But even according to the Babylonians' own ancient stories, there were 13 constellations in the zodiac. Other cultures and traditions have recognized as many as 24 constellations in the zodiac. So the Babylonians picked one, Ophiuchus, to leave out.
Even then, some of the chosen 12 didn't fit neatly into their assigned slice of the pie and slopped over into the next one. When the Babylonians first invented the 12 signs of zodiac, a birthday between about July 23 and August 22 meant being born under the constellation Leo.
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- Ophiuchus (astrology).
Now, 3, years later, the sky has shifted because Earth's axis North Pole doesn't point in quite the same direction. Now Mimi's August 4 birthday would mean she was born "under the sign" of Cancer one constellation "earlier" , not Leo. The constellations are different sizes and shapes, so the Sun spends different lengths of time lined up with each one. The line from Earth through the Sun points to Virgo for 45 days, but it points to Scorpius for only 7 days.
To make a tidy match with their month calendar, the Babylonians ignored the fact that the Sun actually moves through 13 constellations, not Then they assigned each of those 12 constellations equal amounts of time. Besides the 12 familiar constellations of the zodiac, the Sun is also aligned with Ophiuchus for about 18 days each year.
Some people believe, or make-believe, that the current sign of the zodiac affects how things go in their everyday lives, depending on the sign of their birth. This idea is called astrology , and people who claim to use the signs of the zodiac to make predictions are called astrologers.
Mimi's birthday is August 4. When she says, "I'm a Leo," she means that on her birthday, the imaginary line from Earth, through the Sun, and out into space on the other side of the Sun points to the constellation Leo. The trouble is, it doesn't!
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The serpent, already a symbol of wisdom and its goddess Athena, was associated with Asklepios' rejuvenating skills because it could renew itself, becoming "young" again by shedding its old skin. But the fates and the gods did not like the idea of a human with the ability to grant other humans the gift of eternal life.
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So Zeus struck him dead with a thunderbolt. Because he warned his fellow citizens of Troy not to let into their walled citadel the giant wooden horse left behind by the Greeks.
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The goddess Athena she of the snakes sent enormous serpents to strangle and kill the priest and his sons. The Trojans interpreted it as a sign that it was all right to let the gift horse in without looking into its contents. The rest is, again, tragedy. The key to both tales is the snake, symbol of wisdom and of all the knowledge hidden beneath the Earth. One of the great sites of prophecy in the ancient Greek world was Pythia, from where we get our word python.
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And so, I have a third scenario to help explain who Ophiuchus is. It isn't a story told very often, but while not perfectly matching the "snake holder" description, it involves wisdom and snakes.
Tiresias was considered the wisest of men, and he was summoned before the gods because Zeus and his sister-spouse Hera were quarreling. Zeus insisted that women enjoyed sex more than men; the prudish Hera said it was not true. The only one who knew for certain was Tiresias. Is there a correct system? That's up for debate. See if your Zodiac sign has changed below based on the new claim. And find out if your friends' signs have changed here or under the dates below.
Capricorn: Jan. News U.
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