Earth’s Precession Changes Zodiac Signs: Are You Now An Ophiuchus?

OphiuchusThe interwebs have been going crazy with a supposed change to the zodiac that has added a new sign called Ophiuchus and changed all the other signs’ dates.

It’s world-changing (well if you believe in this sort of thing : ) If you’d like to read what’s really going on here behind the hubbub and learn a bit about astronomy not astrology, Charlie Jane Anders over at io9.com has an excellent post:

What on Earth is going on? And why does everybody suddenly have to work with a new version of the completely meaningless zodiac?

It seems to have started with this article in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune last weekend, in which one astronomer made some statements about the zodiac. Parke Kunkle is on the board of directors of the Minnesota Planetarium Society and teaches astronomy at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Kunkle told the Star-Tribune the Earth’s relation to the sun had changed since the Babylonians first created the zodiac.

We got in touch with Kunkle and asked him what he actually told the Star-Tribune. He said he was asked by the Star-Tribune to give them a few bits of information about astronomy, not realizing the article would become a huge discussion of astrology and the relationship between astronomy and astrology. And the main stuff he talked to the Star-Tribune about has to do with the phenomenon of “precession.”

Read More from Charlie Jane Anders over at io9.com

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  • Rufus

    Is that a giant serpent in your tunic….or are you just happy to see me?

  • Rufus

    Is that a giant serpent in your tunic….or are you just happy to see me?

  • Honu

    And all this time I thought i was a Libra……so THAT’S why my whole life has been a complete disaster.

  • Honu

    And all this time I thought i was a Libra……so THAT’S why my whole life has been a complete disaster.

  • Nine

    http://www.astro.com/astrology/in_praezession_e.htm

    “The constellations are groups of fixed stars in the sky. Since ancient times humans have pondered over their significance. The strip of sky which is particularly relevant for astrology is the ecliptic within which the planets of our solar system move. It is here that we find (going round anti-clockwise) the twelve fixed star constellations of Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. These constellations are of widely varying sizes and at times they even overlap. Because the patterns formed by these constellations can be interpreted in a variety of ways, it impossible, for example, to say where Capricorn ends and Aquarius begins. It is into this zone of the sky (or celestial sphere) that astronomers project a perfect circle – the ecliptic – formed by the earth’s yearly orbit around the sun – or, for an observer on the earth, the sun’s apparent orbit around our own planet. The ecliptic remains practically stable against the background of the fixed stars.”

  • Nine

    http://www.astro.com/astrology/in_praezession_e.htm

    “The constellations are groups of fixed stars in the sky. Since ancient times humans have pondered over their significance. The strip of sky which is particularly relevant for astrology is the ecliptic within which the planets of our solar system move. It is here that we find (going round anti-clockwise) the twelve fixed star constellations of Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. These constellations are of widely varying sizes and at times they even overlap. Because the patterns formed by these constellations can be interpreted in a variety of ways, it impossible, for example, to say where Capricorn ends and Aquarius begins. It is into this zone of the sky (or celestial sphere) that astronomers project a perfect circle – the ecliptic – formed by the earth’s yearly orbit around the sun – or, for an observer on the earth, the sun’s apparent orbit around our own planet. The ecliptic remains practically stable against the background of the fixed stars.”

  • Nine

    http://www.astro.com/astrology/in_praezession_e.htm

    “The constellations are groups of fixed stars in the sky. Since ancient times humans have pondered over their significance. The strip of sky which is particularly relevant for astrology is the ecliptic within which the planets of our solar system move. It is here that we find (going round anti-clockwise) the twelve fixed star constellations of Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. These constellations are of widely varying sizes and at times they even overlap. Because the patterns formed by these constellations can be interpreted in a variety of ways, it impossible, for example, to say where Capricorn ends and Aquarius begins. It is into this zone of the sky (or celestial sphere) that astronomers project a perfect circle – the ecliptic – formed by the earth’s yearly orbit around the sun – or, for an observer on the earth, the sun’s apparent orbit around our own planet. The ecliptic remains practically stable against the background of the fixed stars.”

  • Durga_daggr

    No, your sun is still in the sign of Libra. This article is misleading and being a story that is 3000 years old, it is hardly “news”. perfect for the disinformation tho!

  • Durga_daggr

    ** signs and constellations are not the same thing.** thought i mentioned that in the above response.

  • Jordan

    Actually, yes, signs ARE also constellations. Here is a picture. http://www.thelivingprophecy.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Zodiac5.jpg

  • Jordan

    Actually, yes, signs ARE also constellations. Here is a picture. http://www.thelivingprophecy.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Zodiac5.jpg

  • Durga_daggr

    Uh, no. they are two different things.

    read and understand: http://shamanicastrology.com/articles/the-difference-between-signs-and-constellations

  • Nine

    I was amazed it made it on to CNN! Not that CNN is news or anything…

  • J Ackley

    It’s a good thing that astrology affects nothing at all, other than the people who believe it.

    • EAGD

      It’s a good thing that _______ affects nothing at all, other than the people who believe it.

  • J Ackley

    It’s a good thing that astrology affects nothing at all, other than the people who believe it.

  • EAGD

    It’s a good thing that _______ affects nothing at all, other than the people who believe it.

  • B1-66ER

    Great… more “news” institutions helping propagate the bullshit know as astrology. When are they going to be bring up the “truth” of geocentrism or the stork theory of human reproduction?

  • B1-66ER

    Great… more “news” institutions helping propagate the bullshit know as astrology. When are they going to be bring up the “truth” of geocentrism or the stork theory of human reproduction?

  • JLL

    I was a professional astrologer for 35 years. Unlike most of the people in my profession, I took a keen interest in astronomy and real sky observations. Most astrologers never look at the actual stars. In my book, Quest for the Zodiac (1999) I explain that astrology ignores the stars. This is because it uses the Ptolemaic format of divisions of the ecliptic plane (signs of the zodiac) which has nothing to do with the starry environment of the skies. Looking at the real sky you see the constellations, the visible sky patterns, thirteen in number (including Ophiuchus) and irregular in shape and extent. Of the two zodiacs, starless ecliptic sectors and constellations, most astrologers are totally ignorant of the second. The notion that precession changes the zodiacal signs is a measure of total ignorance that generates a lot of useless speculation. The astrology signs are divisions of the ecliptic plane, unaffected by the rotation of that plane due to precession. Anyone who looks seriously into the subject should know this by now. Unfortunately, astronomers are often blind when it comes to the nature of the astrological format, so they erroneously assume that signs can be altered by precession or that the 12 even astrological have, or once had, something to do with the stars. Totally wrong. The signs are determined by measurement from the equinoxes not from starry coordinates. Once very decade or so some ill-informed or intentionally devious person attempts to resurrect this old con about signs changing due to precession. It does not matter what stars stand in the background of, say, the Aries sector of the ecliptic (0 – 30 degrees ecliptic longitude). The astrological signs have nothing to do with the real sky constellations and never did. You have to be an idiot to fall for this old gabble.
    John Lash

  • JLL

    I was a professional astrologer for 35 years. Unlike most of the people in my profession, I took a keen interest in astronomy and real sky observations. Most astrologers never look at the actual stars. In my book, Quest for the Zodiac (1999) I explain that astrology ignores the stars. This is because it uses the Ptolemaic format of divisions of the ecliptic plane (signs of the zodiac) which has nothing to do with the starry environment of the skies. Looking at the real sky you see the constellations, the visible sky patterns, thirteen in number (including Ophiuchus) and irregular in shape and extent. Of the two zodiacs, starless ecliptic sectors and constellations, most astrologers are totally ignorant of the second. The notion that precession changes the zodiacal signs is a measure of total ignorance that generates a lot of useless speculation. The astrology signs are divisions of the ecliptic plane, unaffected by the rotation of that plane due to precession. Anyone who looks seriously into the subject should know this by now. Unfortunately, astronomers are often blind when it comes to the nature of the astrological format, so they erroneously assume that signs can be altered by precession or that the 12 even astrological have, or once had, something to do with the stars. Totally wrong. The signs are determined by measurement from the equinoxes not from starry coordinates. Once very decade or so some ill-informed or intentionally devious person attempts to resurrect this old con about signs changing due to precession. It does not matter what stars stand in the background of, say, the Aries sector of the ecliptic (0 – 30 degrees ecliptic longitude). The astrological signs have nothing to do with the real sky constellations and never did. You have to be an idiot to fall for this old gabble.
    John Lash