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Why you've been reading the wrong star sign all this time

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Kayleigh Dray
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There are many people who put great stock in what their horoscope says each morning. They carefully scan the pages of their morning newspaper, searching for their own zodiac sign, and drink in everything that the astrologer has written for them that day.

“Fancy,” they say, “mercury is in retrograde. That explains everything.”

On the flipside, there are those who think it’s all nothing but a bunch of mumbo-jumbo… although even these people are probably familiar with their own star sign.

But now it’s been revealed that everything we thought we knew about the zodiac was a lie.



NASA – as in, yes, actual NASA – have revealed that the sky today is completely different to how it was almost 3,000 years ago, when the Babylonians first invented the 12 signs of the zodiac.

They explain: “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 skies have shifted, say NASA, and the zodiac signs have moved, too

The skies have shifted, say NASA, and the zodiac signs have moved, too

That’s right; all of our star signs are off by about a month. Which means that, if you thought you were the ultimate Gemini, you’re probably not.

On the other hand, all of those who feel as if they just don’t connect with their own horoscope (we’re thinking of you, Scorpios), then this could be very good news indeed.



Even stranger, however, is the fact that NASA have added a brand-new 13th zodiac sign into the mix: Ophiuchus.

“The constellations are different sizes and shapes, so the Sun spends different lengths of time lined up with each one,” they explain.

“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 12-month calendar, the Babylonians ignored the fact that the Sun actually moves through 13 constellations, not 12.

“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.”

There are now 13 zodiac signs

There are now 13 zodiac signs

Here are the new and improved dates for the star signs:

  • Capricorn: Jan 20 - Feb 16
  • Aquarius: Feb 16 – March 11
  • Pisces: March 11 – April 18
  • Aries: April 18 – May 13
  • Taurus: May 13 – June 21
  • Gemini: June 21 – July 20
  • Cancer: July 20 – Aug 10
  • Leo: Aug 10 – Sept 16
  • Virgo: Sept 16 – Oct 30
  • Libra: Oct 30 – Nov 23
  • Scorpio: Nov 23 – Nov 29
  • Ophiuchus: Nov 29 – Dec 17
  • Sagittarius: Dec 17 – Jan 20

Suddenly an Ophiuchus and want to know what that says about your personality? Well, according to TIME Magazine, the constellation represents a man wrestling a serpent, dividing the snake’s body in two parts.

As such, Ophiuchus is considered a healer of men, a doctor of medicine, or a scientist who seeks higher education and enlightenment. 

He’s also an interpreter of dreams, favoured by his father and other authority figures, and expected to achieve a high position in life.

Not too shabby, eh?



If you’re still not sure that your personality fits your new star sign, of course, it doesn't matter too much; after all, there’s nobody to stop you reading your old horoscope.

As NASA themselves explain, no one has shown that astrology can be used to predict the future or describe what people are like based only on their birth date.”

They add that the zodiac is “not science” and that it simply offers comfort in a similar manner to “reading fantasy stories”. 

Images: iStock

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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