Astrology and the Worship of Exploding Gas

Astrology is a form of divination which attempts to forecast earthly events and categorise people’s personality traits according to the alignment of stars. It began during the Babylonian empire (c. 2000 BC) during a time of intense superstition. At that time, people had two misguided beliefs about the stars:

  1. That the stars rotate around the Earth and change their position in regard to the Earth with the seasons.
  2. That the stars exert a powerful force upon the Earth.

These two foundational beliefs resulted in two corollary beliefs:

  1. The belief that the stars have a profound impact on world events and personal fortunes.
  2. The belief that the stars have a formative effect on the shaping of the personalities of newborn babies.

Let me briefly examine each of these beliefs. Firstly, the two foundational beliefs.

  1. The belief that the stars rotate around the Earth and change their position in regard to the Earth with the seasons.

Obviously, this is not true. It is the Earth’s orbit around the sun over the course of a year which changes our perspective of the stars and brings different star constellations into alignment with the sun.  Furthermore, the constellations (whose vague shapes require a great deal of imagination to begin with) don’t actually exist in those shapes in the three-dimensional universe. We are viewing the stars as if they are diamonds on a flat, two-dimensional black sphere encircling the Earth, whereas they exist in a three-dimensional space with an unimaginably huge depth of field. The stars in any so-called constellation are nowhere near each other and, if we could travel just a few hundred lightyears in any direction from our current position, the ‘shape’ of these constellations would completely disappear. The constellations that many people are so obsessed with, simply don’t exist in three-dimensional space, and are simply a random product of our viewing perspective.

  1. The belief that the stars exert a powerful force upon the Earth.

This is also demonstrably not true. The stars are so incredibly, unbelievably distant from us that they do not exert any scientifically measurable force upon us. The closest star, Proxima Centauri (a red dwarf star about an eighth of our Sun’s mass) is 4.24 light-years distant from us. This is the distance that light travels in 4.24 years. Let me explain.

Light travels at about 300,000 kms per second (that’s right, per second!). That’s the equivalent of EIGHT times around the Earth in a single second. Proxima Centauri is so far away, that the light from that star, travelling at that astronomical speed of 300,000 kms per second, takes 4.24 years to reach Earth. To further put this vast distance into perspective, if you fired a bullet at Proxima Centauri (and you somehow cancelled out the gravitational effect of Earth on that bullet) it would take the bullet, travelling at 2000 km per hour, about 2.3 million years to reach that star! (2,291,095 years to be precise). That’s because Proxima Centauri is 40.14 trillion kilometres from Earth (or 40 million million kilometres). To put this into further perspective, the fastest manned spaceflight to date was Apollo 10, which reached 39,897 kms per hour (about 20 times the speed of a bullet). Travelling at that velocity, it would take a spacecraft 114,850 years to reach Proxima Centauri.

But that’s just our closest star – a mere 4.24 light years away. Many stars are thousands, millions or even billions of light years distant. These vast, unimaginable distances mean that the stars do not exert ANY influence upon us in any scientifically measurable dimension – gravitational or otherwise.

Now let us examine the two corollary beliefs of astrology:

  1. The belief that the stars have a profound impact on world events and personal fortunes.
  2. The beliefs that stars have a formative effect on the shaping of the personalities of newborn babies.

Neither of these superstitious beliefs has any factual basis. Not only are the stars so unimaginably distant so that they exert no physical force upon the Earth, neither do they exert any spiritual force. Stars are merely thermo-nuclear furnaces, gradually consuming themselves in an ongoing fiery explosion. They do not determine world events. They do not shape the personalities of newborn babies. They do not determine your fortunes on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. They are just huge bonfires in space.

Of course, the weekly horoscopes that you might read in a newspaper or on a website also factor in the current alignment of planets in their predictions of your upcoming fortunes. But this is equally ridiculous. Planets are inanimate lumps of rock and gas orbiting the sun, between 50 million and 3 billion kilometres from Earth. They exert no mystical force upon your life. They don’t determine whom you will meet next week, what will happen to your bank account or whether you will have a falling out with a friend!

The superstitious predictions of astrologers based upon the alignment of stars and planets is an archaic vestige of an ancient, superstitious society which had no scientific understanding of these celestial bodies and which attributed mystical powers to them. Similarly, the naïve categorisation of personality types based upon people’s ‘star signs’ is based solely on the shapes of the supposed star constellations when viewed from Earth’s perspective along with certain attributes that were attributed to those imaginary shapes of animals or objects in the ancient world. We now understand that these star sign ‘shapes’ (scorpions, bulls and crabs, etc) don’t actually exist in the three-dimensional universe, but are merely illusions of perspective when the relevant stars are viewed from Earth. In reality, the individual stars that supposedly comprise a star sign constellation are nowhere NEAR each other.

Furthermore, it surely surpasses the limits of common sense to suppose that everyone on Earth who is born during the same four-week period has basically the same personality!

“But the personality types of different star signs are real!” I hear you say. “Just about everyone I know is true to their star-sign personality!”

That’s because the star-sign personality descriptions are couched in such broad terms that almost everyone can identify with at least some aspects of their supposed star-sign personality. We also tend to disregard those aspects of our star-sign that don’t apply to us, and even take on additional charact traits from other star-signs. For example, someone might say, “I am a Virgo with a few aspects of Libra, because I was born towards the end of September”. In this way, many people rationalise the obvious discrepancies between their own personality and their star-sign.

Astrology should have no place in an enlightened, scientific society. Our forebears worshipped the sun, moon and stars. We should not. We now understand the true nature of these celestial bodies and we should, by now, have cast off the ancient, naïve superstitions surrounding them. The fact that astrology is still given such credence by so many people today is a sad reflection of both their lack of scientific understanding and their intrinsic desire to place their faith in some kind of guiding power above and beyond the struggles of their mortal lives.

If you are looking for a higher power to guide and direct your path, you would do well to turn away from the worship of exploding balls of gas in the cosmos and look to the Creator of those stars and of the whole universe. Instead of worshipping the creation, we ought to worship the all-powerful One who made it in the first place and who created us to know Him.

If you are interested in more fascinating facts about the stars and the universe, you might want to check out my novel, “The Stars That Beckon”, which is currently available for FREE here:


  1. Glyn Jones

    I agree with your comments about the stars but I think you will find that astrology actually is about the planets with the stars just as a background. Also, the character of a person is deemed by astrology to be the combination of where all the planets were at the time of a person’s birth, but their personality, the outward manifestation of their character is deemed by astrology to be determined by their ascendant, which changes every few hours. To preach to astrologers you need to investigate their world view beyond newspaper astrology or you will get no traction at all