The space agency revealed how the Babylonians found the 12 zodiac signs but forsook the 13th. Now its return has left everyone questioning their beliefs.
Certain "truths" that we know and believe today is because we've accepted it throughout our lives. But sometimes, we are surprised by how not everything we believe in is true. Remember the time our parents told us Santa Claus is not real? Well, a similar moment has arrived again.
Looks like the zodiac signs we've grown up with are not the same anymore. They have changed. According to The Sun, experts from NASA have discovered a shift in the stars with the discovery of a new zodiac, Ophiuchus, the snake bearer. You read it right, there are 13 zodiacs now instead of 12.
This discovery also means that everything you believed was your star sign personality may not be the same anymore. Hold on, believers, especially you Librans, the balance you crave has been tampered with.
The inextricable link between astronomy and astrology has existed for thousands of years. According to Allure, the mysterious working of the universe has always excited humans. More than 2,500 years ago, the Babylonians first invented the 12 signs of the zodiac. They are the result of a constellation's position to the sun on the day of your birth.
The ancient astrologers like many of us were a fan of symmetry and perfection. With the intention to chart the sun's 360-degree path in a mathematically pleasing way, they decided to divide it into 12 equal parts with each one at 30 degrees. And a thorough study of the relationship between strategic placement of the sun and the constellations gave birth to the 12 zodiac signs, as reported by The Sun.
Before including Ophiuchus in the zodiac circle, back in January 2016, NASA in a blog post published its findings of the Babylonians which included the discovery of the 13th sign as a constellation. It read, "The Babylonians lived over 3,000 years ago. They divided the zodiac into 12 equal parts - like cutting a pizza into 12 equal slices. They picked 12 constellations in the zodiac, one for each of the 12 'slices,'" reported The Mirror.
Explaining further about the existence of Ophiuchus it continued, "But even according to the Babylonians' own ancient stories, there were 13 constellations in the zodiac. (Other cultures and traditions have recognized as many as 24 constellations in the zodiac). So the Babylonians picked one, Ophiuchus, to leave out. Even then, some of the chosen 12 didn't fit neatly into their assigned slice of the pie and slopped over into the next one."
The constellation Ophiuchus is a Greek word which means "serpent bearing" and represented by a man wrestling a snake. People associated with this sign are described as light-bearers and healers. Its characteristics are a lot like that of Sagittarius.
But, there might be a few errors here because of the Earth. How? Well, the Earth has a wobbly axis and the constellations vary in sizes. This means the duration of the time spent by the sun in each star sign is never the same as expected. And it also means that we can't blame the way that we are on our signs anymore.
While many ardent believers blamed the scientists and claimed that their "lives have been ruined" after the unexpected change and revelation, Phil Plait, a writer for the New Scientists explained that Ophiuchus lies between Scorpio and Sagittarius and so the dates for all the other signs are moved ahead.
He said, "The thing is, there are more than 12 constellations the sun can pass through. Some are smaller, or have fainter stars, so they get ignored."
"The biggest is Ophiuchus, the serpent-bearer, which is a huge constellation taking up quite a bit of celestial real estate, and in fact the sun spends more time in Ophiuchus than Scorpius. Scorpius has brighter stars and an obvious scorpion-like shape, so it gets better press," he revealed.
He continued, "Not only that, but Earth wobbles like a top, very slowly, and over centuries that changes the dates the Sun is in a given constellation. If you were born in late March in ancient Greece, you would have been an Aries. Today, you’d be a Pisces."
The Sun’s resident astrologer, Mystic Meg said, “More people have been looking to the stars for hope during a tricky time. “Horoscopes group together and help explain people’s behavior, which is helpful when the world seems uncertain.”
Here are the updated dates and signs:
Capricorn – was December 22 to January 20, now believed to be January 20 to February 16
Aquarius – was January 21 to February 18, now believed to be February 16 to March 11
Pisces – was February 19 to March 20, now believed to be March 11 to April 18
Aries – was March 21 to April 20, now believed to be April 18 to May 13
Taurus – was April 21 to May 21, now believed to be May 13 to June 21
Gemini – was May 22 to June 21, now believed to be June 21 to July 20
Cancer – was June 22 to July 22, now believed to be July 20 to August 10
Leo – was July 23 to August 23, now believed to be August 10 to September 16
Virgo – was August 24 to September 22, now believed to be September 16 to October 30
Libra – was September 23 to October 23, now believed to be October 30 to November 23
Scorpio – was October 24 to November 22, now believed to be November 23 to November 29
Ophiuchus – believed to be November 29 to December 17
Sagittarius – was November 23 to December 21, now believed to be December 17 to January 20