Are They Compatible? Astrology and Religion
Through many years of consulting with clients who are highly religious, I have often been asked to speak to the compatibility of astrology and religion. Although some fiercely religious folks reject the practice of astrology as heretical, I have observed an incredible ideological friendship between organized religions and the ordered universe of astrology.
Astrology is entirely compatible with rigorous religious faith. It is actually a graceful leap to imagine that a God created the universe in which even the planets and stars are guided by noble principles.
History supports my take: evidence from ancient texts, sculptures, and stained glass art clearly shows that the study of the planets and the stars predates and has influenced religious doctrine and practice worldwide. Symbols of the astrological signs and planets show up in our oldest historical places of religious worship. The emergence of significant religious figures such as Jesus, Mohammed, Moses, Buddha, and Mary Baker Eddy was associated with astrological alignments that synchronistically corroborated their arrival.
Resistance from some devout religious adherents can be traced back to a time period where priests and religious leaders wanted to mediate and interpret all religious experience from their seats of power. Before the rise of male-dominated organized religion, our ancestors sought divine inspiration directly from the heavens and felt themselves to be an intricate part of an animated universe unfolding. No one was excluded from direct contact with astrology as a practice and a belief system based on an enchantment with the divine orchestrations of the heavens. Astrology does not require worship of a single godhead or figurehead; instead, it presupposes an unlimited and purposeful intelligence that permeates the heavens and the earth in a great symphony of meaning.
The root of the word religion is the Latin religio, which means linking together. What could be more linked together than movements of the heavens and the experiences and events on Earth?
As above, so below…
Astrology honors the importance of religion and spirituality through the meaning of the 9th and 12th houses as well as the archetypes of the planets Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune. The 9th and 12th houses describe areas of life where one may seek religious or spiritual guidance, experience, and/or ordainment. Jupiter can signify a great spiritual or religious leader; Saturn can refer to a stern God image; and Neptune can relate to mystical experiences and religious rapture.
A credible, unbiased astrologer can help a client deepen their connection to their faith. I have helped certain clients reclaim and activate their religious roots through an exploration of their chart, pointing them toward the strength they can find through adherence to a religious path. For some, religion is a foundational cornerstone of psychological and mental wellbeing.
Unlike many organized religions, astrological beliefs and practices do not come with baggage of sexism, racism, homophobia, or other oppressive constraints. Even the ancient astrological metaphors of delineating masculine and feminine planets and energies have been reimagined as receptive and active energies not gendered in their expression. Just as in the sky, every planet and star has a place, every person has a powerful seat at the table of the universe.
Both astrology and organized religions:
- Are meaning-making
- Are faith-based
- Are not scientifically proven
- Are thousands of years old
- Are based in myth and story
- Name deities
- Have given rise to inspired, spectacular art and writing
- Give people a sense of identity and belonging
- Help people cope with great suffering and loss
- Tackle the issues of fate and free will
- Have a history of collective rituals
- Have calendars of great significant events
Unlike religion, astrology:
- Has no houses of worship
- Has no rules or vows for membership
- Has no moral edicts
- Has no claim of meritorious superiority
- Has no core text
- Has no human saint
- Has no hierarchy of worthiness
- Does not imply an afterlife
- Outlines no explicit code of social conduct
- Outlines no codified agreement of required training
- Has no sanctioned costuming or uniforms for practitioners
- Requires no worship
You can see from these lists how religion and astrology could have a highly productive friendship.
In astrological terms, religion is a Saturn word: organized, spelling out right and wrong, built on and in structures and agreements. Astrology is more Uranian: freedom-seeking, inventive, egalitarian, non-conforming. Currently, we are in a vast planetary alignment between Saturn and Uranus, unveiling the tensions and the possibilities between the old and the new.
Will we see beyond oppositions between tradition (like those of organized religion) and revolution into a sustainable evolution? Is this the moment where religion and psychological astrology can come to be seen as the complements they truly can be? As an Aquarian, I certainly hope so.
This essay was featured in the March 28, 2021 edition of The Sunday Paper. The Sunday Paper publishes News and Views that Rise Above the Noise and Inspires Hearts and Minds. To get The Sunday Paper delivered to your inbox each Sunday morning for free, click here to subscribe.