Zodiac: Still Meaningless … but Updated

Anyone with a skeptical interest in astrology knows that the last time anyone cared about the Zodiac enough to update it was 3,000 years ago. But, apparently, people that actually care about astrology did not know that. And, once Parke Kunkle of the Minnesota Planetarium Society explained that in a Star Tribune article, people seem to be all a-buzz, if the thousands of Facebook likes are any indicator. You would think that all those astrologers out there would have noticed soothing amiss, wouldn’t  you?

The Babylonians developed an organized astronomical method in the 8th century BCE, possibly earlier (records of the motion of Venus may go back another thousand years). They tracked the motions of the heavenly bodies, figured out that they moved in predicable patterns, and developed a table of omens that they thought the stars predicted. Though almost none of their original records survive, they were famous enough in the ancient world to make the Babylonian astronomers legendary, as well as very mystical sounding.

So now, under the advisement of the Minneapolis Planetary Society (a group that does not believe or condone astrology, but are just sick and tire of people being wrong as well as gullible), a 13th sign, Ophiuchus, has been added. So now, instead of the Zodiac just being a relic of an ancient Babylonian cosmology, it an updated relic of an ancient Babylonian cosmology. Well, at least the new sign sounds all mystical and spacey!

The revised list is:

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. 23-29
Ophiuchus:* Nov. 29-Dec. 17
Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20

Now they just need to fix the fact that the constellations aren’t real object in space, but rather just an optical illusion created by our position in space.

Explore posts in the same categories: Ancient Superstition, Superstition in the Modern World

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