Astrology: True or False – Program 4

By: Tom Warneke, Maxine Taylor, Karen Winterburn, Dr. John Weldon, Dr. Walter Martin; ©1988
Do many astrologers depend on spirit guides? Could the spirit guides prove dangerous to the astrologer and to the client either through giving bad information or though spiritual oppression?

What Kinds of Powers Do Some Astrologers Utilize?

Ankerberg: Let me ask you this: Have you ever looked at a horoscope? Have you ever checked out what the stars are supposed to say about your life for the day? According to some of the statistics I’m reading, 40 million Americans dabble in astrology. And what we’re talking about with five different people here on the program is, is astrology credible? What is the scientific evidence? In the last weeks of time we’ve started with basic definitions of astrology and then worked into some very interesting things, but let me just give you a short-hand one here. “Astrology is the study of the heavens and the influence they exert upon the lives and affairs of humanity.” Then, we found out that there are some astrologers that don’t use just the basic charts. They have picked up spirit guides along the way so that a fellow like Strohmer in his book says, “As we look honestly at astrology”— and this is a professional astrologer—“we begin to see that adherents of this system, without knowing it, are banging on the door through which communication is established with knowledgeable yet deceptive spirit beings. Eventually that door opens, and that opening produces an appalling development in the adherent’s life. He or she matures in the craft in a most unthought of manner—as a spirit medium.” And, Karen, that’s basically what happened to you, isn’t it?
Winterburn: Well, in actuality it was a demon—a spirit guide. Again, there are many ways to….
Ankerberg: And you made promises to your helper, didn’t you?
Winterburn: Yes.
Ankerberg: What kind of promises did you make?
Winterburn: Well, I guess they were commitments more than promises. And this entity worked with me for a year and a half. And there were two of them. She was a wonderful spirit guide. She was very loving. The information that she gave me and the ways in which she helped me see my situation, I think, were instrumental in saving my marriage at one point. She gave me much accurate information to help friends. She also helped me to understand that as we are evolving into God, such distinctions as good and evil are inconsequential, therefore, Christians and people who, you know, are not as far along on the path. Such distinctions as truth and falsehood are inconsequential because God—and this is the Jungian view, especially if you read his work Seven Sermons to the Dead—because God subsumes in himself all polarities. He is above good and evil. He is above truth and falsehood. And the farther you are along on this path, the less consequential those distinctions are to you. This filters down into the daily life.
Ankerberg: Okay, the bottom line—because I want to come back to Terry here—the bottom line for you though, was that spirit guide good or bad for you?
Winterburn: In the end bad, although she seemed terrific at the time and she gave me many wonderful experiences.
Ankerberg: Let’s come back to that story later, but the fact is, what I want to get to is that you don’t deny the fact that many astrologers are using spirit guides. We’ve got the literature full of them. But you aren’t coming from that direction, is that correct?
Warneke: Okay, well, first of all, I don’t agree with it. The way that it’s been defined here, that’s not even the way I see it particularly as being practiced. I think a lot of times we see a clever twisting of words. But be that as it may, define it as you will, it’s not something that I do. It’s not something that I have the ability to do. For example, I don’t channel any entities. I’m very dubious about…. And I think I speak, for example, of Jeff Green, probably one of the single greatest astrologers today. He said, “Let’s face it. Probably nine out of every ten people that claim to be channeling entities, they’re not channeling positive or negative entities, they’re not channeling entities at all. They’re just taking your money.” Now, we’re not saying that this is impossible. If I’ve never channeled an entity, how can I say whether it’s possible or not if I’ve never had that personal experience?
Ankerberg: I agree. I would like to have a guess from you as to why you think that so many astrologers are going that direction?
Warneke: Well, first of all, I’ve been in astrology for about over 20 years. And during that 20 years’ time, very few of those years has this particular concept been around. I think there are fads within astrology just as there are fads within the sciences and fads within any place else in life. And I think recently there’s been a channeling fad. And you’ve noticed it. You’ve seen all of a sudden everybody’s channeling, but they weren’t a couple of years ago. And it’s not just in astrology. It’s not just the astrology people. Probably most of the channelers have absolutely nothing to do with astrology. Astrology is probably too complicated and detailed for them to get into, so I think that probably a lot of them are not on the up and up. But I don’t think, as a lot of your guests probably think here, that this is some sort of evil plot to take over the world; that they’re channeling demonic spirits or something like that. I’m not even here to make that judgment. I think in most cases this is probably just a case of somebody trying to perhaps separate you from your money. And I think we have to realize that it goes on in every profession. These people have attacked particular astrologers that make some pretty bizarre claims rather than looking at the whole body of astrologers. I think we could do the same thing within Christianity that has come up very much lately.
Ankerberg: Alright, let’s do it. Dr. Weldon, you’ve written in your book, “Astrology is a proven occult art,” and I’ve only got a minute and a half. So condense it, okay? “Astrology is a proven occult art by virtue of its many connections to numerous other forms of occultism.” “Astrology is a potential introduction to a much wider practice of occult activity.” Prove it, and what do you mean?
Weldon: Well, I think first of all that historically there is a much deeper tie-in to spiritism than has been suggested. Even Ptolemy stated, “They only who are inspired by the deity” or God “can predict particulars.” In 16th and 17th century England, astrologers claimed to get their knowledge through spirit guides. So I think that there is a much greater tie-in to spiritism historically than has been suggested. But there are six or seven different converging lines of evidence, all of which support the conclusion that astrology is an occult practice; it always has been.
Weldon: It’s accepted historically. Many astrologers today accept the fact that it is an occult art. Most of the people I contacted at the AFA convention which claims to offer astrology as a science were into the occult, had developed psychic abilities. And 80 percent of the people I interviewed, they admitted this and that they became psychic through astrology. There are any number of spirit-dictated books on astrology. Irene Diamond, who was my first instructor at the conference, had three books she says were dictated by her spirit guides on astrology. Alice Bailey, her spirit guide, the Tibetan, dictated esoteric astrology. Edgar Cayce, trance medium, dictated 2,500 readings on astrology. It’s important to remember that astrologers do not always admit the fact that they have spirit guides. I talked to several people at the conference who initially said “No,” and then later they said “Yes, they did have spirit guides” when they were pressed on the issue. All in all, astrology is an occult practice.
Ankerberg: Alright, Maxine, we’re going to take a break and when I come back, I want to ask you a question about the president, your buddy—you’re vice president of the American Federation of Astrologers—and I want to read a quote from the president about her astrological views. And we’ll talk about it when we come right back.


Ankerberg: Alright we’re back, and Maxine, I’d like to come and talk with you about Doris Chase Doane, who is the president of the American Federation of Astrologers and her book Astrology: 30 Years’ Research. And she talks about her view of astrology: “Thus, the birth chart maps the thought cells and thought structures within the unconscious mind.” Now, that’s quite a statement. I want to know how she knows that “the birth chart maps the thought cells and the thought structures within the unconscious mind of the newborn babe and the positions of the planets”—here’s how the stars affect it now; this is the celestial bodies—“the positions of the planets indicate their kind” —the kind of thought cells—“the intensity of the thought cells and the general direction of their desires.” Do you believe that kind of thing?
Taylor: Well, first of all, you’re asking me to comment on somebody else’s book. You’re asking me to comment on a book of Doris Chase Doane who is probably one of the foremost astrologers in the country today from a scientific standpoint. You would have to ask….
Weldon: I’d like to say something, if I can interrupt. I don’t like to interrupt, but I took her class. To say that, “she is one of the foremost scientific astrologers,” she has been a spiritist for about 35 years. The Church of Light of which she has been a member is an earthly organization that has been contacted by what they call the “Brotherhood of Light” which is the spiritistic hierarchy that works through the earthly organization, the Church of Light. She has taught courses in this on at least a dozen different forms of the occult. I talked with her after her class called “The Art of Transmutation.” She said, “The spirits’ work through the organization” is very important to the work of astrology. That is not scientific, that’s occultic.
Ankerberg: Alright, I just wanted to know, was that your view too. I thought maybe, as being the vice president, that’s not your view astrologically?
Taylor: Well, I’m not clear exactly what she’s saying. And what I would say is that you would have to ask her exactly what she means.
Ankerberg: Okay, let me come back to you. What is the importance of the birthday as far as you’re concerned?
Taylor: As far as I’m concerned? When a baby is born, that chart represents God’s plan for that child in this lifetime.
Ankerberg: Why is it God’s plan?
Taylor: Because astrology is God’s plan.
Ankerberg: Who told you?
Taylor: The Bible?
Ankerberg: Where did the Bible tell you?
Taylor: In Genesis.
Martin: Where?
Taylor: In Genesis. Excuse me, one moment. It says it when—and, of course, you are the biblical scholar, so I’m going to be quoting from memory. But it’s when God said that he, God, put the sun and the moon in the heavens for signs.
Ankerberg: Well, let me read it to you, then, okay? Genesis 1:14, “God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years. And let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth and it was so.’ God made two great lights, the greater light to govern the day; the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth to govern the day and the night and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.”
Warneke: John, you know very well….
Ankerberg: I want to hear what Maxine has to say. That was the verse she was quoting. Now, give me the interpretation.
Taylor: I just did.
Ankerberg: What is it?
Taylor: I just said it to you.
Ankerberg: Okay, tell me again, please.
Taylor: What I said was that God put the planets in the heavens for signs. And as an astrologer, I read those signs.
Warneke: John, you know very well that there are numerous biblical translations of that passage. You picked the particular Bible translation that you preferred. But a lot of….
Ankerberg: I picked the one that’s a standard NIV interpretation.
Warneke: Yeah, the standard NIV. But there are other Bibles, which you know….
Ankerberg: NIV is the most scholarly, up-to-date, accurate translation of all the scholars right now on the market.
Weldon: Terry, from….
Martin: Wait a second. Just a second. I want to ask a question, how do you know what he used as a translation?
Warneke: Because I’m familiar with that particular translation.
Martin: You are?
Warneke: Yes.
Martin: How many translations have you checked on the Hebrew that say that, or English?
Warneke: Okay, well, first of all, he didn’t check the Hebrew either.
Martin: I think he did. He’s pretty good at that.
Warneke: What I’m pointing out here is that that particular passage obviously does, when it speaks of putting signs in the sky, some of the Bible translations say “signs to mark seasons.” Some say “signs to mark festivals.” Others just say that lights are placed in the sky “as signs, and to mark seasons.” In other words, they translate it differently. I’ve looked at about four or five different Bible translations, and I’ve noticed there’s quite a difference there.
Ankerberg: Let me quote you Dr. Gleason Archer, professor who corrects the lexicon, PhD, graduated from Harvard. In the footnote he says, “signs—in the ways that they’re mentioned here, not in any astrological sense.”
Warneke: Yes, I read that one, too.
Ankerberg: That’s from an authority on the linguistics.
Warneke: I have a commentary in here from a man who is a Hebrew scholar and who just recently died. And he said that particular interpretation would be absurd to any modern rabbi.
Ankerberg: So Genesis, which was written by Moses, in a couple of books over where he absolutely condemns it, he “goofed” in the front?
Warneke: No. We’re not saying that at all…
Ankerberg: He meant something different?
Warneke: Look, John, you never allowed me to respond to your so-called condemnation in the first place, the so-called condemnations that you read, several passages of which had to do with star worship. I would absolutely agree. When we talk about a meteorologist studying the weather and predicting what will happen tomorrow, we don’t assume that the meteorologist worships the weather.
Ankerberg: “Let no one be found among you who practices divination.” And I thought I gave a real concise explanation from the Bible dictionary—any one that you want to pick out—on what divination was.
Warneke: Yes, you did, and you gave two definitions.
Ankerberg: That’s Deuteronomy 18.
Warneke: You gave two definitions of divination and the first definition of divination you gave would fit virtually any modern science today.
Ankerberg: No, it wouldn’t.
Warneke: Yes, it would.
Ankerberg: Why would you say that?
Warneke: Read it.
Ankerberg: Divination is the fact of picking out signs about the future and in making an interpretation?
Warneke: Well, you read two different definitions of divination.
Ankerberg: Alright. I’ll read it again. Number one, is that it’s “obtaining knowledge by outward signs.” Artificial (fake) divination depends on the skill of the agent reading and interpreting certain signs or omens. Inspirational divination: the medium is under the immediate influence or control of spirits who enable him to discern the future and utter oracles of what he sees.
Warneke: “Obtaining information by outward sign.” If you don’t think that a meteorologist when he consults the positions of air masses and fronts, those are not outward signs in the physical world, and he doesn’t look at those and attempt to predict the weather? And do we not admit that probably 50% of the time he’s wrong? But nevertheless, we don’t accuse him of divination when he does that.
Ankerberg: Unger’s Bible Dictionary was very plain in what they said, and they referred to all of the practices of the Canaanites, the Babylonians and so on, as illustrations, not in the sense of the heavens which were made by God to be admired, nothing wrong with admiring them, as long as you didn’t worship them, as long as you didn’t go to them for the information that you were only supposed to get from God.
Warneke: Furthermore, the quote that you mentioned in Isaiah 47:13-14, there is a clear example of where they’re talking… well, first of all, if you back up and read several pages, you realize at the time the speaker or the writer of that is condemning the entire Israel nation for many things, of which one of them he condemns for is astrology. But if you remember,…
Ankerberg: Sorry. That’s not the context. It’s Babylon that he’s condemning there.
Warneke: Okay. At the time that he condemns the astrologers, he says that they do not have the power to save themselves from what they have predicted. I submit to you that we take a modern parallel: when a meteorologist predicts that there is a tornado, we don’t assume that the meteorologist has any power to stop tornados. We don’t assume that if he’s subjected to a tornado he’s not going to die as easily as any man.
Ankerberg: I guess what’s important in Isaiah 47:13, besides the fact of God saying judgment was coming and that no matter what they were saying from the stars, that that judgment would not be spared. They couldn’t do anything about that.
Warneke: Exactly.
Ankerberg: Also, it says, “Each of them goes on in his error,” verse 15. “There is not one that can save you.” So he calls their practice “error.”
Weldon: John, there’s an important point here that Terry brought up about worship, because the Christian astrologers that I’ve talked to say, “Well, we don’t engage in divination. And we do not engage in literal worship of the stars. We do not bow down to them.” And, in essence, this is simply a practice of counseling and therefore they say that it is okay.
In Deuteronomy 17 God says that if a man or a woman living among you in one of the towns the Lord gives you is found doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God in violation of his covenant, and contrary to my command, has worshipped other gods, bowed down to them, or to the sun or the moon or the stars of the sky, and this has been brought to your attention” and he goes on to say “you shall stone them to death.” The death penalty was prescribed.
In Acts in the New Testament, in Acts 7:42, it says, “But God turned away [from the Israelites who were engaging in astrology] and gave them over to the worship of the heavenly bodies.” So God deliberately turned away from them.
Now, what is worship? Is worship only bowing down in front of an idol or something? Worship involves what your life’s attention is on; what you give your devotion to; and all kinds of other things which the astrologer gives to the starry hosts.
Warneke: I guess then geologists worship rocks.
Ankerberg: Walter?
Martin: I think it’s very important to discuss something that was brought up before. No matter what your reason for practicing astrology may be, why don’t you instead go to him who is, “The root and the offspring of David, the bright and the morning star.” Why not go to the One who created the heavens instead of letting astrology take your eyes off the Creator and glue them on the creation? Instead, worship the God that made it, not the thing he made.
Warneke: May I answer that?
Ankerberg: Maxine, how about just a final answer from you and then we’re out of this program.
Taylor: Okay, first of all, I can only speak for myself. And speaking for myself, I put God first. I do not worship the planets. My astrology is my career. My love is God. My attention is on God all the time. As I’m speaking to you now and the words out of my mouth are talking about planets, my attention is on God. And that’s the truth.
Ankerberg: Okay. We’re going to pick this up again next week and we’ll talk about these things further. Please join us.

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