View Full Version : Ophiuchus -- New Zodiac Sign, Change of Old Zodiac

14-01-2011, 09:54
Hi Everyone!

I wanted to know if anyone had heard about the new zodiac sign "Ophiuchus" and how it changes the dates of the other zodiac signs? It apparently only applies to people born after 2009 when the constellation/set-up was officially "discovered" and confirmed to be shifting into our planetary alignment.

What do you guys think about this? I am young (21) so it leaves me mildly unsettled for whenever I have children (as change does with all humans) and looking at these dates... several articles are below...




14-01-2011, 10:49
This subject has appeared on this list before, and is a constant "discovery" by someone every few years. I remember several cycles of books that proclaimed this constellation as "new" or as being the "13th sign" etc. We've even had very extensive, almost divisive (except that we are all too tolerant here to really take some things seriously), here on the Astrology Forum.

Be assured that this constellation and its stars have been in the sky for many eons of time. Astrology is based, in the present and pervasive system of use, on "twelveness" -- twelve signs, twelve houses, and the ability to divide by both 3 and 4. Astrologers in most of the world, and in virtually all systems, use 12 signs or 12 constellations of 30 degrees each --- this in spite of the fact that the visible star patterns are not 30 degrees in length but vary quite a bit.

We are dealing mostly with a symbolic language that has a relationship with the sky above and our seasons, but which is still a construct of our minds. So, you can look at the Whale but don't expect to see it play a role of any kind in our interpretations. Dave

14-01-2011, 12:25
:laugh: I love this comment on one of the articles!!

I can see it now, the 13thers fighting the 12ers. Massive societal disruptions. Violence pitting one group against another...moving to a new country that promotes Astrology freedom to practice what you want to believe. Massive arguments for the seperation of Astrology and state. And the far right saying that the Founding Astrologists were 12ers, and the commie, pinko, weirdo, socialistic, marxist, no birth certificaters, 13ers are leading to the downfall of America. When astrology is outlawed, only outlaws will have astrology.


Seriously though, xKam to find out more about this from an astrology perspective have a read about the difference between Tropical and Sidereal zodiacs. This is really not a new discovery, astrologers have known about it for hundreds of years, it just doesn't matter to most of them. Most in our culture are using a system where the "star signs" are actually areas of sky that are named after a constellation that used to be in them, and they keep the same name and features irrespective of the fact that the signs moved on a long time ago. There are some astrologers however who still care about where the stars actually are and so they work a bit differently so maybe they are more open to thinking about adding a 13th sign, though I suspect not by much.

14-01-2011, 13:59
I heard that it was an astronomer and not an astrologer who rediscovered it. That would explain this uncalled for uprawr.

I know some people believe in sidereal but it always gives me a big laugh :laugh:

14-01-2011, 15:17
Would any motivated and knowledgeable astrologers on this board be willing to email any of the papers and individuals I mentioned in the thread I created yesterday (http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=152131) (fourth post down)? This thing has legs again and it's creating havoc all over the place. For instance, about an hour ago Pee-wee Herman posted on Facebook that he's now a Leo. Uprawr indeed! http://i53.*******.com/vwx1mq.png

14-01-2011, 21:10
I think Dave and I share that same feeling, the ignorance of Astronomers about the history of their own discipline is woeful.

Dave mentions 'twelveness' - and i's important to have at least some understanding of why 'thirteenness' just won't work. If we take as a starting definition, that Astrology is the application of Astronomical change to the human condition' (Sounds good but I just made it up) then the earliest use of Astronomy was to predict the turning points between the four seasons - the four cardinal points, the two equinoxes and the two solstices. Bring in a circle as a good approximation of the Sun's path and we have a circle divided equally into four segments.

Now if we want to be more precise, each of these segments needs to be divided in turn into equal units - we can divide by 2 or 3 or 4...... but NONE of these would produce a 13 segment circle.

We can of course refer to the Solar/Lunar cycle, which produces a year of 12 lunar months and very occasionally a year that has 13 New Moons (but never 13 Lunar months). That would point to a 12 segment zodiac and this is what we now have (well now = last 2,500 years approx). We've also known about Ophiucus for much longer and we've known about it continuously too - some Astronomers just don't look at their own history.

As Dave says, there are also 12 Houses. There's no necessary reason why a 12 sign Zodiac should lead to 12 Houses but it's the path of easiest movement, especially when that easy movement is to take a whole sign as a House.

No matter how much we try to make this point it doesn't do much good globally - these 'rediscoveries' happen at regular intervals spurred on by ignorance and unless the media want to run a story entitled 'Astronomer Makes Fool of Himself' we won't see the end of it. It's a sign (pardon the pun) of how divorced modern science has become from it's origins.

If you want to do anything to combat it, the best is to put a link to these two threads (the other one being the thread on precession).

15-01-2011, 02:09

Wow, this person clearly did zero research haha

15-01-2011, 02:27
Wow, it's like a giant game of telephone--it just gets more and more garbled by writers (and I use that term loosely) who are worse than parrots. They can't get their mindless repetition of nonsense correct!

This mindless repetition of nonsense was also on the Today Show this morning. Sigh . ..

15-01-2011, 02:38
http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/100950/20110114/new-zodiac-sign-ophiuchus-sends-many-scurrying-for-new-astrological-cover.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ibtimes%2Ftopnews+%28IBTimes. com+RSS+Feed%29#

This one lol

My favorite line in this is
"Another fear among those who are astrology-conscious is that the insertion of the 13 number in astrology may bring in the doomsday predictions of 2012 nearer to belief. "


15-01-2011, 04:14
was quite surprised by this too...after all these centuries it would have
to be changed? what would be the characteristics of this new sign, isn't everything pretty much in the 12?
with this 13th sign it throws everything else off kilter...charts, forecasts, relationships,etc...
i think it's b.s., and something to be ignored...

not much of an astrology student, but....
i will always be a Pisces...

15-01-2011, 04:35
update of sorts....check this link out...

http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2011/01/minnesota_planetarium_societys_zodiac_claim_shot_d own.php

15-01-2011, 04:45

Edit: Hah, after all that, that blog (http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/01/13/no-your-zodiac-sign-hasnt-changed/) and CNN (http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/01/13/no-your-zodiac-sign-hasnt-changed/) both still managed to butcher the astronomer's name ("Parke Kunkle" instead of "Paul Kunkle").

15-01-2011, 06:09
In that astronomer's defense, the Star Tribune kinda spinned what he said. Here's an excerpt from an online article (http://io9.com/5733004/your-zodiac-sign-may-have-changed-this-week):

"We got in touch with Kunkle and asked him what he actually told the Star-Tribune. He said he was asked by the Star-Tribune to give them a few bits of information about astronomy, not realizing the article would become a huge discussion of astrology and the relationship between astronomy and astrology. And the main stuff he talked to the Star-Tribune about has to do with the phenomenon of 'precession.'

Says Kunkle:

'If you take a toy top and spin it, it spins around an axis and that axis tends to point in different directions. It moves around. That's what we call precession. So in Earth's case, right now, Earth's spin axis points towards Polaris, the North Star. But in 3000 BC, the Earth's axis pointed towards a different star, Thuban. And that majestic motion takes about 26,000 years. so if you went from 3,000 B.C. and waited 26,000 years, you'd have the north star Thuban again....'

And no, Parke Kunkle didn't tell the Star-Tribune that the zodiac ought to include 13 signs instead of 12 especially since he doesn't believe in astrology at all. ... He did mention that astronomers tend to reckon the sun's position with 13 constellations instead of 12, and Ophiuchus is the 13th. But in the current astrology zodiac, there are just 12. 'I just mentioned that it's there, and astronomers actually count it... So if you actually watch the stars in the background of the sun, it actually does go through the constellation of Ophiuchus.' He adds that the Babylonians probably had totally different constellations anyway.

Somehow, Kunkle's brief comments in the Star-Tribune article got morphed into 'astronomer says the zodiac has to be revamped.' "

Typical reporting: Ask an expert for a short description of a complicated issue, draw false conclusions, and then write your report as if your conclusions are what the expert actually said.

As far as I'm concerned I am still, always have been, and always will be Andrea, regardless of whether it's because of genetics, upbringing, God, or stars. ;)

15-01-2011, 06:40
Yes, I feel Kunkle's generosity was abused. I really feel sorry for him, because he's apparently a nice guy and a great teacher. At the very least, folks should drop a line to the Star Tribune reporter who started all this:

Star Tribune general feedback page (http://www.startribune.com/help/11159606.html?elr=KArks7PYDiaK7DUoaK7D_V_eDc87DUia cyKUeLcac_oLEyP%3AQ_GPQLa_GEP7Ur)
Star Tribune reporter Bill Ward (http://www.startribune.com/bios/10646176.html?elr=KArks7PYDiaK7DUoaK7D_V_eDc87DUia cyKU1K7P:D_kchO7DUr): Phone: 612-673-7643, email: bill.ward@startribune.com

Might also be nice to drop a friendly note of support to Paul Kunkle (http://www.minneapolis.edu/employees/employee.cfm?tid=4F97BA5F1E3F145427585AC2EF3B0632) (phone: 612-659-6068, email: parke.kunkle@minneapolis.edu).

15-01-2011, 22:19
I finally gave in to the impulse to write, if only to let of steam, so I emailed the author of the following article


Which at least tried to put some corrective light into the discussion and was sent to me by a friend.

My main point was the low journalistic standards of the Star-Tribune - a professional journalist should have checked his facts before the article was published but I took the trouble to explain that the Zodiac was an Astronomical not an Astrological development and a perfectly valid one. I also pointed out the difference between the tropical and sidereal zodiacs.

Hopefully this is going to now start to die down as common sense replaces sensational journalism.

16-01-2011, 05:56
Other than "apparent appearance" is it not rather The Earth which "enters" a Sign?


It does seem that "Aries Day One" is an agreed reference for the Vernal Equinox,
no matter if Astronomer and/or Astrologer, when establishing the First Day of Spring.

Or perhaps not?
Anyway, I'm happy!

16-01-2011, 07:28
Other than "apparent appearance" is it not rather The Earth which "enters" a Sign?


It does seem that "Aries Day One" is an agreed reference for the Vernal Equinox,
no matter if Astronomer and/or Astrologer, when establishing the First Day of Spring.

Or perhaps not?
Anyway, I'm happy!

No the Earth never enters a sign. The reason is that the signs are human constructs, they have no existence or meaning independent of Earth and humans. Indeed the Tropical Zodiac cannot exist on any other planet than Earth as it takes it's definition from the seasons of the Earth.

The map shown in your 'colorado; link is wrong on at least two counts. First it shows the constellations, not the signs as can be deduced from the lines linking points on the 'zodiac'. Constellations are not signs, signs are not constellations. Secondly in it's marked points for the Sun, it shows the Sun seeming to change 'signs' on the 21st of each month, in fact this doesn't happen and it can be quite early such as the 19th in some months or quite late such as the 23rd or even 24th in other months. Of course if they know they are using constellations, those could just be markers but then the diagram becomes Astrologically irrelevant. There's at least one other possible issue, the point of the Vernal equinox in sidereal terms is much earlier in Pisces than shown on the diagram - assuming they think they are indicating signs rather than constellations.

Some misguided Astrologers do try and construct heliocentric charts, which allegedly show the positions of the planets from a solar point of view projected onto the 'zodiac' - they would argue that on their basis the Earth was in Cancer at the moment, the opposite sign to the Sun (which we 'see' in Capricorn). Some programs like Solar Fire allow such charts to be generated but if you cast two charts for the same time and place, one using the heliocentric setting and one using the geocentric setting you get the SAME Ascendant and the SAME MC and the SAME Houses, which shows that the Heliocentric chart also has no meaning other than on Earth and other than in Geocentric and human terms.

There's a possible argument that the Sidereal Zodiac could have meaning on, say, Mars but that would only be so if there were humans there and a functioning society very similar to that of Earth - a few hundred astronauts would not count. As the Sidreal Zodiac has very few adherents in the West, I think we might only see an Astrological issue if Mars is colonised by a few million people of Indian origin, who practice Vedic Astrology.

One thing that is more likely to have an impact on Astrological thought is if a child is born to human parents on the Moon, or Mars (which is the only other likely planet that might be have a base established on it. In that case it would be virtually impossible to produce a Western natal chart for that child!

PS, for children who might be born on space stations in geocentric orbit, it's possible to come up with latitude and longitude of birth.

Edited to add

A little bit of research shows that the Colorado map is intended for a course in Astronomy as such it is irrelevant to Astrology as it does use constellations and not signs. It is however, also Astronomically wrong because it leaves out Ophiuchus, which it should show, as the Sun does pass in front of that constellation, which of course is the point made in the original article.

First rule of Astrology - Signs are not Constellations



16-01-2011, 09:37
Right up the front of my Sunday paper, an article about astronomers (apparently the whole lot of them) calling on astronomers to reform their practice to reflect "the latest scientific findings"

I think it's grand that all we need to do to be accepted and embraced by the astronomical community is to add a 13th sign, and it's darn sporting of them to overturn centuries of animosity and division by showing the love for this new sign })

I propose the first divinatory meaning for this new sign should be "the healing of old conflicts" ;)

16-01-2011, 10:43
an article about astronomers (apparently the whole lot of them) calling on astronomers to reform their practice to reflect "the latest scientific findings"

Surely you mean astronomers calling on astrologers?

16-01-2011, 14:26
First rule of Astrology - Signs are not ConstellationsComfortably, then. This:
Does not equal this:
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

autumn star
16-01-2011, 14:45
I was just reading this article on the 'new zodiac'


from my favorite astrology site :)

16-01-2011, 16:17
Surely you mean astronomers calling on astrologers?

Ah thanks, typo!

Ross G Caldwell
16-01-2011, 23:38
This whole "new Zodiac sign" thing is a joke, folks. Or rather, another attempt - as if any were needed - to discredit astrology (it's been going around for decades - I wonder why it is just hitting the news suddently? Is the Amazing Randi doing a tour?).

It is partly disingenuousness, and partly trying to get astrologers to recognize the Precession of Equinoxes (some do, called "Sideral Astrologers", and, I think, Jyotish (Indian) Astrology).

The boundaries of the constellations were settled only in the 1920s by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). The path of the ecliptic (the apparent line along which the Sun travels through the Zodiac in a year) does not perceptibly change because of Precession - it has always traveled through this part of space. All that has changed is that now the "official" boundary of what Ophiuchus should be now includes an arbitrary amount of space including a large part of the ecliptic between Scorpio and Sagittarius; and, because of Precession, the actual position of the Sun at the Vernal Equinox (now about 5 Pisces instead of the traditional 0 Aries).

These two issues should not be confused. That is, the arbitrary definition of which stars to include in a constellation and its arbitrary modern boundaries; and, the Precession of Equinoxes.

Precession does NOT change the position of the ecpliptic (perceptibly) relative to the background stars. Precession is due to a "wobble" in the Earth's rotation on its axis; this wobble is due to the combined gravitional effects of the Moon and Sun on the Earth; it takes about 26,000 years for this wobble to make a complete circle around the axis. Think of a spinning top, which leans slightly as it spins. It spins around its own axis, but also makes a turn around an invisible central axis that would correspond to exact verticality.

The ancient astrologers who made the twelve signs of the Zodiac did not recognize the bottom part of Ophichus as part of another constellation (the only bright star there anyway is Theta Ophiuchus, a 17th century definition); the ecliptic for them, as for modern astrology, goes from Scorpio to Sagittarius.

Skeptics trying to throw a wrench into astrology might use better not only precession and modern IAU constellation boundaries, but the ancient boundaries themselves - Aries is a tiny Zodiac sign, while Virgo is about 10 times larger in length along the ecliptic. But both are assigned 30 degrees, to maintain the symmetry of the 12-sign Zodiac.


19-01-2011, 08:45

Some really excellent points there, especially the reminder that the constellation boundaries have been altered over time by Astronomers and that therefore many of these criticisms are indeed disingenuous.

autumn star

Thanks for the link

BTW Looking back on the addition to my last post, do you think a tabloid newspaper might run the headline


:) :) :)