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Astrology for the Masses

I could not believe it.  A friend of mine recently asked: “Can astrology be a religion?”

I was intrigued. In my 40+ years as an astrologer, I have often been asked why I “believe” in astrology.  I have offered a standard response, one that is clearly stated by Uncle Rufus in Astrologer’s Apprentice:

“You can believe in God, or you can believe in America as the greatest country on Earth, but you can’t believe in astrology.  Astrology is like mathematics or physics or language. It’s a tool, an organized system of thought that can be used to investigate or discover something. Believing is an act of faith. I believe in God, but I don’t believe in astrology. I can only make observations that either uphold or refute astrological theory.”

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All my life it has been incredibly easy for me to allow religion and astrology to coexist.
I was raised to value religion, and I have discovered through persistent observation that astrology bears honest scrutiny. My novel promotes the idea that astrology can make you a better Christian.  But … “Can astrology be a religion”? That’s a different question entirely.

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Religion is a belief system many people need to remind themselves to choose good over evil, to assist them as they attempt to reconcile their inevitable death. People want their lives to have some higher meaning, and let me tell you, a sense of immortality is not such a bad idea either.  I am more than supportive of both of these concepts.  People want to belong.  They want to embrace the traditions of their family.  They want to know there is an ultimate value judgment that goes way beyond the regular little value judgments they make every day.  People want to be taken off the hook, and forgiven for their inability to answer the really BIG questions.

Astrology is nothing more than a TECHNIQUE for interpreting ongoing universal forces, the kinds of forces we cannot prove exist or have any direct influence on our lives, forces that are just as mysterious as God.  We cannot prove divine intervention occurs, and we cannot prove astrological forces have an effect.  If you are religious, you just know. If you are an astrologer, you just know.

Bottom line … I told my friend … astrology cannot be a religion because with astrology, there is nothing to believe in but yourself.

 

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