Do Astrology and Faith Conflict?
After the Attunement and Healing Session I offered on January 12, June, a client, said to me, “You know, growing up I kept hearing that dealing with anything to do with astrology or the stars was “devil’s work.” I loved the session, and felt how powerful it was. But I keep wondering — How can you do that attunement as a Presbyterian minister?”
What a great question, especially given that five more huge astrological events are occurring this year!
Patterns in the Sky
Astronomy, or star-gazing, has been done since the beginning of time. Every culture in every place noticed that there were patterns (or pictures) in the stars. Some observed, for example, that the moon has a 19-year cycle. Not only that, but the stars had cycles of movements too. Over time, they discovered that you could even map their movements.
What we in Western cultures call Venus, for example, sometimes appeared as the morning star, and then all of a sudden disappeared for a few days, and reappeared as the evening star, and then the reverse happened. Since the ancients didn’t understand the world was round, they wouldn’t have known how that happens scientifically, but they would have noticed the patterns – and often created stories to explain them.
Reflections of human experience
The ancients of every tradition associated the patterns they saw with archetypes and ways of being in the world. More than that, they saw these patterns as reflections of our human experience. Note that every culture had its own astrology and stories associated with the patterns they noticed in the sky. Here is a great article on the astrology and sky stories of indigenous peoples.
Of course, the ancients associated these movements with the gods. Hence, the Western-European names we have for our planets and constellations, as well as the patterns they represent, come out of Greek and Roman mythology.
To come back to our example, the Venus archetype represents love, beauty, harmony, desire, and so forth. She also carries the shadow side of the archetype: intrigues, jealousy, gossip, and envy. When you work with “Venus,” you are looking at how these aspects of being human are playing out in your life. And when you look at a connection between Venus and another planet, you are looking at how their respective archetypes or characters intersect in your life.
The Divine and the Stars
In my Christian tradition, we don’t see the stars as gods or representatives of them. Nor do we use the stars to decide how we live (a la traditional horoscopes). Instead my tradition affirms that the One God created the stars and planets and set them in motion. That same God created everything as a dynamic web. Everything, from the smallest atom to the largest planet, is interrelated; the movements of the moon, the stars, and the constellations are all part of that web.
The way the ancients described the meaning of the movements of the galaxies was “as above, so below.” They noticed that certain kinds of events tended to happen when certain stars or planets came together, just like Pluto and Saturn did on January 12. To learn a bit more about this particular conjunction (or coming together), and what it means for the archetypes represented by Pluto and Saturn to unite, see the article I wrote about it here.
It is not Fate
If you were to take these patterns as fate, and live your entire life around them (doing or not doing something because the stars said it was going to be a good or a bad day, for example), then you would be confusing them with God. That’s what the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures said not to do – that would be what my client, June, heard described as “devil’s work.”
But what you can do is realize that the ancients were on to something. There are patterns in the sky. What’s more, the ancients’ close watch on those patterns gave them insights into how the stars and moon and sun and certain alignments impact us and vice versa. I see those patterns as part of the Divine creation.
Fortunately, there is a growing branch of astrology that is not being done from a prescriptive place (where everything is “written in the stars” already, and we humans have no choice, and simply have to live it out). Instead, evolutionary astrology is, by and large, being done from a spiritual perspective – one that acknowledges the Divine – and one that sees the patterns and movements as part of a larger dance of creation.
From this perspective, when we have huge conjunctions like the one on January 12, and the five that are still to come in 2020, we can draw on ancient wisdom, connect with what has happened in previous times this particular pattern, and see what archetypes are coming to the fore. What are the major world movements that happen every time Pluto and Saturn meet like this, for example?
From there, you have choice. These patterns provide opportunities and challenges. They aren’t prescriptive. They don’t tell you how to live your life or what to do or not do each day.
What an awe-filled experience it was to facilitate the attunement on January 12. More than 100 of us gathered together that evening, and as we held space for your own healing, and for the healing of the planet, the power was palpable. As I talk with people who participated, the shifts and changes from that session are continuing. I suspect they will continue throughout the year in many ways.
Be on the lookout for another blog post next week announcing the surprise next attunement in the series.
In the meantime, my hope is that you can see the Divine dance in the sky with new eyes, and make use of the opportunities and challenges that these star-events are showing you.
With love and gratitude,
PS: If you’re noticing either that you’re in a place of stuckness – or you feel on the brink of something big and new, and you would like some help, I have a couple spots open for individual work. Check it out here. Or book a free Discovery Call to explore how I can help you.