Stars, signs in your mind

By BenitaZepeda

Discussions about a life-altering change in the astrological field have entered several facets of society lately. While at a restaurant, I realized how big a deal the new star sign Ophiuchus was when a waiter commented on how he knew he wasn’t a Leo. In the middle of his complaints about no longer being a Virgo, another waiter casually walked by and stopped at our table to enthusiastically join in on the anti-Ophiuchus bashing.

However, the panic and recent soul searching is caused by basic misunderstandings.

First of all, there are two different types of zodiac charts—tropical and sidereal. The tropical zodiac chart is what most Western astrologers use, and this remains unchanged. This is great news for those who started to question everything they learned about their star sign’s personality traits. When astronomers commented on the altered star alignment, the change affected the Eastern sidereal zodiac.

Ophiuchus didn’t appear out of nowhere. The snake bearer was first introduced when the zodiac signs were decided more than 3,000 years ago. But with the recent announcement that tropical zodiac signs as we’ve known them have changed, many astrologers and avid horoscope junkies aren’t taking the time to explore what this announcement actually means.

Aside from not understanding the difference between Eastern and Western astrology, many people in society are not recognizing the difference between what astrology and astronomy is. Just as science doesn’t mesh with religion, astrology, the divination of the supposed influence of stars, and astronomy, the study of objects and matter in space, cannot mix.

It doesn’t matter whether one believes horoscopes influence daily actions because it all comes down to belief. Although, many can argue personality traits for their corresponding star sign are quite accurate, others see them as vague. It comes down to having the factual support of science or abstract belief. It’s sort of like the cliched question, which came first, the chicken or the egg? Is there one person who can confirm or deny these astrological claims to be true? No, and there won’t be either.

Call me a skeptic, but when I first heard about this, I didn’t believe my star sign switched from Gemini to Taurus just because the alignment of stars did. Nor do I believe that my life revolves around what my horoscope tells me. Zodiac is pure entertainment mixed with wishful thinking to many who can’t quite commit to (insert a religious sect here).

I also don’t believe just because I identify as a Gemini when someone asks me what my sign is, it makes me a hypocrite to not fully believe in astrology. I enjoy opinions based on facts, which is in the vein of science. But I’ll admit I’ll continue to believe in things that cannot be fully explained or supported by facts such as religion. Perhaps I can blame my indecisiveness on how Geminis are, according to, an “entanglement of paradoxes” with an ability to “have an easy acceptance of opposites.”