THE CHRISTMAS STAR, RECONCILING ASTROLOGY WITH SCRIPTURE: PART II

December 2, 20161 Comment

“Connecting the Seen and the Unseen Worlds,” by Deborah Smith Parker

(Part II of my Christmas star astrological analysis of Matthew 2: 1-16. This post picks up from Part I (Click here) at the point when the wise men inform Herod that they’ve followed a star to his kingdom, signifying the birth of a new king, and want to know if Herod knows the specific location of that child.)

Only the wise men saw the star: It was disturbing news for Herod to be told a new king was born within his realm since there is only room for one king in a kingdom. In the King James Version, Matthew says Herod was “troubled” (to say the least). The New Revised Standard Version says he was “frightened.” The Greek word both interpretations are translated from is tarasso, which according to Strong’s means “to agitate, trouble,” siding with the King James Version, so these discrepancies demonstrate the importance of doing your own research work.

Herod called his chief priests and scribes whom we know did not share the elevated status of the wise men since Matthew does not use the word magos to describe them. He asked them where the Messiah was prophesized to be born and they told him Bethlehem. Matthew does not say that they scurry back to their dusty halls and brittle scrolls to research this, but since all associated with Herod initially demonstrated no knowledge of the presence of a star, it’s fairly safe at this point to say that the wise men’s news was a bit of a stunner.

Surely such a phenomenon, had it occurred as tradition states, would not go unnoticed, and Herod would have had his priests and scribes scour their records of prophesies so that soldiers would have been out looking for the child long before the wise men’s arrival.

Then something curious happened. Herod asked the wise men a question. He wanted to know the time they first saw the star. Some translations say the “exact time” (New Standard Revised) and others say “enquired of them diligently” (King James). The Greek word that both versions translate from is akriboo, which Strong’s says means “to know accurately, to do exactly.”

Why would Herod want to know that, you say? Glad you asked.

There’s a joke in the astrological community that if 10 “ordinary” people and one astrologer witness a car crash, all the witnesses would talk with each other about what they saw. Only the astrologer would ask if anyone noted the exact time the crash happened, because knowing the exact time of an event is critical for casting an accurate chart. It is highly probable that Herod and his boys wanted to do their own astrological research. It would be the practice of the times and not out of the ordinary to request such information.

We have further evidence of the role of the wise men and Herod’s belief in their astrological prognostications. He had asked them to tell him where the baby was once they found him, which they didn’t do, having been warned in a dream not to. Matthew reports that Herod became so enraged when he learned the wise men had departed his kingdom without telling him the baby’s whereabouts, and so frightened about the threat to his kingdom this baby presented that he ordered the slaughter of all boys under the age of two, additional support for the argument that Jesus had already been born long before their arrival.

Matthew tells us more about the star rising before the wise men.  In fact, around the time that most biblical scholars estimate Jesus was more than likely born there was a powerful configuration of planets culminating which an astrologer would see as an indication of something special, even extraordinary.

However, such a configuration would go unnoticed here on earth because the three powerhouse planets (Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) aren’t visible to the naked eye and weren’t even known to the ancients. Only mystics would be aware of them, a capacity included in the traits of magos. Furthermore, the two other main planets involved which are visible to the naked eye, Saturn and Jupiter, come together every 20 years and their joint appearance in the sky is decidedly unspectacular.

However people choose to interpret the story recorded in Matthew, and regardless of one’s religious beliefs, many agree that something world-changing was brought into human consciousness through the life of Jesus. The point in retelling this story is that it was a “star” that was the indicator of his birth on this planet, and it was astrologers who identified what the astrological markers meant, pointed it out to others who did not know, and then used the astrological indicators to find him.

What strikes me most about this story is that I wonder how much the world would have known of this remarkable man had the wise men not sought out the manifestation of the extraordinary event they knew had taken place, indicated by the culminating astrological indicators. Here endeth the story.

Deborah Smith Parker is a professional astrologer and writer on many subjects. She is author of  “The Horse that Haunts My Heart” (2014) and  “Humanus Astrologicus: Astrological reasons in rhyme why we do what we do,”  (2010), both available in paperback and Kindle. Click to read more To sign up to receive her blog or follow her on Twitter (@astro_logicus) and Facebook click to the right of this post.

About author:

Deborah Smith Parker is re-writing the often impenetrable language of astrology into a much friendlier form. She has spent her 30 plus years as an astrological consultant, writer, teacher and lecturer freeing the rich astrological images and their descriptions increasingly buried under modern clinical and technological descriptions. Her additional work in public policy has provided many outlets for demonstrating her ability to break down highly complex systems into information that’s easily understood.

All entries by

One Response to “THE CHRISTMAS STAR, RECONCILING ASTROLOGY WITH SCRIPTURE: PART II”

  1. Nancy Maples says:

    I cannot read/hear your story on this event enough times. Mostly because I’m astrology ignorant. But also because it makes so much sense in comparison to the religious interpretation I grew up hearing. Thanks for reminding me of the power in looking to the stars.

Leave a Reply

  • Facebook
  • Twitter