Back in 2016, NASA shook up the world of astrology when they revealed that there’s a 13th astrology sign. In the article, titled “Constellations and the Calendar” they explained that when the Babylonians created astrology over 3,000 years ago, they chose to represent 12 signs based on 12 of the constellations that Earth appeared to “pass through” during it’s rotation around the Sun. However, there’s a constellation they chose to ignore, called Ophiuchus. Ophiuchus is located between Scorpio and Sagittarius, meaning that if it were included in the astrology wheel, people born between November 29th through December 17th would be born under this sign. It would also shift the entire astrological calendar and change many people’s signs.
NASA went on to address the controversy surrounding the 13th sign, explaining the difference between astrology and astronomy. Astronomy is the science of celestial objects, space and the physical universe as a whole. It’s rooted in mathematics, physics and chemistry, with professional astronomers (today referred to as astrophysicists) requiring at least a master’s degree or often a doctoral degree. Astrology, on the other hand, is a pseudoscience (as much as it pays me to say it) and isn’t based in concrete scientific facts. However, this doesn’t stop many people (including a contestant from “The Bachelor Australia”) from mixing them up.
In a tweet published from NASA’s official account, they put astrology junkies at ease by explaining that because the Babylonians excluded Ophiuchus, horoscope lovers can proceed as “normal” and shouldn’t change their belief system. “The line from Earth through the sun points to Virgo for 45 days, but it points to Scorpius for only 7 days,” NASA explains. “To make a tidy match with their 12-month calendar, the Babylonians ignored the fact that the sun actually moves through 13 constellations, not 12. Then they assigned each of those 12 constellations equal amounts of time.”
Although NASA has assured us that they haven’t altered the zodiac and we can continue to observe the 12 signs as they are, let’s take a look at what could have been if the Babylonians had included Ophiuchus. Ophiuchus is represented as the serpent or serpent bearer. It’s has not being assigned to a particular element (fire, earth, air and water) or quality (cardinal, mutable and fixed), meaning we can’t address compatibility (yet). However, because it is nestled between Scorpio and Sagittarius, many astrologers believe that it posses similar traits to these signs—such as being extremely passionate, curious, funny and temperamental. And if Ophiuchus were included in the astrological wheel, famous Ophiuchans would include Chadwick Boseman, Chrissy Teigen, Britney Spears, Ozzy Osbourne and Taylor Swift.
What do you think about the “13th astrology sign?” Should Ophiuchus be added to the bunch? Are you a secret Ophiuchus? Let us know in the comments section on social media.