The article recently circulating the web about there actually being 13 signs of the Zodiac is certainly causing a lot of stir. I have heard from so many of you that I decided to stop everything I was up to and address the issue, at least chime in with my thoughts on the subject.
First, the information presented in this article is not a new finding at all and in fact Astrologers, and others, have known about it for a long time (here’s a good article by Amy Herring in 2007. So why all the hoop-la now? [*NOTE: I have added two links at the bottom of this article with additional info about Ophiuchus.]
The Sacred Twelve
The twelve signs of the Zodiac have meaning at many levels. The order they are in tell one story. The way they are grouped into their respective elements of fire, earth, air and water speak to another and the modalities to yet another (Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable).
In all this is found the far-reaching nature of Divine Order. Many centuries of study, observation and use have validated this, and if one were to take the time to genuinely study Astrology they would find this to be true for themselves. So I am not ready, or even close, to saying to my clients "Welcome to your new sign".
That "13th Sign”
There is this 13th constellation between the signs of Scorpio and Sagittarius, there’s no denying it. Ophiuchus is a man holding a snake above his head. Scorpio has as one of it’s symbols a snake, representing the kundalini which resides at the base of our spine, and that when awakened rises up the spine and as it does, brings us closer to Truth, self-awareness and ultimately enlightenment.
As I said, the existence of this constellation, and most importantly its key placement in the Zodiac, has been known of for ages. So why is it such a big deal now? Why are so many asking what does it mean? Other papers and articles have been written on this before—why the considerable attention at this time?
The Collective Psyche Speaks
In the world of symbolism, it has been found that popular symbols arise when the collective psyche resonates with their meaning.
What could Ophiuchus, a man that takes a snake and rises it to the heavens while holding it in both his hands, be telling us? (Actually, the foot of Ophiuchus is on the back of the Scorpion in the constellation of Scorpio—interesting symbolism here in and of itself.)
He is a Greek man of myth, who can stand on a Scorpions back, as he lifts the snake to the Heavens above both of these constellations. What an image to behold.
I find myself asking, is he inviting us to do this, too?
Could the fact that we are collectively fascinated with Ophiuchus be suggesting that we are entering a time, an age, when we will be able to raise the snake, the life force, above our heads (mind/body) so that we may have a more direct/conscious relationship with the Divine force within? And is the fact that Ophiuchus has so powerfully entered our mainstream awareness a sign of the acceleration of evolution of mankind that so many are feeling and talking about as a result of this potential?
How might this happen? I find it curious that Ophiuchus doesn’t actually fit in between the constellations of Scorpio and Sagittarius but rather overlays them on the ecliptic. Could it be that the collective journey to higher consciousness will be, at least in part, a result of a Scorpio and then Sagittarian experience? (We all have every sign in our own chart—all 12, or well 13, of them.)
Scorpio has rulership over the deepest parts of our inner landscape and rules the process by which we delve deep within to the underworlds of our being (Hades in Greek mythology), discovers what is hidden there and then retrieves it, which facilitates the transmutive and even alchemical process of growth and renewal.
In Sagittarius we seek to consciously incorporate this profound experience into our being. At first, we seek to better understanding the experience. As we do, it becomes a new aspect of the basis for our knowing and then as we incorporate into our actions, it becomes wisdom.
That is, if we are to use the gifts that these signs offers us.
I realize these are complex concepts and ideas and certainly don’t believe for a minute I have any definitive answer here. The reality is that Astrology is a complex body of study. It is why we Astrologers get a bit miffed when someone comes along and debunks it without ever actually studying it.
So, what does all this mean to you and me?
I have been talking and writing for a while now about the significance of both Jupiter and Uranus being together at the last part of Pisces. And how this is an opening to higher, spiritual information. Perhaps the entry of Mr. Ophiuchus into our culture in such a pronounced way is a sign of the shifts at hand.
For now, if this idea resonates with you, that we are collectively awakening to having a more conscious experience of and relationship with the Divine nature (the snake as kundalini) then that is perhaps enough. If this seems foreign and unfamiliar to you, well I may offer that the process has really just begun. Even if such matters have been openly discussed for decades (this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius and all that), I believe we are talking about things that occur over rather long periods of time.
Yet, even hearing this, even opening an iota to the possibility that we can know with greater conscious awareness this aspect of what is Divine within, plants a seed in our individual and collective psyches. And for that, I thank the great snake handler in the sky named Ophiuchus, and for his “overnight” popularity via the World Wide Web, even amongst confusion. At least it got us asking "what's it all about?".
Many blessings to you on this path of awakening,
*Here are two other sources with great info about Ophiuchus you might enjoy checking out:
"No, Your Zodiac Sign Hasn't Changed"
Molly Hall has a blog with several great articles and links on this (and other) topics.
© 2011 by Elizabeth Jones. All rights reserved.
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