Zodiac Signs, St. Anne De Beaupre
Beetledave Wrote:[Image: shameonyou.gif]Astronomy is one thing astrology is quite another. Some Biblical scholars believe that the zodiac chart was atop the Tower of Babel in the Book of Genesis. The zodiac chart is often associated with the occult. Please be careful out there! Christ be with you!

The Zodiac is nothing but a band of 12 constellations made by God. It should be no more shocking to see stars in cathedrals as it would be shocking to see depictions of trees, pelicans, and other natural things. The stars of the Zodiac, along with the other heavenly bodies, either do or do not have an influence on us. St. Thomas Aquinas believed they did. One can be perfectly Catholic and believe this -- as long as one does not deny the power of the will or the ability of man to overcome the natural inclinations alleged to be caused, in part, by the heavenly bodies. From the Summa Theologica:


Article 3. Whether the heavenly bodies are the cause of what is produced in bodies here below?

Objection 1. It would seem that the heavenly bodies are not the cause of what is produced in bodies here below. For Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 7): "We say that they"--namely, the heavenly bodies--"are not the cause of generation or corruption: they are rather signs of storms and atmospheric changes."

Objection 2. Further, for the production of anything, an agent and matter suffice. But in things here below there is passive matter; and there are contrary agents--heat and cold, and the like. Therefore for the production of things here below, there is no need to ascribe causality to the heavenly bodies.

Objection 3. Further, the agent produces its like. Now it is to be observed that everything which is produced here below is produced through the action of heat and cold, moisture and dryness, and other such qualities, which do not exist in heavenly bodies. Therefore the heavenly bodies are not the cause of what is produced here below.

Objection 4. Further, Augustine says (De Civ. Dei v, 6): "Nothing is more corporeal than sex." But sex is not caused by the heavenly bodies: a sign of this is that of twins born under the same constellation, one may be male, the other female. Therefore the heavenly bodies are not the cause of things produced in bodies here below.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. iii, 4): "Bodies of a grosser and inferior nature are ruled in a certain order by those of a more subtle and powerful nature." And Dionysius (Div. Nom. iv) says that "the light of the sun conduces to the generation of sensible bodies, moves them to life, gives them nourishment, growth, and perfection."

I answer that, Since every multitude proceeds from unity; and since what is immovable is always in the same way of being, whereas what is moved has many ways of being: it must be observed that throughout the whole of nature, all movement proceeds from the immovable. Therefore the more immovable certain things are, the more are they the cause of those things which are most movable. Now the heavenly bodies are of all bodies the most immovable, for they are not moved save locally. Therefore the movements of bodies here below, which are various and multiform, must be referred to the movement of the heavenly bodies, as to their cause.

Reply to Objection 1. These words of Damascene are to be understood as denying that the heavenly bodies are the first cause of generation and corruption here below; for this was affirmed by those who held that the heavenly bodies are gods.
Reply to Objection 2. The active principles of bodies here below are only the active qualities of the elements, such as hot and cold and the like. If therefore the substantial forms of inferior bodies were not diversified save according to accidents of that kind, the principles of which the early natural philosophers held to be the "rare" and the "dense"; there would be no need to suppose some principle above these inferior bodies, for they would be of themselves sufficient to act. But to anyone who considers the matter aright, it is clear that those accidents are merely material dispositions in regard to the substantial forms of natural bodies. Now matter is not of itself sufficient to act. And therefore it is necessary to suppose some active principle above these material dispositions.

This is why the Platonists maintained the existence of separate species, by participation of which the inferior bodies receive their substantial forms. But this does not seem enough. For the separate species, since they are supposed to be immovable, would always have the same mode of being: and consequently there would be no variety in the generation and corruption of inferior bodies: which is clearly false.

Therefore it is necessary, as the Philosopher says (De Gener. ii, 10), to suppose a movable principle, which by reason of its presence or absence causes variety in the generation and corruption of inferior bodies. Such are the heavenly bodies. Consequently whatever generates here below, moves to the production of the species, as the instrument of a heavenly body: thus the Philosopher says (Phys. ii, 2) that "man and the sun generate man."

Reply to Objection 3. The heavenly bodies have not a specific likeness to the bodies here below. Their likeness consists in this, that by reason of their universal power, whatever is generated in inferior bodies, is contained in them. In this way also we say that all things are like God.

Reply to Objection 4. The actions of heavenly bodies are variously received in inferior bodies, according to the various dispositions of matter. Now it happens at times that the matter in the human conception is not wholly disposed to the male sex; wherefore it is formed sometimes into a male, sometimes into a female. Augustine quotes this as an argument against divination by stars: because the effects of the stars are varied even in corporeal things, according to the various dispositions of matter.

Article 4. Whether the heavenly bodies are the cause of human actions?

Objection 1. It would seem that the heavenly bodies are the cause of human actions. For since the heavenly bodies are moved by spiritual substances, as stated above (110, 3), they act by virtue thereof as their instruments. But those spiritual substances are superior to our souls. Therefore it seems that they can cause impressions on our souls, and thereby cause human actions.

Objection 2. Further, every multiform is reducible to a uniform principle. But human actions are various and multiform. Therefore it seems that they are reducible to the uniform movements of heavenly bodies, as to their principles.
Objection 3. Further, astrologers often foretell the truth concerning the outcome of wars, and other human actions, of which the intellect and will are the principles. But they could not do this by means of the heavenly bodies, unless these were the cause of human actions. Therefore the heavenly bodies are the cause of human actions.

On the contrary, Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 7) that "the heavenly bodies are by no means the cause of human actions."

I answer that, The heavenly bodies can directly and of themselves act on bodies, as stated above (3). They can act directly indeed on those powers of the soul which are the acts of corporeal organs, but accidentally: because the acts of such powers must needs be hindered by obstacles in the organs; thus an eye when disturbed cannot see well. Wherefore if the intellect and will were powers affixed to corporeal organs, as some maintained, holding that intellect does not differ from sense; it would follow of necessity that the heavenly bodies are the cause of human choice and action. It would also follow that man is led by natural instinct to his actions, just as other animals, in which there are powers other than those which are affixed to corporeal organs: for whatever is done here below in virtue of the action of heavenly bodies, is done naturally. It would therefore follow that man has no free-will, and that he would have determinate actions, like other natural things. All of which is manifestly false, and contrary to human habit. It must be observed, however, that indirectly and accidentally, the impressions of heavenly bodies can reach the intellect and will, forasmuch, namely, as both intellect and will receive something from the inferior powers which are affixed to corporeal organs. But in this the intellect and will are differently situated. For the intellect, of necessity, receives from the inferior apprehensive powers: wherefore if the imaginative, cogitative, or memorative powers be disturbed, the action of the intellect is, of necessity, disturbed also. The will, on the contrary, does not, of necessity, follow the inclination of the inferior appetite; for although the passions in the irascible and concupiscible have a certain force in inclining the will; nevertheless the will retains the power of following the passions or repressing them. Therefore the impressions of the heavenly bodies, by virtue of which the inferior powers can be changed, has less influence on the will, which is the proximate cause of human actions, than on the intellect.

To maintain therefore that heavenly bodies are the cause of human actions is proper to those who hold that intellect does not differ from sense. Wherefore some of these said that "such is the will of men, as is the day which the father of men and of gods brings on" (Odyssey xviii 135). Since, therefore, it is manifest that intellect and will are not acts of corporeal organs, it is impossible that heavenly bodies be the cause of human actions.

Reply to Objection 1. The spiritual substances, that move the heavenly bodies, do indeed act on corporeal things by means of the heavenly bodies; but they act immediately on the human intellect by enlightening it. On the other hand, they cannot compel the will, as stated above (111, 2).

Reply to Objection 2. Just as the multiformity of corporeal movements is reducible to the uniformity of the heavenly movement as to its cause: so the multiformity of actions proceeding from the intellect and the will is reduced to a uniform principle which is the Divine intellect and will.

Reply to Objection 3. The majority of men follow their passions, which are movements of the sensitive appetite, in which movements of the heavenly bodies can cooperate: but few are wise enough to resist these passions. Consequently astrologers are able to foretell the truth in the majority of cases, especially in a general way. But not in particular cases; for nothing prevents man resisting his passions by his free-will. Wherefore the astrologers themselves are wont to say that "the wise man is stronger than the stars" [Ptolemy, Centiloquium, prop. 5], forasmuch as, to wit, he conquers his passions.
Thank you for that, Vox!!

A proud Capricorn, but one who does not read the daily horoscopes [Image: laff.gif]
This is news to me. What a nut!

The FishEaters page on the Zodiac:  http://www.fisheaters.com/zodiac.html 

Here you will find the traditional Catholic (Christian) view of the zodiac and astrology.

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