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Ophiuchus the 13th Zodiac Sign? No, It's Not

Expert astrologers debunk the latest astrological rumor

The recent media hype about Ophiuchus (pronounced Oh-fee-YOU-cuss), "the new 13th zodiac sign," has sent folks spinning into an astrological identity crisis -- as well as overloading our own DH web servers. But the whole thing is not even true!

"Ophiuchus has nothing to do with Astrology," said expert astrologer Rick Levine. "It's not an Astrology issue. It has to do with the stars -- it's not a sign, it's a constellation." 

"There are four seasons each with a beginning, middle and end," Levine continued. "That makes 12 zodiac signs, and there's no such thing as a 13th astrological sign."

So why are people freaking out, wondering if they went to bed last night a Gemini and woke up a Taurus? Here are the answers you've been waiting for on this cosmic controversy:

What is Ophiuchus?

Ophiuchus is a large modern constellation commonly represented as a man grasping the snake represented by the constellation Serpens.

Is Ophiuchus the 13th sign?

No. It's just a constellation. Even the founding text for Astrology (Tetrabiblos by Claudius Ptolemy written 170 AD) only mentions 12 signs. A few astrologers who practice the controversial sidereal  (constellation-based) zodiac use it as the 13th zodiac sign -- and by a few we mean about 1 percent.

How did this whole myth get started?

It began when astronomy professor Parke Kunkle of Minneapolis Community and Technical College told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune about the precession of stars over time. He said "Two thousand years ago the Sun was 'in' whatever it was in. Now it's about a whole constellation off from that." Kunkle's quote went viral and was picked up by FOX News and other media outlets because people mistakenly assume that Astrology is based on constellations. But that's not true.

So what is the truth?

Astrology is based on the four seasons, not on constellations -- and the seasons don't change. As Levine said above, there are four seasons, each with a beginning, middle and end, which adds up to 12 zodiac signs. There is no 13th astrological sign. Period.

What does this mean for you?

Nothing! Your zodiac sign hasn't changed. If you were a Gemini yesterday, you're still a Gemini today -- don't worry, you'll never wake up a Taurus. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

What can we learn from this?

Listen to the experts, and don't believe everything you read until you check your facts. There are a lot of people out there who think they understand Astrology when they really don't. Dailyhoroscope.com works only with authentic astrologers and we'll be sure to keep you informed of the truth.

Read more about how this 13th zodiac sign media hype began! And tell us, what do you think about all this?

If you like what you see on dailyhoroscope.com, please consider following us on Facebook and Twitter. We need your help to spread the word and fill the world with good Karma!

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69 Comments to "Ophiuchus the 13th Zodiac Sign? No, It's Not"
The profile picture for jack.
jack says:
Tue, 01/03/2012 - 20:47

it wouldnt work anyway twleve months twelve zodiacs. and for the people that believe the world will end it is not going to happen it has never happened yet

The profile picture for A. Writer.
A. Writer says:
Mon, 11/07/2011 - 13:14

Briana, you're actually wrong about the whole 'it's the astronomers' faults'. People have mistaken the words of Kunkle, in hype and fanaticism most likely. He never actually said that there had to be a 13th sign, he merely commented on the fact that while we base astrology via signs and stars, yet we actually disregard the 13th constellation in the Western Zodiac. The Zodiac itself is based on lunar cycles, but because of the leap year system, we actually cut our years short, bar that one year in every four. There are actually 13 cycles, much Jeff stated earlier, because it coincides with the positioning of the sun over the 13 constellations in correlation to the Earth. The Eastern Zodiac follows this. On the other hand, the Western doesn't.

Kunkle never once stated that there was going to be a 13th sign xD

The profile picture for Evan Croft.
Evan Croft says:
Sat, 10/22/2011 - 10:52

The arachnid isn't the thirteenth sign, Kassie, Ophiuchus the Snake Bearer is >> it has to do with the "movement" of the sun in the sky and all that. And I agree with most of the people here. Why would you base something like the zodiac signs on seasons on earth? And even if you did, what about the two different hemispheres? That's just ridiculous :P

The profile picture for Colonel Panic.
Colonel Panic says:
Mon, 07/25/2011 - 01:44

I'm not particularly a follower of Astrology, I just happened to stumble across this (perhaps a little late, meh). I am surprised that no one seems to have mentioned this by now. As someone who lives in the SOUTHERN hemisphere, since our seasons are out by six months compared to you guys, does that mean I am really a Virgo and not a Pisces based on this "seasons" theory? I fail to see how seasons would have anything to do with it then if that's not the case.

Also, just wanted to correct a little cosmological flaw in Vanessa's argument (posted 14th January - yes, a while back but still): stars CAN and DO move through space. Our Sun for instance orbits the centre of our galaxy just as we orbit around the Sun.

The profile picture for Kassie.
Kassie says:
Fri, 07/15/2011 - 18:14

As I recall learning, the 13 symbol is actually the arachnid! the spider. Sorry, everyone has there two sense, and that happens to be mine.

The profile picture for Briana Ockerman.
Briana Ockerman says:
Mon, 04/11/2011 - 11:17

All you people being jerks about these statements, i don't know what you're doing on this website if you don't believe it. Not many ASTROLOGISTS actually believe the new sign. It's ASTRONOMERS who are stating this mostly. Astrologists are the only ones who know how astrology works, lets stick with the history because its been working for us since the beginning of time. And its correct.

The profile picture for Briana Ockerman.
Briana Ockerman says:
Mon, 04/11/2011 - 09:34

Thank you so much for this information. I am so glad to you guys do the real stuff with information to back it up. I am studying astrology and i really want to be an astrologist, i got confused with all this media and i wasn't aware about the seasons, i am new to studying astrology so its nice to hear how exactly it works. I have a book, the only astrology book you'll ever need. if you have anymore recommendations for me to help me study please fill me in.

The profile picture for T. Woodling.
T. Woodling says:
Thu, 04/07/2011 - 15:39

Check out "Stargazing and Modern Sky Lore" at
http://www.jesterbear.com/Aradia/Skylore.html

The profile picture for Jeff.
Jeff says:
Tue, 04/05/2011 - 08:40

Oh..and when did any constellation become "modern"?? Excuse me but it takes more than one star to form a constellation and at last checking...they were all here before we were....so..who wrote this b/s???

The profile picture for Jeff.
Jeff says:
Tue, 04/05/2011 - 08:36

Ok you retard.... there are 13 new moons in a linear year. Therefore, there are 13 cycles not 12! So, if you want to get technical there ARE 13 cycles, 13 signs, etc. The ONLY reason you insist that there are only 12 signs is that it will screw up your precious bank account...OH and make you work a little harder trying to figure something out that you obviously don't understand in the first place. PERIOD.

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