For all our talk of being a culture originally rooted in Christianity, the fact is that from the time we’re very young, it’s pretty commonplace to be exposed to a lot of pagan practices. We go to slumber parties where someone thinks it’s a fun idea to pull out the Ouija board and/or have a séance. We grow up and go to parties where someone thought it would be a fun idea to hire a palm reader. Horoscopes are in the newspapers and magazines we read, and tarot cards are sold at the local bookstore.
For the most part, all of this is usually just presented as harmless fun. The majority of people who take part in these practices aren’t exactly taking them seriously. We post horoscopes to our Facebook page “for fun.” We get our palms read at the party, “for fun.” Of course, we’re “too smart” to take all of this seriously, so there’s no harm done…right?
Actually, Satan would love for you to believe this—that all of this stuff is just harmless fun, when in reality you’re opening yourself up to a lot of evil. The Catechism teaches this:
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.
Now, I know some people read this and may say, “well I’m not doing it out of a ‘desire for power over time,’ I’m just having a little fun. God won’t hold that against me, right?” The truth is that this mindset is dangerous in itself. Horoscopes, Ouija boards, and fortunetellers all seek to consult “powers” and “spirits” that are not of God. This isn’t something to mess around with or to not take seriously. On the contrary, this is something to take very seriously. The question is: Whose side do you want to be on?
As sons and daughters of Christ, we need not fear the devil. But if we’re going to mess around in the devil’s playground, we’re no longer behaving as sons and daughters of Christ. And in doing so, we’re putting ourselves in a lot of danger by believing that we as mere human beings have any real power over the devil apart from Christ.
When people find out that this stuff is actually sinful, many times they freak out. Remember that in order to commit a grave sin, you have to know that you’re committing a sin. However, in this case I’d still recommend going to confession, not because God is angry with you, but because opening yourself up to these practices—knowingly or unknowingly—can have serious consequences. The grace of absolution is powerful, and it sends demons fleeing.
So stop posting those horoscopes to your Facebook! And if you see your friends doing it (especially your Christian friends), charitably let them know that they’re putting themselves and their friends in danger.