What’s Your Sign? What Did it Used to Be? New Zodiac Dates Required, says Planetarium Society

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And you can quote me: "First Pluto is excommunicated as a planet, now the signs of the zodiac are given new dates, meaning, say some, that the sign of the zodiac under which you have believed all along you were born is the wrong zodiac sign. That's right, you have a new horoscope sign, based on new horoscope dates. Can we rely on nothing celestial? It seems that due to the moon's influence on earth, says the Minnesota Planetarium Society, the signs of the zodiac, assigned millenia ago, are no longer accurate. So do you need to change your sign based on the new zodiac dates? Or are the new signs of the zodiac dates just an interesting thought experiment? Read on."

Posted in Observations, WTF?, January 13th, 2011


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First Pluto is excommunicated as a planet, now the signs of the zodiac are given new dates, meaning, say some, that the sign of the zodiac under which you have believed all along you were born is the wrong zodiac sign. Can we rely on nothing celestial?

It seems that due to the moon’s influence on earth, says the Minnesota Planetarium Society, the signs of the zodiac, assigned millenia ago, are no longer accurate. So do you need to change your sign based on the new zodiac dates? Or are the new signs of the zodiac dates just an interesting thought experiment?

The zodiac as we know it was developed by ancient Babylonians as long ago as 600 years or more before the birth of Christ. In the past 2500+ years, the moon’s effect on the earth, which creates a bit of a wobble (or, in astronomical terms, “precession”) has caused our points of reference to have shifted some. And so, says Professor Parke Kunkle, on the board of the Minnesota Planetarium Society, “When [astrologers] say that the sun is in Pisces, it’s really not in Pisces.”

And the reason you should care, if you want to care, is that the astrological sign under which you were born is determined by in what sign the sun is on the day of your birth.

Prof. Kunkle expounds:

“In science we deal with a long tradition of fact based investigation. We are not in the business of interpreting the purported relation between the positions of planets and human affairs.

The Earth spins and, like a toy top, the spin axis moves around, pointing in different directions. Today, Earth’s spin axis points toward the pole star, Polaris. Around 3000 BC Earth’s spin axis pointed toward Thuban. Wait 26,000 years and the north star will again be Thuban. Astronomers call this motion of the spin axis precession. About 130 BC, Hipparchus noticed that the Earth’s spin axis had changed directions, so astronomers and astrologers have known about the Earth’s precession for over 2000 years.

But this means that if the sun was “in” a certain constellation on a particular date, it is in a different constellation on that date today. For example, the sun was in Pisces on March 1, 2000 BC but it is in Aquarius on March 1, 2011 AD.”

However, not everybody agrees with the good professor. In fact, says one commentator, pointing out that the very Babylonians who created the zodiac also were very aware of precession, “The stars are markers that drift, but our main points of reference are not directly the stars. They are the equinoxes (both spring and vernal) and the solstices which altogether make the four cardinal points of the zodiac which in turn determine the signs. The stars help us locate those points which define the SIGNS of the Zodiac which remain constant in relation to the equinox point. The CONSTELLATIONS do move about and we take that into consideration when locating planets.”

That said, in case you care, here is the new set of dates for the signs of the zodiac, as propounded by the Minnesota Planetarium Society:

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-Dec. 17
Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20

And here is the traditional set of zodiac dates:

Capricorn Dec. 22-Jan. 19
Aquarius Jan. 20-Feb 18
Pisces Feb. 19-March 20
Aries March 21-April 19
Taurus April 20-May 20
Gemini May 21-June 20
Cancer June 21-July 22
Leo July 23- Aug. 22
Virgo Aug. 23-Sept. 22
Libra Sept. 23- Oct. 22
Scorpio Oct. 23- Nov. 21
Sagittarius Nov. 22-Dec. 21

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4 Comments »

  1. No change with my sign, but that’s really about all I pay attention to with astrology. I’m boycotting predictions. The worst part is when you get you allow yourself to be caught up in a really bad or really good prediction for a day and zilch. Awhile back I started writing my own daily horoscope – a glowing one all about what a fantastic day I’m going to have. It’s as accurate as anything else out there and is great for the morale!

    Comment by Marty Herald — January 28, 2011 @ 11:36 am

  2. Not buying this!!! How are they going to rewrite all the books on what you sign means! I am a libra and now I’m supposedly a virgo even thi none of the virgo traits fit me but all of the libra ones do?

    Comment by jenn — January 14, 2011 @ 12:47 am

  3. You are actually missing the newest Zodiac sign from YOUR article. OPHIUCHUS = NOVEMBER 30 – DECEMBER 17

    Comment by Kym — January 13, 2011 @ 8:28 pm

  4. You are actually missing the newest Zodiac sign from you article. OPHIUCHUS = NOVEMBER 30 – DECEMBER 17

    Comment by Kym — January 13, 2011 @ 8:28 pm

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