Two of the most crucial questions that haunt humanity are,
"Who am I" and "What's going to happen in the
future?" Many people lose sleep at night worrying about the
future, wondering what will happen tomorrow. Astrology claims to
have the solution to these basic questions. They offer daily
horoscopes to predict individuals' futures. "What's your
sign?" crops up in many casual conversations. The ancient
occultic art of astrology has become very popular in our
What Is Astrology?
Astrology is an ancient practice that assumes that the position
of the stars and planets has a direct influence upon people and
events. Supposedly, one's life pattern can be charted by
determining the position of the stars and planets at the time of
one's birth. The chart that attempts to accomplish this is known
as a "horoscope". Rene Noorbergen explains how one's
horoscope is charted:
For every personal horoscope, the moment of birth is the
essential starting point. This, coupled with the latitude and
longitude of the individual's birthplace, provides the initial
package for the usual astrological chart. While this is
elementary, it is not complete; a factor known as "true
local time" must also be considered. This "true"
time is arrived at by adding or subtracting four minutes for each
degree of longitude that your birthplace lies to the east or west
of the center of your time zone of birth. Once this has been
accomplished, the next step is to convert this "true"
time into "sidereal" or star time. This is done with
the aid of an ephemeras, a reference book showing the positions
of the planets in relationship to the earth. Checking this star
time in an astrological table is the last formal move, for in
doing so, the theme of the individual's "ascendant"
-the astrological sign that is supposed to have been rising on
the eastern horizon at the moment of birth -is revealed.
Once you have developed this data -these simple steps are no more
difficult than solving a seventh-grade math problem -then you are
ready to "chart" your horoscope. This means you align
the "ascendant" with the nine-o'clock point on the
inner circle of the horoscope, and from there you are prepared to
"read" the various zodiacal "houses" that
control your life and fortune (Rene Noorbergen, The Soul
Hustlers, Grand Rapids, MI Zondervan, 1976, pp. 176,177).
How Is It Justified?
How astrologers justify their practice is explained by Michael
One's future can be forecast, allegedly, because astrology
asserts the unity of all things. This is the belief that the
Whole (or all of the universe put together) is in some way the
same as the Part (or the individual component or man), or that
the Part is a smaller reflection of the Whole
(macrocosmic/microcosmic model). The position of the planets (the
macro) influences and produces a corresponding reaction in man
(the micro). This makes man a pawn in the cosmos with his life
and actions pre-determined and unalterable (Michael Van Buskirk,
Astrology. Revival in the Cosmic Garden, Costa Mesa, CA: Caris,
1976, p. 6).
Noorbergen concludes, "To believe in astrology, you must
support the philosophy that you are either a 'born loser' or a
'born winner.' The stars, we are being told, do not merely
forecast the course of our lives, but they also cause the events
to take place, They both impel and compel. . ." (Rene
Noorbergen, op. cit., pp. 178, 179).
The Problems of Astrology
The claims that astrologists have made have drawn severe
criticism from the scientific community. In September, 1975, 186
prominent American scientists, along with 18 Nobel Prize winners,
spoke out against "the pretentious claims of astrological
charlatans," saying, among other things, that there is no
scientific basis whatsoever for the assumption that the stars
foretell events and influence lives. The following are some of
the reasons the practice of astrology must be rejected as both
unscientific and unbiblical.
The Problem of Authority
Astrologists are victims of their own system. They cannot have
the objective authority necessary to explain our own world. If
everything is predetermined in conjunction with the zodiac, then
how can the astrologists get outside of that fatalism to
accurately observe it?
What if the astrologists themselves are predetermined to explain
everything by astrology? There is no way they can prove their
system if they are pawns in that same system. By contrast, as
Christians we can test our own world view because someone, Jesus
Christ, has come from outside the "system" to tell us,
objectively, what our system is like.
The problem of authority in astrology is graphically revealed
when one realizes there are many systems of astrology which are
diametrically opposed to each other. Astrologers in the West
would not interpret a horoscope the same way a Chinese astrologer
Even in the West, there is no unanimity of interpretation among
astrologers, seeing that some contend for eight zodiac signs
rather than 12 while others argue for 14 or even 24 signs of the
With these different systems employed by astrologers, an
individual may go to two different astrologers and receive two
totally opposed courses of behavior for the same day! This is not
only a possibility, it is also a reality, for a simple comparison
between astrological forecasts in daily newspapers will often
Astrology is based upon the premise that the planets revolve
around the earth, known as the "geocentric theory."
This theory was shown to be in error by Copernicus, who proved
that the planets revolve around the sun, not the earth. This is
known as the "heliocentric theory."
Since astrology is based upon the refuted geocentric theory, its
reliability is destroyed. Since the basic assumption is false,
all conclusions, even if feebly reinterpreted by today's
knowledge and drawn from this assumption, are likewise false.
One of the major misconceptions that is the basis of astrology
concerns the number of planets in our solar system. Most
astrological charts are based upon the assumption that there are
seven planets in our solar system (including the sun and the
In ancient times, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were unobservable
with the naked eye. Consequently, astrologers based their system
upon the seven planets they believed revolved around the earth.
Since that time, it has been proven that the sun, not the earth,
is the center of the solar system and that three other planets
exist in our solar system.
According to the astrological
theory, that the position of planets has a definite influence
upon human behavior and events, these three previously
undiscovered planets should also have an influence upon behavior
and must be considered to cast an exact horoscope. Since they
usually are not considered, the astrological theory breaks down,
for no accurate horoscope could be charted without considering
all the planets and their supposed influence.
A constant source of embarrassment for astrologers is the birth
Since they are born at exactly the same time and place, they
should have the same destiny. Unfortunately, this is not the
case, for experience shows us that two people who are born at the
same time can live totally different lives. One may turn out to
be very successful, while the other ends up a failure. The fact
that twins do not live out the same lives shows another flaw in
A serious problem with astrology is its limited perspective.
Astrology was born in an area close to the equator and did not
take into consideration those living in latitudes where the
zodiac signs do not appear for the same periods of time.
As Michel Gauquelin points out, "Astrology, begun in
latitudes relatively close to the equator, made no provisions for
the possibility that no planet may be in sight (in the higher
latitudes) for several weeks in a row" (Michel Gauquelin,
The Cosmic Clocks, Chicago, IL: Henry Regnery Co., 1967, p. 78).
This means those living in the higher latitudes in places such as
Alaska, Norway, Finland and Greenland have no planetary influence
in their lives, for it is almost impossible to calculate what
point of the zodiac is rising on the horizon above the Arctic
Since this is the case, one of
the basic pillars of astrology now crumbles, as Van Buskirk
points out, "Astrology can hardly be scientifically based on
its own premise that the microcosm reflects the influence of the
macrocosm, when one of the microcosms (man) above the 66th
latitude is left uninfluenced by the cosmos" (Michael Van
Buskirk, op. cit., p. 9).
No Scientific Verification
Probably the most damaging criticism that can be leveled at
astrological prediction is the fact that its scientific value is
nil. Paul Couderc, astronomer at the Paris Observatory, concluded
after examining the horoscopes of 2,817 musicians:
The position of the sun has absolutely no musical significance.
The musicians are born throughout the entire year on a chance
basis. No sign of the zodiac or fraction of a sign favors or does
not favor them.
We conclude: The assets of scientific astrology are equal to
zero, as is the case with commercialized astrology. This is
perhaps unfortunate, but it is a fact (Paul Couderc, LAstrologie,
"Que Sais-je?" 508; 3rd ed.; Paris: Presses
Universitaires de France, 1961, pp. 86-89, cited by John Warwick
Montgomery, Principalities and Powers, p. 106).
The statistics to support the predictive claims of astrologers
are simply not there.
Incorrect Time of Reckoning
Another major problem with astrology concerns the fact that
horoscopes are cast from the time of birth, not from the time of
conception. Since all the hereditary factors are determined at
conception, it should logically follow that the planets could
begin influencing the persons destiny immediately after
The problem is, of course, trying to accurately determine when
conception took place, which is nearly impossible. However, if
the planets do exert an influence over a person's fate, it should
start at the time of conception rather than the time of birth.
The Shifting Constellations
Astrology is unscientific because of the fact of the precession
or the shifting of constellations. Boa elaborates on this
The early astronomers were not aware of precession and therefore
failed to take it into account in their system. The twelve signs
of the zodiac originally correspond with the twelve
constellations of the same names. But due to precession, the
constellations have shifted about 300 in the last 2,000 years.
This means that the constellation of Virgo is now in the sign of
Libra, the constellation of Libra is now in the sign of Scorpio
and so on. Thus, if a person is born on September 1, astrologers
would call him a Virgo (the sign the sun is in at that date), but
the sun is actually in the constellation Leo at that date. So
there are two different zodiacs: one which slowly moves (the
sidereal zodiac) and one which is stationary (the tropical
zodiac). Which zodiac should be used? (Kenneth Boa, Cults, World
Religions, and You, Victor Books, 1977, pp. 124, 125).
Furthermore, no constellation ever recurs. As Koch points out,
"The most weighty factor is the astronomer's objection that
no constellation in the sky ever recurs. Hence, astrological
interpretations lack every basis of comparison. Hence, solstitial
horoscopy rests on presuppositions which are scientifically
untenable" (Kurt Koch, Christian Counseling and Occultism,
Grand Rapids: Kregel Pub., 1973, p. 94).
The Bible and Astrology
The Bible warns people against relying on astrologers and
You are wearied with your many counsels; let now the astrologers,
those who prophesy by the stars, those who predict by the new
moons, stand up and save you from what will come upon you.
Behold, they have become like stubble, fire bums them; they
cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame... there is
none to save you (Isaiah 47: 13-15, NASB).
Other warnings can be found in such verses as Jeremiah 10:2:
"Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at
the signs of Heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them."
Elsewhere, the Scripture says, "And beware, lest you lift up
your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars,
all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and
serve them" (Deuteronomy 4:19, NASB).
The Book of Daniel gives us a
comparison between the astrologers and those dedicated to the
true and living God. Chapter 1:20 reveals that Daniel and his
three friends would be ten times better in matters of wisdom and
understanding than the astrologers because they served the living
and true God rather than the stars. When the king had a dream,
the astrologers could not give an explanation for it, but rather
God alone had the answer, for it is only He who can reveal the
future (see Daniel 2: 27, 28).
The Scriptures make it clear that
any type of astrological practice is severely condemned by God,
for it attempts to understand the future through occultic means
rather than through God's divinely inspired Word. The fatalistic
approach of astrology, which says our lives are determined by the
stars, is contradicted by Scripture, which holds us responsible
for our destiny. Astrology and Christianity are simply
Dangers of Astrology
There are some very real dangers in trying to live your life by a
First is the attempt to try to run your life by following along
in astrology. Since it is apparent a great deal of astrology has
no basis in reality, you run the risk of great loss.
There can be the loss of money,
both of what you may spend on astrology and what the astrologers
may recommend for you to do. They may recommend you invest now,
buy later, dont purchase this, etc. These recommended investments
are no more certain than a fortune cookie, and you could suffer
considerable financial loss.
Second, a person who continually
tries to live his life by a horoscope can become very depressed
as he begins to see life as fatalistic, predetermined since his
birth, with no opportunity to break free. Women have even refused
the medical advice of induced labor for a late pregnancy in order
to have their baby born later, so as to be an Aquarius, for
There is something pitiable about a lady I know who resides in a
part of Europe not known for sophisticated medical practices and
who refused to have the two-and-a-half-week-late birth of her
child induced because she wanted him to be an Aquarius instead of
whatever comes before that. I hope that the child suffers no
unfortunate consequences (Samuel Hux, The Humanist, May/June
1978, "Parawhatsit: A Certain Incapacity to Appreciate the
World," p. 32).
Numerology is a close cousin of astrology. It too involves such
aspects as a person's birth and the use of the planets. Dennis
Wheatley states of numerology:
This is closely allied to astrology and is said to have its
origins in the learning of the ancient Hindus. Their priesthood
was sufficiently far advanced in the science of astronomy to be
aware of the precession of the equinoxes, which is completed once
every 25,827 years; so one cannot lightly dismiss their belief in
astrology and the potency of numbers. The belief they held was
that each heavenly body is associated with a number, which
partakes of its qualities.
The date of a persons birth
automatically associates him with one number, but that produced
by substituting the above numbers for the letters of his name is
considered even more important. Should the two be the same, that
obviously greatly increases the influence of the planet
associated with that number and adds to the potency gained when a
person uses that number to further his projects (Dennis Wheatley,
The Devil and All His Works, NY: American Heritage Press, 1971,
Why do People Believe in Astrology?
If astrology is both unscientific and unbiblical, why do so many
people believe in it?
One answer would be that it
sometimes works, as one book on astrology attests: "When the
late astrological genius, Grant Lewi, was asked why he believed
in astrology, his blunt answer was, 'I believe in it because it
works.' This is as good an answer as any ... we say that
astrology works because it is based on natural law" (Joseph
Polansky, Sun Sign Success, New York: Warner/Destiny Books, 1977,
There is a much better
explanation for the so-called accuracy of astrological
predictions. If one reads a horoscope, even in a cursory manner,
he will be struck with the general and ambiguous nature of the
statements, which can be pointed to as fulfilling anything and
everything. Time Magazine observed:
There are so many variables and options to play with that the
astrologer is always right. Break a leg when your astrologer told
you the signs were good, and he can congratulate you on escaping
what might have happened had the signs been bad. Conversely, if
you go against the signs and nothing happens, the astrologer can
insist that you were subconsciously careful because you were
forewarned (Time Magazine, March 21, 1969, p. 56).
The suggestive aspect also needs to be taken into consideration,
as Koch has pointed out: "The person who seeks advice from
an astrologer comes with a certain readiness to believe the
horoscope. This predisposition leads to an autosuggestion to
order his life according to the horoscope, and thus contribute to
its fulfillment" (Kurt Koch, Occult and Christian
Counseling, op. cit., p. 95).
Wilson and Weldon illustrate this point:
Rachleff tells of a very interesting experiment in which an
identical horoscope was mailed to over 100 persons who had given
their natal information to a post office box number. The
recipients had 12 different birth periods represented by their
birth dates, and their varieties were as opposite as could be
expected, through Leo and Cancer. Each person was told that the
horoscope sent out pertained only to that one person, and
basically they accepted it as such. He tells us that "many
admired its pertinence and exactitude" (p. 38). The fact is,
if enough information is given, we are able to find ways in which
it fits our own experiences (Clifford Wilson and John Weldon,
Occult Shock and Psychic Forces, San Diego: Master Books, 1980,
Astrology is bankrupt both biblically and scientifically. Since
it is fatalistic in its approach, it rules out the free choice of
each of us, leaving man merely as a cog in the cosmic machinery.
This view of reality is at odds with Scripture, which indicates
all of us have both the capacity and responsibility to choose
which road in life we will take.
Astrology would deny us that
choice and therefore must be rejected. The Scripture show us a
better way of looking into the future, seeing that God has
already told us what the future holds for each of us and for our