Are There Really 13 Zodiac Signs?
Every couple of years, we hear about a new Zodiac sign being somehow remembered or discovered and it throws the entire astrology community into a whirl. Suddenly, conversations over the water cooler are all about the outrage of being “demoted” to a dull practical Capricorn when all of your life you were a wild visionary Aquarian. This is the result of your birth date being re-assigned thanks to the “squeezing in” of the new astrological sign. This also throws the astrology world into chaos.
On January 19th, The Huffington Post did a big story about a new 13th sign being discovered by astronomer Parke Kunkle. Kunkle says that changes in the earth’s alignments have changed the position of the twelve signs and what dates they ruled. This effect is called “precession” and is caused by the earth wobbling on its axis.
This is actually very old news. There have always been rumors of a 13th sign that was somehow lost in history, like the 13th sign of Israel. Another theory is that the 13th sign is actually that of a Spider and takes place in a time period in May and June. The latest theory, put forth by Parke Kunkle, is that it is called Ophiuchus.
The Associated Press reported, shortly after this discovery, that this has been known since about 130 B.C. and that, in fact, astrology that contains 13 signs is accepted as fact in Eastern astrology. There are 12 signs in Western astrology and 13 signs in Eastern Astrology. Eastern astrology is based on sidereal time whereas Western is Greenwich Mean Time.
The meaning of the difference often depends how you look at it. Eastern astrology typically relies on sidereal zodiac (based on constellations), while Western astrology – what most of us are familiar with – has been associated with tropical zodiac (based on seasons).
Here is the breakdown of the new 13 signs according to Park Kunkle:
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
As you can see, this would cause quite a bit of outrage amongst confidence extroverted Leos who suddenly became sensitive and moody Cancers, free-spirited Geminis who were suddenly expected to be dutiful and toil like a Taurus, and a whole set of former Sagittarians and Scorpios who have no idea how an Ophiuchus is supposed to act or behave. By the way, this sign is sometimes called Serpenatarius in some cultures.
Interestingly, the entire horoscope as we know it has been called out as being incorrect by different astronomers for decades. The International Astronomical Union noted the misreading of the sky by astrologers in 1930, and people both pro-astrology and anti-astrology have been writing about Ophiuchus as the 13th sign of the Zodiac for years.
Does this mean that everyone will be changing their signs and subscribing to a new horoscope? The answer is probably not. It is simply too much trouble to change the current system or we would have done it ages ago!