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Can Catholics Follow Astrology?

Jimmy Akin

Audio only:

Can Catholics follow astrology? Jimmy Akin, host of Jimmy Akin’s Mysterious World, joins us to discuss the Catholic approach to astrology. Does the Bible forbid it? Can a Catholic follow the daily horoscope? Is there any reason to believe in astrology at all?


Cy Kellett:

Hello, and welcome to Focus, the Catholic Answers podcast for living, understanding and defending your Catholic faith. I’m Cy Kellett, your host. Jimmy Akin is our guest this time and we wanted to ask him about astrology. Actually, astrology been around, I guess, about as long as people have been around, but very popular on the internet. So Jimmy, thanks very much for being here with us.

Jimmy Akin:

Thank you. My pleasure.

Cy Kellett:

We got a little clip. We thought we’d play for you from the internet. It’s not very hard to find astrology clips. So Darren, if you want to play that clip and then we’ll break it down a little bit and talk about the history of astrology and also about what does the church teach about how we should approach astrology?

TikTok Astrology Clip:

The majority of the tarot readers and astrologers own social media, as someone who’s a real astrologer who’s passed the most difficult certification exam that is offered, I can tell you that most of the astrology content you’re consuming is fake. The people behind these accounts are not real astrologers, so I wouldn’t take their advice.

Cy Kellett:

Wow. So I guess we need a… we’re going to need some kind of infallible Pope of astrology to straighten this out. We’ve apparently broken down into clicks and groups, but Jimmy that’s… what strikes me right there right off the bat is she’s claiming that she’s got the highest certification. Astrology is what? Do people think of it as a science, a religion, what?

Jimmy Akin:

Well, it’s commonly understood by people as kind of a hybrid. It both is regarded as a scientific enterprise by people who believe in it, but it’s also has a kind of mystical element to it as well. And that clip is interesting in that I think there’s a big element of truth in what she says. Most of the, many of the people certainly, who are claiming to give astrological advice are either scammers who know what they’re saying is not true, or they’re very poorly trained and are not really putting the work in that one would have to do astrology in a classical way. And so I’m not recommending her and her group, but I do agree with her assertion that extreme caution is warranted here.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah. Okay. So I suppose everything that has an element of mystery is going to have charlatans, I mean, we certainly have Christian charlatans, ministers, so it will have its charlatans, but I mean, how would I… like the way you just described it, there’s a classical astrology that you might look to as a kind of standard. I wouldn’t even know what standard to apply to astrology.

Jimmy Akin:

Well, there’s not a single standard. Astrology goes quite far back in human history and undoubtedly, you mentioned all the way through human history, it really doesn’t go… what we would think of as astrology doesn’t go back that far. I would say it is fair to say that humans have always looked at the sky and when anything unusual has happened, they’ve taken it as a sign. If you’re a caveman and an eclipse happens and the sun goes dark in the middle of the day, what do you make of that? I mean, that’s a pretty disturbing thing and so people would look at eclipses, both of the sun in the moon, as signs in the heavens. And similarly comets will show up periodically and a comet is a weird looking star that hangs in the sky for maybe a few months and then disappears. Comets historically have been regarded as bad omens, as a sign that something really bad is going to happen. And then how earthly leaders spin that is always an interesting study.

For example, during the Roman empire, there was a comet that appeared, and comets in the ancient world, so the word kometes in Greek, it means longhaired. So a kometes aster… so kometes aster are longhaired stars. And so during the Roman empire, a comet showed up at one point and normally that would be taken as a sign of disaster or a disaster incidentally is from roots that mean bad star. Disaster. And so if a bad star shows up, there’s going to be a disaster and political leaders didn’t always want to have disasters on their watch. They kind of want to have a “Everything’s going smooth. We’re doing fine. No need to question our governing authority.” Kind of approach to stuff.

Cy Kellett:

No inflation here. Oh, sorry, maybe I…

Jimmy Akin:

And so one, they did have inflation in the ancient world and similar things produced at then is due now. But one of the Roman emperors, when a comet showed up on his watch, he said, “Oh yeah, it is a sign of disaster, but not for me. It’s a sign disaster for the Parthian emperor because he’s got long hair.

Cy Kellett:

Oh yeah. Very well done. Nice.

Jimmy Akin:

And so he would spin it that way. Similarly, when Julius Caesar died, a comet was reported to appear and it was interpreted as a good sign, actually it was interpreted as Caesar’s soul ascending to the gods. So they did get interpreted different ways. But originally what developed into astrology was kind of celestial omen reading, where something would happen in the sky and you would note what happened on earth and then the next time the thing happens in the sky, you say, “What happened last time?” And so you weren’t calculating where all the planets were going to be at any given moment, you would just wait for something to happen and then take that as a sign. And that’s actually the way Babylonian astrology worked. The Babylonians were the ones who came up with the constellations that we use, at least the constellations of the Zodiac that we use today, and it was from them that key astrological ideas spread to the Greeks and the Romans and so forth.

But in Babylonian astrology, it was essentially omen-based. And so they had, and we have their tablets where they… we’ve dug them up, where they talk about this. There are these long lists of what are called planetary omens. So if Jupiter appears in a certain position, it means wolves are going to attack people on the highways. Or if it appears in another position in the sky, it means there’s going to be a flood and things like that. And one of the things that the Babylonians were quite concerned with was their king, and in fact, this is true of a lot of early astrology, it doesn’t really deal with you as an individual person, it deals with big, important affairs of state, like battles and how are we going to feed everybody and are there going to be natural disasters and what’s going to happen with the king? And in Babylonian astrology, one of their signs was if an eclipse occurs and Jupiter is not visible in the sky, then it means the king’s going to die.

And so they had a way of dealing with that. They said, “Okay, we had an eclipse, Jupiter was not in the sky,” so this would typically be like a lunar eclipse at night, “and so our King’s going to die. So what do we do? Well, we want to protect our current king, so we need a substitute.” And it’s very much like the plot of the Mikado from Gilbert and Sullivan. You take this condemned criminal and appoint him king, you dress him in kingly robes, you give him kingly food, meanwhile, you take the previous king and for a hundred days, he gets to be the farmer. And almost no one gets to see him and he doesn’t go out of the palace, but all of his officials in their official correspondence refer to him as “the farmer” and so we’re making it really clear to the gods, “This is the new king, he’s the one who’s going to die. The old king, he’s just a farmer. So he’s not the target anymore.”

Cy Kellett:

That’s my favorite part of it that we refer to him as “the farmer,” it’s such a subterfuge.

Jimmy Akin:

So then in up to a hundred days, the new king’s time would be up and they would execute him because he was a condemned criminal. And sometimes they may have let him drink a drug that would put him to sleep in a kind of fatal way. But then the farmer would suddenly get promoted again and get to be king again. And so that’s how they dealt with the eclipse plus no Jupiter omen. Then, the practice of astrology spread to the Greeks and they ran with it. The most famous set of astrological texts was by a philosopher named Claudius Ptolemy and he wrote four books, in Greek four books is Tetrabiblos, and so his four books of astrology are called the Tetrabiblos.

Cy Kellett:

And this would be when, about when did this happen?

Jimmy Akin:

Oh, this is around… This in the first century AD.

Cy Kellett:

Oh, okay.

Jimmy Akin:

So right around the time of Jesus and a few decades after that. And then it’s been around ever since then. And back in the day, it was part of a standard education. People would get… now a lot of people, most people, just had a trade education, you’d become an apprentice to a blacksmith, or you’d be a farmer or something like that, but if you were an educated person, you got what was called a liberal arts education. And there were seven liberal arts. You took the first three of them in a unit called the Trivium, and it included things like logic and rhetoric and so forth. And then after you completed the Trivium, you took another four courses called the Quadrivium. And in the Quadrivium, you learned music and higher mathematics, you learned astronomy. And at the time astronomy was the same thing as astrology, they were united, they were not distinguished in the ancient world. And so astrology was actually part of a standard liberal arts education that any well-educated person would have.

Cy Kellett:

That is fascinating. And I have to say, though, I would tend to be skeptical of astrology as kind of just a way, that as an invented thing, well, this is how we’ll make sense of these strange things that happen in the sky constantly. I think as a matter of fact today, I think many people are not aware of how many strange things happen in the sky because we don’t pay attention to the sky anymore. We’ve got electric lights and TVs and computers and I just think most people have very little exposure to what’s going on in the sky. Here’s what tempers my skepticism.

Jimmy Akin:

Okay.

Cy Kellett:

The birth of Jesus seems to be predicted astrologically.

Jimmy Akin:

Yeah. So, let me deal with that, but first I want to mention a couple of things that aided this view as kind of a counterbalance for here’s what an ancient person would say to your skepticism.

Cy Kellett:

Oh, okay. Great.

Jimmy Akin:

The first thing is that they believed in a theological worldview. They thought that God or the gods were all throughout nature and that they were communicating with us through nature, so they were sending us signs or omens. And there were skeptics about omens in the ancient world, but they were widely believed in one of the things that really struck me when I started reading Roman history, for example, Suetonius’s Lives of the 12 Caesars, is wow, look at all these omens they’re recording. I mean, for like every emperor, there’s a whole bunch of omens that predicted things about him. And this is very different than what we read about in the Bible. In the Bible, God communicates through prophets, he doesn’t communicate through omens, at least not typically.

And so, because most people in the Mediterranean world and in the ancient near East thought that the gods were communicating through omens, it was natural to look at the motions of the planets, which meant for them the sun, the moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, because those were the five planets. The planetes aster in Greek is wandering star and the sun and the moon wander against the background stars, or the fixed stars as they’re called that form the constellations. So do Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, and so those were the seven classical planets, including the sun of the moon. And so it was natural thinking, “Okay…”

And they even identified gods with the planets. I mean, that’s why Jupiter is called Jupiter. Jupiter was the king of the gods. Mars was the God of war. Venus was the goddess of love. Mercury was the messenger. Saturn was another God. So it was natural to look to these as communicating information from the gods and the gods ruled our lives and so it was natural to see the stars as influencing us. The other thing that they would say, in rebuttal to your skepticism, is obviously the heavenly bodies have an effect here on earth. I mean, let’s look at the big one, the sun. Does that have an influence here on earth?

Cy Kellett:

Sure, yeah.

Jimmy Akin:

It makes it day. It makes crops grow. It does all kinds of things like that. The moon similarly, I mean, they didn’t know that the moon causes the tides, we know that today, they didn’t know that then, but they did see the cycles of the moon as having an effect and it was natural for them to understand the stars, especially the planets, as also having an effect. So for example, when you plant your crops, when you need to plant your crops, is determined by what stars are currently in the sky. There’s a good season to plant, but if you miss that planting window and different stars are in the sky, your crops are going to fail. And so it was natural for them to see these correlations and then do what lots of people do, assume that correlation is causation. That it’s not just correlated with what’s happening here on earth, but it’s causing what happens here on earth.

Cy Kellett:

I hadn’t thought about that, especially in an agricultural society, watching the sky is actually a really important thing. You would get in the habit of paying very close attention.

Jimmy Akin:

Yeah. And a big famous instance of that is in Egypt because in Egypt, at least these days, it didn’t used to be this way, but these days it’s a big desert and the only fertile land is right around the Nile, it’s on the banks of the Nile. So Egypt was a major civilization, you’ve got all these people to feed, you need your crops to succeed and what would happen in Egypt every year is there would be a melt off occurring farther south in Africa that they didn’t know about and it would cause the Nile to flood. And so in Egypt, they had three seasons, they had before the inundation where the Nile floods, then they had the inundation where the Nile floods and then it dries out again. And you needed to time your crop planting to the flooding of the Nile when there would be water to feed your crops. And well, it so happened that the stars, Sirius, would rise every year right before the flooding of the Nile and so-

Cy Kellett:

Oh, so that’s helpful. Yeah.

Jimmy Akin:

… the rising of Sirius was an extremely important thing in their agricultural cycle and correspondingly in their astronomical interpretations as well.

Cy Kellett:

Then can I ask you about the prediction of the new king of Israel being born? These men from the east, they got it right, that their astrology did not lead them astray on that, they were right. The Christ had been born.

Jimmy Akin:

They were, and this shows that God can, if he chooses, allow people to see signs in the heavens that will give them information. Now that’s not the same thing as a personal horoscope of is this a good day for you to go outside or not? But the birth of the son of God is something important enough that God might want to let people see something in the sky that would tell them about this. Now there’s been a lot of speculation about what it is they would’ve seen. I won’t go into the details, but it was probably the planet Jupiter and it was probably the planet Jupiter doing something unusual in the sky, something that doesn’t happen all the time. There have been people who’ve tried to figure out what that was.

There’s a famous… in academia today, there’s a famous proposal made by an astronomer named Michael Molnar, which it’s noticed that in six BC on April 17th there was a very fortuitous horoscope with Jupiter in the sign of Aries, Aries was the sign that was interpreted in Greek astrology as being connected with Israel, and there were a bunch of other things happening that same day that could signal the birth of a great king and so this is a very popular theory in academia today. There are two problems with it though. One, it’s the wrong year. Jesus was not born in six BC, he was born in three or two BC. Second, this is Greek astrology and the magi did not come from the West where Greece was, they came from the East.

So we’d want to look at a different astrological system to say, “What would they have seen that would’ve led them to send this embassy to honor the new Jewish king?” Well, the most famous and influential system to the east of Israel was the Babylonian system. And there has been some recent work done proposing exactly what they may have seen. It’s speculative, but Jupiter did some very interesting things that could signal that the king and the ruler of Babylon would die and that the dynasty in Babylon would change. And you would think that would be a bad thing if you’re a Babylonian, but not if you’re living in the first century, because they were under the thumb of the Persian empire… or the Parthian empire.

And so the Mesopotamians, the Babylonians in Iraq, were headed by a king in Iran. So they were under the domination of a foreign king. They might want him knocked over. And there also was a prophecy that based on, again, what Jupiter was doing, that their dynasty would be destroyed by a king coming from Amurru, Amurru was their word for the land to the west of where they were. So it’s the same root act actually is the biblical word amorite. But this area was under the control of the Roman empire, except the Roman empire had created a client king in Herod the great.

And so there was a powerful king in this area at the time. And it would’ve been natural to say, “Okay, it’s going to be someone from his court. It’s going to be one of his descendants, the new king of the Jews who’s going to be this deliverer of ours.” And the Babylonian texts actually talk about sending a peace embassy between the king of Amurru and Babylonians to make friends. And that could have been exactly what inspired them to go west and seek the new king of the Jews.

Cy Kellett:

So as a Catholic, then, how am I to think about astrology? Does the church have a teaching? Does the church have a set of teachings about astrology? How am I supposed to make sense of this?

Jimmy Akin:

Well, it’s very down through the ages. Now, one of the things that the faith teaches is that we have free will, so we can control our destinies. We decide what we’re going to do. We decide, are we going to sin, are we going to not sin? We decide if are we going to repent? Are we going to not repent? And thus, we decide are we going to go to heaven or hell? And so, one of the things that Christianity has always been concerned with in regard to astrology is not adopting a fatalistic view of it. So in the middle ages, you had people like St. Thomas Aquinas saying there are some things that astrologers can genuinely predict because of the influence of the stars on things like the weather. So they could predict storms and so forth. You could potentially use astrology to find out when a storm is going to occur.

Also, you could predict large scale phenomena involving many people, because even though the stars are having an influence on us and an individual might make the choice to resist that influence, large bodies of people probably won’t, they’ll probably go along with the influence the stars are having. And so you could also predict things like wars where you have two large scale groups of people start fighting each other. Aquinas would say, you could use astrology to predict a war. What you could not do was use astrology to predict the fate of individuals because they’ve got free will. You could say, “Okay, well, this guy has a certain temperament and the stars are going to cause that temperament to flare up so he’s going to be feeling extra cranky someday.” It won’t tell you exactly what he’s going to do, but you could get a probabilistic estimate of what the guy’s going to do, because most people, according to Aquinas don’t resist their base or passions. And so if the stars are stirring up someone’s base or passions, odds are he’s going to go with those base passions and act accordingly.

So this was well received throughout a large chunk of Christian history. There were Christians who totally dismissed astrology, but there were also ones who worked with the science of their day, which seemed to indicate the stars have an influence and they tried to understand it from a Christian perspective that incorporated free will. Eventually the scientific revolution began and that started in the 1600 and 1700s. And with the scientific revolution, we started finding… there were a couple things. One of them, we introduced a new methodology where we would more rigorously test predictions and if you rigorously test astrological predictions, they don’t have that great a success rate. Also, we started discovering the forces of nature like gravity. Even though people knew things fall down, they didn’t understand it in terms of a force that causes them to fall down.

In Aristotelian physics, things seek their natural place in the universe and so earth being the heaviest element, well it all comes down to the lowest point in the universe and that’s the planet earth and as you move up from the planet earth, things get lighter and lighter. But they didn’t have the concept of there’s a force that causes any two objects that have mass to approach each other. In fact, Aristotelian physics forbade that concept, that was action at a distance, where one thing could, could affect something else, even across a vacuum, and they also didn’t like vacuums. But when Isaac Newton proposed the law of gravity, he was actually accused of introducing a concept from what was called natural magic, meaning hidden forces in the universe, occult principles, occult just means hidden. So he was accused of proposing this magical concept where somehow two distant objects can influence each other with no medium in between them. And so gravity, people looked at it kind of skeptically at first, but his formulas worked so well that eventually people got over the spookiness of the spooky action at a distance that gravity had.

Then we discovered that electricity and magnetism are the same thing, so we have electromagnetism. In the 20th century, we also discovered the strong and weak nuclear forces that operate on the subatomic scale, they’re what control how protons and neutrons stick together, that’s the strong force and also the weak force is it controls radioactivity. And so we have these four fundamental forces, we’ve got the strong and the weak on the subatomic scale and then on a larger scale, we have electromagnetism and gravity. So if these are the only four known forces, how would the planets have an influence on us?

Because they’re… so far gravity is the weakest of all the forces. People may be surprised by that, but it’s actually true. The thing that holds objects together here on earth, like your body or your laptop or your automobile, that’s not gravity. That’s the electromagnetic force that causes atoms to stick together into molecules. So obviously we’re not under electrical influence from the planets. There’s a tiny bit of gravity, but it’s not going to control our destiny. So the basis of astrology, the idea that the planets were influencing us, lost credibility in the 19th and 20th centuries and consequently, astrology has fallen on hard times scientifically.

Cy Kellett:

Okay. So what I’m gathering then, at least the way you described that history, is that the church was open to, “Well, maybe these forces are doing this. Maybe this is something we should attend to as evidence…” I mean, it just seems like it’s following the evidence in other words.

Jimmy Akin:

There were popes who used astrologers and they were just following the science of their day. But the science has changed. The science, despite which you may hear some American presidents say, is never settled. Science, properly speaking, is always open to new evidence and the new evidence that emerged cast a lot of doubt on the basis of astrology. And so today, if you look in the catechism of the Catholic church, it warns people against using horoscopes. And I think that’s entirely reasonable, especially the ones you see in newspapers, it’s just bunk. I mean, you’re dividing up the entire population into 12 groups of people and there’s… A lot of times you don’t have so much predictions as advice in those columns and if you do get predictions, they’re very unreliable. So I can’t recommend that people consult astronomy… I mean, consult astrology. I’m sorry. At least not the normal way.

Cy Kellett:

Uh oh, all right. So what does that mean, Jimmy? Pregnant pause.

Jimmy Akin:

Yeah. Well, so it turns out that there have been studies… Now these days, astrology, and this is unique to the way astrology is done in the West, but these days, astrology is largely done in terms of what are called sun signs. Your sun sign is the constellation that the sun is in when you are born. And so like if the sun is in Leo when you’re born, you’re a Leo. If the sun is in Scorpius when you’re born, you’re a Scorpius and so forth. Now there’s loads of other things in astrology than just that, but that’s what people see in the newspapers because there’s no way in a newspaper to go into all kinds of technical calculations. So they go with the simple 12 sun sign system.

Well, there have been some studies done of when people are born in the year and does that have an effect on their life outcomes? Like do they hit puberty early or late? Do they get more or less schooling? Do they have depression or schizophrenia? And the answer is, yes, it does matter what time of year you’re born. And so it turns out… now I’m going to read this to you first and then I’m going to talk about why this happens. And by the way, this would all be reversed in the Southern hemisphere. But here in the Northern hemisphere, based on the studies that have been done, when it comes to physical factors, people born in Gemini, Cancer and Leo enter puberty later, but they end up a bit taller. Conversely, Capricorns, Aquari and Pisces puberty earlier, but they end up a bit shorter than average. When it comes to education, Virgos, Libras and Scorpios tend to get more education and more college level degrees while Geminis, Cancers and Leos tend to not have as much education. Now, part of that is also affected by the beginning of the school year.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah, that makes sense.

Jimmy Akin:

But the beginning of the school year is not going to tell you, do you get an advanced college degree? So there’s still another effect here even when you account for the beginning of the school year. When it comes to psychological conditions, Scorpios and Sagittarius, and especially Capricorns are the most likely to develop schizophrenia, while Aries, Cancers and Libras are the least likely. Also, Capricorns, Aries and Cancers are the most likely to develop bipolar disorder, while Gemini Leos and Virgos are the least likely. And finally Capricorns, Aries and Tauruses and Geminis are the most likely to have depression, while Cancers, Leos, Virgos and especially Scorpios are the least likely to have depression. Now all of that’s statistical, if you’re a Capricorn, it doesn’t mean you’re going to get schizophrenia, it just means you have a slightly higher chance of it, but these effects seem to be real. So the question is what causes them?

Cy Kellett:

That’s the thing is… that’s interesting when you say that because you could see how you could start to develop over time a sense that Cancers are a certain kind of people and attribute that to the sun sign, but it could just be the opposite. The sun sign is just telling you what time of year that person was born and the time of year you’re born has effects in your life.

Jimmy Akin:

You could propose that.

Cy Kellett:

I am proposing it. Do you think I’m correct, or?

Jimmy Akin:

Up to a point, Lord Copper.

Cy Kellett:

Okay. I hate it when you say that.

Jimmy Akin:

So you notice, I said that you have to reverse all of those sun signs for the Southern hemisphere.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah.

Jimmy Akin:

Well that’s because they experience summer when we experience winter and vice versa. And what determines whether it’s summer or winter is the axial tilt of the earth with respect to the sun. It’s the sun that is responsible for these differences and the reason the sun is responsible for these differences is because we humans use sunlight to make vitamin D, our skin converts sunlight into… or converts sunlight into vitamin D to put it concisely. And that’s, for example, that’s why white people are white because their ancestors grew up in Northern Europe, the sun is hitting the earth at a shallower angle, they don’t get as much sunlight and so their skin needed to be lighter in order for them to get the vitamin D that they needed from the sunlight. If you’re at the Equator though, the sunlight’s hitting the earth straight on so you’re getting a lot of it and you can actually need extra protection-

Cy Kellett:

From all that sun.

Jimmy Akin:

From the sunlight so that your skin doesn’t burn, so people there have darker skin. Okay, well, what happens then during winter at a high northern latitude when a woman is pregnant? She’s getting less sunlight, the days are shorter, it’s striking at an oblique angle, she’s getting a lot less sunlight, she’s getting a lot less vitamin D and that means her unborn baby is getting less vitamin D. Vitamin D is involved in human growth and development and that means her baby is going to develop differently than if she was pregnant in the middle of summer when the days are long and she’s getting a lot more sunlight. And so it’s really the effect of vitamin D on unborn babies as they’re developing in the womb that determines these outcomes. And so it’s true here, the sun does have an effect, your sun sign actually tells you at least a statistically tiny little thing about some of your life-

Cy Kellett:

That’s fascinating.

Jimmy Akin:

… what some of your life outcomes are going to be, but that doesn’t justify reading a sun sign horoscope in the newspaper.

Cy Kellett:

No. Right. And I always think of… in one of Walker Percy’s novels, there’s one where the guy is reading the wrong one and he thinks, “That is exactly right about me,” and then he realizes he’s reading the wrong one, reads the right one, the one that corresponds to him and he goes, “Oh, that’s exactly right about me as well.” You just…

Jimmy Akin:

Well, they write them deliberately that way to fit almost anybody. Yeah.

Cy Kellett:

So I guess we got to wrap up pretty soon, but I do want to suggest this, I think a lot of people, because there are biblical commands against certain practices like necromancy and some other of these kind of what you might call occult or hidden practices. I think many people would assume, “Well, astrology must be one of those, so aren’t I supposed to just shun astrology because the Bible forbids it?” But I am gathering that we’re reading too-

Jimmy Akin:

If the Bible contained explicit prohibition on astrology, it never would’ve been used by Christians, or Jews, but it doesn’t. What it contains is prohibition on worshiping the stars as gods and so don’t worship the stars as gods, but beyond that, it doesn’t tell us what influence they may or may not have. That’s a matter actually for scientific investigation. And in some cases like with the sun signs and vitamin D, well, our star does have an effect, but it’s not a big one and the other planets in our solar system, there’s a much harder case to figure out how could they have any influence and the predictions tend not to work.

But historically, so in Judaism, there’s a saying [foreign language 00:37:36] which means there is no fate in Israel and what that means is God controls the destiny of the Israelites, it’s not like fate, it’s not from the stars. And so Judaism kind of followed a similar path to Christianity in accepting, from the science of the day, the idea that the stars had some influence, but not enough to determine people’s fates. And they articulated it a little bit differently than Christians did, but they had the same basic idea. But as science has progressed, it’s become harder and harder to maintain the idea that the stars and particularly the planets have these kind of influences over our lives.

Cy Kellett:

Well, Jimmy, thank you so much. I never would’ve guessed when we started talking about astrology that we’d end up on vitamin D. It’s funny how things go around. Thank you so much, Jimmy.

Jimmy Akin:

My pleasure.

Cy Kellett:

Thank you also for joining us here at Catholic Answers Focus. If you want to send us an email, send it to [email protected] and if you want to share this with other people, you can share it on YouTube, Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, all those other places where you can get podcasts if you would be so kind. And if you are inclined to do so, please give us that five star review, maybe a nice comment. That’ll help to grow the podcast and we’ll see you next time, God willing, right here on Catholic Answers Focus.

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