The question "do planets rule our lives?" is not intended to be facetious. Today a whopping 32 million Americans believe their lives are governed by the position of the stars, according to a 1975 Gallup Poll, quoted in the January 23, 1976 Chicago Tribune.
Another interesting discovery was that eight out of ten Americans can name their birth signs whether they believe in astrology or not.
Astrology, as currently practiced in the Western world, was organized by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy, incorporating lore dating back to the Babylonians. Other traces of the astrological chartmaking have been unearthed in a wide variety of prehistoric cultures.
Are all charts interpreted the same? Definitely not - no more than all emotional problems are interpreted the same by all branches of psychology. Astrologer Ingrid Williams has said, "Brain waves and planets are both full of electrical energy that needs to be explored scientifically. Scientists should not laugh at astrology, they should explore it" After all, they laughed at Louis Pasteur when he claimed that germs cause disease."
Well, some of us fail to see any analogy there! Perhaps at this point we should try to analyze the contributing factors in the widespread following astrology has today.
It is estimated that 1200 out of the 1750 daily newspapers carry an astrological column (1975 statistics). We may safely assume that the percentage is higher today, for astrology is a multi-million dollar industry.
Hundreds of bookstores specialize in astrological and cultist reading material. Thousands upon thousands of college and university students seek astrological guidance in matters of career, marriage, and politics.
Many parents plan the birth of their children so they will be born under a "favorable" astrological sign, despite the fact that the respected journal "Psychology Today" noted not long ago that "It is simply a mistake to imagine that the forces exerted by stars and planets at the moment of birth can in any way shape our futures."
St. Augustine, who lived 1,600 years ago, gave up astrology when he learned that a wealthy landowner and a slave on his estate had been born exactly at the same time!
Perhaps psychologists who've rejected astrology have done so, in part, because in 1939 a group of Britains's leading astrologists predicted a war would not come. When it did, they predicted it would end in a year!
Now I realize that any derogation of astrology is, to some minds, a very unpopular position. Nevertheless, I intend to outline here some of the reasons I reject the notion that the position of the planets has any bearing on our present or future, some lucky guesses in the past by astrologers not withstanding. It is up to the individual to weigh the arguments pro and con, then make his personal decision on the basis of these controversies.
I see at least six basic flaws in the religion of astrology:
First: Discrepancies are built-in factors. Let me explain. Astronomers admit that the zodiac (the belt containing the paths of the sun, moon, and principal planets) has shifted an entire "house" during the past 2,000 years. This is to say the sun no longer rises at 0 degrees of the constellation Aries; it's moved to a new location as far as 7 degrees from Pices, which most certainly throws off all astrological computations. They could, of course, compensate for this in their figuring, but they don't and they haven't. This makes astrology's theory untenable.
Second: Something astrologists will not admit is that the SUN, not the earth, is the center of our planetary system. Copernicus debunked that erroneous idea in the l6th century. Moreover, astrology simply hasn't caught up with the new developments and probably never will, for the concept of a sun- centered solar system deals a knockout blow to astrology.
Third: Astrology works on the premise that "it is difficult, if not impossible, to chart the future of someone born near or above the latitude of 66 degrees. That means, very simply, that people born in, say, Finland or Greenland or Alaska or Northern Canada have no future! (If they depend on astrology). The reason for this is that In these areas it is impossible to calculate precisely what constellation is rising above the horizon, and, of course, without that knowledge astrology cannot function. I guess you would have to say that from an astrologer's viewpoint, people in these areas of the world were never born!
Fourth: There is the "twin" problem. According to astrological thinking, twins born two minutes apart, their zodiacal sign the same, should be identical, and identically influenced by the same planets and have the same hereditary traits. However, twins born even minutes apart seldom have the same destiny. Why not?
Fifth: There is the Extra Planet Problem. Let me explain. Centuries ago, Mesopotamian priests based their astrological prognostications (which were pagan, by the way) on only those constellations which could be observed by the naked eye. They had no access to uncharted planets as we have today. Since then, additional planets have been discovered such as Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Imagine what complications astrologers encountered when these discoveries were made!
It's interesting to note that many astrologers now conveniently blame the influence of these planets for some of their monumental failures!
Sixth: There is a universal rejection among astrologers of the person of God. Astrology preaches that planets possess a consciousness of their own. This is both pagan and anti-God. Astrology, in its final analysis, teaches that the solar system possesses a superconsciousnes that operates without God. That is, in other words, a pantheistic philosophy in which God's power permeates everything. Without question, the whole system shouts out its pagan background!
It won't take long to explain why there is so much interest in astrology today. People now, as never before, are vitally concerned with the future. There is widespread fear and anxiety. There is confusion and fear, and the formal religion fails to provide answers to the questions people are asking.
In Colossians 2:8 Paul wrote,
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human traditions and basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. (NIV)
What a description of astrology!
Astrologers tell us that our destiny is in the stars, that they determine our fate. The Bible says man's personal decision determines his destiny!
Let me pose ten brief questions for our "starstruck" friends:
1. Why do only the constellations of the zodiac have an effect on man? There are other constellations and stars of much greater magnitude.
2. Why haven't astrologers kept up with astronomy? Every astronomer knows the zodiac which astrologers use has moved one entire sign.
3. Why doesn't astrological forecasting find support in statistical studies? Example: a study of 2,000 famous painters and musicians proved this was NOT the case!
4. Why don't astrologers recognize the problem of people born without a horoscope?
5. How does one know which is the right astrology? In the Orient, different symbols are used for the 12 signs and therefore have different meanings.
6. One researcher made up a completely bogus horoscope and sent it to numerous people. Many wrote back and thanked him for his accuracy!
7. How do astrologers know what astral influence are good and which are bad?
8. Why is the hour of birth so important? Why not the hour of conception?
9. Why don't two individuals born at the same time and under the same sign have the same destiny?
10. Why do astrologers claim astrology is a science When it is almost universally rejected by scientists?
I leave you with these questions. You provide your own answers!
J.D.J. RIGHT NOW: Why not put YOUR life in the hands of the One who MADE the stars? Astrology is but one of the many occult practices which originated with the "Father of Lies."