Talk:Ophiuchus (astrology)

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Missing Citations[edit]

The first citation is broken and links to GeoCities 404. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cmanser (talkcontribs) 10:41, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Ophiuchus is not a sign of the zodiac[edit]

Ophiuchus is a constellation (star-grouping) that has been known since antiquity. It is not and never has been a sign of the zodiac (geometric 30 degree division = one twelfth of 360 degree circle). This article is a furphy, instigated by someone who evidently fails to understand anything about astrology. If it is true that some sidereal "astrologers" have invented a 13 sign zodiac, they don't understand astrology either. Dr Shepherd Simpson's apparently erudite page shows that even a man with an axe to grind still needs to understand the basics. Berg is incorrect also and should be reprimanded for misleading the Japanese, if indeed he has done. Surely they are smarter than that! This article should be deleted. It's no wonder there are missing citations -- Geocities is dead and so should this concept be. Alvahir (talk) 00:58, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Ophiuchus is not a sign of the zodiac, indeed. But I don't see anywhere in the article that says it is. Not 'in most versions of astrology'. Rothorpe (talk) 02:17, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
The citation to support the statement "Ophiuchus has sometimes been used in sidereal astrology as a thirteenth sign" is no longer available and even if available, does not qualify as a WP:RS. Terry Macro (talk) 22:13, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

this article is total crap[edit]

its junk like this that makes so many people devalue wikipedia.ViniTheHat (talk) 01:07, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

I deleted the "total crap" part where the author takes it upon himself to say Ophiuchus is now accepted Zodiac cannon, which it is not. I don't think a news story is sufficient citation to draw this conclusion. I'm sure astrologers must have some kind of governing body, they should be the ones to make this kind of announcement. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:37, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

It's funny how quickly people can displace the old system with something they just read on the websites. Someone963852 (talk) 03:20, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
"I'm sure astrologers must have some kind of governing body"... Sorry, I had to quote that. Just made my day... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:18, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Call the Swami General, we need an authority. ViniTheHat (talk) 15:09, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
The fact that you aren't sure of its existence is sufficient proof for me to suggest that you're not qualified to render an opinion on the subject. I edited the article yesterday to display information regarding the dispute of the recent news's validity. To say that this insinuates Ophiuchus's permanent placement within the generally accepted zodiac is an unfortunate untruth.Poxywallow (talk) 17:17, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
who are you even addressing? Hahahaha.. ViniTheHat (talk) 22:39, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

There isn't any news, and there isn't any dispute. Seriously, if you or NBC just discovered the difference between sidereal and tropical astrology, that is your problem entirely. Read all about it in this article that has travelled here from the year 1848.

Suggestions of Ophuchus as an astrological sign have not appeared until the 1970s, even though everyone since Ptolemy has been perfectly aware that the Sun passes through Ophiuchus. So you may either say that the 1974 suggestion by Schmidt was extremely old news because it rehashes Ptolemy. Or you may say that the 2011 NBC item is extremely old news because it rehashes Schmidt (1974) and Berg (1995). --dab (𒁳) 11:54, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

This confuses me: the entire spectacle of yesterday was focused around the idea that Ophiuchus is, by some, now thought to be the thirteenth astrological sign. I do not dispute the "newness" of the decision; I merely cite that it exists, and mentioning it in this article is a relevant activity. Poxywallow (talk) 13:20, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
what do you mean, "I do not dispute the newness of the decision"? "Newness" as in 40 years ago, or as in two days ago? The Japanese have widely used this for more than ten years, so it certainly isn't new in the "two days" sense, this can hardly be disputed. At best, we can say that NBC has "newly" become aware of a Japanese pop culture item. The "new as in 40 years" (vs. 2,600 years of zodiacal astrology) is of course undisputed. --dab (𒁳) 16:55, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Information on Ophiuchus as the "new 13th sign of the zodiac"?[edit]

I know it's been around for ages, but I've seen some sources stating that because of the gravity of the moon and the sun, the earth is not where it used to be and now they can fit a 13th odiac sign in. Or something. I can't find any verifiable sources. Anyone? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:52, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

See zodiac. — kwami (talk) 18:01, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

omg, gravity of the moon and the sun! See also precession of the equinoxes. That "news" was announced by a guy called Hipparchus in 130 BCE. --dab (𒁳) 11:56, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Whatever be the reality we should understand that emergence of this news and that of hacker Julian Asange on world platform and of Mrs. Radia in India both exposing government frauds and corruption has something to do. May be more exposers of more crimes of established agencies is going to be the effect of this age old constellation, as if it has resumed on duty.Pathare Prabhu (talk) 09:27, 18 January 2011 (UTC)


This is the first I have ever heard of this "sign of the zodiac" and I suspect that this is some sort of hoax. Nekochan1973 (talk) 19:23, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia's articles on the sign and constellation go back to 2002 and mention the astrological question even in the earliest version I can find, so it's certainly not a new "hoax". I prefer to call it a "canard" - a misconception circulated by people who don't know the subject and in some cases have malicious intent. Some opponents of astrology would love to have us all believe that astrologers can't count, regardless of whether that's even remotely plausible. (talk) 20:59, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

It's not a hoax, it's Japanese pop culture. Eccentric (non-mainstream) astrologers have written about this for 40 years, but you wouldn't have heard about it if it hadn't become popular in Japan in the 1990s. --dab (𒁳) 11:57, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Japanese term[edit]

With the help of google translate, I gather from ja:へびつかい座 that 座 marks constellations, while 宮 marks astrological signs. They go on about how in English this distinction is important (I suppose thanks to our efforts here on this wiki). Compare ja:獅子座 with ja:獅子宮. But in Japanese as in English, it seems this distinction is not made by the hoi polloi, and since only the clueless seem to have any interest in Berg's 13 sign system, it appears that the Ophiuchus sign is mostly known as へびつかい座, not へびつかい宮. Case in point, 13-sign astrology is known as ja:13星座, not 13星宮. See also google. We probably need a Japanese speaker to shed more light on this. --dab (𒁳) 16:04, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Interestingly, this guy published the same idea in Japan in 1995, a year before Berg's book appeared in translation by Mizui Kumi. I wonder what happened -- perhaps Mizui had a hunch that this would be a commercial goldmine and, as a "radio personality" could cash in on it? I am sure Berg has made millions in Japan. And, at the latest, with the publication of "Blood Type × Horoscopes in 2008 dispelled any doubt as to whether he is in it for anything other than the cash.

One of my primary gripes with the skeptical editors on Wikipedia is that they are so busy "debunking" astrology that they neglect to cover it for what it is, a multi-billion industry. You can "debunk" a multi-billion industry all you want, it will still be a real force that provides thousands of jobs. --dab (𒁳) 16:40, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Rod of Asclepius[edit]

This has been in the article for some time, and since it sounded plausible enough nobody challenged it or requested citation. But now I research this, it turns out that the "Ophiuchus sign" has essentially been suggested by Schmidt (1970) and Berg (1995), and neither author used this symbol, they both came up with one of their own. The question is therefore, who has ever used the rod of Asclepius as a symbol of Ophiuchus? I am removing the claim pending citation. --dab (𒁳) 17:05, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

There was a Geocities website that used it a while ago. Here it is. There's also a Nasa page that uses a completely different sign I'm not familiar with. — MK (t/c) 01:24, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
hm, the page actually uses the caduceus, symbol of Mercury, which is an interesting twist, but we'd need a quotable source to go into it.
the symbol is weird, looks like it was made up ad hoc. The claim that "even according to the Babylonians' own ancient stories, there were 13 constellations in the zodiac" is false. Perhaps they mean Ptolemy, but Ptolemy wasn't a Babylonian. The actual Babylonian zodiac had at least 17 items. So yes, they did leave out some, but not just Ophiuchus. --dab (𒁳) 13:45, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
in fact, it is important to point out that no part of Ophiuchus appears in the Babylonian zodiac. Why would it? Its main star is like 30 degrees away from the ecliptic. The only thing that makes it a zodiacal constellation at all is Theta Ophiuchi, a 3.3 magnitude star, and god knows when this was first included in the constellation, likely in the Middle Ages. This is entirely an artefact of the IAU constellation boundaries, which for some reason inflate the area of Ophiuchus really close to Scorpio. I lack words to express the futility of the people who seem to take the IAU drawing lines on a star map as somehow having mantic powers. Of course astrology is irrational and pseudo-religiuos, but at least it's a 2,600-year-old system designed as religion, so its basically on equal footing with Judaism, Christianity or Orphism. But the people who propose that the "real constellations" to be used for this Iron Age religious system are those drawn by a bunch of astronomers in 1930 are really so far out of their depth that I sort of resent having had to write this article about them. This is much like a Christian church deciding that The Gospel According to Biff mentions Christ, so it must be treated as part of scripture. --dab (𒁳) 15:05, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
Interesting stuff, however I can see you're on edge from all the vandalism and stupid arguments regarding the recent events. I'd be careful not to let that spill into other realms. I am not advocating for either "side"; long ago I became numb to the relentless arbitrarity of these issues. — MK (t/c) 22:34, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
yes, I have since figured out that the "feet of Ophiuchus" have been part of the constellation since at least 10th century Muslim astronomy. I don't know about Roman astronomy, but I think it is safe to say that the constellation didn't exist in its modern form in Babylonia. It was more likely divided between three or more other constellations. --dab (𒁳) 19:01, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
this is what puts me on edge. The sadness and innocence of walking in the 21st century without any glimpse or spark of a notion what human culture has been through before you could watch NBC on your mobile phone and learn about how Ophiuchus has been recently accepted due an apparent "wobble" in the earths orbit due to the gravitational pull between earth and the moon. I despair, I really do. --dab (𒁳) 12:52, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Once we started getting our "news" from ABCNNBCBS it was game over anyway :P — MK (t/c) 11:42, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
I'd be curious as to what Ptolemy said about it. It's more than just the feet: η Oph is within 8° of the ecliptic. — kwami (talk) 22:03, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm also curious about Ptolemy, but so far I couldn't be bothered to research it. The "According to NBC scientists discovered that the Earth 'wobbles'" crowd aren't going to be able to appreciate such information anyway. Is 8° off good enough to make it "zodiacal" for Ptolemy? Or did Ptolemy already include the "feet"? What is the least bright star listed by Ptolemy at all? If we want to know such things we'll just have to look them up, the journalists and bloggers aren't going to do the job for us. --dab (𒁳) 12:50, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
I found out that already Aratus includes the feet of Ophiuchus and says he is standing on Scorpio, so that point is clear. --dab (𒁳) 15:00, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Oh and btw I was watching ABC during the furor and they said they were going to show a piece on it, and used the NASA image with the strange symbol from before. Luckily, the story ended up being preempted by something else. — MK (t/c) 18:56, 27 January 2011 (UTC)


Why is it removed? There has been no posted justification. Poxywallow (talk) 15:50, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Please sign your posts.
Covered at Ophiuchus and wikt:Ophiuchus. It's the same word used in a different sense. Pronunciation is the same.
But we can give the pronunciation, I suppose. Which do you like, /ˌɒfiːˈjuːkəs/? /ˌoʊfiˈjukəs/? Just as long as this doesn't devolve into a list of five variant pronunciations. I feel this is a little pointless, as there is no prescribed pronunciation, and people just pronounce it any old way they feel is plausible. --dab (𒁳) 13:40, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
I prefer the former. I agree that only a single pronunciation should be listed, but I do think that some guideline on how to say the "unpronouncable sign" (NBC/Huff.Post/AP/etc.) would be useful. Perhaps we should work on getting the massive parenthetical at the start of the article shorter, too. Poxywallow (talk) 15:50, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

But this is only a WP:SS sub-article to Ophiuchus. Certainly, the pronunciation of Ophiuchus should be discussed in the main article. What we get here is the Japanese name, which isn't relevant to the main article, but is of importance here because this topic is one of Japanese pop culture. --dab (𒁳) 18:59, 17 January 2011 (UTC)


How difficult can it be to understand WP:CITE? You want to claim that the rod of Asclepius has been used as a symbol of the sign? Cite your source. You want to discuss attribtues or mythological connections of the sign? Cite your sources.

Schmidt, Berg and Yazaki have written entire books about this stuff. I am sure there is something in these books. You want to help build this article? Get a hold of one of these books and report what's in them. Perhaps one of these authors does discuss Asclepius in connection with the sign, who knows. What makes this "sign" different from the mainstream twelve signs is that it is a mere 40 years old, so all your references need to come from literature published over the past 40 years. Of course a sign like Aries can discuss Greek mythology, because it has been an astrological sign since antiquity. Ophiuchus is different, it is a recent invention, and whatever literature you are going to bring up, it will have to be recent literature. --dab (𒁳) 11:16, 19 January 2011 (UTC)[edit]


When you say "in our mist" I think you mean "in our MIDST." Please don't try to sound intelligent when you clearly are not. Also, lose the all caps. It's juvenile. Moreover, I would suggest you learn the difference between sidereal and tropical astrology. And further, mainstream astrology has never ascribed Ophiuchus as a sign. Ever. What some eccentrics in Japan do is their own business. They are trend-whores anyway. No one is an "Ophiuchus." Jersey John (talk) 12:09, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Call for deletion[edit]

I am calling for the deletion of this article on the grounds that the information is riddled with flaws and misconceptions from beginning to end and therefore not suitable for inclusion within an encyclopedic refrence. There is no way to develop an article that talks about "a thirteenth constellation being added to the 12 signs". The 12 signs are mathematically derived equal divisions of the ecliptic, and no system of astrology, sidereal or otherwise confuses constellations with the signs - these are separate frames of reference. Zac Δ talk 09:19, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

I note your comments about Ophiuchus, and wondered if you have a reason for not seeing the article as fit for deletion? I have never recommended an article for deletion before but this one is particularly bad and based on misinformation. Since Ophiuchus is not an astrological sign but only a constellation, how can WP justify a page that treats of it as a sign? This looks like the controversial and unfounded comments were removed from the main Ophiuchus page and dumped here to keep those pages of decent quality. If the basis of the article is junk then surely its best to get it swiftly deleted. Do you not agree? Because this is the first time I have argued for deletion, could you give me the link I need for when you say raise it at AfD? Thanks Zac Δ talk 10:28, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Hi Zachariel. The article is here from November, 2009, and has many contributions by multiple users. There's a possibility that someone inserted incorrect information during the editing process. Google Books search result suggests that Ophiuchus in astrology might be a notable topic for this project. It is quite possible that our article needs simple fix/improvement, not deletion. Therefore I declined your speedy deletion nomination. If you really want to nominate the article for deletion, see Wikipedia:AfD#How_to_list_pages_for_deletion. However, I would recommend you to work on it, especially if you are familiar with the topic. Best regards. --Vejvančický (talk | contribs) 10:45, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Btw, this page could provide you a good information of what is suitable for speedy deletion and what is not. --Vejvančický (talk | contribs) 10:57, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

My vote: Keep the article but either strip it of astrological references, or take the time to explain what a sign of the zodiac is.

Each sign of the zodiac is comprised of an Element (fire, earth, air or water) and a state of energy, commonly called Cardinal (having energy), Fixed (resisting energy) or Mutable (seeing energy). I confess that state of energy is my own term, but it accurately reflects the underlying concept of cardinal, fixed and mutable.

So unless astronomers have come up with some way of making 4 x 3 = 13, then the real question is if Ophiuchus should replace some other sign, and if so, which? Since the suggestions of a 13th sign, of a 14th sign, all come from scientists, and astronomers, we might justifiably ask if they have made the least study of what they propose.

Wiki has a strict policy that astrologers cannot speak for themselves, nor can they cite astrological sources and references. Which is why I cannot sign my name to this note. Which leaves Wiki wide open to fake science of this sort. Wiki needs to revise its attitude towards astrology or it may become a target of ridicule.

The 4 x 3 grid concept can be taken a lot further. Enterprising Wikians can google "Right Theory of Astrology" and then go to pg. 2 to see what can be done. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:51, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

Now that I see the title of this article is Ophiuchus (astrology), then as Ophiuchus has nothing whatever to do with astrology, then this article should be deleted immediately. And yes, I am the pest who wrote what is immediately above and who defaced the page itself. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:25, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

Clarify the subject.[edit]

Signs of the zodiac are qualified as being of fire, earth, air or water. Signs of the zodiac are qualified as being cardinal, fixed, or mutable. They are qualified as being positive (male) or negative (female) in an alternating series. Those are the rules. Every possible combination of these factors are already in use.

Only signs of the zodiac have these special qualifications. No constellation has any of them. Not even positive or negative. Not now, not in ancient times.

To qualify Ophiuchus, a constellation of long standing, as a sign of the zodiac, it must be assigned an element and an energy and a polarity. As all existing possibilities have already been taken, promoters (guilty of original as well as sloppy research) must state which existing zodiacal sign should be replaced and why. That Ophiuchus lies on the ecliptic does not of itself qualify it for special treatment.

So let's not delete this entry. Let us properly define Ophiuchus as a constellation which in modern times has been proposed as a sign and let it stand at that. List the people who have made this proposal and why, and then list the people who have opposed it, and why. As there seems to be a dispute on what qualifies as a sign, that should also be given an airing. (Zodiacal signs have traditionally been qualified as blah, blah, blah, but some moderns have suggested that mere placement on the ecliptic should be sufficient, etc.) Give the reader a choice of which side he wants to favor.

Ophiuchus has astrological value, so says Manilius? That's nothing special. All the ancient constellations had astrological values. Robson compiled the old meanings in his Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology, of 1923, which is a useful resource.

So can we please clean this up? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:34, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Obviously not everyone wants to keep within those rules. Even within 12-sign astrology, the sidereals look down their nose at the tropicals, and Indian astrology is rather different from Western astrology... AnonMoos (talk) 02:47, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Hello AnonMoos: The subject is 12 or 13. Tropical vs: Sidereal is not relevant. Astrology is a rule-based system. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:22, 10 December 2013 (UTC)