Astrology: Why Your Zodiac Sign and Horoscope Are Wrong
The idea appears to have originated in with Stephen Schmidt's suggestion of a sign zodiac, with it also including Cetus as a sign. In sidereal and tropical astrology including sun sign astrology , a sign zodiac is used based on dividing the ecliptic into 12 equal parts rather than the IAU constellation boundaries.
That is, astrological signs do not correspond to the constellations which are their namesakes, particularly not in the case of the tropical system where the divisions are fixed relative to the equinox, moving relative to the constellations.
There is much debate about Ophiuchus' status as a member of the zodiac, with details about it still unknown like its element and placement among the core 12 zodiac members, it is usually considered to be a pseudo-member.
Ophiuchus and some of the fixed stars in it were sometimes used by some astrologers in antiquity as extra-zodiacal indicators i.
The constellation is described in the astrological poem of Marcus Manilius: The poem describes how:. 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: The struggle will last forever, since they wage it on level terms with equal powers".
Later in his poem, Manilius describes the astrological influence of Ophiuchus, when the constellation is in its rising phase, as one which offers affinity with snakes and protection from poisons, saying "he renders the forms of snakes innocuous to those born under him.
They will receive snakes into the folds of their flowing robes, and will exchange kisses with these poisonous monsters and suffer no harm". Based on the IAU constellation boundaries , suggestions that "there are really 13 astrological signs" because "the Sun is in the sign of Ophiuchus" between November 30 and December 18 have been published since at least the s.
Here's Something You Should Know About the New Astrological Dates
In January , a statement by Parke Kunkle of the Minnesota Planetarium Society repeating the idea of "the 13th zodiac sign Ophiuchus" made some headlines in the popular press. The signs of the Tropical Zodiac, each 30 degrees of arc along the ecliptic, were named after 12 of the constellations and are defined by the changing of Earth's seasons.
The tropical sun is used in almost all popular astrological columns. Below are the approximate dates the Sun moves through each sign of the Tropical Zodiac.
The sidereal star zodiac begins its yearly cycle when the sun aligns with the constellation of Aries.
Then, like the tropical zodiac, divides the ecliptic into 12 equal sections of 30 degrees each. Below are the approximate dates the Sun moves through each sign of the sidereal zodiac. All the dates above are listed on The Real Astrology Academy: Ophiuchus , the serpent Bearer, is a large group of bright stars that can be seen in the dark sky of the northern hemisphere from June through October.
Astrologers who use the Tropical Zodiac believe the mythology of the surrounding constellations are an important part of the nature of the sign. So, Ophiuchus is certainly not irrelevant.
The Importance of Ophiuchus
It's just not an astrological sign. In Greek myth, Ophiuchus was placed in the sky by Zeus to honor Aesculapius.
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Aesculapius, the Greek god of medicine, had been taught the healing arts by Chiron. His rod, entwined by a snake, is today the official insignia of the American Medical Association. For the astrological meaning of Ophiuchus and its stars, read Star Lore of the Constellations - Ophiuchus: The difference between the tropical zodiac and the sidereal zodiac changes slightly each year due to the precession of the equinoxes.
Currently, the difference is about 24 degrees.