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In my imaginary world, the main country worships one god, who has no name. He created everything, maintains everything, and is in control of everything. He can only be seen through the sun at certain places, and most of those places are temples. He lives in a version of heaven and lives with his six powerful angel-like advisors. The advisors are not close to being a god, and they advocate for the "Face of The Sun" by traveling to the normal world and help them out. These advisors cannot be viewed from the sun.

Now, I am a Christian personally and I do not want a world with astrology in it. The people worship the "Face of The Sun" but do not worship the sun itself. They pray to the god, and the sun is obviously respected. They do not study the sun and its movements or anything like that. Would this be considered astrology, and if so, can I have information on how to change this to make it a purely monotheistic idea?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by sphennings, AngelPray, L.Dutch, Andon, Lio Elbammalf Dec 30 '17 at 16:23

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ I think the question is opinion-based, interesting as it may be. Anyway, I believe there are some passages in the old testament.comparing the face of God to the sun (as seen and described by Moses). That did not make Moses an astrologist. $\endgroup$ – Renan Dec 30 '17 at 4:39
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    $\begingroup$ You just don't want divination through the heavens, right? I don't see any of that in your description. Anyway, studying the movements of the Sun is astronomy, not astrology. $\endgroup$ – Obie 2.0 Dec 30 '17 at 4:41
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    $\begingroup$ "Would this be considered astrology?" For what reasons do you care? From your phrasing, you have a personal desire not to create a world from a class of worlds (which you describe as "worlds with astrology.") It sounds like whether someone else feels this world has astrology or not is far less important than whether you, as an individual, consider it to be astrology. You have chosen to draw a line in the sand, and you can choose to respect your own line. Unfortunately, nobody but you can issue a definitive answer as to whether any world crosses that line or not. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Dec 30 '17 at 4:55
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    $\begingroup$ As cs Lewis put it, the stars honor their Maker. The Bible talks about astronomical signs in both the old and new testaments - what brought the wise men to Bethlehem? Astrology is the belief that the stars control events. $\endgroup$ – pojo-guy Dec 30 '17 at 4:59
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    $\begingroup$ In the real world, both, of course, exist side by side. In your world if angel-like advisors, presumably, coming from the face of the Sun, then astrology won't be able to compete. Real theistic power will be apparent, why go for second best? $\endgroup$ – a4android Dec 30 '17 at 8:47
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The monotheistic religions of our own world have a class of angel/celestial being called Ophanim. These creatures take the form of impressive wheels of fire, and they are said to be either guardians to the throne of the Lord, or the throne itself.

Simply make it so that the sun is a proper place – a seat for the god, and not the god himself. As long as that does not get mixed with nighttime stargazing, there will be no astrology involved.


Other religions of ancient times are worth mentioning. The Egyptians believed that the sun was a kind of crown to their major god. The ancient Greek believed that one of their gods (Apollo) pulled the sun behind a chariot. And for the Japanese, the sun was an eye of one of their elder gods. So you see, in many cultures the sun is an object used by gods, but not a god itself.

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The ancient Egyptians worshiped RA, the Sun God. Yes, they also saw the 'patterns' in the stars and used a great deal of astrology and other forms of divination to predict the future and furnish explanations for things on Earth they could not explain. But, Ra just happened to be a God who was represented by the Sun.

Christian roots or no, the problem you have here is that of pattern. If people can perceive of a single God, they can perceive of many other 'patterns' that correlate with their daily existence and (like most people) will confuse correlation with causation and you've got a magical or occult practice building. Even the ancient Hebrews had this problem; despite all the miracles and powerful acts as depicted in the Bible, the Hebrews were in essence bi-theistic; the eventually dominant Abrahamic God Yahweh and the occultist god Baal, from whose worship we get the Kaballah, the dominant set of rituals and beliefs of modern occultist magical practice.

The short answer to your question is that if you worship a God in the face of the Sun, then your faith is monotheistic. But, that's just an adjective that means 'single-godded'. It's entirely possible that this faith also believes that patterns of stars were put in place by that God, and your faith is ALSO astrological in nature, which is another adjective meaning 'star-studying'. If the problem is that you don't want to create a religion that conflicts with your Christianity, then worrying about the boundary condition for astrology is the least of your problems.

In my experience, most practicing Christians (and only you can answer whether or not you fit into this category) see Christianity as a binary condition; either you're Christian or you're in league (to some degree at least) with the Devil. In that case, you've still got a 'false God' to contend with in your story, regardless of how close to a Christian God it seems to be.

The irony of this binary thinking is that the Abrahamic religions are so close to each other in their belief sets. I could explain this in extreme detail but it's out of scope for this particular question and quite frankly I think I've caused enough comment wars for this month so I'll abstain.

Ultimately, what I'm trying to say is that I think what you're REALLY asking is how do I make sure that my made up religion does not reflect the occult? If this is the case, then I'm pretty sure you're safe. That said; most early Earth and nature religions have some special place for the Sun as a bringer of warmth and life and it is worshiped accordingly. The irony of trying to avoid that in your story is that this belief is based on a fundamental truth. There is only life on Earth because of the Sun. That doesn't make it a living eternal being, but it does make it pretty special and having a religion based on that (especially when their God actually lives there) makes perfect sense, and the proscription on the Occult in Christian practice came during the Dark Ages anyway, when it was used to eliminate parallel streams of Wiccan practice and other nature worshiping belief structures. The Devil has nothing to do with pure witchcraft practice or nature worship so in that sense, you're safe.

That said; the very fact that you're asking this question says that you're uneasy with the structure of your fictional religion because it somehow abraids against your faith. If that is the case, then my recommendation is that you alter your religion until you feel more at ease. While all religion is based on some form of Dogma, it's how we all interpret those doctrines that is what counts. So, if you feel that having the Sun in your story somehow puts you in adverse judgement with your God, then don't do it. It really is that simple.

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Answering the title question: both.

That is, unless your imaginary country has absolute border control to keep out 'astrologists', a small enough population that the beliefs/worship acts of every citizen can be verified, and a government willing to punish undesired religiosity.

If not, then your country will have a variety of beliefs represented, as well as agnostics and atheists and combinations thereof. Presumably this religion was not invented recently so it would be realistic to posit it is endemic to the region – extending beyond the nation's borders – and has centuries or more of scholarship and schisms. If there are different sects of your solar religion then there would likely be sects that interpret key things differently (to varying degrees) including the nature of the sun's connection to its 'Face' and whether or not its physical properties and behaviours hold religious significance.

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Astrology has nothing to do with gods

Astrology is the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial objects as a means for divining information about human affairs and terrestrial events. (Wiki)

You have actually created a circumstance were people are unlikely to believe in or practice astrology because it would be in competition with an established religion that has physical proof of its reality. Practitioners of astrology on your world would be quickly labeled blasphemers and driven underground.

People are people so why should it be, You and I should get along so awfully (Depeche Mode)

However, for your story to be realistic it must reflect the nature of living, reasoning, mistake-making beings. My own faith seems quite obvious and easy to believe — to me — but there are billions of people on the planet who don't understand it, don't "get it," and there are even those who don't want to. But to really make this behavior clear, let's look at it in a completely secular way.

People know and understand the power of the State. It's there, every day, in the form of governors (prophets), legislators (apostles), bureaucrats (evangelists), law enforcement (bishops), laws/ordinances/regulations (scripture), etc. (illustrative association with religious titles is my own and only meant as a simple example. No offense is intended.) We believe in this power, it is manifest, and even does good for people on the earth (police protection, welfare, etc.

And yet, there are multiple political parties because people have different beliefs in how government should affect people. No matter how well government manifests itself for the good of the people, there's always someone who wants to change it, replace it, or circumvent it. When we're impatient we violate the law and speed, when we're greedy we violate the law and defraud, we risk being caught by this very real, very organized, "religion."

For people to be believable on your world, you must accomodate those who, in the face of manifest power, will nonetheless seek to fulfil their own desires. They are outlaws in every sense of the word. People with divergent beliefs, mixed interpretations, etc. Some (call them "anarchists" for lack of a better word) who simply want to reject the manifest authority in favor of their own (or, quite often, in favor of simply wanting to be left alone).

You'd be surprised over the number of people who simply want no responsibility, who reject any and all authority no matter how obvious, how manifest, because they want to just do their own thing.

So, I understand that you don't want astrology in your world and, frankly, you've created as good a situation as I can imagine to avoid it. But remember, "people are people." There really isn't a way to stop them from believing in and practicing what they want. If you force your story otherwise, it will always read a little flat. You need to find a balance, because good and evil will always exist together.

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