There’s officially a lot going on in the news cycle right now (thank you, 2020) — but over the past week, you may have heard about some drama regarding the existence of a potential 13th zodiac sign called Ophiuchus. Before you freak out about whether astrology as you know it has been turned upside down, this isn’t the first time this zodiac maverick has popped up in our news feeds.
The cosmic confusion appears to originate in a NASA article written for children (last updated in 2016), which claims that the true zodiac originally included a 13th zodiac sign called Ophiuchus that was knowingly left out by ancient Babylonians in order to align the number of signs to the number of months in the year.
According to the theory, Ophiuchus is nestled between Scorpio and Sagittarius in the astrological zodiac wheel, which means the rest of the zodiac would also have to shift to account for it. This also means that, if true, your zodiac sign might be entirely different than what you’ve thought it was your whole life.
Before you get carried away in an astrologically existential crisis, most astrologers aren’t so quick to accept the Ophiuchus theory — and there’s some compelling evidence to show that we may be sticking to the original 12 zodiac signs for the time being. Read on.
What Is Ophiuchus Even About?
Ophiuchus is represented by the symbol of a woman snake handler or serpent. If Ophiuchus were accepted as the 13th sign of the zodiac, it would apparently account for about 18 days worth of the Sun’s cosmic residency annually — which would mean that people born between approximately November 29 to December 17 would be assigned to the sign of Ophiuchus instead of being Scorpios or Sagittarians. But of course, this wouldn’t just affect people born during this period: The whole zodiac would need to shift in order to make space for Ophiuchus, meaning that many people would find themselves trying to identify with an entirely new sun sign. Because this sign squeezes its way in between Scorp and Sag’s territory, the personality traits of Ophiuchus are believed to be sort of a hybrid of the two.
Ophiuchus is indeed a real constellation, so there’s no way around that. But while the zodiac signs are based on real constellations, there are way more than 12 constellations on our radar — and not all of those have a zodiac sign. Astrology and astronomy both track the movement of planets and other celestial objects, but are two very different things.
Why Does The Ophiuchus Rumor Keep Resurfacing?
This may not be the first time you’re seeing confusion around the accuracy of the current zodiac sign dates or the potential existence of a 13th sign, because as mentioned, the Ophiuchus theory has continued to pop up in the news cycles and cause astro-panic every so often since the original article was posted years back.
It’s interesting to note that the Ophiuchus drama tends to resurface during a Mercury retrograde cycle (we’re in the post-retrograde shadow period of Mercury retrograde summer 2020 as this article is being updated), and that’s no coincidence. Mercury is the planet of communication and information-sharing, so when it retrogrades, it’s much easier for misinformation to spread and for written words to be interpreted incorrectly. These cosmically-fueled periods of informational mix-ups and bouts of confusion might help to explain why this story keeps floating to the top of our feeds at least once a year.
Astrology is all about interpretation, so if you feel strongly aligned to the alleged Ophiuchus personality traits (or the traits of another zodiacal sign switch), then do you. Regardless of what astrology tells you, remember this: You are who you choose to be! So just keep being your cool, authentic self.
Source : Bustle