Urban Legends examines widely held myths from a Biblical perspective.
I’m sure you’ve come across horoscopes in your newspaper, or online. They contain prophecies about how our day will turn out, analyse your personality and even tell you whom to marry. How are horoscopes able to predict the future? What’s the story behind astrology?
Astrology dates back thousands of years. It’s been around since the days of Ancient Egypt and Ancient Babylon. Initially the term was used for everything concerning investigation of stars and planets, including the mystical dimension. But the scientific and the mystical soon parted ways. Scientific astrology was called horary astrology. (Horary is from the Latin horarius meaning hour). It’s what we call astronomy today. Mystical astrology on the other hand was called judicial astrology, as in “God’s judgment announced in the stars.” It’s all about divination. The Bible contains references to both horary and judicial astrology – the scientific and the spiritual.
The word zodiac is actually an astronomical term not an occult terminology. It’s been appropriated by horoscope practitioners but it’s a cosmological term. Let me try and explain what astronomers mean by the zodiac. Astronomers and navigators use imaginary coordinate lines. They draw imaginary lines through the sky. The most important of these imaginary coordinate lines is called the ecliptic. As the earth revolves round the sun, the ecliptic is the apparent path the sun appears to take. There are 12 constellations of stars that the ecliptic line passes through. These 12 constellations are collectively known as the zodiac. As we shall soon see however, the idea of 12 constellations upon which horoscopes are based is totally faulty.
Why is the zodiac named after animals? The word zodiac is derived from zodiacus, which is the Latinized form of zoidiakos kyklos. It means “circle of little animals.” Most of the constellations are named for animals in Greek mythology. The constellation called Leo is the Lion, Taurus is the Bull, Cancer is the Crab, Aries is the Ram, Pisces is the Fish. Aries for example is a winged ram with golden fleece sent by the nymph Nephele to save her son Phrixus. Cancer represents Karkinos, a crab sent by Hera to distract Hercules when he was fighting the Lemean Hydra as part of his Twelve Labours. (You’ve probably seen that in the movie. It’s the opening scene). When the stars in each constellation are connected by line they somehow fit into the images of these Greek mythological characters, though not exactly of course. But give it to ancient Greeks. They love imaginative stories.
So how are horoscopes configured? Simple. Ancient astrologers were able to figure out where the sun was on the zodiac. They just needed to know which constellation rose ahead of the sun and which constellation set after the sun. The sun would obviously be in between. As such each month a specific star constellation was conferred with the title, House of the Sun. That was how each month-long period of the year was given its sign of the zodiac. And that’s how people came to be designated zodiac signs depending on the month-long period of the year they were born. So when someone says, I’m Pisces, he’s just saying he was born in a time period the sun was in a particular constellation. There’s nothing mystical about it.
But here’s where it gets interesting and your caution begins. The zodiac you’re reading in your newspaper today is outdated! The sign assigned for a given month in the horoscope IS NOT WHERE THE SUN ACTUALLY IS for that particular month. It’s where it would have been MILLENNIA AGO! This is because of something called precession. Precession is the change in the orientation of the rotational axis of a rotating body. The earth wobbles on its axis in a 25,800-year cycle. The wobble is caused by the gravitational attraction of the moon on earth’s bulge at the equator. The effect is that in the last 2,000 years the signs have slipped by almost a whole month! So those born between March 21 and April 19 who consider themselves Aries are actually Pisces! And those who think themselves Pisces are actually Aquarius. It’s thus literally a grave error to put faith in horoscopes. You’ve been reading the wrong stars and applying your life to them! Those predictions CANNOT be true. This raises the question of industrial scale deceit.
But here’s another twist to this whole thing. If you were born between November 29 and December 17 your sign is actually Opiuchus! Bet you don’t even know that constellation exists and what a name! Opiuchus is derived from the Greek word for “serpent-bearer.” It’s why the symbol is a man grasping a snake. The ecliptic passes through the constellation of Opiuchus after Scorpius. The truth is, there should actually now be 13 astrological signs not 12! Those horoscopes are nothing but the mythicizing of abject ignorance. You’ve been conned. You’re receiving false intelligence. You shouldn’t subject your life to those predictions. It’s all lies and deceit.
The zodiac is actually mentioned in scriptures. In Job 38:32 God asks, “Can you lead forth the signs of the zodiac in their season? Or can you guide the stars of the Bear with her young?” This passage is about astronomy not astrology. It’s why Job 38:31 asks, “Can you bind the chains of the cluster of stars called Plaeides, or loose the cords of the constellation Orion?” The whole tempo of that chapter is cosmology not astrology, and it starts well enough: “I have some questions for you,” God told Job. “Where were you when I created the Earth? Tell me, since you know so much! Who decided on its size? Certainly you’ll know that! Who came up with the blueprints and measurements?” (Job 38:2-5) So we know the creation of the earth was a scientific feat for God not magic. God drew a blueprint, did measurements. Creation was not shazam! Look at God’s calculations: the mean radius of the earth is 6,371km; its equatorial diameter is 12,756km but from pole to pole it is 12,714km. These measurements were pre-determined by God. He undertook designs before he created. God is a scientist. The strength of God creation-wise was his turnkey approach to novelty. He could conceptualize, design, engineer, manufacture and implement, on a grand and micro scale.
The Israelites were enjoined to, “Seek Him who made the cluster of stars called Plaeiadis and the constellation Orion” in Amos 5:8. Yet the Bible casts astrologers and stargazers as God’s enemies in Isaiah 47. Thus we see God separate astronomy from astrology. Speaking prophetically against Babylon God declared, “You are wearied with your many counsels and plans. Let now your astrologers, the stargazers, and the monthly prognosticators stand up and make known to you and save you from the things that shall come upon you Babylon.” (Isaiah 47:13 AMPC) So we do know God hates astrology. In giving the Israelites a code of conduct for the Promise Land God stated, “There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 18:9-12) Reading the stars or horoscope may seem innocuous and commonplace, yet to God it’s abominable. And it’s right up there in the company of necromancy and child sacrifice according to Deuteronomy 18:9-12.
Scientists of course disbelieve astrology. And for good reason. Peter Hartman (and collaborators) famously conducted an experiment studying over 4,000 individuals and found no correlation between birth date, personality or intelligence. Shawn Colson had 28 astrologers make predictions. In his findings published in Nature he concluded the astrologers could do no better at predicting the future than random chance.
Yet horoscopes printed in newspapers seem to be true. They seem to make accurate predictions in people’s personal lives. How’s this possible? We already know those predictions cannot be true since everybody is reading the other person’s horoscope. So, what’s the source of the seeming accurate information? It’s not the stars. The Bible implies in Deuteronomy 18:9-12 that you’re dealing with Satan when it comes to divination and horoscopes. Satan has been around for millennia. He was already existent before the human race was born. Satan collects data. For example he had data on the prophecies concerning Jesus and he used the information for the three temptations. Satan has enough data to profile patterns of human behavior. He has googolplexes of data on humanity. He can profile humans just like behavioral scientists do. Remember profilers in crime drama series? Using those discernible patterns he can predict human behavior batch by batch, sex by sex, geography by geography, culture by culture. It’s why horoscopes are not universal. Or all psychics will be making the same predictions in horoscopes the world over. The horoscope you read in Washington Post should be the same In Nigerian Vanguard. It’s targeted intelligence. Satan has intelligence agents called familiar spirits. They’re so many Satan seems ubiquitous and omnipresent. But he’s not. He goes up and down like any other created being. (Job 1:6-7) In one on one consultation it is these familiar spirits supplying intelligence.
But the most important reason those false predictions come to pass is because you exercise faith in them. Because you believe the predictions come to pass. Those horoscopes are like the suggestions of magicians.
God doesn’t want you led by so called stars. He wants you to be led by his Spirit. It’s proof of familial relationship. “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.” (Romans 8:14) “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.” (John 16:13 NLT) If you want to know the future ask the Holy Spirit. Enquiring about the future from stars is idolatry. God told the Israelites, “And when you look up into the sky and see the sun, moon and stars – all the forces of heaven – don’t be seduced into worshipping them.” (Deuteronomy 4:18 NLT)
Now you know about horoscopes!
If you’ll like to give your life to Christ please pray this prayer: Father I acknowledge that I am a sinner, that Jesus Christ died for me, that you raised him from the dead. Please forgive me. I accept Jesus today as my Lord and my Saviour. Amen.
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© #Illuminare Leke Alder | email@example.com