Your Basic Astrology Questions Answered.
This is part 4 of a series addressing the recent hullabaloo over “changes” in the Zodiac and some things to consider before you have an identity crisis over it. You can get caught up to speed here: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.
Now, the part you’ve all been waiting for. Just so we’re crystal clear, let’s wrap this thing up by addressing the question directly: Has my sign changed?
Yes and No.
If by that question you mean to say “Is there more than one way to look at astrology? Is there another way to look at astrology which shares some of the language and symbols of my default paradigm but uses them to signify something else? If I examine myself through a different lens will I appear different? Absolutely, Yes.
In a western context, the default zodiac tends to be the tropical zodiac. So, when I say something like “I am a Libra.” I am assuming that the person I am talking to shares the same default. What I am really saying is “I am a Tropical Libra.” But let’s say I encounter a Jyotish practitioner (That’s a Vedic Astrologer) who uses the sidereal zodiac. In that system, my sign, my precious sign with which I identify, changes. ”I” get redefined when placed in a new context. My personal signifier signifies something else.
BUT… if by that same question you mean to say “Has there been some heretofore unknown revelation about the place of the stars? Is there a totally new configuration that astrologers were wholly ignorant of, but that scientists have exposed with their monopoly on “the truth” thus saving us from believing in something flawed… However if you would like to continue believing there is an approved list of revised signs that you may use, so please discard the old one? Hell No.
We have known about the precession of the equinoxes for a couple thousand years. Hipparchus, a Greek astronomer/astrologer and mathematician is most commonly accredited with the discovery somewhere between 200-100 BC. I guess that’s not that long in the grandest scheme of things, but I’m pretty sure it exceeds the statute of limitations on what we can call “news.”
Also, we did not just inherit the tropical zodiac by some haphazard misunderstanding of how the universe “really” works. It was quite a deliberate choice. Ptolemy, the granddaddy of Western Astrology stated his preference for the tropical zodiac in his Tetrabiblos multiple times. His idea was that the signs took their power from the seasons with which they were associated. (there’s that word again, “signs”) It’s kind of like seasonal biology, unless you ask a seasonal biologist. Then it’s NOTHING like seasonal biology! Seasonal biology is science dammit!
So, has your sign changed? That’s entirely up to you. I find it fascinating that this topic, one that has quietly cropped up many many times over the years as an argument against astrology has suddenly become news worthy, has suddenly caused such a wave of controversy. That’s Jupiter conjunct Uranus for you. This point of contention has finally gained enough momentum to actually stir the pot. You can choose to stick to your dogmatic ideals (Astrology is wrong!/Astrology works but I don’t know why!) Or you can expand your viewpoint (Jupiter) about Astrology (Uranus) and learn something new. You can keep your old sign, now knowing more about what that means. You can embrace your new found sign with an appreciation for the arbitrary nature of naming. You can have both signs (Geminis will like this option, ahem, Tropical Geminis will like this option.) Hell, you can have all the signs you want! A sign is just a sign, it means what we want it to mean.
“Hey Nota, what’s an Ophiuchus?”
Facepalm. Can we talk about that tomorrow? I swear, I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow.
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