Astrology and Christianity – Kissing Cousins

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Gary L. Clark is an author. After a thirty year career he retired to write a novel. He then joined a counselor-in-training program at the local community mental health center and worked three years as a substance abuse counselor. He retired again and has written two more novels. He recently completed the annotation of a self-help book on faith-based self-help. Two published novels (available on Amazon.com) address social justice. Mr. Clark is the Editor of thefiresidepost.com. He lives in St. Joseph, Missouri.

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Astrology and Christianity – Kissing Cousins

I do not believe in the Christianity that you do not believe in.  I do not believe in the Astrology that you do not believe in.  Redundant sentences?  Are these two widely held belief systems contradictory, or are these belief systems complimentary?  Evidence shows these two belief systems have similar heredity.  Similar is the wrong word – Astrology and Christianity are close cousins.  The DNA of both come from a recent common ancestor, with Astrology the first born in this particular lineage of the ancient occult.

In the square panel of the Beth Alpha mosaic was a zodiac wheel with all 12 symbols and names of the zodiac, surrounded by four female figures at the corners, identifying the seasons of the year. Credit: Art Resource, NY

In the square panel of the Beth Alpha mosaic was a zodiac wheel with all 12 symbols and names of the zodiac, surrounded by four female figures at the corners, identifying the seasons of the year. Credit: Art Resource, NY, from biblicalarchaeology.org

To jump start this debate we offer Judaism as the Father of Christianity and the Roman Catholic Church as the first born.  Every Christian faith in operation today uses the canon established by the Catholics.  Yes – even the Mormons.  The father of Judaism was Astrology.

Humans lived in an earth centered universe.  Belief in the earth as the center of the universe was mainstream – and it was based on clear observation.  The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars rotated around the Earth.  No judgement is passed here – it was what it was.

These observations continued into the Christian era.  These beliefs were so well harbored and maintained that when science proved a heliocentric universe the scientists were ostracized, even imprisoned as heretics.

Astronomy eventually emerged as the branch of science that deals with celestial objects, space, and the physical universe as a whole.Papal symbol

 

But Christianity was given birth in the era of Astrology.  Thus many of the belief systems were rooted in astrological interpretation.  As with their Jewish fore-bearers, the Christians used astrological symbols in their religious rituals.  Again, we are not passing judgement – we are merely pointing out the truth of religious and scientific evolution (No, we are not talking about Darwin).

Symbols tell the story.  We think of symbol as metaphor – and a picture is worth a thousand words.  The symbolism of Judaism and Christianity both point to faith systems rooted in Astrology.  To claim that astrology is some sort of occult study the modern Christians condemn themselves – or at least their faith system.  There is no escaping the astrological symbolism as central to Christian faith.

 

From The Illustrated Signs & Symbols Sourcebook, an A to Z Compendium of Over 1000 Designs:

“St. Peter, one of the apostles of Christ, holds the keys to the ‘pearly gates’ of Heaven.  These crossed keys have become a Papal symbol and represent the powers given by Christ; one key is gold (the Sun, and male energy) and the other is silver (feminine energy, the Moon).  The golden key signifies the power to bind or release in Heaven, and the silver represents the same powers on Earth.  Prior to their adoption by the Pope, these gold and silver keys were the attribute of the Roman God Janus, whose two faces mean that he can look in two directions at the same time.  These keys symbolically unlocked the gates of the solstices.”

The Protestants shout from the rooftops, “See right there?  We knew the Catholics were nuts”. These folks need to look honestly at themselves.  We present here an abbreviated list of Protestant symbols:  Crosses, fish symbols, candles, wreaths, crown of thorns, amen, holiness, Easter, Christmas, wedding rings, wedding veil… Many of these symbols have their roots in ancient pagan rituals.  The Easter Bunny and Easter Rabbits are symbols of rebirth and fertility.

From the Oxford Dictionary:  “Astrology is the art of judging the occult influences of the stars upon human affairs”.  Well, what does occult mean?  From the Dictionary.com:

oc·cult

[uhkuhlt, ok-uhlt] Show IPA

adjective

1. of or pertaining to magic, astrology, or any system claiming use or knowledge of secret or supernatural powers or agencies.
2. beyond the range of ordinary knowledge or understanding; mysterious.
3. secret; disclosed or communicated only to the initiated.
4. hidden from view.
5.
a. not apparent on mere inspection but discoverable by experimentation.

b.of a nature not understood, as physical qualities.
c.dealing with such qualities; experimental: occult science.

So much for Christianity

Occult is generally thought of as something mysterious and out of the mainstream.  Mainstream is often the determinant in accepting belief systems – if most reasonable people believe something then it is probably true.  The belief does not require scientific or empirical proof – it merely requires accommodation.  Christianity is occult by definition:  beyond the range of ordinary knowledge or understanding (think virgin birth, bodily resurrection, and miracles), any system claiming use or knowledge of… supernatural powers or agencies (think Divine intervention).
So what?  We like symbols – and we recognize symbols as being just that and nothing more.
The point is that Astrology and Christianity are just branches of the same tree.   When science, after about 1500 CE, became accepted as the only path to reasonable thought, the mainstream Astrologers and mainstream Christians scrambled to rewrite their history and belief systems.  “Well,” they say, “We did not mean a literal interpretation.  We know now that the early believers held irrational belief systems – but not us.  Our faith does not violate science.  We see science as a partner in further understanding God’s Universe.”
Symbols are metaphors.  Some are powerful metaphors, with sacred and secret meanings.  “Secret” comes from the Latin, secretus, meaning ‘separate”, or “set apart”.  “Sacred” from the Latin “sacreere”, meaning “holy” or “consecrated”.  “Symbol” comes from the Greek verb “symballien” meaning to “throw together,” literally a ‘coincidence’.  The symbolism of modern Christianity is as powerful today as in times past.  Many of the symbols are sacred (replace Christmas with Xmas and watch the uproar).
Okay, we are not trying to dispute the validity of Christian or Astrological symbols.  What we are saying is that often the spoken belief systems are often contrary to the symbolism.  We are advocates of understanding the symbols used in any particular belief system.  Metaphor is a tricky business.  Using a symbol without understanding the meaning is a foolish proposition.  Modern Christians often use astrological or even pagan symbols with no comprehension of the meaning.
Symbols are a part of our lives.  The Flag of the United States is a powerful symbol – for some it means freedom, for others is mean patriotism.  Faith based symbols are more powerful than the American Flag – faith based symbols transcend nations and continents.
The symbolism of Astrology gave birth to the faith of Abraham.  These symbols remain today.

 

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