A New, Thirteenth Zodiac Sign?

Ophiuchus

By Erin Murphy

Staff Writer

A stir ran through the world of the internet when Parke Kunkle, an astronomy professor at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College, spoke to the Star Tribune, a newspaper in Minneapolis.

The Zodiac refers to the constellations that the Sun appears to pass through during the yearly circuit the Earth makes around it.  According to NASA, the path taken by the sun as viewed from the Earth, known as the ecliptic, shifts very slowly over time.  This is why there are “ages” such as the Age of Pisces or the Age of Aquarius, the one we are currently moving into.

The section of the sky containing each constellation on the ecliptic is known as a “house.”  The days designated to each house of the Zodiac are based off of where the sun would have passed through the houses during the time when ancient astrologers recorded them.  Because of the slow shifting of the ecliptic, modern astronomers divide the sky differently from those of ancient Egypt and Babylonia, said NASA in an article in 2004.

The sun has been officially recorded as passing though the house of Ophiuchus since the 1930s.  The suggestion that it should be added to the Zodiac is not new either.  Astrologer Stephen Schmidt put forth the idea of a Zodiac with fourteen signs in 1970 and in 1995, Walter Berg and Mark Yazaki published a book including Ophiuchus as a thirteenth house of the Zodiac.

Astrologers across the nation are assuring avid horoscope readers that this most recent mention of the thirteenth house of the Zodiac will not change your sign or affect your horoscope.  There have been no official changes to the Zodiac just as there weren’t in the past few decades.  Whether or not new comer Ophiuchus will continue to cause waves into the future will simply depend on if the media repeats history and ignores it for another twenty years or if we remember that the sun passes through a thirteenth house even though it isn’t counted in the common Zodiac.

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The Bridge is the student-run newspaper of Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, Illinois. We publish relevant, informative stories in a monthly print edition that focus on local events as well as global happenings. In addition, the online edition of The Bridge (thelcbridge) is updated frequently to reflect new information and more timely events.
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