Ophiuchus: All About the 13th Astrological Sign

By Ellen Ricks

On March 10, 2021

In Astrology

Ophiuchus: All About the 13th Astrological Sign

Hey, what’s your sign? While you may know everything about your sun sign (you are on an astrology site, after all), what if we told you that there was a “new” zodiac sign? Enter: Ophiuchus. Here, we’ll tell you all about new zodiac sign Ophiuchus, including traits, dates, and the Ophiuchus element.

Get ready, we’ll answer all your burning questions and more.

What Is Ophiuchus?

A recently discovered constellation has thrown astrologers for a loop and confused astro enthusiasts about how this might change their sun sign and birth chart. Let us introduce you to Ophiuchus, the “newest” zodiac sign.

Ophiuchus is a large constellation on the celestial equator, between the constellation Scorpius and Sagittarius. For that reason, it is considered a potential thirteenth zodiac sign. Ophiuchus comes from the Greek word Ophioukhos—which translates to “serpent-bearer.” That may be the reason this sign is represented as a man (or woman) grasping a snake.

Ophiuchus Pronunciation: How Do You Say, ‘Ophiuchus’?

Ophiuchus is pronounced: oh-FEW-kuss.

Ophiuchus Dates

If you’re born between November 29—December 17 (that’s you, Sagittarius), you may have a completely new zodiac sign with new traits and elements to explore.

Ophiuchus is unique in many ways. But one difference is that it has a much shorter sun cycle than the other 12 zodiac signs. While it takes the sun thirty days to move through one zodiac sign, it only takes the sun 18 days to move through Ophiuchus: from November 29 to December 17.

While this can come as quite a shock to Sagittarius natives, don’t think you’re out of the woods just yet. If the thirteenth zodiac sign is added to the wheel, all signs would have new dates—meaning many sun signs would change. Check down below to see what might be your new sun sign:

AriesApril 18—May 13

TaurusMay 14—June 21

GeminiJune 22—July 20

CancerJuly 21—August 10

LeoAugust 11—September 16

VirgoSeptember 17—October 30

LibraOctober 31—November 23

ScorpioNovember 24-November 28

Ophiuchus: November 29—December 17

SagittariusDecember 18—January 20

CapricornJanuary 21—February 16

AquariusFebruary 17—March 11

PiscesMarch 12—April 17

Ophiuchus dates

Courtesy of Pexels; Jacob Gomez

Ophiuchus Mythology

While the other signs are based on mythological characters and figures, Ophiuchus is named after a real person. According to International Business Times, Ophiuchus is named after Imhotep, an Egyptian chancellor of the Pharaoh Djoser, and the high priest of the Ra, the sun god. While little is known about Imhotep’s actual life, he is often equated to Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine. (Fun fact: The “rod of Asclepius,” a snake entwined staff, remains a symbol of medicine today.)

Is Ophiuchus a Real Zodiac Sign?

Hold up… so, is Ophiuchus real or what? Public knowledge of the Ophiuchus comes from a 2016 article from NASA claims that the true zodiac wheel has 13 signs—not 12—because there’s another major constellation between Scorpio and Sagittarius.

It’s not like Ophiuchus just magically showed up in the sky one day (though it may feel like it did). Ancient astrologers may have overlooked Ophiuchus for various reasons, now lost to the ages. Whatever the reason, Ophiuchus is an old constellation that is new to us.

But now you’re probably wondering, “How does this discovery even happen? Can you really just make a new zodiac sign?” And that’s totally fair! To be clear, even though this constellation is technically between Scorpio and Sagittarius, astrologers do not consider it as part of the zodiac wheel. That’s right, disregard! Ophiuchus is not a real zodiac sign in the eyes of astrologers.

Ophiuchus Traits

For argument’s sake, what would Ophiuchus traits be like if it were a real zodiac sign? (Of course, remember, because it is not real, we don’t know too much about it regarding traits, elements, or even assigning a planet or a house to it.) However, many astrologers have tried to figure out what Ophiuchus’s characteristics and traits could be.

Considering that Ophiuchus is on the cusp of Sagittarius and Capricorn on the original zodiac wheel, many astrologers believe that Ophiuchus be a combination of those two personalities. This would describe someone who’s passionate, flamboyant, and truth-seeking like Sagittarius. But this would also be someone who is driven, ambitious, and act as a real authority figure like Capricorn.

However, we can’t leave out Scorpio, as Ophiuchus, the constellation is located between Scorpio and Sagittarius. So, this snake-handler may take on the traits of the scorpion, like their mysterious nature (obviously), jealous tendencies, and temper flares. Rest assured, you don’t want to mess with them.

Lastly, it’s interesting to look at what Ophiuchus’ name is connected to—the god of medicine. Ophiuchus natives are our healers, herbalists, and caretakers. Somebelievethat people born under this sign are healing witches. They may have a vicious bite (like a snake) but they are caretakers to the core.

While not much is known about the element associated with Ophiuchus, astrologer Lisa Stardust speculated in a Bustle article that it may be associated with the fire element because Ophiuchus is “a go-getter and a doer, and it’s also described as passionate.” These are all the qualifications of a fire sign.

However, more research and study will need to be done to really understand Ophiuchus.

So, Is Ophiuchus Real?

Again, don’t freak out. You’re not having an identity crisis because your zodiac sign hasn’t changed at all. You read that right, there are only 12 zodiac signs and yours hasn’t changed.

The whole Ophiuchus debate among the astrology and the astronomy world has been greatly blown out of proportion. After all, the NASA article that first talked about the thirteenth zodiac sign was written for children. Sure, Ophiuchus is a real constellation, but it’s not a zodiac sign, which is a major difference. There are many constellations in the sky but, over thousands of years ago, astrologers picked twelve (and only twelve) to make up the zodiac wheel.

It’s important to remember that while they have some similarities, astrology and astronomy are two completely different schools of study and don’t always operate under the same rules. After all, astrologers still focus on Pluto and astronomers don’t even consider it a planet anymore! Astronomers have as much right to tell astrologers about zodiac signs as astrologers have the right to tell NASA what to do: none.

Also, Western astrology is based on an unchanging system created over centuries ago that we still follow today. Sure, modern astrology studies asteroids and even minor stars, but that’s isn’t at the same level as completely changing up the zodiac wheel. Remember, astrology was created with purpose and by undoing and changing the zodiac wheel, we would be changing astrology as we know it and have to create an entirely new system from scratch.

And a world with only a week-long Scorpio season is not the world I want to live in.

While we will most likely never get an official 13th zodiac sign in our lifetime, many astrologers like to study Ophiuchus and explore its many possibilities.

So, your zodiac sign is fine and there are still twelve zodiac signs (*breathes sign of relief*). However, if you looked at the “new” zodiac dates and find yourself relating to your “new” sign much more than your real sign, it may be a good idea to explore your natal birth chart to see if you have that sign somewhere in your chart. It may explain more about your life and personality better than any mysterious zodiac sign could.

Lead photo courtesy of Pexels; RF._.studio

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