Whether or not one is a horoscope junkie or astrology buff, one is still most likely familiar with one’s zodiac sign.

For thousands of years, there have been 12 standard signs in the Zodiac, corresponding with the 12 months in the year and 12 constellations. Currently, much buzz has been circling the Internet regarding astrologists’ claims that there is a 13th sign called Ophiuchus.

Apparently the buzz began when astronomy teacher Parke Kunkle spoke with the Star-Tribune regarding the Earth’s position changing in relation to the Sun. However, as Kunkle later stated, the beliefs of astronomers and astrologers sometimes differ, and he was simply pointing out that, “If you watch the stars in the background of the sun, it actually does go through the constellation of Ophiuchus.”

And so, the underlying message seems to be that, yes, there is a 13th sign, but no, this doesn’t necessarily mean a grand shift in who you are, if you define your life by your zodiac sign.

For example, if you decide to include the 13th sign in the zodiacal mix, several of the signs would shift and therefore change technical terms. Personally, my sign is Scorpio, but if Ophiuchus is included, my sign would be Libra, according to my date of birth. However, I feel what more people need to focus on is not how their individual sign may change, but what Ophiuchus represents on a larger scale.

Ophiuchus, also known as Serpentarius, translates as “serpent-bearer” and is pronounced “off-ee-u-kus.” Technically it’s the 10th sign in the Zodiac, falling between the signs of Scorpio and Sagittarius (although astronomers would still consider this the 13th sign, as it is the most recently introduced.)

The word “Zodiac” stems from Greek origin and roughly translates to “the circle of animals.” Unlike the other signs, Ophiuchus is represented by a clear-cut human figure, and specifically contains traits of doctors, scientists and healers. In addition, the number 13 holds various ancient and mythical implications, such as the 13th day of each month being known as “day of the snake” in the Mayan calendar, or the number 13 in tarot being representative of a spiritual death (followed by a spiritual rebirth.) Furthermore, our common symbol for medicine today is the Caduceus, or winged staff with two serpents entwined on it; this clearly reflects Ophiuchus’ medicinal nature.

If one thinks about how much religion has held influence over the course of human history, imagine what would change about our world if culture was instead infused with science, intellect, wisdom and enlightenment. People should also recognize the concept of Kundalini in relation to this new constellation, and consider whether the uprising of Kundalini in one’s body would signify a positive or negative change on a global scale.

And, of course, if you hold interest in biblical prophecies like the Apocalypse, you should take into account a being known as the “Anti-Christ” that’s supposed to be knocking on our doors anytime soon, posing as a supreme force of good when it’s exactly the opposite.

In summation: The introduction of Ophiuchus could signify elevation in individual consciousness, although only time will tell the implications on our world as a whole. For the time being, astrology lovers shouldn’t fret about their sign changing; I’d only include Ophiuchus in the mix if you’re born after 2009. And remember, the Zodiac exists not to distinguish our personalities or predict our fate, but to remind us that we each share elements and qualities of one another. Everything is connected.

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