Home > Chapter 13

Seeing stars

Arthur Wee stood at the window of his office peering into the gloom of a December evening. A steady drizzle had emptied the sidewalks of all but the most intrepid shoppers. He decided to drop by the office of his lawyer friend CT Lee down the corridor and so informed Cecilia on his way out of the office.

His knock on CT’s door was greeted with a loud "Come in!"

"My dear Arthur," beckoned CT, his face wreathed in smiles, "how propitious that you should appear at a moment when we - Debbie and I - should require a third opinion."

Debbie, his secretary, seemed embarrassed and began to fold a newspaper.

"Do let me have that, please," said CT, deftly taking it from her.

Turning to Arthur he asked, "Do you believe that the positions of the stars and planets influence individual human lives and the affairs of humanity in general? Do you, sir, proclaim allegiance to Taurus the Bull because you were born sometime in May or to Virgo the Virgin if in September?"

Arthur sat down before replying. "I take it, CT, that you are asking whether I believe in astrology, presumably the sort that appears regularly in newspapers."

"Precisely," said CT, carefully spreading the paper on his table and pointing at a section with a flourish of his hand. "See here this so-called horoscope on my birthday. It reads, ‘Try to achieve perfect understanding in the home front and 1990 will be a fantastic and memorable year. Jupiter in Cancer will help you to prove you are decidedly more talented than others had thought’. What balderdash and poppycock!"

"Mr Wee, I was merely showing Mr Lee something interesting," Debbie began somewhat apologetically, "astrology works. I know from personal experience."

"Debbie, let’s be rational," retorted CT. "Look at this prediction on my birthday. In the first place it’s such a general statement, it has no value. Secondly if we could ever achieve ‘perfect understanding’ things will be fantastic and memorable not only on the home front but on every front and not only in 1990 but every other year!"

"What do you think, Mr Wee?" asked Debbie, her head tilted quizzically.

"You are a Christian, Debbie, are you not?"

Debbie nodded.

Arthur continued: "I agree with Mr Lee that horoscopes are vague. One reason why people think that they work is because they make clever use of ambiguous language. Let us say someone reads in her horoscope the following: ‘This is a week for sorting out your personal, emotional and domestic life’. When you think about it the horoscope is not saying very much. It leaves the reader to decide what it means. If the reader is gullible she may say ‘Astrology is so accurate because it knows I have an emotional problem’.

Is that something unique to the reader? Is the problem described at all? Obviously not."

CT leaned back in his chair. "Can Christians consult horoscopes? You have to tell me because I am not a Christian. What is the church’s position?" He arched an eyebrow.

Arthur shrugged his shoulders. "The church is, unfortunately, easy-going on this. The Bible, however, is clear that no true believer should even consider the possibility."

Taking the Bible from the shelf of reference books he turned to the book of Isaiah.

"Babylon was, as you may know, the birthplace of astrology. God spoke to the Babylonians in these words:

’You are powerless in spite of the advice you get. Let your astrologers come forward and save you - those people who study the stars, who map out the zones of the heavens and tell you from month to month what is going to happen to you. They will be like bits of straw and a fire will burn them up! They will not even be able to save themselves - the flames will be too hot for them, not a cozy fire to warm themselves by. That is all the good they will do you - those astrologers you’ve consulted all your life. They will leave you and go their own way and none will be left to save you.’ (Isaiah 47:13-15)

Hear what God said to Israel about the art and practice of foretelling the future or the unknown by occult means.

‘Don’t let your people practise divination or look for omens or use spells or charms, and don’t let them consult the spirits of the dead. The Lord your God hates people who do these disgusting things and that is why he is driving those nations out of the land as you advance. Be completely faithful to the Lord.’ " (Deuteronomy 18:10-13)

Stroking his chin CT commented. "You mentioned Babylon. Wasn’t someone there a highly placed civil servant who was head of an academy of astrologers as well as a believer in God?"

Debbie nodded eagerly in agreement with the query.

"As Daniel was head of the group of wise men who practised astrology," Arthur replied, "it is natural to imagine he must have approved or practised it himself. All the documentary evidence points to the opposite. Let’s hear what Daniel said to the king of Babylon who asked him to interpret a disturbing dream he had.

‘Your majesty, there is no wizard, or astrologer who can tell you that (interpretation). But there is a God in heaven, who reveals mysteries. He has informed your majesty what will happen in the future. Now I will tell you the dream, the vision you had while you were asleep.’ (Daniel 2:27-28. See also 1:8, 4:27, 5:7-9, 12-17)

So you see, far from approving astrology Daniel rejected it and pointed to the one true God. The entire book of Daniel shows how useless astrology is. Failure rate is 100%. You will be interested to know that some atheists have done a large study of over 3000 predictions by leading astrologers from 1974 to 1979. This study revealed a 90% failure rate in predictions. (1)

There isn’t such a thing as Christian astrology. The two are incompatible," Arthur concluded after a pause. "In fact Christians should avoid it like an infectious disease. Sensitive people become fearful of what astrology claims to reveal about matters such as finance, health, illness, death, marriage and so on.

How do you like to be told that you have a split personality because you are born under Gemini the Twins? Why do you think people enquire jokingly about each others’ birth signs as if that will guarantee their compatibility? This is how astrology begins to govern and control people’s minds. Astrology is not a harmless game or a conversation piece. It can become a psychological burden."

"I am so glad you told me," said Debbie with a shiver, "I will throw away all my monthly astrology charts and wash my hands off the whole thing. I’d better warn my mother too. I got her interested."

CT looked pleased. He turned to Arthur, "There is another reason why astrology is popular. As a lawyer I meet people who want to hear that they are not responsible for their faults and failures. They want to blame their stars. I think Shakespeare knew better when he had Cassius say:

‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.’ " (2)

"I should mention some real problems astrology has," Arthur continued. "For instance, why do astrologers only consider the constellations of the zodiac as having an effect on man? There are other brighter constellations and stars that they ignore. In the Far East the twelve signs are changed to other symbols with different meanings. If your horoscope is cast by a Chinese astrologer it will be entirely different from the one read by a Western-oriented astrologer. Which is the correct one? How do you decide? In fact I want to know how astrologers know which influences are good and which are bad. Why, for instance, is the planet Mars bad? Is it simply because Mars is pictured as the god of war or because the colour of the planet is red?

Why, you may ask, is the hour of birth so important? Why not the hour of conception? Today medical advances give the doctor the means to determine the hour and day of conception and birth. Where does this place astrology? Think about two persons born at the same time. They should have the same destiny, right? Yet one may die in hospital at twenty and the other live to be ninety years old. Identical twins are a case in point. They may have different personalities and life histories.

North of the Arctic Circle no planet or sign of the zodiac is visible for several weeks. Does this mean that thousands of Eskimos, Norwegians, Swedes and Finns have no destiny?

To me the most serious objection to astrology is this. Remember that astrological tables were drawn up thousands of years ago. Since then the earth has changed slightly the way it faces the stars. What has happened in fact is that the zodiac has shifted by one house, which is a space in the sky. To understand this imagine that you have shifted your company to the building next door but your names are still on the doors. This means that in early October astrologers will tell you that you are in the house of Libra. Astronomers know better; actually that space is occupied by the constellation of Scorpio. The astrological charts are out of date. If that is so how can any horoscope be relevant, let alone true? And I’ve got news for you, CT. Your house is not Cancer the Crab but Leo the Lion!"

CT burst out laughing as he rose to his feet. Arthur, too, stood to leave. CT saw him to the door.

"You know something Arthur," he confided, "I was in London and I went to see the folk-rock musical Hair. It opened with some memorable astrology:

‘When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars.’

The words were so catchy for a moment I could believe they were true. Ah but it is not true the moon is in the Seventh House, is it?" Arthur grasped his friend’s hand warmly.

"There are things in this world which are true and worthy of belief, CT. I wish you will trust God’s Word which is true and the good news that Jesus Christ has come to save sinners like us."

CT smiled. Arthur thought he had not seen CT smile like that before.


  1. R B Culver and P A Lanna: The Gemini Syndrome: A Scientific Evaluation of Astrology (St. Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1984)
  2. Julius Caesar; Act 1, Scene 2


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