Author Topic: Horoscope  (Read 4087 times)

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Offline Skydive

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Horoscope
« on: May 24, 2015, 03:41:21 AM »
Why is it wrong to believe in horoscope? Do you believe in Horoscope? In India they make arranged weddings based on the horoscope maps.

Offline wgw

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2015, 04:58:23 AM »
Because it's a dangerous occult practice that has been prohibited since the Old Testament.  I can vouch from personal experience that it is something best left alone.  You should not even read the alleged meanings of various "signs."  Of someone says something like "I'm a Gemini, what are you?", you should reply, "An Orthodox Christian."

Also, the Zodiac is heavily based on ancient Babylonian religion.  But inaccuracies in their system of reckoning dates combined with the movement of the Earth (during the time of the ancient Egyptians, Thuban was the pole star, presently it's Polaris, but within a millenia or two it will be Vega, so we're constantly moving even in terms of our pole star, due to the natural  movement of star systems orbiting the Milky Way), means that what people think their astrological sign is, and what it actually is, are quite different.

But as one Church Father pointed out, it's lusicrous to suggest that the Stars have any influence on our daily lives.  Their motion is static and according to natural laws.  Two men born in the same place at the same time will live radically different lives. 

The reason why Astrology is dangerous is because it's wrong.  People who make decisions based on it are simply being idiotic; you might as well use a divining rod or the I Ching.  As far as I'm concerned, augury, which is also forbidden, would be more likely to reflect the will of the gods or of a deity, because they could surely influence birds to move in a certain pattern, whereas the movement of celestial bodies is fixed.  But augury is also nonsense; Cicero himself was strongly of that view but supported it anyway as a check and balance against demagoguery, and he decried the routine cheating of Roman augurs when inauspicious events occurred.

Divination, necromancy, and sorcery are forbidden to Christians and were forbidden to Jews (I am of the opinion, shared by a dwindling minority of Orthodox Jews, and the sola scriptura Karaite Jews, that the Kabbala is actually a violation of the Torah).  Astrology should be condemned as a relic of primitive Babylonian and Hindu superstition and despised accordingly.

Interestingly astrology plays a huge role in the Mandaean religion, and at one time was apparently an important part of Zoroastrianism.  The Mandaeans show a clear influence from Babylonian mythology in their view of the seven planets and twelve Zodiac signs as evil influences that have to be mitigated and worked around, and their astrology is intended to do that.  Their priests and "treasurers" or bishops use astrology to devise a secret name for each Mandaean which if Emory serves is given to them around adolescence and used subsequently between themselves and the priests.  The Mandaeans are of course the last surviving Gnostics, who revere John the Baptist and consider our Lord to have been a false prophet.
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Offline eddybear

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2015, 09:29:09 AM »
A while back there was an ad on TV (trying to sell an expensive brand of car by encouraging people to embrace their  uniqueness, which getting said car would give them) which said something like "There are 60 million people in the UK and 12 star signs. How can 5 million people have the same day?". Horoscopes are at best complete nonsense - but  at worst a dangerous occult practice as wgw has described.

Offline Arachne

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2015, 09:34:50 AM »
"There are 60 million people in the UK and 12 star signs. How can 5 million people have the same day?"

 :D @ maths fail.
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Offline WPM

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2015, 10:12:55 AM »
I'm a Scorpio born Oct/5th
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Offline Luke

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2015, 10:17:18 AM »
Why would anyone want to base their decisions on a bunch of rocks and gas that move around on account of gravity?  I am off to Church. . .

Offline Skydive

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2015, 01:33:37 PM »
How come Horoscopes are so accurate then? I mean the personal ones?

What do you have in the Church that tops that?

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2015, 03:36:28 PM »
How come Horoscopes are so accurate then? I mean the personal ones?

What do you have in the Church that tops that?

Because they might feel true for just about everyone.  They are usually vague enough that it makes you feel as if they are talking about you.  They're nothing more than clever pieces of writing that offers no true help in one's life, and is dangerous if you feel so attached to horoscopes as if to depend on them in your life.
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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2015, 03:42:49 PM »
How come Horoscopes are so accurate then? I mean the personal ones?

Are they? Have you had yours done?

What do you have in the Church that tops that?

Learning to trust God and deal with things as they come. :) Classical literature is full of stories of people trying to dodge omens and making a worse mess of things.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2015, 03:58:37 PM »
How come Horoscopes are so accurate then? I mean the personal ones?

What do you have in the Church that tops that?

When my oldest uncle was born, his Orthodox parents had some Hindu priest/astrologer draw up what I suppose you could call his personal horoscope: a presentation of his entire life, from birth to death, based on the star(s) under which he was born.  According to that, he should've died over ten years ago. 
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Offline Luke

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2015, 04:10:55 PM »
Because they might feel true for just about everyone.  They are usually vague enough that it makes you feel as if they are talking about you.  They're nothing more than clever pieces of writing that offers no true help in one's life, and is dangerous if you feel so attached to horoscopes as if to depend on them in your life.
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2015, 04:19:15 PM »
How come Horoscopes are so accurate then? I mean the personal ones?

What do you have in the Church that tops that?

When my oldest uncle was born, his Orthodox parents had some Hindu priest/astrologer draw up what I suppose you could call his personal horoscope

Is that a common practice among Indian OOs and/or Indian Christians in general?
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2015, 04:31:12 PM »
Is that a common practice among Indian OOs and/or Indian Christians in general?

It's not unheard of, which is less rare than (the Church and) I'd prefer, but I don't know if I'd say it was common.  It wasn't done for any of my uncle's siblings AFAIK, so even in a single family it was an oddity.    Some people are superstitious, or are superstitious some of the time. 

They tell more stories about an aunt who would chase away snakes with holy water than they do about horoscopes. 

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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2015, 04:53:28 PM »
Egyptians (Muslim or Christian, doesn't matter) also has those psychics and horoscope ladies, more common in the villages where education is less.  It is very popular you see old ladies come around to try to read people's horoscopes from the remains of their Turkish coffee (the last part that you can't drink).  What remains among most Egyptian people now is a ridicule of this practice rather than taking it seriously.
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2015, 05:10:24 PM »
I recall somewhere in St. John Damascene that he was open to the idea of the stars influencing life on earth in various ways. What is not acceptable is any idea that the stars control our destinies, or that they are deities of some sort.
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Offline biro

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2015, 08:59:25 PM »
How come Horoscopes are so accurate then? I mean the personal ones?

What do you have in the Church that tops that?

They're not.
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Offline Opus118

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2015, 12:02:39 AM »
Egyptians (Muslim or Christian, doesn't matter) also has those psychics and horoscope ladies, more common in the villages where education is less.  It is very popular you see old ladies come around to try to read people's horoscopes from the remains of their Turkish coffee (the last part that you can't drink).  What remains among most Egyptian people now is a ridicule of this practice rather than taking it seriously.

Not my experience. Maybe they should use Greek Coffee and only under the auspices of a Greek Orthodox Church festival. Just saying, clairvoyance is not necessarily limited to monks.
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Offline Dominika

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2015, 09:16:20 AM »
Why is it wrong to believe in horoscope? Do you believe in Horoscope? In India they make arranged weddings based on the horoscope maps.

I used to read them quite seriously in childhood, than just for fun. But now I avoid reading them even as a kind of entertainment, as I it has some connections with magic (e. i. demonic powers) and relying on things  instead of God.

Surely, in villages, even in Orthodox countries and regions, you will meet old grannies foretelling or do similar things, as minasoliman wrote about Egypt, but it doesn't mean it's a proper thing.
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Offline Skydive

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2015, 11:18:51 AM »
How come Horoscopes are so accurate then? I mean the personal ones?

What do you have in the Church that tops that?

They're not.

Prove it!

Offline biro

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2015, 05:52:58 PM »
How come Horoscopes are so accurate then? I mean the personal ones?

What do you have in the Church that tops that?

They're not.

Prove it!

They're a bunch of foggy-headed pagan garbage.

The stars are gas, millions of miles away.
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Offline wgw

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2015, 05:58:02 PM »
Some stars are spinning degenerate matter. Pulsars.
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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2015, 06:02:47 PM »
Some stars are spinning degenerate matter. Pulsars.

'Kay then. ;)
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2015, 06:03:13 PM »
How come Horoscopes are so accurate then? I mean the personal ones?

What do you have in the Church that tops that?

They're not.

Prove it!

They're a bunch of foggy-headed pagan garbage.

The stars are gas, millions of miles away.

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Offline wgw

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2015, 06:11:17 PM »
How come Horoscopes are so accurate then? I mean the personal ones?

What do you have in the Church that tops that?

When my oldest uncle was born, his Orthodox parents had some Hindu priest/astrologer draw up what I suppose you could call his personal horoscope: a presentation of his entire life, from birth to death, based on the star(s) under which he was born.  According to that, he should've died over ten years ago.

Would you happen to know if that Hindu Priest was a Shrauta Brahmin?  Astrology is widespread in Hinduism but the Shrautas, who are native to Kerala, are interesting in that they orimarily if not exclusively follow the Vedas, which feature a pantheon that is quite different from the familiar Brahman / Shiva / Vishnu / Durga/Kali/Smarti / Ganesha set that predominates; the philosophy of Advaita vedanta is absent.  It's a religion that is more ritualistic and almost like a polar opposite of Zoroastrianism; both faiths however share the ritual fire ceremonies, a hereditary caste of priests, the use of a ritual seam or cord, and a heavy focus on astrology, which also ties them into ancient Babylonian religion and Mandaean Gnosticism, and to a degree, the faith of the Yazidis.

I would be thrilled if your uncle received that from a Shrauta, as they are a dying breed and preserve the most ancient practice of Hinduism.  I would also be fascinated to compare their astrological scheme with the Babylonian or Chaldean system we know in the West, but alas you probably don't have that much information on it.  But Id still like to know what Hindu sect the astrologer belonged to, if you don't mind a personal question.
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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2015, 07:06:35 PM »
Sorry, wgw, I have no idea what he was. 
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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2015, 09:36:58 PM »
Egyptians (Muslim or Christian, doesn't matter) also has those psychics and horoscope ladies, more common in the villages where education is less.  It is very popular you see old ladies come around to try to read people's horoscopes from the remains of their Turkish coffee (the last part that you can't drink).  What remains among most Egyptian people now is a ridicule of this practice rather than taking it seriously.

Not my experience. Maybe they should use Greek Coffee and only under the auspices of a Greek Orthodox Church festival. Just saying, clairvoyance is not necessarily limited to monks.

In bold: this is a custom common amongst some Serbian Orthodox as well (I imagaine it is probaly the case under most of the former Ottoman Empire's domain.)

Offline wgw

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2015, 07:56:58 AM »
Something like this was also part of a Hercule Poirot novel by Dame Agatha Christie, which was among the first to be filmed with David Suchet.

Only in that case I believe it involved the residue in a tea glass.

It strikes me how relatively refined and culturally delicate such forms of divination are compared to, for example, the Roman practice of taking the haruspices, which in modern times would not be an acceptable thing to do in polite company.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 08:01:42 AM by wgw »
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Offline LBK

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #27 on: May 26, 2015, 07:58:51 AM »
Something like this was also part of a Poirot novel, which was among the first to be filmed with David Suchet.

What does this have to do with the OP?  :o :o
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Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #28 on: May 26, 2015, 11:59:31 AM »
How come Horoscopes are so accurate then? I mean the personal ones?

What do you have in the Church that tops that?

They're not.

Prove it!

They're a bunch of foggy-headed pagan garbage.

The stars are gas, millions of miles away.

Pumbaa, with you, everything's gas!

Offline Skydive

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #29 on: May 26, 2015, 12:12:16 PM »
How come Horoscopes are so accurate then? I mean the personal ones?

What do you have in the Church that tops that?

They're not.

Prove it!

They're a bunch of foggy-headed pagan garbage.

The stars are gas, millions of miles away.

Prove it!

Offline wgw

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #30 on: May 26, 2015, 12:15:16 PM »
But Pumbaa was wrong.  Some of the most spectacular stars are not exploding gas but pulsars or other stellar phenomena.  And technically, although they often are burning noble gases on the periodic scale, especially helium, which is what blue Giants and red Giants are fusing, the gas in question is a highly energized plasma.  Spheres of plasma fusing to produce denser elements.  Pumbaa has annoyed me with that remark ever since I was seven, so I have grown up with a profound contempt for that pompous, ignorant little warthog.   :P  :)
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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #31 on: May 26, 2015, 12:17:40 PM »
Pumbaa has annoyed me with that remark ever since I was seven, so I have grown up with a profound contempt for that pompous, ignorant little warthog.   :P  :)

I take it that snarky, know-it-all meerkats are more your type? :P ;)
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Offline wgw

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #32 on: May 26, 2015, 12:19:41 PM »
By the way I'm just waiting for a new pseudoscientific astrology based on determining the impact of trace amounts of gamma radiation from distant suns, the motion of neutrinos, and the results of solar flares, on human behavior and human destiny.

The only extent to which astronomical occurrences seem to effect humans is the obsession some people have with alignments, the obvious impact of the day/night cycle and the seasonal changes to it, especially in the far North, and the increased amount of unpleasant behavior when there is a full moon.
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Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #33 on: May 26, 2015, 12:21:45 PM »
But Pumbaa was wrong.  Some of the most spectacular stars are not exploding gas but pulsars or other stellar phenomena.  And technically, although they often are burning noble gases on the periodic scale, especially helium, which is what blue Giants and red Giants are fusing, the gas in question is a highly energized plasma.  Spheres of plasma fusing to produce denser elements.  Pumbaa has annoyed me with that remark ever since I was seven, so I have grown up with a profound contempt for that pompous, ignorant little warthog.   :P  :)

You don't really do humor, do you?

Offline wgw

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #34 on: May 26, 2015, 12:23:14 PM »
Pumbaa has annoyed me with that remark ever since I was seven, so I have grown up with a profound contempt for that pompous, ignorant little warthog.   :P  :)

I take it that snarky, know-it-all meerkats are more your type? :P ;)

No, I hated Timon with a passion unrelenting.

I was rather a fan of the evil lion, whose name I forget, who had a martial dignity and who was able to instill discipline even among the jackals, which shows that he had a true heart of iron, to be able to accomplish such a supreme feat of military leadership; truly, a worthy successor of Sun Tzu.  And he did not forget to review them with a March past in the manner of any Soviet premier.   :P

I of course jest.  Simba and Nala were my preferred characters, as one would expect from a seven year old.
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Offline wgw

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #35 on: May 26, 2015, 12:24:35 PM »
But Pumbaa was wrong.  Some of the most spectacular stars are not exploding gas but pulsars or other stellar phenomena.  And technically, although they often are burning noble gases on the periodic scale, especially helium, which is what blue Giants and red Giants are fusing, the gas in question is a highly energized plasma.  Spheres of plasma fusing to produce denser elements.  Pumbaa has annoyed me with that remark ever since I was seven, so I have grown up with a profound contempt for that pompous, ignorant little warthog.   :P  :)

You don't really do humor, do you?

I do when it's humorous.  To paraphrase a line from Gosford Park.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 12:25:00 PM by wgw »
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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #36 on: May 26, 2015, 12:25:07 PM »
I was rather a fan of the evil lion, whose name I forget, who had a martial dignity and who was able to instill discipline even among the jackals, which shows that he had a true heart of iron, to be able to accomplish such a supreme feat of military leadership; truly, a worthy successor of Sun Tzu.  And he did not forget to review them with a March past in the manner of any Soviet premier.   :P

Jeremy Irons can excuse any villainy. :P
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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #37 on: May 26, 2015, 12:43:09 PM »
I recall somewhere in St. John Damascene that he was open to the idea of the stars influencing life on earth in various ways. What is not acceptable is any idea that the stars control our destinies, or that they are deities of some sort.
Ah and this is why Scorpios rule, I'm ultimately in control of my own destiny.

Now If I could mesh dark triad traits with Scorpio's strengths/weaknesses, watch out world!
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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #38 on: May 26, 2015, 12:46:16 PM »
nvm
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 12:46:30 PM by wgw »
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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #39 on: May 26, 2015, 01:02:18 PM »
How come Horoscopes are so accurate then? I mean the personal ones?

What do you have in the Church that tops that?

When my oldest uncle was born, his Orthodox parents had some Hindu priest/astrologer draw up what I suppose you could call his personal horoscope

Is that a common practice among Indian OOs and/or Indian Christians in general?

Not in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The EOTC strongly forbids any dabbling in astrology.

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #40 on: May 26, 2015, 01:31:12 PM »
I think he meant to ask among the culture, not if it was practiced in the Church or sanctioned by it.  In Ethiopia for instance, I am pretty sure it is quite common in the villages.
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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #41 on: May 26, 2015, 04:23:43 PM »
I think he meant to ask among the culture, not if it was practiced in the Church or sanctioned by it.  In Ethiopia for instance, I am pretty sure it is quite common in the villages.

I'll have to do some research, but since the Ethiopian Tewahedo Faith so deeply shapes the culture, I would imagine that astrological practices are the exception not the rule, even in the remote villages. But I could be wrong.


Selam
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #42 on: May 26, 2015, 04:27:22 PM »
I think he meant to ask among the culture, not if it was practiced in the Church or sanctioned by it.  In Ethiopia for instance, I am pretty sure it is quite common in the villages.

I'll have to do some research, but since the Ethiopian Tewahedo Faith so deeply shapes the culture, I would imagine that astrological practices are the exception not the rule, even in the remote villages. But I could be wrong.


Selam

A culture can be deeply shaped by a given faith and still have popular practices contrary to its official interpretation. This can be seen all over the world, from Muslims using magic to Chinese Buddhists burning "hell money."
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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #43 on: May 26, 2015, 06:13:28 PM »
I think he meant to ask among the culture, not if it was practiced in the Church or sanctioned by it.  In Ethiopia for instance, I am pretty sure it is quite common in the villages.

I'll have to do some research, but since the Ethiopian Tewahedo Faith so deeply shapes the culture, I would imagine that astrological practices are the exception not the rule, even in the remote villages. But I could be wrong.


Selam

A culture can be deeply shaped by a given faith and still have popular practices contrary to its official interpretation. This can be seen all over the world, from Muslims using magic to Chinese Buddhists burning "hell money."

Hell money is a legitimate part of Chinese folk religion.  Most Chinese practice a syncretic blend of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism, and most of the Taoist and Buddhist monasteries approve of this.  Traditionally Taoist priests in particular for the past millenia or so have sought to organize and direct Chinese folk religion, even though strictly speaking it is exterior to their faith.  Although I believe there were/still are some partisan Taoists and Buddhists who rejected this syncretism, in particular, Confucianism, the Religous ceremonies connected with the Emperor, e.g. Heaven Worship, and Chinese Folk Refion, and probably each other.  However syncretism was and still is the rule, except among Chinese Christians, hence the Manichean-Buddhist temple that is the last surviving place of worship of the Gnostic faith that captivated St. Augustine, allegedly produced The Gospel of Thomas, and is regarded by many as the chief rival to Christianity (both Arian and Orthodox) in the Fourth Century. Chan Buddhism, the Chinese progenitor of Japanese Zen, was heavily influenced by Taoism, and in Japan, a syncretic blend of Buddhism and Shinto dominates, with most Buddhist temples containing a Shinto shrine.    Astrology of course features heavily in Chinese folk religion and together with the I Ching forms the basis for Chinese divination.

However in many Christian countries, there have always been a wide range of superstitions the church has sought to stamp out.  In Orthodox lands these include amulets to ward of the evil eye, some Armenian magic the mother of the Armenian family I grew up as best friends with used to practice, again to ward off the evil eye, that consisted of cooking seeds in a pan until they "popped", various forms of witchcraft, Greco-Babylonian astrology, and other silly things.  I have read in Ethiopia some Debteras (chanters, like Coptic "deacons") are known to serve as witch doctors, and that the Ethiopian church is trying to stamp it out.  I am not sure how true it is; Protestants and Catholics seem to like to libelously portray the Ethiopian church as a bunch of savages to justify their efforts to dismember it, and this was a Western publication, albeit a recent one.   My friend Antonious would know more about the truth or falsehood of that rumor.  There is also a wicked rumor spread by someone that Ethiopian Orthodox priests are masters in poisoning people, according to the same source (which reports it as a false rumor, not as the truth, at least). If such a rumor exists I would be inclined to blame it on the Muslims.
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Re: Horoscope
« Reply #44 on: May 26, 2015, 06:22:07 PM »
I think he meant to ask among the culture, not if it was practiced in the Church or sanctioned by it.  In Ethiopia for instance, I am pretty sure it is quite common in the villages.

I'll have to do some research, but since the Ethiopian Tewahedo Faith so deeply shapes the culture, I would imagine that astrological practices are the exception not the rule, even in the remote villages. But I could be wrong.


Selam

A culture can be deeply shaped by a given faith and still have popular practices contrary to its official interpretation. This can be seen all over the world, from Muslims using magic to Chinese Buddhists burning "hell money."

Hell money is a legitimate part of Chinese folk religion.  Most Chinese practice a syncretic blend of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism, and most of the Taoist and Buddhist monasteries approve of this.

It's part of the folk religion, but that doesn't mean Buddhists approve of it. Buddhist teachers repeatedly denounce such practices (and generally consider Taoism an inferior religion). They are routinely ignored.

Quote
Traditionally Taoist priests in particular for the past millenia or so have sought to organize and direct Chinese folk religion, even though strictly speaking it is exterior to their faith.

Taoist ceremonies and magic are an integral part of Chinese folk religion. The line between Taoism and Chinese folk religion exists but it's very blurry.

Quote
Chan Buddhism, the Chinese progenitor of Japanese Zen, was heavily influenced by Taoism,

A lot of people like to say this, but it's really not true. Chan Buddhism is very orthodox Mahayana Buddhism and all its fundamental doctrines can be traced to India. Insofar as Chan is influenced by Chinese culture, it probably owes at least as much to Confucianism as to Taoism.
“Steel isn't strong, boy, flesh is stronger! That is strength, boy! That is power! What is steel compared to the hand that wields it?  Contemplate this on the tree of woe.” - Elder Thulsa Doom of the Mountain of Power

Mencius said, “Instruction makes use of many techniques. When I do not deign to instruct someone, that too is a form of instruction.”

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