A character who claims to see past, present and future events based on the position of stars and planets. Often seen in fantasy stories and occasionally in non-fantasy novels, the astrologer may be a good guy, neutral or even evil. They usually use a big heap of symbolism and star charts to make their predictions.
Astronomy is a science that studies everything outside of the earth’s atmosphere – planets, stars, asteroids, other galaxies – and uses research and observation to predict their movements. Astrology is a form of divination that believes the positioning of the planets and stars affects the destiny of humanity.
In its most rigorous aspect, astrology is a fully mechanistic philosophy that denies to God any ability to intervene and to man any sense of free will. But astrologers are not always so strict: they can interpret planetary movements in ways that allow for divine intervention or for the influence of human will.
Hardened scientists will tell you astrology doesn’t work, but believers swear it does. And in fact, astrologers do make predictions about people’s personal lives and give advice. It’s just that, unlike the king in Daniel 2:2 who summoned magicians, enchanters and sorcerers to explain his dreams, most astrologers don’t use the scientific method. Sky & Telescope Senior Editor Alan MacRoberty explains why this is the case in our latest Focal Point column. Read it here.