The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A 13th astrological sign! - Should you be concerned you're no longer the sign you thought you were?

 Good Evening,

Oh my!! Was I surprised when I emerged from my potions room, well its really more of a tower actually, at what has been going on in the world this past week.  Can you imagine??!!  News reports claiming they've added a 13th astrological sign into the zodiac?  Well, when this news first hit,  I was skeptical, as I always am at something so supposedly earth shattering!  I mean really,  just for instance,  think of all the people who have tattoos! A permanent symbol of your astrological sign is a popular choice, and so many people get tattoos today. To find out your Aries tattoo should now be a Pisces, well that's going to be hard to disguise.  Maybe two tattoos, one pre 2011 and one post?  This could get out of control,  when will this end? 

One's astrological symbol, for some people,  is part of their identity. As is true for some people as to their cultural heritage  Imagine waking up tomorrow and finding out you're not really Irish or the culture you thought you were, for many that would be stressful if not traumatic. This is true for those who have always known themselves to be an Aries, or a Virgo, an Aquarius or Cancer or whatever sign you are. If you've ever looked at the personal characteristics that describe your particular astrological or sun sign and have noted the similarities, now to be told you are really another sign, well needless to say,  its causing consternation everywhere!

 First let's take a brief glance at the basic Tropical zodiac that most of us follow in the Western world. Your horoscope in the local paper or on the internet follows the Tropical zodiac. The Tropical zodiac has 12 signs and those signs with their respective dates are as follows:

Aries  -  The symbol of the Ram - is anyone born from March 21 to April 19th and this is a Fire sign
Taurus - The Bull - April 20 - May 20    Earth
Gemini -  the Twins - May 21 - June 20  Air
Cancer - The Crab - June 21 - July 22  Water
Leo - the Lion - July 23 - August 22   Fire
Virgo - the Maiden - August 23 - September 22  Earth
Libra - the Scales - Sept 23 - October 22   Air
Scorpio - The Scorpion - Oct 23 - Nov 21  Water
Sagittarius - the Centaur the Archer - Nov 21 - Dec 21  Fire
Capricorn - the Goat - Dec 22 - January 19  Earth
Aquarius - the Water Bearer -  Jan 20th - February 18   Air
Pisces - the Fish  - Feb 19th - March 20   Water 

This is the astrological calendar we've been raised on and that we know in relation to those of us who live in the West and most parts of the world. Let me tell you, you should not stress because this entire bag of drunk monkeys let loose on the astrological world and causing such worry and stress, has nothing to do at all with our Tropical zodiac. So, now take a deep breath, hold for a second and release it. Feel better? That's right.  If you were an Aquarius last week, you're still one today!  Here, let me explain.

Much of the world follows an astrological calendar set down by Ptolemy. Ptolemy was a Roman citizen from Egypt who recorded his musings in Greek, the language of academics of the time.  He set down the dates and our understanding of the zodiac and he associated the zodiac with the Equinoxes and Solstices.  Although the different houses of our Tropical zodiac have the same names as the constellations of stars in the heavens, it is not based on the constellations. I know, a bit of a surprise this was, but its true.

The excitement of a 13th zodiacal sign really takes place in another zodiac that has been followed in some areas of the eastern world. Now, this isn't the Chinese zodiac, yet again another zodiacal belief system.  The eastern zodiac I speak of is called the Sidereal zodiac. This is a zodiac which is based upon the constellations and was developed by the Babylonians thousands of years ago. They had, at the origins of their Sidereal Zodiac, 13 signs and a few thousand years ago dropped one of the signs, the Ophiuchus, the snake bearer or serpent holder.  Those who have followed the Sidereal zodiac have now re-introduced this 13th sign into their calendar  because of shifts in the earth's positioning as it relates to the constellations.

Much of this recent hype is credited to an astronomy professor who claims the earth's wobble has shifted zodiac signs. Huh? First this has been discussed in astronomical circles for over a hundred years now so he's not the first one to notice this, just the latest to start a scare.  Secondly it's near impossible to get a person of astronomy  to even recognize the field of astrology which many astronomers feel is not a 'real' science as astronomy is, and is therefore less credible.  Thirdly this astronomy instructor Parke Kunkle, is basing his information on the constellations which when the earth's wobble has shifted would affect the Sidereal  zodiac bringing back into play their long set aside 13th symbol, which is cool in its own right.  And if an astronomer was going to follow a horoscope it makes sense that they would logically follow one that was based on constellations.

I have many friends of Asian descent that swear by the Chinese horoscope and I know I am the sign of the rabbit, which in ancient times on the Chinese zodiac was the sign of the cat. Oh yeah!  In other words we will follow that which resonates with us.  That which we can relate to and we feel comfortable with.  So, if you've followed the horoscope we follow in the United States and most of the world then you are just fine. Your sign has not changed.  For fun though, those that want to get a new sign may want to adopt the Sidereal zodiac, and hey why not? If it works for you, go for it.

Maybe you wish to look at the sign the Sidereal zodiac says you are and look up the characteristics of that sign and see how many of them fit you personally in addition to the sign you are in the tropical zodiac. Any insight into ourselves can be beneficial. This is what I can tell you about the Sidereal Zodiac with the major changes that have taken place.  Note some signs like Scorpio for instance have only 9 days.

The Sidereal Zodiac :

Aries  -  The Ram - April 19th - May 14
Taurus - The Bull -  May 14th - June 21
Gemini -  the Twins -  June 21st - July 21
Cancer - The Crab -  July 21 - August 11
Leo - the Lion -  August 11 - Sept 17
Virgo - the Maiden -  Sept 17 - October 31
Libra - the Scales -  Oct 31 - Nov 21
Scorpio - The Scorpion -  Nov 21 - Nov 30
Ophiuchus - the Snake bearer - Nov 30 - Dec 18
Sagittarius - the Centaur the Archer -  Dec 18 - Jan 21
Capricorn - the Goat -  Jan 21 - Feb 17
Aquarius - the Water Bearer -Feb 17 - March 12
Pisces - the Fish  -  March 12 - April 19

The symbols for the Ophiuchus that have been suggested for use:

Don't even ask me what they do with someone who is born on the cusp of a sign. The Tropical zodiac we follow has distinct separations of days and no overlaps, whereas the Sidereal zodiac has overlaps for every month making a potential of 13 days a year where there will be confusion or perhaps someone gets two signs? I don't know and I'll leave it for those who know more about that zodiac. I, as a witch am more comfortable following a system that follows my equinoxes and solstices as the rest of my magickal calendars world do  so I'm staying with my Tropical zodiac.

Know one thing about your sun sign. Whatever sign you were born under, you were not born fully developed in that sign. I was born under the sign of Virgo, but I will spend my entire life developing into a fully developed Virgo, at least that's the idea.  Learning to understand ourselves and to work on the shadow parts while using the brighter parts to their best advantage is really the basis of the work to be done.

 I hope I have answered some of the questions you may have had in relation to this media hyped rumor.  The silly thing is any reporter who did a tiny bit of research on the Internet would have seen that this was more of a sensationalistic story with little credibility in most of the world.  Yet it certainly did get everyone talking and not about snow! For instance this week it was reported on the national news, that every state in the United States with the exception of Florida had snow!! So maybe this silly astrological new 'urban legend' was a good thing, or  .  .  .  the very at least an interesting diversion.

If you have any questions or wonder about other things in our magickal world which seem to bring about fear or uncertainty, or make you nervous, please make a comment and I'll do my best to explain the real story to you.  Maybe next time we can discuss 2012?  Let me know! Thanks and have a great evening! 

Peace and Happiness

© 2010 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. 

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  1. I would LOVE to hear your opinion on 2012! I think they simply got bored...or maybe ran out of tablets or ink or whatever the heck they wrote with! Maybe they just forgot to buy a new calendar? I don't mean to poke fun at the believers, I'm just not one (at least I don't think I am! What about the birds? The fish? The Pats losing to the Jets?)
    Thank you for clearing up the confusion about the Zodiac!

  2. I have always been a cancer. What I am finding very perplexing at the moment is that up until about halfway through this past summer I was everything my sign claimed me to be, and I loved the water. However,since about August, I have been very different. I read through Gemini, which the new zodiac says that I am, and it is actually far more accurate than Cancer was. What's the deal with that?

  3. Hi Ms. Faith, I just found your new website and this blog, I haven't seen you since your old store when I came in with my mom and she was going to sign me up for your classes. Now I found you and found out you teach at my college! My boyfriend and I are going to try and come see you soon :) --Alicia.