Random Ephemera

Prepare for an Identity Crisis: The Zodiac Signs Have Changed

If I subscribed to the (oxymoron alert) science of astrology, everything I believed to be true about myself for the past three decades is a lie. It turns out I am no longer a diplomatic, charming, sociable, idealistic, indecisive, flirtatious and self-indulgent Libra. The universe actually intended for me to be a Virgo: modest and shy, meticulous, practical, analytical, worrisome, overly critical and conservative. At least that's what a recent news story would have me believe.

Traditionally, zodiac signs represented the constellation that the sun was in on the day a person was born. But according to Minneapolis astronomy instructor Parke Kunkle, the zodiac calendar is long overdue for an update that includes the addition of a 13th sign, Ophiuchus (Ooh-FEE-yew-kus), the serpent bearer.

NEW 13 Sign Zodiac Calendar
Capricorn: Jan. 20 - Feb. 16; Aquarius: Feb. 16 - March 11; Pisces: March 11- April 18; Aries: April 18- May 13; Taurus: May 13- June 21; Gemini: June 21- July 20; Cancer: July 20- Aug. 10; Leo: Aug. 10- Sept. 16; Virgo: Sept. 16- Oct. 30; Libra: Oct. 30- Nov. 23; Scorpio: Nov. 23- Nov. 29; Ophiuchus: Nov. 29- Dec. 17; Sagittarius: Dec. 17- Jan. 20

Traditional 12 Sign Zodiac Calendar
Capricorn: Dec. 22 - Jan. 19; Aquarius: Jan. 20 - Feb. 18; Pisces: Feb. 19 - March 20; Aries: Mar. 21 - April 19; Taurus: April 20 - May 20; Gemini: May 21 - June 20; Cancer: June 21 - July 22; Leo: July 23 - Aug. 22; Virgo: Aug. 23 - Sept. 22; Libra: Sept. 23 - Oct. 22; Scorpio: Oct. 23 - Nov. 21; Sagittarius: Nov. 22 - Dec. 21

Kunkle alleges that there's a month-long gap between the zodiac constellations and their actual modern day position in relation to the sun. The disparity is due to our planet's "wobble", a shift of the earth's axis occurring gradually over the past 2,000 years, caused by the gravitational pull of the moon.

But don't go rushing to get that Sagittarius tattoo lasered off your ass just yet. Astrologers have long been aware of the issue raised by Kunkle, but dismissed the information because it pertains to the sidereal zodiac (a.k.a. the accurate one), not the most commonly used tropical zodiac (a.k.a. the entertaining one). According to Shelley Ackerman, A spokeswoman for the American Federation of Astrologers (They have a federation AND a spokesperson? Awesome.), "This doesn't change your chart at all. I'm not about to use it," she said. "Every few years, a story like this comes out and scares the living daylights out of everyone, but it'll go away as quickly as it came."

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Lauren Marmaduke
Contact: Lauren Marmaduke