Connection Between Religion and Astrology

Religion vs. Astrology

Throughout history there have been numerous debates on whether astrology is a reliable source of knowledge, or if religions should be taken in without asking any questions. Both branches of knowledge often work hand in hand to create some sound views on the world and further beyond.

The connection between religion and astrology goes way back, and one of the simplest ways of knowing this is that the sky has always been filled with secrets and beautiful sights that have astounded most of mankind.

The starts, the sun and the moon, have always worked as guidance for people. Nomads use to travel across far regions guided only by what they perceived in the sky. Some cultures would only plant according to the change of seasons and what the heavens above would tell them. And all of them probably felt the influence on their behavior once the moon changed its course, even more so on the societies were the sea was nearby.

As a result, human beings started to think about their relationship with the universe, noticing a correlation between how the sun moves and their own projects on earth, such as planting or harvesting. Then came the division of time, by separating the day from the night, and the days even further up by creating seconds, minutes, hours, days, months and finally, years.

The study of religion involves a profound understanding of human nature, but also a great understanding of the universe and how it works. In fact, all main religions have spoken on their scriptures about this, without classifying it under the ‘astrology’ name. It can be said then, that astrology drew the origin of all ancient and not so ancient faiths in the world: from the Egyptians, to Babylonians, to Zoroastrian travelling down to the Mayan, the Aztec’s and the Incans. All ancient religions have one thing in common: the sun was the center of the faith.

Christianity

The interesting thing is that when reading the bible, one can find references to follow the sky, to observe the sun or to realize that there is something up there to look. And even though there are many psalms that talk about the skies and the universe, the main difference between Christianity and astrology was the notion of ‘Free will or Destiny’’. This is since all Christians alike think that god was master of everything, including their own will. So, it is not possible for mankind to have a say on their individual, or collective future, because free will means humans are capable to choose what they want to do, or whether to believe in god or not, and of course, this would put in danger one of the most ever lasting religions that has ever been created and its church.

Buddhism and Astrology

When studying Buddhism is easy to see the relationship between astrology and religion. This is because people are encouraged to wisely use the knowledge they can obtain to make their lives more meaningful, but only if they are in accordance with the teachings of the Buddha.

The Buddha did not make any pronouncement against astrology, in fact, he sometimes separated all the superficial questioning (and thus answering) that sometimes mankind maintains with the true spiritual awakening. Buddhism is one of the main religions that talks about the direct link between the vast energy of the cosmos and an individual human being. This can be shown when something or someone is born, because there is a pulsating energy that everything carries in order to exist, that comes straight from the universe. Thus, birthing is not the first sign of creation of a life, but a continuation on something that has existed before, now and will continue to exist as long as the karmic energy is not liberated to its final state.

Andean Cosmovision

The Andean Cosmovision materializes the connection between religion and astrology, because they believe that the Cosmos, or the Universe for that matter, expresses itself by giving sings to those who live in the material world for them to comprehend and act lovingly and accordingly to nature.

The Pachamama, for example, is often been thought of as the cosmic mother on earth, so, she is no longer seen as a separate entity between astrology or religion, on the contrary, she is the one that brings together both sides of the spectrum. Many centuries ago when this Cosmovision was at its peak, there was a strong religious and astrological believe on the connection of those sides, and humans were the ones selected to build temples in certain locations, under certain periods of time, and with specific instructions, in order for the shamans to perform sacred rituals that will enforce the relationship between the three spheres (this world, the Pachamama and the universe).

Lateran IV

Rome, 23-29 November 2015

Committee: Peter Clarke, (Southampton) Chair; Danica Summerlin (München) Secretary;
Brenda Bolton (London); Barbara Bombi (Kent); Maureen Boulton (Notre Dame);
Christoph Egger (Wien); Damian Smith (Saint Louis); Lila Yawn (Rome)

On Monday 30 November 1215 in the Basilica of St John Lateran, Innocent III brought the first assembly of the whole Church since the Council of Chalcedon (451) to a rousing finale by summoning all the delegates to unite in faith and by issuing Ad Liberandam, an encyclical calling for a crusade to liberate the Holy Land. This Council, fourth in the Lateran series but the twelfth ecumenical gathering of the Church in the Western tradition, included the five patriarchs or their representatives, together with more than one thousand bishops, abbots and other dignitaries, both ecclesiastical and secular. At each of the three plenary sessions held on 11, 20 and 30 November respectively, Innocent preached a set-piece sermon whilst, behind the scenes, delegates debated such major issues as who was more worthy to lead the Empire and how to contain the Albigensian heresy.

The accounts of eyewitnesses reveal that Innocent’s consecration of Santa Maria in Trastevere and celebrations for the anniversary of the dedication of the Vatican Basilica served not only to emphasize the history, majesty and ritual of the Church but also offered a welcome respite from the intensive discussions in the Lateran Palace. The Fathers of the Council promulgated seventy decrees, covering topics as diverse as heresy, Jewish-Christian relations, pastoral care and Trinitarian theology as well as ecclesiastical governance. Monks and secular clergy were to be reformed, the nascent mendicant orders welcomed to the Church and diocesan bishops instructed to implement far-reaching conciliar decisions across Christendom.

Eight hundred years on, Lateran IV still stands as the high-water mark of the medieval papacy, its political and ecclesiastical decisions enduring down to the Council of Trent whilst modern historiography has deemed it the most significant papal assembly of the Later Middle Ages. In November 2015, we have a unique opportunity to re-evaluate the role of this Council in the reform of the universal Church. Taking an inter-disciplinary approach, we shall investigate how its decisions affected the intellectual, cultural, social and religious life of the medieval world. We particularly encourage individual papers from disciplines such as art history, theology, canon law, crusade studies, literature and from those who work on relations between Jews and Christians, which we hope will broaden current interpretations of the events of the Council, their subsequent importance and long-term impact. Alternatively, three-paper session proposals on a common theme will also be most welcome.

Papers may be delivered in English, French, German, Italian or Spanish but must be limited to 30 minutes. Abstracts of no more than 200 words with all the necessary contact details should be sent no later than 30 November 2014.