Template talk:Zodiac

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Ophiuchus[edit]

Please don't remove Ophiuchus from the Zodiac template. It's recognized as part of the Zodiac by Ptolemy, the IAU, the Ophiuchus article, and certain places in popular culture.

Also, since our Wikipedia article is called Scorpius, the template should refer to the constellation as Scorpius. Viltris 09:24, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

By that logic, Fire, Earth, Air, and Water should be included in the Periodic Table, because Ptolemy considered them to be elements. Ptolemy's interpretation is not the current consensus. 67.158.72.8 02:12, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

The debate whether to include constellations beyond the standard accepted 12 (e.g. Ophiuchus) is simple. Have a second sub-section called other signs or something, and list them there under the main 12. The other signs are important to some researchers so should not be removed, yet there are valid reasons to keep the main 12 separate as those are the standard accepted constellations. This satiates both parties.24.190.34.219 (talk) 17:50, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
Zodiac
Main Constellations - Standard Twelve
Other Constellations - Ophiuchus, etc.

24.190.34.219 (talk) 17:53, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

astrology/astronomy[edit]

I've just reverted another attempt to merge the astrological and astronomical zodiacs in this template. User:Barticus88's edit comment in March 2007 was very apt. We need to be clear on whether the template is talking about the astronomical or astrological zodiacs. If just one, we need to be very clear which one; if both, fine, but then well-meaning editors will attempt to "fix" it by combining the two. Even as it stands there's some inappropriate mixing, since the template lists astrological symbols for the astronomical constellations, to which they don't really apply (hence the conspicuous absence of a symbol for Ophiucus). I'd like to remove those, but will wait for consensus before doing so because, as I said in my own edit summary just now, the current state of affairs is a delicate compromise.

The reason this is important is that there are political implications. Opponents of astrology are fond of claiming that the zodiac "really" contains 13 signs (and, by implication, that astrologers are stupid for saying it has 12). On what basis such people think they know better of the technical details of astrology than its professional practitioners do, is a question seldom visited. Meanwhile working astronomers have a legitimate claim of their own on the word "zodiac," their zodiac really does have 13 constellations (not signs) in it, and they're probably sick of hearing about the whole mess. The bottom line is that if you display a list of 13 constellations with astrological symbols and call it "the zodiac," you're equating the two zodiacs and taking a position on a political issue in a way inappropriate for Wikipedia. It would be as inappropriate as displaying a list of The Twelve Imams under the heading "Successors of the Prophet Muhammad" with no further comment. 67.158.72.135 (talk) 03:54, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

The "political implications" are minor in relation to the geometrical discrepancies between constellations and signs. The constellations and the signs share a common heritage from Babylonian astrology. We cannot claim that the Babylonians were astronomers proper, since they didn't model the solar system in a geometric way, like the Greek did. The astrological signs are factually a 12 parts subdivision of the ecliptic in 30° sectors, starting with Aries at 0°/Vernal Equinox. DOT. That's the definition. The astronomical constellations on the other hand, are areas that have successively evolved from star patterns that perhaps 600 BC coincided with their eponymous astrological signs very approximately. Although once being in Aries, because of the precession the Vernal Equinox is now in the first half in Pisces. That poses no problems, and is no argument against astrology per se, because the astrological signs and the astronomical constellations are unrelated. This Ophiuchus constellation is also irrelevant, because that is a Greek constellation, not a Babylonian astrological sign. Besides astrology is a heavily modified sole remnant of the Mesopotamian religion. ... said: Rursus (mbork³) 18:51, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
To clarify: the constellations and signs should be separate, since the only relation between a sign and a constellation is the mythic image (symbol), i.e. the figures used to concoct myths. Otherwise the myths are separate: the astrology attaching a functional-cosmological myth describing personalities, while astronomy uses myths restrictively as folklore only. F.ex. the astronomical myth about Aries is a flying ram with golden fleece, saving two children from mortal schemes from their step mother, while the Astrological myth instead tell us of a "choleric" kind of personality, slightly egoistical by neglect, who is fast, forceful and impatient in attacking problem, although not too persistent. The only thing in common is using the Ram as a symbol. ... said: Rursus (mbork³) 20:33, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Now all constellation articles use the new template Template:CZodiac. I'm going to make short sections in the zodiacal constellations (not Ophiuchus) that links to the astrological articles, and advice similar short sections from the astrological signs to the relevant zodiacal constellation. 12 isn't easily matched to 13, and however we may redesign the template, it won't look nice because 12 ≠ 13. ... said: Rursus (mbork³) 20:42, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Ophiuchus now has an astrology article, Ophiuchus (astrology). Should it be added to the astrology section of this template? Currently the page includes the template but isn't linked back. DenisMoskowitz (talk) 19:20, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
It shouldn't be included in the template because the 12-sign zodiac is by *far* the most standard one. Differences between, for instance, the tropical and sidereal zodiacs, usually concern where the signs start, not how many there are. Only a very few astrologers use Ophiucus at all, let alone giving it the status of being a 13th "sign"; listing it as part of "the astrological zodiac" without a detailed explanation would cause massive confusion. Maybe the template, then, shouldn't be on the Ophiucus page either. I don't have any strong feelings on that point. But including Ophiucus in the template on other pages as an astrological sign would be like including "The Republic of Texas" on a template listing of "Countries in North America"; yes, some people feel strongly that Texas should be or already is an independent country, but that is by no means a standard view of the subject. 129.97.58.107 (talk) 17:38, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
That makes sense. DenisMoskowitz (talk) 14:55, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Just add two separate sub sections...[edit]

The debate whether to include constellations beyond the standard accepted 12 (e.g. Ophiuchus) is simple. Have a second sub-section called other signs or something, and list them there under the main 12. The other signs are important to some researchers so should not be removed, but this way also satiates the people that only want the main 12.24.190.34.219 (talk) 17:50, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Astronomy versus astrology[edit]

To Izno, Barek-public and Versageek. The Sun is traversing 13 astronomical constellations, including Ophiuchus. Nobody is arguing that. The issue is whether Ophiuchus (astrology) should be included as an astrological sign or not. 74.0.254.242 made a mess 2011-01-13 and 86.164.224.144, 213.122.142.100 and 82.110.91.242 tried to repair it. Please notice that there are two rows; an astronomical and an astrological. --Regards, Necessary Evil (talk) 02:06, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

The Sun is traversing 13 astronomical constellations according to their 1930 definition. I indeed be prepared to argue that in antiquity, the constellation Ophiuchus was not considered part of the ecliptic. --dab (𒁳) 18:26, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

I had no intention of claiming one side or other, just removing the template link. --Izno (talk) 03:00, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
@Dbachmann. I'm not sure what you mean. In antiquity they didn't know the planet Neptune either, but it is still part of the Template:Solar System. Wikipedia must be up-to-date.
@Izno. If you look at the revision history, the fight is whether or not Ophiuchus/Serpentarius should be included in the astrological row. 74.0.254.242 removed it from the astronomical row and everybody defended his/her vandalism (perhaps a knee-jerk reaction, thinking it was the astrological row?) --Regards, Necessary Evil (talk) 17:02, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
no, you clearly do not know what I mean. It is one thing to "discover" a celestial object. For stars with magnitude below 4 or so, all you need to "discover" them is look at the sky at night. It is another thing to group stars into constellations. This has nothing to do with discovery, it's just a matter of convention. These conventions change over time. The stars Alpha Ophiuchi and Delta Ophiuchi were just as well-known to the ancient Babylonians as they are to us. But did they group them into the same constellation? Probably not, or if they did we don't know that they did. I cringe inside when people argue when a constellation has been "discovered". You don't discover constellations, you define them.
the current precise definition of the Oph constellation dates to 1930. This definition is informed by medieval definitions, dating from at least the 10th century. These are in turn derived from Roman era descriptions by Ptolemy et al. If the Oph constellation is older than Eudoxus, we don't know that it is.
regarding the actual question, should Ophiuchus (astrology) be linked along with the other 12 signs? The anwer is no, the reason is WP:UNDUE. It is more than enough to link 13-sign astrology as a see also. --dab (𒁳) 13:13, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
@Izno. You're right, 86.164.224.144 also made a mess [1]. Good work!
@Dbachmann. Perhaps my headline is misleading. I'm not advocating for the inclusion of Ophiuchus in the astroLOGical row. Ophiuchus has been part of the astroNOMical row for a very long time due to the fact that IAU since 1930 has been included Ophiuchus in the Sun's path. 74.0.254.242 suddenly removed Ophiuchus from the astroNOMical row without any explanation [2]. The attempts from IP-users to repair it were reverted with “please join a discussion on this”. It became clear to me that Barek-public and Versageek had misunderstood the situation, believing it was the old edit war regarding Ophiuchus in the astroLOGical row. In order to explain the situation, I established this new section. --Regards, Necessary Evil (talk) 16:32, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Ophiucus and the ecliptic[edit]

User:Starcartographer's good faith edits of 19 December 2012 have eliminated the astronomical constellations entirely, and put "Ophiucus" back on the astrological list. I thought we'd already reached consensus on these issues, and I'm really disappointed to see all the work we did forming that consensus undone in such a cavalier manner. I'm going to revert it now. I expect someone will probably threaten to ban me for that, and if so, I won't contribute further and will leave the template to decay in peace... but please, people, read the talk page before rearranging a widely-seen template! The astronomical ecliptic is not the same thing as the astrological zodiac, the signs do not have the same names as the related constellations, neither astronomers nor astrologers want to use the others' conventions, and Ophiucus is *not* part of the standard astrological zodiac. All these facts would be clear to someone who read this talk page, or the relevant articles linked from the template. 207.161.219.24 (talk) 14:18, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

"decay" and "threaten to ban me" are unnecessary hyperbole. Please avoid that. I have reverted your changes.

No one has claimed that the ecliptic and the zodiac are the same. However, given the titles of all the linked articles, I see no reason to remove any of them from the template. As it is, I'm of the feeling that having both the ecliptic and zodiac would be inappropriate. The edits which made the current template have resulted in a much cleaner template. Having the images was unnecessary, and the actual constellations linked was perhaps confusing to individuals viewing the template. I so no reason of course not to readd them, but to go back to the old template is quite unnecessary. I might advise not reincluding the constellations due to the potential confusion, but as I said, I have no great opinion against that course of action either. --Izno (talk) 17:02, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

It's not hyperbole. Many times when I have made significant changes to a contentious page - and surprisingly often with small innocuous changes to uncontroversial pages, in one notable case because I answered a question someone had asked on a talk page - no matter how well-supported in Wikipedia policy my position might be, I have literally been threatened with banning. There's a prejudice against IP addresses which I could no doubt avoid by registering an account, but the fact that such behaviour is routinely tolerated among registered Wikipedia users is one reason I hesitate to become one. It does happen; the fact that I can expect it to happen again in the future is not reasonably in dispute. You just called me a liar. Please avoid that.
Having symbols, having both astrological and astronomical sections, having those sections separate, and having Ophiuchus not included in the astrological section, have all been consensus since at least mid-2009. All those points were changed without discussion in the edits of December 19: the symbols were removed, either one section was removed or the distinction between the sections was removed, and Ophiuchus was made to look like part of the astrological zodiac.
I have no strong opinion about inclusion of the symbols; some people would like to see them, but having them in the articles and not in the template is probably good enough, and I'm cognizant of the preference for avoiding bulky templates. Having separate templates for astrology and astronomy, instead of trying to include them both in the same template, may be a good idea too. However, if this template is the one about the astrological zodiac - which it seems is your view - then it should not list Ophiuchus at the same status as the actual signs, and ideally it shouldn't list Ophiuchus at all. Ophiuchus is not part of the standard zodiac used by virtually all astrologers. As mentioned elsewhere on this page, it would be like including "the Republic of Texas" without comment on a list of "countries of North America" at the same status as the USA and Mexico. Even among the tiny minority of professional astrologers who do use Ophiuchus at all, many call it a "constellation" rather than a sign because having signs be other than 30-degree increments screws up most of the purposes for which signs are useful. Those issues can be addressed in the Ophiuchus article, but are not well addressed by showing thirteen names in the template on all the other sign-related pages as if that list were somehow standard. If we're going to represent fringe views as standard (yes, some would claim astrology itself is a fringe subject, but then we're onto the fringe of a fringe) then we might as well jump to Schmidt's fourteen-sign zodiac with Cetus.
I would be content with the version that exists as of this writing - with only one section and no symbols - if Ophiuchus were removed. That will require ongoing policing, however, as well-meaning newspaper readers periodically try to add the "new" sign. 207.161.219.24 (talk) 21:34, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Even if it is not hyperbole, it is still irrelevant. Frankly, no one cares here whether someone has done that to you before. In the future, such problematic edits should be reported to WP:ANI or WP:DRN, or you should attempt to resolve the problem at the user's talk page, rather than attempting to use such issues as evidence to change a page to your preferred version....

Having symbols, having both astrological and astronomical sections, having those sections separate, and having Ophiuchus not included in the astrological section, have all been consensus since at least mid-2009. All those points were changed without discussion in the edits of December 19: the symbols were removed, either one section was removed or the distinction between the sections was removed, and Ophiuchus was made to look like part of the astrological zodiac.

However, if this template is the one about the astrological zodiac - which it seems is your view - then it should not list Ophiuchus at the same status as the actual signs, and ideally it shouldn't list Ophiuchus at all. Ophiuchus is not part of the standard zodiac used by virtually all astrologers. As mentioned elsewhere on this page, it would be like including "the Republic of Texas" without comment on a list of "countries of North America" at the same status as the USA and Mexico. Even among the tiny minority of professional astrologers who do use Ophiuchus at all, many call it a "constellation" rather than a sign because having signs be other than 30-degree increments screws up most of the purposes for which signs are useful. Those issues can be addressed in the Ophiuchus article, but are not well addressed by showing thirteen names in the template on all the other sign-related pages as if that list were somehow standard.

True. However, there is support for the new look, of which I am one. I would be careful to distinguish Ophiuchus's place in that category from its actual inclusion in the zodiac. The location of the sign/constellation here is not an indication of whether it is a part of the zodiac, only that it is related to that particular section and that it has indeed been called a sign (whether useful or not, accepted or not, is also irrelevant in this case, in my opinion). You would be hardpressed to show evidence that it is confusing or otherwise. I'm not going to argue whether its used or not (WP:OR). It would be disagreeable to me not to include the article in the template at the least.

If we're going to represent fringe views as standard (yes, some would claim astrology itself is a fringe subject, but then we're onto the fringe of a fringe) then we might as well jump to Schmidt's fourteen-sign zodiac with Cetus.

I would have no objection to Cetus's inclusion myself, if an article for the sign existed. :)

I would be content with the version that exists as of this writing - with only one section and no symbols - if Ophiuchus were removed.

So then, the question is a) whether the link should be included in the template, and b) where, if so? My answer to the former is yes, my answer to the latter is in that first section. It might be wise to start an RFC for this to find resolution, since the issue seems to come up rather regularly. --Izno (talk) 23:15, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

The drastic change of including Ophiuchus at the same status as the actual signs shouldn't be made because this drastic change places undue weight on a fringe view of the subject. The appropriate amount of emphasis on Ophiuchus in this template, per the linked policy, really is zero - just the same as the amount of emphasis given Texas and Quebec, homes of separatist minorities much more numerous and notable than the serious 13-sign astrologers, in the "Countries of North America" template which really exists - but I suppose an argument might be made for including Ophiuchus in the list of "related" articles at the bottom. I wouldn't support including it at all. It will always be hard to convince me that 360 divided by 30 is 13; but it's not me who needs to be convinced. I didn't say the drastic change of calling Ophiuchus a "sign" shouldn't be made because some Wikipedia users have acted inappropriately toward me - those are two separate statements that are both true, not a cause and effect. You called me a liar, and instead of apologizing, you said it wasn't important and nobody cares, and then you misrepresented my position to make my position sound fallacious. So, fine, you win, you can drastically change the template to represent only the wacky fringe view - which is what it does when it lists thirteen signs at the same status - if you want. I won't try to stop you. But for your own benefit, go take some classes on human relations too. Dale Carnegie wrote a pretty good book. 207.161.219.24 (talk) 02:56, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

The drastic change of including Ophiuchus at the same status as the actual signs shouldn't be made because this drastic change places undue weight on a fringe view of the subject.

You count it as "drastic" (more hyperbole), I do not. Its location in a template is hardly going to affect its real world status. Similarly, invoking undue weight, a policy aimed at articles. Even if we were to assume the spirit of the policy and not the letter, I'm still not sure how that reflects on this template here. It is indisputable that the 13th sign has indeed been claimed to be a sign. Whether that claim is strong or not is not what I am arguing. What I am arguing is that the strength of the claim does not matter when we are simply listing the elements of the zodiac.

you said it wasn't important and nobody cares, and then you misrepresented my position to make my position sound fallacious.

Who is misrepresenting who here? Would you like me to quote the relevant lines of my reply? The introduction of the argument of "oh no, I will be blocked for speaking out" was completely fallacious. I have no interest in whether you will be blocked, but only in whether your argument is concise, cogent, and complete, and if you were expecting otherwise, you should take that up at the appropriate venue as I linked you to before. I would expect any other editor to make the same non-distinction between yourself, a confirmed editor, an administrator, or any of the other user roles available on Wikipedia. As I said, your past experience elsewhere is irrelevant to your argument at this page.

So, fine, you win, you can drastically change the template to represent only the wacky fringe view - which is what it does when it lists thirteen signs at the same status - if you want.

It is not my desire to "win". I offered the option of seeking external review per the processes of WP:3O or WP:RFC or another of your choice (I had it in mind to drop a note at WT:WikiProject Astrology). That comment still stands. --Izno (talk) 04:11, 11 February 2013 (UTC)