Is It Okay to Read Horoscopes Just for Fun?

Dear Catholic Exchange,

I am a Catechist who is in need a definitive explanation of why Catholics should not look at horoscopes. I keep hearing from other well-meaning Catholics how it’s okay to just “look at them for fun” and how horoscopes are harmless as long as you don’t believe or follow them.

Paragraph 2116 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church isn’t enough to convince these people that they shouldn’t be reading horoscopes “for fun.” In fact, Catechism Paragraph 2116 doesn’t condemn reading horoscopes, only believing in them. I have heard enough talks on the occult to know even looking at horoscopes “for fun” is a recipe for disaster. I have tried to explain that there is a black and white distinction with the supernatural. If it is not from God, then it is from the forces of evil (Satan). I want to convince my high school class, along with these other adults with whom I conversing, of this very real danger. Can you help me?

Thank you,


Dear Peter,

Peace in Christ! The Catholic Church expressly forbids the use of horoscopes and other methods for divination of the future. She positively exhorts us to love God with all of our hearts, souls, and minds (cf. Mt. 22:37) and to follow the first three Commandments (see Catechism of the Catholic Church [Catechism], nos. 20522195). Most people will see in these teachings the implication that we should not play with those things that can take us away from God. In spite of this, some of the faithful need the guidance of pastoral statements.

Bishop Donald W. Montrose of the Diocese of Stockton, now retired, wrote a pastoral letter titled Spiritual Warfare: The Occult Has Demonic Influence. In it he had this to say about astrology and horoscopes:

Jeremiah 10:2—Thus says the Lord: Learn not the customs of the pagans and have no fear of the signs of the heavens, though the pagans fear them. By studying the stars and planets an astrologer casts a horoscope on the basis of the month and the day of an individual’s birth. The horoscope is a prediction of events likely to occur in a person’s life based upon the movement of the stars and planets. Even though millions of people follow horoscopes with greater or lesser interest, this is still a type of fortune telling. Even if you say you do not believe in horoscopes, and only read your own for fun, you should abandon this practice. The daily horoscope can easily influence us from time to time. It is a way in which we open ourselves to the occult. If you want to live in the Kingdom of God, renounce horoscopes and all other means of fortune telling. Any playing cards, Ouija boards, or other things used for fortune telling should be destroyed.

In addition to the pastoral warning, there are two good arguments for avoiding use of the horoscope for entertainment purposes. The first is that it validates the existence of the horoscopes. Horoscopes exist primarily for decision-making purposes and, as such, they limit human freedom which only truly is complete in God. People who use the horoscopes for other purposes still “vote” through their demand for a daily printing. If asked whether they read horoscopes, their truthful answer must be, “yes, but….” That “yes” gives the horoscope legitimacy. The second argument is that continuous exposure to the occult can desensitize a person to some degree, making them more susceptible to subtly misleading ideas. Just as pain helps protect us physically and modesty helps protect our purity, we should have some acuity with regard to superstition and irreligion (Catechism, no. 2110).

For more information regarding horoscopes and the new age movement please read our FAITH FACT titled The New Age Movement.

I hope this answers your question. If you have further questions on this or would like more information about Catholics United for the Faith, please contact us at 1-800-MY-FAITH (693-2484). Please keep us in your prayers as we endeavor to “support, defend, and advance the efforts of the teaching Church.”

United in the Faith,

Rose Anderson

Information Specialist

Catholics United for the Faith

827 North Fourth Street

Steubenville, OH 43952

800-MY-FAITH (800-693-2484)

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