How Can Astrology Influence You?
IF ASTROLOGY is truly beneficial it should produce good results for all its adherents. But what do the facts show? British astronomer Dr. Harold Jones Spencer states: “I have had shoals of letters, many of them tragic, telling how the belief in it [astrology] has ruined homes which until one of the partners took it up were very happy ones.”
Astronomer Bart Bok points to another serious problem that can arise when people put their faith in astrology: “The danger is that if people really believe in it, it takes away their power to make their own decisions.” Do you appreciate your freedom to think for yourself and to use your own judgment in deciding matters? Would you like to forfeit that freedom by allowing lifeless, unintelligent stars and planets to dictate your every move?
But there are more serious objections to astrology than these. What could they be?
What Is God’s View of Astrology?
We have noted that astrology is a form of divination and also involves looking for omens. God’s view of such things is expressed at Deuteronomy 18:10, 12: “There should not be found in you anyone who . . . employs divination, a practicer of magic or anyone who looks for omens . . . For everybody doing these things is something detestable to Jehovah.”
Consider what happened to the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel when “they began to bow down to all the army of the heavens,” in the days of King Hoshea. We read: “Therefore Jehovah got very incensed against Israel, so that he removed them from his sight,” causing them to go into captivity to Assyria in 740 B.C.E.—2 Ki. 17:16, 18.
Contrast with this the course of King Josiah of Judah, who “put out of business . . . those making sacrificial smoke to Baal, to the sun and to the moon and to the constellations of the zodiac.” Josiah’s action was said to be “right in Jehovah’s eyes,” and God blessed him for it. (2 Ki. 23:5; 22:2) Do you, too, desire to win the approval of Jehovah God? Could you possibly do so by engaging in a practice that would make you “detestable” to him?
God’s Word counsels: “Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, and he himself will make your paths straight.” (Prov. 3:5, 6) Could you really put your trust in Jehovah and at the same time believe in something he condemns in his Word?
Prophecies Inspired by Whom?
It is true that astrologers have made some predictions that have come true. Does this mean that astrology is really good? that it can benefit people? God’s law to ancient Israel acknowledged that even a false prophet could make accurate predictions on occasion. (Deut. 13:1-3) What accounts for their ability to do this?
Of course, some things may be simply coincidences. At other times the language of astrologers is so ambiguous that it could be applied to just about anything. But did you know that the Bible does not rule out the possibility of astrologers gaining supernatural knowledge? How could that be?
The Bible associates divination and looking for omens with spiritism. (Deut. 18:10, 11) A person who practices such things can come under the influence of “wicked spirit forces.” (Eph. 6:12) Could such demonic forces convey knowledge of future events to someone here on earth?
Interestingly, we read in the Bible of a girl who “used to furnish her masters with much gain by practicing the art of prediction.” Apparently some of the things this girl foretold came true, as is the case with some predictions of astrologers today. But what was responsible for this girl’s abilities at prediction? The Bible states that she was under the influence of “a spirit, a demon of divination.”—Acts 16:16.
The connection between spiritism and astrology is equally clear today. “It was and still is closely related to other pseudo sciences and superstitions such as palmistry, numerology, and the use of charms and magic,” says The World Book Encyclopedia. Thus, astrologer Sybil Leek claims to be a witch. And, in addition to his abilities at astrology, Maurice Woodruff declares that he is a clairvoyant and has extrasensory perception (ESP).
So it is the influence of wicked spirits or demons, not the method of divination itself (in this case astrology), that “accounts for occasional accurate predictions by astrologers. Showing that the particular method of divination (whether by astrology, casting lots or otherwise) is not really important is the comment of Professor L. A. Waddell:
“In recording several of the ways in which divining was practised in Tibet, a mediæval Chinese observer wrote: ‘Notwithstanding the variety of their methods of divination, and their unskillfulness in their mode of examining, they are quite frequently surprisingly accurate.’ This criticism still holds good.”
But in spite of a degree of accuracy, by far the majority of astrological predictions go unfulfilled. For example: Astrologers forecast earth-wide floods for the years 1186 and 1524, but no such floods occurred. In 1939 the leading astrologers of Britain said that there would be no war and, when that prediction failed, they foretold that the war would end the following year with the defeat of Hitler. But World War II dragged on until 1945. More recently, Hindu astrologers predicted that the world would end early in February 1962. Devout Hindus sat up all night in anticipation of this. But, again, nothing happened.
A survey was taken of the predictions of the three most popular astrologers of Britain in 1941. What did it reveal? One of them was right only twelve times out of thirty; the second, nine out of thirty, and the third made only four correct predictions in thirty attempts.
Astrology cannot give reliable insight into oneself or into the future. It is not lifeless matter revolving in outer space but the “living God” Jehovah who declares “from the beginning the finale” and so can tell mankind what the future holds. This he does in his written Word the Bible. (1 Tim. 4:10; Isa. 46:10) It is also this Word of the living God, not that of soothsaying astrologers, that “is able to discern thoughts and intentions of the heart” and so can help you to understand what motivates you and what will bring you real success.—Heb. 4:12.