The XX Factor

Thank Zeus I’m Still a Pisces

Due to a shift in earth’s relationship to the sun over the past 3,000 years, the signs of the Zodiac have changed , says an astronomer named Parke Kunkel. In a form of astrology called Sidereal astrology, each Zodiac sign is determined by the dates during which the sun passes through a particular constellation. If you’re a devotee of this form of astrology (and enough people are interested to make this a hot search item today ), what Kunkel says is true: The dates for each Zodiac symbol aren’t the ones known in the mainstream, and there’s a new symbol for people born from Nov. 29- Dec. 17: Ophiuchus, the serpent-bearer.

Here is the whole list

Capricorn: Jan. 20 - Feb. 16
Aquarius: Feb. 16 - March 11
Pisces: March 11- April 18
Aries: April 18- May 13
Taurus: May 13- June 21
Gemini: June 21- July 20
Cancer: July 20- Aug. 10
Leo: Aug. 10- Sept. 16
Virgo: Sept. 16- Oct. 30
Libra: Oct. 30- Nov. 23
Scorpio: Nov. 23- Nov. 29
Ophiuchus: Nov. 29- Dec. 17
Sagittarius: Dec. 17- Jan. 20

However, as the Washington Post ‘s Melissa Bell points out this is not new information. Furthermore, Kunkel is an astrology-hatin’ scientist, and most mainstream astrologists don’t use the Sidereal Zodiac:

Commentators have responded to the initial article with some disdain. One wrote, “Oh for heaven’s sake (oops), how can people with Ph.D.s be so ignorant? Of course astrologers know about precession – they’ve known since about 200 BC. Horoscopes always take it into account. We use a TROPICAL horoscope in the west, not a sidereal one. Sheesh.”

The commentator is correct that this is not new information. Live Science reported on the role of “precession” on astrology in 2007. Precession is the phenomenon of the moon causing the earth to “wobble” on its axis.

Look, I’m not going to sit here and argue that astrology is science or that you should base your life around it. However, I found myself strangely comforted by the knowledge that under the “new” Zodiac signs, I am still a Pisces. I was reminded of girlhood gabfests in which we would talk about our star signs and what they meant about our personalities. We would look up the birthdates of our crushes and declare whether or not we were compatible. I realized I always vaguely explained my moodiness and creativity through the fact that I’m a fish . For those with similiarly nostalgic feelings towards astrology and deep affection for your given sign, the takeaway from this “news” is that you can hang on to your horoscope.