by Dr. John Ankerberg and Dr. John Weldon
(from Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, Harvest House, 1996)
There are dangers from astrology besides those associated with spiritism and other occult practices.1 Science writer Lawrence E. Jerome states, “How much physical and psychological damage such false astrological practices and advice cause cannot even be estimated.”2 Bart Bok, a former president of the prestigious American Astronomical Society, has observed that, “The study and ready availability of astrological predictions can exert an insidious influence on a person’s personal judgment.”3 Indeed, if a billion people trust in the false advice of astrology in some degree, one can hardly hazard a guess at the overall personal cost around the world. Even some astrologers confess that practitioners are liable to the characteristic hazards of the trade. These kinds of hazards do not make for a trusting relationship between astrologer and client but further complicate an already potentially dangerous situation.
Leading astrologer Tracy Marks discusses the following potential problems between the astrologer and his client. A little imagination here will reveal how each one can produce harm to the client:
- the astrologer may experience himself as superior to the client.
- the astrologer may encourage the dependency of his clients.
- the astrologer may give clients what they appear to want rather than what they really need.
- astrologers may pass their own values and ideas under the cloak of astrological authority.
- the astrologers’ “own sense of powerlessness” may lead them to “disempower [their] clients, imparting deterministic [fatalistic attitudes.”
- the astrologers’ own fears concerning certain planets and signs may influence their interpretation and “result in [their] imparting pronouncements which could become destructively self-fulfilling prophecies.”
- astrologers may speak in astrological jargon the client cannot understand and use mystical language authoritatively to create “the illusion that [they] are imparting high truths, when indeed [they] may be saying little of significance.”
- astrologers may “speak in vague, ungrounded generalities.”4
Marks observes that even “most professional astrologers are guilty on occasion of at least several of the above inadequacies….”5 In addition, she admits that astrologers may react more to the chart than to the client; may become egotistical; may devalue the client; and can draw hasty conclusions.6
Astrological predictions or advice can cause people to do things they would otherwise never have done, and sometimes this has led to tragedy. Given the right circumstances, a particular chart interpretation and its potentially powerful influence upon a person could even lead to criminal acts. In order to help fulfill or forestall what a person believes is the cosmic influence or destiny upon himself or another. For example, a chart reveals that a company will fail, so the president embezzles funds for his own security; or that a child may be born mentally retarded, so there is an abortion.
German theologian and occult expert Dr. Kurt Koch observes that, “Astrology has been responsible for a number of suicides and murders.”7 He cites examples in his books concerning the effects of the suggestive nature of astrology. For example, a woman murdered her own son because an astrologer predicted he would lead a life of mental illness. The shattered mother went to jail, but the astrologer went free.8 Dr. Sherman Kanagy, a physics professor at Purdue University observes, “In ancient times women whose babies were born under the sign of Scorpio would often kill their babies by drowning because of the evil significance.”9
Remember that astrologers are: 1) unlicensed and unregulated, 2) require little or no education, 3) can become a “professional” astrologer overnight, 4) are occultists who characteristically reject absolute moral values, and 5) often use their powers over others in a manipulative and authoritarian manner. If the practices of such people force them into demonic collaboration, what kind of answers are clients getting from astrological counseling? In considering the clients of astrologers, we will see additional reasons for concern.
The Clients of Astrologers
What kind of person seeks out an astrologer? We can determine from the statements of astrologers themselves that some and perhaps many clients are those for whom astrology will be most destructive.
Clients lack values. For example, astrological counselor Stephen Arroyo observes, “Many people who request astrological assistance are suffering from a lack of values….”10
Clients are easily duped or deceived. Astrologer Jane Evans observes, “I have known too many people to whom self-deception was second nature.”11
Clients are looking for the astrologer to make their decisions for them. This is a problem that is almost universally admitted among astrologers. Some attempt to help such clients become more independent, but others willingly become their “gurus,” and enjoy the fact that their client will make no decision without first consulting their “wisdom….”12
It is the ability of astrologers to justify a person’s selfish tendencies that caused Dr. John Warwick Montgomery to give the following warning: “The very elasticity of astrological interpretation is its most dangerous characteristic where people desperately desire a shortcut to self knowledge and solutions to their problems, and where the answers are ambiguous, they inevitably choose according to self-interest. Thus the floodgates are opened to the reinforcement of evil tendencies…. It should not be regarded as strange that astrology has so frequently been used to guide evil farther along the path it has already taken.”13
Because astrologers reject any absolute standard of morality, they prefer a “situation ethics” approach where moral decisions are determined largely by the whim and preference of the astrologer or client. Astrologer Alan Oken observes, “No Path is the Truth Path, for in the Absolute there is not Truthfulness or Falsehood, no right and no wrong, no yes and no no.”14 Even the Alexandrian astronomer and “father” of astrology, Ptolemy (2nd C.A.D.) confessed, “Many of its practitioners are in it for gain rather than truth or wisdom, and pretend to know more than the facts permit.”15 Another astrologer testifies, “The preoccupation with self is really in the interest of evolution…. In modern astrology we seek confirmation of our personal importance.”16
Astrologers admit astrology can be used for either “good” or evil purposes. Leading astrologer Sydney Omarr states, “Astrology is there, to be used for the good—or the evil (Hitler!).”17 Just as there is both black and white witchcraft, one astrology text observes, “There is white and black astrology.…”18 Leading astrologer Nicholas deVore confesses that “astrology has often been used to unworthy ends.”19
Adolph Hitler, the ancient Aztecs and their human sacrifices, the modern serial killer known as the Zodiac killer, modern witches and Satanists, have used astrology for evil purposes. All realized that astrology’s power may be used malevolently. For whatever reasons, these people decided to choose evil. This is the point. The astrologer is free to choose. Perhaps the most cunning deception here is when, like Hitler, the astrologer uses his craft for evil while thinking he is using it for the good.
Morality and Sex
In the astrologer’s view, morality is often determined by one’s subjective or “higher” state of consciousness, not by what one believes or does. Obedience to God would be (perhaps) moral for one person and immoral for another. As one guru who endorses astrology states, “I would like to say to you: obedience [to God] is the greatest sin,” and “I teach you disobedience…. The devil did a tremendous service to humanity.”20 But most astrologers are not very concerned with morality in the first place. In fact, many of them believe that moral judgments themselves are the real evil.21 Their job, as astrologers, is simply to validate the client’s own views, whatever they are.22
One reason astrology is popular is because it permits us to explain our own failures and evils, or whatever we do not like in ourselves, as the fault of the stars. Here is an attractive escape from personal responsibility.23 Astrologers may say that “Saturn did it,” or that “the stars weren’t auspicious.” Virtually anything can be rationalized, any sin or evil, because “What happens to us is what needs to happen to us.”24
But if there is any place in which astrology promotes sin, it is the area of sexual behavior.25 In an era of AIDS and dozens of other sexually transmitted diseases, this is of no small concern.26 Astrologer Jeff Green provides an illustration. Here is the case of a woman who was deeply troubled by her sexual immorality. What did she discover through astrological counseling? She realized that she was free to enjoy sexual affairs without guilt by making them “spiritual,” even a divine activity. On what basis? Simply because Pluto was in the eighth house in Leo, the south node was in the seventh house in opposition to Mars, and Pisces was in the second house.27
Astrologers also observe chart indicators for bisexuality, homosexuality, lesbianism, sexual sadism, and transexualism.28 Since such activities are “indicated,” perhaps the one who desires to pursue them will have them justified in his own mind. And the one who does not desire them may live in worry or fear over the possibility, perhaps until he gives in to his astrological “destiny.” We can only wonder what an impressionable teenager would think if he went to an astrologer and discovered such “indicators” in his chart. What if he or she were confused about sexuality, especially in an age of gross experimentation and so-called sexual enlightenment?
Consider the advice to a client by Maxine Bell, a famous astrologer to Hollywood’s homosexual community: “He didn’t come to me for help, he came to me to find out when his next affair was due. He was just finishing up one [affair] and after two nights of being alone he was desperate, so he wondered what his prospects were for a new affair. I gave him the rundown on when the next affair would be likely. Whenever transiting Mars goes over the fifth house that starts things going.”29
Many astrologers believe that homosexuality is as much a part of a person’s “destiny pattern” as their birth or death. Maxine Bell states, “If they were homosexuals as they closed their last life and had no desire to quit or reform, them they come back as a homosexual and they have their own karma they bring with them.”30 “I have no wish to change, only to help,” says Edith Randall, a celebrated Hollywood astrologer. Her 60,000 astrological readings over the years include “a sizable slice of the homosexual community.”31
1. John Ankerberg, John Weldon, The Coming Darkness: Confronting Occult Deception, Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1993.
2. Lawrence E. Jerome, Astrology Disproved, Buffalo, NYL: Prometheus Books 1977, p. 212.
3. Los Angeles Times, September 14, 1975, p. 1.
4. Tracy Marks, The Art of Chart Interpretation, Sebastopol, CA: CRCS Publications, 1986, pp. 151-53.
6. Ibid., pp. 155-61.
7. Kurt Koch, Satan’s Devices, Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publishers, 1978, p. 20.
8. Kurt Koch, Between Christ and Satan, Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publishers, 1962, pp. 11-12.
9. Sherman P. Kanagy II, and Kenneth D. Boa, Astrology—Scientific, Philosophical and Religious Issues, ms., 1986, p. 108.
10. Stephen Arroyo, Astrology, Karma and Transformation: The Inner Dimensions of the Birth Chart, Davis, CA: CRCS Publications, 1978, p. 246.
11. Jane A. Evans, Twelve Doors to the Soul: Astrology of the Inner Self, Wheaton, IL: Quest/Theosophical Publishing House, 1983, p. 200.
12. Robert A. Morey, Horoscopes and the Christian, Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 1981, p. 47; Liz Green and Howard Sasportas, The Development of the Personality (Seminars in Psychological Astrology, Volume 1), York Beach, ME: Samuel Weiser, 1988, p. XI.
13. John Warwick Montgomery, Principalities and Powers: The World of the Occult, Minneapolis, MN: Bethany Fellowship, 1973, p. 118.
14. Alan Oken, Astrology: Evolution and Revolution—a Path to Higher Consciousness Through Astrology, New York: Bantam, 1976, p. 85.
15. Kanagy and Boa, Astrology, p. 85.
16. Mae R. Wilson-Ludlam, Interpret Your Rays Using Astrology, Tempe, AZ: American Federation of Astrologers, 1986, pp. 5-6.
17. Sydney Omarr, My World of Astrology, Hollywood, CA: Wilshire Book Company, 1968, p. 23.
18. Alice A. Bailey, Esoteric Astrology, New York: Lucis Publishing, 1975, p. 638.
19. Nicholas deVore, Encyclopedia of Astrology, Totowa, NJ: Littlefield Adams & Co., 1976, p. VIII.
20. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, The Rajneesh Bible, vol. 1, Rajneeshpuram, OR: Rajneesh Foundation International, 1985, pp. 368, 372, 276.
21. Joan McEvers, ed., Spiritual, Metaphysical and New Trends in Modern Astrology, St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1988, pp. 53, 70.
22. Jeff Green, Pluto: The Evolutionary Journey of the Soul, Vol. 1, St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1988, p. 3; Tracy Marks, The Art of Chart Interpretation, p. 145.
23. Robert Eisler, The Royal Art of Astrology, London: Herbert Joseph, Ltd., 1946, p. 127; Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, New York: Charles Schribner’s Sons, 1971, pp. 329-30.
24. Dane Rudhyar, The Practice of Astrology: Book 1, New York: ASI Publishers, 1977, p. 99.
25. Jane A. Evans, Twelve Doors to the Soul, p. 170.
26. John Ankerberg, John Weldon, The Myth of Safe Sex, Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1994.
27. Jeff Green, Pluto, pp. 146-47.
28.Alan Oken, Astrology, 64-75; Wim van Dam, Astrology and Homosexuality, York Beach, ME: Samuel Weiser, 1985.
29. Jess Stearn, A Time for Astrology, New York: Signet, 1972, pp. 213-14.
30. Ibid., p. 210.
31. Ibid., p. 215.