NASA has caused quite the stir in the Astrology world lately…
In a recent blog post they revealed the existence of a 13th constellation in the Zodiac that has many people frantically wondering “has my sign changed?!” Well, we’re here to set the record straight. But first, meet Ophiuchus..
Ophiuchus, as defined by the 1930 International Astronomical Union’s Constellation Boundaries, is a large constellation located around the celestial equator that is situated behind the sun from November 29 to December 17. Its name comes from the Greek word “Ὀφιοῦχος” meaning “serpent-bearer”, and is commonly represented as a man grasping the snake. Go figure.
“Ophiuchus holds apart the serpent which with its mighty spirals and twisted body encircles his own, so that he may untie its knots and back that winds in loops. But, bending its supple neck, the serpent looks back and returns: and the other’s hands slide over the loosened coils. The struggle will last forever, since they wage it on level terms with equal powers”. ~ Manilius, Astronomica, 10AD
Now, before you go thinking that this new celestial arrival only affects the Sagittarian months, not so fast. The ENTIRE Zodiac calendar has shifted to make room for Ophiuchus.
HERE IS THE NEW ORDER OF THE 13 CONSTELLATIONS ACCORDING TO NASA:
- Capricorn: Jan. 20 – Feb. 16
- Aquarius: Feb. 16 – March 11
- Pisces: March 11 – April 18
- Aries: April 18 – May 13
- Taurus: May 13 – June 21
- Gemini: June 21 – July 20
- Cancer: July 20 – Aug. 10
- Leo: Aug. 10 – Sept. 16
- Virgo: Sept. 16 – Oct. 30
- Libra: Oct. 30 – Nov. 23
- Scorpio: Nov. 23 – Nov. 29
- Ophiuchus: Nov. 29 – Dec. 17
- Sagittarius: Dec. 17 – Jan. 20
WHERE DID OPHIUCHUS COME FROM?
Every 72 years, the positioning of the stars and constellations shift by 1 degree (from a geocentric perspective) due to the wobble of Earth’s axis. This means the sun is no longer in the same place it was on your birthday 3000 years ago, when the Babylonians created the Zodiac calendar with 12 constellations.
Why 12? Since they already had a 12-month calendar, based on the phases of the Moon, they simply divided the Zodiac into 12 houses and assigned a constellation to each one. That way, the Sun would evenly pass through each house as it orbited the Earth.
But, the truth is, Ophiuchus, has always been around, hanging out by the equator. Yup, there has always been 13 constellations (or more, depending on what culture or tradition you follow), they simply left the big guy out when creating the Zodiac.
DOES THIS MEAN YOUR SIGN HAS CHANGED?
Astronomically speaking, yes. Astrologically speaking, no. While NASA is correct that Ophiuchus does exist as a constellation, constellations are NOT the same as signs. The western astrological Zodiac was never meant to be aligned with the constellations, but rather Earth’s relationship to our own Sun.
Ancient astrologers never had it wrong. They observed the real-life conditions of the different periods of the year, including people born during those periods, and correlated them to 12 constellations, creating the archetypal signs of the Zodiac we have all come to know and love.
These signs are based on the study of real human qualities and characteristics, not simply patterns in the sky, which makes perfect sense when you look at what we use astrology for today. Your sign has become a core part of your identity since the day you were born. It has shaped your romantic relationships, formed friendships, and given you something to chuckle over when reading your morning horoscope. It’s part of who you are.
YOUR SIGN IS NOT GOING ANYWHERE
Since the birth of astrology, the Zodiac has been based on the ‘tropical coordinate system’ whereby the Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) always stay aligned with the equinoxes and solstices, marking the beginning of a new season. The Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius) are always locked in the middle of the seasons, and finally, the Mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces) always occur right before we transition into a new season.
So, there you have it. Ophiuchus is nothing but one constellation (among many) that has always been left out of the tropical coordinate system that forms the basis of the astrological Zodiac.
Your sign hasn’t changed.
As you were,
The Numerologist Team