Tag Archives: Ophiuchus

Understanding Ophiuchus: Taming the Hydra, Part II

Detail from Hercules and the Hydra, by Antonio Pollaiuolo, c. 1475.

Sooner or later, seekers on the spiritual path will have to “do battle” with their own inner desires. The myth of the Hydra symbolises this struggle, and it is the spiritual path of Scorpio.

Scorpio is not afraid to do battle, to go deep into the darkest depths of the human psyche and bring whatever is there into the light of awareness for healing. This is why the sign of Scorpio is associated with both priests and psychologists. A dominant theme in this internal battle is our struggle with desire.

This battle with desire is known to all who practise meditation on a deeper level, and is eloquently explained by Insight Meditation teacher Jack Kornfield in his book A Path With Heart: Continue reading

Understanding Ophiuchus: Taming the Hydra

After the recent media fuss over Ophiuchus, I wrote a post providing some basic facts to clear up the misinformation that was circulating on the Internet. My thanks to Ruth for offering today’s post – the first part in a two-part article – in which she delves deeper into the mystery and meaning of Ophiuchus using the principles of Soul Astrology. ~Pat

Hercules and the Hydra, by Antonio Pollaiuolo, c. 1475. Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

Setting aside the debate about Zodiac signs, one thing we know for sure is that, for whatever reason, in 2011 Ophiuchus got global attention. That in itself is significant.

Ophiuchus is now firmly planted in our collective psyche, and maybe we need to hold that image for a reason. This could be a heads-up to look at something, another signpost on our spiritual journey, a synchronicity.

Before going any further, we need to be clear about the difference between constellations and Astrological signs.

Simply put, Ophiuchus is a constellation, not a sign. Constellations are clusters of stars. There are around 88 constellations visible in the night sky from Earth, and since the beginning of time humankind has given them mythological names Continue reading

Ophiuchus: Authoritative Facts About the ‘New Sign’

Maybe Ophiuchus should be a woman? The ‘Snake Witch’ stone from Götland, Sweden, dated 400-600 C.E. Photo by Berig, licensed under Creative Commons.

It just boggles my mind that if you do a Google search for Ophiuchus, you get pages and pages of false information. It may as well be written in stone.

Two weeks ago, if you entered keywords “Ophiuchus astrology,” RealAstrologers came up on the first page of hits. Thanks to last week’s “sign change” fiasco, my articles are buried so deep I can’t find them. In the flood of misinformation are sites devoted entirely to the “new sign,” listing supposed traits, Ophiuchus celebs, and their own astrological fantasies, further confusing those with little or no understanding of astrology.

Fortunately, that doesn’t include you. I’m proud and extremely gratified that most readers of RealAstrologers are sophisticated enough to know that last week’s “big news” was a hoax. I’m also happy to be gaining new readers who are looking for some real facts and authoritative information about the Snake Handler. Continue reading

Ask Real Astrologers: Has My Sun Sign Changed?What About Ophiuchus?

Looking for AnswersThis week’s question comes from Blake in the United States:

Browsing the Internet today, I saw the excitement over Ophiuchus, the proposed 13th astrological symbol. Since the unofficial addition, the dates for sun signs seem to change … While all this seems so boisterous and asinine I decided to investigate what my proposed “new sign” would be (Sagittarius). Well, it turns out, I relate more to the Sagittarius sign than Capricorn. It’s like I found my “true” sign amidst all this “new information” on star signs.

How do I interpret this? Can your “sign” actually shift or am I projecting my craziness to Jupiter?

Blake, Blake, Blake … How on earth can we even begin to set the record straight when Time magazine is reporting this idiocy as some kind of scientific (read God-given) truth? Continue reading

Saturday Extra! So Are We In Scorpio, Or What?

Scorpio is the sign of mysteries, secrets, and hidden things, so it’s no surprise that among its hidden attributes is an entire “lost sign” of the zodiac.

I wrote about this last year in the second half of Scorpio, so many of you already are aware that there’s a thirteenth constellation of the zodiac, Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer, sometimes called the Snake Handler. There is so much rich symbolism in this sign, including its hidden nature.


As I explained previously, the zodiac is comprised of twelve constellations Continue reading

Ask Real Astrologers: How Much of Scorpio Is Ophiuchus?

This week’s question comes from Rich in Boston, MA:

How many degrees of the second half of Scorpio is Ophiuchus?

Pat’s response:

This is a really great question, Rich, but unfortunately not as straightforward as it might seem. There are two separate astrological systems at work here, and we need to translate between the two. Before I can do that, I need to provide some technical background.

The zodiac is the belt of constellations along the ecliptic, the path of the Sun in the sky. Although we count twelve signs of the zodiac, there actually is a thirteenth constellation, Ophiuchus, also called the Serpent Bearer. Continue reading

Saturday Extra: 13th Sign of the Zodiac

Neith has pointed out recently that Scorpio’s healing properties often are ignored, which prompted me to write this little explanation for Saturday Extra.


The zodiac is comprised of twelve constellations on the ecliptic, the path the Sun takes as it appears to move through the sky from our perspective here on Earth. There is, however, a thirteenth constellation on the ecliptic, Ophiuchus, the serpent bearer. When the ancient Greeks came up with the tropical zodiac system, they excluded Ophiuchus and Continue reading