Astronomy, Astrology, the 13th Sign & You
What You Need To Know
Ophiuchus the Serpent Holder
From November 30th to December 18 every year the Sun from Earth’s viewpoint appears to travel through a constellation on the Zodiac Belt that most of us had never heard of until recently called “Ophiuchus”, which is Greek for “Serpent Holder”. This revelation has created quite a New Age stir! Why? What does it mean, how does it affect Astrology, and what do you need to know about it?
In 1928-1930 the International Astronomy Union drew official boundary lines around 88 constellations to help scientists catalog new discoveries. Because stars of Ophiuchus cross the Zodiac Belt, it has been proclaimed “the 13th zodiac sign” by some astronomers who go on to say this means all the zodiac signs have changed. Astrologers respond that Ophiuchus was well known to the original zodiac architects, and that there can be no 13th sign because signs are associated with the 12 calendar months of the seasonal year starting at the Vernal Equinox (first day of Spring). The bottom line is signs and constellations are not the same thing. Astronomers may not know what zodiac signs are, but that does not mean their message should be dismissed out of hand. Sign or no sign, the stars are up there. What you need to know so you can make up your own mind about all of this is who or what is an Ophiuchus?
Ophiuchus takes its marquee attributes from the myth of Asclepius, a master physician, ancestor of Hippocrates, and Greek God of Healing & Wisdom. Asclepius in Greco-Egyptian times was originally known as “Imouthes”, a Greek form of the Egyptian God of Healing, Imhotep (“He Who Cometh in Peace”). Imhotep was a deified mortal who is probably best known as 3rd Dynasty King Djoser’s vizier/architect, the builder of Djoser’s burial complex and Step Pyramid at Saqqara in ca 2650 BCE. Imhotep’s pioneering techniques led many ancient historians to credit him with inventing stone architecture. He was also an astronomer-astrologer, part time priest of RA, and a master physician who never lost a patient and who could even revive the dead. He is the source of the earliest Egyptian medical manuscripts and hence is credited with being the first man of science and medicine in recorded history. The Divine Feminine side of Ophiuchus is cloaked in mystery and promises to yield surprises as this cosmic story continues to unfold.
An Astrology Time Capsule
History of the Tropical Zodiac
[From Wikipedia, Zodiac http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zodiac]
Horoscopic astrology first appeared in Ptolemaic Egypt. The Dendera zodiac, a relief dating to ca. 50 BC, is the first known depiction of the classical zodiac of twelve signs. Particularly important in the development of Western horoscopic astrology was the astrologer and astronomer Ptolemy, whose work Tetrabiblos laid the basis of the Western astrological tradition. Under the Greeks, and Ptolemy in particular, the planets, Houses, and signs of the zodiac were rationalized and their function set down in a way that has changed little to the present day. Ptolemy lived in the 2nd century AD, three centuries after the discovery of the precession of the equinoxes by Hipparchus around 130 BC, but he ignored the problem, by dropping the concept of a fixed celestial sphere and adopting what is referred to as a tropical coordinate system instead.
Galileo (1564-1642) Also an Astrologer
[Excerpt from Galileo’s Astrology, Nick Kollerstrom, 2004 http://www.skyscript.co.uk/galast.html]
“Galileo, like Kepler, was a mathematicus, a term which had a threefold meaning as referring to mathematics, astrology and astronomy. In 1881 Favaro composed his essay, Galileo Astrologo, which concluded:
‘It seems to me impossible to have the slightest doubt that Galileo was involved with astrology, indeed, that he was famous for his great ability in that art, so that distinguished people consulted him with complete confidence, in many cases asking for horoscopes and predictions.’”
The Roman Inquisition 1615: Astronomy and Astrology Part Ways
[From Galileo Galilei, Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_Galilei]
Galileo’s championing of Copernicanism was controversial within his lifetime, when a large majority of philosophers and astronomers still subscribed to the geocentric view that the Earth is at the centre of the universe. After 1610, when he began publicly supporting the heliocentric view, which placed the Sun at the centre of the universe, he met with bitter opposition from some philosophers and clerics, and two of the latter eventually denounced him to the Roman Inquisition early in 1615. In February 1616, although he had been cleared of any offence, the Catholic Church nevertheless condemned heliocentrism as “false and contrary to Scripture”, and Galileo was warned to abandon his support for it—which he promised to do. When he later defended his views in his most famous work, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, published in 1632, he was tried by the Inquisition, found “vehemently suspect of heresy”, forced to recant, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest.
The Evolution of Astrology — a Timeline
In Ancient Times the Serpent was symbolic of primordial wisdom and the principle of metamorphic change. This Timeline is excerpted in large part from Origins of the Ancient Constellations (John H. Rogers, 2001, © British Astronomical Association), made available by the NASA Astrophysics Data System from Smithsonian/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS). It demonstrates the metamorphosis of Astrology.
|4400-2200 BCE||“Zodiac I” — Mesopotamian Zodiac based on the four cardinal points [of that epoch] marked by the heliacal rising of Pleiades, Regulus and Antares.|
|~3200-2100 BCE||Early pictograph phase (Sumerian). “Zodiac II” — The other eight zodiacal constellations were mostly established by the time of the MUL.APIN lists though not all included in them. Virgo and Sagittarius may be descended from the fertility goddess and the hunting god shown on pictographs of ~2500 BCE onwards; …. Gemini, Cancer and Libra were first recorded in the Three Stars Each and MUL.APIN. Only Pisces and Aries were late additions, … the zodiac did not figure as a distinct or important feature of omen texts until the mid-first millennium.|
|~1350-1000 BCE||Boundary-stone pictograph phase (Babylonia, Kassite dynasty) decorated with symbols of the gods, most of which corresponded to planets or constellations called on to witness and protect land ownership.|
|≥ 1100 BCE||The “Three Stars Each” phase (Babylonia, earliest record of farming-calendar constellations with heliacal risings)|
|1100-700 BCE||The MUL.APIN phase (Babylon) These two phases provided successive “textbooks” of the constellations which are the first written records to include the farming-calendar tradition.|
|750-60 BCE||Astrometric diaries phase (Babylon). Astronomy and astrology matured together, the first precise records of planetary motions used in constructing horoscopes. Also from this period the first surviving pictures of Mesopotamian constellations, the Seleucid (12 clay tablets) and the Zodiac ceiling at Dendera – the only complete map we have of an ancient sky – from Egypt in the 1st century BCE. “Zodiac III” (Mediterranean) the last 4 constellations are added. “They were needed then to mark the cardinal solar points of the zodiac which had precessed away from the Zodiac I constellations and to complete the equal division of the zodiac into 12 ‘signs’….|
|475 BCE||The four elements of Earth, Fire, Water and Air are introduced as the 4-fold root of everything by Empedocles of Agrigentum.|
|1930||IAU assigns boundaries to 88 globally recognized constellations to aid astro scientists. Ophiuchus officially becomes a Zodiac Belt constellation.|
|1995||January 20, 1995 A UK paper, The Daily Telegraph, breaks the story “13th Zodiac Sign Written In Stars” by science correspondent Dr. Roger Highfield.|
|2011||January 13, 2011, tidal wave created by story “Stars Realign for New 13th Zodiac Sign” aired worldwide on primetime network news & the Internet. The news source is identified as Minnesota astronomer Pat Kunkle.|
Time to weigh in – Do you really want to say ‘no thank you’ to this gift?