“What is your mark?” But before asking or answering this question, consider this: Your zodiac sign corresponds to the position of the Sun in relation to the zodiac as it appeared more than 2,200 years ago! The science behind astrology may have its roots in astronomy but do not confuse these two fields. Astronomy can explain the position of the stars in the sky, but it’s up to you to determine what, if any, the stars are in alignment. In short, as you will see below, your zodiac sign is not what you think, and your corresponding horoscope cannot be true. [Related topic: An oscillating Earth means your horoscope is wrong]
The constellations in the zodiac
The path of the sun, or the path of the sun as perceived from the rotating Earth, passes through the constellations that made up the constellations: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. Astrologers bypass the thirteenth constellation also on the ecliptic: Ophiuchus.
Babylonian, and later Greek, astrologers originally identified the signs of the zodiac by which the sun was “on” the day you were born. Early astronomers noted that the Sun travels through the signs of the zodiac over the course of one year, spending about a month in each of them. Thus, they calculated that each constellation extends 30 degrees through the ecliptic.
Ancient astrologers grouped the twelve signs according to the classical elements. The elements represent certain personality traits and are used in conjunction with astral signs, as well as with the position of the Sun, Moon, and planets known at the time, to determine a sign, according to Astro.com:
Fire – Aries, Sagittarius, Leo (spontaneous and impulsive)
Water – Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces (imaginative and emotional)
Air – Libra, Aquarius, Gemini (quick and lively, tendency to overthink feelings)
Earth – Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo (quiet and slow reactions, slow to change emotionally)
However, a phenomenon called anticipation has changed the location of the horoscopes we see today and has led to a shift in the zodiac zodiac.
Precedent and astrology
The first day of spring in the northern hemisphere was marked by the zero point in the zodiac. Astronomers call this the vernal equinox and it occurs when the equator and the celestial equator intersect on about March 21.
Around 600 BC, it was the zero point in Aries and was called the “first point of Aries.” The constellation Aries comprises the first 30 degrees of the ecliptic. From 30 to 60 degrees was Taurus. 60 to 90 degrees were Gemini; And so on for all 12 of the zodiac signs.
Unbeknownst to ancient astrologers, the Earth constantly oscillates on its axis in a 25,800-year cycle. This wobble – called precession – is caused by the moon’s gravitational pull on the Earth’s equatorial bulge.
Over the past two and a half millennia, this oscillation has caused the point of intersection between the celestial equator and the ecliptic to move westward along the ecliptic by 36 degrees, or about a tenth of the way around, to the boundary of Pisces and Aquarius. This means that the signs have slipped a tenth – or roughly a full month – of the way around the sky to the west, relative to the stars beyond.
For example, those born between March 21 and April 19 consider themselves Aries. Today, the Sun is no longer inside the constellation Aries for most of that time. From March 11 to April 18, the Sun is actually in the constellation Pisces!
Your real horoscope
The table below lists the dates that the Sun is actually within the zodiac signs, according to the boundaries of the modern zodiac and which have been corrected for anticipation (these dates can vary day from year to year).
You will likely find that once proactivity is taken into account, your zodiac sign is different. And if you were born between November 29 and December 17, your horoscope is actually a sign you haven’t seen in the newspaper: you’re an Ophiuchus! The ecliptic passes through the constellation Ophiuchus after Scorpio.
Check the “real” zodiac sign, based on the current path of the Sun, and compare it with the date astrologers still use (in parentheses):
Capricorn – January 20 to February 16 (December 23 to January 21) Aquarius – February 16 to March 11 (January 22 to February 20) Pisces – March 11 to April 18 (February 21 to March 19) Aries – April 18 May 13 to April 20 (March 20 to April 20) Taurus – May 13 to June 21 (April 21 to May 21) Gemini – June 21 to July 20 (May 22 to June 22) Cancer – July 20 to August 10 (from June 23) to July 22) Leo – from August 10 to September 16 (from July 23 to August 22) Virgo – from September 16 to October 30 (from August 23 to September 22) Libra – October 30 to November 23 (from September 23 to October 22) Scorpio – November 23 to November 29 (October 23 to November 22) Ophiuchus – November 29 to December 17 (not included in the zodiac) Sagittarius – December 17 to January 20 (November 23 to December 22)