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Is Astrology Antithetical to Christianity?

Is Astrology Antithetical to Christianity?

In episode 226 astrologer Nate Craddock joins the show to discuss the early history of Christianity and its relationship with astrology.

Specifically, we focus on the question of whether astrology is somehow inherently antithetical to Christianity, especially in terms of the origins of the religion during the time of the Roman Empire.

Nate is a practicing astrologer, as well as an ordained Christian priest with a degree in divinity. You can find out more information about his work on his website:


The jumping off point for our discussion was the work of a scholar named Nicola Denzey Lewis, and her 2013 book Cosmology and Fate in Gnosticism and Graeco-Roman Antiquity. Part of the purpose of the book is demonstrating how a number of influential early Christian texts framed the religion as a way to liberate yourself from astrology and fate.

Astrology in the 1st century CE tended to be more deterministic and influenced by Stoic conceptualizations of fate, and to some extent Christianity may represent one of many religious or philosophical groups in the ancient world that offered an alternative, which may then explain part of its initial appeal to everyday individuals in the Roman Empire.

This then set up a sort of oppositional relationship between astrology and mainstream Christianity for a number of centuries, although it raises the question for us today of whether the two are inherently incompatible, or if there are ways that they can be reconciled?

Nate’s answer to this question is emphatically “yes, they can be reconciled”, and during the course of the discussion we ended up covering a lot of ground, and exploring a number of different historical and theological areas.

This episode represents an important followup to earlier episodes of the podcast discussing responses to religious criticisms of astrology, the role of astrology in the story of the Star of Bethlehem, as well as a brief digression about the purpose of finding the guardian spirit about 2 hours into the episode on finding the overall ruler of the birth chart.

For those who enjoy this discussion, you would also like Nate’s podcast Jailbreak the Sacred.

This episode is available in both audio and video versions below.


Here are some timestamps for topics covered at different points in the episode:

00:00:00 Intro
00:01:10 Nate’s background
00:03:15 Chris’ background
00:04:50 Astrology and fate
00:06:40 Protestant Reformation
00:08:00 Stoicism
00:08:50 Determinism
00:10:40 Chart is like sheet music
00:12:00 Christianity and free will
00:15:15 Early Christianity
00:17:30 Christian issue with fate
00:18:56 The Bible’s contrasting views
00:22:30 History of the Hebrew people
00:25:30 Phases of history of astrology
00:31:00 Divination and Christianity
00:35:50 Bible passages against planetary gods
00:40:35 Hellenistic astrology
00:42:26 New Testament era critiques
00:45:55 Providence and fate
00:51:17 Being a Christian frees you from fate
00:57:08 33 CE and thema mundi
00:58:00 St. Paul
01:00:05 Baptism
01:02:14 Astrology in book of Romans
01:04:00 Christian sects
01:05:25 Biblical Greek
01:07:50 Aversion to embodiment
01:18:50 Escape from astrological determinism
01:21:00 Appeal of early Christianity
01:24:45 Jesus cancelled death
01:27:35 Daimons and guardian angels
01:31:55 Nativity story is pro-astrology
01:42:50 Criticism of Paul’s cosmology
01:43:22 Oscar Romero chart
01:45:02 Bringing healing to the whole world
01:46:10 Christianity and astrology serve each other
01:51:45 Created world is good
01:53:14 Integral worldview
01:55:27 Emergence theology
02:00:22 Is astrology antithetical to Christianity?
02:03:44 Closing remarks

Watch the Video Version of This Episode

Here is the video version of my discussion with Nate Craddock:


A full transcript of this episode is available: Episode 226 transcript

Listen to the Audio Version of This Episode

You can either play this episode of the podcast directly from the website or download it as an MP3 to your computer by using the buttons below:

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  • Fantastic podcast, thank you! Great discussion on fate and free will, as well as all of the threads of ancient philosophies and cultures that continue to weave into our lives now.

  • I can’t even tell you how great this podcast is. I am Christian, and I’m the ex-wife of a minister who also took some seminary classes herself. I could listen to this kind of discourse of hours and hours. Thank you!

  • Thank you for broaching this topic! It is an important one one many levels and could take many more hours of discussion – maybe a book? (Hint hint). I appreciate understanding that within the context of the culture and time why Jews and consequently Christians needed their own God and found their suppressor’s ,,which included guidance from the study of the stars, unacceptable. The historical context of Jesus as a Jew is important. His words not written down until 150 years post death points to the evolution of Christianity coming out of hiding over many years. What fascinates me is that the Greek god Zeus, and the attributed myth of this Father in the Sky passing judgement etc is very close to the Judaic/Christian mythology of God figure head. The evolution of Yaweh Daddy/Santa in the Sky, and also Punishing/Judging father could be seen as very Greek. When we consider that much of the techniques of astrology and the mythology of the planets is based in Hellenistic culture we are not so very far from the Christian God then, are we? As I see it, the real question then is, is the Hellenestic model in itself just mythology – an attempt at an explanation for THE MYSTERY of our spiritual embodiment in human form? I and others intuit that we are being connected to a higher intelligence. AStrology accepts this as a basic premise – that we have a Soul (also a Christian concept as well as all religions, no?) We as humans are obsessed with making order in our minds out of this unknown. Whose order is the best? No one’s – but astrology is so accurate I put my focus there as a guide – and then I pray. My guess is that the supression of astrology by Christianity is the same as the supression and co-opting of pagan ritual. It is all about power, not spirituality.

  • Maybe I missed it but it seems that the discussion never dealt with the central tenant of Christian faith: Communion. Jesus died in an act of self-sacrifice in order to pay a penalty for each of us and all of us as perpetrators of evil or sin. When we acknowledge and accept His offer, we enter into a personal alliance with Him, which is renewed when we undergo Holy Communion. A Christian identifies with Him, permitting Him to fundamentally, radically transform us so that we ultimately enter Heaven upon our passing.

    • Bang on Richard. It is all about Christ and His sacrifice on Calvary for all who believe. I don’t have any trouble with astrology if it is used ethically and none deterministically (If that’s a word). Basically on how the great Catholic saints Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas viewed astrology. This link from Father Cassidy an academic is interesting, regarding his views on the subject of faith and astrology
      https://rasa.ws/rasa-library-menu-page/rasa-library-articles-believing-christian-astrologer/. Please copy the ink into browser.

      Blessings Steve