You’ve probably read something like “NASA Just Updated The Zodiac Signs For The First Time In Over 2,000 Years” or “Your Astrological Sign Has Shifted” which of course, is not true! (NASA?! Really?! NASA doesn’t care about the zodiac!)
“We didn’t change any Zodiac signs, we just did the math,” stated Dwayne Brown, a NASA spokesperson in an exclusive report by Gizmodo.
“The Space Place article was about how astrology is not astronomy, how it was a relic of ancient history, and pointed out the science and math that did come from observations of the night sky.”
Deborah Houlding, a well respected astrologer, researcher, writer and teacher amongst the global astrological community, is an avid activist about this topic and the nonsense that surrounds it!
She says that this false assumption is spawned from the misinterpretation of 4 elements: the ecliptic; the zodiac; the constellations; the moving axis of the earth;
Because most people don’t understand these 4 elements and how they interact, they make unreasonable assumptions that twist the truth of reality.
Most people don’t even know what the zodiac is.
Here we gonna try to explain everything, as simply as possible, easy to be understood!
What are constellations really?
The constellations are patterns we’ve assigned to groups of stars that have nothing to do with each other in reality.
The stars in one group are light years apart from each other.
But because it’s easier to measure the position of earth around the sun with some kind of external parameters, we’ve created patterns to guide us.
The patterns we’ve assigned to these groups of stars are what we call constellations. (it derives from the Latin con, ‘together’ + stellas, ‘stars’)
The signs derived from these patterns, constellations. However, a constellation is not a sign!
A sign communicates information while a constellation is a visible pattern.
What is The Ecliptic?
The ecliptic is a line of constellations around the sun.
Because the earth orbits the sun we perceive a different constellation behind our sun each month.
There are originally 13 constellations along this line. However, they are different in shape and size.
Because it’s easier to divide 1 year into 12 parts instead of 13, astrologists wanted to remove one constellation from the ecliptic. One of these 13 constellations which was the smallest was left out.
That’s why we have 12 months and 4 seasons. It’s easier to calculate like this.
The original astrological zodiac was used to measure the time of the year instead of predicting who you’ll meet this week.
What is The Zodiac?
The zodiac astrologers use today is derived from this astronomical measurement of the year.
One part of the zodiac is “The Tropical Zodiac” (the one you most likely obtained your sign from) determined by the position of the sun referenced against the position of the Earth’s equator; simply said, it’s looking at the seasons of Earth.
The other is “The Sidereal Zodiac” determined by the position of the sun referenced against the star background.
Both the tropical and sidereal zodiacs present consistent systems. Just as different languages can have their own grammatical rules that don’t apply to each other and yet still lead to the effective communication of information.
The one is looking from the sun towards earth, the other is looking from the sun towards other stars. They complete each other.
Now here comes the tricky part that confused a lot of people.
The earth has an axis, in reference to the sun it’s tilted 23 and a half degrees.
This is why, as the earth orbits around the sun it seems that the sun is going above the equator, the day is getting longer; and below the equator the day is getting smaller. This is why there are seasons, equinoxes and solstices.
However, the axis of the earth rotates too. Very slowly, 1 degree shift every 72 years, but accumulated with time it makes a significant difference.
Because of this rotation, the sun seems to be slightly off from the starting constellation of the ecliptic, each year. For us, observing from earth, it seems that the constellations are rotating. In reality, the axis of the earth is rotating.
It makes a full circle each 26,000 years and many cultures believe that this marks the end of one civilization and beginning of another.
Spring is always considered a start. Spring starts when the sun begins ‘climbing’ up to the equator.
2000 years ago people decided to make this the starting point of measurement through the zodiac. At that time the sun was facing the Aries constellation. That’s why it is called the ‘zero degree’, or ‘0° Aries’, because Aries is considered the first of the twelve signs of the zodiac.
However, because of the rotation of the earth’s axis the sun is not facing Aries anymore when the spring starts. It has ‘shifted’ more to the constellation of Pisces and it will keep ‘shifting’ through all the constellations, making a return to Aries each 26,000 years, and so on.
But your zodiac sign is NOT shifting!
It’s just the position of the sun in reference to the constellations at a certain season.
By the tropical zodiac Aries is the beginning of spring, no matter what constellation spring starts with. Aries communicates the archetype of spring.
And you’ll probably think ‘but doesn’t the fact that the axis moves means the seasons will change too?’ And it’s pretty smart to think like this. People thought of this too when they were creating the calendar.
Each day, our calendar is gradually ‘precessing’ in time by 0.008 seconds to keep up with the new locations of the equinoxes and solstices so no matter where we are in the precession cycle ,winter will always happen in December, and Summer in June. Our calendar keeps up with the axis cycle.
By the sidereal zodiac the Aries constellation stays the same. The constellations don’t change positions between themselves.
The confusion comes when we link the 2 zodiacs with each other. It’s like putting grammatical rules, that don’t apply, from one language to another.
For the one zodiac the variables are the sun and the equator of the earth. For the other are the sun and the star background. The signs can shift ONLY if a zodiac measures these 3 variables together: the sun, the equator of the earth and the constellations. And that’s NOT the case!
There are 12 zodiac signs:
The other false assumption which says there are 13 signs comes from the fact that there are 13 original constellations on the ecliptic.
First of all, that’s a hit to the sidereal zodiac not the tropical zodiac which cares about the seasons of earth (and most people obtain their signs from it).
Second, the constellation is small enough so astrologers removed it from the measuring system, or better said, they’ve overlaid it with its neighboring constellations. They still consider those stars, the pattern is just removed.
Third, every constellation is shortened or lengthened in some way to fit the 12 aspects of the measuring system. They are just imaginary patterns to help us measure the movement of earth in reference to the sun.
It’s not that the constellations have changed, people just want to split 12 and 13 on the same ‘ruler’.
Think like this, if you had a bucket with 1l of water, and suddenly the measuring system changed so 1 litter is 3 litters now, you will have a bucket with 3l of water. But, in reality you won’t have any more water molecules than you had before.
In reality, the activity of the stars is exactly the same. And that’s what sidereal astrologers measure.
People took all of this and linked it with the fact that the sun is ‘drifting’ because of the movement of earth’s axis and created an unreasonable assumption.
The 13 signs of the ecliptic and the slow shifting of the starting constellation, have nothing to do with each other nor with the 2 zodiac systems.
Across history, many cultures and civilizations created different kind of zodiac signs. Some people used the seasons and some the constellations to create their signs.
The Celtic Zodiac has 13 signs; The Mayan Zodiac has 19 signs; most of the other have 12 like the one we use.
But the earth circles the sun always at the same pace. The seasons are the same. My point is, even if the ‘ruler’ which we measure a revolution around the sun with changes, what we measure doesn’t change.
Even if someone updates the zodiac signs, you will remain as unique as the time you were born at!
Source of references and information: https://cosmicintelligenceagency.com/the-zodiac-and-why-there-are-12-signs-not-13/;