Did you need another reason NOT to trust your horoscope?

The zodiac signs as shown in a 16th-century wo...Image via Wikipedia
“Hey baby, what’s your sign?”
You may have to start answering that question differently. It turns out that the stars aren’t aligned quite the way we thought they were.
A group of Minnesota astronomers recently pointed out that the relative positions of the Earth and the sun have shifted in the 3000 years since the Babylonians developed the “zodiac” calendar. The moon’s gravitational pull causes Earth to “wobble” on its axis, changing its tilt.
The zodiac is based on the perceived movement of the Sun through 12 constellations, or “houses,” over the course of a year. It turns out that because of the “wobble,” the sun isn’t in the constellations at the same time year it was when the zodiac was first created; it’s actually changed by about a month, and the “months” of the zodiac calendar have been adjusted accordingly. Here are the revised dates:

Capricorn: Jan. 20 – Feb. 16
Aquarius: Feb. 16 – March 11
Pisces: March 11
April 18
Aries: April 18
May 13
Taurus: May 13
June 21
Gemini: June 21
July 20
Cancer: July 20
Aug. 10
Leo: Aug. 10
Sept. 16
Virgo: Sept. 16
Oct. 30
Libra: Oct. 30
Nov. 23
Scorpio: Nov. 23
Nov. 29
Ophiuchus: Nov. 29
Dec. 17
Sagittarius: Dec. 17
Jan. 20

Hold on, though – an astrologer says it ain’t so!

“Please don’t rush out to get a different Zodiac pendant or, as my local newscaster complained, change tattoos. The 12 Astrology signs, along with their date ranges, have not changed! The Earth axis wobble is not new. Astrologers have known about it for years. However, traditional Western Astrology does not — repeat, does not — use “constellations” to determine Sun signs. We use the Tropical Zodiac, based upon the discoveries by Ptolemy in the 2nd century, which begins with 1 degree Aries, the same as the Equinox. We follow seasons as opposed to constellations.

The Sidereal Zodiac, used by Eastern astrologers, is constellation based; therefore, when comparing chart construction between West and East, signs and planet House positions can differ by approximately 23 degrees.”

So, does that mean the “realignment” proposed by the astronomers would essentially move everyone to the “Eastern” zodiac calendar? Or that we all could claim two signs, depending on whose charts we refer to? I’m so confused!

Well, not really, I’ve never taken astrology seriously and I don’t consult my horoscope, but I’ve had fun reading up on the various traits associated with each sign and trying to decide how closely they applied to people I knew within them.

First question: Ophiuchus? A 13th sign? Apparently the Babylonians thought 13 was an unlucky number too – they decided not to use this one. Since this new calendar only allots a week to Scorpio, I supposed we could just add Ophiuchus’ days there; I guess that’s what they did, although there aren’t any ancient Babylonians around to confirm that.
Speaking of Scorpio: My husband’s and my sister’s birthdays are four days apart, at the end of October – both Scorpio. Or not. It looks like my husband is actually supposed to be a Virgo, and my sister’s October 30 birthday puts her right on the cusp of Virgo and Libra. It looks like nearly everyone in my family would be relocated to the next sign over, actually.

I’ve always thought that in many ways I was an atypical or misfit Aries. And why not? I’m an atypical misfit in plenty of other ways. But could it be that I was a misfit Aries because I was really a Pisces? I guess I’d better learn something about Pisces, then, after nearly 47 years in the wrong house!
This upheaval may mean something to some people, but I’m just a bit amused by it – it’s not making my world wobble. Does the revised zodiac move you into a new “house,” too?
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