Friday, January 14, 2011

The Thirteenth Sign Hysteria

Talk about your Zodiac-killer: for some reason, most of the news media is abuzz with claims that Ophiuchus is being officially added to the traditional 12 Signs of the Zodiac and that everyone's charts are now ruined, because their sun sign will be different as a result of the reshuffling. And of course, the sheep of the world are all in a tizzy about the Earth-shattering news about this "new" sign of the Zodiac.

Problem is, it isn't true.

There is no official governing body that gets to determine, by fiat, the status of the Zodiac, as if it were daylight savings time or a standard unit of measurement. Some astrologers have already embraced Ophiuchus years ago, while most have not. Hate to break it to you kids, but there's nothing "new" about Ophiuchus: it's been part of Japanese astrology since before you were born, and in other Sidereal astrology systems.

A Minnesota teacher named Parke Kunkle recently released a statement pointing out that the current Zodiacal system is inaccurate because the Earth's axis doesn't rotate in the same direction all the time; it actually wobbles to and fro in its eccentric orbit. This wobble causes discrepancies on how humans have viewed constellations since they were first charted 2000 years ago in the Babylonian culture. But this does not amount to a universal and official "new Zodiac in effect" as of now; it's just another volley in the neverending game of astronomers critizing astrology.

(Image: constellation of Ophiuchus, from by way of Wikipedia.)

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