so blindly prejudiced. There are only three negative references to Astrology in the Bible. We will examine them one at a time.
In Deut. 18:9-14, there is an admonition to the children of Israel to avoid the pagan practices of those in the promised land, and then itemizes a list of those practices. This was written in Hebrew, and at the time, there was a specific word for astrology, "ISDYMf," pronounced Kasdim. It was not on the list. We have long maintained that we are not "fortunetellers." Instead, we are interpreters of natural cycles. It is interesting that humanity respects interpretations of natural cycles relating to everything except people. We study the cycles of sun spots, seasons, locusts, everything except the effect of the cosmos on biological organisms, which are incredibly connected.
Next is Isaiah 47:13 and 14. These verses are taken out of context, and without reading the whole chapter, the meaning is lost. The chapter is about God's condemnation of Babylon. In any profession, dynasty, or government, there can be corruption. God condemned many kings, but that doesn't mean that all kings are bad. In this case, Babylon had arrogantly thought that the reports of the Astrologers about cycles that lay ahead would save them from ever being destroyed. The Astrologers were using their ability for an evil purpose at that time and that place. Babylon was being told that it wouldn't work, that God was greater, and that the punishment was so great, no one had the power to save them. We could substitute an army doing the will of the king, as the Astrologers did, and say "Even your army cannot save you." That doesn't mean that all armies are evil. This was not a condemnation of the Astrologers themselves; it was a condemnation of Babylon and how they were using this knowledge.
The last is several references in Daniel, but only in comparison to the greater ability of Daniel to forecast the future. Naturally, there are going to be great men who can forecast the future better than Astrologers. I am confused, however, with the Bible exhorting us not to listen to "fortunetellers," but sanctifying "prophets," who do very much the same thing. The Cruden Concordance lists references under the term "Astrologers," which are really not about Astrologers, but about "soothsayers," and others who are not Astrologers at all, further confusing people about the truth. However, whenever the word "Astrologer " was used in the Hebrew, it was "Kasdim," so there is no doubt of its meaning. Further, the King James version of the Bible is written in Old English, and many terms that were common in those days, such as "shambles," have a different meaning today. Today, "shambles" is another word for a mess of some sort, a disarray. Then, it was a "meat market."
Now, let's look at what the Bible says for Astrology, which is stronger than the "cons." First, in Genesis 1:14, it states, "And God said, 'Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate day from night; let them serve as signs and for the fixing of seasons, days and years." Secondly, in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, which you can read yourself, there is a statement that there is a time for everything, and for every affair under the heavens, which points to a Cosmic Clock, as far as I am concerned.
At the time of the birth of David, there was a double grand trine in the heavens. A trine is symbolized by an equilateral triangle and indicates that at the time of the birth, three planets formed a triangle equidistant from each other. The Mogen David, the symbol of Judaism, is a double grand trine, which is six planets placed this way. In a chart, it shows great talents, and gifts, and an ability to overcome a variety of problems, whatever problems may rise.
In Matthew, chapter 2, we see the story of the Magi. There are several things to notice here. Only the King James version calls them "wise men." The New Jerusalem Bible, a revised Catholic translation, calls them "Astrologers." The actual Greek word in the original text was "Magoi," which literally translated is "Astrologers." And after all, folks, they were following a star! There is little doubt about who and what they were. The question is, if Astrologers were so much of an "evil," why did Herod give them so much respect? Why would Matthew give them so much respect by including them in his Gospel? And why would God speak to them in a dream, which not only saved the Christ child, but probably themselves as well? In fact, why would they have been given the honor of being Christ's first guests?
The next reference is difficult to understand because it is a symbolic vision of Ezekiel. In Ezekiel 1:10, the description of the creatures' faces correspond to the four fixed signs. The Ox is Taurus, Lion is Leo, Man is Aquarius, and Eagle is Scorpio. Scorpio is the only sign that has three "creature" correspondences, because it can function on three levels. The low level is the Scorpion; the next higher level is the Eagle; with the highest level being the Dove. Each of these signs also represent the four elements: Leo, fire; Taurus, earth; Aquarius, air; and Scorpio, water. The fact that these "creatures" were not flexible, i.e., they "turned not when they went" (verse 12), shows the "fixed" nature of these signs with which Astrologers are so familiar.
Verses 19 through 21 describes a vision of wheels. The last words are, "for the spirit of life was in the wheels." The horoscope is a wheel, and the spirit of a life is illustrated in it. It also states that when the spirits were lifted up from the earth, the wheels went with them. This book of the Bible is so difficult to understand, some modern scholars have pointed to it as evidence that spaceships visited here at the time, and this is a description of them! The passage is interpreted to represent the spirit of life. as seen in the wheel of the horoscope in the book called Initiation, by Elizabeth Haich, should you wish to pursue this further.
Another problem fundamentalists have concerns reincarnation. It is claimed there are no references to reincarnation contained in the Bible, but there is. John 9:1-3 relates the question of the Disciples to Jesus, "Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind" (emphasis added). The question is, how could this man sin before he was born, if he did not live before? Jesus didn't respond as if it was a dumb question. He even repeated it, "Neither had this man sinned, nor his parents," and then went on to explain the actual reason for the blindness. If they did not recognize reincarnation, then this would not have been written this way.
The works of Origin contained most of the scriptural evidence of reincarnation, but at the ecumenical purging at Constantinople by Justinian and Theodora, all of Origin's works were ordered burned. I don't believe our Bible is complete.
Lastly, there is a small reminder of the fallibility of man. The Pope is said to be "infallible," as is the Bible. But these spiritual guidelines were entrusted to us a long time ago. It is highly unlikely that mere man can get through 2,000 years without making some grievous errors in interpretation, given time and the changes in language. If the Pope were infallible, it would not have been necessary recently to retract the error that was made when Galileo was told to recant his error that the Earth revolved around the Sun. It took a long time for the Church to admits its mistakes. If the Bible were clear and divine guidance granted us infallibility in interpreting it, there would not be so many different religions in the world calling themselves "Christian."
Copyright © 2000 Carole Devine. This article originally appeared in Cosmic Views.