Tag Archives: BBC World Service

Ophiuchus – The Real Deal

Proposed symbol for Ophiuchus

Recently across the interwebby-type thing there it has been suggested that a new constellation – Ophiuchus – be included within the Zodiac. Actually some people have been saying this for around 16 years or more, however the most recent publicity to the notion has been generated by a statement by the Minnesota Planetarium Society – so it is rather cheeky that they claim to have only recently discovered it. Obviously time does not pass so quickly in that part of America!

The argument is that because Ophiuchus is in the same general vicinity as the other constellations which make up the Zodiac (nb: not “Horoscope” *) it should be added thereto. IMO, however, Ophiuchus should not and probably won’t be included in conventional Astrology – and with good reason. The rationale of Astrology is that it is the direct continuation of the ancient Pagan religions in unbroken succession from their heyday thousands of years ago into the present day. It has millenia of established practice behind it, and it provides both the language and the vocabulary of the Hermetic tradition. Hence – the only extent to which any constellation or heavenly body can be included in astrology – whether existing or a new candidate – is that to which it is reflected in ancient practice, and ancient mythology – which after all makes up the archetypes of the collective unconscious. Whilst there are various myths and legends surrounding Ophiuchus as a constellation in the general sense, it has no established mythology as an astrological entity. One cannot, for example, say which planet rules it, which planets are exalted in it, what planets are in their fall or detriment in it, what Element it should be, or whether it should be Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable.

Needless to say, this has probably whipped straight over the heads of the Minnesota Planetarium Society who, being astronomers, are not thinking about this from an astrological point of view.

Therefore, as an astrologer myself, I would recommend simply ignoring the current talk about there being a new sign of the Zodiac. And to the Minnesota Planetarium Society, I say: “G’Ophiuchus Yourselves.”


* The reason I say “not Horoscope” is because there is only one Zodiac – but there are currently 6 billion different Horoscopes. The Zodiac is what is in the sky, but the word “Horoscope” refers to an individual’s astrological chart generally, and their first-house marker (Ascendant) specifically.

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LoveFriday2011 – Addendum

By way of follow-up to my post on Wills’ & Kate’s wedding and on LoveFriday2011, I have the following interesting bit of news to report. Soon after I posted the LoveFriday2011 article I was contacted by a researcher from the BBC World Service, and ended up giving a radio interview! It was a debate between myself and a Jyotish chap from Delhi. Apparently according to his take on astrology, Friday April 29th (St Catherine’s Day – get it?) was 75% auspicious. However, when I looked at it from the viewpoint of a Western Astrologer, there was one big black mark as far as I could see – retrograde Saturn was in opposition to about 5 planets – two of which were Venus and Mercury.

The chap from India had not taken Saturn’s position into account, and in fact claimed that it was not usual in Indian Astrology to do so. I am no expert in Jyotisa although it struck me that this was a major difference between the Indian and the Western traditions.

The radio presenter challenged us to predict the weather on April 29th – the Indian chap said that he theoretically could but it would take him some time. I on the other hand politely declined to do so. 😉

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