I never really had a keen interest in horoscopes and astrology, but I did grow up being exposed and to a certain extent influenced by it. My childhood was spent before the age of the internet, where printed materials still ruled. My parents used to live on newspapers and magazines and I was an avid reader of... well anything I could get my hands on. At a younger age, current affairs and advice on women's fashion and love life (from mom's magazines) bore very little relevance to me... so my favourite sections were the comics and horoscopes.
The date of my birth determines that my zodiac sign is a Leo (the coolest in my opinion.. a LION!) and I would examine the horoscopes to see what my day or week had in store. Horoscopes often provide pointers in everything: how much luck you will have, what you should avoid, when is an opportune time for something and even how compatible you are with other signs should you desire a romantic relationship with them (I admit, when I met a girl I liked I would often try to find out what sign they are... there was no such thing as Facebook back then).
While newspapers and magazines (printed) may be losing it's popularity nowadays, horoscopes and astrology is not. You can often find it on social media, certain websites and there are people who provide "readings" as services. The matter at hand for this post is: should a Christian believe in horoscopes? Should they consult astrology and how much should they believe in it?
WHAT IS IT EXACTLY?
So how does horoscopes and astrology work and what is it really about? The word "horoscope" comes from the Greek words "hõra" and "scopos" meaning "time" "observer"... together they mean something like "watcher of the hour". Astrology on the other hand is a study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies and interpreting them as having influence and effect on our lives and world. In other words, it is looking at the stars, planets, moon and other stuff in space and figuring out how it would affect us.
The authors of horoscope columns and forecasts are usually astrologers (or even "psychics"). They examine what they believe to be the meaning of the planets, the zodiac signs, and other astrological data. They also consider the present positions of planets (plus the sun and moon), and how they interact with the sun signs of Aries, Taurus, Gemini, etc., in order to give horoscope advice. The position of the moon is also a key element, as it changes its "sign" every 2.5 days.
So in essence, horoscopes are often not just some random ramblings of a person with too much time on their hands. What you read is a combination of careful examination, "divination", "psychic activity" and lots of speculation.
IS IT WRONG THEN?
So as a Christian is it wrong to "ready" and "find out" what our horoscopic forecast is then? I am going to presume that one would only read it to actually draw advice, comfort, assurance and even direction from the horoscopes (like how much of a match you are with that cutie you met and would fate determine you two get together) as oppose to just reading it casually or "for fun."
As Christians, we believe that God is the creator of everything (Genesis 1:1). God created the stars and set them in place, and they proclaim HIS glory and His alone (Psalm 8:3, Psalm 19:1). He determines the number of stars and even knows all of them by name. (Psalm 147:4)
So God is the creator, and all the stuff in space are His creation... the bible has something to say about esteeming the creation rather than the Creator.
One could say reading and believing horoscopes is not really "worshipping" the stars, but I would suggest otherwise. When you heed horoscopic advice, you allow it to affect your decisions and even behaviour. You are essentially giving it "worth" and "value", and to a certain extent you might even put aside the supernatural (God, creator) for the natural (stars, creation). In fact, if horoscopes are your first point of reference instead of the word of God, that is described to be what should really be guiding us (Psalm 119:105)... man have we got it wrong!
The Bible tells us that we should seek God, and depend on Him for direction and in all matters of our lives:
DO WE REALLY NEED IT?
As Christians, we worship a God who is both powerful and personal. He is not some distant or aloof figure that does not care about us, but rather we are told that we are children of God (John 1:12) and that we now belong to God's family (Ephesians 2:19). Moreover, the Bible is not just some ordinary book but it is described to be "living and active" (Hebrews 4:12). That means that the Bible is able to SPEAK, GUIDE and DIRECT us !
Having that in mind, why do we need horoscopes? Why do we need astrology? We have a God who cares about us and He actually wants to be invested and involved in our lives!
Isaiah, the prophet of old cries out:
HIS WAYS ARE HIGHER
....and indeed much better. As a Christian, we have a God is not only all knowing and all powerful, but He desires to be close to us. All we have to draw close to Him and put our trust in Him... and not the limited wisdom of this world. Wanting to find answers in horoscopes and not in prayer and His word is almost an act of saying "I do not trust you God, I rather get into these stuff because it seems like to make more sense and I get an immediate answer." But...
I believe scripture is clear that God does want to guide us in all areas of our lives, the question is whether we are willing to submit and trust in our God. I know God is alive and He still speaks today, He is eager to direct and guide. We just have to open our hearts and really seek Him.