The annual resurfacing of news on the supposed 13th zodiac, Ophiuchus, has gotten folks in fits of hysteria. Does this mean we’re adjusting our signs? Who in the world can say, “Hi, I’m an Ophiuchus” with a straight face anyway?
As a reserved nerdy goat of a Capricorn, I can’t even comprehend the idea that I could possibly be anything else. The case is the same for anyone who clings to their star sign like it’s running through their DNA—it’s just a recipe for an identity crisis.
The story in question is a 2016 NASA article that makes its rounds every now and then. Since the Babylonians invented the 12-sign zodiac 3,000 years ago, the Earth’s axis hasn’t pointed in the same direction. And according to NASA, the planet wobbles as it rotates, which means that how the stars appear on Earth would really be different from how it was thousands of years ago.
Let’s get it straight, though: In the Babylonians’ ancient stories, there were 13 constellations in the zodiac. Ophiuchus just had to be the unlucky one in the bunch to be left out, so they could fit the rest into the easily divisible 12 months of the year. This all happened then, so the modern-day use of star signs were formed with that knowledge in mind.
According to The Independent, astrology does not necessarily have to line up with the stars as they actually are, so people can still stick to their usual signs. The world of horoscopes will only shake if everyone started adapting to the 13 star signs—which probably won’t happen, judging by people’s distressed reactions.
As for NASA, they don’t really care. Contrary to what’s been spreading, they didn’t literally rewrite the stars nor do they have the power and interest to do so.
“It’s not science,” the original post reads. “No one has shown that astrology can be used to predict the future or describe what people are like based only on their birth date. Still, like reading fantasy stories, many people enjoy reading their ‘astrological forecast’ or ‘horoscope’ in the newspaper every day.”
Well, NASA, everyone knows that won’t stop us from sharing astrology memes on Twitter. As for me, I’ll be here, safely basking in my Capricorn status.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons