Behind The New Zodiac Sign's Name

All you babies born between November 29 and December 17 are understandably going through identity crises this week, as Ophiuchus, the 13th zodiac sign that NASA brought up back in 2011, hits the forefront of news again. But how on earth can you ask all of your extremely pressing questions on the matter if you don't know how to pronounce Ophiuchus? As someone who just butchered an attempt to say it in front of an entire office of people, I feel your awkwardness, and I am #HereForYou. So here it is, folks: the word Ophiuchus is pronounced /ɒfiˈjuːkəs/ ... or, in plain English, "oh-FEW-kuss." Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue quite like "Cancer" or "Taurus," but when it comes to the time frame you're birthed into the world, beggars can't be choosers, am I right?

The idea of the "13th zodiac sign" has been highly controversial since NASA introduced it in 2011 — primarily because for those who take astrology very seriously and have been tracking their own signs, it created a huge shakeup. Previously people who fall under the "Ophiuchus" domain only identified as Scorpio or Sagittarius, but it was right between the two of those signs where Ophiuchus made its home.

NASA has since denied any intention of creating a "13th sign," citing that they merely were using examples of Babylonian texts on astrology to explain the history of the practice, which mentioned the elimination of Ophiuchus to stay in line with Babylon's 12 month calendar. "We didn’t change any zodiac signs, we just did the math," a NASA spokesperson told Gizmodo. In fact, the entire article is hinged on the idea that astrology is not science — they really, really weren't looking to make a stir, y'all.

But stir the information did, which led us here.

So is Ophiuchus real or not? I hate to say it, guys, but this is one of those "whatever you feel in your heart" situations. Maybe you read up on the personality traits of Ophiuchus and decide that you relate more to the idea of being someone who wears bright colors, is considered wise, leaves the home young, generally has good fortune follow them, is open to change, and has a great sense of humor ... or maybe you decide to stick to being a Scorpio or a Sagittarius. I'm a firm believer that whether or not you ~follow the stars~, reading your horoscope — be it this fancy new sign, or any other — is a good way to examine your life and your choices from a bird's eye view for a moment. So don't sweat the small stuff, Ophiuchus friends — or at the very least, just make sure you're pronouncing it correctly if you do!

Images: Pixabay; Giphy