Astrology and the Bible. Part I
I’ve always given some credibility to astrology, but several things have influenced me to give it a more serious study.
First it has always seemed that people fit the description of their birth sign more than the law of averages would allow.
Secondly, just as it makes sense that one person has influence on another, it makes sense that one planet (being a living body) will have influence on another planet and the life forms therein.
Thirdly, I have had two readings which stimulated my interest. I sent off for the first reading when I was in my early twenties. I was impressed by this lady’s ad, for she mentioned that she had come across some ancient Babylonian astrological data that she incorporated with modern astrology.
When I received the printout which was 6 or more pages I was very impressed by her description of my character traits. There were things in there that I could not have gotten from a handwriting analysis. Then on hindsight I am even more impressed for all her predictions came true. She was so good that even now that I have a knowledge of astrology I can not figure out how she came to some of her conclusions. Maybe it has something to do with her studies of ancient Babylonian astrology.
Unfortunately my copy of this disappeared a few years ago. I would really like to have it to read again.
Then, around the age of 35, a friend of mine became very enthused about astrology and raved about an astrologer he met here in Boise who he claimed was as good as they get. He pestered me to make an appointment and I finally succumbed.
I went to see him and on the table he had my chart all colorfully drawn up by hand. As he got into my chart he got quite enthusiastic and told me that I had a combination of aspects he had heard of but never seen in a chart.
“What’s that?” I said.
He said that I had two grand trines, composed of connecting planets, joined together to produce a six pointed star, commonly known as the Star of David.
“Really,” I said. “What does that mean?”
“Legend has it in some astrological circles that this was found in the natal chart of Christ. No one knows if that is true, but this configuration can be a powerful force to help you accomplish something worthwhile.”
I found this flattering yet genuinely interesting and asked him some more questions. I learned that the Star of David is rare, but there are a handful of others who have it and some of them turned out to be average people. The energy of this combination is powerful in bringing a balance of energies, but the person with it must make an effort to release it and then use it effectively.
In my case he said I had squares with Saturn that had to be mastered before I could receive the full benefit of the two grand trines. Saturn was not going to let me get away with careless mistakes, that I would be under strong discipline until I had prepared myself for the full benefit of the star.
The rest of the reading was interesting, but this piece of information stuck in my mind and made me decide to study the art myself to see what there was to it. In fact a few years later I attempted to teach astrology as one of my classes and did a handful of professional readings.
As mentioned in my book and several posts, I met my wife when she began attending my classes and I was impressed with her when I analyzed her writing in my handwriting class. Shortly thereafter, she requested an astrological reading.
I not only calculated her natal chart, but also her progressed chart and noticed that the Sun on her progressed chart was extremely close to the placement of my natal sun. She still has the tape I made wherein I told her something like this:
“Our suns are in the process of merging. This would indicate that you and I are going to have a very close relationship or partnership of some kind.” Then keeping in mind that we were both married to other people at the time I added, “I’m sure that would be a working relationship.”
Then about six months later, when both of us were separating from our spouses, one Thursday evening lightening struck us both at the same moment and we have been together since.
Several days after this particular day I became curious as to how near that Thursday was to the merging of the suns. I thought it would be close, but I was truly amazed when I ran the progressed charts again and saw that her progressed sun merged exactly with mine on the very day we fell in love. The chances of this happening was miniscule.
That’s enough anecdotal information. Now on with the subject.
We have covered a number of subjects that cause a number of Bible believers to have concern that metaphysics is either evil or condemned by God, but we seemed to have bypassed astrology except as it relates to other subjects. In this treatise I seek to cover some basics so future readers who are concerned about Bible verses can look at the subject from a wholeness (holiness) point of view.
The first question to ask is why, in the first place, do many Bible believers think that Astrology is either evil or condemned by God?
There are several scriptures that present a problem. Let us examine this one brought up by a reader:
“There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.
“For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.” Deuteronomy 18:10&14
Let us translate this from the Concordant version which I believe to be the most accurate overall.
“There shall not be found among you one causing his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or one divining divinations, or consulting clouds, auguring or enchanting…
“For these nations in whose place you are tenanting, they herarken to cloud consulters and diviners. As for you Yahweh your Elohim does not allow you to do so.”
The main item in question here comes from the phrase “observers of times” which most believe refers to astrology. The phrase comes from the Hebrew ANAN which literally means “to cover.” This comes from ANAWN which is the Hebrew for cloud.
Interestingly ANAN is used in the following verse after the flood of Noah:
“And it shall come to pass, when I bring (ANAN) a cloud (ANAWN) over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: Genesis 9:14
Because the earliest use of ANAN is associated with the motion of clouds we can see why the Concordant version translates it in Deuteronomy as one who consults or interprets patterns in clouds, a quite different art than that of astrology. ANAN corresponds more closely with a tea leaf reader than an astrologer.
The second verse mentioned comes from Daniel:
“And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them (Daniel and his friends) ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.” Dan 1:20
The word “magicians” comes from the Chaldean CHARTOM which is interpreted as “magician” because of its context throughout the Bible but more than likely merely refers to a “keeper of permanent records” – probably hieroglyphics of hidden or occult knowledge. Because they possessed hidden knowledge, it is quite possible this led to them being seen as magicians.
The Concordant Version translates this word as “sacred scribes.”
“Astrologers” comes from ASHSHAPH and seems to be of mysterious origin. It is generally translated as “astrologer.”
The meaning here is probably the same as the Greek “Magi” or “Magos,” the title of the astrologers who visited Jesus as a child. This is evidenced by the fact that the earliest known Greek manuscript of Daniel translates ASHSHAPH as “Magi.”
The Concordant Version agrees and translates the word also as Magi.
According to historical evidence the magi could have indeed been astrologers as part of their work, but they were also philosophers, counselors and interpreters of the signs of the times.
The idea that Daniel and his friends were “ten times” wiser is misleading. In the original language the term was a unit of measurement. It was more like saying that Daniel was “miles ahead” of his competition.
So Daniel was “head and shoulders” above the Babylonian astrologers and record keepers “in all matters of wisdom and understanding.” This indicates to us that the Babylonian Magi were more than just astrologers but also philosophers.
When the king found that none of the astrologers could interpret his dream he decided to have them all killed. The interesting thing is that included in this group of wise astrologers to be destroyed was Daniel and his friends. Daniel was then concerned when he learned that the “wise men” including himself would be killed so he petitioned to God for knowledge that he “and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men (magi/astrologers) of Babylon.
Then, as we know, Daniel received knowledge from God about the meaning of the dream which truly impressed the King. The scripture reads:
“Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and CHIEF OF THE GOVERNORS OVER ALL THE WISE MEN (magi/astrologers) OF BABYLON.
“Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.” Dan 2:48-49
Daniel who was clearly named as one of the wise men (another name for the magi/astrologers) was appointed “governor” over all the magi. Obviously Daniel was an astrologer/magi himself if he was identified as such by the king when they were targeted for death and later as their leader when they were allowed to live.
Therefore, if astrology is evil, Daniel and his friends were evil.
There are several other scriptures not mentioned which are used to discredit astrology. A popular one is in Deuteronomy 4:16-19:
“Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth:
“And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.”
This scripture is against the making or worshiping of engraven images. This no more condemns people for studying the influence of the stars than it does the study of psychology, or the influence of one person upon another. Both heavenly bodies and human bodies are figured in this commandment.
Here is another one:
“Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee.” Isaiah 47:13
This was not a condemnation of the astrologers, but of the kingdom of Babylon for its “wickedness” in enslaving the Israelites and self-serving attitude, among other things.
To say that the astrologers could not save Babylon because of her misdeeds is like saying a doctor cannot save a patient because he has abused his body. Such line of reasoning is neither a condemnation of astrologers or doctors.
The interesting thing is that even if we confront the literalists at their own game we can win the scriptural battle, but there is another angle to consider here. That is – what is deemed taboo or evil in one age can be a benefit in another. There is a time and season for every purpose under heaven.
The God of the Old Testament commanded the people not to eat pork, shellfish and many other items, yet God in the New Testament told the people it was all right to eat these things.
The God of the Old Testament commanded the people to put witches, gays, Sabbath breakers and disobedient children to death. Fortunately, we are wise enough in this age to not follow such instructions in a black and white manner, but to use good judgment over scripture.
If we are willing to trust our judgment rather than go by old testament commands in civil matters then why not also judge astrology for what it is, looking at the subject with an open mind?
If it works and is useful then use it, if it has no value then do not use it.
We are not under condemnation if we sincerely follow the highest we know.
Copyright By J J Dewey
Feb 6, 2002
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