Posted in random thoughts, Uncategorized, writing

Reinventing the Zodiac

Have you heard there’s a new zodiac sign? That’s right, Ophiuchus, the serpent-bearer.

You can see a larger picture here.

So how did this happen? Well, according to this article at The Christian Science Monitor, Ophiuchus should have been there all along. The ancients simply discarded it (not sure why, maybe they didn’t like the number 13?). However, some astrologers do take it into account. Ophiuchus lies on the ecliptic (the imaginary line that the sun crosses) and is sometimes used by astrologers. The Japanese have acknowledged it, it’s fairly common there. There seem to be two symbols for it:


Even without Ophiuchus, the signs are in very different locations due to the Earth’s precession (wobble on its axis) than they were 2000 years ago. This is not news, many people know this, astrologers included. I’m not an astrologer, so why this hasn’t previously been taken into account I can’t answer.

Here’s how it shakes out now, with precession added into the equation:

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. 23-29.

Ophiuchus: Nov. 29-Dec. 17.

Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20.

I just became a Cancer.

Update 1/15/2011: People sure got het up about all this. New article in the Houston Chronicle says the whole thing was a class project for Parke Kunkle. MSNBC has more in their Cosmic Log.