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What's Ophiuchus?!

Have You Been Living an Astrological Lie?

If you're an avid horoscope reader, like most of us here at Glo are, you may be a bit dismayed by the Minnesota Planetarium Society's news this week that your beloved zodiac sign has changed.

The society said that the moon's gravitational pull on the Earth has altered over the millennia, shifting the zodiac sign dates set by the Babylonians in 3000 B.C. by about a month. They have set new dates (see below) over which the signs should now fall, making some Aries into Pisces, Capricorns into Aquarius and so on.

But you're such a Pisces (or Aries, or Taurus or whatever), you say! We know, we're still in shock too. Which is why we asked astrologer and spiritual counselor Dr. Craig Martin to explain what's really going on here … and if we actually have to adopt a new sign.

“The zodiac does shift over thousands of years,” he says. “Modern western astrologers incorporate that shift into our understanding of the signs.”

As for the news that a new sign is coming into the mix — apparently, the Babylonians tossed out the 13th sign of the zodiac, Ophiuchus, since they favored the number 12 — Dr. Craig says this addition is “preposterous.”

“Ophiuchus is a constellation, just like Orion or the Big Dipper — it's not new,” he says. “The problem with giving Ophiuchus, a constellation near Scorpio, a spot in the zodiac is that the time has been borrowed or stolen from Leo, Scorpio and Pisces. Observe how Scorpio, for example, only gets seven days of the year in this new model. It's imbalanced.”

Basically, Dr. Craig says, every sign in the current, accepted zodiac has the "same amount of 'sky' assigned to it." There are 12 signs with 30 degrees each. The new model, however, just doesn't work: He says it creates "unequal distribution of the elements and qualities of the signs."

"It's like saying, 'Let's change the clock. Now we have 13 hours on the clock and 26 hours in the day.' You can do that, but you sure are going to confuse the hell out of people," he says.

So before you get a tattoo of your new sign or break up with your now-non-astrologically compatible mate, it might be better to wait to see if leading astrologers adopt this new model first.

The new zodiac, as proposed by the Minnesota Planetarium Society:

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. 23-29

Ophiuchus:* Nov. 29-Dec. 17

Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20

* Discarded by the Babylonians because they wanted 12 signs per year.

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What's Ophiuchus?!
Have You Been Living an Astrological Lie?
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