What Does Ophiuchus Mean For Sagittarius?

The recent news of a new zodiac sign, Ophiuchus, has gotten everyone in a tizzy — especially for one sign in particular, which overlaps with this supposed "new" sign. What does Ophiuchus mean for Sagittarius? Are you still the same sign? Are you going to have to change? It all depends on when exactly your birthday is, since the two signs don't overlap completely — and besides, not everyone is convinced that Ophiuchus even is the "13th zodiac sign" in the first place.

Here's how to look at it:

If it exists, Ophiuchus falls from Nov. 29 to Dec. 17, while Sagittarius falls from Nov. 22 to Dec. 21. This obviously leaves some gaps, where Sagittarius will stay right where it is: That is, if you were born between Nov. 22 and Nov. 28, or between Dec. 18 and Dec. 21, you're still a Sagittarius and don't need to be concerned with any changes. If your birthdate falls within Ophiuchus, however (that is, between Nov. 29 and Dec. 17), are you looking at a new zodiac sign? (For what it's worth, the Ophiuchus personality traits are not unlike the other 12 signs in that they've got their good points and their not-so-good ones; either way, nothing too dramatic should happen.)

Here's the thing: none of this even has to matter to you if you don't want it to, even if you do fall within the dates of Ophiuchus. Here's why.

Overwhelmingly, Ophiuchus isn't even considered part of the Tropical Zodiac. The explanation behind this is a very lengthy, very confusing one — but the condensed version is that many of us tend to confuse a "sign" (of the zodiac) with a "constellation." We treat them as the same, and they're not. The astrological signs refer to the 12 30-degree sectors of the ecliptic, or the sun's path. Why? Because it's connected to the lunation cycle. There are 12 cycles of the sun and moon. More precisely, there are three lunations in a season, and there are four seasons for a total of 12 lunations. This is why there are 12 signs, and not 13 — they correspond with those lunations.

A constellation, on the other hand, is a group of stars that we've imposed a visual figure on over the years. The zodiac signs do share names with constellations — as the celestial bodies pass through the ecliptic, they pass through the constellations that bear the zodiac names — but they aren't the exact same thing. Constellations can be various sizes, and none of them are 30 degrees. Ophiuchus, however, has long been considered only a constellation — not a sign.

Regardless, the fact that Ophiuchus was given its own date range has thrown many of us a curveball. While various fields of science are colliding over what the final say should be, I'm personally a member of the "believe whatever TF you want" school of thought.

If a change in your zodiac sign is exciting for you, go crazy. If you're comfy cozy as a Sagittarius, then by the power invested in me, a Sagittarius you shall stay. You're welcome.

Images: WikiImages, geralt, WikiImages/Pixabay