Ophiuchus the 13th Zodiac Sign? Not so Fast!


For thousands of years, there have been 12 standard signs in the Zodiac, corresponding with the 12 months in the year and 12 constellations.

But on Janaury 13th, 2011 Astronomers at the Minnesota Planetarium Society made new discoveries about the Earth’s alignment.  This new information caused many Astrologers to reassess the Zodiac.

Currently, much buzz has been circling the Internet regarding astrologists’ claims that there is a 13th sign called Ophiuchus.

If these astrologers are correct then one lucky group of individuals born between November 29th and December 17th get a brand new Zodiac Sign altogether: Ophiuchus, “the snake holder.”

Unfortunately for the Astronomy experts at Minnesota Planetarium Society, Astrology has always been a vague combination of science and faith; a factor which has led an estimated 69% of the American population to disregard the theories of Astrology altogether.

New Zodiac Sign Dates: How Does Astrology Work?

At the core, Astrology is about innate personality traits which may or may not manifest in any given individual person.

Your entire Natal Chart has to be calculated, studied and interpreted in order for an Astrologer to gauge the degree of any specific Zodiac Sign’s potential influence over your personality.

When comparing individuals of a certain Sun Sign, such as Pisces, Capricorn or Aquarius, key traits have been observed and documented in common among those Zodiac Signs.

However, even new Astrology students are well aware that the placement of the Sun during your birth only influences a part of your entire Zodiac Sign chemistry; many Astrologers have argued for years that the Sun Signs-the Zodiac Sign you commonly read an online Horoscope about, for example-aren’t even the most influential element in your Natal Chart.

Your time of birth and geographical location determines your Ascendant, also known as your Rising Sign, and it sets the placement of your Houses-elements of Astrology too often overlooked.

The simple fact is that Astrology and the Zodiac Signs could be little more than the power of suggestion to begin with, especially among the 31% of Americans who reportedly believe in Astrology’s legitimacy.

Like all aspects of faith, Astrology has evolved over the years with countless theories, differing opinions, and unique manifestations of belief in every individual life. There is something to be said for a collective power of suggestion, however; many cultures belief that to give something a name, to fear it, or to acknowledge its existence is to give it power.

Is it impossible that Astrology works in fundamentally the same way?

New Zodiac Sign Dates: Ophiuchus the 13th Zodiac Sign?

Legends about a mysterious 13th Zodiac Sign have existed since the beginning of Astrology.

The theory is that Ancient Babylonians only wanted twelve Zodiac Signs, so a 13th Sign was rejected from their version of Astrology.

Arguments that this was due to a superstition about the number 13 are abundant, but in reality the reason behind this supposed 13th Zodiac Sign disappearing are unknown. Ophiuchus is a constellation, not unlike the other twelve which inspired the traditional 12 Zodiac Signs, in the sky between Scorpio and Sagittarius.

The constellation Ophiuchus represents a man wrestling a serpent, dividing the snake’s body in two parts. It is the only sign of the zodiac linked to real men, sharing traits with Imhotep, a 27th century BCE Egyptian doctor, and biblical Joseph… explains Zoe Fox, for TIME.

Whether Astronomers want to divide the Sun Signs into 13 Zodiac Signs instead of 12, and reconfigure the Astrological influences on those born on each date, the simple fact remains that the Zodiac Signs are merely a name for traits attributed to that particular planetary placement.

You can call January 20th-February 16th the “new Capricorn dates” if you want to, but as a stereotypical Aquarius born on January 25th I can vouch for the lack of credibility that new theory has.

Simply relabelling me as a Capricorn does not suddenly afflict me with the negative traits associated with Capricorn, while replacing the positive traits of Aquarius with those of the Sea Goat.

New Zodiac Sign Dates: New Modern Astrology?

As one of the 31% of Americans who studies Astrology-and commonly adopts its practices into her daily life-I am not concerned about the new Zodiac Sign dates based on Earth’s planetary alignment.

Such an overhaul in Astrology’s core beliefs has been long overdue-this is the Age of Aquarius, what did we expect? Anything which sheds new light on this fascinating, timeless combination of science and faith should be encouraged.

The new Zodiac Sign dates are as follows:

  • 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.
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