Ophiuchus: Once Outcasted, Now Causing Outrage

Mary Silzer, staff writer

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For years people have searched newspapers, scoured websites, and downloaded apps to check their daily horoscopes.  They have matched their signs with friends and crushes, eager to find out whether they share some eternal, celestial connection, or if they are, to their dismay, incompatible.  But recently, these horoscope hunters were shocked when NASA publicized a 13 constellation, Ophiuchus, the serpent-bearing man who defies authority, seeks knowledge, holds wisdom, and, in Greek mythology, represents the god of medicine.

According to the NASA website, the Babylonians recognized Ophiuchus thousands of years ago, but chose to disregard it.  Contrary to popular belief, NASA did not discover this constellation at all. The Babylonians, developers of the 12-month calendar, are responsible for the neglect of Ophiuchus. They preferred to assign only one constellation to each month, even though the sun does not pass through the constellations for equal amounts of time.  Scorpio is aligned with the earth and sun for only seven days, while Virgo is aligned with the earth and sun for 45 days.  This means that unless you were born in the specific time period in which the constellation is aligned with the earth and sun, you are not truly of the corresponding zodiac sign.  In addition to the neglect of Ophiuchus, the earth’s North Pole points in a slightly different direction than it did 3,000 years ago, further altering the dates.

Reactions to this publication have been both negative and indifferent, but most are unhappy about the change in zodiac dates.

“I don’t like the change,” junior Skylar Whisnant said. “I liked being a Leo, but now I’m a Cancer.”

Skylar feels as though an identity has been taken away from her.

“Characteristics of a Leo are creative, loving, and broad-minded, which I feel like I identify with,” Skylar said. “But now I have been given a new sign with completely different characteristics.”

The change does not bother Spanish teacher Cindy Wage, whose sign has not been affected.

“I have always been a Taurus, and I am still a Taurus, so I am not displeased,” Wage said. “I understand why people are angry, though. I would be, too.”

Whether we choose to disregard Ophiuchus or not, he exists in the universe, bearing his serpent and displaying strong personality traits.

See accompanying photo to determine your new zodiac sign.

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