About every two years (a Mars cycle!) a rumor spreads about a “new” zodiac sign that changes our entire zodiac and adds an additional 13th sign.
The report that really caught on recently says that NASA discovered a new constellation and is changing our zodiac. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
First off, you can relax… your sign has NOT changed!
In addition to the 12 major constellations, there is a 13th one called Ophiucus. Ophiucus constellation is not new – astrologers have known about it for 2,000 years and it was purposely left out of the creation of the original zodiac. In fact, there are 88 constellations but only 12 are used to determine the zodiac.
The zodiac is a celestial belt around the Earth created by ancient astrologers. It’s a 360 degree circle around the Earth divided evenly into 12 zodiac signs.
Western astrology is primarily based on the seasons beginning with the vernal equinox, not on the constellations.
NASA has NADA to do with the zodiac
While both astronomers and astrologers often cite data from NASA discoveries on the planets and stars that form the basis for much of their work, the zodiac is not in NASA’s domain.
Some NASA scientists have even mocked astrology and it’s validity. In one livestream on Mercury, I was so irritated by the astronomer’s mocking of the astrological significance of Mercury retrograde, I tweeted them.
I have a lot of respect for the work NASA does – in fact both my parents worked for NASA when I was a kid growing up in the Space Coast of Florida.
But astrology is outside of the realm of NASA. Astrology is not astronomy.
What is astrology?
Astrology is not so easily defined depending upon whom you ask, but the best description I’ve found is that astrology is a language.
The language of astrology helps us to gain deeper meaning of our lives on Earth. Some even consider it a form of divination. The planets and stars act as symbols that correlate to life on Earth in fascinating ways that help us to understand more of the energetic flow of society and in our personal lives.
The two primary systems of astrology are Western and Eastern astrology. Western astrology – the one you’re most likely familiar with if you live in North America or Europe – uses the Tropical zodiac and is based upon the seasons around the equinoxes and solstices. Eastern – also known as Vedic astrology – originates from India and uses the Sidereal zodiac based upon the constellations.
Your zodiac Sun sign may differ between Western and Eastern zodiacs, however this is nothing new. The differences between these zodiacs, called “precession,” was noted as far back as 280 BC.
Neither of these zodiacs use a 13th sign.
The most detailed explanation of the 12 zodiac system and why it will never include a 13th sign is this one by astrologer Deborah Houlding.
Astrologer Chris Brennan timelined the recent NASA rumor and asked other astrologers to weigh in on this as well.
Essentially, no one really knows how or why astrology works, we just know that it does and the meaning it can provide is invaluable.
The lesson: when in doubt about your astrology, ask an astrologer.