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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Scorpio, Ophiuchus or Sagittarius? Hard sayin'

(Photo by Till Credner)
Things used to be relatively simple.  If you were born between November 22 and December 21, then you were considered to be a Sagittarius.

Not anymore.

Take Woody Allen, for example.  Born on December 1, his traditional Sagittarius sun sign could indicate that he is cheerful, friendly,
optimistic, idealistic, restless, and generally easy-going.  Were he a Scorpio sun sign, he might have instead been passionate and secretive (hmmm…).  And Ophiuchus? Were Allen aligned with this astrological "newcomer," he could then be endowed with knowledge, wisdom and the favor of authorities.

So which is it? 

It all depends upon whom you ask.  Wikipedia explains that there are two distinct types of astrology:  sidereal and tropical.  Whereas classical tropical astrology focuses upon "the orientation of the Earth relative to the Sun and planets of the solar system," sidereal astrology also includes the position of the Earth relative to the "stars of the celestial sphere."  The tropical system is most commonly used in the astrology of the West, and the sidereal system is most commonly used in Hindu astrology. Because of Earth's axial precession ("the gradual shift in the orientation of Earth's axis of rotation"), these two systems have diverged from one another by approximately 1.4 arc degrees per century.

This shifting has resulted in modern-day astrological discrepancies.  According to Cyril Fagan's system of sidereal astrology, the 2011 dates for Sagittarius would not have occurred until December 16 to January 14. This is markedly different from the usual tropical Sagittarian dates of November 22 to December 21.

If this weren't confusing enough, along came Walter Berg and his "13-sign sidereal astrology."  Purporting to use the "actual star constellations of the true zodiac," Berg added Opiuchus to the mix for those born November 29 to December 18.  His 2011 Scorpio dates are November 23 to November 29, and his 2011
Sagittarius dates are December18 to January 20.   


Copyright December 1, 2012 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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