This news story about new astrological Sun signs and the changes to the zodiac, because of Constellation Ophiuchus, is absolutely the biggest attention astrology has ever had. This story has been in the news before, but this time it was spread like wildfire because of the internet. It has put the spotlight on common Sun Signs and and how they relate to the constellations of stars.
Melissa Bell at The Washington Post has quoted me in New Zodiac sign dates: Don’t switch horoscopes yet, with “It is the planets moving across the backdrop of the stars which influence our lives, not the planets moving through imagined 30 degree divisions on a piece of paper.” This is from an article I wrote last year, Zodiac Signs, Fixed Stars and Precession.
We don’t use astrological signs here at Darkstar but we do use the tropical zodiac we are all familiar with. We use it as it was intended, as a mathematical tool so we can draw up the horoscope. Instead of using the Sun signs for interpretation, we look to the aspects the planets make, and to the fixed stars.
It is possible to understand astrology without using any Sun signs, in fact things become much clearer when you take the signs away, and all the baggage that has built up around the signs, such as elements, rulerships etc.
Astronomers and critics have a good point when the rubbish astrology, citing the constellations and precession. Their argument is logical. I was a scientist, and I am very critical. I’m also an astrologer, and like the great astronomer/astrologer Johaness Kepler, I see the value of the tropical zodiac as a measuring tool, but not the value of Sun signs.
One year ago I wrote about the Saturn Uranus oppositions of 2010, and how they would effect astrology, as astrology is ruled by Uranus. “There is a growing mass consciousness awareness of this issue. Astrology has critical role to play in the shift in consciousness beginning to occur. We are evolving away from the zodiac sign astrology and the strict rules and regulations that are based on the 30 degree divisions.” The Evolution of Astrology.
So the biggest news story in the history of astrology has the world abuzz with questions about the Sun signs. Now many people are questioning astrology and looking a bit deeper. Astrologers are being forced to defend their art, and they themselves have to look deeper. This is just the beginning of the process. The Jupiter Uranus conjunction last week has brought this new awareness about astrology. Uranus square Pluto from 2012 to 2015 may well bring fundamental changes to astrology, a major transformation.
Constellation Ophiuchus spans all of Sun sign Sagittarius. As an example of how Ophiuchus effects us more than Sagittarius, check out the horoscope of Tiger Woods. He has Moon in the sign Sagittarius, but it is on the brightest star in constellation Ophiuchus called Ras Alhague, the Head of the Serpent-charmer. This star with the Moon gives “misfortune through women, perverted tastes and mental depravity”.
Symbolism – From 12 to 13
I just thought I’d throw some ideas around as to why Ophiuchus has suddenly become top news.
Astrology is based on the sun’s path, the ecliptic being divided into 360 degrees and then divided by 12. The aspects are formed by the division of that circle by numbers one to 12. 1= Conjunction, 2=Opposition and so on up to 12 =Quincunx. We have the 12 Signs and the 12 houses. The 4 quadrants and the 4 seasons. It all fit’s together neatly. This is basically a Solar calendar and a Solar masculine, left brain, linear mindset. I wrote a little bit about the symbolism of the number 12 here: Whole Sign Houses.
Before Uranus was discovered the rulerships were conveniently divided into the 12 day and night rulers using just the 7 visible planets. This also neatly corresponded to the days of the week. Uranus true to its radical nature upset that precious balance and since then further new bodies have been discovered to confuse the matter more. Now who rules what?
Introducing a 13th sign throws the whole thing into utter confusion. It’s like the 13th uninvited fairy in sleeping beauty. The Judas of the signs. The whole concept reminds us of Eris, the uninvited wedding guest in the Greek myth. The discovery of Eris caused a stir and ended up with Pluto being demoted and Ceres being promoted to dwarf planet status. This gives male Pluto and female Ceres equal ranking. It must have been galling for Pluto to step down off his power throne. But this beautifully symbolizes quality of the sexes. It’s quite revolutionary.
So is a revolution in astrology coming our way? The lunar calender had 13 months, it was more accurate and did not need a leap year. It followed the ways of the Goddess and respected natures cycles. But if we take on Ophiuchus then how would the circle be divided? It throws everything into chaos, like Eris did.
Whether this new sign is ever integrated or not, I do see the interest in it reflecting a general re-balancing of the masculine and the feminine going on in the world psyche. With the additions of Ceres and Eris, we have more Goddesses in our pantheon now. The transformation of astrology that Jamie mentioned regarding Pluto squaring Uranus could also be part of this adjustment.
The Pluto Uranus conjunction in the 1960’s brought about great advances in sexual equality and it’s only natural that the changes should be reflected in the ways we measure the planets movements.
Ophiuchus has always been on the ecliptic, its not a new thing that has just been discovered. The mere fact that it is being discussed and people are willing to entertain the idea that their Sun sign could be wrong marks a shift in our thinking. As for the constellation itself, Ophiuchus is the snake charmer and snakes have so many evocative associations. Wisdom, occult knowledge, Kundalini, forbidden fruit, shamanism, sex…
Exciting times are ahead for our craft.
UPDATE! The Meaning of Constellation Ophiuchus