Written in the Stars: A New Zodiac Sign?

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Sadie Neville, Co-Editor in Chief

Controversies between the superstitious and realists have recently sparked with NASA’s early September announcement of a “new” zodiac sign, Ophiuchus.

But is “the thirteenth sign” really a new discovery, or has everyone been living under the wrong horoscope for years?

Complaints arose as the dates for the Ophiuchus-born shifted around the time frame for the twelve other zodiac signs. Ophiuchus falls in line between November 29 and December 17.

Now, 86% of people identify with a different astrological identity than they previously thought, Cosmopolitan reported.

NASA commented on their Twitter account on Sep. 20, “Have you heard that we changed the zodiac signs? Nope, we didn’t…we just did the math.”

And here’s how that “math” works.

According to NASA, the ancient Babylonians split the twelve months of the year into the twelve signs of the zodiac, as the sun would pass through each sign at the end of every month as the Earth orbits.

But, as some are aware, the sun does not actually consistently appear in the zodiac at the same time each month. Astronomer Parke Kunkle told the Huffington Post that signs gradually change as the Earth and Sun slowly move.

When the Babylonians created this idea of astrology more than 3,000 years ago, they were aware of this resolution. However, Ophiuchus did not fit into their evenly-distributed wheel of zodiacs, so they chose not to include it, says NASA.

Even now, many astrologers are ignoring the newly-surfaced horoscope.

The constellation, often referred to as Serpentarius or Anguitenens, is located around the celestial equator. According to Jim Fuchs, writer for ModernConstellations.com, It is actually one of the original 48 constellations listed by Ptolemy, and one of the 88 recognized now, meaning the discovery is actually around 2,000 years old.

Kunkle reiterates that this is “not new news.”

The zodiac sign, whose identity is the “Serpent Bearer,” is one of the more sultry-natured astrological cases, suggesting passion and jealousy among its character traits.

Celebrities who were born between the November-December timespan of the Ophiuchus horoscope include Amanda Seyfried, Britney Spears, Ian Somerhalder, and Taylor Swift.

Despite the criticism of the rising horoscope, poet Bonnie Jennings writes of the spirit of the new sign in “The Thirteenth Zodiac,” saying “We are sisters/We are Kindreds/Sacred daughters of Ophiuchus.”