On Friday it was Epiphany and there is no festival in Christianity that astrologers have been more concerned with than Epiphany. The story is well known, suddenly wise men “from the East” (“magi” the text says) appear in Jerusalem because they have seen a sign hat the new king of the Jews has been born. They have come to worship Him and want to know where to find Him. The sign that He was born was a star, and this has led to many astrological speculations about the nature of that star.

According to some, for example, the star would be a Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter (a “GC”), which incidentally took place in the year 7 BC.  Now that doesn’t sound too strange at first glance, if the wise men also had astrological knowledge, then they would have known that a GC always announces major changes. One might expect that this GC, given the importance of the event, would be a turning-point in the cycle of GCs. However, that is not the case only in the year ’74 AD the GCs go over to the Fire Signs which always announces the beginning of a radically new period of 800 years.


So there is no such connection, and if we read the text carefully, it raises the question whether all the attention of astrologers for the Star of Bethlehem is not simply based on a flawed understanding of religious symbolism. For it says that the Magi have already seen this star “in the East.” The East is traditionally the place of wisdom because that is where the light comes from. That in the place of wisdom a sign is given that the long awaited Messiah is born, seems very logical. But that doesn’t necessarily have to be something that fits into a known astrological cycle, on the contrary.

But even clearer is the continuation of the story. For when the Sages have understood from the Jewish scholars that according to tradition the long-awaited Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, they set off for this city. The star “that they  had already seen  in the East” goes out in front of them and comes to a standstill above the “place where the Child is located”. It will be clear that this cannot some planetary constellation or anything else of a known astrological nature, for the same light that they had already seen in the East now leads them from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. Bethlehem is about ten kilometers south of Jerusalem and so the Star seems to have made a turn.

Plus ultra

We cannot imagine anything astrological in this description, how could a Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter precede the wise men on their journey southwards to Bethlehem?? The conclusion must be that all astrologers’ speculation about the Star of Bethlehem is based on nothing, it is triggered by the tendency of astrologers  to want to reduce everything to astrology. But the point is that astrology is not the non plus ultra. Above or behind astrology there is the spiritual origin, which means that astrology cannot contain or describe everything and that also applies to the Star that indicates birth of Jesus.  Astrology is only traditional cosmological science, but it  cannot be elevated to the rank of a religion!!

Vergelijkbare berichten

Geef een reactie

Het e-mailadres wordt niet gepubliceerd. Vereiste velden zijn gemarkeerd met *