I grew up in the type of Christian sect that believed that things like astrology, tarot cards, reading tea leaves, etc. were tools of the devil. We believed in the literal devil and "opening yourself up" to these things was seen as soul corruption. It was giving the devil a foothold in your life. Nevermind that only God was supposed to know your future, not Tarot cards. God gave you your personality, not a star sign. If you were looking to these things for answers, then you were looking to the wrong person. The devil would give you answers, but only the ones you wanted to hear, only the ones that would lead to paths of destruction. The devil was a liar and a manipulator and eventually would lead you straight to hell. Christians beware of these tools of the devil. To anyone reading this who didn't grow up in such an environment, this probably sounds nuts. It is a very puritanical approach to this "problem", but this comes directly from the Bible.
Leviticus 19:26 NIV, "Do not practice divination or sorcery."
Says Deuteronomy 18:9, 12 & 14 NIV, "Do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there… The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the Lord your God has not permitted you to do so… Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord."
1 Samuel 15:23 NIV, "Rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry."
Daniel 2:2 NIV, informs us, "So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers to tell him what he had dreamed."
Daniel 2:27-28 NKJ, "Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, 'The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king. But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream, and the visions of your head upon your bed, were these…'
Obviously the whole allowing-the-devil-in thing isn't anywhere in there, but leave it to Christians to twist an already God-detested thing into something even worse.
Weirdly enough the Bible itself seems to support the practice of astrology and such as being real, true, and a daily part of life. The wise men or Magi used star signs to determine that a King had been born in Israel and set off to find that child which took months and possibly even years. I've seen where Christians attempt to explain that this is astronomy not astrology, but two Astronomy courses in college included nothing about looking up in the sky and if you see a star in the middle of the forehead of the ram (this represented Israel in ancient times) that meant that a King had been born in that country. I was taught that astronomy is anything but random and stars are not signs of anything. I've also seen where it is suggested that God forbade astrology and so the wise men were actually receiving messages directly from God and thus weren't astrologers. I want to point out that at no point is it said that the Magi were followers of the Jewish God and most likely had their own religion that showed them this sign. In the Old Testament we have the story of the witch who brings up the ghost of Samuel for King Saul. Although this practice is detestable in the eyes of God, the point here is that it is possible. The Bible itself concedes that divination really does work, it's just that God doesn't like it. So this idea by Christians, particularly of the Evangelical kind, that astrology and divination is bad is both Biblical and founded within the religion itself.
Let's stop for a moment and talk about that though, shall we. Astrology is based on star signs that are incorrect based on actually Astronomy. And it seriously tries to convince us that your personality and life choices and guided by this. Of course, this completely ignores human psychology, the complexity of the human brain, and how outside influences shape who we are as people. There are people who have brain traumas through car accidents or abuse who literally become different people. One bruise too many on our poor grey matter and we are no longer the same person. Nevermind, that there is no possible way you can divide up billions of people into twelve categories and say that is how someone is and this is what is going to happen in their lives because of the time they were born.
I tried an experiment once. I found a "reputable" astrologer who offered daily horoscope readings. Reputable meaning a friend who is into this stuff highly recommended her and said she changed his life. For a month (at the very low cost of $30) I received a daily horoscope as well as specific things having to do with me. Except I didn't read them. I filtered them into an email and instead kept a daily journal of what had happened to me that day. I've kept journals for years so this was no big deal. I detailed any interesting interactions with family, friends, and customers. I mentioned if I had had a hard day or a good day, if any money had unexpectedly come my way, interesting mail. I put any health issues, whether I woke up with a stuffed up nose, if I had to use my inhaler, etc. And then at the end of the month, I compared. I compared my daily horoscope to what actually happened during my day. As you can imagine, there were no correlations beyond some very obvious coincidences and some seriously pushing it twisting of the words. I was apparently supposed to be in the middle of a love sign and according to my horoscope, I am a love magnet. At the time, there was literally none of that going on. No flirting, no guys who were interested, no dates, nada. If I was a love magnet, I was attracting something other than male human beings, which is kind of the thing I am interested in when it comes to romance.
I walked away believing that astrology and divination was a load of hooey. That's some cognitive dissonance there though because I still believed the Bible and the Bible says that it is real, just not a good thing for believers of the Bible to do. Of course, now I think the whole thing is a load of hogwash. Completely and totally. I do not believe that the time of year you are born determines anything beyond whether you can have a pool party or an ice skating party theme. I don't believe that Tarot cards, palm reading, crystal balls, or mind reading are any more accurate than reading the cracks in a sidewalk to determine your future.
What really confuses me though are the Christians who actually do believe in astrology and divination and practice it. When I was younger I thought it was one of those fun pretend things, like filling out an online multiple choice survey will tell you what Hogwarts house you belong in. I truly thought it was just a game and that people didn't really believe it. However, I learned that there are people out there who do truly and deeply believe in this, even Christians who have been expressly told it is wrong to do so. One friend constantly shares memes and videos with tag lines like, "I bet they're an Aries" or "That's a Virgo for you". As if this somehow explains the complex behavior of another human being and with the assumption that she is correct. Another woman I know quite literally will call out sick if her horoscope warns her of impending doom. She absolutely believes that the reason she is still alive and doing well is because she is so careful about following her horoscope. It also means she is in insane amounts of debts because whenever her horoscope tells her that she is going to make a big purchase or go on an adventure, she takes that as a sign that she must spend money or travel somewhere in order to fulfill whatever destiny the universe has laid out for her. It's insane. But at least she isn't a Christian. The Christians who adhere to this nonsense and also claim to be believers of the Bible are going directly against it, never mind that the idea that God controls your destiny is removed from the equation. To suggest that God is using astrology and divination to tell you things is akin to blasphemy.
The whole thing is nuts. Believing you are allowing the devil in is just as crazy as believing that tea leaves will tell you your future.
Note: I don't actually believe the Nativity story is at all true or accurate. I doubt that there were any wise men who traveled to Israel and believe this was added to the story to give it legitimacy. In other words, if even worshipers of other gods received this "sign" from the true God, then Jesus really is the Messiah.
This is a personal, but secret, blog archiving my deconversion from a Christian to a non-believer.