Astrology is a controversial subject.  It is looked upon as everything from total nonsense to some form of voodoo.  As someone who was “converted” to its legitimacy while attempting to prove otherwise, I have always wondered why most Christian religions consider it “evil” or something that originated with “the devil.”  As a truth seeker in all arenas, I couldn’t figure out why something so useful for understanding people could be considered “bad,” and that was while I was only tampering with the personality aspects (no pun intended) and hadn’t even touched the predictive side!

I have never found a conflict with my Christian beliefs.  After all, the order and beauty of the universe testifies to the hand of a Creator and to me the additional “order” manifested by astrology is simply further evidence that the cosmos did not randomly evolve.  If a message lies in their movement, I would expect it to be from God. Peter Whitefield’s Astrology: A History goes into vast detail regarding astrology’s Babylonian origins, continues through the Renaissance and its varying cycles of acceptance and non-acceptance by the Christian world.  At first astrology was entirely rejected as part of paganism, then further held at bay due to its apparent conflict with the concept of free will.  Gradually, it became more accepted and was considered influence rather than destiny.  Roger Bacon (c. 1219-1292) was a Christian proponent who claimed that great events chronicled in the Bible could be shown to coincide with astrological conjunctions.  He urged the church to use astrology’s resources to plan strategies to defeat its Islamic enemies and the Antichrist.  Opinions varied greatly over the centuries, however, and it wandered in and out of favor and was never generally accepted.  Differences of opinion continue today, though modern Christian denominations are more likely to condemn it than commend it.

I inadvertently came upon evidence that astrology was not always verboten to Christians while visiting the Notre Dame cathedral in Strasbourg, France.  [NOTE:--This was not “the” Notre Dame Cathedral, which is in Paris, but another one.]  This magnificent edifice evolved over nearly two centuries, from 1277 to 1439.  One of the features that makes it unique among  European cathedrals is its Astronomical Clock.  Anyone who thinks that people in centuries past were backward needs to go to Europe and see the architecture and art. Imagine buildings that are still in use after 2000 years, e.g. the Basilika built by the Roman Empire in Trier, Germany that is currently in use as a Protestant Church.  The engineering alone is astounding, especially considering they didn’t have computers, much less CAD programs.  But I digress.

 The Astronomical Clock tells the year, month, day and hour, among other things, such as the position of the planets and phase of the moon.  It’s an absolute engineering marvel.  The original version was built in the 1300s, which was replaced in the 1500s.  That one ran for 200 years until the cast-iron gears wore out, and a third version built in the 1800s that still runs today.  And there on one of its many faces are the astrological symbols of the Zodiac.  When I realized what I was looking at I did a double-take.  The disparity of astrological symbols in a church provoked all the questions that still cluttered my mind regarding why modern religions were against it. 

The fact that there are still vast gaps between scientific and religious truths is no secret.  Galileo stirred the pot centuries ago, as have various others.  In my mind, God and religion is all about truth and I don’t understand why science is a threat.  How many times have we seen science make astounding, undeniable discoveries?  And eventually religion catches up, or occasionally prevails if the theories prove wrong.  Conversely, sometimes holy writ contains marvelous scientific truths we’re still learning to understand, whether it’s the Bible Code or the account of the Creation contained in the Book of Abraham in the Latter-day Saint Pearl of Great Price that implies Einstein’s theory of Relativity, millennia before its time.  At any rate, in a perfect world there should be complete reconciliation.  But there isn’t.      

IMHO, astrology is a gift from God.  Much like the Bible Code, anything that complex that has consistently worked as advertised for millennia would have to be.  Not counting the daily horoscopes in the newspaper or online that are far too global to have much meaning, personalized versions can help us understand ourselves, others and human interactions.  In its predictive capability it can give us warnings, incentives and explanations for seemingly unexplained behavior or events on both an individual and collective level.  Can people abuse this data?  Of course they can.  Hitler used astrology, which certainly didn’t help its reputation any.  But then he was into Old Testament religion, also, and that doesn’t seem to keep people away from the Bible.   Will some people “blame” the configuration of the cosmos for their misdeeds and misfortunes?  Of course they will.  But that doesn’t make astrology the cause.   The cause resides in the decisions people make, not the stars.

We have our free will and can exercise it.  We can study what tendencies are in force astrologically and make better choices.  By being unaware of astrological influences we are far more likely to be victimized, whether it’s by being too forceful because we have Pluto or Mars conjuncting our Ascendant, or by buying a car or major appliance that’s a lemon because Mercury is retrograde at the time.  Knowledge is power.  With more information we can make sounder decisions, understand human dynamics and exercise our will in the wisest way.  No one knows why it works, but it does.  And has for millennia.  Consistently.  How many other ideas can you name with a track record like that?  

Perhaps the objections arise because too much information precludes the need for faith, which is the cornerstone of religion, Christian and otherwise (though few other religions have a problem with it).  Relying on God exclusively for guidance is commendable, but the adage “God helps those who help themselves” implies some degree of self-help.  And if the stars are God’s creation and thus deliver his messages (after all, it was signs in the heavens that announced Christ’s birth) then astrology should enhance faith, not threaten it.  If you have enough faith to have a constant, direct line to God for the information you need on a daily basis, then you clearly don’t need astrology.  But few people are there yet.

Back to the message of the astronomical symbols in the Strasbourg cathedral, it’s my opinion that in centuries past it was corrupt religious leaders rather than righteous ones who removed this valuable tool from our lives.  Their own actions were revealed which put them at a disadvantage.  How much of a stir was created by Gutenburg (who designed his “new invention” while in Strasbourg) whose creation allowed copies of the scriptures to reach Christendom as a whole?  How much power did that remove from the hands of religious leaders who were playing out their own power-hungry agenda?  And how many other supposed “traditions” have been perpetuated because subsequent leaders never questioned them?  How many other gems were lost in that same way?  Everyone agrees that the Bible was definitely tampered with during that time.  Some believe that specific references to astrology in a positive sense were removed from the Bible with various other truths.

I have always sought my own truth and have been consistently led to the answers.  They are often unconventional and sometimes unpopular, but in my heart I feel their validity.  To me, astrology is but another witness of God’s existence, His creations, eternal plan, and love for His children.  As a loving God, He has given us numerous tools to help us achieve our life’s mission.  I am grateful for this profound gift and how it makes my life not only easier to understand but more meaningful; I am greatly blessed to be able to share this with others.  It’s my understanding that Christians seek truth and anything that can bring them closer to God by helping them become better people.  In my experience, astrology easily qualifies.

NEXT:  Spirituality versus Religion

The History of Astrology

 

 

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