Astrology as a muse, Mythology as literature

Before I start, I would like to mention that I DO NOT believe in astrology nor mythology whatsoever.

Now, my main issue here is would it be sinful to use astrology as a topic even if you don’t believe in it? I am a Visual Arts student and I’ve decided to make my theme the signs (libra, scorpio, etc.) Why? Because I find it to be an interesting creative influence. I can imagine so many pieces of art that could derive from those signs alone. Many people can creatively use references in art and literature such as “it has been stormy all day. Clouds turned day into night. It’s certainly Zeus’s day, rain filled up our sight…” There, you can see that Zeus was used as a literary reference to express how stormy it was. It does not imply that the author worships/believes in Zeus. Yet, so many modern Christians would say that it is sin.

Please take note once again that the reason why I am doing this is not because I believe in astrology, but because of art. And NO, I do not “worship” art. It is merely an interest for me.

Tolkien’s works (and those of his peers) were influenced by astronomy and mythology.

Popes have unearthed the ancient ruins of Rome and saw statues of the old gods as works of art as opposed to deities.

Michealangelo peppered his art with mythological characters.

I’d say you’re good. :thumbsup:

The OP states: "Before I start, I would like to mention that I DO NOT believe in Astrology…whatsoever."
WOW! I have heard several people say these same words, when they admit to reading their Horoscope each day in the newspaper.
“It’s just Fun to see how wrong it is.”
“I read it, and follow the opposite path.”

One does not need to BELIEVE in Astrology to be violating God’s TOTAL Ban on Astrology.
God, many times, warns His people to stay completely away from Horoscopists, and Astrology in general.
So, for a Christian, he should know that God absolutely does not him to use Astrology as a Muse.

Next OP states :** “Now, my main issue here is, would it be sinful to use Astrology as an [artistic] topic even if you don’t believe in it?”**

Well, God has stated clearly that Human Beings should stay away Astrology.
When a person chooses to use symbols of Banned things, that sounds a bit off-center.
So, an artist finds beauty in the Nazi Swastika. It is pretty. It inspires this artist, BUT (even though God hasn’t banned it) it can twist people’s minds.
**
I am a Visual Arts student, and I’ve decided to make my theme the [Astrological] signs (Libra, Scorpio, etc.) … Because I find it to be an interesting creative influence.**

Uh huh.
It would be REAL nice if you could find a non-Banned area to find your inspiration.
If you choose to think that, by dancing around the edges of Astrology, that you are receiving Christian inspiration … well, Go for it.
It seems like you started this Thread to elevate your Astrological inspirations into a (somehow) Christian burst of passion for your artwork.
If you have already decided to use Astrology in your art, then why tell us?
Art is (usually) very personal.

And then, for good measure, the OP again makes his disclaimer: "Please take note once again that the reason why I am doing this is not because I believe in Astrology, but because of art. And NO, I do not “worship” art. It is merely an interest for me.

If this is True, why do you keep repeating it over and over again?
Do you think if you say it often enough, that it will convince us that you do not believe in Astrology?

You know your own self. It is not sinful to participate in imaginative work.

If you find yourself unduly attracted to this stuff, however (you don’t believe in horoscopes but you want to believe in horoscopes) than it is likely prudent to distance yourself from them and occupy your imagination in other areas. I have never really felt strongly tempted towards New Age and the paranormal; even apart from my identity as a Christian, I’ve always found them corny. Nor do I have temptations to strongly drink, therefore I don’t give it a second thought if I have a glass of wine in the evening. There are other areas in my life, however, that do require having the watch doubled. Every person’s castle is different, and as the steward of your castle, you have to discern which points require more or less protection.

The Church has no concern with fantasy & fiction; the concern is with breaking the 1st commandment by straying into superstition and false gods and practices.

With all due respect, could you then explain some of Michelangelo’s works? He has sculptures of Greek mythology, yet he also painted the Christian-themed paintings of the Sistine Chapel.

Peace & Love! :thumbsup:

Grace & Peace!

You might also want to inquire re: The Chronicles of Narnia. Lewis scholars have recently written about how each of the books is “ruled” by one of the 7 planets of medieval alchemy/astrology/astronomy/cosmology (see Michael Ward’s Planet Narnia published by Oxford University Press).

Paul tells us Christ has subdued the elemental powers; Hans Urs von Balthasar writes that they form a part of Jesus’ cosmic triumphal procession; they serve the Lord, the heavens and all their powers declare the glory of God. By grace, we can walk among the cosmic powers in love as heirs with Christ and through Christ and in Christ of the Kingdom of God; or we can debase ourselves before them either through irrational fear, or through a will-to-power which refuses grace and subjects us to the elements. We are not called to a life of fear or of personal power–we are called to a life of love by grace.

But what’s at stake here isn’t just a proper understanding of what it means to be adopted by Baptism into the life of the Trinity. These symbols and myths are part of the warp and woof of a particular cultural heritage–they’re a culturally embedded means of meaning-making, part of a vocabulary without which the art and expression of previous generations is, if not completely closed to our understanding, is at least partly occluded if we’re determined to forget it or fear it or disregard it or refuse to tradition it for whatever reason. How are we to understand Dante without reference to his classical learning? How are we to account for the Renaissance if we fear the Platonic Academy? Shall we burn the Books of Hours (such as those of the Duc de Berry) which depict in their calendars astrological symbols simply because we wish to remain ignorant of the real and practical importance of observing the stars and the changing of the seasons to the rhythm of life in a largely agricultural society?

http://www.christusrex.org/www2/berry/DB-f10v.jpg

How much are we willing to lose in our fear and anxiety? How many links to our cultural history must we sever in order to be or appear sufficiently righteous or pure? How much beauty does our fearful piety demand we destroy or ignore? Is a dour purity devoid of beauty even worth pursuing (let alone possible)?

Under the Mercy,
Mark

All is Grace and Mercy! Deo Gratias!

The OP responds to my Reply :** “could you then explain some of Michelangelo’s works? He has sculptures of Greek mythology, yet he also painted the Christian-themed paintings of the Sistine Chapel.”**

Yes, I know about Michelangelo.

I said absolutely nothing about Greek Mythology in my post.
I have no qualms with Zeus … he has never done anything bad to me.

I simply discussed God’s prohibition against Horoscopists and Astrology.
Then, I discussed you gaining your Artistic Muse from the Signs of the Zodiac … and intimated that if you make stylized representations of the 12 Zodiac Signs, you would be violating God’s ban.

CCC 2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.

Thank you, thistle, for giving us the Catholic Church’s BAN on Astrology:
CCC 2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected … practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading … conceal a desire for power over time, history, and … other human beings …They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.

Don’t worry about your Future … or, more on-the-Point, don’t try to find out about your Future.

If the church has a complete ban on Astrology, why did popes in the past, prior to the Enlightenment, consult astrologers? I have read accounts that suggest that there were Vatican astrologers, similar to court astrologers.

Also the Magi, the three wise men were astrologers and they found Jesus brought him gifts and are still remembered today.Go figure!

Art is a communications medium. It sends a message. Each piece of art should be judged on its own merits. If Zeus was illustrated in a book about mythology, or history, no problem. If not, why illustrate Zeus?

Astrology is a form of divination. Divination is to be avoided. Repeating such symbols, except as in a historical way, would have no value.

As an assistant art director, I know the type of image selected for a specific use is meant to affect the viewer. In some cases, the effect is unintentional, in other cases, it is intentional, and can be a negative influence.

Speaking generally, all world mythologies have common components. Symbols of a specific type can further a belief in such symbols beyond their decorative effect.

Hope this helps,
Ed

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