The question of whether astrology is science or religion is a common question without a common answer, and I think the question is actually very important.
Science is defined as “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.”
Religion is defined as “the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.”
When I look at the definitions I think it’s quite clear that astrology is science-it’s an intellectual pursuit of interpreting the position of the planets and studying the effects on our lives. There are thousands of years worth of observations that make up the base of our astrological knowledge. But I think I know why people think it is a religion.
In science, we use the scientific method, which is:
That first step, asking a question, is called a thesis. Then we research and test and analyze data and draw conclusions before sharing our results. That’s pretty in line with how most astrologers approach our studies. But, people think that astrology is much more like this:
Predict the future.
That’s a lot closer to religion than science, and if all you know of astrology is what you see in the funny pages of the paper, or on one of the back pages in your favorite magazine, well then you’re getting the short version. Someone predicted your future and you are supposed to believe it (never mind that the whole population’s future can never be split into 12 simple categories…astrology is so much more than that). It requires faith. It requires that you believe it, and that you believe in something larger than you that’s pulling strings.
That’s not real astrology.
Real astrology doesn’t require your belief. I can read the chart of a person who does not believe in astrology as accurately as someone’s who does. It doesn’t matter. When I read your chart, I’m not creating a future for you. I’m just interpreting the energy that is there, based on thousands of years of observation and note taking. You don’t have to believe it, and I would never tell you a specific future. I can’t tell what people will do and neither can any astrologer. We can only tell what the energy of a moment will be…but people are unpredictable and may do any old thing that alters everything…the energy is there, but we choose what to do with it. I can tell you a day will be more tense than normal, and that it may bring up feelings of inadequacy about a particular topic, but I can’t guess how you will deal with that, or how any one else will deal with their day. You don’t have to have faith to study astrology. Like science, what’s true will prove itself to you with observation and research.