So, Your Zodiac Sign “Changed” — Now What?

Photographed by Nina Westervelt.
In case you missed it, this past weekend bore witness to an astrological shake-up thousands of years in the making (and also one that we'd already lived through, and which has always been a thing, actually). But no matter. When outlets picked up that NASA decided to briefly weigh in on matters of the spirit, the horoscope-reading public was reminded that the zodiac was invented by the Babylonians and is based on the 12 constellations. But, NASA pointed out, "even according to the Babylonians' own ancient stories, there were 13 constellations in the zodiac," meaning the sign you've identified with all your life might not be your sign at all. In fact, this would mean that anyone born between November 29 and December 17 is actually an Ophiuchus, rather than a Scorpio or a Sagittarius. To make matters worse, NASA also pointed out that the earth's axis has shifted a bit since the time when the Babylonians first conceived of the zodiac, so everyone's signs are technically not totally accurate. Thankfully, NASA itself has since clarified that these changes are only for astronomers — but that really doesn't help clarify things for those "former" Scorpios and Sagittariuses out there.

Ophiuchus people have Scorpio’s magnetism and sexual allure. They are dream interpreters, passionate and jealous.

Tali Edut
The truth: Ophiuchus has always been at play in terms of horoscopes, but it depends on which interpretation of the zodiac your favorite astrologer tends to use, explains Tali Edut, one half of the Astrotwins. "Your zodiac sign has not changed!" she says, adding that most astrologers in the U.S. use Western or Tropical astrology. (She also echoed NASA in saying that this interpretation is based on 12 zodiac signs and has nothing to do with the exact position of the stars.) That said, she added that some astrologers actually do include Ophiuchus in their horoscopes — those who practice sidereal or Vedic astrology, specifically. "It’s a totally different system of astrology and just as fascinating," she explains. This means it's totally up to you which horoscope chart you prefer. Your relationship to your sign is yours and yours alone. Edut says the Astrotwins have zero plans to start including Ophiuchus in their own stellar horoscopes, but if you are curious to see if this version is more your style, we have to admit Ophiuchus sounds pretty cool. Just as Leo is the lion and Pisces is the fish, "Ophiuchus is the serpent bearer, symbolized by a man clutching a snake," Edut says. In terms of its defining personality traits, she says it possesses a combination of those associated with Scorpio and Sagittarius, the signs it succeeds and precedes. "Ophiuchus people have Scorpio’s magnetism and sexual allure. They are dream interpreters, passionate and jealous. But like Sagittarius, they are also wisdom seekers, flamboyant dressers, visionary, and known for having good luck," Edut explains. "It’s a pretty sexy sign to be!" So, now that you know a little more about your potential new sign, we hope you can make an informed decision. Maybe just start by trying Ophiuchus for a bit. If you suddenly feel yourself identifying with (what sounds like a pretty badass) serpent bearer, go with it. If not, you've got your trusted go-to waiting for you, too.

More from Spirit

R29 Original Series