Astrology and Fortune-Telling—Windows to the Future?
Astrology is a form of divination that holds that the stars, the moon, and the planets significantly influence the lives of people on earth. Astrologers claim that the position of these celestial bodies at the time of one’s birth shapes his or her personality and future.
Though the roots of astrology can be traced to ancient Babylon, it remains popular. According to a 2012 survey in the United States, one third of those surveyed thought that astrology was “sort of scientific,” and 10 percent said that it was “very scientific.” Is it? No. Here is why.
The planets and stars emit no force that could affect humans the way astrologers say they do.
Often the predictions are so general that they could apply to anyone.
Astrological calculations today are made according to the ancient belief that the planets revolve around the earth. In fact, the planets revolve around the sun.
Predictions made by different astrologers for the same individual do not match.
Astrology classifies people under one of 12 categories, or zodiac signs, according to their date of birth. Because of changes in earth’s position in space over the centuries, the dates associated with the signs of the zodiac no longer correspond to when the sun passes through the constellations for which the signs were named.
The zodiac signs are said to give clues to a person’s character. In reality, people who have the same birthday do not have the same traits; one’s birth date reveals nothing about his or her personality. Instead of seeing people as they really are, astrologers judge a person’s behavior and character by a set of assumptions. Is this not a form of prejudice?
From ancient times, people have consulted fortune-tellers. Some practitioners looked for meaning in such things as the entrails of animals and humans or the way a rooster pecks at its grain. Others made projections based on patterns in tea leaves or coffee grounds. Today they use tarot cards, crystal balls, dice, and other means to “read” a person’s future. Is fortune-telling a reliable way to discern the future? No, it is not. Let us reason on the matter.
Consider the issue of consistency. The predictions of differing fortune-telling methods often contradict one another. Even when the same method is used, forecasts vary. For example, if a person asks two fortune-tellers the same question about the future based on the “reading” of the same cards, logically the answers should be the same. But often they are not.
Fortune-tellers’ methods or motives have come under suspicion. Critics say that the cards or crystal balls are mere props and that the fortune-teller reads the person’s reactions rather than the props. For example, a skilled fortune-teller will ask general questions and carefully watch for verbal and nonverbal clues that could reveal something about the client. The fortune-teller will then take credit for knowing facts and situations that the client has just unknowingly given away. Having won the client’s trust, some fortune-tellers have been able to obtain large sums of money from their customers.
WHAT THE BIBLE TELLS US
The practice of astrology and fortune-telling implies that our future is predetermined. But is it? The Bible tells us that we have the ability to choose what we believe or want to do and that our choices affect our future.—Joshua 24:15.
Worshippers of God have an added reason to reject astrology and fortune-telling—God condemns all forms of divination. In the Bible we find these words: “There should not be found in you anyone . . . who employs divination, anyone practicing magic, anyone who looks for omens, a sorcerer, anyone binding others with a spell, anyone who consults a spirit medium or a fortune-teller, or anyone who inquires of the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to Jehovah.” *—Deuteronomy 18:10-12.
^ The name of “the Most High over all the earth.”—Psalm 83:18.