Many sites claim that Russell was into astrology, and that he used astrology to support his expectations (often falsely presented as being "failed prophecies") concerning 1914.
A quote that is often presented, and is often falsely attributed as words of Russell, is found in the Watch Tower of May 1, 1903, page 131. The way it is usually quoted -- sometimes presented as alleged failed prophecy -- is like this:
1903 "When Uranus and Jupiter meet in the humane sign of Aquarius in 1914, the long-promised era will have made a fair start in the work of setting man free to work out his own salvation, and will insure the ultimate realization of dreams and ideals of all poets and sages in history." (Watchtower, May 1, 1903, p. 130-131; p3184 Reprints)
On some sites, this is directly stated to be the the words of Charles Taze Russell; on other sites it is left to be assumed to be the words of Charles Taze Russell; on some sites the author is honest enough to state that these are not the words of Russell, but it is still often claimed that by his quote of these words, he was using the words of an astrologist to support his claims for 1914.
As it is often presented, however, this quotation is taken out of context. The words are not from Russell or any of the Bible Students at the time, but actually were the words of an astrologist. Before presenting the quote from the astrologist, however, Russell showed his belief that the source of astrology is "of the Adversary himself." In Russell's studies on Spiritism, Russell showed how the demons may present and distort truth in order to advocate a lie. Here is the entire article:
AN ASTROLOGER'S OUTLOOK.----------
WE seriously question all the claims of Astrology; yet the following -- from whatever source the suggestions come, even though of the Adversary himself -- seem remarkably true to our expectations based upon the Word of the Lord. For this reason alone we present them here,--as follows:
"Saturn is the representative of the great motive power that has dominated the mind of man up to the present time. The great organizations of Capital, attracting now so much attention, are in reality the last great struggle of this Saturn-god to save his throne. But his efforts will be futile, yet far from useless, for he is blindly doing service for a still greater God in the same way as the other planets have contributed blindly to Saturn's glory."Jupiter, representing law, religion and morality, has been perforce subservient to Saturn's greater and more potent force. It explains why the church, the law, the charitable and educational institutions have contributed to increasing the power and prestige of the worldly and material Saturn, whose selfish monopolizing material nature must be disposed of and made tributary to a higher, nobler force that will carry out the work of human evolution."Jupiter must also transfer his allegiance from the grasping Saturn to the newly discovered factor that stands for universal brotherhood; namely, Uranus. When Uranus and Jupiter meet in the humane sign of Aquarius in 1914, the long-promised era will have made a fair start in the work of setting man free to work out his own salvation, and will insure the ultimate realization of dreams and ideals of all poets and sages in history."Uranus is preparing the way for Neptune, who symbolizes Love in its very highest form--the fulfilling of the law. By this, we see that Socialism, or whatever the new order may be called, will not and can not be the rule of the common or ignorant masses, but the leadership of the very highest developed members of the human family."In 1903 Jupiter will be in the Sign of Pisces – sign of the feet, or understanding, and the synthesis of the new religion is Love;--Love, that words cannot define. We are nearing a condition where "masters" will be unknown--where humanity will instinctively conform to the injunction, 'Call no man master, neither be ye called master.'"Note--Uranus: Great commotions are expected when it shall take its ascendancy over Saturn."
Of course, Russell did not quote the astrologist for the purpose of finding support in astrology, for he attributes astrology to "the Adversary," that is Satan the devil. He makes reference to this to note that the demons will make use of a truth to promote their ends, as he had done many other times before.
In the October 1, 1905 issue, Russell again makes another quote, with his own statements before the quote attributing the fortune telling of astrology to demons, thus showing that he was not condoning the usage of astrology:
"DEVILS ALSO BELIEVE."----------
We remember the above statement of Holy Writ, and also the fact that demons once cried out to our Lord, "We know thee whom thou art, the Holy One of God," and further how a damsel possessed of a demon followed Paul and Silas certain days crying: "These be the servants of the Most High God, which show unto us the way of eternal life."These are proofs that the demons keep in touch with earth's affairs, and that at times they have attempted to make capital out of their knowledge: for we are not to suppose that they really sought to serve the Truth or to proclaim it except with selfish, evil intentions.The above thoughts came to us as we recently read the predictions of some noted astrologers, whose information we credit to the spirit demons and not to ability to read destiny in the stars. One of these in particular closely touches dates and incidents on the line of our Scriptural expectations as follows:--ASTROLOGICAL PREDICTIONS OF OUR TIME"In a dozen publications of this present springtime over all Europe astrologers agree that an extraordinary period is approaching. In the first place Saturn enters the sign of the Fishes in April, 1905, to remain there during 1906 and 1907. He will come out only in July, 1908. And these conjunctions, most rare in astrology, promise to be particularly hard on France."Each year the sun remains in the Fishes from Feb. 20 to March 20. It will be then in conjunction with Saturn, therefore, in 1906, 1907 and 1908. Combined with divers halts in the signs of the Crab and the Scorpion, this move of the sun threatens internal war and revolution for France, ending in the fall of the republic. The great troubles will commence in 1907 in a 'people's revolt.' There will be pillages, burning cities, massacres and the temporary domination of the lower orders. 'The year 1907,' declares one astrologer, 'will see the triumph of the populace and the reproduction of the worst days of the first revolution. I will add that this year, which seems marked as one of the most fatal in the history of all times, reproduces all the conjunctions of 1572 -- the year of the massacre of St. 'Bartholomew!' Twice only have the same conjunctions happened since -- in 1793-4, the year of the terror, and in 1848, that other year of revolution in France."For France, at least, peace will not be reestablished until 1914, when a 'warrior king'--'he who is to establish the reign of good'--will set things to rights. This 'Caesar imperator,' realizing the astral reproduction of Napoleon I., will commence to manifest his presence in 1914, and will be definitely crowned in 1916 or 1917. Until then--alas! poor France!"--Sterling Heilig.==============
The Watch Tower, October 1, 1905, page 293, R3637.
Russell, in many of his other writings, had already denounced the works of Satan, which he usually summed up as "spiritism":
Russell also published a booklet by the name of "What Say the Scriptures About Spiritsm?" This booklet may also be found online at:
One site claims the following:
One site claims the following:
Did you know that the Jehovah Witness founder Charles T. Russell was well into Astrology and Egyptology and pyramidology, and it was later printed in a Watchtower Magazine (June 15, 1922) that he had wrote:"When Uranus and Jupiter meet in the humane sign of Aquarius in 1914, the long promised era will have made a fair start in the work of setting man free to work out his own salvation, and will insure the ultimate realization of dreams and ideals of all poets and sages in history"
Another site has this same information, claiming that Russell was into astrology. Of course, Russell was not the founder of the Jehovah's witnesses, nor was he into astrology nor Egyptology. Biblical pyramidology has nothing to do with spiritistic occultism.
But as related to the matter at hand, we have searched that issue, as well as many other issues of the Watch Tower close to that date, and could not find where such a quote was later attributed to Russell. Of course, Russell died in 1916, so even if Rutherford or one of his followers did make such a statement, it is verifiably shown to be untrue, as shown above.
One site claims: "At this same time we find the Society involved in astrology as well as pyramidology, all considered the occult." As we have shown, Russell was involved in astrology only in showing that astrology was of demons, and that the demons may promote some truth in order to get one to believe their lies. The study of God's Stone Witness in Egypt has nothing at all to do with the occult.
Another site claims: "A different link of WTS doctrine with astrology appeared in The Watch Tower of 1903. There astrology and planetary positions were said to support the WTS's predictions of 'the long promised era' to start by 1914." This is incorrect, since Russell did not say anything about his presenting that quote in order "to support" his expectations concerning 1914. The statement is an effort to claim that Russell was linked to astrology; as shown above, he actually linked astrology to the Adversary and his demons.
One site makes the statement:
Works remain(ing) an enduring witness to his wisdom and his faithfulness" [ brackets mine ] include his teachings of the irrational 'science' of astrology. He tought that the influence of "Uranus and Jupiter" ( presumedly referring to the conjunction (0º) in 9º.30'.00" Aquarius on 4 March, 1914 ) would set "... man free to work out his own salvation" (v.i.). "Uranus" and "Jupiter" who are "setting man free", no mention of God!"When Uranus and Jupiter meet in the humane sign of Aquarius in 1914, the long promised era will have made a fair start in the work of setting man free to work out his own salvation, and will insure the ultimate realisation of dreams and ideals of all poets and sages in history".
(Watchtower', Russell , C. T. 15 June, 1922.'Studies in the Scriptures', vol. iii, p.327, 'The Golden Age,' , September, 1924.)The 'Watchtower' vacillates in its theological positions. In 1914 (q. v.) astrology was published in the 'Watchtower' as an accepted theological component of its teachings. 81-years later it is rejected on the grounds that it "...lead(s) to demon harassment or even possession by wicked spirits" [brackets mine] (.).
The author of the above gives references to The Watch Tower of June 15, 1922, although I am not sure what in that issue is being attributed to Charles Taze Russell, or what it is in that issue that would be thought to support the assumptions presented. Page 327 of Brother Russell's Thy Kingdom Come is cited, evidently with the assumption that the astronomical calculations presented there are supportive of astrology; this would confuse astronomy with astrology. The statement given at the beginning of the above quote doesn't really make much sense, but evidently it is introductory to the quote from the astrologist from the 1903 Watch Tower; however, the quote is evidently presented as having being the teaching of Charles Taze Russell, which we have already shown to be false. It then claims that in 1914, astrology was was "an accepted theological component" of "Watchtower" teachings. In reality, as we have seen, Brother Russell rejected astrology. There was nothing in Brother Russell's Watch Towers of 1914, or any where else in Russell's writings, that presents astrology as "an accepted theological component of its teachings."
Some brief statements from other sites that misrepresent Brother Russell regarding astrology (and often regarding many other things): "1903 The Watchtower organisation commenced to dabble in astrology and base predictions on astrological conjunctions." *** "Sorcerers are usually into astrology as well, looking for patterns and meanings in the stars. Charles Russell was no exception." *** "This detailed study is known as pyramidology and is one of the finest examples of quack science in which Russell was involved (other examples include phrenology, astrology, and numerology)." [See my research related to Russell and phrenology and numerology.] *** "Not only was he into the occult but he was interested in astrology and other occult practices." [See research related CTR and the occult.] *** "Watchtower's elites or special persons have not held that belief as seen for example by the use of astrology and planetary positions made to back Watchtower predictions for 1914."
Greater weight of judgment will be upon those who knowingly deceive others. Thus, we would be better for the author of the above if he should be almost totally ignorant of what Russell did say, since he presents Russell as saying that which Russell did not say! In fact, Russell did say that his expectations are "based upon the Word of the Lord." If one actually notes what Russell did say, one can easily see that Russell was certainly not teaching any alleged "'science' of astrology."
Another site attributes the quotes of the astrology to the JW leadership, when in fact, that quote was not from Russell or anyone else among the Bible Students. The false statement is made: " Jehovah's Witness leaders for over 100 years have claimed to be God's only living "prophet" on the face of the earth." In reality, there has been not "Jehovah's Witnesses leaders who for over 100 years have claimed to be God's only living "prophet" on the face of the earth. Russell certainly never made any such claim; indeed, he claimed that he was not a prophet, but a student of prophecy. At any rate, since the quote is from 1903, the way it is presented would falsely make it appear to be the words of Russell, when, in reality, as shown above, Russell was simply quoting the words of an astrologist without condoning what was said.
One, under the heading, "Russell wrote about Astrology", presents the quote from the 1903 in such a way that it does not distinguish from the actual words of Russell and the astrologist whom he was quoting, evidently with the desire to leave the impression that Russell approved of astrology. The site also presents some quotes from Russell concerning the Pleiades, but closely fails to show the connection to the Bible. The quotes concerning the Pleiades are evidently being falsely assumed to be writings "about Astrology", while in actuality, there is nothing in the quotes that is connected to astrology.
One claims: "Russell was not only into Egyptology but also referred to Astrology for confirmation of his predictions." Russell had no reason to refer to astrology for confirmation of his expectations; indeed, the very quotes given show that he was not doing such a thing.
Another author states: "C.T.Russell was well into Astrology and Egyptology and pyramidology." Russell was only "into astrology" in that he showed that astrology was of the Adversary and the demons; Russell only studied about Egypt as such is mentioned in the Bible; there is no "pyramid grave" in plot own by the WTS in the Rosemont cemetery; Rutherford's pyramid monument is not a grave, nor is there a "Masonic" cross and crown on Rutherford's pyramid monument. Russell's study of God's Stone Witness in Egypt is not related to any form of spiritualistic occultism.
Last updated: 4/29/2015