Recently, the web has been abuzz about the change in astrological signs. Capricorns are now Sagittarius, Virgos are now Leos, and the whole thing is a mess. Apparently, according to the astronomers at Minnesota Planetarium Society, the stars have even aligned to make a new sign altogether: Ophiuchus. What does this mean, and why did it happen? Perhaps more importantly, will this really affect our personality or spirituality for that matter?
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Before we go into its effect on us, let’s grapple with why it’s happening. While the earth seems solid enough, we actually have a super hot core surrounded by liquid magma that is in constant motion. That magma (made up of molten iron) is sort of like an underground ocean with currents and whirlpools, thanks to earth’s constant spin and tilt in the universe. Inside this vast ocean of whirlpools, there are circulating electric currents.
Underneath the dense crust of the earth, rich with minerals, we have these massive streams of energy. And what happens when you run electricity through a metal?
A magnetic field appears, and that is exactly what surrounds the earth and what lets us live the lives we do. However, just like the changing energy currents, the magnetic field changes too. Consequences of this include magnetic north moving at about 40 miles a year.
This, along with the slight nudge of the moon’s gravitational pull, has “realigned” us with the stars. And voilà : new zodiac signs. When our ancestors of 1000s of years ago plotted out the sky, they literally had a different view with different markers. The signs they originally developed now, depending on how you look at it, do not apply.
Here are the “new” dates:
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
And yes, apparently, there is an entirely new sign. According to the same astronomer, Parke Kunkle, at the Minnesota Planetarium Society, there has been an interruption of an entire month over the past few thousand years, leading to including a sign the Babylonians originally left out.
Essentially, we are pointing at a new star (the North Star) while our ancestors were pointed at a different one (Thuban). This is at the root of why our constellations have changed. Why hasn't this been brought up before? It has, in 130 B.C. by a Greek astronomer, Hipparchus of Nicea. Still, there is one important fact to note: there are two zodiacs – the Sidereal Zodiac and the Tropical Zodiac. The Sidereal is traditionally eastern, while the Tropical is western, and follows not constellations, but seasons. That said, if you follow the Tropical, nothing has changed.
Who is right? Well, that may be beside the point.
The bigger question is whether or not this changes us. Do I really act more like a Pisces rather than an Aries, which I grew up believing I was? Or, even more directly, do the signs actually determine who we are?
In my point of view, no. But while I’m no firm believe in astrological signs anyways, I do see them as a way to better understand general personality types. Whether those can be applied to months is a different question, but it remains to be plausible that people often aim at proving their sign through their actions, or at least reasoning their actions to be indicative of their signs. In other words, people like to live up to what they are told they are, especially if it involves this level of mysticism.
However, I fear not the change in sign – if it even exists (which a lot of prominent astronomers say is a big fat “no”). I, more than anyone else, know my character, my flaws, and my focus in life. No one, in that sense, needs the stars for a 5-minute pseudo-psychoanalysis in astrological terms. And to that end, I wouldn’t vest much worry into the supposed change.
To me, the signs you should pay attention to are your actions, your intents, and your outcomes. These reveal most about ourselves and most about our ability. So next time you want to understand yourself more, don’t look up at the sky or listen to astrological predictions, simply look into the mirror.