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Astrology — Fact or Superstition?

Do the stars and planets have a mysterious influence on human destiny?
Is astrology Biblical? What does GOD say about modern-day astrology?


STAR READING is plain buncombe," declared Dr. Harlow Shapley of the Harvard observatory. "The stars have as little influence on our daily lives as tea leaves."

And yet — according to latest estimates — astrology has about eighteen million American devotees — not to mention other millions in Britain. Besides, another thirty million read the astrological columns in daily newspapers or buy copies of the latest astrological magazines!

Why the boom in astrology?


Astrological Claims

One leading astrologer proudly claims, "Astrology is the key that opens the door to all Occult knowledge. It is the key that unlocks the mysteries of man's being; his why, whence and whither."

What is the TRUTH about astrology?

Is it based on fact? Or is it superstition — a deliberate FRAUD to bilk millions of their hard-earned money?

Do the heavenly bodies really govern the lives and destinies of men and nations upon the earth? Does astrology predict man's character, his love life, business deals, marriages, farming, and even surgical operations?

Or is it, instead, a satanic deception foisted upon a gullible world? Is it a HOAX, conjured up by crackpots, cranks and bunco crooks? Where did astrology originate? What does the BIBLE have to say about it?

Make no mistake — the Bible does reveal its origin. It also reveals the ultimate FATE of astrology — and astrologers!


It's Big Business

Astrology in the United States is BIG BUSINESS! American astrologers gross more than $250 million a year! Addicts of this philosophy include not merely the uneducated and ignorant. Everywhere housewives, businessmen, senators, presidents seek their advice.

In the United States, at least 100 movie stars consult their favorite astrologers before taking a new role. Even stock market speculators look to the stargazers for prognostications!

Adolph Hitler had as many as five astrologers advising and counseling him. He sentenced one, Karl E. Kraft, to death in a concentration camp for giving "bad advice." Hitler's other stargazers were not able to foresee or predict the inglorious FALL of the Third Reich!

Perhaps one million Americans today could be called "hard-core cultists" who religiously run their lives by planetary timetables and star schedules. Some devotees will pay $100 to consult their favorite astrologer!

According to one practitioner, the United States is undergoing an astrological RENAISSANCE! Some of the world's leading astrologers live and work in the United States, running astrological columns in 1000 newspapers with a combined circulation of over 40 million readers. America has become a veritable twentieth-century BABYLON!

But America is not alone. European countries have long had flourishing schools of the ancient cult of astrology. England, France, and Germany are centers of that pseudo-science. And Asia teems with multiple millions of star struck superstitious stargazers!

In India almost every Hindu marriage is based on the horoscope. Candidates for political office judge their election chances by consulting the astrologers. In Sikkim — in the high Himalayas — astrologers are the strongest single political power.

Astrologers, diviners, witches and magicians sometimes have entertaining, but useless, powers. But they, like the Egyptian magicians who contended with Moses and Aaron of old, are powerless against life's problems (Ex. 8-9).


The Facts

First, consider these pertinent facts about astrology. The whole structure of astrology revolves around the "zodiac" an arbitrarily arranged belt in the heavens 16 degrees broad. It includes the paths of the moon and the principal planets. It has as its middle line the sun's path — called the ecliptic. The zodiac, according to astrologers, has twelve divisions (or signs), each 30 degrees long, marked off eastward from the vernal equinox. The names of these divisions were originally the names of the constellations — groups of fixed stars — within them.

But no longer so! About 2000 years ago the artificial signs of the zodiac and the constellations coincided. Today the signs have separated about 30 degrees from their corresponding constellations. The sign of Aries, for instance, is now in the constellation of Pisces!

This means that the astrologers' horoscopes are OUT OF DATE!

But they seem either to be unaware of the fact — or they simply don't — care. In casting their horoscopes, they imagine the sky is arranged as it was 2000 years ago!

Not only do astrologers use a false horoscope, out-dated 2000 years, with the constellations placed in the wrong signs of the zodiac — but their predictions have, alas, usually failed miserably.

Several books on astrology declare that persons born under the sign of Libra — from September 24 to October 23 — should have musical ability. However, the psychologist Farnsworth looked up the birthdates of 1498 musicians and found fewer were born under Libra than any other sign except Scorpius! Fact is, Libra and Scorpius were tied for last place! Astrologers could not have made a worse choice for musical talent than Libra!


Babylonian Origin

Where did astrology begin?

The worship of the stars is almost as old as man. Early astrologers identified the planets with their pagan gods. They believed the planets had powers similar in character to those powers attributed to the gods, whose names they bore. Thus the planet Mars was named after the pagan "god of war," and was believed to influence wars and struggles upon the earth. Mercury, the speediest planet in circling the sun, was named after the pagan god "Mercury," the "messenger of the gods," the so-called fleetest of the gods, who had wings on his heels.

Today, perhaps astrologers do not claim the planets are gods, but they still attribute the same identical mystical influences to them! There is little difference!

Astrology had its renewed beginnings soon after the universal deluge in Noah's time. When men began to repopulate the earth, the arch-apostate Nimrod arose and attempted to marshal all mankind under his personal dominion. Nimrod, the Bible reveals, ". . . began to be a mighty one in the earth" (Gen. 10:8). Moffatt has this verse, "Ethiopia produced Nimrod, the first man on earth to be a DESPOT." The beginning of his kingdom — or EMPIRE — was "Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar" — that is, the ancient land of BABYLON!

After the sudden death of Nimrod, his wife Semiramis attempted to hold his kingdom together by art and craft. She claimed Nimrod had been a god, instituted secret worship of him, and began the "Babylonian mysteries." Nimrod, she claimed, had gone to heaven and was represented by the constellation "Orion" — the "Hunter," for he had been a "mighty hunter before [or, against] the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD" (Gen. 10:9).

Semiramis, his one-time wife, therefore claimed to be the "Queen of Heaven." This was the Babylonian ORIGIN of astrology!

From the time of Nimrod, the religion of Babylonian astrology grew and spread. Hundreds of years later it was still intricately involved in the religion of Babylonia! During the days of Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonians were still fascinated by the study of the stars. When king Nebuchadnezzar was troubled by a dream, he commanded to call ". . . the magicians, and the ASTROLOGERS, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams" (Dan. 2:2).

By this time the astrologers were able to predict eclipses. Their study of the heavens had become, in many ways, an exact science. But their speculative conclusions were utter nonsense. They thought they could foretell the future by their observations of the stars. Five planets were considered especially fateful regarding the destinies of men. The names of the five most important Chaldean gods were applied to those five stars.

By Roman times — long after the Roman Empire had superseded the Chaldean — astrology made its influence felt in Rome. Astrologers built up a strong practice there, and the Babylonian names for the stars were altered to suit Roman tastes. Thus the planet Marduk became Jupiter, Nabu became Mercury, Ishtar (the Babylonian name for Semiramis) was changed to Venus (the "Queen of Heaven").

A brief and concise description of the ancient Babylonian astrology and its origin is given in Langer's Encyclopedia of World History. We read: "When Babylon became a great metropolis and the capital of an empire, its god Marduk [another name or title for Nimrod, the chief pagan deity] acquired a new importance and, by being identified with Enlil and assuming his functions, such as the creation of the world, he became the supreme god of the pantheon and was later called Bel, Lord, a Semitic designation of Enlil [referred to throughout the Bible as BAAL, the sun-god]. The most characteristic and influential features of Babylonian religion, aside from its mythology, were the elaborate systems of magical practices [incantations] and the interpretation of omens, [divination], particularly the movements and position of the heavenly bodies [astrology], the actions of animals, and the characteristics of the liver of sacrificial victims" (page 26).

Notice! All these different practices were commonplace in ancient Babylonia! The Babylonians were noted for their magic, interpreting omens, sorcery, and astrology!

And the practice of astrology — the observance of the stars, believing they guide and influence human life — is still widely observed and highly regarded TODAY! Amazing!

But what difference does it make?