Week #37 of Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks blog challenge was “Closest to Your Birthday.” I was planning on writing about some of my favorite birthday memories but I recently was made aware of some disturbing news. I AM NO LONGER AN AQUARIUS!
The other night one of my students asked me how to pronounce “Ophiuchus.” I’m generally pretty good at figuring out tough words, but that one had me stumped. “O-fi-u-kus?” “Af-i-u-kus?” So, I suggested we google it. I also asked her what it meant. (Yes- she was supposed to be doing her online work… but learning is learning, right?) Turns out, the word is pronounced “ah-fee-yuh-cuss” and is the world’s new horoscope sign.
Since “they” shoved this sign right into existing 12 signs (Ophiuchus: Nov 29 – Dec 17), all the zodiac signs have now shifted. Instead of identifying as Aquarius as I have my entire life, I now find myself being declared a Capricorn! Oh no, you don’t! As my student and I were discussing this, another student became so anxious about losing her “identity,” she couldn’t even focus on her lesson. I decided to research this shocking news.
Apparently, we were a few years late learning the news! The original announcement was made in September 2016 when NASA explained that when the Babylonians created the zodiac, they wanted the dates on the calendar to correspond with the star constellations.  But, there were 13 constellations and only 12 months on the calendar. So, they just ignored Ophiuchus.  (Probably because it was the hardest to pronounce!)
Whatever will I do? Nothing. My zodiac sign didn’t change –the constellations just shifted. In fact, NASA acknowledges astronomy and astrology are not the same. While the actual constellations have shifted, Western astrology follows a different system, which uses “artificial” constellations.
As quoted from an update to a post from Glamour magazine:
Settle down, everyone. It seems your zodiac signs are as they’ve always been. In a statement to Gizmodo, NASA clarified … “We didn’t change any Zodiac signs, we just did the math,” NASA spokesperson Dwayne Brown said. “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.” Basically, NASA was merely pointing out why the astrological signs would likely be different if they were created today—because of a wobble in the Earth’s axis, the constellations our signs were based on are no longer in the same spots—and what the heck those Babylonians were thinking when they assigned us all stars signs thousands of years ago. Everything is right with the world. Carry on.
Whew! Thank goodness I don’t have to learn to accept a new identity! Because I surely don’t possess the traits of a Capricorn!!
Just out of curiosity, I put up a poll on my Facebook page with two descriptions labeled simply #1 (which was Capricorn) and #2 (which was Aquarius.) I asked people to determine which of the two best describes me. The results of this completely unscientific poll confirmed my suspicions: 89% of respondents chose Aquarius.
Whew! After a brief scare, I can now rest easy. I am IN FACT an Aquarius!!
 https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/starfinder2/en/Here’s one source for the announcement: