Christian views on astrology
Astrology is seen negatively by modern orthodox Christian doctrine. As Christianity spread, the astrologers lost their influence and reputation. Astrology had small amounts of support in early Christianity, but support waned during the Dark Ages. Support for it grew again in the West during the Renaissance.
There are theories, however, that the bible itself is based on astrology; As over the centuries, ancient people observed the movements of the celestial bodies, personified them and created stories about them that were recreated upon the earth. By that logic, Christianity, just like Paganism, may come off as another occult/astrological-based religion with the bible being an astrological book, and the founder, mythical.
Additionally, astrology stands juxtaposed against the roots of modern scientific reasoning. Generally, the scientific community and others educated in the scientific method consider astrology a pseudoscience or superstition.
Astrology in Christian history
From the start the Christian Church strongly opposed astrology. The noted mathematician Aguila Ponticus was expelled from the Christian communion about the year 120, on account of his astrological heresies.
Once more astrology fell to the level of a vulgar superstition cutting a sorry figure among the classes that still had faith in the occult arts. The peasant held fast to his belief in natural astrology, and to this belief the progress of the art of printing and the spread of popular education contributed largely. For not only were there disseminated among the rural poor "farmer's almanacs", which contained information substantiated by the peasant's own experience, but the printing presses also supplied the peasant with a great mass of cheap and easily understood books containing much fantastic astrological nonsense. The remarkable physical discoveries of recent decades in combination with the growing desire for an elevated philosophico-religious conception of the world and the intensified sensitiveness of the modern cultured man—all these together have caused astrology to emerge from its hiding place among paltry superstitions. The growth of occultistic ideas, which should, perhaps, not be entirely rejected, is reintroducing astrology into society. [emphasis added]
From this lengthy quote, with the final emphasis made to draw a point, it is obvious that, at the time of writing, although the Roman Catholic opinion of astrology was not enthusiastic, there was a small amount of leeway provided to make legitimate use of astrology. Perhaps the intent was to allow astrology to be studied by scholars, theologians, and members of the clergy. It is clearly not in support of modern astrology for divination, personal horary predictions, or for supporting superstitions.
At the same time, it does not seem to be anathema to Catholicism (see heterodoxy). Indeed, the gist of the article seems to be that astrology is merely anathema to modern scientific reasoning and therefore makes its usefulness in Western Christianity a tenuous one. The rise of astrology in and around the church in recent times is seemingly incongruous with modern science, yet it is arguably as present today as it was during the Renaissance, growing even as science advances our knowledge of the cosmos. St. Augustine fought against astrology and sought to prevent its amalgamation with pure natural science. Once more the East prepared a second period of prosperity for astrology.
The conversion of Constantine the Great put an end to the importance of this so-called science, which for five hundred years had ruled the public life of Rome. In 321 Constantine issued an edict threatening all Chaldeans, Magi, and their followers with death. Astrology now disappeared for centuries from the Christian parts of Western Europe. Only the Arabic schools of learning, especially those in Spain after the Moors had conquered the Iberian peninsula, accepted this dubious inheritance from the wisdom of classic times, and among Arabs it became incentive to pure Astronomical research.
Western church leaders throughout history have at times given different amounts of credibility to astrological investigations, predictions, and learning. A major Western orthodox witness to this, the Catholic Encyclopedia, says:
...[E]arly Christian legend distinguished between astronomy and astrology by ascribing the introduction of the former to the good angels and to Abraham while the latter was ascribed to Cham. In particular St. Augustine [...] fought against astrology and sought to prevent its amalgamation with pure natural science.
Emperors and popes became votaries of astrology—Charles IV and V, and Popes Sixtus IV, Julius II, Leo X and Paul III. When these rulers lived astrology was, so to say, the regulator of official life; it is a fact characteristic of the age, that at the papal and imperial courts ambassadors were not received in audience until the court astrologer had been consulted. Regiomontanus, the distinguished Bavarian mathematician practised astrology, which from that time on assumed the character of a bread-winning profession, and as such was not beneath the dignity of so lofty an intellect as Kepler. Thus had astrology once more become the foster-mother of all astronomers. In the judgment of the men of the Renaissance—and this was the age of a Nicholas Copernicus—the most profound astronomical researches and theories were only profitable insofar as they aided in the development of astrology. Among the zealous patrons of the art were the Medici. Catherine de' Medici made astrology popular in France. She erected an astrological observatory for herself near Paris, and her court astrologer was the celebrated "magician" Michel de Notredame (Nostradamus) who in 1555 published his principal work on astrology—a work still regarded as authoritative among the followers of his art. Another well-known man was Lucas Gauricus the court astrologer of Popes Leo X and Clement VII who published a large number of astrological treatises.
Subsequently, this source described the eventual disintegration of astrology in popular, educated Western Christianity due to the perceived superiority of the Copernican system, the rise of experimental investigation in the natural sciences, and disillusionment of the people abused by the "pseudo-prophetic wisdom" of this "astrological humbug." However, as the nineteenth century waned and the twentieth century began, a renewed interest was sparked in "the peasant" and astrology became quite popular again despite its unscientific mysticism.
Dark Ages and Middle Ages
Up to the time of the Crusades, Christian countries in general were spared any trouble from a degenerate astrology. But the gradually increasing influence of Arabic learning upon the civilization of the West, which reached its highest point at the time of the Crusades was unavoidably followed by the spread of the false theories of astrology. The public importance of astrology grew as the internal disorders of the Church increased and the papal and imperial power declined.
Arabian and Jewish scholars were the representatives of astrology in the Middle Ages, while both Church and State in Christian countries rejected and persecuted this false doctrine and its heathen tendencies. Unfortunately, at the same time the development of astronomy was checked, excepting so far as it was needed to establish certain necessary astronomic principles and to calculate the date of Easter. Yet early Christian legend distinguished between astronomy and astrology by ascribing the introduction of the former to the good angels and to Abraham, while the latter was ascribed to Cham.
Renaissance and Modern history
In the Renaissance, religion, also, was subordinated to the dictation of astrology. The hypothesis of an astrological epoch of the world for each religion was widely believed by Italian astrologers of the time, who obtained the theory from Arabo-Judaic sources. Thus it was said that the conjunction of Jupiter with Saturn permitted the rise of the Hebrew faith; that of Jupiter with Mars, the appearance of the Chaldaic religion; of Jupiter with the sun, the Egyptian religion; of Jupiter with Venus, Mohammedanism; and of Jupiter with Mercury, Christianity. At some future day the religion of Antichrist was to appear upon the conjunction of Jupiter with the moon.
The influence of the Copernican theory, the war of enlightened minds against pseudo-prophetic wisdom and the increasing perception of the moral and psychical damage wrought by astrological humbug at last brought about a decline in the fortunes of astrology, and that precisely in Wallenstein's time. At the same period astrological tracts were still being written by the most celebrated of English astrologers, William Lilly of Diseworth, Leicestershire.
Astrology in the Bible
Jesus as a Sun God
Jesus was born on December 25th in Bethlehem. His birth was symbolized by a star in the east which three kings or magi followed to find and acknowledge the new savior. Jesus had 12 companions or "disciples". They were likely to be based on the movements of the sun through the skies. When the sun was in Scorpio, Judas plotted with the chief priests and elders to arrest the man Judas identified as Jesus by kissing him. As the sun exits Libra, it enters into the waiting arms of Scorpio to be kissed by Scorpio's bite.
At the beginning of the first century, the sun on the vernal equinox passed from Aries to Pisces. That harmonizes with the mentioned lamb and fish in the gospels. With John the Baptist, we see Aquarius, a man pouring water. Mary is Virgo the virgin. Next to Virgo is Bootes as Joseph. There is even a tiny constellation between them that represents baby Jesus, Coma Berenices.
Many of the world's sacrificed godmen have their traditional birthday on December 25th ("Christmas"). This represents the ancient recognition that (from a perspective in the northern hemisphere) the sun makes a yearly descent southward until December 21st or 22nd, the winter solstice, when it stops moving southerly for three days and then starts to move northward again. During this time, people back then believed that "God's sun" had "died" for three days and was "born again" on December 25th. After December 25, the Sun moves 1 degree, this time north, foreshadowing longer days.
The three days following December 21 remain the darkest days of the year where Jesus (the sun) dies and remains unseen for three days. The first day when daylight gets noticeably longer is Dec 25, that is when the sun is seen to come back to life. His Resurrection starts in the spring during the solar equinox.
Biblical references of Jesus being a sun god:
"For the LORD your God is a consuming fire..." Deuteronomy 4:24
"The Lord God is a sun..." - Psalms 84:11
"The sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays..." - Malachi 4:2.
"And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light." - Matthew 17:2
"The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world." - John 1:9
"I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness." - John 12:46
"In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light." - John 1:4-8
"...Christ will shine on you." - Ephesians 5:14
"...in his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth issued a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength." - Revelations 1:16
"I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." - John 8:12
Son of Man
The Son of Man in the Gospels can be linked to the constellation Orion which represents Jesus’ Spirit. Revelation’s description of the Son of man fits the pattern of stars in the constellation Orion. The three stars at his waist were seen as the three wise men who announced the birth of Jesus.
"Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden girdle round his breast; his head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters; in his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth issued a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength." - Rev. 1:12-20
"And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle." - Rev. 14:14-20
Orion, as seen in human form, has his right hand holding a sickle or a club. His left hand could be holding an animal skin, a shield or a bow. The Milky Way is behind him. The arc above him represents the sun’s path. The line going through his waste is the celestial equator which runs parallel to earth’s equator.
"But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven." - Mark 13:24-27
The timing of Orion’s cycle fits well with the birth of Jesus on December 25. It makes its first appearance in the east in mid December each year. And as the season progresses, Orion rises with the sun and sets in the west three days before it rises in the east again. With the sun personified as Jesus, it is accurate to think of Orion as a constellation in trail with the sun’s cycle. In a sense they are like conjoined twins who suffer the same fate.
"As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, 'The Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.' And they were greatly distressed." - Matt. 17:22-23
When the sun goes below the equator into the dark days, it is said to be "delivered to the enemy". There is nothing new about constellations disappearing for three days as it happens every day. While the earth rotates, the stars appear to be moving westerly until they dip below the horizon. Three days later they reappear in the eastern horizon.
..."'tell us if you are the Christ, the Son [sun] of God.' Jesus said to him, 'You have said so. But I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.'" - Matt. 26:63-64
When facing north, Orion’s rising in the east can be seen as rising from the right. Orion appears in front of the Milky Way, which is seen as clouds.
From 4300 b.c. to 2150 b.c., it was called the Age of Taurus, the bull. From 2150 B.C. to 1 A.D. it was called the Age of Aries, the Ram, and the age from 1 A.D. to 2150 A.D. it is called the Age of Pisces, the fish. In and around 2150, we would enter the new age called the Age of Aquarius.
In the Old Testament when Moses came down with The Ten Commandments tablet, he was very upset to see his people worshiping a golden bull calf. The Bull was the symbolic figure for the earlier religion of Mithraism which flourished in The Age of Taurus. The fact is that the golden bull is Taurus the Bull, and Moses represents the new Age of Aries the Ram. That is why Jews even today still blow the Ram's horn.
Jesus is the figure who ushers in the age following Aries, the Age of Pisces the two fish. Fish symbolism is very repetitive in the New Testament. Jesus fed 5000 people with bread and two fish. When he began his ministry walking along Galilee, he befriends 2 fishermen. It is a Pagan astrological symbolism for the Sun's Kingdom during the Age of Pisces.
In Luke 22:10 when Jesus is asked by his disciples where the next Passover will be, Jesus replied
‘Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you bearing a pitcher of water... follow him into the house where he entereth in.’.
The man carrying a pitcher of water is Aquarius, the water bearer, who is always seen as a man pouring out a pitcher of water. He represents the age after Pisces, and when the Sun leaves the Age of Pisces (Jesus), it will go into the House of Aquarius.
Apart from the depictions in the Book of Revelation, the main source of this idea comes from Matthew 28:20, where Jesus says:
I will be with you even to the end of the world.’
Otherwise, in King James Version, ‘the world’ is a mistranslation. The actual word being used is "aeon", which means ‘age.’ ‘I will be with you even to the end of the age. Which is true, as Jesus' Solar Piscean representation will end when the Sun enters the Age of Aquarius.
- Astrologer William Lilly's book Christian Astrology (1647) is a major work in the field.
- See Signs for a Messiah: The First and Last Evidence for Jesus, Rolland McCleary, 2003, Hazzard Press. This book attempts to describe the exact birth date and time of Jesus Christ, using the Bible as a source document, historical astrology as insight into the magi, and computer ephemeris data to cast a horoscope.
- "Christianity Astrology". Atlantis International, 2006. Retrieved November 2014.
- Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907, Volume II, pp 18-25, Article on Astrology.
- "Origins of Christianity". Stellar House Publishing. Retrieved November 2014.
- "Origins Zodiac Bible Code". US Bible. Retrieved November 2014.
- "The Great Myth of the SUN-GODS". Mountain Man Graphics, Australia. Retrieved November 2014.
- "Gospel Zodiac". US Bible. Retrieved November 2014.
- "Son God, Sun God". Retrieved November 2014.
- "When Was Jesus Born?". Retrieved November 2014.
- "Taurus". Retrieved November 2014.
- "Aquarius Pisces Age". Astro Software. Retrieved November 2014.
- "Aquarius". Retrieved November 2014.