A recent article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune went viral after reporting that because of the earth wobbling on its axis and the moon’s gravitational pull, all signs of the zodiac are off by roughly a month. According to the article, the ancient Babylonians originally had 13 constellations and later changed them to 12, throwing out Ophiuchus, who is known as the Snake Holder.
The article quoted Minneapolis astronomer and board member of the Minnesota Planetarium Society, Parke Kunkle as saying: “There is no physical connection between constellations and personality traits, said Kunkle, who teaches astronomy at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. “Sure, we can connect harvest to the stars,” he said. “But personality? No.”
There was no report on whether Kunkle has ever studied astrology or conducted any research in this field.
Call in Chicken Little, the sky is falling! Or is it?
Astrology has three main branches which are Chinese astrology, Indian-Vedic astrology and Western astrology. The Mayans and Aztecs both also have a form of astrology, though it is not as widely used as the other three. History records its first form with the ancient Babylonians and it was considered part of astronomy by the Babylonians. Astrology has been used to counsel Kings and Queens and other rulers for thousands of years in Egypt, Greece, India, China, and Europe including with Queen Elizabeth 1 and her famous astrologist John Dee. Astrology has also been prominent in the U.S. with world leaders, including former President Ronald Reagan who consulted with Joan Quigley while he was in the White House. Not just for political leaders, CEO’s and prominent entrepreneurs have sought the counsel of astrologers, including business mogul J.P. Morgan, who is quoted as saying, ‘Anyone can be a millionaire, but to become a billionaire, you need an astrologer.’
Let’s get down to the heart of the matter and find out how this confusion actually occurred with the current misconception about the zodiac and astrology. Why with all this mis-communication, you would think there’s a Mercury Retrograde.
I spoke with Marguerite Manning, an author and professional astrologer. Marguerite’s book, Cosmic Karma: Understanding Your Contract with the Universe, teaches how to study your birth chart in the same way ancient astronomers believed it should be studied – as a universal birth map of your soul’s chosen energies for this lifetime.
Kala: Marguerite, thanks for speaking with me here about this recent report on the astrological signs changing dates and shifting into 13 zodiac signs. What gives here? Can thousands of years of astrology and astrologists around the world be wrong?
Marguerite: Absolutely not Kala, and trust me when I tell you this report is not breaking news to astrologers. In fact, every few years some kind of report comes out to let the world know that the stars “don’t line up anymore” and while I can’t speak for all of my fellow stargazers, here’s my take on it:
As every astrologer will tell you, due to the Precession Of the Equinox, (which is the name for the gradual backward motion of the outer visible Universe caused by the earth’s “wobble” on its axis) the Sun’s position in the zodiac doesn’t match up to the constellations anymore the way it used to 3,000 years ago when Draconis was our pole star. This means that these days on the first day of Spring, March 21st, the Sun is NOT actually at 00 degrees Aries as it used to be on that date but is actually 24 degrees further back on the ecliptic at about 5 degrees Pisces. Now sidereal astrologers are the astrologers who measure planets against the stars as they are located on the ecliptic today. Tropical astrologers, like myself, measure planetary positions against where the stars use to be on ecliptic, using the seasons instead of the stars as their guidelines. Now believe it or not, even though Tropical astrology is the most common form of astrology, both types of astrologers swear by their systems. However, after years of experimenting with both, the Tropical system is the one I “swear by” and that’s because from my perspective, as a karmic astrologer, there’s a reason the planets do NOT line up with the stars anymore. A reason that the very principles of my book, Cosmic Karma, were based on. The same reason that helped me derive the breakthrough astrological formula for finding the soul’s past in the birth chart: You see I believe we wobble on our axis because the constellations in the outer visible Universe are no longer supposed to reflect the here and now. And while 3000 years ago that’s exactly what they did, I believe that because each one of our souls, like the Universe itself, is evolving, those fixed stars in the constellations now have a different purpose in the natal sky. They are NOT reflecting who we are here to BECOME today (as they use to). They are actually up there reflecting who our soul actually IS as a result of all of our previous yesterdays. In other words, those stars are now illuminating the very specific and evolved individuals we are here to physically BE in this lifetime.
Therefore, and from that perspective, our sun sign doesn’t reflect the energies of what we are here in this life to learn, it reflects what we have already “aced” in our last lives and now have at our disposal to use here in this one…good, bad or fattening. So based on that important principle, (and here it is)….I‘m convinced the constellations don’t line up to our calendar anymore because the energies they reflect don’t represent today, they represent the past! Our soul’s calendar. Furthermore, based on that principle, the sign placement of every natal planet does the same and represents our soul’s past with that planet‘s energy. For example, our Mars sign (our physical past), our Pluto sign (our past experiences with power), etc. On the other astrological hand, however, the house placement of each natal planet (it’s mathematical relationship to the earth at the time of birth) does represent today because it represents the specific areas of life where our soul promised to use those energies (skills, experience and influence) in this lifetime. In short, today’s human agenda. Again, we always have free choice so whether we choose to use the positive or the negative energies of our Sun sign, Mars sign or Pluto sign, etc., is totally and completely up to us -and of course, the energies we were born under. So the good news is we are all exactly who we thought we were before we heard the latest headlines. Unfortunately, for some of us, that may also be the not-so-good news.
Kala: Who is Ophiuchus, the snake holder and was he ever “in” and why is he “out”? Many people are now discussing the calendar which revolves around 13 moons and why don’t we have a 13th zodiac sign?
Marguerite: Again, Kala, Ophiuchus, like the Precession of the Equinox, is not “breaking news” to any astrologer I know. In fact Ophiuchus was one of the 48 constellations listed by the second-century astronomer Ptolemy and remains one of the 88 modern constellations today. Located around the celestial equator, it’s name is Greek for ‘serpent-bearer’, and it is commonly represented as a man grasping the snake that is represented by the constellation it borders, Serpens.
For the astrological record, and despite the “breaking headlines” today, this constellation was NEVER considered to be part of the zodiac belt because when the zodiac was first invented by the Babylonians 3000 years ago, the Sun did not pass through this sign at all and only moved through the twelve constellations which we still refer to as the zodiac. However, due to the Precession of the Equinox and the slight backward shift of the stars, the Sun does now pass through Ophiuchus for about 17 days each December (from November 30th through December 17th ). Astrologers were always aware of this occurrence yet based on a 1930 constellation boundaries report, only a few 20th century sidereal astrologers considered the sun to actually be in the “sign of Ophiuchus” when it did. Tropical astrologers, on the other hand (as well as most sidereal astrologers), have never recognized Ophiuchus as a legitimate zodiac sign.
Kala: Five years ago, a similar report had sprung up and people were in a panic over the news. Back then in 2006 on the Explore Your Spirit Show, I covered these same questions with a panel of astrologers on my show to explain the confusion. Why does this same conflict continue to arise and why do you think so many people are so quick to jump on the bandwagon and believe one small report versus thousands of years of astrology?
Marguerite: You know Kala, from the beginning of time there have always been people who were unwilling to recognize astrology as a legitimate science and I’m afraid there always will be. I think much of that has to do with the darker status it acquired when the church separated it from the science of astronomy and denounced it as an “occult practice”. Since then it has never really regained the status of “science” or even “metaphysical science” it deserves. The Babylonians are generally credited with the birth of astrology (1645 B.C.). Their astrological charts enabled them to predict the recurrence of seasons and certain celestial events. So, as we mentioned earlier, in the beginning and for more than 2000 years, astrology and astronomy were the same science. Babylonian astrology was introduced to the Greeks early in the 4th century B.C. and, through the studies of Plato, Aristotle and other respected men of science, astrology came to be highly regarded as a science. Not much later, it was embraced by the Romans (whose names for the zodiacal signs are the ones still used today) followed by the Arabs and later spread throughout the entire world. By the time of Francis Bacon and the scientific revolution, astrology and astronomy began to diverge and while astronomy remained a central science, astrology was increasingly positioned as an occult practice or superstition by the religious powers that be who then forced this belief on natural scientists. This decline accelerated through the 18th and 19th centuries and it’s only lately, in the last 30 years, that astrology is starting to be recognized as a scientific practice again. For that reason, one of my proudest moments was discovering that my publisher, Llewelllyn Worldwide, had categorized my book to be sold in the “Self Help/Spiritual” section of each book store rather than the “Occult” section.
Kala: Astrology in the past was under the field of astronomy. Now astronomers discount the field. In the 21st century, there is great hope that Science and Spirituality will begin to work together to find answers to the many mysteries of the universe. This report struck me as a pie in the face to astrologers. Is there a future where scientists will work with professional astrologers?
Marguerite: I really hope so, Kala because until we do, I believe science in general and astronomy in particular is missing a big chunk of the Universal puzzle. A chunk that wasn’t missing years ago because, as you mentioned, unlike our astronomers today, the ancient astronomers practiced astronomy and astrology as one comprehensive science because, while they knew our existence on this planet was designed to be depressingly physical, after years spent doing the medieval math, they were equally convinced that the universe we inhabited was more than just one-dimensional. Most people would think: “in their primitive world, how could they know?“ As far as I’m concerned, in their line of work, how could they not? As professional astronomers they not only studied the heavens to discover how celestial objects moved and the universe worked as a whole; as equally professional astrologers (a job that was in many ways more difficult and in every way more mathematical) they analyzed those findings to determine how those movements affected all of us down below. “All of us” meaning our minds, bodies, and souls. In fact, for that reason (and despite the political correctness and religious pressures of their time-and there were many) these seasoned sky watchers were among the first to adopt the principle that ours was a multi-leveled universe made up of nothing but well-ordered energy. Talk about impressive! To their way of thinking, mental energy vibrated on the intellectual level; body energy vibrated on the physical level; and the eternal part of anything, or the “soul,” vibrated on yet another level. A level, incidentally, that today’s “hard” scientists still refuse to acknowledge as being a scientific one—the spiritual level. And while we all know that just about every scientist today embraces the concept that all energy is connected, these very best minds of yesterday were the first, and in many cases the only, to officially acknowledge all of the levels in our particular time space continuum that were necessary to actually connect it. They had no choice. To them, a universe could only be “divine” if it was available to all energy on all levels. If ours was a divine universe (which they decided it was based on the way they determined it functioned) then it had to be available to the mind, body and soul of everything that vibrated to it and, therefore, existed in it. A category, by the way that included us. All of us. Therefore, it had to be a universe in which mental, physical and spiritual energy flowed continuously, harmoniously and circularly—a universe where the physical science of astronomy included the spiritual reality of astrology. It was that simple because to them it was just science. But here’s the amazing part, according to the Universal Laws of Divine Order, that concept still is.
But, while this kind of thinking puts them clearly ahead of their own time, it’s not what (in my opinion) puts them ahead of ours. This does: in their professional opinion, in this particular universe, all of that well-ordered energy was divine, and (wait for it) one of the levels it operated on was spiritual. I’m convinced that’s how they were able to glean so much information about our solar system and this Universe that to this day, still stands up. And when you think of the limited tools and technology they had at their disposal, that’s nothing short of incredible. Besides, if spirit is the highest intellectual dimension, as many believe it is, wouldn’t the wonderful world of science in general and the field of astronomy in particular be better off if this overlooked dimension were invited to the cosmic party? Wouldn’t it be a more interesting party? At the very least, wouldn’t it be a more stimulating one? I think so.
Kala: Thank you Marguerite. Dear readers, I now turn the question to you and ask, ‘Is this a sign of the times?’ What does it say about the fate of humanity when one astronomer’s opinion of astrology has the power to go viral and upset so many people? This perhaps is the most concerning point of all. Share your thoughts on this matter. Want to hear more from Marguerite? She was my guest on the Explore Your Spirit show. Listen to my interview with her from the Show Archives.
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More about Kala Ambrose: Kala Ambrose is an award winning author, intuitive and talk show host of the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show. Her thought-provoking interviews entice listeners to tune in around the globe! Described by her guests and listeners as discerning, empowering and inspiring, she speaks with world renowned authors, artists, teachers and researchers delving into metaphysical, holistic and paranormal topics. Kala’s book, 9 Life Altering Lessons: Secrets of the Mystery Schools Unveiled delves into the mysteries of ancient Egyptian mystery schools and explains their wisdom teachings. Kala Ambrose is a highly interactive teacher on a mission to educate, entertain and inspire. She lectures on the Ancient Wisdom Teachings of Egypt and the Mystery Schools, Working with Auras, Chakras and Energy Fields, and Wise Woman Wisdom.