It all started for me today with a facebook email from a client about this link. He wanted to know if what the link was saying is true, if Ophiuchus was the supposed 13th sign of the zodiac as said by an astronomer. It’s pronounced O-fee-a-kus. First, let me say. There are still only 12 signs of the Zodiac.
Here’s what’s true:
- Ophiuchus is a recognized constellation and has been seen as such for thousands of years. Not just since 2009 as some people are reporting. Go here (a link to book online) and do a search on your browser for “Ophiuchus.” This a book written by Ptolemy called Tetrabiblos and it was written in the 2nd century AD. Again, this isn’t new.
- Most sidereal astrologers see Zodiac with 12 signs, not 13. Sidereal astrology is explained here.
- Ophiuchus has been slowly appearing along the apparent path of the Sun (also known as the ecliptic) for the same amount of time. But this does not make it a recognized sign of the Zodiac and very few astrologers do.
- We work with a 12 month system because it is a neat way to divide up the year in roughly 30 day allotments. 13 months like 13 signs won’t work if we’re only tracking the Sun’s movement. That’s why no one really uses it.
- Astronomers who are against astrology use the Ophiuchus constellation as a challenge about how astrology works. I also think that it’s interesting that this link “premieres” on the 13th day of January. Sounds like marketing for a blog to me. Many other astronomers have had websites to say some of the same thing as the link above. Interestingly, it seems that every few years, people freak out about Ophiuchus. Last time, it was craziness on MySpace.com.
Here are some other websites to learn more about the Serpent Bearer known as Ophiuchus as seen by astrologers: