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Ophiuchus Row: Change in Sign Applies to Vedic Zodiac System?

The entire controversy was kicked off by astronomer Parke Kunkle when he claimed in an NBC show that the Earth’s position has changed vis-a-vis the Sun in the last 3,000 years when astrological signs were first allocated by Babylonians and there is a new sign called Ophiuchus which dictates the course of many events for those born between Nov. 29 and Dec. 17.

While many astrologers, who may soon be out of demand in view of the new star sign, are among those who are vehemently criticizing the new debate on the Internet, while NASA has promptly distanced itself out of the controversy saying they are astronomers and astrologers.

Western astrologers don’t work with stars or constellations. Their focus is our solar system. They study the patterns of the planets and the moon as they pass through 12 zones defined by the relationship between the Earth and sun. Those zones have the same names as constellations because of a historical quirk, but they are unrelated to the constellations.

Eric Francis, a New York-based astrologer and scholar, wrote in an article in Planetwaves: "Here in the West, we use a zodiac that follows the seasons. It’s called the tropical zodiac. It’s based on the position of the Sun’s rays and the tropics — that’s why it’s called tropical. There is another one, based on the positions of the stars. It’s called the sidereal zodiac, used by Vedic astrologers, the kind in India. The Western Zodiac and the Vedic one are two zodiacs offset by about 23 degrees."

It entails more complicated calculations to carry out and astrologers may find it difficult to follow with their pre-set computer-based Zodiac predictions. Kunkle, member of the Minnesota Planetarium Society, said, "Because of this change of tilt, the Earth is really over here in effect and Sun is in a different constellation than it was 3,000 years ago."

Taken from the Greek word for "serpent-bearer", the sign Ophiuchus is depicted by a man grasping the snake that is represented by the constellation of Serpents. Also, Ophiuchus was one of the 48 constellations proposed by Ptolemy way back in the 2nd Century. It was earlier known as Serpentarius, a Latin word for serpent-bearer.

The new sign will effect changes to Saggittarians born before Nov. 29 and after Dec. 17, making Sagittarius move into the 13th position. It means those born from Dec. 17 to Jan. 20 will now become part of the new Saggittarius star sign. Some traits of those born in the sign of Ophiuchus are said to be honest, intellectual, sexually magnetic, longing for change and of course, jealous. They always demand special attention.

The introduction of Ophiuchus between Scorpio and Sagittarius may upset many people who take astrology seriously, while the Internet is agog with new equations and write-ups on celebrities whose signs change dramatically overnight, if recognized. Especially those who believe in astrology may find it upsetting as their Zodiac sign has suddenly changed. They have to switch over to new charts or accept new predictions.

Though Kunkle himself said he was not a believer in the Zodiac system, the debate over the new sign had gone viral in January 2011 taking the social media on the Twitter or the Facebook for a storm.

Here is the proposed new Zodiac sign chart:

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

However, critics argue the other way. Susan Miller, who is also an astrologer, said the constellations are merely a measuring device and they were known for ages, nor do they suggest what’s coming up. She reminded that the original number of 50 constellations were reduced to 18 and later to 12 as they are now. Leaving aside one may not make big difference but its insertion as a new sign now would mean reversal of the entire process, she said.

Rob Brezny, another astrologer said, "Every year or so, another astronomer erupts into the mainstream media with a portentous announcement about how, due to the precession of the equinoxes, the astrological signs are no longer aligned with the actual
constellations," on his website.

In fact, entire astrology was fake and wrong, said Saint Augustine of Hippo 1,600 years ago. He said astronomy is like a lottery in which the astrology expert predicts many things, some of them were bound to come true. Believers in astrology tend to remember the ones that did and forget the ones that did not.

Augustine narrated a story of a rich man who took great pains to record the birth of his boy and the birth of his friend’s slave. Both were born exactly at the same time, at the same instant, right down to the lesser divisions of the hour. If astrology were real, they’d have similar fates. But here, the rich boy grew up and ran his course through the gilded paths of life, increased in riches, raised to honors while the slave’s boy continued to serve his masters, as ever.

Applying the same logic, twins should have identical fates but not many agree with this.

Otherwise, in general the traits of Ophiuchus individuals are known for their wisdom and knowledge and they can handle any situation. They live with high expectations in life and tend to attract attention wherever they go. Some of the Ophiuchus Celebs, born between November 29 to December 17, include Jennifer Connelly, Ozzy Osbourne, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, and many more.

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