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Thursday, February 09, 2006

What’s Your Sign?

News flash! Your horoscope may be horribly, fatally flawed! Your sign may not be your sign at all!

Astrology is like the mad mother of a wise daughter (astronomy). It is taking a perfectly good science and assigning a silly metaphysical pseudoscience to muck it up and convince people that we are one with the cosmos. You might think that astrologers, who claim to be wise to the mysteries of the universe, would know their stuff pretty well and keep on top of their field. They aren’t.

We are all familiar with the first 12 signs of the Zodiac. What very few people know is that there is a 13th sign that joined the mix hundreds of years ago, and the Zodiac has yet to be updated.

The zodiac is determined by what constellation rises along the ecliptic, the path of the sun through the sky, on a given date. The first incarnation of the Zodiac, around 500 BC if I’m not mistaken, contained only four signs. As time went on more signs were added as people paid closer attention to what constellations rose along the ecliptic and when until we got the 12 familiar signs of the Zodiac. Then it all just stopped.

In all likelihood astrologers stopped updating the Zodiac at 12 signs because it conveniently coincides with the twelve months of the year. However, doing so has done them a great disservice since they are now almost hopelessly out of date and nearly every sign is wrong either because it is new, or it no longer rises along the ecliptic when it once did.

The following is the Zodiac as it now stands.

Astronomical Constellations of the Ecliptic Constellation Dates

Sagittarius Dec 18 Jan 18, 32 days on the ecliptic.

Capricorn Jan 19 Feb 15, 28 days on the ecliptic.

Aquarius Feb 16 Mar 11, 24 days on the ecliptic.

Pisces Mar 12 Apr 18, 38 days on the ecliptic

Aries Apr 19 May 13, 25 days on the ecliptic

Taurus May 14 Jun 19, 37 days on the ecliptic

Gemini Jun 20 Jul 20, 31 days on the ecliptic

Cancer Jul 21 Aug 9, 20 days on the ecliptic

Leo Aug 10 Sep 15, 37 days on the ecliptic

Virgo Sep 16 Oct 30, 45 days on the ecliptic

Libra Oct 31 Nov 22, 23 days on the ecliptic

Scorpio Nov 23 Nov 29, 7 days on the ecliptic

Ophiuchus Nov 30 Dec 17, 18 days on the ecliptic

As you can see this bears little resemblance to the Zodiac that your horoscope is based off of.

This is absolute proof that astrologers are either deluded, or con-artists. How can they read the stars when their primary tool (the Zodiac) is fatally flawed due to their own refusal to keep it current? It is ASTRONOMERS who have revealed this flaw in the Zodiac, you know, real scientists.

In all fairness, astronomy would not be what it is today without astrology. It was astrology that motivated people to study the cosmos from the earliest days, until sometime in the last 200 years when astronomy became a science for the sake of science rather than for aiding in fortune telling and portents. Had people never believed we could learn the future by studying the stars it is likely that much of the knowledge we take for granted today would be undiscovered. It is probable that we would still believe that the Earth is at the physical center of the universe and that the sun travels around it rather than the other way around. We might not know about galaxies or the composition of stars. There is much that would remain a mystery to us if astrology had not motivated people to delve into the scientific working of the universe.

So, back to the original question; what’s your sign? Mine is Ophiuchus (December 16th). For those of you who are unfamiliar with this constellation, according to Greek myth, Ophiuchus was the first doctor. He learned medicine from snakes and was so good he could even raise the dead. His practice of bringing the dead back to life angered Hades, the god of the underworld because he was robbing him of souls. So the gods killed him and took the secret of raising the dead away from mankind. The staff of Ophiuchus, a winged staff with two snakes wrapped around it is the symbol for medicine to this day.

10 Comments:

  • I'm a Leo. I only know that from my blog profile. I don't know much about this... you do bring up a good point, though.

    I never thought much of Horoscopes, personally. Seems either a bunch of baloney or Satanic. Just my blunt opinion :)

    By Blogger Mary Ann, at 9:44 AM  

  • and yet how many people cannot put down their newspaper without seeing what the day has in store for them in the horoscope section?

    By Blogger Nunzia, at 9:48 AM  

  • It is probable that we would still believe that the Earth is at the physical center of the universe and that the sun travels around it rather than the other way around.

    Something the church denied vehemently and persecuted scientists over, all because they believed their religion had the answers when it didn't. Interesting that Christians so readily admit their faults hundreds of years later.
    When will that blog entry on evolution be ready? Dying to read it.

    As to the topic at hand...
    Horoscopes and Astrology are a means to bring control into one's life where there really isn't any at all. It is an illusion, a safety net of sorts, that helps people deal with the unknown. There are other real world examples of this as well. A baseball player wearing the same socks to every game because they are 'lucky', knocking on wood, not speaking of death because it might create death, and so on.
    People believe in such things because they need to, or rather want to. I won't get into offensive examples, therefore I stick with what we now call mythology and superstition.
    - Matt

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:41 AM  

  • I don't know. I'm pretty open-minded on all this stuff. I don't just believe what my senses tell me. I know my sign, Libra, is right on the mark but I also see where that could be coincidence. My husband's sign, Leo, is also right on the money, as is my daughter's. Coincidence...maybe. Something to it...possibly. I will keep an open mind. :)

    By Blogger Gayle, at 4:58 PM  

  • Oh, interesting post, btw! :)

    By Blogger Gayle, at 4:59 PM  

  • I confess I know little about astrology other than that it's a pseudo-science that people seem to really dig. I thought I was a Cancer but according to your zodiac I'm a Gemini. I don't know if that's good or not.

    I guess astrology's fine for folks, as long as they don't take it too seriously.

    By Blogger Samurai Sam, at 5:00 PM  

  • and yet how many people cannot put down their newspaper without seeing what the day has in store for them in the horoscope section?

    I know lots of people who are like that, too. I don't see what the attraction is, personally.

    By Blogger Samurai Sam, at 5:01 PM  

  • I HATE it when people bring people that I've killed back to life! HATE IT, HATE IT, HATE IT! Dead terrorists are dead for a reason!

    Sorry, couldn't resist. Astrology is all a joke to me. I read my horoscope twice a year and laugh both times. Those horoscopes are great for paper training a dog but that's about it.

    By Blogger Nightcrawler, at 10:23 PM  

  • Have to agree with nightcrawler on this one, the horoscopes were specifically designed for pets...

    By Blogger ABFreedom, at 9:23 AM  

  • Oh heavens, now I'm torn. I've always thought I was a Cancer (a malignancy) represented by the Crab (body lice). Now I find out I'm a Gemni (split personality?). I guess I'll have to click the "Start over" button of life.

    By Blogger Fish, at 8:46 PM  

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