So, yesterday evening I saw a tweet that made me open Google and do some investigating (and I fell wayyyy down the rabbit hole and this is why I’m now telling you all about it!)
It said that NASA had ‘discovered’ a 13th sign of the Zodiac and that this meant all the dates of the other signs had changed.
My reaction went from, ‘huh?’ to ‘nope!’ fairly rapidly when I saw that these changes meant that I would no longer be a Cancerian.
It would appear, that despite not even vaguely looking up my horoscopes on a regular basis since I was about 12, I am quite attached to my crabby little Star Sign.
It just fits! I am over-emotional, like to hide at home/in my shell, family oriented, and all about love and fluff and nature and stuff. (Oooh that rhymes!)
Anyway, this ‘new’ sign.
It’s not a new constellation, it’s always been there, NASA just suddenly announced it should be in the Zodiac calendar. It’s called Ophiuchus, which I can’t even say, and it is a man holding a large snake.
I went and looked it up, because looking at constellation guides and trying to figure out how on earth the original people decided they could see pictures in them is one of my favourite things to do.
It does not look like a man holding a snake. It looks like a slightly wonky aphid.
And if NASA thinks I am going to let a slightly wonky aphid masquerading as a man with a large snake force me into becoming a… *checks*… Gemini, then they have another think coming. (No offence to actual Geminis, I love you, I just don’t want to be you.)
My outraged Googling led me to a happy little rabbit hole, that allowed me to say ‘Go back to your Astronomy, NASA, and leave the Astrology to the experts.’ This is a case for Professor Trelawny and we all know she’s in a totally different tower to Professor Sinistra.
So, apparently Wonky Aphid is a part of the Sidereal Calendar, which tracks how long it takes the sun to travel from one side of a constellation to the other.
In this calendar, Scorpio only gets 7 days of ‘sun time’ and Wonky Aphid is a 13th character. And all the other dates are slightly different.
However, the Zodiac that we all know and love, is made up from the Tropical Calendar which is divided not by the sun’s position in the constellations, but by the equinoxes.
Each of the four seasons is evenly split into three signs, making a nice neat family of 12.
Why Are There Two Calendars?
To provoke outrage on the internet?
No, seriously, the Sidereal Calendar is, actually the original one, starting from about 1800BC, courtesy of the Babylonians.
But Ptolemy made up his own definition at some point around the first century AD, and the Tropical Calendar was born – relating more to the seasons than the stars themselves.
Over time, the Western world adopted the Tropical Calendar and used that for its Astrology calculations, whereas Eastern astrologers, such as those in India, still use a Sidereal calendar.
So, basically, there are two completely separate Zodiac systems, based on two different calendars, which means that if you want to follow the Western one and be the star sign you always thought you were, then nothing has changed.
BUT if you feel like your star sign has never been quite right and want to see how the alternative fits, you can always switch allegiances and try out the other system.
I’m a crab, and ain’t nothin’ gonna change my mind.