Astrology, according to one dictionary, is “the study of the movements of the planets, sun, moon, and stars in the belief that these movements can have an influence on people’s lives.” As the earth orbits the sun each year, constellations of stars change position from the vantage point of the earth. Since ancient times, people observed these changes and attributed great meaning to them.
Astrology probably originated with the early Babylonians, who made the stars and constellations objects of worship. This form of worship came to be practiced by the Israelites when they deviated from true worship. By the time of Judean King Josiah, astrology was widely practiced in the land. God’s view of matters was clear. Centuries earlier, the Mosaic Law had prohibited star worship on pain of death.—Deuteronomy 17:2-5.
Among the measures taken by King Josiah to reform the religious practices of the Judeans was a ban on sacrifices “to the sun and to the moon and to the constellations of the zodiac and to all the army of the heavens.” The king took this step, says the Biblical account, because he wanted “to walk after Jehovah and to keep his commandments.” (2 Kings 23:3-5) That set a pattern even for people today who want to worship God “with spirit and truth.”—John 4:24.