The Star of the Magi

Courtney Roberts, M.A.


Courtney Roberts, MA

is a writer, teacher, and consultant whose work reflects a unique perspective: a real passion for the 'big picture,’ combining cosmology, religious studies, and history with a lifetime of observing the dynamic interaction of spirit and cosmos.

Courtney is a graduate of the revolutionary Masters program in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology at Bath Spa University in England, where she developed her specialization in the role of astrology in religion, particularly Persian Zoroastrianism and western monotheism. Her most recent book, The Star of the Magi (NewPage, 2007) presents the most comprehensive, up-to-date research on the Star of Bethlehem and the messianic astrology practiced by the Persian Magi. Visions of the Virgin Mary (Llewellyn 2004) is the first of its kind to introduce the astrological dimension into comparative religious studies.

An avid traveler, she has lived and worked all over the world, and spoken for audiences of every persuasion throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Courtney currently lives and works in New York City.





The subjects below can all be presented as either a sermon, lecture, or seminar,

and can be tailored to suit specific needs, interests or time constraints.


Talking About Time:

Apocalypse, New Age, or Mayan Meltdown?

Does Anyone Really Know What Time it is?

In contemporary western culture, we have taken to recycling and remodeling the cosmologies of the ancient world to our own liking, resulting in popular beliefs about the impending return of Jesus Christ in a Christian/Muslim Apocalypse, the dawning of the New Age of Aquarius, and the alignment of precession, the winter solstice and the galactic equator at the end of the Mayan Calendar in 2012. 

Of course, we humans have always had an inherent knack for perceiving all of time and history as meaningful.  Different peoples in different cultures have devised vast and astonishing religious cosmologies, and continue to do so today, organizing the flow of the past, the present and the future into some far-reaching and grand design.  We stand on the receiving end of some truly remarkable ancient systems; for instance, the Zoroastrian Apocalypse and the Christian millenniums, the Hindu Yugas, and the Buddhist Kalpas.

  While the methods, calculations, and mythologies may vary, the impetus is much the same, even across the ages. We all seek meaning in time, and our destiny and fulfillment in history. We long to fathom the hidden, innermost secrets of the universe.  At the same time, we can’t help but impose our own desires and limitations upon it. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference, but that's why it's so important to try! 

In a valiant attempt to regain perspective on the big picture, we will examine the most influential cosmologies of the ancient world, along with their contemporary interpretations and uses, and try to clarify our own, personal visions of what it all means here and now, in our own lives. 


Common Ground

Building Bridges between Islam & the Judeo-Christian West 

The Persian Religion of the Prophet Zoroaster

The three great monotheisms have a lot more in common than most realize. 

Many of their core beliefs originally derive from the Persian religion of the prophet Zoroaster.   

Although they each claim their own separate origins in divine revelation, Judaism, Christianity and Islam are branches of the same old tree, deeply rooted in the dualistic monotheism of the Persian religion, aka Zoroastrianism. 

 Once we move beyond the mythologies of revelation, the underlying historical context tells a very different story, the story of the mighty Persian Empire.  The Persians spread their culture and religious ideas throughout the ancient world, profoundly influencing the early development of monotheism, as well as the modern development of the Baha'i faith. 

If you're tired of fighting over the differences, this is an invitation to explore the common ground.  We know how religion can tear people apart, but can it also bring them back together again?


 The Star of the Magi 

New Light on the Star of Bethlehem 

This presentation explores critical questions like:

1)Who were the Magi?

2) How did their astrology inform their beliefs?

3) How did their beliefs influence their Jewish neighbors? 

Courtney highlights the surprisingly widespread influence of the Persian Zoroastrian religion and its astrology upon Judaism and the rest of the ancient world.

The Star of the Magi goes light years beyond any of the previous research, illuminating the historical origins of monotheism and Messianic expectations, all in a message of peace and reconciliation immediately relevant to our own times.



The Top 10 Things You Probably Never Knew About Islam

We're going to have to learn to get along someday...

  A Humble Attempt at Rebalancing the Scales

We've all seen and heard the dark portrayals of Islam in the popular media. Now, as General Petraeus prepares to negotiate with the Taliban, let's focus, if only briefly, on some of the amazing developments and valuable contributions to civilization that have arisen from Islamic culture, as well as some of failings of the West, as seen through Muslim eyes.  

Including: The respect paid to Biblical figures like Jesus, the Virgin Mary and Abraham in the Koran, How Baghdad led the Christian West out of the Dark Ages, Islamic pioneers in Medicine, Math, and Astronomy, the Islamic solution to the Mortgage Crisis, A history of British and American intervention in Mid-East oil production, CIA involvement in the overthrow of the Iranian government in 1953, etc. 

Understanding Builds Peace




Visions of the Virgin

Lourdes, Fatima, Medjugorje, etc.

Millions of people of all faiths and nations flock to Marian shrines around the world; a testament to the enduring human desire for transcendence and meaning. 

Visions of the "Luminous Lady in White" abound: at Zeitun, Egypt, she was witnessed by hundreds of thousands of Jews, Muslims, and both Protestant and Orthodox Christians.  In fact, Egypt is a contemporary hotbed of sightings, for this is hardly a uniquely Christian phenomenon. 

Courtney Roberts adds a new and fascinating dimension to these apparitions by going beyond the orthodox interpretations to delicately unravel the tangled skein of pre-Christian goddesses woven into the cults of the Virgin Mary, and reflected in the stars, exploring a tradition of Goddess worship still very much alive and well in contemporary Christianity.

Her findings do not diminish the divine nature of these visions, but expand upon their relevance, reaching across the divide that separates Catholics from other Christians, and Christians from those of other faiths, all the while reconnecting Christianity to its broader roots. 


References & Previous Engagements


The Episcopal Diocese of NY- Mid-Hudson Region - Monday Meetings

The Dublin Unitarian Church - Dublin, Ireland

UU Fellowship Briarcliff Croton Ossining, Inc., Croton-on-Hudson, NY

University Unitarian Universalist Society Orlando, FL     

St. Mark’s Unitarian Church  Edinburgh, Scotland

Starr King Unitarian Universalist Church Hayward, CA

The UU Church of the Lehigh Valley, Bethlehem,  PA

Institute of Noetic Sciences Chapter Lawrence, KS     

Institute of Noetic Sciences Chapter  Orlando, FL

Sophia Centre   Bath Spa University, UK

Graduate Conference On the Study of Religions, University of Bristol, UK

The Princes Street Unitarian Congregation  Cork, Ireland

The Bath Unitarian Fellowship  Bath, UK

Unity of Bellaire  Richmond, VA

Unity of Sebring  Sebring, FL

National Council on Geocosmic Research Annual Education Conference

National Council on Geocosmic Research  New York Regional Conference

Hwa-gyesa International Zen Center  Seoul, South Korea

Institute of Noetic Sciences Chapter  Boulder, CO

Institute of Noetic Sciences Chapter Salem, OR   

Institute of Noetic Sciences Chapter  St. Joseph, MO

Institute of Noetic Sciences Chapter Homosassa Springs, FL

A.R.E. Search for God Study Group Annandale, VA

A.R.E. Search for God Study Group Richmond, VA

A.R.E. Search for God Study Group Olympia, WA

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Missoula, MT

Unitarian Universalist Church of P.A.  Palo Alto, CA

South Bay Unitarian Fellowship Redondo Beach, CA

H.O.M.E. Center  New Thought Church  Salem, OR

Spiritual Living Center  Church of Religious Science Orlando, FL

Discovery House  Olympia, WA

Centered Wellness Holistic Center  Chicago, IL

An Sanctoir  Ballydehob West Cork, Ireland

Barnes & Nobles Kansas City & Tulsa, OK

The Phoenix & Dragon Atlanta, GA

East West Books, NYC


For More information, please contact:

Courtney Roberts, MA






The Star of the Magi

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Visions of the Virgin

Personal Consultations

Zoroastrian Texts

Available in English translations


A bridge in the Middle East between the people.



United Nations Girls Education

To Educate a Girl


Equal access to education for girls around the world.

Christian Astrology?

A Brief History of Astrology

within the Christian Church


The Christian Left

Apocalypse Not?

Origins of the Apocalypse - The Beginnings of  the End


After the Apocalypse - What Didn't Happen in 2012


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