What’s your sign? Probably not what you think, thanks to the Earth’s “wobble”

written by BILL WARD, Star Tribune

January 9, 2011

A recent Harris Poll found that 31 percent of Americans believe in astrology. They’re wrong — although not necessarily in the way their detractors might cite.

The ancient Babylonians based zodiac signs on the constellation the sun was “in” on the day a person was born. During the ensuing millenniums, the moon’s gravitational pull has made the Earth “wobble” around its axis, creating about a one-month bump in the stars’ alignment.

The result?

“When [astrologers] say that the sun is in Pisces, it’s really not in Pisces,” said Parke Kunkle, a board member of the Minnesota Planetarium Society.

Indeed, most horoscope readers who consider themselves Pisces are actually Aquarians. So instead of being sensitive, humane and idealistic, they actually are friendly, loyal and inventive.

Or not.

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.”

Astronomers have pooh-poohed astrology from the get-go, but Kunkle hedged when asked if astrology can bring people to his science.

“Historically, people looked at the sky to understand the world around us,” he said. “But today I don’t think people who are into astrology look at the sky very much.”

But they do look at horoscopes. And now they have an explanation for why a day might not have turned out exactly as predicted.

Why your zodiac sign might have changed

written by TRALEE PEARCE

Thursday, January 13, 2011

If you’re incredibly invested in calling yourself such-a-Leo or attributing your stubbornness to being a Taurus, you may want to avert your eyes.

Folks from the Minnesota Planetarium Society are reminding you that the astrological signs we follow today are out of whack with the originals.

The ancient Babylonians based zodiac signs on the constellation the sun was “in” on the day a person was born, but during the ensuing millenniums, the moon’s gravitational pull has made the Earth “wobble” around its axis, creating about a one-month bump in the stars’ alignment, according to a piece in the Minneapolis-St-Paul Star Tribune.

That, and we’ve dropped a sign, “Ophiuhus,” which was Nov 29-Dec 17.

“When [astrologers] say that the sun is in Pisces, it’s really not in Pisces,” said Parke Kunkle, a board member of the Minnesota Planetarium Society.

So, what’s your real horoscope?

Astrology buffs should be using these dates, reflecting where the stars currently are aligned:

  • Capricorn: Jan. 20-Feb. 16
  • Aquarius: Feb. 16-March 11
  • Pisces: March 11-April 18
  • Aries: April 18-May 13
  • Taurus: May 13-June 21
  • Gemini: June 21-July 20
  • Cancer: July 20-Aug. 10
  • Leo: Aug. 10-Sept. 16
  • Virgo: Sept. 16-Oct. 30
  • Libra: Oct. 30-Nov. 23
  • Scorpio: Nov. 23-29
  • Ophiuchus: Nov. 29-Dec. 17 *Discarded by the Babylonians because they wanted 12 signs per year
  • Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20

So, have you always expected this stuff was totally mutable, or are you devastated to hear you’re no longer a Virgo?

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2 thoughts on “What’s your sign? Probably not what you think, thanks to the Earth’s “wobble”

  1. What utter bullshit–Cosmic rays are striking the fetus thru the amniotic fluid too, why does it matter if you’re within or without of the vagina? What about the cosmic rays striking the gametes–the sperm and the ovum (for the ovum, since the mother reached puberty)–they dictate nothing hmm?

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