Gospel and Astrology?

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You are invited to:    

December 2011 - you may see an updated version of this presentation at my Lectures Website (bottom). 

The OKC Omniplex Planetarium’s
Christmas Show and
The Gospel in the Stars

Presented and Performed by John Ensworth  

When:  Tuesday, December 16th 2003,  doors close at  7:00pm

Where:  The Omniplex Kirkpatrick Planetarium,
The SE corner of 50th St. and M.L.K. Blvd. Next to the Zoo
(Enter at the west entrance near to the big flags
 (not the Omnidome/east entrance))

How Much:          Adults           :  $4.00
                Seniors 61+  :  $3.00
        Youths 6-12 :  $2.00
        Children 3-5:  $2.00
pay John at the door
RSVP optional but helpful:     250-4250      or     johnensworth@earthlink.net

Go below for a transcript.

Everyone Welcome, bring a friend!

          In the Christmas Show you’ll explore the possible astronomical origins of the Star of Wonder that led the Magi (you’ll learn who they were) to visit the newborn Christ.   (45min) 

            In the Gospel in the Stars, you’ll see an expansion on the ideas put forth in the Christmas Show. You’ll explore the possibility that the entire idea of astrology and the zodiac was God’s in the first place, and was set there to give word of the coming Savior to all the world.  (20 min)

Psm 19:1  The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows and proclaims His handiwork.

Transcript from the OKC Omniplex Planetarium Show, The Gospel in the Stars
 by John Ensworth last delivered December 16th, 2002 -- 7pm.


What is the Zodiac? (Greek = Circle of Animals).  It is the 12 constellations (not all animals) that lie on a line called the ecliptic.  There are 12 figures each covering 30 degrees of the 360 degree circle of the sky.

The Ecliptic is the line around the sky that is the projection of the nearly flat plane of the solar system (with the planets orbiting like a bb's rolling around on a plate).   The stars that we have made into the constellations of the zodiac just happen to lie behind where the sun, moon and planets stay.

 A quick background note on constellations:

In 1929 the IAU set down 88 official constellations,  Now the constellation Ophiuchus (between Scorpius and Sagittarius) and almost Orion are officially on or very near to the ecliptic.  (There is some variation in the planet and lunar location N and S of the ecliptic that put them ‘in’ other constellations.)


What is Astrology?   The telling or foretelling of people's personalities/futures based on the place of the sun, moon and planets among the stars.  It involves the concept of synchronicity which has lately been coined by Jung.    Astrology as it exists today was formalized about 3000 to 4000 years ago.

The tower of Babel was probably a tower built for astrological worship/foretelling.  (Depends on if you translate the Hebrew as  'it was built to reach the heavens'  ' or it was built unto the heavens (dedicated to the heavens)'.   God didn't like that much!

The current AGE

Back to the science of the sky:  Due to the tilt of the earth's axis with respect to the plane of the solar system (23.5 degrees),  the ecliptic varies up to 23.5 degrees above and below the celestial equator (the place in the sky that would be overhead if you were standing on the Earth's equator). 

The crossing points (two of them of course) where the Ecliptic and the Equator meet, are called the The Vernal and Autumnal  Equinox.  At the Vernal Equinox, the sun is moving northward day after day, days are getting longer (and are exactly 12 hours in length on the equinox) and Spring begins.  At the Autumnal Equinox, the sun is heading southward, days are getting shorter, and Fall begins.    The Summer Solstice is the place where the sun (in the Northern Hemisphere) is as far north of the equator as it can get (23.5 degrees), and Summer begins.  The Winter Solstice is the opposite. 

  So what is your sign? Where the sun was when you were born - theoretically.

But here is the REST of the story

The Earth's axis has a 26,000 year wobble called Precession.    Since there are 12 signs, and whole reference system slides around due to this wobble every 26,000 years, then the constellations are 'off' by one about every 2,000 years of time.  Since the 'official' constellations of astrology by date were set down about 3,000 years ago, the location of the sun is about  1.5 constellations to the west of what you are said to be.   So if you are born under the sign of Leo, then the sun is actually beyond cancer and into Gemini.   BUT it'll all come back around again in about 23,000 years.

 The Ages are defined by what constellation contains the Vernal Equinox for this 2,000 years due to this wobble.  We just left (based on the original 30 degree divisions of the constellations the Age of Pisces and have entered the Age of Aquarius (in about 1950).  Based on the 1929 constellation boundaries though, we will be in the Age of Pisces for about another 400 years. 

A quick side note:

The Christian Fish might come from this Age...Christian Fish – some label it a pagan fertility symbol, it is also said to be a secret symbol drawn and completed in the dirt to allow Christians to identify each other during times of Roman persecution, and it is also said to be taken from the location of the vernal equinox (the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius) or the location of the Star of Bethlehem ( very busy spot in the sky!).
{Aside: Here is a zipped up QuickTime movie of the triple conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in Pisces in 7 B.C. that might have been the Star of Bethlehem. (Created by myself using Starry Night Pro).   Download it  (4.7mb download - will be 12mb when unzipped)})


Our base assumption in finding the gospel in the stars consists of the following.

Constellation origins span recorded history and before.  Much of what we have as constellations are Greek and Roman in origin and before they Babylonian in origin. 

Orion has origins to 4000BC and older – predating written history.

 Virtually all ancient civilizations, even those older than the Babylonian empire, had the same twelve signs (or recognizable derivatives) in the same order (as we'll see below). 



Turning to the Bible:

We know that  Job is the oldest book in the Bible and makes many mentions of the stars and constellations including Orion, the Pleiades and the star Arcturas plus ‘Mazzzaroth’ = the Zodiac constellations as a whole.

  Job 38:31-33   Can you bind the chains of [the clusters of stars called] Pleiades, or loose the cords of [the constellation] Orion?  Can you lead froth the signs of the zodiac in their season?  Or can you guide [the stars of ] the Bear with her young?  Do you know the ordinances [laws] of the heavens?  Can you establish their rule upon the earth?

  He somehow knew of the coming savior:  Job 19:25  For I know that my Redeemer and Vindicator lives, and at last He [the Last One] will stand upon the earth.  (Isa 44:6, 48:12)

  God/Jesus set the sky in place:  Gen 1:14-16  And God said, Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens and separate the day from the night, and let them be signs and tokens [of God’s provident care], and [to mark] seasons, days, and years.  (Gen 8:22)

  God assigned His own names to the stars :  Psm 147:4   He determines and counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by their names.

  Arabic tradition states that Seth (Adam’s grandson) and Enoch named the constellations.

  Gen 1:14-16  (stars)  … let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years

  Psm 19:1-2  The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.   Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.

  Rom 1:20-23  For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is , His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification],  because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and godless in their thinking [ with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened.  Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves].  And by them the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God were exchanged for and represented by images, resembling mortal man and birds and beasts and reptiles.


The skies might, in fact, proclaim the glory of God- the plan of salvation.  Remember, that before street lights, TV, and indoor lighting, the night sky was deep, complex and a dominant form of night time entertainment.   What a great way to communicate with the world. 


This attempt was popularized by E. W. Bullinger and J. A. Seiss during the 1800’s.

 Other links and citations can be found at the very bottom...




Interpretations *



A Female Virgin

The Virgin Mary



Sin must be paid for- the balance of good an evil  (done away with by the cross)



Sin brings Death



Christ Destroying Sin


A Goat-Fish Combo

  Christ’s Sacrifice


Water pourer

Living Water being poured out (Noah’s flood = purification of the water)



God’s remnant, Fisher of men



A Sacrifice in the Old Covenant



Resurrection (When Taurus rises, Scorpius sets/disappears)



The Dual Nature of Christ – God and Man



Gathering of redeemed



The King, the Lion of the House of Judah - Christ

 * Modified by consensus of many sources.

  Where do we begin?  Virgo and Eastward tells the story (from the present vernal equinox) NOT Aries (old Vernal Equinox)  as is labeled in astrology tables.

 The [  ]'s are the attempt to gleam the original role (IF it ever existed) from the theme or form of the majority of ancient constellation meanings in the hopes that they all reflect a more ancient origin or the Holy Spirit's prompting.


We’ll break the 12 constellations into 3 groups of 4 each.

            Group 1  The Reedeemer

            Group 2  People

            Group 3  His Final Plan

  ****      The First 4 = The Nature of Christ, His Work, and his Triumph over Satan/Sin/Death.


VIRGO:  The Virgin    - the location of the Autumnal Equinox 

  click to see larger, the green line is the ecliptic


[The Virgin Mary – and the seed of life,  Coma (Berenices) a woman holding a baby. ]

            A universally recognized Maiden with MANY identities:

Egypt- Isis (helped create the Milky Way)

Chaldean Ishtar, “Queen of Stars”

One of Solomon’s wives

India – mother of the great god Drishna

Greek – Persephone, daughter of Zeus and Demeter (Ceres), goddess of the harvest

            (Abducted by Pluto to be queen of the underworld, her mother grieved and stopped life from growin on the land, Zeus solved the problem by arranging that she spend 1/3 of the year in the underworld (near the sun and invisible) and 2/3rds in the heavens (visible at night some time)). 


LIBRA:  The Scales

click to see larger, the green line is the ecliptic

[The choice between a life of works (good out weighing evil) or a life by grace – a gift of freedom given by God through Jesus.  Sin must be paid for somehow.]

            Time of equal night and day – the location of the Autumnal Equinox 3000 years ago.     Also the balance of justice in human affairs as well as the balanced arrangement of Nature’s laws

Egyptian in origin probably -

Hebraic = Moznayim or “Scales” the “Balance” in which Belshazzar, Nebuchadnezzar’s son was ‘weighed’ and ‘found wanting’ (Dan 5:27)

Also Pluto’s chariot used to carry Virgo to Haydes.


SCORPIUS : The Scorpion

   click to see larger, the green line is the ecliptic

[Sin brings death. That’s the price.    Hebrew: the Deadly Foe – Satan or his sting.  The foe Jesus defeated. ]

            Orion feared this monster and flees the sky as it rises.

            The Birthplace of Mars  (Antares = rival of Mars or similar to Mars)

            Regarded as the source of storms

            Israel : Sign of the tribe of Dan

            Originated as far back as 5,000 B.C. by Euphratean astronomers (one of the 6 original zodiac constellations).

            Israelites ‘Akrabh’ = the Scorpion  , also in Egypt, Mayans, Greek, Persia, Turkey, India

            Maui’s fishhook to Polynesian people and was used to pull up the island of New Zealand 



    click to see larger, the green line is the ecliptic


[Dual nature – a Christ picture – firing an arrow into the heart of death.]

            Half man and half horse- an archer.                 (A Centaur)

            Euphrateans – the Archer Nergal , the god of war

            India – a Horse’s head with a fan of lions tails


The Next 4  The Fruits of Christ’s Finished Work, His position as our mediator.  The relationship between Christ and his Church.


Water Domain:  



  click to see larger, the green line is the ecliptic


[Another dual nature picture- The sacrificial goat/lamb that Jesus was for all time.]

            One of the prehistoric constellations   

Bacchus’s goat disguise as he dove into the Nile river to hide from a marauding monster – he got a fish tail for swimming.

            Ancient Chinese was and Ox, then became a Goat-Fish.

            Egyptian  water god bearing a goat’s horns

            A Goat by the Persians, Turks, Syrians and Arabians 


   click to see larger, the green line is the ecliptic


  [The source of living water.  His Holy Spirit.   Also Noah’s Flood- cleansing and world destruction by that account.]

God of the sea.

            Arabians – a mule carrying two water buckets, or just a water bucket

            Egyptians – Monius (derived from muau or ‘water’)

            A water bucket to the Persians, Israelites, Syrians, and the Turks.

            A Chinese emperor Tchoun Hin, who reigned during a great flood named it for the flood- Noah’s Flood is associated with this constellation as is a great flood sent by Zeus.


PISCES   the location of the Vernal Equinox in today’s age.

    click to see larger, the green line is the ecliptic


[The sign for the Church, the ‘age’ of Christ. Therefore the Bride of Christ bought by his Blood.  A picture of two churches – the Old Testament and the New Testament covenants.]

            Another disguise for a Greek god – two fishes that swam away in the Nile.

            “Leaders of the Celestial Host” due to the location of the V.E.

            Hebrew “Two Fishes”  (sign of the tribes Simeon and Levi).

            It was also significant to the early Christians and it is said to represent the “Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes” 




     click to see larger, the green line is the ecliptic


  [ The Sacrifice for all (again). The final sacrifice.  The high and elevated deliver.]

            Formerly the location of the Vernal Equinox

            Aries – the golden ram that saved the life of Phrixus

            Hebraic – named the month Nisan (March-April) when the Israelite slaves ere released from Egypt to follow Moses into the wilderness  - 40 years later a ram’s horn brought down the walls of Jericho.

            A Ram or Sheep to the Arabians, Syrians, Persians and Turks.


 The final 4 bring us to great judgment and the conclusion of God’s plan for a sinful world.



   click to see larger, the green line is the ecliptic


[Resurrection (Scorpius setting),  Also hints at the coming of Christ since the front half of the Bull is coming out of Aries (Facing East).    The fleece came from a ram that saved the children Phyrixis and Hella.]

            Jupiter’s (Zeus)’s disguise he used to possess the fair Europa (Pasiphe).

            Also associated with the Argonaut Jason that was later sacrificed to become the Golden Fleece.

            Druids held their “Tauric” festival when the sun entered this constellation boundary.

            Egyptians = bull god Osiris   (The Chinese, however saw this as part of a White Tiger) 



      click to see larger, the green line is the ecliptic


  [Castor the Judge and Coming Ruler (The Horseman – Eques) , Pollux the strong one come to labor or rule (The Pugilist = professional fighter/boxer).   Judgment by the dual nature Christ.   Also interpreted as Jesus and the Church as One.]

            Two sons of Zeus – Castor and Polydeuces (Pollux in Latin)




   click to see larger, the green line is the ecliptic


[The ultimate fulfillment of the promise to Abraham- the star cluster Praesepe – the Multitude or the Innumerable Seed contained in the confines of the water born creature= the Crab – also gathering the redeemed. ]

            A crab sent by Hera to slow down Hercules- who smashed it.

            Egypt = a “Sacred” (scarabaeus – or Scarab).  Emblem of immortality in the form of a beetle.

            Star Cluster Praesepe “Nurturing” “The Stall” “The crib or manger” “ The Multitude” “The Innumerable Seed” 

LEO   the end of the 12 constellations


[The King, the Lion of the House of Judah.   The end of the series and of time.  ]

            The first creature Hercules had to slay- a lion.

            Babylonians and Egyptians saw a lion here.

            The Chaldeans, 5,000 years ago, noted that summer happened when the sun was here (now in Cancer).  The House of the Sun (Son).

            Also seen as a goddess of agriculture and fertility by the Nabataeans.


  In Conclusion:

So is astrology good for telling you future?  No, I'd say not.

Are the Heavenly bodies something to worship?  No way.

Are they essential in telling of the gospel?  Not any more.  We have the Bible now; the revealed word of God in our hands in multiple translations and versions.   The skies might have been the way God made all men without excuse when it came to knowing him.  Now He is present on the Earth in his Church and His active Spirit.

This exploration of astrology was an attempt to peel back a layer of deceit - the possibility that the hunger to know the future from the stars is a left over of the desire to see the coming savior from them.

To really ‘get’ it, you would need the Author, the Spirit of Christ instructing as you beheld it, just like you need the Author working on and in you to bring the Bible itself to life.





Motz Lloyd & Nathanson, Carol,  "The Constellations"   Doubleday, New York, NY 1988    ISBN 0-385-17600-7

Hickey, Marilyn, "Signs in the Heavens",  Marilyn Hickey Ministries, 1984  ISBN 1-56441-016-1

(I found her book to be largely innacurate when compared to astronomy texts on star and constellation names.  I used her book as a template.)

DeYoung, Donald, "Astronomy and the Bible",  Barker Books, 1989   
http://www.bakerbooks.com   or   http://www.christiananswers.net/paradise/abb-alt.html 

Ethelbert, W. Bullinger, "Witness of the Stars", Grand Rapids, Michigan, Kregel Publishers, 1967.











If you have comments, corrections, questions, flame-ers (no not that!), please email me:

John Ensworth