The writer in early childhood spent many a summer on the East coast at the seashore of Atlantic City, N.J., where daytimes were spent on the beach, bathing in the surf, reveling in glorious sunshine and embibing the delicious, invigorating salt air. Evenings, when in our teens, we were permitted to “walk the boardwalk” alone, visiting the auctions, the gadget demonstrations, and, among the many other intriguing sights, the free lectures. It was at the latter dubious place we were first introduced to astrology. Being Presbyterians, we soon learned that this was one of the devil’s methods of fishing for fools and baiting the ignorant. For astrology was then presented as God’s plan, having a basis in the book of Genesis, and expressive of the wisdom of God latent in the universe. By the universe the astrologer meant the great universal soul of all souls. Later, it became apparent that the point of view of astrology is thoroughly anthropocentric. Its basic symbol, heathen in origin, was the triangle and the square, which together represent the human figure. Thus astrology has a theosophical connection with Nebuchadnezzar’s image and the symbology of Masonry.
In connection with this basic symbol, the original scheme of the horoscope was worked out from the figure of a square. The cube was the ideal geometrical figure and, as in the Kabbala, Masonry and Theosophy, was the accepted symbol of the world as a whole. The Star of David is said, to come from this square of the horoscope. Within the square are two other and consecutively smaller ones, which, with a few developing lines soon fill the square with twelve triangles, the “houses” of the Zodiac. Two of these triangles are taken, the one pointing N., representing fire (and air) and the one pointing S., representing water (and earth). Then the one triangle is superimposed upon the other, thus forming the well-known Star of David. In alchemy this symbol was the representation for fire-water, or alcoholic liquors. In the symbology of Kabbalism, however, the figure signified the letters in the name Jehovah. The four E-W points of the star represent the letters Yodh, He, Vav, He (Yahveh or Jehovah). Thus the Jews departed from the spirit of the second commandment, from the biblical condemnation of astrology (Ex. 22:18; Is. 47:13, 14; Jer. 10:2and Deut. 18:10) and so from the scriptural doctrine of divine providence.
Astrology is one of the most ancient forms of superstition, being found among the Egyptians, Chaldeans, the Hindus (their Adepts and spiritist mediums), and among the Chinese. Later the Jews, but especially the Mohammedans became addicted to it. The noted astronomer Kepler thought he had something in astrology. He believed that his astronomical discoveries furnished the key to all events of history. He felt that astronomy had raised astrology to the apex of a perfect and independent science. But if anything, astronomy gives the death-blow to the claims of astrology, so astronomers today will be quick to tell us. Caesar Augustus believed in astrology and protected it. Cicero protested it vigorously but in vain. In the Christian period, Constantine threatened the astrologers with death. Augustine fought it. So did Calvin. Both the Catholic Encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia Brittanica say that Melancthon accepted astrology. Goethe thought it worthy because it could commend itself to great minds! But one of the most satanic of philosophies, “Ye shall be as God,” also commends itself to the world’s greatest minds. Man has for so long believed that Big Lie that now he believes, “Ye shall be God.” But to go on: the spread of astrology was furthered by Jewish scholars in their expositions of the Kabbala and the Talmud. However, the Jewish scholar Maimonides opposed it energetically. He found it forbidden by Lev. 19:26, “Ye shall not observe times.” Despite the Talmud, he declared it idolatry, “a disease, not a science, a tree under the shadow of which all sorts of superstitions thrive, and which must be uprooted in order to give way to the . . . tree of life.” (Jew. Ency., II, 245). To the most enlightened Jews, even the salutation “Maze1 Tobhl” (Good Luck!) is but a remnant of the discarded belief. Romanism, too, has been infected with this disease, as certain Popes took up astrology, such as, e.g., Popes Leo X and Paul III. Jonathan Swift in his “Prediction for the Year 1708, by Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq.” gave the death-blow to English astrology. General Albricht von Wallenstein, warrior of the Thirty Years’ War, believed absolutely in astrology. Napoleon did in part. Shakespeare writes in King Lear, IV, 3, “The stars above us govern our conditions.” In our time, Adolf Hitler was sold on astrology.
Modern astrology dates from 1822. Near the end of the century Theosophy adopted astrology in England. Rosicrucianism with its ancient Masonry adopted it in America. It is a system of Babylonian superstition and Greek philosophy clothed in the terms of modern psychology. It is the point of view of Hastings’ Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics that astrology supposed the influence of the planets upon the fortunes of men and nations, but that this “is now regarded by all sober minds as an extravagance of the human intellect, as something that the race has finally left behind.” (Vol. 12, 53). In another place we read, “As a serious and systematic world-view claiming the allegiance of many of the best intellects in every rank of society, astrology is dead.” (Ency. Brit.) Science and scholarship have dethroned astrology. When a rusty, bent pin will do to puncture a bubble blown by the spirit of error, the Lord does not go to such length as to blast out with a thunderbolt of His wrath. The above claims to the death of astrology may be to an extent true. But it still remains that the world is filled with this superstition. Tons of astrology literature, the daily newspapers, the almanacs, manuals, magazines and the ubiquitous paper-backs feed the naively curious and the wishful dreamers. We agree with Hastings’ that astrology is not only a by-way to superstition, but is, in fact, one of the main sources of superstition (ibid., p. 57).
Under some astrological forecasts we came across the following prophecy of note. “The fee for. . .$5.00 . . .includes the privilege of asking any one question . . .We do not answer questions with the $1.00 readings . . .Remittance may be made by check, P.O. of Express M.O., or currency may be enclosed, which will be found perfectly safe.” The latter is so certain, I would imagine, because it is all settled and determined in the horoscope of the post office! Otherwise, better not send cash through the mails!
At the back of Seward’s cloth-bound book on popular astrology one will find what company it keeps in its catalog of works on palmistry, star-worship, spirit-medium ship, sorcery, black magic, infernal necromancy, seership, hypnotism, mind reading, mind power, mental magic, crystal-gazing, fortune telling in cards, the human aura, memory training and attainment of perpetual youth!
Astrologers in searching for biblical support appeal toIs. 13:10; Jer. 31:36; Ezek. 32:7; Joel 2:10; Luke 21:25-28, which but teach that the stars, constellations, sun and moon shall fail, that the very heavens and the earth shall be shaken, which will be, in part, the way God will punish the world for its evil (Is. 13:11, 13). These astral bodies shall pass away, but the seed which the Lord hath blessed, the holy nation of God’s elect shall remain. It may be true that “this grand science (sic) will live and flourish until (ital., RCH) time shall be merged into Eternity.” (The Zodiac and Its Mysteries, Seward, 1917, p. 212). But with the doom of the very atomic elements of all heaven and earth, astrology is doomed. Yet the Word of God shall not pass away. It liveth and abideth forever. Astrology states a “great and fundamental truth—that there can be nothing accidental or supernatural in the operation of nature’s (God is ruled out. RCH) laws” (ibid.). The natural order is not the providential working of the sovereign, personal, triune God as Jesus said (John 5:17), but rather is directly traceable to intra-cosmic causes.
The following is what the Calvinistic churches have to say in condemnation of astrology. “The prophet forbids the children of God to fear the stars and signs of heaven (Jer. 10:2) as is the custom of unbelievers. He certainly condemns not every kind of fear. But when infidels transfer the government of the world from God to the stars, pretending that their happiness or misery depends on the decrees and presages of the stars, and not on the will of God, the consequence is that their fear is withdrawn from Him, whom alone they ought to regard, and is placed on stars and comets. Whoever, then, desires to avoid this infidelity, let him constantly remember, that in the creatures there is no erratic power, or action, or motion; but that they are so governed by the secret counsel of God, that nothing can happen but what is subject to His knowledge, and decreed by His will” (Calvin, Institutes, I, XVI, III). Matthew Henry called astrologers “all cheats, and their art a sham.” Astrologers do not view the heavens as revealing Jehovah’s eternal power and Godhead, but as a means of giving them a “dominion in the earth” (Job 38:33). They are blind to the Word of God in nature, deny the Word of God incarnate, and pervert the Word of God in Scripture. Matthew Henry also said that “By our law, consulting, covenanting with, invocating, or employing, any evil spirit, to any intent whatsoever, and exercising any enchantment, charm or sorcery, whereby hurt shall be done to any person whatsoever, is made felony, without benefit of clergy; also pretending to tell where goods lost or stolen may be found, or the like, is an iniquity punishable by the judge, and the second offence with death. The justice of our law herein is supported by the law of God recorded here.” (At Ex. 22:18). Henry lived in a more masculine age. But the Law of God knows no sentimental tolerance for these star-gazers and their monthly prognosticators.