Below are a couple of pieces I wrote when this hoary old chestnut came up a couple of years back, for the umpteenth time.
Did my sun sign change?
Noooooo. You are precisely as you have always been. How could an intense passionately emotional Scorpio suddenly morph into an elegantly detached Libra? Not possible. Your sun sign (birthday sign) in Western astrology comes from a zodiac set by the solstices. The zodiac circle round the earth is divided into 12 exact segments each named after one of the 88 constellations in the heavens. These zodiac signs have been in use for thousands of years and aren’t going to change just because one astronomer got the wrong end of the stick.
Why are people talking about a new, 13th, sign? Astronomers like making mischief about astrology as a way of undermining its credibility. They imagine that pushing up the idea of a 13th sign will throw a spanner in the works. And the media especially on the internet loves a good argument. Astronomers don’t like astrology since they don’t understand it. They also feel it diminishes their lofty scientific status being even faintly associated with it via the stars. This is despite the fact that all the early astronomers – Galileo, Kepler, Brahe -and indeed early scientists were also astrologers.
What is the meaning of this new sign? The constellation Ophiuchus was in Roman times known as Serpentarius and associated with Ascelpius the healer who was reputed to be able to bring people back from the dead or keep them alive indefinitely. So it has a meaning somewhat similar to Chiron, the wounded healer.
Is this new news?
Nooo. It keeps cropping up every few years when yet another astronomer decides to try to rock astrology’s boat. One of astrology’s problems is it has bad PR despite being everywhere and accepted by two thirds of the world’s population. At the moment there is no explanation for astrology since it doesn’t fit in with any of the accepted scientific theories of the universe. And science in its arrogance says what we can’t explain can’t possibly exist. Hah.
How might I learn more?
When I first started doing astrology I knew I had to put aside the why question. Why does it work? We don’t know why is the simple answer. How it works is a different matter. People have been studying and practising astrology for several thousand years and a considerable body of knowledge has been accumulated. If you want to learn how astrology works then there are a huge variety of courses on offer – just go google. Find your country’s main astrological association and ask them.
For a general background on astrology my website has a brief summary of where it came from and just how many leading figures have used it.
Sigh. Astronomers do like to cause mischief on the basis of utterly no understanding of how astrology works. One has suggested because of the wobble of the earth on its axis we are all one sign out. And the Precession of the Equinoxes is news? And shock horror there is a thirteenth sign named after the constellation of Ophiuchus. This is a hoary chestnut that reappears every so often and is all beside the point.
Back to basics. Astrology works off a mathematically exact zodiac marked out from Zero Point Aries which is a line through the centre of the earth. That zodiac circle divided into twelve equal segments is named after twelve of the eighty eight constellations in the heavens which are roughly in a circle.
If you think of the astrological zodiac as a map grid reference it helps. Constellations vary enormously in size and distance from the earth so would hardly be useful for accurate predictions.
Where some of the confusion comes in is that 2000 years ago Zero Point Aries was very roughly against the start of the constellation of Aries. Two thousand years before that in the time of the Babylonians that line through the centre of the earth was against the constellation of Taurus. We have for the past two thousand years been moving through the Age of Pisces and now are hovering on the brink of the Age of Aquarius. But since the constellations are impossible to put a start and finish on estimates for the start of the Age of Aquarius run from 1966 to 2034.
In any event these great epochs as they are known have nothing whatsoever to do with the working of day to day astrology.
While for some it is reassuring to think of astrology working because we are ‘zapped’ by solar system energy, few serious astrologers believe there is a cause and effect mechanism working. The explanation has to be a good deal more complex than that. Since science has dismally failed to even start to grapple with the issue, other than throwing out silly smears once in a while we still have no idea why astrology actually works.
Which it undoubtedly does. Even at the simplest level of Sun signs it does make sense. Many early astronomers and indeed modern many scientists are Pisces. Comedians tend to be Aquarius or Sagittarius. Farmers and singers Taurus. Yes there are exceptions but anyone who knows astrology knows what their friends and family are like and most fit the rules of the thumb for that sign.
Birth charts can be startling accurate in pin pointing temperaments, talents, hang ups and life’s patterns. The examples are legion.
I wrote a book some years ago looking at the history of the past two thousand years and what was around astrologically during the great historical shifts. You can track the history of economics and the handling of money through times of Pluto in Capricorn which we have at the moment – 2008 to 2024. Pluto is about transformation. Capricorn is about governments and finance. Pluto melts down to produce a better system. The world went into a global financial spasm when Pluto moved into Capricorn. It occurs roughly every 250 years. Last time round Adam Smith was writing the free market bible ‘Wealth of Nations’. Prior to that currencies were re-organised, stabilised, banking was invented.
There is abundant proof that the kind of astrology we use, based on the map grid of the zodiac with the twelve signs we know and love so well, named after but not exactly matching constellations, does work. One day scientists will stop sneering and smearing and get on with their proper business of providing an explanation.