The theology essay below has been submitted to us by a student in order to help you with your studies.

Back to Index

Print Download Reference This Reddit This

Astrology and Pagan Symbolism in Christianity


First of all we shall start the definitions of the key words as used in the research question. Astrology can be defined as the study of how events on earth correspond to the positions and movements of astronomical bodies which are the moon, sun, planets and the stars. Paganism in general is a term for the ancient and modern religions which identify nature as the body of the divine e.g. Taoism is the paganism of China, Hinduism is the Paganism of India, Shinto the paganism of Japan and Santeria, Voudon and Macumba are the paganisms of the African Diaspora; etc

On the other hand symbolism is the applied use of symbols i.e. iconic representations that carry particular conventional meanings. Symbolism also refers to a way of choosing representative symbols that are in line with the abstract rather than literal properties, allowing for the broader interpretation of a carried meaning than more literal concept-representations can allow. A religion can be described as a language of concepts related to human spirituality. Symbolism hence is an important aspect of most religions. Christianity is the monotheistic system of beliefs and practices that are based on the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus as embodied in the New Testament and that emphasizes the role of Jesus as savior and Christ. Discussion Zodiac is one of the oldest conceptual images in human history. It reflects the sun as it figuratively passes through the 12 major constellations over the course of a year. It also reflects the 12 months of the year, the 4 seasons, and the solstices and equinoxes. The term Zodiac relates to the fact that constellations were anthropomorphized, or personified, as figures, or animals.

Jesus as reported on the bible was born in Bethlehem by the virgin mary and his birth was symbolized with a star in the east which magi tracked to locate the new savior. Jesus was already teaching at the age of twelve and by thirty years he was babtized by John the babtist in river Jordan and from then began his ministry. Jesus had twelve disciples whom he worked with performing miracles such as healing, casting out demons

The birth sequence of Jesus is significantly astrological .The eastern star called the Sirius one of the brightest stars in the sky at night, which on December 24th aligns with the three brightest stars in Orion's Belt. These three bright stars are referred nowadays as were in the ancient times the 3 kings which all point to the position of the rising of the sun on 25th December. Which is why the three kings follow the eastern star so as to locate the sunrise or the birth of the sun

Virgin Mary is the constellation Virgo, also known as the Virgo the Virgin which in Latin means virgin. The ancient glyph for Virgo is the altered "m". This is why Mary with other virgin mothers, such as Adonis's mother Myrrha and Buddha's mother Maya begin with an M. Virgo is also referred to as the House of Bread, and the represents of virgin holding a sheaf of wheat. The House of Bread and its symbol of wheat represent August and September, the time of harvest. In turn, Bethlehem literally translates to "house of bread". Bethlehem therefore refers to the constellation Virgo, a place in the sky, not on Earth.

Another very interesting phenomenon that occurs around December 25th is that days become extremely shorter and colder the period from the summer solstice to the winter solstice. The sun appear to be moving to the south and gets scarce and smaller according to the northern hemisphere perspective. The process of death to ancients is symbolized by the days shortening and the crops expiring when winter solstice approaches. The suns disappearance by 22nd December was fully seen, the sun having moved to the south continually for six months makes it to the lowest point in the sky. Something curious thing happens where the sun stops moving to the south for at least three days. In this three day stoppage the sun stays in the vicinity of the southern cross also known as the crux or the constellation. Thereafter this time in 25th December the sun moves by a degree this time northwise foreshadowing the longer days , the spring and the warmth. This explains why Jesus and several other sun gods all partook in the crucifixion, the three days of death and the concept of resurrection .

A mysterious thing occurs when th e sun stops moving south at least for 3 days. In the three day pause, the Sun stays in the Southern Cross vicinity also known as Crux,the constellation.On December 25th,the sun moves 1 degree to the North foreshadowing day which are longer with spring and warmth.It was therefore said that the sun died on the cross for 3 days after which it was resurrected or born again.

This explains why Jesus and other many Sun Gods share the concept of:Crucification,3 day death and resurrection.this is the transition period of the sun before shifting it's direction back towards the Northern Hemisphere bringing with it spring and therefore Salvation.The resurrection of the sun was however not celebrated until the Spring Equinox i.e Easter.This is due to the fact that at this time of Spring Equinox, the sun is known to officially overpower the evil darkness and thus a daytime becomes longer than night in duration.This brings along the emergence of the spring revitalizing conditions.

Therefore the obvious astrological symbolism around Jesus regards the 12 disciples. They are simply the 12 constellations of the Zodiac, which Jesus, being the Sun, travels about with. In fact, the number 12 is seen more often throughout the Bible which has more to do with astrology than anything else. Looking at the cross of the Zodiac, the figurative life of the Sun, this was not an artistic expression or tool to track the Sun's movements. It is a Pagan adaptation of the cross of the Zodiac. That is why Jesus in early occult art is shown with his head on the cross the God's sun,the World's light and Risen Savior, who will "come again," as it is every morning, the Glory of God who battles against the works of darkness, as he is born again every morning, and can be seen coming in the clouds, up in Heaven, with his Crown of Thorns, or, sun rays.

There are many metaphors in the Bible which are astrological-astronomical but the most important dealswith ages.There are numerous references to 'Age ' in the scriptures.In order

To understand this, we need to familiarize with the phenomenon called precession of equinoxes .The ancient Egyptians and the cultures long before them realized that after around 2150 years,on the dawn of spring equinox the sunruse would occur at a different sign of the Zodiac.And this is concerned with the angular but slow movement that the earth maintains as it rotates along its axis

The reason it's known as a precession is because costellations go backwards instead of the normal annual cycle.It takes roughly 25 to 765 in years for the precission to go through all the 12 signs known as the Great Year which the ancient societies were aware of.Each 2150 year period was called an age.In the years 4300b.c upto 2150b.c,this was called the Taurus Age,the Bull but as from 2150b.c upto 1a.d they referred to it as Aries Age,the Ram and today we are in Pisces Age as from 1a.d upto 2150a.d. In and around 2150, we shall enter the new age called the Age of Aquarius.

There is a symbolic transition through 3agesreflected in the Bible while the 4th is foreshadowed.As Moses came down from the Mountain of Sinai as recorded in the Old Testament,he had the ten commandments and was very furious when he saw the people having turned into Golden bull calf worship.He shattered the stone tablets and instructed the people to purify themselves by killing each other.That was his reaction to their behaviour.

His anger was dueto the Israelites false worship of the idol.The golden bull is a representation of Taurus the Bull and moses representing the new age of Aries,the Ram.This is the reason as to why the Jews blow the Ram's horn upto date.The new Age of Aries in which everybody should do away with the old ageis represented by Moses.These transitions are also marked by other deities like that of a pre-christian god killingthe bull in the same symbol.

The age following Arieas is known as the age of Pisces,the two fish and is ushered in by Jesus.The symbol of fish is numerously repeated in the New Testament.For instance 5000 people were fed by Jesus with bread and 2 fish.At the start of his ministry work,he walked along

Galilee, he befriends 2 fishermen, who followed him.

The Sun's kingdom in the Age of Pisces is an astrological symbol for the Pagan .Jesus estimated or rather assumed date of birth is essentially the beginning of this age.

Jesus was asked by his disciples where they would hold the next Passover and He replies them according to Luke 22:10 that,when they enter into the city they shall meet a man having a pitcer of water ..and they should folloe him minto the house which he enters.

Of all the astrological references,this is knownto be the most revealing scripture.This man having the pitcher of water is Aquirus,the water bearer ,forever seen as the man pouring out the pitcer of water.This man is a representation of the age after Pisces.

When the sun leaves the Pisces Age(Jesus),it will move to the House of Aquarius since in the precession of the Equinoxes,the Pisces is followed by Aquarius.Everyone hasheard of the end times and end of the world.This is depicted in the book of Revelation but the main source of the whole idea is gotten from the book of Matthew 28:20.In this scripture,Jesus says that He will be with us upto the end of the world.The word ‘world' is a mistranslation in the King James Version.Otherwise ‘aeon' is the actual word used which is interpreted to mean ‘age'.Jesus saying that He will be with us upto the end of ager is true since Jesus'Solar Piscean representation will come to an end once the Sun enters the Aquarius Age.The whole concept of the end times and the end of the world is an astrological allegation which has been misinterpreted.We should tell this to around 100million people who believe the end of the world is coming in America.

Furthermore, Jesus character, which is a literary ad astrological hybrid is highly similar

to the Egyptian Sun god Horus e.g., inscribed about 3500 years ago on the Temple of Luxor walls in Egypt.They are images representing the immaculate conception ,birth and the adoration of Horus.These images start with Thaw announcement to virgin Isis concerning her conceiving Horus and then Nef who is the Holy ghost shall impregnant the virgin Isis,after which there shall be the virgin birth and adoration.

And Jesus miraculous conception is entailed in this.The literary similarities between the Egyptian and Christian Religions are staggering.

It is evident that plagiarism is continous as Noah's story and the ark is gotten directly from the traditions.Great flood is a common concept all over in the ancient world and over 200 cited claims which are different in diffrents periods and times.The Epic of Gilgamesh,is a pre-christian source written in 2600b.c where a story of a great flood is told.The flood was commanded by God and it was the ark that save the animals on it.Among many other similar occurrences are the release and return of a dove are all held in common with the biblical story.

The story of Moses is also plagiarized.After his birth he was placed in a reed basket,set by the river side to avoid infanticide.The daughter of a king is the one who rescued him later.He was raised up as a king.This story of a baby in a basket is taken directly from the myth entailing Sargon of Akkad in2250b.c.Baby Sargon was born and just like Moses was placed in a reed basket and likewise to avoid infanticide.He was set adrift in a river.Akki a royal mid-wiferescued him and raised him up.

Moses is referred to as the giver of the Ten Commandments.This idea of God passing Law on a mountain to a prophet is an old motif.In mythological history, Moses is a giver of law in a series of Law givers.Manou was the great lawgiver in India.Minos ascended Mount Dicta in Crete where he was given the the sacred laws by Zeus.Mises carrid the stone tablets in Egypt where god's laws werte written.

Also the ten commandments gotten from spell 125 of the Egyptian book of the Dead.The book is phrased ‘I have not killed''Thou shall not kill','I have not told lies'came to be'Thou shall not bear false witness','I have not stolen'was to be ‘Thou shall not steal',and so forth.

It is without doubt that,the primary foundation basis for the Judeo-Christian theorogy is the Egypptian religion.Attributes of Egyptian ideas which long predate Judaism and Christianity are amongst many Life after death,saviours,The Holy Communion,the Great Flood,Chrismas,Easter,Circumcision,Crucification,Resurrecrtion,The Ark of the Covenant,the Virgin Birth and many more.

One of the first Christian historians and defenders known as Justin Martyr said that if we say that Jesus was produced without sexual union,that He was crucified ,died and rose again and later ascended into heaven,we propound nothing different from what we believe concerning those whom we esteem as Sons of Jupiter.

In another writing he said that Jesus was born of a virgin and we should accept this in

similarity with what you believe of Perseus.Justin and other early Christians obviously knew that Christianity was similar to Pagan religions and practices.

Justin however had a solution and as far as he was concerned,the Devil had it. He had the foresight to come before Christ and create all these characteristics in the world of Pagans.

The story of Joseph is given in the Old Testament and he was a prototype of Jesus.The birth of Joseph was a miracle and that of Jesus was a miracle too.Joseph had 12 brothers whereas Jesus had 12 disciples. While Joseph was sold for 12 pieces of silver, Jesus was sold for30.Joseph's brother Judah suggested the sale of Joseph while Jesus' disciple Judas suggested his sale. Both Joseph and Jesus began their work at the age of 30.This parallels go on and on.

During the time of Jesus, the Mediterranean world was ruled by the Roman Empire. The Romans were pagans, who had their own gods namely; Jupiter, Venus, Mercury and so on. The names of these gods have survived to date in the names of the planets, the days of the week, names of months and general linguistic usage. The other cultures in the area also had their own gods and goddesses, who corresponded more or less to the Roman pantheon. Greek was the language of culture in the Middle East; the main centre was Alexandria in Egypt and the Roman world was one in which trade and religion passed rapidly between the cities and towns along the Marvello.

The church forbids the celebration of the Solstice but many customs still survived. December 25th was declared to be Jesus' birthday by Pope Julius in the 4th century and therefore celebrations were in order. The Pagan occasion was effectively changed into a Christian Holy day known as a Holiday. However, this was not a convenient way of ‘Christianizing' a celebration of Pagans. Historically, there is no evidence of the date or the season that Jesus was born. December 25th was however assigned as Jesus' birthday after years of calculation, contemplation and argument.


In our present lives, paganism has a lot of influence than we can imagine for instance the use of the wedding ring which has strong origins in paganism yet it is considered to be very important to Christians. Constantine brought many customs into Christianity in325 a.d. he started converting the religion of the roman empire into from paganism to Christianity. Constantine integrated Christianity in a way that it was acceptable to both the pagans and the jews during that time. Also, during that time belief and religion was integrated with superstition. In the present day world this is contrary many people believe in reasoning rather than superstition especially in most economically advanced countries with greater access to education and science

Placing a lot of emphasis on symbols in Christianity can lead to a lot of conflicts. Like in france when a ban was imposed on headscarves, jewish skullcaps, turbans and other religious symbols that seemed conspicuous and that don't go well with secular state schools. Many students were expelled from school as a result of the headscarf issue and at the end of it divided the nation, generated ill feeling and nothing positive was achieved.

It is very convenient for members of a religion to follow the norms of the society even when it does not have any religious connection. Using a very obvious example of time measurement which is based on the ancient Babylonian system, and pagan practices astrology and mythology are the basis of the modern day calender

References: J. G. Frazer (1993) The Golden Bough, Macmillan & Co. Ltd, London R. Graves (1961) the white Goddess, Faber & Faber, London A. His lop: (1990) The Two Babylon's, Loizeaux Brothers; 2nd edition. M. D. Magee Sun Gods as Atoning Saviors an online resource investigating the origins of Christian and Jewish teachings Strabo:( 1982) The Geography of Strabo, Loeb Classical Library Tertullian:( 870) Adversus Judaeos, trans. Rev. S. Thelwall, 1870 B. G. Walker :( 1983) the Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, Harper & Row, NY

Print Download Reference This Reddit This

Request Removal

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have the essay published on the UK Essays website then please click on the link below to request removal:

Request the removal of this essay

More from UK Essays