Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What's My Sign?

Okay, I admit, this bugs me. But before I go any further, I must first apologize to those I'm about to offend. I'm going to make some comments that folks who believe in astrology won't appreciate too much. To those folks, I'm sorry that you will be offended. That is not my intent, though I will admit freely that I certainly do intend to make people think and examine their own beliefs critically. And please understand that examining your own beliefs critically doesn't necessarily mean ultimately abandoning those beliefs, although it MIGHT. But if you find yourself offended by my comments, please try not to be. Instead, consider my comments carefully and test my comments against reason. If it turns out I'm wrong, tell me and tell me why. If it turns out I'm not wrong, then ask yourself why it is you believe what you believe.

So what bugs me? Well, I was editing my profile on this blog and I was curious about something. Some folks' blog profiles list their astrological sign. Well, understand I tend to be a bit of a smartalek at times, and I thought it'd be fun to edit my profile such that under "astrological sign" it said "No Astrology!" Well, come to find out, I can't do that. When I input my birthday, the blog software automatically fills in my astrological sign. Now, to be fair, they do provide a check box to hide your astrological sign… probably for sticks-in-the-mud like me who reject such notions.

So why does this bug me? I guess what bugs me most is that astrology is widely accepted enough that anyone cares or thinks someone's astrological sign is at all relevant. I guess I'd say that the horoscope feature in the daily newspaper bothers me just as much and for precisely the same reason.

Actually, astrology is kind of interesting in a particular way. It turns out to have some interesting connections with things Biblical, believe it or not… and I don't JUST mean that in the Mosaic Law, practicing astrology was a capital crime. That's true, but it's not the connection I'm talking about.

What's interesting is that the Israelites had their own name for what astrologers might call "The Zodiac"… that string of constellations that follows the path of the sun through the sky. The word was "mazzeroth." And even more interesting is the fact that the twelve tribes of Israel had an animal symbol which corresponded with the signs of the zodiac. Now isn't that ODD? I mean maybe it wouldn't be so strange if astrology was, like, encouraged in the Bible. But it's not! Astrology was a capital crime for the Jews under the Mosaic Law!! Why would that BE?

Here are some other interesting tidbits: What each constellation represents is UNIVERSAL to all cultures. That is, all cultures recognize this particular constellation as "Virgo", a virgin woman. Virgin woman? Now that's odd. I seem to recall something about a virgin in the Bible.

And have you ever found it strange that these arrangements of stars really look NOTHING like what they're supposed to represent? Look at the constellation called "Taurus" for example. Do they really expect me to believe that anyone in history looked up, saw this collection of several stars arranged in a triangular fashion, and immediately thought that it resembled a bull? BULL!

Well, it turns out there's an explanation for this. The Mazzeroth had a purpose at one point in history, and its purpose was God-ordained. The Bible says that God named the stars and put each one in its place and that no star is out-of-place. This implies that each star HAS a place by some over-arching design. (pardon the pun) So if God could have named each star, He certainly could have named GROUPS of stars just as easily, correct? Of course. Well that makes a lot more sense, doesn't it? Men didn't name those constellations based on what they looked like. Rather, God told man what the groups represented and gave the groups names and this was for a PURPOSE. And it had nothing to do with foretelling the future, at least not in the way astrologers use it.

What was the purpose? Well, before the flood there was no written Bible… in fact, the book of Job, which is widely regarded as the earliest book written, came along quite a while after the flood. But it appears that around 2000 years elapsed on Earth from the time of Adam up to the flood. Well, the idea is that God used the Mazzeroth to teach Adam and his descendants (all pre-flood) about His plan of salvation for mankind. A giant mnemonic. Sound outlandish? Not so fast… 'cuz it turns out that each 'sign' and its decans contain symbology that relates to just that. Virgin included.

So here's a quick run-down of these relationships. There is more symbology to be found in the 'decans' for each of these signs. This information is gleaned from "The Gospel In The Stars" by Joseph A. Seiss, published in 1882 and also from from E.W. Bullinger's "The Witness of the Stars". There is much more detailed information available, but I'm just trying to hit the major points here.

Virgo: A virgin. Do I really need to explain this?

Libra: A pair of balances… a scale. A symbol of trade, depicting a purchase or a redemption. Hmmm. Interesting, no?

Scorpio: Scorpion, portrays the enemy of the deliverer, poised to strike.

Sagittarious, the bowman. A centaur, half-horse and half-man. Depicts a man with two natures. Think Christ and the hypostatic union. The centaur's bow is drawn and aimed at the scorpion. Hmmmm.

Capricornus. A half-goat half-fish creature that symbolizes the death and new life of the Savior.

Aquarius: A man with a large vase of water which he is pouring out. Depicts the giving of the Holy Spirit, whose influence Jesus likened to streams of flowing water. The early Church chose the sign of a fish to symbolize their faith.

Pisces: Two fish. A representation of the Church.

Ares: The Ram. Depicts Christ in Heaven, ascended and victorious.

Taurus: The bull. An angry, rushing animal. Depicts God delivering his wrath during the tribulation.

Gemini: The twins. To human figures seated together. Portrays the marriage of the lamb, the uniting of Christ with His Church.

Cancer: A crab holding on tight with his pincers. Depicts Christ upon His return.

Leo: The lion pictures Christ (the "lion of the tribe of Judah") in His final victory over Satan.

So, consider the idea that the Mazzeroth told a story about God's plan of salvation for mankind during a time when the written word was not yet practical. Then, consider that Noah and his family brought this same system down off the ark with them and taught it to their descendants, and so on. Then several hundred years later, perhaps near the time of the great dispersion at the Tower of Babel, the whole system fell to the corruption of rebellious man. The different people groups with their different languages scattered and took it with them to different parts of the Earth.

So astrology, it appears, is a corrupt, hi-jacked version of what once was a storybook written in the stars to teach God's plan of salvation. It told the future in the sense that it described the yet-future Messiah and His ultimate victory over evil, but it was never intended for anything else.

But apart from that, there are, of course, serious questions that need to be answered by anyone who seriously believes in astrology. What, is the empirical basis for astrology? Exactly how and why does when you are born dictate anything about who you are going to be? Astrology has failed various empirical tests:

1. Psychologist Bernard Silverman at Michigan State analyzed the birthdates of 2978 couples who were getting married and 478 who were getting divorced. There were NO correlations.

2. Physicist John McGurvy analyzed the biographies of 6000 politicians and 17000 scientists and the distribution of dates of birth was completely random.

3. Nature Magazine, Dec 5 1985, Sean Carlson of Lawrence Berkely Laboratory provided horoscope information to 28 professional astrologers from which they were to match each horoscope with 1 of 3 profiles submitted. The results? Completely random. No correlation.

4. A French statistician named Michael Coughlin sent the horoscope for one of the worst mass-murderers in French history to 150 people and asked them how well it fit them and 94% recognized themselves in the description.

5. An Australian researcher named Jeffery Dean reversed the astrological readings of 22 subjects and 95% identified themselves in the reversed readings.

Here are some questions every astrology buff should ask themselves:

1. What is the likelihood that 1/12th of the world's population is having the same kind of day today?

2. Why is the moment of birth, and not conception, crucial in astrology?

3. Since the time that astrology was first conceived, new planets have been discovered. Doesn't that mean that every horoscope prior to those discoveries is wrong? (And what happens if, even today, we discover MORE planets?)

I'm reminded of a woman I worked with during my lengthy (2 week) career at Central Graphic and Art Supply in Medford back in 1986… she was an energetic astrology enthusiast and a very nice woman. Every day that I worked, (probably 10 days) she tried to guess my sign. She never did get it right.

So the big question is, why is does astrology hold such an attraction to people? I understand, being a Bible-believing Christian, that in the Church Age we are not under the Mosaic Law. But shouldn't it give us pause to realize that practicing astrology was punishable by death under the Mosaic Law? Doesn't that give you general idea that maybe God, well, isn't real fond of astrology?


  1. I'm totally with you on this one, Pete! See, I'm a Virgo - and Virgo's just don't believe in astrology.

  2. I'm not an astronomer either, but my sign is "Slower Traffic Stay Right".