It was just months ago that the world was up in arms regarding the myth that everyone's horoscope signs were changing due to the ever-shifting tilt of the earth. The rumor spread like wildfire thanks to the fast-paced world of Twitter, but our master astrologers Rick Levine and Jeff Jawer were quick to step in and explain why this rumor was purely idle gossip. However, just this week CNN reported that Japan's massive 8.9 earthquake last Friday actually moved Japan's main island, Honshu, by 8 feet, and altered the earth's tilt on its axis by 4 inches.
So are all you bold Aries suddenly turning into placid Pisces?! Reserved Capricorns changing to adventurous Sagittarians?! Absolutely not.
First off, when we're talking about the entire planet Earth and the infinite cosmos, a 4-inch shift is a trivial measurement, to say the least. Nonetheless, 4 inches or even 40 feet will not change the world of Astrology. But more importantly, the western zodiac has always been and will always be based on the changing seasons, not the constellations in the sky. Yes, the horoscope signs are certainly named after some of the cosmos' most well-known star clusters, and did, at one point, align with these constellations, but the horoscope signs used in Astrology have not aligned with the constellations used in astronomy for thousands of years. If you have followed western Astrology in your life, you can continue to do so without fear that your entire astrological makeup is at stake.
Western Astrology is based on the Tropical zodiac, as in, it's based on the seasons, not the stars. Each year, the Sun will move through the sky (as seen from Earth), making its way through each of the 12 sections of the sky named Aries, Taurus, Gemini and so on, all the way through Pisces. This means that the first day of spring, summer, autumn and winter will always coincide with the first day of the Sun in Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn (that is why they are called the Cardinal signs -- they are the first signs of each season). The Sun will then move into Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius, the Fixed signs, in the middle of each season. And lastly, each season will wrap up as the Sun completes its journey through Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius or Pisces, the Mutable signs. This will not change as the earth tilts at varying degrees, nor will it change if any more mysterious star constellations pop up, the likes of Ophiuchus, who recently created a buzz as the rumored 13th sign of the zodiac (also untrue).
As the death toll continues to rise in the aftermath of Japan's tragic earthquake, this story becomes more and more devastating. Rest assured, you now have one less thing to worry about, and are free to put all your focus and energy into relief efforts and helping those affected by this earthly catastrophe.