Ophiuchus the 13th sign

Ophiuchus, also known as Serpentarius, is situated behind the sun between November 29 and December 17. It's been there for a very, very, long time. It's not a new discovery. Like many other constellations it was a valid candidate for use as a sun sign. Like many other constellations it wasn't used.

The existing 12 signs are used because they divide things up in a convenient and equal manner. We could have 13 signs, 14 or 500... but 12 is a convenient and sensible number as it divides the circle of space into convenient 30 degree chunks. The existing 12 signs are used because they are close to the 12 segments, and not because they exactly cover them, or denote their positions with any great accuracy. They're labels used to identify them; words and symbols used to make human recognition and memory easier.

Hundreds of other systems could theoretically be used, but due to the way the math works we could use any number of signs which divide equally into 360. For example 12 works well (providing 30 degree segments), and 36 works well (providing 10 degree segments). 13 is theoretically possible, but retarded for mathematical purposes.

What about the claims that the earth wobbles creating this new sign?

The earth has always wobbled, and astrologers have always adjusted for it. Nothing has changed. (No, we haven't just started wobbling recently!) The different types of natal chart (sidereal, tropical etc) exist to compensate for this and similar phenomenon. As with many things in astrology the information generally presented is a simplification, because the underlying math is very complex and frankly would just bore most people. That certainly doesn't mean that there isn't a very precise science behind it.

How do we know the existing system is correct?

The proof is in the pudding. Any good astrologer gets constant feedback as to the accuracy of their readings. I can safely say that if something was wrong then we would know almost immediately. I personally use 80 page readings which go into tiny detail of peoples personality. If even the slightest aspect was inaccurate I'd hear about it constantly! On average over 97 out of every 100 feedback emails I get are positively shocked about the level of accuracy. That's not coincidence!

So astrology has just been turned upside down?!

Alas, no. Ophiuchus sounds interesting, but really it isn't. The most interesting thing about it is the power of the internet, both to share information, and to share mis-information. Nothing will change as a result of this "discovery" other than the volume of email questions us poor astrologers get ;)

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