A Guide to Ophiuchus Zodiac Sign
In 2016, NASA announced that it changed the 12 zodiac signs because of a shift of the Earth’s axis.
“the sky has shifted because Earth’s North Pole axis doesn’t point in quite the same direction.
Astronomers (not Astrologers) claimed this “shift of the constellations” from our vantage point confirms that the constellation Ophiuchus, known as Ophiuchus Zodiac Sign is now the 13th-star sign and a legit member of the zodiac.
To get to the bottom of this, we did some digging.
Let’s take a took
First of all, let’s get “the space bit” out of the way.
Ophiuchus is a star constellation that spans 948 square degrees in the area.
It can be found northwest of the centre of the Milky Way, all the way up there in space.
It is situated near the other constellations Aquila, Serpens, Hercules and opposite Orion.
The southern part lies between Scorpius to the west and Sagittarius to the east.
We’ll get to this later.
Ophiuchus contains the second closest star to Earth about six light-years away called Barnard’s Star.
Ophiuchus also houses Kepler’s Supernova, also known as Kepler’s Star or globular cluster Supernova 1604, as German astronomer Johannes Kepler discovered it.
The closest star to our solar system called Alpha Centauri is ranked as the third-brightest star and one of the “gems” of the southern sky.
So northern stargazers must make do with the second-closest star, the dim and dull-red Barnard’s Star in the constellation Ophiuchus. The red dwarf star is a magnitude 9.5, making it a challenge to find with the naked eye.
Messier 10 (M10) and Messier 12 or M12. are also globular clusters of stars in the equatorial constellation of Ophiuchus.
The position of Ophiuchus is:
- Right Ascension: 17.18 hours
- Declination: -4.24 degrees
- Visible: between 80 degrees and -80 degrees
- Best viewed: In July around 9 p.m.
When and where to locate Ophiuchus.
The best time to observe Ophiuchus is during a Northern Hemisphere summer or a Southern Hemisphere winter.
From the Northern Hemisphere, late July and early August present this constellation high in the southern sky at nightfall and early evening.
It’s seen in the southwest sky on autumn evenings in the Northern Hemisphere.
Okay, that is “The Space Bit” done.
What’s The Zodiac Ophiuchus Sign?
What is Ophiuchus Sign In Astrology?
Ophiuchus is known as the 13th Sign of Astrology.
If you were to look with your naked eye, at the milky way in our night sky, you might see something like this.
Here is an image of the constellation Ophiuchus seen in Space.
If you have a night sky view, you may find visualise a constellation that looks like what it’s supposed to be: a big guy holding a snake
So translating the image above in Space into a symbol for Ophiuchus.
FACT: The name Ophiuchus is from two Greek words meaning serpent and holding
The dates for Ophiuchus are:
from November 30 to December 18.
Technically, these dates eat into Sagittarius time, which runs from November 23 to December 21.
In Western Astrology that uses Western and Tropical or Sideral methods to calculate birth charts.
There are 3 “branches” of astrology, and this is also what adds to the confusion about new astrology dates:
- The Tropical Zodiac—used by Western astrologers—which is based on the seasons and the ecliptic
- The Sidereal Zodiac—used in Vedic astrology, or Jyotish, and is tied to the constellations
- The Constellational Zodiac—a modern invention that includes the star sign Ophiuchus and the supposed new zodiac dates (the NASA zodiac sign dates)
Because of these variants in the readings of the Astrology, there is, is “scope” for their being the 13th sign.
Below, you can see Ophiuchus squeezed between the new signs.
Why Is Ophiuchus Not Part Of The Zodiac?
Because Ophiuchus is one of thirteen constellations that cross the ecliptic orbit of the earth around the sun.
This is why it has been called the “13th sign of the zodiac“.
The main issue is the confusion between signs and constellations.
The zodiac signs are equally divided twelve-fold across the ecliptic.
Each sign is 30° of celestial longitude.
This is approximately the distance the Sun travels in a month.
It aligns with the seasons (in the Western tradition), so the March equinox always falls on the boundary cusp between Pisces and Aries.
However, constellations, on the other hand, are unequal in size. They are based on the positions of the stars.
The constellations of the zodiac have a loose association with the zodiac signs and do not, in general, coincide with them.
The Ophiuchus symbol is supposed to be representative of 2 arms carrying a snake.
It is a Greek word meaning The Serpent Bearer. The prefix “ophi-” translates as the serpent, and Ophiology is the study of snakes.
Because it is the sign that has the energy of both Scorpio and Sagittarius, it is sometimes referred to as Scorpius or Serpentarius.
Ophiuchus Personality Traits
To look at the traits, trying finding the middle ground between Scorpio and Sagittarius zodiac signs:
The constellation Ophiuchus sits between the depths and determination of Scorpio and high-minded, Jupiter ruled Sagittarius.
So it’s like a merger between the underworld and the realm of the awakened.
Some Vedic/Sidereal astrologers, who work with a system that is based on the constellations (different than Western astrology), actually do consider Ophiuchus a zodiac sign.
And fittingly, it bears traits that are a hybrid of secretive Scorpio and live-out-loud Sagittarius.
Ophiuchus Characteristics & Traits:
- Secretive and mystical
- Keeper of hidden wisdom
- Sexually magnetic with bedroom skills par excellence
- Passionate and magnetic
- Flamboyant fashion sense
- Vital Health
- Wisdom Seekers
- Jealous and possessive
- Dream interpreters
- Rebellious and independent
- Likeable and often given special treatment
Orphiuchus Positive Traits
- Tend to embrace and seek to change, disliking routine in life.
- Follow their instincts relentlessly and can be impulsive.
- Are happy and humorous.
- Are honest to a fault.
- Are often described as intellectual and smart.
- Follow their hearts and not their heads.
- Are powerfully passionate.
- Have a great deal of creativity, imagination and curiosity.
- Are people magnets possessing high charisma?
- Are empathic, people pleasers with a knack for persuasion.
- Have a strong sense of justice.
- Are great with language, arts and the written word.
- Are passionate and adept lovers naturally.
- Are eccentric and quirky.
- Are driven to succeed.
- Dislike authority, rules, regulation and restriction of any kind.
- Dislike irrelevant and trivial information.
- Have a high sense of pride and arrogance and dislike being treated as inferior.
- Enjoy being Number 1 and being told about it.
- Tend to seek the unknown and are always seeking knowledge and wisdom.
- Tend to take the defence rather than offence.
- Are not open but said to be secretive.
- Don’t fall well into social labels.
Orphiuchus Negative Traits
- Have trouble with monogamous relationships.
- Can be of the jealous type.
- Are judgmental and critical.
- Can be restless and irresponsible.
- Procrastinate as a rule.
- Have violent but short-lived tempers.
- They’re sarcastic and have a dry sense of humour.
- Tend to only keep useful things, including friends around.
Mythology and History
Initially, there were 13 constellations in the Babylonian zodiac, with the Ophiuchus constellation also in the sun’s path.
This didn’t fit neatly in the 12-month calendar, so for whatever reason, Ophiuchus was left out.
- Does this mean that you’re now am a member of a zodiac sign that was trashed thousands of years ago?
- Is it possible that Ophiuchus was just not good enough to fit in the Babylonian’s perfect balance system?
Ophiuchus and some of the fixed stars within it were sometimes used by some astrologers in antiquity as extra-zodiacal indicators (i.e. astrologically significant celestial phenomena outside of the “12-sign zodiac” ).
The constellation is described in the astrological poem of Marcus Manilius: the Astronomical, dated around 10 AD. This poem describes how:
Ophiuchus holds apart the serpent which with its mighty spirals and twisted body encircles his own, so that he may untie its knots and back that winds in loops.
But, bending its flexible neck, the serpent looks back and returns: and the other’s hands slide over the loosened coils. The struggle will undoubtedly last forever since they wage it on level terms with equal powers”.
Later in his poem, Manilius describes the astrological influence of Ophiuchus, when the constellation is in its rising phase, as one which offers affinity with snakes and protection from poisons, saying “he renders the forms of snakes innocuous to those born under him.
A later 4th-century astrologer, associated “the bright star of Ophiuchus”, Ras Alhague (α Ophiuchi), with doctors, healers or physicians, which may have been because of the association between poisons, healing herbs and medicines.
Mythology and History
Origins of Ophiuchus in Mythology
Unlike the other 12 signs, Ophiuchus, the 13th sign of the zodiac, is associated with a real person called Imhotep.
Imhotep from the 27th Century BCE in Ancient Egypt was also known as ‘Aesclepius’ by the Ancient Greeks.
The Fairy Tale
Ophiuchus was the illegitimate son of Apollo also called as Asclepios or Asclepius. Later he was the surgeon of the Argonauts. He sailed with them on the ship Argus. He was trying to give back the life to people, including the son of King Minos of Crete.
You can read the full historical story of the 13th planet here.