“I’m telling you, THIS is why astrology is a bunch of BS! You’re telling me that all of a sudden, I’m just magically a different sign, all because some yahoo from the mid-west finally realizes that the earth has shifted? I don’t buy….”

Man, he wouldn’t stop. My boyfriend is a serious skeptic about things like astrology. For him to go out on a limb and believe that something he always took with a grain of salt was shifting completely, was asking too much. Apparently, a lot of people have their panties in a grand cross over the issue. It is quite the reflection on how society handles change in general.

According to some, this subtle shift in the earth’s axis, millennia in the making, means that we now need a 13th sign in the zodiac. Ophiuchus falls between Sagittarius and Scorpio, near the end of the calendar year. And it could require thousands of believers to get their old tattoos removed and replaced.

But has that change really changed ANYTHING? Sure, the earth tilted a scooch. And now this constellation, Ophiuchus (pronounced O-Few-cus), is in big bold bright view. Does that really make you a Taurus now, dear?

Well, even though his response was bullheaded and stubborn, no, it doesn’t. To get to the root of this, I called up Dr. Craig Martin, an astrologer based in L.A. He was a funny man, short and to the point. He made it clear from the beginning that Ophioucus was a bunch of phooey. I asked him why he thought so.

“I’ll tell you why I KNOW so… Astronomy and astrology are different. Astrology is an interpretive art.” One that an astronomer knows little about. As you may already know, the hubbub began when an astronomer named Parke Kunkle (poor bastard) proposed that because of the shift in the earth’s axis, a new astrological sign would come about and shift all of the other signs back to make room.

The point that Dr. Martin was making is that on the whole, astronomers don’t fuddle much in astrology. It’s an art that compromises the credibility of their science in the science community. So, according to Martin, the link between astronomy and astrology is tenuous at best.

He acknowledged the shift in the earth’s axis, but then he also went on to point out that this was something astrologers have known about for a long, long time, and that it’s already been accounted for. It’s called precession, and while it does have an effect on our signs, they knew that already. Duh.

He’s not alone in his conviction either. He has been interviewed by quite a few major media syndicates and publications since the uproar, and when he gave his take to Fox News and the Associated Press, they looked less than shocked. “That’s what everyone has said,” seems to be the overwhelming consensus.

Additionally, he pointed out that in order to make room for the new sign, you have to take time away from the other signs. “There is no way you could move through Leo that quickly… It’s huge.”

I must admit, I was a little bummed about the debunking. My birthday lands right in the middle of what would have been the new sign’s territory. Ophiuchus would have been sort of awesome! And I still can’t understand for the life of me why people would be opposed to the change. But hey, if it doesn’t add up, it doesn’t add up.

But if the stars have prophesied that I would a develop a passion for earth-shaking and mind-altering diversions like bamboo and astrology, well, who can really argue with them?

Learn more

For further counsel on the matter, I highly recommend getting in touch with one of our local astrologers. Harry Farmer is a great person to contact, as well as Barb Heiam-Bjornsen.

You can also check out more of our articles on Eastern mysticism and the esoteric arts.

PHOTO CREDIT: The constellation of Ophiuchus and the Milky Way (Wikipedia)

NOTE: This article first appeared in January 2011. We made minor revisions in November 2019.