Ophiuchus ~ A New Entry to the Zodiac?
First things first; that title is a big old joke because this constellation isn't a newcomer that's popped into the universe all of a sudden! And no, your chart has not changed as a result of NASA & the BBC recently shouting about the constellation, ‘Ophiuchus’. It has raised some interesting discussions though!
Zodiacal Signs and Zodiacal Constellations aren’t the same things! Signs are just that: signs, symbols.
It’s not about the physical space that is taken up by the constellations. The dates established for the astrological zodiacal seasons are an equal division of the sky inspired by the 12 lunar cycles, which take place within 1 sun cycle or year. It’s a friggin’ space calendar! This wonderful system was established to sync up beautifully with the seasons of the year.
This clean and equal division means that the sun is not necessarily in the constellation that the zodiac sign relates to during that sign’s season. The best way to get it clear in your mind is to think of zodiacal seasons, not physical real-time placements.
Here’s a few facts for ya;
Ophiuchus is not new, it was acknowledged a long time ago and is one of 88 recognised constellations; it is located between Scorpio & Sagittarius.
Zodiacal constellations are those which sit around our ecliptic (the plane of the earth's orbit) and does indeed include our friend Ophiuchus.
Due to ‘precession of the equinoxes’, there is an approximate 1 degree shift westward every 72 years, meaning that the zodiacal constellations aren’t where they were when the early astrological calendar was established by the Babylonians, yet we still follow the dates established way back when.
Western Astrologers tend to use the ‘Tropical Zodiacal System’, this uses the seasonal shifts (equinoxes) to map the zodiac and does not take precession of the equinoxes into account. Seasons are very much the basis of this system; the Sun's annual journey through the skies, the Moon’s monthly orbit, and constellations from our viewpoint here on Earth, and correlation to changing energies felt by us Earth dwellers.
This is not the only system of Astrology widely practised though, in the East practitioners tend to favour the Sidereel System seen in Vedic Astrology which focuses on fixed stars opposed to seasonal shifts. Vedic Astrology is where you may well find the sign of Ophiuchus, so if you enjoy and resonate with this sign - I'm sure that there's an astrologer out there ready to plot your chart to include this constellation!
Due to Earth’s shift in relation to fixed stars, Vedic and Western astrologers will plot charts with approximately 1 signs’ difference from one and other. This isn’t about right or wrong, it’s about finding a practice and a study that you resonate with.
Whichever system you’re into, Astrology explores the spiritual and energetic effects of the planets based on their placements at our time of birth as well as present time global effects.
Astronomy is a science of the skies, space, planets, stars and provides the mathematics behind the mindful study of Astrology.
If you want to delve deeper into understanding this subject, there are lots of resources online - this one is very informative and digestible.
In summary, nothing has changed, and this is not new. The media has just jumped on a bandwagon which has snowballed into big claims that your star sign has changed - astrologers and those that follow astrology have rolled their eyes and had a giggle at this misunderstanding!
Anything to add, share, or ask? Give me a shout on social media, I’d love to hear from ya.