Ophiuchus - The 13th zodiac sign

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Here's how the new horoscope sign changed the dates!

There's an ongoing debate about how astrology fails to fit the zodiac signs with the actual constellations that can be seen on the sky - and one of the most interesting and ever puzzling question is whether the Ophiuchus (aka, the Serpent Bearer) is just a constellation that has nothing to do with the basic foundations of astrology, or whether it is actually the 13th zodiac sign.

Ophiuchus star sign

Ophiuchus star sign (Source: pixabay.com / Dorothe; modified: Richárd Seres-Nagy; License: Pixabay License (Free for commercial use; No attribution required); License link: https://pixabay.com/service/license/; Link: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/constellation-snake-charmers-3596318/)

Most astrologers say that no matter how the Ophiucus stays the same, and no matter how the Sun passes the constellation each and every year, the old horoscope dates and signs will stay the same and are the "real" ones. Others, however, say that - concerning the roots of astrology, which are actually close to those of astronomy - zodiac signs should match the constellations closely. They are the ones who are sure about the Ophiucus being a new zodiac sign.

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Yet, it's important to note that the Sun only passes through the southern part of the constellation, not the whole of it - and actually, it does so by the end of November and in early December.

It's also important to note though that the length and dates of constellations doesn't always match the dates of zodiac signs to begin with… There are 88 constallations altogether that were defined by the IAU back in 1930. Here are the dates when the Sun actually enters and leaves the 13 constallations according to the article of lovetoknow.com.

New horoscope dates:

Aries: April 18 - May 13

Taurus: May 13 - June 21

Gemini: June 21 - July 20

Cancer: July 20 - August 10

Leo: August 10 - September 16

Virgo: September 16 - October 30

Libra: October 30 - November 23

Scorpius: November 23 - November 29

Ophiuchus: November 29 - December 17

Sagittarius: December 17 - January 20

Capricornus: January 20 - February 16

Aquarius: February 16 - March 11

Pisces: March 11 - April 18

As a matter of fact, tropical and sidereal zodiac dates describe different starting and ending points of the zodiac signs, and they do not list the Ophiuchus as a zodiac sign. These zodiac systems mostly differ in how they relate to the position of the Sun compared to the constellations.

More about the Ophiuchus constellation

Ophiuchus constellation

Ophiuchus constellation (Source: By Michelet B - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1061278)

If you're determined to see the Ophiuchus with your own eyes, you have the best chances in the summer, when the constallation can be seen from the Northern Hemisphere - or in the winter, when it's visible from the Southern Hemisphere. It's actually right above the constallation Scorpius the Scorpion and south of the constallation Hercules the Hero. The head of the Ophiuchus is a fantastically bright star - the Rasalhague, or Alpha Ophiuchi. The constellation represents a man with a snake around his west as he holds the head of the serpent in his left hand and its tail in his right hand.

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The legend - that is summed up in a great article on ianridpath.com - says that the man "depicted" in the constellation, Asclepius, the god of medicine and the son of Coronis and Apollo, was saved by being taken out of his wounded mother's womb and being raised by a centaur named Chiron. In the end, Asclepius learned the secrets of medicine to a level when he could not only cure illnesses, but also, take dead people back to life. So, what do Asclepius have to do with snakes, one could ask. Actually, that's more or less another story.

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According to legends, Asclepius saw a boy drowning when a snake approached the dead body of a child, so he killed the reptile. But then another serpent came along and rushed to the other one, bringing some kind of a plant in its mouth. And when the snake laid the plant onto the other snake's dead body, it woke up and seemed more alive than ever. Seeing this unbelievable scene, Asclepius brought the same kind of plant onto the dead body of the dead boy, and then the child came alive too.

How to say Ophiuchus?

Some might be wondering how to actually pronounce the word Ophiuchus /ɒfi'ju:kəs/. It's actually pronounced as "oh-FEW-cuss", with the "s" at the end of the word being a bit more emphasized.

Why do some argue that the Ophiuchus is a zodiac sign?

The real question, at least according to others, is why is Ophiucus not a zodiac sign? They believe that the only reason western astrology forgets about this sign is that they try so hard to stick with the ancient Babylonian calendar, which actually had 12 months - just as we do. But then again, modern western astrology has so much diverse roots than this! It was influenced by ancient Greeks, Romans, and also, even Newton dealt with astrology along with astronomy.

But on the other hand, astrology is not a science, and even though astronomy is one of it's foundations, tradition and the centuries of observation is another foundation that's just as important.

Ophiuchus zodiac sign

Ophiuchus zodiac sign (Source: creazilla.com; modified: Richárd Seres-Nagy; License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). You are free to share and adapt the material for any purpose, even commercially under the following terms: you must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may obtain a copy of the License at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.; Link: https://creazilla.com/nodes/54870-ophiuchus-emoji-clipart)

Also, it's important to know the difference between a constallation and a zodiac sign. The signs of the zodiac are based on the twelve-fold division of the Sun's ecliptic with each sign taking a share of a 30° of the celestial longitude. These spans are also aligned with the seasons in a way March equinox falls on the boundary between the Pisces and the Aries. On the other hand, constellations are merely based on the positions of the stars, and they don't always have a close association with the actual zodiac signs.

But then again, who said your own observations doesn't count? If you can relate more to the characteristics of an Ophiuchus than the ones of a Sagittarius or Scorpio, you might be right to speculate that your actual sign could be Ophiuchus instead of the other two. And what is an Opchiucus like? You can learn about that in our other article right here: Ophiuchus horoscope.

What are the new horoscope dates?

As you saw above, horoscope dates doesn't always match exactly the dates when the Sun passes each of the constellations, and such is the case with the so-called new horoscope signs. If you're convinced that the traditional 12 signs are not reliable, then here are the new dates:

Aries: April 19 - May 13

Taurus: May 14 - June 19

Gemini: June 20 - July 20

Cancer: July 21 - Aug. 9

Leo: Aug. 10 - Sept. 15

Virgo: Sept. 16 - Oct. 30

Libra: Oct. 31 -Nov. 22

Scorpio: Nov. 23 - 29

Ophiuchus: Nov. 30 - Dec. 17

Sagittarius: Dec. 18 - Jan.18

Capricorn: Jan. 19 - Feb. 15

Aquarius: Feb. 16 - March 11

Pisces: March 12 - April 18

And just in case you were wondering, the ruling planet of the Ophicius - according to yourzodiacsign.com - is Jupiter, while fire element can be associated with it.

Famous Ophiuchus people

It can be encouraging to see how well others with the same horoscope signs as you did in life, and actually, there are quite a few memorable and highly creative people who were born in the sign of the Ophichius. Here are some examples:

Mark Twain (American writer and journalist)

9th Dalai Lama (Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader)

Britney Spears (singer)

Taylor Swift (singer)

Jean-Luc Godard (French film director)

Ozzy Osbourne (British rock musician)

Walt Disney (American animation film director and artist)

Johann Christoph Bach (German composer)

John Milton (English poet)

Kirk Douglas (Oscar-winning actor)

Tré Cool (the drummer of Green Day)

Emily Dickinson (American poet)

Heinrich Heine (German poet and writer)

Jamie Foxx (actor)

Amy Lee (singer)

Nostradamus (French astrologer, physician and a well-known seer)

Ben Cross (actor)

Pope Francis

Gigi D'Agostino (Italian DJ)

So, how did the dispute start about the new horoscope sign?

At the end of our article, we're going to discuss why, and how the dispute about the new horoscope sign had started.

In fact, according the the Stylist, it was the NASA that made the announcement - based merely on astronomy, and not trying to "mess with" astrology at all - that as the stars are not aligned, but shifted instead, there should be considered another constellation, the Ophiuchus as a part of the elliptic where the Sun passes each year. Now, some astrology fans decided that this could be enough evidence about the existence of a 13th horoscope sign - even though people knew about the curios case of the Ophiuchus even hundreds of years ago, and just decided to "ignore" the poor Serpent Holder.

September 2020