Alison Brennan, Specials Editor

Over the past few weeks, many people have been afraid because of a claim by NASA stating that there is a new sign, Ophiucus, that now spends enough time aligned with the sun to be considered an astrological sign. After adding the new sign to the 12-month calendar, it appears that everyone’s zodiac sign has changed, and if you were a Gemini you might now be a Taurus. Now the question everyone wants the answer to is, “Did my sign really change?”

No. Your astrological sign did not change because of the “new” sign discovered by NASA. The confusion here is partly because of Ophiucus and partly because of the mix-up between two forms of astrology. The astrology that many of us have come to know is a system that depends on the exact time of your birth. It gives you a complete chart of information that will never change. That is Western Astrology. This is being confused with Sidereal Astrology, where your sign does change during your lifetime as a symbolic representation of progression and shedding the old you.

Many are still wondering if Ophiucus changes their sign as well. The thing is, the Babylonians actually knew about Ophiucus when they invented astrology. In fact, many astrologers also know about Ophiucus and use it as a specification sign for Sagittarius. For example, say someone was born on November 30. That would mean that this person is a Sagittarius, but they were also born in the period of Sagittarius where Ophiucus has an effect. Saggitarians are believed to be fun loving and mainly extroverted, but if you are born during the Ophiucus division of that sign, there might be even more details that an astrologer can give you about your sign.

The most important thing to know is that Ophiucus isn’t a new discovery. The conversation about whether or not Ophiucus is relevant to Western Astrology has come up many times, and in fact many people had the same concerns that they do now, back in 2014. Whether the Babylonians decided that Ophiucus was not relevant, or they just didn’t want to add a 13th sign for convenience, we might never know. But either way, they didn’t create astrology based on all thirteen signs, and the “discovery” of Ophiucus does not prove or disprove astrology.

Astrology is definitely a derivative of the constellations, but it is not BASED on the constellations, which is where many people get confused. Astrology is based on the seasons, and although we know that planets don’t revolve around the Earth, that is how astrologers look at the signs and planets. The stars do actually move around over the course of thousands of years, but astrologers acknowledge that and use it in their readings.