Daily Archives: January 15, 2011

Why did your zodiac sign change?

Not that I pay any attention to it but I’d have to be deaf, dumb and blind to have gotten to this age and not know my sign. And now you are telling me it changed? Why?

The internet is all abuzz about “the zodiac changing”. That’s not exactly the truth but like so many things out on the internet people listen to the buzz and don’t bother to read the truth.

Mad Science asked questions and got more truths. It’s discussed in this article: Why did your zodiac sign change? We asked the astronomer who started it all.

And no, Parke Kunkle didn’t tell the Star-Tribune that the zodiac ought to include 13 signs instead of 12 — especially since he doesn’t believe in astrology at all. (He highly recommends Phil Plait’s page about astrology.) He did mention that astronomers tend to reckon the sun’s position with 13 constellations instead of 12, and Ophiuchus is the 13th. But in the current astrology zodiac, there are just 12. “I just mentioned that it’s there, and astronomers actually count it… So if you actually watch the stars in the background of the sun, it actually does go through the constellation of Ophiuchus.” He adds that the Babylonians probably had totally different constellations anyway.

Somehow, Kunkle’s brief comments in the Star-Tribune article got morphed into “astronomer says the zodiac has to be revamped.” As various people have pointed out, this means your entire personality is different than what you originally believed it was — you might be flighty instead of hard-working, or fishy instead of scorpionesque. Taylor Swift is an Ophiuchus!

I like the article in today’s Star*Telegram, too.

“Astronomers have known about this since about 130 B.C.,” Kunkle said Friday from his office at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College, his phone ringing constantly.

“This is not new news. Almost every astronomy class talks about it.”

New news or old, most people had never heard it before.

By the reckoning of Kunkle and other astronomers, astrologers not only are a month off in their zodiac signs but also are neglecting a 13th constellation, Ophiuchus (Ooh-FEE-yew-kus) the Serpent Bearer, for those born from Nov. 30 to Dec. 17.

Linda Zlotnick, an astrologer for 32 years in St. Paul, Minn., said that she and fellow astrologers have long known of the issue raised by Kunkle but that the most commonly used zodiac — tropical — isn’t affected. Zlotnick said the sidereal zodiac, which isn’t as widely used, is based on the constellations.


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