Tattoo parlor owners must be salivating. An assertion in a Minneapolis Star Tribune article that our understanding of the zodiac is off by about a month - and that therefore people have been identifying themselves with the wrong sign - caught fire on the internet Thursday, and many folks are in an absolute panic on social media.
"If my zodiac symbol has been changed to a Libra, what am I supposed to do with my Scorpio tattoo?!?!," read one tweet Thursday.
Some vowed to get their tats removed. Others groaned about losing the sign with which they’ve identified themselves for years. The zodiac and related terms - including Ophiuchus, said to be a 13th and neglected sign - were trending Twitter topics much of Thursday.
But before astrology fans scrape the ink from their arms because they think they're now a Virgo instead of a Libra, they should consider this: If they adhered to the tropical zodiac - which, if they're a Westerner, they probably did - absolutely nothing has changed for them.
That's worth rephrasing: If you considered yourself a Cancer under the tropical zodiac last week, you're still a Cancer under the same zodiac this week.
That's because the tropical zodiac - which is fixed to seasons, and which Western astrology adheres to - differs from the sidereal zodiac - which is fixed to constellations and is followed more in the East, and is the type of zodiac to which the Star Tribune article ultimately refers.
Two zodiacs. That's nothing new.
"This story is born periodically as if someone has discovered some truth. It's not news," said Jeff Jawer, astrologer with Tarot.com.
The hubbub started with Sunday's Star Tribune article, which said the following: "The ancient Babylonians based zodiac signs on the constellation the sun was 'in' on the day a person was born. During the ensuing millenniums, the moon’s gravitational pull has made the Earth 'wobble' around its axis, creating about a one-month bump in the stars' alignment."
"When [astrologers] say that the sun is in Pisces, it’s really not in Pisces," Parke Kunkle, a board member of the Minnesota Planetarium Society, told the Star Tribune.
"Indeed," the article continued, "most horoscope readers who consider themselves Pisces are actually Aquarians." The article also asserts Scorpio's window lasts only seven days, and that a 13th constellation, Ophiuchus, used to be counted between Scorpio and Sagittarius but was discarded by the Babylonians because they wanted 12 signs per year.
True enough, Jawer says, the sun doesn't align with constellations at the same time of year that it did millennia ago. But that’s irrelevant for the tropical zodiac, codified for Western astrology by Ptolemy in the second century, he says.
In the tropical zodiac, the start of Aries is fixed to one equinox, and Libra the other.
"When we look at the astrology used in the Western world, the seasonally based astrology has not changed, was never oriented to the constellations, and stands as … has been stated for two millenniums," Jawer said.
People who put stock in astrology can ask whether they should adhere to the tropical zodiac or the sidereal zodiac. Jawer argues for the tropical.
"Astrology is geocentric. It relates life on Earth to the Earth’s environment, and seasons are the most dramatic effect, which is why we use the tropical zodiac," he said.
Interesting blog. While some may have been discussing this months ago, others have not, Thanks for sharing this 🙂
Wow....They determined after decades that Pluto isn't a planet & now there is another Zodiac ? This is crazy . I never cared too much about this , but it's interesting how there is always something new to start a frenzy.
There have always been 13 in the sky; 12 in the culture.
"When we look at the astrology used in the Western world, the seasonally based astrology has not changed, was never oriented to the constellations"
Oh I see.. the "western" astrology never had anything to with constellations.. wait what?!
...and the guy who wrote this is from tarot.com. Yeah... okay.
He says is was never "oriented" to the constellations; not that it has nothing to do with them. He is correct, they are based off of an ancient orientation.
Did the sign change
ASTROLOGY IS THE ONE TRUE FACTUAL SCIENCE. IT IS THE ONLY SCIENCE BACKED UP BY BOTH RELIGION AND FACTS. ALL YOU NON BELIEVERS ARE MORONS. I FEEL SORRY FOR YOU.
What facts back it up?
Calling people "morons" because they disagree with your hypothesis does not make you look very well educated. In fact, you sound like someone who should read more.
That will be a lot of funerals to protest!
Lets just take a second to realize that the person who says " astrology is the one true.Factual
science." Is named "astrology is magical. " so I guess magic is factual science too? Smh
I don't understand religion, personally. Also, trying to persuade and convince everyone to believe the way you do is irrational. There are too many independent minds in the world and too many religions and ideas floating around for everyone to expect that people should believe the way they do. Astrology is interesting but in no way shape or form true. If you believe in it, that's your opinion and I have stated my own. Good for the both of us.
are you a gigolo? lol.
Poe's Law, anyone?
I am a so-called Sagittarian and I am nothing like what my sign says I am. My proof that this theory is nothing but BS***t.
It's a "magical" science. Good grief, sometimes these board are fn hilarious! I come back to this one because it's so funny I'm laughing so hard! On one hand it's tragic that people can't discern between fact and fantasy, but their seriousness in this is just laughable! I can see this on a SNL sketch! Frustratingly funny, I'd say!
Nope, apparently not
Thanks for this. It's been so annoying to see all the "I don't care what they say, I'm a Leo/Sagittarius/Virgo/[insert zodiac sign here] for life!" status updates on Facebook. I wish more people realized that Ophiuchus is basically irrelevant to the Western world's usage of zodiac signs...
I knew it! once I read my comet was was in the house of planet Uranus,I felt a month older...
That's interesting ! I once dreamt that my member was in Uranus and woke up feeling dirty and ashamed....coincidence ? Or Magic ?
"Two zodiacs. That's nothing new. People have known this for centuries."
It should be "to". Horrible.
no it is two as in two different standpoints on astrology. Horrible that your so dumb
The number 2? As in an eastern and a western zodiac? What are you saying?
@ no its 2
you ARE dumb. It should be 'you're' and not 'your'. If YOU'RE going to call some one dumb, use correct English.
No, you! I have nothing constructive to say either! So let me criticize you're grammar and spelling! I mean, if you used improper grammar in a casual sentence while commenting on a CNN blog you must be dumb!
This "fact" comes up every couple of years now and always seems to surface on slow news days.
oh no..I'm a Scorpio....i am not passive...
Um didn't any of you learn this in school?
you know, for all the ridicule and disdain ASTRONOMERS have for ASTROLOGY (notice the difference in the two words), they sure don't hesitate to try and change it's foundations. if you think astrology is BS then why are you trying to meddle in it? parke kunkle should stick to just looking at the stars, and leave figuring out their influence to those who actually understand it and care.
and he should get a better name. parke kunkle? really?
Have you actually READ any of the articles? He said he doesn't believe in astrology, but the facts are that people have been going by something that the stars don't say. Which is true. He didn't say it should change, because astronomers have known about this shift for years. Maybe reading something other than a BLOG by a tarot.com writer would suit you.
Hey, that's rediculous. Paganism/Astrology can indeed be integrated with science. I mean i f you're going to claim to believe in astrology, Shouldn't you be basing it on the ACTUAL POSITIONS OF THE STARS?!
I think I'll just start telling people I'm an Ophiuchus.
do you people actually believe in astrology? do you all listen to voices from outer space? it all looks like a bunch of retarded nuts if yall do!
That would mean you don't believe in god/religion, I would assume.