Astrology and Christianity: Exploring Conflicts, Connections, and the Outlook

Astrology is one of those topics that everyone seems to have a strong opinion about it.

Depending on who you’re talking to, astrology might be seen as an ancient system of gathering information from an interconnected universe; an offense to God; or may even be considered unscientific.

If you approach life from a spiritual perspective, it’s likely you’re torn between the first two of those proposed viewpoints. After all, aren’t astrology and Christianity at odds with one another?

Well, it depends on who you ask. Let’s take a look at the changing perspectives about astrology and Christianity through history.

A Brief History of Astrology

Countless cultures throughout human history that have attached importance to celestial events.

Civilizations like the Chinese, the Maya, and the Hindus created elaborate astronomical systems. These systems would interpret astrological observations as a way of predicting earthly happenings.

One of the oldest systems of astrology that is still practiced today is what we call Western astrology.

It’s believed to have its roots in ancient Mesopotamia all the way back in the period between the 19th and the 17th centuries BC. Over the course of millennia, this astrological system spread far and wide. It reached ancient Greece, ancient Rome, the Arab world, and finally western and central Europe.

The way our contemporary culture views astrology is not how it has always been.

For most of its long history, Western astrology was seen as a scholarly tradition. Astrology was viewed in close connection with astronomy, meteorology, medicine, and alchemy. It was a common topic throughout history in the academic world.

Common opinion on astrology has always ebbed and flowed (like all things do).

However, it wasn’t until the late 19th century that astrology underwent widespread criticism. This was due to the overwhelming adoption of the scientific method.

Much of the philosophical conversation over the past 150 years or so has been about this topic.

Is it possible to reconcile a religious and spiritual worldview with the scientific perspective, and if so, how?

The Christian View of Astrology

Western astrology is much older than Christianity.

It’s therefore important to understand that Christianity was born into a world with an astrological worldview and not the other way around.

Astrology was seen as a scholarly pursuit throughout much of its history and it was present in places that were overwhelming Christian. It’s clear that for a long time Christianity and astrology co-existed. It seems fair to presume that these scholars and practitioners were decidedly Christian.

Christian Criticism of Astrology

That doesn’t mean there isn’t any criticism of astrology from the Christian perspective.

The early Christian theologian St. Augustine believed that astrology and Christianity could not be reconciled. He believed it contradicted the Christian doctrine of man’s free will.

Even today, the official stance of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is that astrology violates the First Commandment.

Biblical References to Astrology

What does the Bible say about astrology?

Is it wrong to study horoscopes? Can a Christian be a psychic?

The Bible is a compilation of texts written over thousands of years. Depending on which book of the Bible you’re reading, astrology is portrayed as both a natural part of spirituality as well as an offense against God.

The first mention of astrology in the Bible is in the Book of Daniel. The King of Babylon summons astrologers among others to help him interpret a disturbing dream.

Astrology is referenced a number of times in the Bible. Some of these include warnings against worshipping celestial bodies in place of God.

On the other hand, one of the most well-known New Testament stories contradicts these ideas.

The story of the birth of Christ includes an instance of using celestial bodies as an earthly guide. Led by the appearance of a star, the wise men from the east were inspired to travel to Jerusalem.

Christianity and Astrology: Times of Co-Existence

During the Renaissance, astrologers were respected and widely sought out by people from all walks of life.

Everyone from kings and queens down to more common classes used astrology.

The Renaissance was a time when the universe was understood to be interconnected. As a result of this perspective, religion, magic, science, and astrology all co-existed.

Kings and queens would have court astrologers.

Some of these astrologers are some of the most famous astronomers of all time (Galileo Galilee and Johannes Kepler come to mind). During this time, astrology was used to understand all aspects of life. It was used to advise people about illness, natural disasters, agriculture, and much more.

Astrology is referenced in texts by some of the most famous literary minds of Western civilization. Astrological viewpoints are mentioned in the works of Dante Alighieri, Shakespeare, and Chaucer.

The adoption of a scientific worldview has changed the way we understand both Christianity and astrology.

Even so, there have been waves of increased interest in spiritual and occult thought even in the last 200 years.

This includes the New Age movement which began in the 1960s. This movement combined eastern religious thought, Christianity, occult ideas, and spiritualism.

So, What’s the Answer? Are Astrology and Christianity Compatible?

There is no set answer to whether the Bible and horoscopes are compatible.

The historical record shows that astrology and the Bible have gone through periods both of marriage and divorce.

Is it wrong to study horoscopes? Can a Christian see a psychic? Are astrology and Christianity compatible?

These are questions only you can answer. These are the same questions that some of the greatest minds have pondered throughout the last two thousand years.

If you’re interested in incorporating astrology into your spiritual life, head over to our astrologer’s page to learn more.

And for more articles on similarly fascinating topics, be sure to check out the rest of our blog!

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