Reading horoscopes may seem like entertainment, but hidden beneath it is something much more sinister.
At the surface level, reading horoscopes appears to be something a person can do for fun and a good laugh, seeing what the “stars” will tell you about your day. Open your local newspaper and you will find a daily horoscope reading nestled right beneath the comics or crossword puzzle. If you don’t get the newspaper, it can be found in the “entertainment” section of an online news site.
The Church, however, does not believe astrology is “all fun and games.” In fact, the Church firmly believes that there is something much more sinister going on that can invite a presence of evil into a person’s life.
Astrology is an ancient practice that finds its roots before the birth of Christ in various pagan religions and has as a primary goal the prediction of the future based on the movement of the celestial bodies. This places astrology in the category of “divination” and comes with the underlying hope that if a person can know how a particular day will occur, they possess a sort of “power” over time. This is where the reading of horoscopes falls right into the plan of the devil.
God alone knows the future, while Satan and his minions do not. However, because they are spirits that have an amazing intellect, they can observe what happens on earth and offer individuals a prediction of what may happen. This is most overt in “palm readings” or “mediums” that actively seek the assistance of a spirit (a demon) to predict what will happen in a person’s life.
The Church has always strongly opposed the practice of astrology and the reading of horoscopes, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to ‘unveil’ the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone” (CCC 2116).
Several years ago, Bishop Donald W. Montrose, Bishop of Stockton, California, at the time, wrote a pastoral letter strongly condemning the reading of horoscopes.
Even though millions of people follow horoscopes with greater or lesser interest, this is still a type of fortune telling. Even if you say you do not believe in horoscopes, and only read your own for fun, you should abandon this practice. The daily horoscope can easily influence us from time to time. It is a way in which we open ourselves to the occult.
Pope Francis said in a homily last year, “A Christian does not read the horoscope to foresee the future; a Christian does not consult a fortune teller who looks into a crystal ball or reads your palm … We are men and women who walk towards a promise, the way Abraham walked towards a new land.” God is at our side and wants to lead us to a Promised Land. We simply have to let him do it and trust in his ways.