Op-Ed - Delaney Moore

Ophichus

        Do you ever wonder why you are the way you are? Or do you ever look up at the stars and wonder what all those constellations mean? Perhaps you find that you have anger issues, or tend to need security? Maybe you are an honest friend and love adventure. But why are these aspects of your personality? 

        Many people attribute all these mysterious questions surrounding personality, emotion, and the universe to the study of astrology. Astrology as defined by the Cambridge Dictionary is, “the practice of studying the movements and positions of the sun, moon, planets and stars in the belief that they influence human behavior.”         Astrology, although often thought of us as an important aspect of spiritual practice, does in fact appear scientific at times. It uses scientific knowledge about heavenly bodies and uses scientific sounding tools such as star charts. 

        Additionally, many astrologers believe that astrology is supported by evidence because for many people, understanding how they fit into the cosmos has proved effective in their own lives. But, the universe is always shifting. New beliefs about how we view the stars are always coming into play, and people tend to have questions about how astrology is relevant to them. 

        Questions about astrology often include: What are the 12 signs of astrology? What is my sign? What’s a sun sign vs a moon sign vs a rising sign? Who am I compatible with according to the stars? And finally, the question that will be addressed the most throughout this article: what is the new celestial phenomenon that is being revamped due to social media?  Keep reading to find out. 

        The twelve signs of the astrological wheel are each linked with one of the four elements (earth, air, water, and fire) and each have traits that make a person born under that sign unique. The current twelve signs include, the fire signs: Aries (people born between March 21-April 19) , Leo (people born between July 23-August 22), and Sagittarius (people born between November 22-December 21); the earth signs: Taurus (people born between April 20-May 20), Virgo (people born between August 23-September 22), Capricorn (people born between December 22-January 19); the water signs: Pisces (people born between February 19-March 20),                 Cancer (people born between June 21-July 22), Scorpio (people born between October 23-November 21); and the air signs: Aquarius (people born between January 20-February 18), Gemini (people born between May 21-June 20), and Libra (people born between September 23-October 22). 

        In astrology, your sun sign is based off your birthday and represents your zodiac personality whereas your moon sign is not only based off your birthday but also the time where you were born and represents your emotions and inner mood. Your rising sign or ascendant is your social personality, and can be determined through examining your birth chart, which includes your day of birth, month of birth, time of birth, and location of birth. 

        Compatibility is a tough question when it comes to astrology because there are more factors than just your sun sign that affect what your idea “perfect match” is. Generally, fire signs tend to mesh well with fire and air signs, air signs tend to mesh well with air and fire signs, water signs tend to mesh well with water signs and earth signs, earth signs tend to mesh well with earth signs and water signs. Of course, this general compatibility is only focusing on the sun sign, and to get true compatibility you would have to include the moon sign, rising sign, venus sign, and Mars sign...but that can get very complicated.

        Now that you have some background on astrology, let's get into the newest astrological questions surrounding a potential new sign called Ophiuchus. The constellation Ophiuchus was popularized in the world of astrology in 2017 when NASA released information surrounding the constellation. However, many astrologers believe that that information didn’t mean the constellation should be automatically inducted into the zodiac because NASA is responsible for astronomy, not astrology. The sign has been debated since the 70s, and is often used in sidereal astrology as an honorary 13th sign. Recently, the sign has received some notoriety through popular social media platforms, specifically tiktok. On this app, people were publicizing how they found information that the signs have shifted due to an addition of this 13th sign, but this is a misconception.         Ophiuchus is not an official sign in the zodiac, and most likely never will be. The twelve signs line up perfectly with the twelve months and are evenly spaced through the elements and adding an additional sign would throw a wrench in what the Greeks perfected thousands of years ago,  Nevertheless, people want information on this constellation so, what do we know about the potential new sign? 

        According to an article released by Bustle, Ophiuchus translating from Greek as “Serpent-Bearer” lies in the Southern sky near the celestial equator and is nestled in between Scorpius and Sagittarius. The sign is associated with a real person who lived in Ancient Egypt, and the constellation itself looks like a man is holding a large, coiled snake. Ophiuchus supposedly represents people born between November 29th and         December 17th, and since it is so closely nestled between two current zodiac signs many of the traits from those two signs are also attributed to the new one.” People born under Ophiuchus are often thought to be desirable and magnets for good luck. Apparently, people born under this sign fair quite well through life, and authority looks upon them positively even though they are thought to be a bit rebellious. Ophiuchus people have a thirst for wisdom and knowledge. They have a great sense of humor, are true visionaries, are quite passionate, and have a bright sense of style. 

        However, with positives come negatives. People born under the sign are often associated with being jealous, secretive, arrogant, and having a wild temper. Many people believe that children born after 2016 in between November 29 and December 17 should be represented by Ophichus instead of Sagittarius.  The sign has no opposite because with its induction the zodiac would be an odd number, and with the new addition of the sign all the current signs shift. Meaning, not only people in November and December would have a change in their sign but people in every month would be affected. 

        To get opinions on this new sign I interviewed some people who follow astrology and are quite knowledgeable on the subject. I asked a series of six questions which included: When did you get into astrology? What is your sign? Do you identify with your sign? What do you think about the new sign ophiuchus? Does this sign affect you? Do you believe it should be in the zodiac. 

        First, Reegan Seeley, a current college sophomore at the University of Kentucky and self proclaimed astrology follower, answered the questions by saying, “I got into astrology because I wanted to learn more about myself. My sign is technically an Aquarius, but I was born on the cusp of Aquarius and Capricorn. I feel that I act more as a capricorn than an Aquarius. In truth, I don’t really like that they are adding a new sign but I’m not sure how it affects me yet. I don’t believe it belongs in the new zodiac. I did learn that NASA made it a thing, and since they study astronomy and not astrology, I’d say it doesn’t affect me.” 

        Current SSSAS middle school student, Aislinn Moore stated, “I got into astrology when I was 8 because that's when I first learned what my sign was. I am a sagittarius and I do identity with that sign because whenever I read something about it I am always like ‘oh thats so me,’ I feel like the new sign is weird because I don’t understand why they have to create this new sign for children born after 2016, I think it's just messing with people's identities. The new sign would affect me if it were considered official or I was born after 2016, because I was born within its ‘dates,’ I do not think it should be inducted into the zodiac,” 

        The sign Ophichus has been debated over much time, and organizations such as NASA have come under fire by astrology experts for trying to change people’s identities. People resonate with their signs because they truly make up a part of who you are as a person on this earth because those constellations have a hand in dictating your personality and emotions. NASA deals with astronomy which is the study of space, they do not deal with astrology which deals with celestial effects on human behavior and emotion, If you are distressed by this new sign, I wouldn’t worry about it just yet because the constellation is not an official sign and you are who you choose to be not necessarily what the stars or NASA tell you, you have to be. If you are interested in learning more about astrology and how it pertains to you individually don’t hesitate to contact us at sssasthevoice@sssas.org