Thursday, March 05, 2009

Zodiac Christ?

Anyone following this site will know that i think we can explore spirituality through the beliefs, practices and experience of all paths and traditions and as Christians find parallels and places we recognise form our own encounters with God through Jesus as the one who opens up the way to God. An area i have often found myself exploring at places like Mind Body Spirit fairs is the way personality types in things like Astrology or Tarot relate to ideas of growing into wholeness as Jesus expressed it, coming to Love God with all our strength, mind, heart and spirit.

The Re:Jesus website is designed to be a place that opens up exploration of Jesus from a range of perspectives, historical, artistic, spiritual etc so that people from any spiritual path or religion or none can enter into that journey. i was recently asked to put my experience of discussing personal development and spirituality with those exploring astrology as a similar path into a monthly blog series looking at the links between Jesus and the personality types associated with star signs. you can have a look ans see what you think by following this link http://www.rejesus.co.uk/site/module/zodiac_christ/

i am not surprised that this has raised questions for some Christians who have posted comments on the site after the march/Pisces edition. i think these questions are worth exploring and so thought I'd add a blog here where the issues can be raised and discussed at what ever length people wish.

i am always aware when i explain my approach to other beliefs, of whatever nature that some christian will view all other belief systems as a deception. For me centuries of Christian tradition and the biblical texts they are based on tell me God is found in many paths and spiritualities. not that they are all the same, they clearly are not, and therefore not everything in every tradition can be right. some post-modern thinkers might disagree with that. for me if there is a God then ultimately that limits truth to that which is consistent with God so not all things can be true. But not only do i think most spiritual paths have genuine insights of God, i am also aware that if even my Christian faith is true in seeing God most fully revealed in Jesus that is very different i saying i have all the answers or fully understand God. i am rather aware of my humanity and the limits it sets to my understanding. i think some of the concerns raised on Re:Jesus are around this issue

however even if you accept my view here i want to raise a question about how we come across and how context may change that. i think this issue is also present in some of the comments on the site. does it change the apparent message when i move from a discussion with people exploring astrology to a post on a christian run website? is this use of Astrological types a form of deception? i am i likely to be read as supporting interpretations of Astrology i may not actually hold to?

no doubt you can think of other questions, so please do raise them!

47 comments:

Pam said...

I was very involved with astrology before becoming a Christian, after becoming a Christian I left it alone for a couple of reasons.

One is that it is (or can be) very deterministic - who you are, your whole potential, can be read from your birth chart. This seems to conflict with the transformative nature of encountering Christ and that 'With God, anything is possible'.

Of course there is so much in the birth chart that almost anything can be read into it - which is the second reason I didn't feel I wanted to be involved with it any more - I was dubious about the fact that it offered 'truth' but in a very subjective way.

For both these reasons I am extremely dubious about the use of Myers Briggs personality typing of which you could say exactly the same.

However I think that for people who are on a spiritual path astrology will always be very attractive, not least because it is a system of knowledge that is open to anyone to learn - it doesn't rely on being psychic. So I guess that people who are open to learning about signs and planets and aspects are also open to learning about Jesus.

I always understood the Age of Pisces was associated with Christianity/Christendom and the Age of Aquarius with more open-ended spiritual exploration, with the crossover being about the year 2000, which is fascinating (or is it self fulfilling prophecy!)

Andrew Kenny said...

Interesting comments. I appreciate your comments Pam because of the insight you have due to your previous involvement.Thanks

Curunir said...

Hear, hear my man.

TonyTheProf said...

Interesting. I am a Christian who is also researching New Age and Neopagan beliefs, and I was at a meeting earlier this week when there was a lesson on Luis de La Lama part of which involved astrology, and the "age" we are in (which is in fact Pices not Aquarius!). I found that there was little or no understanding of the astronomical basis for the precession of the equinox, or indeed what it meant at all, despite the fact that one of the people present casts horoscopes. Trying to make sense of this, I think that astrology functions even with practitioners rather like the old fashioned logarithms in mathematics, where you could use logs to do multiplication with no idea of the underlying astronomical theory. Personally I'm not convinced in general, although the "Mars Effect" was considered in the recent BBC Focus Science Magazine, and the statistical case for that is certainly strong. But I think most horoscopes may function like cold readings, where people read what they want into them.

TonyTheProf said...

I heard you on the BBC Radio Beyond Belief recently. A very good discussion, and I liked the way in which you put a very fair Christian comment. The history of the witch trials mentioned was good but (naturally for a 30 min program with contemporary concerns) not as detailed as the In Our Time discussion (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/inourtime/inourtime_20041021.shtml).

One factor (necessary but not sufficient) which seemed to be missed but mentioned in In Our Time (and in many academic studies) was that the massive witch trials tended to happen where the legal chain of command was weak, and the local community was largely autonomous in handing out sentences, which is why the Inquisition (as a central authority) actually stopped trials in Northern Spain, and why the English ones didn't take off until the Civil War.

Also the distinction between witch trials and heresy trials in protestant areas was often very clear indeed. In Guernsey, when Perotine Massey was burned alive and pregnant during Mary's reign, it was for heresy, that is false belief, not witchcraft. And yet under Elizabeth, when the Channel islands were largely left to their own devices (and had French speaking Calvinists as Rectors!), the trials were for witchcraft, i.e., using magical powers etc.

Steve said...

Tony thanks for your comments, and lgad to hear of your research always good that people are doing that.
re beyond belief a lot of material gets edited out, so the point about order was raised, you got a bit i think when it was said that it was largely secular courts that tried witches what had also been said was that this was in areas that tended to have less governance. and yes not all heresy trials where for witchcraft some where. but you are right the programme couldn't do a lot of depth

Steve said...

Tony
as for the astrology and the procession of equinoxes, it surprise me that some folks don;t know about it but i think you are right. on the blog on Re:Jesus i think my scepticism over some claims is fairly clear (though not clear enough for some if you've seen some fo the comments from some Christians)which is why it gets down to Jungian personality stuff and not any form of prediction based on birth time and place.

Jon Lennart Aasenden said...
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Jon Lennart Aasenden said...

One thing people seem to forget is that astrology was "the art of reflection".

Each of the signs also represents organs in our body. When we then contemplate the fact that jesus was born "in a low place" (sacrum, the tailbone according to some sources) and ends his life at 33 at golgatha (the skull) - it should bring us closer to the true meaning of the astrological anchorpoints in the bible.

We have 33 vertbrae in our spine, whom all center around 12 nerve-pathways. These 12 control our biology and organs. These end around the pineal gland.

Now the female menstruation cycle use the moon as a synchronizer, just like the brain use the sun to synchronize it's operations. Surely it's not that hard to understand that the rest of the body use the planets in our solar system as objects of synchronization. When we peal away the layers of "veiling" and myth, it's actually quite fantastic - and a science that is not in conflict with the bible - but rather it brings purpose and sacredness back to our natural world. We somehow forget that the phrase "eco system" doesnt end in our forests. Nature depend on atmostphere, water, sunlight - who in turn depends on the sun, regulated by the moon, whom in turn (ad infinitum). The church fathers thought of the solar system as one big organism, a field of action with one purpose - to bring fourth "christ in you". If you violate the laws of nature, you feel the effect "on your own body". If you play ball and work to better yourself, the life force strengthens you.

Jesus also makes it perfectly clear, that it is "i am he whom assembles you in the womb". This, at least for me, is the christ. The very essence of life itself. The life force that powers all things, and that we all exist in (for it is in him we move, .. etc).

I have spent some 20 years studying this, but i still find clues, hints and revelation that makes me go "wow" :)

God bless you all

Steve said...

John

fascinating stuff, and much of it new to me. i certinaly resonate with connections between our physicality and spirituality so that science and spirit inform each other. and yes indeed we are eco-systems and God contains all eco-systems.
so much to ponder

Jon Lennart Aasenden said...

Indeed.
The cycle of the year was (and perhaps rightly so) concidered sacred. The archetypes (not jung, much more universal) we project onto the stars are natures true building blocks. In the words of plato:

"Perhaps there is a pattern set up in the heavens for one who
desires to see it, and having seen it, to find one in himself"

Personally i dont ponder the stars that much, but i find it jaw dropping to read early christian manuscripts (especially origenes and clement of alexandria). Christianity was mystical, there can be no doubt about it.

I mean, once we make the connection to our own bodies (the body being the temple of the spirit) - the rest of the chips fall into place.

Seven seals, lamb and lion.. in india they have seven chakras and cow and lion (you will find carvings of the lion and cow kneeling at the feet of God).

Take a look at chartres in paris. Wonderfull place. There is a stone figure of christ, holding the vesica pices - forming a ladder to heaven with seven steps :)

Evolution is not physical: it is spiritual. From adam (man as animal) to Christ (man made perfect).

It is the same mystery, just formulated differently in all the different cultures.

Like, say, Abraham.
Abraham - married to Sarah, but had a fling on the side with a free woman. From whos lineage christ decends.

In india this is Brahma, married to sara-swati. From where krishna decends (hence the staggering similarities in doctrine).

The good news in all this?

We are all a part of God (like paul said). He is not "out there", but rather "in here". We have this temporary personality covering it, but the body is powered on God-electricity.

One power, many forms :)

I'll be quiet now. I realize that this can be strong meat for some readers. I left the church a long time ago because i .. discovered that the christianity that was once created, is not the one we have now. We have lost so much, it's almost beyond belief.

Jon Lennart Aasenden said...

"How to see God in 10 seconds"
http://bodhati.wordpress.com/2008/10/19/how-to-see-god-in-10-seconds/

Steve said...

JOn

thanks again for your input. very busy at present so slow to repsond.

the challenge of our age for those who would follow Christ within the church is to recapture its mystical nature.

Adam and Christ in platonic terms Christ is the type from which adam is copied but then in taking on adam's flesh becomes the new type in which those decended from Adam can become as Adam was meant to become, like the one, Christ, in whose image he was formed. this is not some legal transaction but a mystical union, hence the ture curch is both christ's body and christ's bride. this is why the coming of the new jerusalem, heaven on earth is also the marriage of christ and the church, the two become one, the new adam and eve. but as paul says this is also the liberation fo the whole of creation from bondage to decay.

other religous tradtionas the world over do of course contain such themes, which is why the ealry church saw them as, in justin's phrase, schoolmasters for christ and why so much of the religions in which the curch was birthed in each place have been incorporated into Christianity.

i think it is really only duirng the modern period, from aroudn the time of the reformation that this understandign was lost amid attempts, understandable in that context, to make faith a rational excerice.

Jon Lennart Aasenden said...

Ah yes, the doctine of "the image". It's egyptian in origen, but you probably know that. Everything is essentially an image. A phrase, a "word" is likewise a series of letters that is portable. DNA is likewise a portable image. It is very clever.

I am impressed. It is rare that i meet christians with the insight that you have. Perhaps i would not have left the church if it did. Everywhere i looked all i could find was people content with "milk in christ" to use a known phrase.

Ireneus wrote quite a few things about the "type" and archetypes. I especially liked the phrase where he admits that Jesus was actually typified from baal. The symbol of baal was the cross, and the passion of baal is more or less identical to the christ cycle.

This explains why the first christians were to negative towards the jews - because EL had many sons, ammon, javeh, baal (12 natureally).

I wrote an extensive paper about that one, tracing the cult of moses back to the universal religion: The worship of shiva and his son Ganesh. The opening verse of the gospel of john is taken from that.

Here is the article:
http://bodhati.wordpress.com/2008/07/15/who-did-jesus-call-for/

This was published in reformed catholic online magazine.

Anyways, it is very interesting talking to you - rare.. i miss that.

McMurdo said...

I stumbled upon your blog. I want to tell you 2 things, one positive, one negative.

The negative first. I like your zeal and your desire to reach people. You are no doubt doing more than most. But I find your approach is too sympathetic to occult-related beliefs (of which astrology is one). I had an interest in astrology, palmistry and some similar phenomena before I was a Christian and have renounced them.

"When you come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, don't follow the disgusting practices of the nations that are there. Don't sacrifice your children in the fires on your altars; and don't let your people practice divination or look for omens or use spells or charms, and don't let them consult the spirits of the dead. The LORD your God hates people who do these disgusting things, and that is why he is driving those nations out of the land as you advance. Be completely faithful to the LORD." Then Moses said, "In the land you are about to occupy, people follow the advice of those who practice divination and look for omens, but the LORD your God does not allow you to do this. Instead, he will send you a prophet like me from among your own people, and you are to obey him.
(Deuteronomy 18:9-15)

But cowards, traitors, perverts, murderers, the immoral, **those who practice magic**, those who worship idols, and all liars---the place for them is the lake burning with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."
(Revelation 21:8)

More positively, you were - in a very small way - partly responsible for my coming to Christ many years ago at University. I appreciate you for that. I probably only met you once, but I have often wondered what you are doing. Now I know!

Jon Lennart Aasenden said...
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Jon Lennart Aasenden said...
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Jon Lennart Aasenden said...

McMurdo: Sorry to reply to someone elses post, but that has to be the most uninformed reply i have ever seen in a context like this. I am completely shocked at the level of density you are demonstrating here.

First, have you bothered to read anything of the comments here? If you actually call a measurement unit of the sky "esoteric" and "witchcraft" .. Seriously, how old are you? Have you bothered to study the history of your own religion? It should be self evident that whatever you might believe about the bible is irrelevant -- it is what the authors meant that can only be called "true christianity". And you think you can just jump in and read a 2000 year old manuscript without any knowledge of their symbols, science or mode of thought? And despite the fact that ALL the church fathers, all the jews and every other religion in the past tells us that there are exoteric (literal) and esoteric (inner) teachings -- you refute them? On what grounds? Are you actually so arrogant as to say that you know these texts better than those who wrote them?

Let's see what the first christians believed:

All the stars and heavenly bodies are living, rational beings,
having souls. -Source: Church father Origenes, De Principiis, Chapter 7.

As our body, while consisting of many members, is yet held together by one soul, so the universe is to be thought of as an immense living being, which is held together by One Soul, the power and the Logos (word) of God. -Source: Church father Origenes

It's people like you that made me, and many others, leave the church. You are blind, small minded and to some extent -- stupid.

Here:

"And he deposed the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places at the cities of Judah and round about Jerusalem; those also who burned incense to Baal (the lord), to the sun, and the moon, and the constellations, and all the hosts of heaven. -Source: The Bible, Kings 2.23:5"

And:
[The lord has] given commandments to all the stars -Source: Isaiah 14:12
The stars have names given to them by the Lord  -Source: Psalms 147:4
The heavens and their constellations will not give their light -Source: Isaiah 13:10
And them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops -Source: Zephaniah 1:5
Seek the Creator of the seven stars of the Pleiades and those of Orion. -Source: Amos 5:8

There you are, straight from the bible itself: ALL THE HOST OF HEAVEN... and they are THE STARS, CONSTELLATIONS, MOON AND SUN! So remember that the next time you sing praise to God and his host.

Jon Lennart Aasenden said...

MacMurdo:

And let me tell you what i mean with "small minded". Because i mean it in every sense of the word.

Now then, you live in some shire, probably in england. This shire is a part of a nation, which is a part of a world - but where is the world? It is a part of the solar system, which in turn is a part of a galactic arm, which in turn is a part of a galxy. And it goes on and on and on. Every time you inhale you take in millions of particles that was once a part of a star. Yet you truly believe that the universe is "out there". Nitwit, you are the universe!

What you believe to be witchcraft, is actually "the science of our eco-stystem". Just like the sun and the moon affects our planet, they in turn are affected by other planets. And our solar system likewise move around inside the galactic arm - and is likewise affected.

The religion of your Jesus, if we entertain the idea that such a man ever existed, was judaism (actually it was not, but hey, lets go with that).

If you take the time to educate yourself regarding jewish history, i would suggest you read the works of the jewish historian Flavius Josephus -- you will discover that the same temple that jesus taught: had a massive zodiac right on the floor. You will also discover that the candle stick of seven bars represented the seven planets and that the temple was decorated "with every hidden meaning" (Flavius Josephus, War of the Jews, Book 5, Chapter 5, Section 5-6). THIS was the temple in which Jesus and his family belonged.

Now contemplate the meaning of the words:
The son of man standing in the midst of the seven golden lampstands (chakras)”, ‘his face “like the sun shining in full strength” -Source: The New Testament, Rev I:12

But then comes the kicker. For Jesus also said: The kingdom of heaven is within ... so what can this mean?

It means, that we human beings are created equal to the cosmos around us. The laws of the universe are identical to the laws within. This has nothing to do with pagan deities, murderers and whatnot. The fact that christianity is responsible for the murder of 50.000.000 human beings, that doesnt bother you? Seriously?

Our solar system likewise has "weather", and just like nature around us have it's ups and downs - so does our solar system. And when that happens -- it affects us as well, because we are children of this solar system.

When you finally see the fullness of this system, the fullness of christ -- then the image is raised in you. Not the image of some pagan god, but an image of peace and understanding.

As for quoting the old testament, seriously -- take a look at the slave laws there, do you really think god likes slavery? What about rape and selling of young women, that's also there .. Dont anchor your faith in a book! "FOR WE ARE NOT APOSTLES AFTER THE LETTER!"

Open your eyes a bit, dont be so narrow minded.

Steve said...

john and MacMurdo

OK in thr middle of moving house so no time to do either of you justice. thank you both for posting, i am happy for folks to disagree even do so heatedly on my blog, but woul really like folks to not use phrases that are in some way insults! so John do disagree but please refrain from calling other posters to my blog small minded. i know compared to many other sites that is mild so you may not even see it as an insult but i prefer not here. when i get back on line hopefully bhy the weekend after my connection goes here tomorrow, i'll enageg properly, looking forward to it.

Jon Lennart Aasenden said...

I censored myself twise, but fine. I didnt come here to take over your blog in any way, i was just.. shocked, that someone would go after you at that level. Old habit, couldnt help it.

I will never agree with mcMurdo, but i will fight to the death for his right to say it.

McMurdo said...

JLA
I think you're right - we're not going to agree. I may be small minded and plenty worse, but the Lord accepts and forgives me even though I don't deserve it. And I'm very thankful.

Quote:

I will never agree with McMurdo, but i will fight to the death for his right to say it.

I appreciate this.

Steve. What a time to move house!!!!

Trust it's going well.

Jon Lennart Aasenden said...

McMurdo: I dont have a fight with God. Nor do i "believe" in the zodiac (it's just a measurment system). The real zodiac, if we can use such a word, is inside us. Our personality is constructed from many aspects.

If there is a key difference between our age and the ancient world, it is that science and religion was not seperated back then. This is the confusion we have to deal with today. Also governement and religion was not seperated. And the bible is no different, it has been altered and edited over time.

As for God, it is everywhere. It is humans that limit God. We put labels on it and call it "religion" and we imagine that one religion is better than the other. The word "limitation" and "restriction" is a keyword here, because it is actually a part of how our brain works. It makes us "blind". Well, the blind can be healed.

I am sorry that i used bad words towards you. People are different and will approach the divine from different angles. But the age of demons and witchcraft is long gone. There was once a time when a simple bacteria infection was a sign of punishment from God. But now we know better.

I was born into this world, and shaped by it. The idea that i should have to ask forgiveness on the basis of knowledge i could not have, through actions that were in most cases inevitable - to please a description of God that quite frankly is an insult to the majesty of divinity, will never happen. God governs all things but he does not lord over them. Human do that, with much suffering.

To me at least, life is a school. And i have far higher thoughts about God than a bully or a butcher. God is a friend i can always turn to, but without fear or worry.

The only God i have ever known is good, kind, patience and eager to teach ALL. I know no other God. Nor will i ever accept any other God than Love.

Peace be with you

愉快 said...
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Steve said...

Well

coming back briefly - thanks McMurdo for your wishes re the move all going OK but managed to move into our house in a blizzard ;o)

re the issues you and john raise
i think i take a different position to both of you. firstly McMurdo - glad i played some small part in your faith journey would like to know more if at any point you want to share that, and not just about that personally conenction, people's faith journeys are worth hearing.
as to your point, my reading of scripture is that God speaks to people through all sorts of means regrdless of whether everything about them are true to God's own character. so i don;t see any contradiciton between not advocating fortune telling - though you need to work out how the Urmim and Thurmim fit in too - and the idea that those who devloped the star signs genuinely expressed insights into human personality. and you'll find it clear in the Zodiac Christ series introduction that for various reasons i don't think Astrology can tell us stuff that way anyway regradless of the fact i'd be opposed to it doing so even if i thought it did work. it is similar in that regard to Paul quoting poetry in praise of Zeus cause he saw it revealed genuine insights about God but it would not be right to conclude form that Paul adovcated worship of Zeus.

John you are i think right to remind us that magic science and religion were all bound up together in thr thought of past ages and this does influence how we view all three today. however i personally don't think that explains away magic as pre-scientific superstition. i think in a world whivh is natuarlly spiritual such phenomenon can be and sometiems is real. this does not mean it is always real, often it can be projection and self-delusion. i think sometimes it can also be God at work in those who interpret it as something magical.

建霖 said...
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Steve said...

thanks for your comment and for puting it in a langauge other than your own so we can read it, much appreciated

PierreJ_Goodell said...

Actions speak louder than words. ........................................

1hose韻如ak09r_cruickshan said...
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虹玟 said...

I do like ur article~!!!...................................................

佳穎盛卿 said...
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xiaopywsp said...

However I think that for people who are on a spiritual path astrology will always be very attractive, not least because it is a system of knowledge that is open to anyone to learn - it doesn't rely on being psychic. So I guess that people who are open to learning about signs and planets and aspects are also open to learning about Jesus.

Elvi107sS_Scholten0 said...
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火吟 said...
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健豪 said...
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建銘建銘 said...

Virtue dwells not in the tongue but in the heart. ............................................................

Steve said...

aware that i am getting lots of comments in chinese. very happy for anyone to post comments but whilst i have left the last post cause it has an english posting as well, i will remove any that are purely in chinese.

ShilaLong嘉雯 said...

Say not all that you know, believe not all that you hear. ............................................................

陳卓人 said...
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tgibson said...

nice to know you, and glad to find such a good artical!.........................

佳玲佳玲 said...
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Steve said...

t gibson, many thanks for your comment

馨裕 said...
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吳婷婷 said...
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Revolt Collective said...

Hi Steve,
I found you on the EV site (http://www.emergentvillage.com/weblog/brown-where-the-edges-meet) and I am not sure if you have seen the film Furious Love. It's a documentary and the end of the film is all about approaching the New Age spheres of life with love, and realizing that those in those circles are way more connected, using "spiritual gifts" way more than most churches are today. Rather than shunning and shutting down their gifting, the film has a scene where a man sees "the man on the white horse with a sword in his hand" coming to him. It's an amazing scene in the film that I will never forget.

Check it out here:
http://www.furiouslovefilm.com/

Thanks for your time.
--
Joel Stephens
http://www.revolttowards.com

billydakidd2010 said...

can anyone else feel love for god and his love for them. can you breath in love and the hairs on your body stand up. can you ask your self ;)a question and get the answer. do you sence the truth when you see hear taste touch smell think and know. have you read about metaphysics hands on healing does anyone get the message ... are u also one with all around YOU knowing everything for a reason all to his plan all the time ? have you found your higher self can u heal your self from negitive energy block it repeal it ????? sorry so many questions....more to come...

魏育如 said...

Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.............................................................