WASHINGTON — Everything you thought you knew about astrology just changed. Or maybe not.
NASA did some calculations and pointed out that there are actually 13 zodiac signs.
The 13th sign — Ophiuchus — is not a new discovery, and has long been used in sidereal and vedic astrology, but is not commonly practiced in the United States.
“Even according to the Babylonians’ own ancient stories, there were 13 constellations in the zodiac. So they picked one, Ophiuchus, to leave out [to match their 12-month calendar]. Even then, some of the chosen 12 didn’t fit neatly into their assigned slice of the pie and crossed over into the next one,” according to NASA.
“The constellations are different sizes and shapes, so the sun spends different lengths of time lined up with each one. The line from Earth through the sun points to Virgo for 45 days, but it points to Scorpius for only 7 days. To make a tidy match with their 12-month calendar, the Babylonians ignored the fact that the sun actually moves through 13 constellations, not 12. Then they assigned each of those 12 constellations equal amounts of time.”
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration put out a blog on it, saying quite scientifically that Ophiuchus, is in fact the thirteenth sign and the astrological dates are different — but only if you follow the sidereal zodiac.
According to the sidereal zodiac, anyone born between Nov. 29 and Dec. 17 is actually an Ophiuchus instead of a Scorpio or a Sagittarius. It’s pronounced “oh-FEW-kuss.”
That changes the dates for all of the other signs, meaning your sign might be different in the sidereal zodiac.
For people who identify strongly with what they thought was their sign, news that it may have changed turned the universe upside down.
However, some are embracing their new cosmic identity.
So what is Ophiuchus and what does it stand for?
The constellation is known as the Serpent Bearer, which is not being universally embraced.
However, there are some pretty powerful traits associated with the sign.
“House Ophiuchus represented Unity. Its people were spirited, magnetic, impulsive, clever, flamboyant, and at times jealous, power-hungry, and temperamental,” according to ZodiacBooks.com. “At their hearts, they were healers who hoped to one day rid the Zodiac of every ill — disease, violence, etc. — and bring everyone closer together.”
According to Bustle.com, an Ophiuchus is “someone who wears bright colors, is considered wise, leaves the home young, generally has good fortune follow them, is open to change, and has a great sense of humor.”
All that being said, you probably won’t be seeing horoscopes for Ophiuchus in the newspaper any time soon.
“Leading astrological experts say this won’t change things at all. That’s because Western astrology strictly adheres to the tropical zodiac, which is fixed to seasons. The sidereal zodiac, observed in the East, is the one affixed to constellations, and is thus the one that would change,” according to Snopes.
“Nine out of ten people, their life experience still lines up with the tropical zodiac and that’s why astrologers here in the west still use the twelve signs of the tropical zodiac,” said astrologer Jim Trader.