Here's Your Sign: Astrology Edition

So as you may have heard, astronomers are saying that the constellation of Ophiuchus has returned to our skies. What does this mean for us? Have our signs changed? Will people's signs change that were born after 2009?

With so much talk on the social media networks like Twitter and Facebook, it seems like a doomsday tale. But what does this truly mean for us?

The following except is from the Washington Post (I will link to it at the bottom of this post)

"So, you've spent your whole life happily smug in your star sign. You're a fish! Swimming in two directions! You're intuitive, imaginative, unworldly! And then today's Web is aflame with the news: You are not a Pisces. You are an Aquarius. Your star sign has been wrong your whole life. All along, you've been a freaking water carrier. This is not cool.
According to Parke Kunkle, a board member of the Minnesota Planetarium Society, cool or not, it's written in the stars. Star signs were created some 2,000 years ago by tracking where the sun was in the sky each month. However, the moon's gravitational pull has slowly moved the Earth in its axis, creating about a one-month bump in the stars' alignment, reports the Minnesota Star Tribune. Now, during what we think as the month of Pisces, the sun is actually in the sign of Aries.
The new dates would therefore be:

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-Dec. 17
Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20
Is this the dawning of a new age of Aquarius? Well, Kunkle is an astronomer who is not too keen on the practice of astrology. When asked by telephone if the new star locations now require us all to switch our loyalty to a new sign, he demurred. "I can tell you what the science is, but I'm not going to tell you what your personality is based on the location of things."
Commentators have also responded to the initial article, saying the new location of the earth does not matter. One wrote, "Oh for heaven's sake (oops), how can people with Ph.D.s be so ignorant? Of course astrologers know about precession -- they've known since about 200 BC. Horoscopes always take it into account... Sheesh."
The commentator is correct that this is not new information. Live Science reported on the role of "precession" on astrology in 2007. Precession is the phenomenon of the moon causing the earth to "wobble" on its axis.
Other astrologists say the ancient system was merely a practice used as a helpful hint for diviners. Blogger Jamie on Darkstar Astrology writes, "It is the planets moving across the backdrop of the stars which influence our lives, not the planets moving through imagined 30 degree divisions on a piece of paper."
So all those hapless men and women who rushed out in college to get a scorpion tattooed on their back don't need to now rush to sign up for laser removal. If you're going to believe that all the people born on your birthday are imbued with certain traits similar to your own in some mystical, ancient manner, you might as well believe it does not matter where the stars are in the sky to begin with. On the flip side, if you've never liked your sign, here's your chance to switch."

But after that piece, they have updated the article twice..

"Update: Well, strike that, you don't get to switch your sign. At least reader StarJack says so: "The stars are markers that drift, but our main points of reference are not directly the stars. They are the equinoxes (both spring and vernal) and the solstices which altogether make the four cardinal points of the zodiac which in turn determine the signs. The stars help us locate those points which define the SIGNS of the Zodiac which remain constant in relation to the equinox point. The CONSTELLATIONS do move about and we take that into consideration when locating planets."

And then the second update..

"Update take 2: To address a couple issues readers have brought up: the purported "new" sign of Ophiuchus is not a new sign. According to the original constellation chart, Ophiuchus made the list. People born between Nov. 29-Dec. 17 now fall under the Ophiuchus sign, also known as the Serpent Holder sign (according to Time, you'd therefore be an interpreter of dreams and vivid premonitions and envied by your peers and favored by your father and authority figures)."

Also TIME has been covering the story as well, saying:

"Astrology believers ... behold! Doubters ... aren't you just a little curious:
The constellation Ophiuchus represents a man wrestling a serpent, dividing the snake's body in two parts.  It is the only sign of the zodiac linked to real men, sharing traits with Imhotep, a 27th century BCE Egyptian doctor, and biblical Joseph.
Like Imhotep, Ophiuchus is considered a healer of men and a doctor of medicine or science. He seeks higher education and enlightenment. He is expected to achieve a high position in life. Like Joseph, he is an interpreter of dreams and vivid premonitions. He is envied by his peers and favored by his father and authority figures.
The Asclepius and the Caduceus, the medical staff, are based on the constellation.
Now all you new Ophiciuchi can move beyond your identity crises.

So what does this all mean? It means nothing at all has changed for you if you go by the sidereal zodiac whereas the sidereal zodiac has included this constellation in their zodiac. Below is an excerpt from wikipedia.

"Sidereal astrology is the system of astrology used by some Western and all Jyotish astrologers who base their interpretation around the use of the sidereal zodiac. Its primary feature is that the signs of the sidereal zodiac approximately align to the sky constellations of the same name. The signs therefore run between dates which are different from the tropical zodiac used by most Western astrologers. For example, Aries runs from about March 21 to April 19[1] in the tropical zodiac but extends from April 14 to May 14 in the sidereal zodiac[citation needed] (although the precise dates may vary depending on the sidereal system used).
The difference between sidereal and tropical astrology is in the opinion whether the system as defined by Ptolemy in the 2nd century should be fixed to the seasons, i.e. the orientation of the Earth relative to the solar system, or to the background stars, i.e. the orientation of the Earth relative to the galaxy. Tropical astrology chooses the former, sidereal astrology the latter option. Both systems coincide for times close to the historical definition of the Zodiac, i.e. Classical Antiquity"

However this comes as a shock to people who have followed the tropical zodiac. So think of it as a gift that you may make a conscious choice now as to which zodiac you choose to follow. So wipe the sweat from your brow and carry on as before. You're still who you thought you were. No need to panic. In fact, don't panic. And don't forget your towel.. #NerdLove

As for the new Ophiuciuchi:

"Taken from the Greek for 'serpent-bearer', the sign is portrayed by a man grasping the snake that is represented by the constellation Serpens. Ophiuchus was one of the 48 constellations proposed by Ptolemy in the second century. It was earlier known as Serpentarius, a Latin word for serpent-bearer.
The new sign will cover those born between Nov. 29 and Dec. 17 while Sagittarius will move into the 13 th position covering from Dec. 17 to Jan. 20. Some traits of those born in the sign of Ophiuchus are said to be honest, intellectual, sexually magnetic, prone to change and of course, jealous. They require special attention to understand, argue the new Zodiac sign believers."

So if you decide to embrace the sidereal zodiac charts, here is your new sign.

  • Capricorn: Jan. 20-Feb. 16. 
     Feb. 16-March 11. 
     March 11-April 18. 
     April 18-May 13. 
     May 13-June 21. 
     June 21-July 20. 
     July 20-Aug. 10. 
     Aug. 10-Sept. 16.
    Virgo: Sept. 16-Oct. 30. 
     Oct. 30-Nov. 23.
    Scorpio: Nov. 23-29. 
     Nov. 29-Dec. 17.
    Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20


Anonymous said…
Do you people have a facebook fan page? I looked for one on twitter but could not discover one, I would really like to become a fan!
Jessica Cha said…
Yup! You can find the fan page on facebook at -

and on twitter at -!/JessicaCha

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